So most anticipated piece of PC hardware in recent memory is finally here. This in itself is a new chapter for AMD and one that anyone should appreciate. Remember strong competition is typically always good for the consumer, we can see that with the prices of Ryzen processors and the fact that Intel even dropped prices of their Core processors recently.
So let’s first talk about performance, of course that is what most of you are reading this review for anyways. The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is one incredible processor given its price. It pretty much beat out all of the other processors we tested in most of our CPU specific tests. These tests are a combination of both single-threaded and multi-threaded tests. In the multi-threaded tests the Ryzen 7 1700 beats out Intel’s Core i7-7700K each time, but when it comes to single-threaded the i7-7700K is more often than not the clear winner. I do want to point out though that the single-threaded performance does have a massive improvement over the previous Bulldozer architecture. Our biggest conclusion when it comes to overall CPU performance is that if you are using an application that makes use of multiple cores then you will definitely benefit from a Ryzen 7 CPU over an Intel Core i7-7700K, but in single-threaded tests they are pretty close.
We did run game tests on the Ryzen 7 1700 as well. While gaming testing is typically reserved for our graphics card testing each game does require a certain amount of CPU load to display what you are seeing on the screen. Obviously given the timing of this review we did not get to test as many games as we would have liked, but we can draw some conclusions from our tests. It seems that when it comes to gaming Ryzen does tend to be slower than Intel in most games. Again, this all depends on the game and how well it scales across all of the CPU cores. I do feel that we need to do a lot more game testing to come to a proper conclusion and AMD has addressed gaming results quite a lot since the initial launch and is says they are working with developers to properly optimize for Ryzen.
One thing that really bothered me during this entire review process is just how new and untested Ryzen really is. For starters you have the memory issues. We planned on using a kit of Corsair Dominator DDR4-3200 memory with the Ryzen 7 1700, but it just does not work. While both ASUS and MSI have things like D.O.C.P. and A-XMP to get DDR4 to run properly on Ryzen it is far from perfect. Unlike Intel where you can just select and XMP profile with Ryzen you more or less have to do things manually. D.O.C.P only had settings up to 2933 MHz for memory and even those did not work with the Dominator kit. Hell, even 2666 MHz did not work for us. This is extremely frustrating and after reading on forums we are not the only one’s that experienced these issues. Memory compatibility is definitely an issue with Ryzen. In the course of the week I was testing ASUS had released 3 BIOS’s in their ROG forums to work on issues. I also had weird issues with overclocking and SMT only working some of the time. This sounds all too familiar of a platform getting launched too early and not being tested enough. In the end it is just really frustrating for the end user.
Overclocking on this chip is good. I was able to get a solid overclock of 3.9 GHz running on all 8 cores. This overclock was completely stable and our temperatures were extremely good. It was odd to me that 3.9 GHz was so stable, but 4.0 GHz was extremely unstable. Again I go back to new this platform is. Most people should be able to get 3.9 – 4.0 stable by just adjusting the CPU Core ratio and leaving everything else on auto.
AMD has definitely made a big splash with Ryzen. If we directly compare the Ryzen 7 1700 to the Intel Core i7-7700K it beats it in most tests besides gaming. It achieves this at a lower TDP and more stable temperatures. The caveat is that the platform is very new and many of the current issues it has need to be fixed. As far as cost goes you can pick up the Ryzen 7 1700 at our favorite online retailer for 329.99.
Overall ThinkComputers gives the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
– Great multi-threaded performance
– Significant single-threaded performance increase over Bulldozer
– Lower TDP than i7-7700K
– 8-cores, 16-threads for only $329
– Poor gaming performance compared to Intel
– Memory compatibility issues
– Platform is very new