AMD Ryzen 7 1800X AM4 8-Core Processor Review




/ 3 years ago

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Introduction


AMD Ryzen 7 1800X AM4 8-Core Processor Review

The day of Ryzen has finally come and while I’m sure many of you have been eagerly awaiting this, we’ve been even more excited to be some of the first people in the world to get our hands-on the new hardware and see what it can really do. There have been many leaks and lots of speculation hitting the market, and we’ve seen some cherry picked benchmarks from AMD and other sources floating around, but now it’s time to put our best foot forward and see what all the fuss is really about!

We kick things off today with the flagship Ryzen chip; the Ryzen 7 1800X, which offers up 8 cores, 16 threads, and an incredible launch price of just $499, which comes in at less than half the price of a similar specification Intel Core i7-6900K. While we want to see AMD set some top scores today, even if it’s a close call compared to the performance of the Intel hardware, at half the price, we would still chalk that up as a huge win, both for AMD and consumers.

All Ryzen CPUs come with an unlocked multiplier, that feature is enabled by the motherboard rather than the chip itself. Of course, we’ll be putting the 1800X we have in one of the latest X370 motherboards, so we’ll be pushing this chip to its limits to see what it can really do. The chip can overclock itself using Extended Frequency Range (XFR) and can push the speeds up to a tasty 4.1GHz assuming that the CPU has thermal headroom, so a powerful cooler is recommended to get the most out of it, but that’s true of overclocking on any CPU or platform.

  • 8 Core with 16 Threads
  • 4.00GHz clock speed
  • 14nm FinFet Process
  • 16MB L3 Cache
  • Dual Channel DDR4 Controller
  • 3 Year Warranty

With the promise of greatly improved multi-threaded performance, AMD look set to bring more cores to the masses, along with the benefits that it can bring to multi-tasking, video editing, gaming, and much more.

Packaging and Accessories

Ryzen is a pretty special occasion for AMD and for us here at eTeknix, so we received this lovely Ryzen box with the sample in, it’s just a shame that consumers won’t get this kickass box!

DSC_3446

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The consumer box is a little more down to earth, with a simple and clean design. The SKU we have doesn’t come with the stock cooler, but we’ll be using our own AIO water coolers anyway.

DSC_3450

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Here’s the star of the show, the Ryzen chip, noticeably smaller than most 8-core chips, certainly a lot smaller than the high-end Intel offerings.

DSC_3465

The build quality looks good and the top panel looks pretty heavy-duty too, which I’m hoping means good heat dissipation. The design itself is familiar to anyone who’s used AMD chips in the past and uses 1331 pins, seems they missed the opportunity to use 1337.

DSC_3470

On the other side, pretty much what you would expect.

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Test System and Methods


Here is the full range of test systems used for CPU and APU reviews:

Test System

AM4

  • Motherboard – MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium
  • RAM – 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport XT (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2666MHz
  • CPU Cooler – Thermaltake Water 3.0 with Gelid GC-Extreme
  • Graphics Card – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Displays – U2868PQU 4K
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Z87

  • Motherboard – ASUS Maximus VII Ranger
  • RAM – 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport XT (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866MHz (10-10-10-30)
  • CPU Cooler – Thermaltake Water 3.0 with Gelid GC-Extreme
  • Graphics Card – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Displays – U2868PQU 4K
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Z170

  • Motherboard – ASRock Z170 Extreme7+
  • RAM – Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz (16-17-17)
  • CPU Cooler – Thermaltake Water 3.0 with Gelid GC-Extreme
  • Graphics Card – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Displays – U2868PQU 4K
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Z270

  • Motherboard – Combination used to determine widespread performance
  • RAM – Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz (16-17-17)
  • CPU Cooler – Thermaltake Water 3.0 with Gelid GC-Extreme
  • Graphics Card – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Displays – U2868PQU 4K
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

X99

  • Motherboard – ASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING
  • RAM – 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport (4x8GB) 2400MHz (16-16-16-39)
  • CPU Cooler – Thermaltake Water 3.0 with Gelid GC-Extreme
  • Graphics Card – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti
  • Power Supply – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 850 Watt
  • Main Storage Drive – Toshiba OCZ VX500 500GB
  • Chassis – Lian Li T80 Test Bench
  • Displays – U2868PQU 4K
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Games Used

  • Ashes of the Singularity (DirectX 12)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (DirectX 12)
  • Shadow of Mordor
  • Tomb Raider

Test Software

  • 3DMark – available here
  • AIDA64 Engineer – available here
  • Cinebench – available here
  • CPUID HWMonitor – available here
  • CPU-Z – available here
  • Handbrake – available here
  • Prime95 – available here
  • WinRAR – available here
  • WPrime – available here

Test Procedure

Here at eTeknix, we endeavour to disclose key information regarding the benchmarking process so that readers can quantify the results and attempt to replicate them using their own hardware. When it comes to CPU reviews, the benchmarks are pretty self-explanatory although there are a few exceptions. Please note, we prefer to re-test each CPU within a product’s performance range to ensure the results are completely accurate and reflect any changes to our samples over time or enhancements via graphics drivers.

This means we now include fewer results, but they are more accurate and easier to decipher. As always, your choice of motherboard, the silicon lottery and other factors can yield different numbers and there’s always a margin for error when using software. Therefore, your experience may vary. Saying that, each benchmark is run at least three times and the average figure is taken to try to reduce the effect of hardware variation. Any important details regarding the benchmarks will be listed below.

Handbrake

To stress processors to their absolute limit and accurately judge performance in video editing workloads, we transcode a 7.7GB compilation of gaming footage. This particular file is freely available from here. The captured footage is 22 minutes and 12 seconds long, has a bit rate of 50.1 Mbps and uses the Advanced Video Codec. Additionally, the video runs at a constant 30 frames-per-second and opts for a 3820×2140 (4K) resolution. Once loaded into Handbrake, we transcode the 4K MP4 to a 1080p MKV file.

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CPU Benchmarks


Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is great for DX12 testing, as it can use all the cores on offer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be doing that great here and we’ve heard in the industry of similar issues at 1080p. I don’t think that this is a problem with Ryzen, it should be better and we’ll revisit this score should any bugs be found that aren’t giving us the expected performance.

Ryzen 1800x 1

Cinebench R15

Now we’re talking, Ryzen is eager to stretch its legs at stock clocks. The chip automatically took its self up to 4.1GHz in the stock test using XFR, and while manually overclocked, it pulled ahead even further, giving many of the top-end Intel chips a thrashing given that the 1800X is around half the price.

Ryzen 1800x 2

Handbrake

The advantage of more cores for video rendering is clear, with the 1800X going toe-to-toe with the 7700K. We do think it can do better however, and we think that we know the problem, but we’ll get to that in our memory tests.

Ryzen 1800x 3

WPrime

WPrime is taxing on any CPU, and it certainly made the latest AMD chip sweat it out, but we still posted some mighty impressive numbers. Not only did it set a fantastic 32M time of 4.688 while overclocked, it also set one of our best 1024M times, mixing it with some of the Intel Extreme hardware, a result that AMD can be more than proud of.

Ryzen 1800x 5

WinRAR

Compression didn’t go too well, again we’re certain that this should be better, but for now it is what it is. Most likely a few bugs in the BIOS to be worked out; it can’t all be smooth sailing pre-launch.

Ryzen 1800X 6

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Memory Benchmarks


Bandwidth

The memory performance was about where we expected it to be, but again it could be better and that brings us to where we found our only problem so far, the latency.

Ryzen 1800x 7

Latency

This obviously isn’t great compared to everything else on the chart. It looks like a few more tweaks are needed to the BIOS settings to straighten this out and we’ll be retesting as soon as the issue is fixed. It’s by no means the end of the world here, it works great, but we know it can be better and we’re eager to show you the results once it is resolved.

Ryzen 1800x 8

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Discrete GPU Benchmarks


3DMark

This one has got me stumped, from friends in the industry we know it should be benching higher, at least another 1000 points or so, but we just couldn’t get it there. The score isn’t bad for a GTX 980 Ti, but we’ll revisit this test in the near future should we find the gremlin in the results.

Ryzen 1800x 9

Rise of the Tomb Raider

AMD has marketed Ryzen as bringing the benefits of a powerful multi-core CPU to the gaming masses, and boy have they delivered. Straight away the 1800X is near the top of our charts, and with a bit of an overclock, it beats out everything by an impressive margin.

Ryzen 1800x 10

Shadow of Mordor

Stock performance was respectable here, within a few FPS of pretty much everything else, but push those clocks up and it once again it beat out all the top-end Intel offerings. You wanted a gaming chip? Here it is!

Ryzen 1800X 11

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Overclocking


Overclocking

Ryzen overclocking is something that we’ve been eager to get into, especially since every Ryzen chip features built-in overclocking features for you to enjoy. It’s simply down to your choice of motherboard that dictates if you have access to it or not. By default, the chip will overclock itself comfortably to 4GHz, even pushing up to 4.1GHz if you have enough thermal headroom left while running demanding tasks. You can, of course, lock in manual settings in the BIOS or by using the downloadable overclocking software from AMD.

I can’t stress enough that this chip is pretty small and packs 8 high-performance cores, and that means that it’s possible to get it pretty darn hot in a hurry. The CPU will downclock itself (unless you override the bios settings that control it) and even turn itself off to prevent damage, but step one would be to get a high-end air cooler, or water cooler if you’re taking the voltages up to or around 1.4-1.5v or beyond.

We did manage to get the system to POST at 4.2GHz with 1.5v, but the heat was creeping up and the system shut down. While I do think the system will bench at this level, we would need a more powerful cooler to keep it stable, but it seems possible with a custom loop. 4.1 GHz with 1.488v on the other hand, was much more successful and the temperatures were much more manageable. We did have to take the NB voltage to 1.15v, and disable boost features, but otherwise the system posted perfectly and made it through all of our benchmarks with flying colours.

Screenshot_5

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Power Consumption and Temperatures


Power Consumption

With great power comes great responsibility, no wait, power drain. Yeah this chip does eat a fair bit of juice, but given the performance we obtained, this is hardly power that was going to waste and it’s not even as thirsty as the 6950x or 5960X from Intel, and it stood tall with both of them well enough in terms of performance.

Ryzen 1800x 12

Temperatures

This chip does run quite hot, but it does a good job of keeping its self regulated when the going gets tough. At stock settings, it does its best to stay around 70c, but since we’ve got a big cooler on there, we pushed the heat up and it topped out at 84c, which is pretty impressive given the actual size of the chip, the performance it delivers, and the voltages we ran through it.

Ryzen 1800x 13

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Final Thoughts


Pricing

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8-Core 3.6GHz AM4 Processor is available now from most major retailers, and right now it’s sitting at just £488.99 on Amazon UK and $499 on Amazon US. While that’s certainly an exceptional price for such a competitive chip in terms of performance and features, it’ll be interesting to see how long it stays at that price, as Intel are sure to start nipping away at their own prices to compete, and we would expect AMD to start doing the same.

Overview

Ryzen has been hyped to the extreme for quite some time now, and it’s great to see that despite a few minor hiccups in our own testing, their new flagship chip has pretty much lived up to the hype, and we expect it’s going to get even better. There are a few minor issues with memory so far, we noticed high latency there, and A-XMP profiles need improvement, but we’re working on a pre-release BIOS and expect updates that will resolve these issues to be released in the near future.

The chip didn’t do as well as I expected in Ashes of the Singularity, but we’ve heard similar reports of a buggy benchmark, so we’ll revisit that, as well as FireStrike in the near future for more in-depth performance testing, especially so at higher resolutions. However, in other CPU/GPU testing, the Ryzen chip was able to stretch its legs and topped our charts with lightning fast benchmark times and scores. When it came to playing Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of Mordor, the 1800X @ 4.1GHz is the fastest thing we’ve ever tested from AMD, and that’s great news for the gaming masses.

Overclocking on the 1800X couldn’t have been much easier, just tap in your new frequency, bump up the voltage a bit, and you’re good to go. Keeping it at those clocks, however, was the tricky part. The chip does love to get quite hot, but that’s true of any Intel 8-core chip too, so investing in a powerful air or water cooler is recommended for any form of overclocking. We used a be quiet! Silent Loop 240mm on our Ryzen 7 1800X, but I think the 280mm may have helped us reach a stable 4.2GHz.

The built-in Precision Boost and the XFR features work great for those who don’t want to overclock. The chip is more than capable of checking its own temperature and giving you speeds of up to 4GHz on Precision Boost, and if you’ve still got the thermal headroom, XFR will push it to 4.1GHz when you need it.

While overclocking isn’t going to be something everyone wants to do, and for those not investing in a motherboard that features the overclocking capabilities, the 1800X still puts on a good show and will bring huge benefits to those who use multi-tasking applications a lot on their system. If you’re running a Twitch stream while gaming, running overlays, rendering, and more, all those extra cores are going to come in very handy indeed.

Performance is good, but also the introduction of many features to the AMD landscape, such as NVMe x4, USB 3.1 Gen2, DDR4, 24 flexible PCIe Gen 3 lanes, and full overclocking across the whole CPU range, all add up to a more consumer friendly package that’s sure to get even better as more games and applications increase their support for multi-threading. It’s great to see AMD back in the market with a competitive product.

Pros

  • Competitive price
  • 8-Core w/ 16 Threads
  • Improved feature set and hardware support from AM4 Platform
  • Easy to overclock (on B350 and X370 chipsets only)
  • Precision Boost and XFR
  • Excellent gaming performance

Cons

  • None

Neutral

  • Memory performance still has a few bugs, but we expect these will be fixed with a BIOS update
  • Like all 8-core chips, it can get quite warm, so a powerful cooler is recommended

“The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is one of the best chips we’ve ever tested from the red team, delivering impressive performance, features and overclocking at an even more impressive price that’s sure to appeal to content creators and gamers.”

Editors-Choice

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X AM4 8-Core Processor Review

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