Overall and Final Verdict
With all of our initial coverage of the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series CPUs just about all of them had the same cons and with the new non-X models and with the launch of the other chipsets AMD has seemingly addressed each and every issue. All of the 7000 Series X CPUs were extremely impressive in their performance but their downsides came with the power usage both at idle and under load. The Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 7 7700, and the Ryzen 5 7600 all have addressed the load power with their lower TDP of 65 watts and that change shows all across the board in our testing. Sadly this hasn’t changed the higher idle power usage that I have been seeing but I do still have hope that can be addressed later with firmware and BIOS updates. But the new power draw turns each of the CPUs into surprisingly efficient CPUs as their performance while it did drop didn’t drop anywhere near as much as the wattage did. In fact, when it comes to performance all three CPUs seemed to stay in the 5-7% range in performance drop but in heavy multi-threaded workloads the 7900 did see more than that. While it felt like in all of the tests I could only talk about the performance dropping, if not for the X editions each’s numbers would be impressive. The 7900 for example was trading blows with Intel’s flagship from last year, the 12900K while having a 60-watt lower TDP. All three still have great single-core performance which translated to great performance in game. I was still surprised that all three struggled more than I would have thought in our real-world Microsoft Office testing but had no issues at all with the real-world Photoshop tests.
The biggest change of course was in the thermal numbers we saw when running a standard 240mm radiator. The lower TDP helped keep things under control and finally brings temperatures down into a range that smaller cooling options are now a possibility. Air cooling can work on all three of the CPUs and you also don’t have to worry about the consistently high temperatures warming up your entire system and causing other components to run hot. For me these finally make small form factor builds possible and make me really want to get my hands on AM5 ITX motherboards to give that a try. Speaking of motherboards, one of my initial problems with the AM5 launch was the overall cost of switching with the only motherboard options available being extremely high-end and expensive and DDR5 being the only option that was expensive too. DDR5 prices are coming down slowly and between that launch and now AMD has released their B650 and B650E chipsets which means we now have cheaper options.
The cheaper motherboard and DDR5 options go well with the lower pricing that AMD gave the three non-X CPUs as well. They also made them easy to remember for pricing. The Ryzen 9 7900 is the highest of course at $429, then the Ryzen 7 7700 is $329, and lastly the Ryzen 5 7600 is $229. You might see the trend, each one ends in 29 and they go up $100 for each model. This makes the 7900 $120 less than the 7900X which is huge. The 7600 and 7700 are both $70 less than their higher TDP brothers. Now Intel’s launch which happened between the initial launch and now does play a role in everything as well, specifically with the 13900K and both the 7900 and the 7700 because the 13900K is priced at $319 and it performed ahead of both in a lot of tests. But we then do have to come back to the power draw and heat. If those aren’t a concern I doubt you are looking at the non-X models and the 13900K starts to look like a good deal. But if you are looking to build something SFF or just don’t want to spend a fortune on cooling AMD has given a few good options depending on what you are looking to build. The 7600 is looking especially interesting given its gaming performance and because you can keep costs down with cooling, power, and motherboard it looks like it is going to be the new budget sweet spot for me. If I need an SFF system but need multi-threaded performance then the 7900 is the way to go!
Live Pricing: HERE
Live Pricing: HERE
Live Pricing: HERE