If you have read our review of the Ryzen 7 1700 from earlier this year you know that we complained at how untested and unstable the Ryzen platform really was at launch. I think that most people who reviewed or purchased Ryzen parts right when the platform was released had either stability, BIOS, or memory issues. After spending some time with Ryzen now doing this review I can say that the platform is very solid. I did not have any stability issues and we were able to run our memory not problem at its XMP settings.
So with that said we really do have another platform to choose from when building a new PC. For years everyone went Intel and rightfully so. AMD really did shake up the desktop processor market with Ryzen and was really ahead of Intel in many ways. AMD brought 8 and 6 core parts to the mainstream desktop realm first. This of course prompted Intel to finally move up from quad-core to 6-core Core i5 and Core i7 parts. This renewed battle between Intel and AMD is something that can only be a good thing for consumers. Also now there are a lot of great AM4 motherboards out there, this was not the case at the Ryzen launch.
We were able to compare the Ryzen 5 1600 directly against Intel’s new Core i5-8400 (6-core, 6-thread) and if you look at the results from these tests the two processors traded blows, but the Ryzen 5 1600 did pull away in multi-threaded workloads. This is of course thanks to the fact that the Ryzen 5 1600 has SMT (Intel equivalent to HyperThreading) so you have 12 threads. Now the Ryzen 5 1600 did fall behind in our gaming tests, this is true with all Ryzen processors that we’ve seen. Intel processors just seem to crank out higher FPS in games, so that is something you are going to want to keep in mind.
Feature-wise the Ryzen part does have a leg up. As I mentioned you do have SMT do you have 12 threads. Also the Ryzen chip is fully unlocked so you can overclock and get even more performance out of it. We were able to bring all six cores up to 3.9 GHz at a very stable overclock that you could run 24/7. This is not possible on the Intel chip and if it was I assume temperatures would be very high as we saw that on the i7-8700K. During our 3.9 GHz overclock the max temperature under load was only 66C!
Right now the Ryzen 5 1600 is $209.99 whereas the Core i5-8400 is $195.88. You do have to keep in mind that the Ryzen chip does come with a CPU cooler and the Intel chip does not. The Ryzen 5 1600 gives you great performance in a 6-core, 12-thread part and it does not break the bank either. You could totally build a great system around it and for that we award it our Recommended Award!
– Ryzen platform is very stable now
– 6-cores, 12-threads
– Fully unlocked
– Comes with CPU cooler
– Great performance compared to Intel’s i5-8400
– Gaming performance still lacks
– Single-threaded performance is still behind Intel