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Ryzen 7 Gaming

AMD has shaken the premium desktop CPU market with the release of Ryzen chips in the last three months. Based on a clean-sheet design and offering compelling performance for enthusiasts who push their systems to the bleeding edge, AMD has, in no uncertain terms, brought real choice to a stagnant part of the PC ecosystem.

Ryzen is the consumer brand name given to the first Zen-based microprocessors, and AMD has shoehorned in an impressive amount of technology in every facet of design. Looking more toward the performance segment, characterised by eight-core, 16-thread monster CPUs that go under the Ryzen 7 banner, here is how the launch trio stacks up.

AMD Ryzen 7 CPU Range

Model
Cores / Threads
Transistors
Cache
TDP
Base Clock
Turbo Clock
XFR
Memory
Factor
Supplied Cooler
Price
Ryzen 7 1800X
8 / 16
4.8bn
20MB
95W
3.6GHz
4.0GHz
Yes, 100MHz
DDR4-2666
AM4
-
$499
Ryzen 7 1700X
8 / 16
4.8bn
20MB
95W
3.4GHz
3.8GHz
Yes, 100MHz
DDR4-2666
AM4
-
$399
Ryzen 7 1700
8 / 16
4.8bn
20MB
65W
3.0GHz
3.7GHz
Yes, 50MHz
DDR4-2666
AM4
Wraith Spire
$329

A high-level overview shows that Ryzen 7 marries generous frequency with massive multi-tasking capability. Leading independent review sites have repeatedly shown that, more often than not, Ryzen 7 has the beating of Intel chips costing in excess of $1,000. It is no exaggeration to say Ryzen 7 is disruptive technology that enables class-leading multi-thread CPU performance at pricing points that are wholly impressive.

If you push your CPU to the max in applications such as video encoding and 3D modelling then Ryzen 7 is an obvious, sensible fit, enabling enthusiasts, content creators and professionals alike to put the significant financial savings into other parts of the system when compared to going down the Intel-only route.

However, a compelling enthusiast-class CPU needs to be excellent at heavy usage, which Ryzen 7 clearly is, and also a first-class citizen for gaming. The latest titles take advantage of more CPU horsepower than ever before, while nascent graphics cards make short work of creating beautiful, immersive visuals at resolutions that consoles cannot match.

It is therefore important to consider the gaming potential of Ryzen 7 when paired with a high-performance graphics card and run at settings that provide the optimum balance between frame rate and image quality. In this piece we investigate just how good Ryzen 7 is when compared to the best that Intel has to offer.

To that end, we have benchmarked the Ryzen 7 1800X against an Intel Core i7-7700K and Core i7-6900K, across five games all set to lush image quality and at 2,560x1,440 and 3,440x1,440 resolutions. This combination offers excellent visuals and immersive fields of view. Pushing the graphics hardware to the limit, a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition card is used.

Gaming at 2,560x1,440 - average / minimum framerate

 
AMD Ryzen
7 1800X
AMD Ryzen
7 1700
Intel Core
i7-7700K
Intel Core
i7-6900K
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
66.2 / 52.4
65.9 / 52
68.7 / 54.2
68.5 / 54.6
Hitman
103.1 / 2.9
99.6 / 3.2
122.9 / 3.5
124.5 / 8.1
Prey
131.5 / 98
128.3 / 96
134.3 / 109
135.6 / 108
Rise of the Tomb Raider
102.2 / 56.7
103.1 / 52.1
111.5 / 56.9
110.2 / 56.3
Total War: Warhammer
84.4
80.6
101.7
98.2

The numbers show that, at sensible resolutions, there isn't a large gap between the performance of the four systems. The minimum fps, which we consider to be as important as the average, is good on both Ryzen 7 systems, thus the gaming experience is fluid and seamless when running the games at a lush 3,440x1,440 resolution.

Gaming at 3,440x1,440 - average / minimum framerate

 
AMD Ryzen
7 1800X
AMD Ryzen
7 1700
Intel Core
i7-7700K
Intel Core
i7-6900K
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
52.8 / 41.5
52.5 / 42.1
53.7 / 42.1
54.1 / 42.3
Hitman
95.6 / 6.1
95 / 6.8
103.2 / 4.6
104.6 / 7.8
Prey
107 / 86
106.8 / 88
107.6 / 86
107.2 / 85
Rise of the Tomb Raider
87.4 / 36.8
86 / 38.9
86.5 / 33.9
87.1 / 39.5
Total War: Warhammer
76.2
74.3
89
86.7

Intel is certainly somewhat quicker in some titles, though we would expect the relative AMD score to improve as developers get to grips with the nascent Ryzen 7 architecture. Moving forwards, it is likely that visually stunning games take advantage of more cores and threads than ever before. This has important ramifications insofar as AMD offers double the number of cores and threads as Intel in the sub-$500 space.

It will be interesting to see how the AMD Ryzen 7's performance matures over time, but as it stands right now, it is a capable gaming CPU as well as being a stellar choice for power users whose applications take advantage of huge parallel processing ability.

AMD Ryzen 7 processors are available at the following retailers:

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