Our fundamental takeaway from this review is that you cannot buy a mediocre consumer CPU in 2018.
AMD has bolstered the Ryzen line-up by announcing four CPUs today. These performance second-generation chips are marketed as the 2000-series family and now augment the G-series models released earlier this year.
The purpose of these processors is to enhance performance without unduly affecting price. Higher frequencies are achieved through a combination of moving to a 12nm process and utilising Precision Boost 2, which now better uplifts performance when all cores are running. The chips remain on the AM4 platform that, a year on from launch, has wide motherboard support.
Whereas such AM4 boards were somewhat flaky with regard to overclocking and memory compatibility in April 2017, AMD and its partners have rectified the shortcomings. Ryzen and AM4 is now a proven, stable solution.
Focussing back on the CPUs, Ryzen 7 2700X's combination of minor IPC uplift and higher all-core frequency gives it a >10 per cent performance lead over Ryzen 7 1800X in heavily-threaded applications. Looking across to Intel, the Ryzen lead is 20-30 per cent, helped by having more cores for similar money. Gaming performance with a GTX 1080 Ti, meanwhile, is around 10 per cent lower at 1080p but the same at 4K.
Ryzen 5 2600X improves upon the 1600X is the same fashion, upping speeds whilst costing not much more. It's a good all-round chip that can mix it with the Intel Core i7-8700K for full-on processing whilst still providing a solid gaming experience.
Our fundamental takeaway from this review is that you cannot buy a mediocre consumer CPU in 2018. On a comparable price footing AMD is stronger in heavy-load situations, Intel still wins out in gaming, if a few FPS at 1080p matter to you, and has the advantage in light-load situations and overclocking potential on the K-series processors that continue to be imbued with integrated graphics - a feature that these Ryzens don't support.
What it really boils down to is your main usage scenarios. For a fixed financial outlay, content creators ought to favour 2nd Generation Ryzen - it's Zen done right - others may see the light-load and lower-res gaming virtues of Intel as winning attributes. Whatever you choose, they will all provide a good, solid platform.
Impressive multi-core performance
All chips unlocked
Lots of motherboard choice
Single-thread is better but not great
Limited all-core overclocking headroom
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X
2nd Gen AMD Ryzen processors are available to puchase from Scan Computers.
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