1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 11, 2017 11:29 PM by black_zion

    AMD’s Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X reviewed: Taking the fight against Intel to the midrange market




      AMD is launching multiple Ryzen 5 processors today, from the Ryzen 5 1400 (quad-core, SMT, 3.2GHz base, 3.4GHz turbo) to the Ryzen 5 1600X (six-core, SMT, 3.6GHz base, 4GHz turbo). We have two of the new parts on-tap today — the Ryzen 5 1500X, with an MSRP of $189, and the Ryzen 5 1600X, with an MSRP of $249. Details on the two chips are shown below.


      Like Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 is aggressively targeting Intel’s price points and market position. At $189, the 1500X offers SMT, a feature Intel’s desktop Core i5 chips have always lacked. At $249, the 1600X packs six cores and SMT to compete directly the upper end of Intel’s Core i5 range (the 7600 and 7600K) as well as the Core i7-7700K.

      But the threat to Intel isn’t just about processors. AMD’s new B350 chipset has picked a fight with Intel’s midrange chipset designs as well.


      There are a few salient points to consider when comparing these platforms. Among them:

      Overclocking: AMD’s B350 fully supports it for both memory and CPUs. Intel’s B250 does not. The highest RAM standard you can use on a B250 board is 2400MHz. This includes any attempt to use XMP settings — our Asrock B250M Performance board died and refused to POST every time we attempted to load XMP values. Why Asrock continues to make them an option on a motherboard that shouldn’t offer the feature is anyone’s guess.

      RAID support: The B350 supports RAID 0, 1, and 10. Intel’s B250 supports no RAID of any kind.

      USB support: Intel’s B250 offers more native USB 3.0 ports without the need for any additional chips, but AMD has a pair of native 3.1 Gen 2 ports that Intel lacks.

      NVMe support: Both Intel and AMD can support NVMe, but there’s a difference between them. AMD’s support for PCI Express 3.0 is baked directly into the SoC on its own dedicated channel, while Intel’s NVMe support shares bandwidth with all of the other chipset I/O, connected via DMI 3.0.

      Motherboards based on B350 are expected to retail for $75 – $120, which broadly corresponds to Intel’s B250 motherboard ($62 – $129 on Newegg).

      Overall, we’d say AMD’s B350 offers better enthusiast features, with USB 3.1 Gen 2, RAID 0,1,10 support, and fully unlocked overclocking. Intel’s B250 has the edge in total PCI Express 3.0 lanes, but all of that I/O has to pass through the bottleneck of an x4 PCIe configuration (DMI 3.0). AMD also uses an x4 PCIe connection to provide much of its I/O, but that’s key to the company’s argument: What good is that much connectivity if any serious attempt to use all of it results in I/O bottlenecks?


      Test setup: I’ve got the DDR4-3200 blues

      My original plan was to test Ryzen 5 with the same 16GB of DDR4-3200 that we used for the Ryzen 7 launch. This worked beautifully with our Ryzen 5 1600X, but refused to play nice with the 1500X. We tried two different sets of DRAM from Geil and G.Skill, and neither could run at 3200MHz when paired with the 1500X. Adjusting timing and voltages made no difference.

      We dropped back to DDR4-2933 for the 1500X and ran all those tests before realizing that Intel’s B250 chipset presented its own problem. With no memory overclocking capabilities at all, the fastest RAM we could pair with the Core i5-7500 was DDR4-2400. These configuration discrepancies are noted in our graphs. Since higher DRAM clocks and voltages also increase power consumption, our maximum power consumption tests cannot be considered a strict apples-to-apples comparison. All four testbeds were tested with the same Geil DDR-3200 with an Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 running Nvidia driver version 376.33.




      AMD's Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X reviewed: Taking the fight against Intel to the midrange market - ExtremeTech

        • Re: AMD’s Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X reviewed: Taking the fight against Intel to the midrange market

          The TomsHardware review doesn't compare the 1600X very favorably to the 7600K as far as home users go, as it's both slower and more expensive. Plus there's the additional penalty of having to use Windows 10, so for my money...I'd go with the Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1151 91W BX80662I76700K Processor-Newegg.com




          Due to its identical clock rates, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X demonstrates similar performance as the Ryzen 7 1800X in lightly-threaded content creation and productivity tests. The 1600X also outpaces the Ryzen 7 1700 in a great many scenarios where its higher frequency weighs heavier than its core count deficit. This makes the 1700 a tougher sell.


          Intel’s Kaby Lake-based processors beat Ryzen 5 1600X in lightly-threaded applications where they can leverage superior IPC throughput. But the 1600X’s extra cores/threads turn the tables in software well-optimized for multi-core CPUs. Surprisingly, the 1600X even rivals the 1700X in certain scenarios. That paints a pretty convincing picture for a budget workstation chip, especially in light of the incredible price-to-performance ratio compared to Intel’s Broadwell-E line-up.


          The Ryzen 5 1600X also makes a compelling argument against purchasing the 1700 for your next gaming PC. Six nimble cores regularly match or beat AMD's budget-oriented eight-core model. It'd be easy to speculate that, due to the 1600X’s lower core count, less inter-CCX traffic unburdens the Infinity Fabric and provides more competitive performance. We'll explore this in more depth later. For now, we think it's safe to say there's little reason for enthusiasts to splurge on the higher-end Ryzens for gaming, especially when the dual-CCX die overclocks similarly, regardless of configuration.


          But don't forget the Core i5-7600K. It's a capable gaming processor. And although the 1600X challenges it in much of our benchmark suite, the Core i5 still comes out on top at stock settings. Further, overclocking Kaby Lake opens up a sizeable advantage that AMD cannot overcome, given limited frequency headroom. We expect Ryzen's overclocking potential to improve as GlobalFoundries' 14nm process evolves, but Intel's isn't sitting by idly, either.

          Ryzen 5 1600X provides a tremendous price-to-performance ratio for budget workstations, rivaling Core i7-6800K. It also facilitates playable performance in games (though it still lags Kaby Lake-based Core i5s more often than not). Considering what Intel charges for its Core i5-7600K, we'd certainly like Ryzen 5 1600X a lot more for gaming if it debuted at a lower price. Much of the Ryzen tapestry is woven using value as its thread. But it's hard to keep that story together when Ryzen 5 1600X sells for $249 and Core i5-7600K goes for $240. With that said, professionals on a budget are far more likely to jump on a potent six-core chip like the 1600X when it's able to beat the $450 Core i7-6800K.