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So by now even most of the gamers and geeks that I know that don’t even follow hardware launches have been talking about AMDs RYZEN launch. It’s an almost unprecedented launch and there are a few reasons for it. While Intel has been chugging away with their yearly CPU launches on their mainstream chips, the every two year release of new CPU sockets. AMD has been running on various revisions of their Bulldozer microarchitecture and the AM3+ platform for the past 6 years. For a lot of the younger enthusiasts, this actually goes back to before they could afford to build a custom PC. Add to all of that the recent dominance by Intel in the higher end market and you have a lot of people foaming at the mouth to pick up something from AMD that can compete. Well after months of hype, today is the day that we can finally sit down and check out the new CPUs and the new AM4 platform. AMD sent over all three of the newly launched CPUs, the flagship 1800X, the 1700X, and the 1700. Before you run out and pick one up, check out how it performed for us and make a point to check out a few other independent sources as well so make sure it is what you were hoping.

Product Name: AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs

Review Sample Provided by: AMD

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

AM4 Testbench also supported by: Corsair, Asus, and Noctua

 

Ryzen

The Zen architecture development started 4 years with the goal to bring AMD back into the high-end CPU market. They have been holding their own in the middle and low end of the market with incremental gains, improvements in the onboard GPUs in their APUs, and competitive pricing. But for me and a lot of other people, none of that mattered without the higher end enthusiast CPUs that gamers prefer. So last week they officially announce the Ryzen 7 series of CPUs, they are all 8 core 16 thread options that cover a range of price points designed to compete with the Intel i7-7700K, i7-6800K, and i7-6900K. While that still leaves the i7-6950X, but with a lower clock speed and a price that is actually about the same as the other three Intel CPUs together, it's rarely even an option. All three of the new Ryzen CPUs are coming in below the comparable Intel SKUs as well.

Company

AMD

Intel

AMD

Intel

AMD

Intel

Model

R7 1800X

I7-6900K

R7 1700X

I7-6800K

R7 1700

I7-7700K

Base Frequency

3.6 GHz

3.2 GHz

3.4

3.4 GHz

3.0

4.2 GHz

Boost Frequency

4 GHz

3.7 GHz

3.8

3.6 GHz

3.7

4.5 GHz

Physical Cores

8

8

8

6

8

4

Logical Cores

16

16

16

12

16

8

Cache

20MB

20MB

20MB

15MB

20MB

8MB

TDP

95W

140W

95W

140W

65W

91W

PCIe 3.0 Lanes

24

40

24

28

24

16

Memory Channels

2

4

2

4

2

2

Manufacture Process

14nm

14nm

14nm

14nm

14nm

14nm

Price

$499.99

$1049.99

$399.99

424.99

$349.99

349.99

What is interesting to me is the overall TDPs. After years of dealing with ultra hot AMD CPUs competing with Intel getting more and more efficient, AMD seems to be jumping into the market with extremely power efficient CPUs. This might mean there is a little headroom still left in the platform. They have introduced what they are calling XFR (extended frequency range) is similar to Turbo Boost and it promises a little more on the clock speeds prior to overclocking assuming the cooling is there. Lower TDPs also mean lower power usage, lower temperatures, and smaller build options when you aren’t forced to run a 240mm radiator or a huge cooler.

image 24

Speaking of coolers, AMD is also introducing redesigned coolers. The recently introduced Wraith cooler is still about the same but it now has RGB and the lower end coolers have been changed completely to a circular design with one being a little taller with RGB as well.

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AMD is so excited about this launch that the review kits they put together are interesting all on their own. Typically when I get things in ahead of launch I’m lucky if they come in a cardboard box or a plastic container with bubble wrap around them. The Ryzen kit though came shipped in a walnut box with Ryzen etched into the top. They even made sure to get it from Woodchuck, a sustainable company that replants everything they use.

image 4

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The kit came with the 1800X in it up on top and a card asking if you are ready for Ryzen.

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The packaging for the Ryzen CPUs is simple, it is a medium gray with the Ryzen logo in the middle and the 7 down in the corner to show what series CPU it is. The actual model number is up on top on the label along with the serial number. The CPU itself comes in a plastic tray with a Ryzen case sticker and it slides down the side of the box so the CPU itself is visible.

image 8

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image 11

Also inside the box was a set of Corsair Vengeance LPX memory clocked at 3000 MHz.

image 16

image 17

I pulled the CPU out to take a look and I grabbed the FX-9590 for comparison. The new CPU has the same footprint but the top now has the Ryzen logo on the heatspreader. The pin design on the underside has a tighter arrangement with shorter pins and there is a square gap in the middle, leaving room for expansion in the future on the platform.

image 12

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image 15

The kit also came with one of three motherboards and they were random. The kits could come with a Gigabyte, MSI, or Asus board and ours had the MSI X370 Gaming Titanium. Later on, I received another package with the Asus Crosshair VI Hero. I will be taking a look at both later to see what they are all about.

Then AMD also included a Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4. The ironic thing is this is the cooler I always use on our test benches and I even reached out to Noctua last month and got an extra cooler in as well as a few extra AM4 kits specifically for this launch. This kit, however, did have a weird sticker on it mentioning it is an AMD AM4 Press Kit Edition. Inside I found that the fan had been swapped out to a black iPPC fan that also has the bumpers swapped to black. This is the same fan I have in our Crush project build, all blacked out as well.

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image 21

I put together the whole setup before getting it on our testbench and I have to admit it looks really good. The Noctua coolers always look better with their iPPC fans on them and it all matches the Titanium board from MSI.

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