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AMD Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X CPU Review

By: Steven Bassiri | AMD CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Mar 6, 2017 11:33 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: AMD

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the Ryzen 7 1700X and 1700 processors.

 

What's Hot

 

Excellent Multi-Threaded Performance: Ryzen's microarchitecture is designed to dominate any multi-threaded scenario, and the benchmark results prove it. Since many workloads are heavily multi-threaded, Ryzen is an excellent CPU for productivity and CPU intensive workloads.

 

 

1800X Performance at $100-$170 Less: The 1700X costs $100 less than the 1800X, but can easily be pushed to the same overclocks as the 1800X. Even at stock, the difference is minimal. The two reasons you might go for the 1800X over the 1700X is if you never plan on overclocking and if you want to get the best-binned CPU. I was surprised that the Ryzen 7 1700 was able to also overclock to 4GHz on all cores, but I wouldn't expect all 1700s to do that easily, since AMD bins the CPUs to determine what model they will become, and 1700s are at the bottom end of the spectrum.

 

Lower Power of the 1700: By removing XFR and reducing the clock speed of the CPU down from the 1700X's clock speed, AMD was able to cut power consumption by roughly 30W. AMD lists the TDP as 30W lower, and our tests found CPU power draw to be 33W lower. If we factor in the efficiency loss of the motherboard VRM, we are still around that 30W mark, so AMD is true to their word.

 

Broadwell-like IPC: Broadwell-E is Intel's microarchitecture for their X99 high-end desktop platform, and while it's two generations behind Intel's latest microarchitecture, it's what you get from Intel's top processors. AMD was able to basically match it, with better multi-threaded performance and slightly lower single core performance. That is a big deal.

 

SoC To the Next Level: Ryzen is the first desktop level processor to offer IO in the CPU. The CPU not only carries x4 PCI-E 3.0/SATA for an M.2 slot, but it also offers the HD audio bus and four USB 3.0 ports. That means you could technically have a mini-ITX motherboard with AMD's X300 chipset that has no IO, which greatly reduces the chipset's footprint, and allows vendors to implement more features (like a beefier VRM) or build much smaller products (like Pico-ITX).

 

What's Not

 

Gaming at 1080p and Lower: Ryzen does well in games when the CPU isn't the bottleneck, and that is usually the case with the latest games and 1440p (QHD) and 2160p (4K/UHD). Intel recently dropped the price of their 7700K, and it still does better in a lot of games at 1080p and lower resolutions. However, AMD has told us that game makers will be implementing updates that optimize their games for the Ryzen CPU, as Intel has done. That promise is not an empty one, and since final Ryzen silicon has only been around for a couple of months, it makes sense for AMD to be a bit behind when it comes to getting games optimized. Hopefully, they will get most of the latest titles updated. If the primary use of your computer is gaming, Ryzen might not be the perfect fit for you, at least not now.

 

Ease of Overclocking: Ryzen does require a bit more tinkering to overclock compared to its competitors. The top frequencies are also not as high as their competitor, which makes overclocking a little less fun. My Clear CMOS button probably hates me a little. Ryzen's memory ecosystem is also not as big, and their AMP (XMP equivalent) isn't as widespread, and each motherboard vendor seems to take it on a bit differently (ASUS calls it DOCP for instance). Ryzen overclocking through Ryzen Master is about disabling cores and pushing up the frequency (you can do normal overclocking too), something most aren't very familiar with. Ryzen memory overclocking also requires an FSB increase at frequencies above 3200MHz, and that adds another level of complexity because you are also overclocking other buses. That being said, Ryzen overclocking can be simple, if CPU bin quality, motherboard capabilities, and memory compatibility are well matched.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

I thought that the Ryzen 7 1800X was a great CPU, that is why I gave it the second highest award we offer at TweakTown. It's a great CPU that does very well against Intel's HEDT's 8-core CPUs and does so at a remarkably lower price. However, that price, $500, is only fixed for a while and it's not that inexpensive. In this day and age, $500 is on the high-side when we talk about CPU prices for the average consumer. The Ryzen 7 1700X is priced $100 cheaper and offers all the same features, only at a slightly lower frequency. The 1700X is definitely the better buy if you want to take that $100 and put it into your motherboard, memory, or GPU.

 

amd-ryzen-7-1700-1700x-cpu-review_51

 

The 1700 is almost the same as the 1700X except it has no XFR and operates at lower frequencies, but its ability to overclock up to 1800X levels, just like the 1700X, makes it an excellent choice if you want an affordable 8-core system. Intel's high-end mainstream CPUs used to cost about the same, and people buy them, so it's safe to say that the 1700 will be the go-to CPU for most people. At this time, XFR only offers a 100MHz boost on a single core, something that isn't that impressive. The technology would be awesome if it were unlocked up to 5GHz or user selectable, but that time hasn't yet approached us, so, for now, I would say it's not a must.

 

Part of the story on launch day was that Ryzen isn't a gamer's CPU, but to be honest, gaming isn't the only thing people do with their computers. Ryzen is designed for multi-threaded workloads, and almost everything productivity wise can take advantage. That includes almost everything from editing videos to using Excel (you can enable multi-core in Excel).

 

Overall, I feel that the 1700X and 1700 are excellent processors for their price; basically 1800Xs that need a bit of overclocking. The 1700X and 1700 are the 8-core CPUs for the masses.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality93%
Features92%
Value99%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: AMD's Ryzen 7 1700X and 1700 are excellent 8-core/16-thread CPUs offering core counts and performance we never expected to see at price points that the masses can afford.

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