AMD Ryzen 1800X CPU Review

Submitted by Jason Singh on Sat, 05/20/2017 - 06:09

Introduction and Specifications

 

Ryzen has been long awaited and anticipated with many leaks revealing its stellar performance. Since the FX lineup, AMD has been continuously working on building a new CPU architecture from the ground up which would even require a new motherboard socket. What makes this so different is that this CPU isn’t a refresh like the Bulldozer and Vishera lineup of CPUs.  

This architecture is based on the new 14nm FinFET process translating to not only gains in terms of performance but also in terms of power consumption and overall efficiency. AMD has decided to cater to many gamers by providing consumers with a choice when it comes to the number of CPU cores and Threads. The offerings range from Ryzen 7 with 8 cores and 16 threads, to Ryzen 5 with 6 cores and 12 threads/4 cores and 8 threads and even all the way to what AMD terms as Ryzen 3 with 4 cores and 4 threads. The following table below will give you a better picture of the entire Ryzen CPU lineup.

 

CPU name Cores Threads TDP Base Turbo frequency Price
Ryzen 7 1800X 8 16 95W 3.6GHz 4GHz $499
Ryzen 7 1700X 8 16 95W 3.4GHz 3.8GHz $399
Ryzen 7 1700 8 16 65W 3GHz 3.7GHz $329
             
Ryzen 5 1600X 6 12 95W 3.6GHz 4GHz $249
Ryzen 5 1600 6 12 65W 3.2GHz 3.6GHz $219
             
Ryzen 5 1500X 4 8 65W 3.5GHz 3.7GHz $189
Ryzen 5 1400 4 8 65W 3.2GHz 3.4GHz $169

 

 

As mentioned above that the Ryzen chips would require an entirely new socket motherboard to run on, the chosen platform is the AM4 socket. There are a number of motherboards to choose from depending upon the chipset and vendor. The following listed chipset are supported by the Ryzen CPUs: X370, B350, A320 and the mini-ITX X300, and A300/B300 with the X370 and B350 already available.

Software monitoring for the new Ryzen CPUs are provided through AMD’s new Ryzen Master Utility software which provides users with a bunch of different tweaking options to enhance performance. According to AMD’s website, “Every AMD Ryzen processor is multiplier-unlocked from the factory, so you can personalize performance to your taste. AMD provides the AMD Ryzen Master utility to access this powerful advantage. AMD Ryzen Master provides for up to four profiles to store custom clocks and voltage adjustments for both the Ryzen™ CPU and DDR4 memory. You can park cores and adjust memory timings, too. Accurate hardware status updates are vital, so AMD Ryzen Master has you covered with both real-time monitoring and a histogram of per-core clock rates and temperature, including average and peak readings.”

 

 

 

What makes AMD's Ryzen so different? 

 

  1. Power consumption- Believe it or not but an 8 core and 16 thread CPU rated at 95W TDP is what is considered to be extremely power efficient even by today’s standards and competition from Intel.

  2. AMD's SenseMI feature suite and XFR- AMD’s new technology for boosting CPU cores when temperature thresholds are maintained in order to ensure maximum performance.

  3. New AM4 Platform- Ryzen uses an entirely new platform and socket known as AM4. This brings about a few very significant changes.

  4. DDR4 compatibility- This is by far one of the best-selling points of the Ryzen CPUs. They support DDR4 RAM which is the latest, providing substantial benefits over DDR3 in terms of memory bandwidth. With AMD supporting DDR4 RAM, comparisons with Intel’s lineup of CPUs have become more scientifically comparable. By default, Ryzen supports 2667Mhz Dual-Channel DDR4 RAM and can be overclocked even further to reach speeds of up to 3000Mhz. As no piece of hardware is the same, this is subject to the motherboard and kit of RAM you are using.

  5. M.2 Slot- Most AMD users are going to be extremely happy about this as most AM4 motherboards have an M.2 slot. Previously users were forced to go with Intel, owing to the lack of an M.2 slot on AM3+, supporting the Bulldozer and Vishera lineup of CPUs.

  6. Improved IPC- This is where all the hype for Ryzen has stemmed from. Single-threaded performance matching that of Intel’s previous generation and even latest generation of CPUs. This is definitely subject to changes with changes and variations in clock speeds. However, the margin by which Ryzen has improved over Vishera in terms of IPC is truly noteworthy.

  7. Improved Gaming Performance- Ryzen has been able to keep up with some of the highest end Intel CPUs like the core i7 6900K, i7 6950X, and the i7 7700K. In some cases, Ryzen even takes the lead and definitely stands out when compared to the $1000 Intel chips. In some games we see lower scores as the game isn't optimized for the new Ryzen architecture. AMD is working on a fix.

  8. Stellar Multi-Threaded Performance- If you’ve ever found yourself having to encode or decode while gaming at the same time, you’re bound to love Ryzen. The 16 threads have enough juice to get the done at an amazingly fast speed, leaving its completion in terms of pricing, in the dust.

  9. Overclockable- AMD has never limited overclocking by locking motherboards. In fact, the Ryzen chips can be easily overclocked with many motherboard manufacturers supporting quick overclocking at the press of a button. If you’re old fashioned and prefer overclocking using the bios, you can do that too. From our initial testing, it was very easy to reach 4GHz on the Ryzen 1800X. The difference between 3.6GHz and 4GHz may not seem much in terms of numbers but the difference is felt in real-world performance, especially while running intense multi-threaded workloads and even games which depend heavily on single-threaded performance.

  10. Price-Performance Ratio- The Ryzen 1800X, priced at $499 rivals a $1000 Intel chip. That in itself is a magnificent feat! Ryzen chips are likely to sell like hot-cakes given their price to performance ratio.

 

 

Test System and Overclocking 

 

Test System

  • Ryzen 1800X
  • Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133MHz RAM 
  • XFX R9 390 DD
  • Noctua NH-D15S (with AM4 mounting brackets) (Review)
  • Asus MG279Q 1440p Gaming Monitor (FreeSync Analysis)
  • 1TB Western Digital HDD
  • 128GB SanDisk SSD
  • OCZ ZS 650 PSU
  • Windows 10

Special Thanks to:

  • AMD for the Ryzen 1800X
  • AMD for the Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero
  • AMD for the XFX R9 390 DD
  • AMD for the 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133MHz RAM 
  • AMD for the Asus MG279Q Gaming Monitor
  • Noctua for the NH-D15S

 

Testing with the Noctua NH-D15S

 

Testing with a custom waterloop

 

Overclocking

Overclocking is always a hit or miss when it comes to achieving the maximum limit for your processor. Since each piece of equipment is different, overclocking results can never be identical. However, they do provide us with a ball park figure to help us understand the achievable limits of a CPU. Since the Ryzen 1800X is an unlocked chip, it has an unlocked multiplier. Increasing this will increase the frequency of the processor. We made use of the Noctua NH-D15S for overclocking as well as a custom liquid cooling loop to push the limits of this processor to its maximum. The memory was kept at a reasonable 2666MHz. We did try overclocking the memory past 2666Mhz to 3000Mhz, but the system would at times fail to boot. However, this seems to be more of an issue with the motherboard bios than with the chip itself.

Overclocking was pretty simple, we increased the multiplier to x40 which resulted in 4GHz, an overclock of 400MHz. The voltage was manually set to 1.36v in the bios and system stability was maintained after running prime95 for a good amount of time. The voltage hovered around 1.35v-1.38v under load with Level 2 LLC setting selected in the bios. Along with this the SOC voltage was increased to 1.2v. The max temperature recorded was 74c but the average temperature was around 70c. This is a pretty hot chip and increasing the voltage further would have resulted in temperatures over the max recommended temperature by AMD of 75c.

The chip was better cooled under the custom liquid cooling loop but the story remained the same. We were able to boot up and run a few benchmarks at 4.1GHz but it was impossible to maintain stability with crashes punctuating the benchmark sessions. We ultimately had to dial it down and settle for 4GHz. While this seems to be a very poor OC, one must bear in mind that this is a 16 thread chip. We even undervolted the chip for the heck of it. The table given below illustrates the overclocking and undervolting on the Ryzen 1800X.

 

CPU FREQUENCY

VOLTAGE

STABILITY

3.6GHz

1.15v (UNDERVOLTED)

PASS

4GHz

1.36v (OVERCLOCKED)

PASS

4.1GHz

1.48v (OVERCLCOKED)

BOOT PASS, failed stability test

 

Undervolted

 

Overclocked

 

Maximum CPU Clock Frequency

 

 

CPU Synthetic Benchmarks

 

Some of the most reliable and widely known CPU benchmarks were made use of to help gauge the performance of the Ryzen 1800X. The memory was left at 2666Mhz for all the benchmarks to ensure system stability and standardization while the FX 8350 was run with its native supported DDR3 RAM frequency of 1866MHz. The selected benchmarks help provide a good idea of the single as well as multithreaded performance of the Ryzen 1800X. 

 

Benchmarks Used

  • Cinebench 15
  • Cinebench 11.5
  • Geekbench 4
  • Passmark- CPU Mark
  • Winrar
  • wPrime- 32M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, Ryzen has a significant lead in all the CPU benchmarks. While this could be attributed to a greater number of thread count, what is more interesting to notice is the single threaded performance of the 1800X. AMD has made a major comeback when it comes to the single-threaded performance of the Ryzen chips. These chips are now able to compete with some of the high end offerings from Intel in terms of raw CPU performance. 

 

 

Memory Synthetic Benchmarks

 

One of the major changes brought to the fore with Ryzen and the AM4 platform was DDD4 RAM support. This allows for much faster speeds in terms of RAM frequency and has led to tremendous gains. Having faster memory has known to benefit the Ryzen chips and allows for a greater and broader channel of communication for the CPU to the rest of the components. This in a way could help in reducing load times as the CPU would respond faster. To an extent one would even notice slight increase in boot times when using faster RAM or when overclocking RAM. The latency of the RAM on the Ryzen platform has been quite high. This is resulting either from backdated software or the plethora of problems that RAM compatibility has with the AM4 motherboards, primarily on a software level. The RAM was get at 2666MHZ for the Ryzen chip and 1866MHz for the FX 8350. 

 

Benchmarks Used- 

  • AIDA64- Read, Write Copy Latency
  • MaxxMEM2

 

 

 

 

 

Gaming Benchmarks-1080p

 

We decided to include gaming benchmarks at 1080p since that is still the standard and what most people today still use. Rule of thumb is, higher the resolution, more GPU load and less CPU load. So at 1080p, the CPU is going to make more of a difference than at 1440p especially when using a very high end GPU. The GPU used to benchmark these games was the XFX R9 390 DD. The GPU was left at stock clocks. The RAM was kept at 2666MHz for the 1800X and 1866MHz for the FX 8350. The games selected are quite a mixed bag, consisting of newer as well as older titles, with some games being more CPU dependent and others more GPU dependent.

 

Games Tested-

  • Battlefield 1
  • Just Cause 3
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Metro Last Light Redux
  • Mad Max
  • Resident Evil 6

 

GAME SETTINGS:

DX-11, Graphics Quality- Ultra, Texture Quality- Ultra, Texture Filtering- Ultra, Lighting Quality- Ultra, Effects Quality- Ultra, Post Process Quality- Ultra, Mesh Quality- Ultra, Terrain Quality- Ultra, Undergrowth Quality- Ultra, Antialiasing Post- TAA, Ambient Occlusion- HBAO

 

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Anistropic Level- 16X, Antialiasing- FXAA, Texture Quality- Very High, Water Detail- Very High, Water Tessellation- On, LOD Factor- High, Shadow Quality- Very High, SSAO- On, Motion Blur- On, Edge Fade- On, Global Illumination- On, Screen Space Reflections- On, Bokeh Depth of Filed- On

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Graphics Quality- Very High, Geometry- Very High, Extra Details- 0%, Terrain- High, Vegetation- High, Texture Resolution- High, Texture Filtering- Very High, Shadows- Very High, Headlight Shadows- Your car, Water- High, Reflections- High, Screenspace Reflections- Very High, San Francisco Fog- Off, Depth of Field- On, Motion Blur- On, Bloom- On

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Field of Vision- 80, Frame Rate- Variable, Rendering Method- Normal, Resolution Scaling- 1, Texture Quality- Very High, Texture Filtering- Very High, Mesh Quality- Very High, Antialiasing- FXAA+TAA, Motion Blur- On, Effects Rendering- High, Depth of Field- On, Shadow Quality- Very High, Dynamic Shadows- On, Shadow Cache- On, Ambient Occlusion- SSAO, Bloom- On, Lens Flare- On, Volumetric Lighting Quality- High, Reflections- On, Subsurface Scattering- On, Chromatic Aberration- On, Colour Space- SRGB

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Quality- Very High, SSAA- Off, Texture Filtering- AF 16X, Motion Blur- Normal, Tessellation- Very High, Advanced PhysX- Off

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Anistropic Texture Filtering- 12, Geometric Detail- Very High, Shadows Resolution- Very High, Number of Shadow Lights- Very High, Texture Detail- High, Decals- High, Motion Blur- On, Soft Particles- On, SSAO- On, Point Light Specular- On, Antialiasing- On, Parallax Mapping On Terrain- On, Fog/Particle Upsampling Quality- High, Depth of Field Quality- High, Volumetric Light Quality- High, Heat Haze- On, Bloom- On, Landscape Debris- High

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Antialias- FXAA3HQ, Motion Blur- On, Shadow Quality- High, Texture Quality- High, Screen Quality- High

 

The Ryzen 1800X pulls ahead in all cases. In case you’re wondering how the margin isn’t that big between the FX 8350 and Ryzen 1800X is mostly because of the GPU being used. Using a higher end GPU will widen the gap even further. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the difference mostly lies in the minimum FPS. While many do not consider the minimum FPS to be an important factor, it is quite so as it affects the overall smoothness of the game. Games played with the Ryzen 1800X were extremely smooth with frametimes being much better. There were no drops in FPS which is experienced on the FX 8350 from time to time. This is itself proves to be quite a game changer. Perhaps the increase in minimum FPS has resulted from the IPC improvements which Ryzen has over the FX 8350. In fact, in terms of games, Ryzen comes extremely close to many of the Intel CPUs.

 

Gaming Benchmarks-1440p

 

The same games were used for testing at 1440p. The in-game settings were also the same. The 1800X was paired with 2666MHz RAM while the FX 8350 was paired with a 16GB kit of 1866MHz RAM. The same GPU was used, XFX R9 390 DD at stock clocks. 

 

Games Tested-

  • Battlefield 1
  • Just Cause 3
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Metro Last Light Redux
  • Mad Max
  • Resident Evil 6

GAME SETTINGS:

DX-11, Graphics Quality- Ultra, Texture Quality- Ultra, Texture Filtering- Ultra, Lighting Quality- Ultra, Effects Quality- Ultra, Post Process Quality- Ultra, Mesh Quality- Ultra, Terrain Quality- Ultra, Undergrowth Quality- Ultra, Antialiasing Post- TAA, Ambient Occlusion- HBAO

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Anistropic Level- 16X, Antialiasing- FXAA, Texture Quality- Very High, Water Detail- Very High, Water Tessellation- On, LOD Factor- High, Shadow Quality- Very High, SSAO- On, Motion Blur- On, Edge Fade- On, Global Illumination- On, Screen Space Reflections- On, Bokeh Depth of Filed- On

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Graphics Quality- Very High, Geometry- Very High, Extra Details- 0%, Terrain- High, Vegetation- High, Texture Resolution- High, Texture Filtering- Very High, Shadows- Very High, Headlight Shadows- Your car, Water- High, Reflections- High, Screenspace Reflections- Very High, San Francisco Fog- Off, Depth of Field- On, Motion Blur- On, Bloom- On

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Field of Vision- 80, Frame Rate- Variable, Rendering Method- Normal, Resolution Scaling- 1, Texture Quality- Very High, Texture Filtering- Very High, Mesh Quality- Very High, Antialiasing- FXAA+TAA, Motion Blur- On, Effects Rendering- High, Depth of Field- On, Shadow Quality- Very High, Dynamic Shadows- On, Shadow Cache- On, Ambient Occlusion- SSAO, Bloom- On, Lens Flare- On, Volumetric Lighting Quality- High, Reflections- On, Subsurface Scattering- On, Chromatic Aberration- On, Colour Space- SRGB

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Quality- Very High, SSAA- Off, Texture Filtering- AF 16X, Motion Blur- Normal, Tessellation- Very High, Advanced PhysX- Off

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Anistropic Texture Filtering- 12, Geometric Detail- Very High, Shadows Resolution- Very High, Number of Shadow Lights- Very High, Texture Detail- High, Decals- High, Motion Blur- On, Soft Particles- On, SSAO- On, Point Light Specular- On, Antialiasing- On, Parallax Mapping On Terrain- On, Fog/Particle Upsampling Quality- High, Depth of Field Quality- High, Volumetric Light Quality- High, Heat Haze- On, Bloom- On, Landscape Debris- High

 

GAME SETTINGS:

Antialias- FXAA3HQ, Motion Blur- On, Shadow Quality- High, Texture Quality- High, Screen Quality- High

 

The results at 1440p were fairly similar to those at 1080p with the Ryzen chip coming out on top. Again the minimum FPS made all the difference and gameplay was definitely more enjoyable. In Battlefield 1, Campaign mode, the minimum FPS for the overclocked Ryzen 1800X was soaring at 44FPS. Overclocking did help the Ryzen chip stay in the lead at all time. However, considering the overall experience and gameplay, Ryzen seems to be a clear winner. It must be mentioned though, that no game, not even Battlefield 1 actually made use of more than 8 threads. In time, if games utilize more than 8 threads, the gaming performance of the Ryzen chips would only increase further. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Wrapping things up, it’s important to understand how the Ryzen 1800X is to be judged; the parameters for its evaluation. Price is one of the factors as is the processor performance, given its price-point. Apart from this one must not only judge the performance of the Ryzen 1800X purely from the standpoint of a gamer. Games nowadays can only make effective use of 8 cores. This leaves Ryzen with unharnessed power at its disposal. There was a time when 4 cores were the maximum that a game could make use of. In time games will grow become more CPU dependent as character models become more complex and increase in number.  So where does the 1800X stand?

Priced at approximately $460/EURO 628, the 1800X is a encoders paradise. Requiring a powerhouse of raw CPU power, the 1800X does just that. If you find yourself doing a lot of video encoding, rendering, folding or even video conversion, you’ll certainly value the power of the 1800X. This is the department where the CPU truly shines. In fact, there are many who video encode while gaming at the same time. This is possible with the 1800X considering the 16 threads that it has.

The 1800X faces direct competition from the i7 6900K as well as the 6950X, both of which are priced well above the Ryzen 1800X. The only chip which is presently considered to be a gamers chip is the Intel i7 7700K. This chip is priced comparatively lower than the 1800X but shares the same price tag as the Ryzen 1700X. What would really be interesting to test would definitely be the performance of the Ryzen 1700 as it comes in at a price of $314/EURO 386.  

In the grand scheme of things, the Ryzen 1800X is a winner as it is truly an all-around performer marks AMD’s comeback into the enthusiast CPU market. The 1800X offers stellar performance for a price worth paying for. The raw performance of the process more than justifies its price tag!

 

A special thanks to AMD (Facebook) for providing us with the Ryzen 1800X and other necessary components, without which, this review would not have been possible.

 

                                   

    We decided to award the AMD Ryzen 1800X CPU with a Gold Award!

                                           

                                                                          More Information about our awards can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

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