Processors have one of the most important jobs in a gaming PC: getting requests from the game to the graphics card. Everything you see and do in your favorite game must first go through the CPU, and a CPU that keeps a hungry GPU fed with a constant stream of data is a delicious recipe for great performance. That relationship was a guiding light in the design of the AMD Ryzen™ processor. We built a high-throughput machine that’s great for hungry GPUs, and today I wanted to share some gaming data with you.
Figure A: System configuration AMD: Ryzen 7 1800X (8C16T, 3.6-4.0GHz), 16GB DDR4-2400, AMD reference motherboard, AMD Wraith Max cooler. System configuration Intel: Core i7-6900K (8C16, 3.2-3.7GHz), 16GB DDR4-2400, Asus STRIX X99 Gaming, Intel BXTS13A cooler. Shared configuration: NVIDIA Titan X, 3840x2160 resolution, Samsung 960 PRO 512GB NVMe, graphics driver 184.108.40.20633. Game settings: Ashes of the Singularity (Crazy preset), Battlefield 4 (Ultra preset), DOOM (Ultra preset), GTAV (Default preset), Civilization VI (Ultra preset), Alien: Isolation (Ultra preset, standard SSAO).
At first blush, you can already see that performance of the flagship Ryzen 7 1800X processor makes it a great chip for gamers with high-end needs. Average framerates are >60 FPS for the titles we looked at today, and you can see that level of performance across a diverse set of graphics APIs: Vulkan®, DirectX® 12 and DirectX® 11. It’s clear that the 1800X is a processor that’s ready for APIs of today and tomorrow.
99th Percentile Frame Rates
You may not be familiar with 99th percentile frame rates (“99th%”), represented above with the dataset on the left half of the cart. This is a groundbreaking approach that objectively measures the smoothness of a game. It was pioneered by my friend and colleague Scott Wasson during his time as Editor-in-Chief and Owner of The Tech Report. His seminal work, “Inside the Second,” sought to explain why games with high framerates could still often feel choppy to users. He did so by asking the following question: how fast are frames being rendered 99% of the time, and how slow is that last 1%?
His research showed that a great many games reporting high average framerates were also frequently throwing many slow frames into the mix. That last 1% of all frames took much longer to render than average, and they happened often enough that the naked eye would perceive the game’s motion as choppy. The average FPS value was hiding problematic rendering! He also found that games with higher 99th% framerates just generally felt smoother to play. But you can cut the percentages any way you like, so he also found games that would look good 50% of the time—generating great average framerates—but run very slowly the other 50% of the time. These games felt awful to play, but nobody had objectively demonstrated why before Mr. Wasson’s work.
This is why 99th% frame rates are an essential piece of data in our gaming analysis. Higher 99th% values are simply a better measurement of a game’s true experience, because it looks past outliers that can contaminate—for good or bad—the average framerate. So, what about Ryzen? Looking great! The Ryzen™ 7 1800X is definitely a stellar chip in 99th% frame rates, especially in Battlefield™ 4 and DOOM™.
Incredible performance for your money
The sensitivity of 99th% frame rate also makes it a great ingredient to help measure the true value of a processor. We know value is important to PC gamers at any price; nobody wants to feel like they paid more than they had to.
To objectively measure “value,” we take the average of the 99th% FPS in the six games we just looked at, then plot that level of performance over the suggested retail price. This visualizes how much average performance you’re getting 99% of the time for your hard-earned cash. Dots towards the upper left of the chart represent a better value for you (more performance, less money). The value of the 1800X is simply extraordinary: it offers a super smooth 99th% experience at half the price.
Figure B: 99th Percentile Per Dollar is the mean of the 99th percentile frame rates of all tested titles in Figure A, on the same system(s) as Figure A. Core i7-6900K pricing ($1099 USD) obtained from Intel ARK as of 2/1/2017. AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X pricing ($499 USD) is AMD SEP as of 2/1/2017.
Are you ready for Ryzen™?
The AMD Ryzen™ 1800X Processor and nearly 80+ motherboards are available in the market—right now! Gamers should consider a motherboard based on the AMD B350 chipset for single-GPU systems, or the AMD X370 chipset for dual-GPU systems. Pair that with a speedy NVMe SSD, plus 8-16GB of dual channel DDR4-2667, and you’re off to the races with a seriously powerful gaming rig.
And if you’ve already pressed the “order” button, let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen! We’d love to see pictures of your new build when the parts arrive.
Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD. His postings are his/her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.
Correction notice: The original version of this blog incorrectly indicated that Battlefield™ 4 was running in DirectX® 12 mode. This has been corrected to DirectX™ 11.