The AMD Ryzen launch was exciting and filled with drama. The hype levels peaked just before the launch and while the performance was amazing in almost every benchmark there were some people surprised at the in game performance numbers and a few of the early issues with the new platform. On top of all of that, for me, I was also dealing with a dead CPU right at the launch. Our original review was written to include the R7 1700 but due to having trouble with it those results had to be pushed until AMD sent a replacement. Well that came in and I was able to get it tested but our review queue was already filled with completed coverage. So today I finally have the chance to take a closer look at it. Now I recommend everyone check out my original review for most of the details on the launch as this was an unplanned article, but once you are done we can run through the performance of the lowest priced Ryzen 7 CPU and find out if it is the value CPU to pick up right now.

Product Name: AMD Ryzen R7 1700

Review Sample Provided by: AMD

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

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

 

 

Test Rig and Procedures

AM4 Test System

Motherboard

Asus Crosshair VI Hero

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Cooling

Noctua NH-U12S for cooling

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

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Memory

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2x8 16GB 3000MHz

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Storage

Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD

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Video Card

AMD RX480

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Power Supply

Thermaltake 850w

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Case

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

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OS

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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CPU Testing Procedures

Hitman 2016

1080p – Ultra Setting – DX12 – Vsync Turned off using built-in benchmark

Ashes of the Singularity

1080p – Standard quality setting, DX12, built in benchmark on the CPU-focused setting

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

1080p – Ultra Setting – DX11 – Vsync Turned off using built-in benchmark

Dolphin 5.0 Benchmark

For information on configuration, view this thread

3DMark Fire Strike

Physics Score – Performance benchmark

7-Zip

Built-in benchmark set to 32MB, run 4 passes

Google Octane 2.0

http://chromium.github.io/octane/

Jetstream

http://browserbench.org/JetStream/

wPrime

1024M

X264 HD Benchmark

Pass 1 and Pass 2

Cinebench R15

CPU and CPU (Single Core results)

Passmark 8

CPU Mark Score

PCMark 8

Home test is run both with and without OpenCL

Power Usage

Idle and load testing using a Kill-A-Watt and wPrime to put the CPU under load

Temps

Prime95 to load, motherboard software to read temperature

 


CPU Performance

It feels a little weird just jumping right into the performance, but like I said I did already cover the R7 1700 in the previous article. So I started off my testing using X264 HD Benchmark 4.0 where we can get a look at the overall video processing power of the CPU. In this and all of my testing, I was really focusing on how the 1700 compared to the two other Ryzen CPUs as well as the i7-7700K that is priced in the same range. In this test, the 1700 did well, but the 7700K outperformed by a big margin. This wasn’t a huge surprise though given the 7700K did outperform the two other Ryzen CPUs as well. The gap between the 1700 and the 1700X wasn’t that big though.

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For my next set of tests, I used one of my favorite benchmarks, Cinebench R15. I don’t like this one because of the content really, it is focused on rendering a photo, I like it because it is one of the only tests that tests with all of the cores and then again with a single core. This is a great way to check out overall processing power then get a better look at the overall efficiency of the CPU when the number of cores are out the window. This helps us get an early look at the performance of software without good multi-core performance. So in the single core benchmark, the 1700 came in just below the 1700X due to its lower clock speed but was well below the high clock speed and high single core performance of the 7700K. The multi-core test though was a completely different story. Like the previous Ryzen CPUs, the 1700 jumped WAY ahead because of its 8 core 167 thread design where the 7700K with its 4 core 8 thread design is fast but not as multi-threaded.

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Next, I took a look at wPrime, an older prime number calculation benchmark and the also old but still relevant 7-zip benchmark that checks out encoding and decoding speed. In both the extra cores really help but I was most impressed that the 1700 was able to even best the i7-5960X in wPrime. The 7700K wasn’t even in the same class in these benchmarks.

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Next, I started to look at a little more everyday performance with two browser based benchmarks that focus mostly on Java and HTML5 performance. In both the 1700 did fall behind with the 7700K outperforming by a lot in JetStream and both Intel CPUs being ahead in Google Octane. The gap between the 1800X and 1700X wasn’t big but the gap between the 1700X and the 1700 was larger due to the lower XFR clocks.

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We then have Passmark where I run the entire CPU benchmark suite to get an all around CPU benchmark. I tested using the older Passmark Performance Test 8 and the newer Performance Test 9 so I could include some of the older PT8 results for comparison. Here the R7 1700 still stays up in the top of the charts ahead of the 7700K due to the higher core counts. Most of Intel’s older 6 and 8 core CPUs are still far ahead though partially due to the higher memory bandwidth of the quad channel memory on them.

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For an all around and mostly real world look I like PCMark 8 Home benchmark to test loading of everyday applications. Here the 1700 did come in at the bottom of the charts with the other two Ryzen processors just above it. The 6900K did well but the high clock speeds and good single core performance of the 7700K really helped here.

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To start getting a look at potential gaming performance I start with 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark but I focus on the physics score that is CPU focused and takes the GPU out of the equation. I also test using the Dolphin emulator to get a look at a CPU focused emulators performance. In 3DMark the R7 1700 did extremely well, outperforming the 7700K and coming in nearly dead even with the 5960X. The story wasn’t the same though in Dolphin 5.0 where a higher score is worse. The 7700K made it through the same benchmark in half the time.

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For gaming testing, as its only a portion of our overall test suite I do only test with three games. Given the Ryzen performance numbers in gaming, I may have to revisit game testing with a wider range, but I tested using three modern games with benchmarks. The RX480 paired with the CPU is in line with what someone buying a 1700 might be looking at as well. Anyhow the results were interesting, to say the least. The HITMAN results especially where the R7 1700 actually outperformed the other two Ryzen CPUs even after retesting all three again multiple times. In Hitman there was a two FPS gap between the 1700 and the 7700K, still more than I would like to see for similarly priced products but better than before. At best though those odd results mean a flaw in the Hitman benchmark or an issue in our testing (even after the multiple retests) so I would still take them with a grain of salt.

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As for the other two games tested. I tested in Ashes of the Singularity, a notoriously demanding game set to a CPU focused benchmark. The 1700 was close to the other Ryzen CPUs but this game had the biggest gap in FPS. It is of course designed to show the biggest gap as well being so CPU focused. Then in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided the results again had the 7700K and even the 6900K ahead but only by a little less than one FPS this time around. In the end, the results tell us what I saw previously that the higher clock speed and overall single core performance of the 7700K show the most during game testing.

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Cooling and Power

For power testing, I put the CPU under load in wPrime and set to the number of threads of the CPU, in this case, 16. I then document the peak power draw of the overall testbench using a Kill-A-Watt. This isn’t of course just the peak power draw of the CPU but it does give us a comparison point between CPUs that have all been tested under similar testing parameters. It isn’t a big surprise that the R7 1700 came in just behind the 1700X and 1800X but what is a surprise is the 22 and 27 watt different. This puts the 1700 just 9 watts above the 7700K under a similar load and puts the still high-end CPU well below all of Intel;s 8 core CPUs. The idle numbers are closer but still about the same only here the 7700K actually pulls one watt more. That low idle draw is what your system is going to pull a good portion of the time it is on and should help keep your power bill down.

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The last set of tests is filled with its own set of drama so let me break it all down. I like to at least document the temperatures of a CPU but all we can go by are the readouts from the motherboard software. Most of our boards are Asus so the numbers tend to be comparable, but they don’t represent a completely accurate readout. This became even fuzzier when AMD recently announce that the readings from their 1700X and 1800X CPUs were 20 degrees lower than they were reading. What does that mean for us? Well, basically it means I’m going to include out results, but I wouldn’t rely on them for anything important. That said I was a little surprised by the 35c readout when running Prime95 Blend from the 1700, this put it right down at the bottom of our charts and was 22 degrees less than the 1700X and 1800X. Of course now that could mean only 2 degrees, or maybe not, who knows right?

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Overall and Final Verdict

Following up the 1800X and 1700X coverage with the Ryzen R7 1700 feels a little like I’m just repeating myself because in most aspects this is the same CPU. At this point, most people have had the time to see that the 1700 is an 8 core 16 thread Zen architecture CPU just like the 1700X and 1800X. Where is it different though is it has a lower TDP of 65 compared to the 95-watt TDP of the others. It also doesn’t have an X designation so it has a lower clock speed with the base clock at 3GHz and the Boost clock at 3.7 and not being an X CPU also means it has a smaller XFR that overclocks past the boost clock depending on your cooling and CPU demand. So like those two CPUs, the pros and cons for the R7 1700 are also very similar.

You will find the 1700 especially interesting if you are looking for performance in multi-threaded programs or if you plan on multitasking a lot. This is why I built my last PC around the 6900K, while I do enjoy gaming I do a lot of work from the same computer and even when I’m gaming I have a lot running in the background including streaming from time to time. This is why AMD was really focusing on performance improvements compared to the 7700K when streaming, the IPC of Kaby Lake is still higher than Ryzen and it really shows in some benchmarks, especially gaming. So the R7 1700, like the other Ryzen 7 CPUs, is a huge improvement from AMD but it is better compared to Intel’s X99 based CPUs that were also focused on high multi-threaded performance. If you are looking for pure gaming performance, the 1700 is going to fall behind. That’s not to say that it isn’t just fine for gaming, but if that is your only focus, the 7700K that is priced the same will get you better performance.

Beyond that, I am still waiting for more improvements on the memory front. The Ryzen launch felt a little rushed and it showed when it comes to the refinement of the Motherboard BIOS and overall memory compatibility.

Where the R7 1700 really shined was in its power efficiency, it even idled a touch lower than the also very efficient 7700K. This will be a welcome change for previous AMD users who should see a noticeable improvement on their electric bill. The R7 1700, while not being an X processor with extra XFR performance, still ends up being very close to the other two Ryzen CPUs at stock speeds and it has the same headroom allowing for overclocking that is basically the same. Because of this, the 1700 ends up being the go to value processor in the Ryzen 7 line. That says a lot when the other two are also huge values compared to the 6800k and 6900k that they are positioned against. At $329.99 the R7 1700 does have a lot more competition with the 7700k, but in the end, that decision really comes down to if you would prefer more cores or a higher IPC (instructions per core). Gaming performance from AMD should improve as time goes on, especially with them working with developers like Bethesda.

If you want to go AMD but don’t need the 8 cores and 16 threads, you won’t have to wait long. AMD recently announced Ryzen 5 CPUs are coming in April with 4 and 6 core variants at even lower prices. This spring should be interesting. Or you could skip out on all of that and build a new 1700 based Ryzen system now, assuming you can find a motherboard.

fv5value

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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