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AMD Ryzen 1700 Review - Armchair Empire

AMD Ryzen 1700 Review

  • 7/10
    Price - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Power Consumption - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Game Performance - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Single Core Performance - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Multi Core Performance - 9/10
8.0/10

Our Rating


AMD Ryzen 1700 Quick Specs
Cores 8
Cache L3 – 6 MB, L2 – 1MB
Base Clock Speed 3.0 GHz
Standard Overclock Speed 3.7 GHz
Base Power Consumption 65 W

Introduction

Cheapest among Ryzen 7 series, the 1700 CPU is AMD’s attempt at carving a niche for itself in a price range where Intel i7-7700K resides. The features of this processor are nearly 90% identical to that of the 1800X (flagship processor in the 7 series) but at a considerably lower cost.

The key difference between the 1800X and the 1700 CPU is the lower clock speed. Everything else remains the same. It has 8 physical cores that run 16 threads and comes unlocked should you choose to overclock it. Besides, this processor goes on the same motherboard as the rest of the 7 series and comes with the promise of future proof upgrades.

Speaking in technical terms, the AMD Ryzen 1700 boasts an impressive clock speed of 3.0 GHz as a base with a speed boost taking it up to 3.7GHz. Whereas, the flagship model 1800X starts at 3.6GHz and goes all the way up to 4.0GHz. While this isn’t much of an improvement, it does impact single core performance scores.

As far as the Intel Core i7-7700K is considered, the only advantage in the spec sheet it has is a higher clock speed of 4.2GHz and an additional 300MHz boost. Obviously, the Intel chip comes with built-in graphics card while AMD requires a discrete graphics card from the onset. Naturally, with a lower clock speed, the 1700 CPU demands just 65W power, which is phenomenal for any eight-core processor.

Sale
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler (YD1700BBAEBOX)
  • Frequency: 3.7 GHz Precision Boost
  • 8 Cores/16 Threads UNLOCKED
  • Cache: 4 MB/16 MB (L2/L3)

Performance Analysis

In all our testing, we got the impression that the Ryzen 1700 is designed for the future rather than today’s applications. It outshines Intel’s flagship models in multi-thread performance by being at least 40% faster in almost all benchmarks. Though, single core performance is where AMD loses out.

Let’s get right to the benchmark analysis. First up is Cinebench R15 and here the AMD Ryzen 1700 gets a score of 134 which is lower to the 193 registered by the Core i7-7700K. In contrast with its elder siblings though the 1700 does a pretty good job. The 1700 chipset even comes rather close to the performance of the 6900K, which is probably the first time that a new AMD chip has managed to match Intel’s current generation single core performance.

When we look at multi-threaded scores on Cinebench R15 though, the tables are turned with a 50% lead registered by the 1700 over the i7-7700K. It is only about 15% slower than the 1700X and 1800X AMD processors. Likewise, in POV-Ray tests, the i7 processor jumps ahead on single core runs but lags behind on multi-core performance.

With Handbrake video transcoding two things became evident. The Ryzen 1700 is better at encoding and decoding taking less time and so it will fare better where multi-thread computation is required. In terms of gaming though things become even murkier and before we share the statistics, you should know that none of the games tested have yet come out with a stable update geared towards the new Ryzen chips. Hence, Intel chipsets have an advantage here as games are already optimized for them.

The Intel i7-7700K has a higher clock speed than the Ryzen 1700 and this shows with its 1080p performance in games that demand heavy CPU participation. Battlefield 1 shows that the Intel chips manage better framerates at 1080p. However, the difference is only marginal at best and with future game updates to address optimization issues with the Ryzen around the corner, it is more than likely that the Ryzen series of processors will gain a few framerates. The same situation arises with almost all CPU intensive games at 1080p. At 1440p though things change dramatically with the Ryzen 7 1700 managing to match performance with Core i7-7700k with ease.

In terms of power consumption, AMD says that the 1700 CPU takes just 65W on average. On idle it needs around 41 Watts and at its highest boost speed, it eats 113 Watts. Both these figures are comparable to the Intel Core i7-7700k though the later has a higher clock speed. AMD Ryzen 7 series has 8 cores, which make these scores even more impressive.

With the benchmarks and tests out of the way, time to address the overclocking potential of the Ryzen 1700. Our earlier benchmarks showed that the Ryzen 1700 CPU faired nearly 40% slower than the Intel competition. Overclocking the Ryzen though helps narrow the gap down to just 20%. Before you call this impressive, though, remember that the 7700K too is unlocked and can take multipliers, which will push its clock speeds close to 5GHz and blast the 1700 away. Nevertheless, for the price you pay and the multi-thread performance you get, the 1700 is a better overclocking option. One caveat though is the power consumption on overclocking – 228W is what we recorded at 4.0GHz!

Pros

  • Great value for money considering its multi-threaded performance and more than decent single thread performance.
  • Easily overclocks should the need ever arise.
  • Default power requirement is pretty low considering it is an eight-core processor.
  • The cheapest among all 8-core processors available in the market today.

Cons

  • Lack of game optimization makes Intel quad-cores a better bet.
  • Draws excessive power when overclocked.
  • Single thread performance does not come close to Intel flagship models.

Should You Buy The AMD Ryzen 1700?

In all our benchmarks and testing, we felt the 1700 had tremendous potential and gave sufficient single core performance for all kinds of users. However, really intensive programs and games tend to use more multi-threaded pathways and processes because the gains are more. Naturally, it is here that the Ryzen 1700 leaves a strong mark. What this means is that the 1700 CPU is futureproofed as more games and programs come out with multi-threaded requirements.

If you want to solely purchase an adept processor for gaming, then the i7-7700K is still our recommendation as the best affordable processor. However, if you want excellent gaming with the superb overall application then the Ryzen 1700 is the way to go. Another advantage that Ryzen has over Intel Core CPUs is that AMD has promised to use the same architecture for the next few upgrades. Hence, you won’t have to change your motherboard and memory sticks if you choose to go for a future Ryzen update.

Verdict

The Ryzen 1700 is a much welcome addition to the CPU marketplace and one that will definitely force Intel to up its game. Even if the 1800X does not manage to topple Intel top performers, it will force Intel to reduce its costs.

We feel with time and more optimization, better improvements, a greater understanding of their own creation, AMD will create upgraded Ryzen 2nd and 3rd generation processors that will truly give a tough competition to Intel.

Let’s not forget that lower priced consumer grade processors from Ryzen are yet to come out in the second quarter of 2017. The lessons they learned with 1700, 1700X and 1800X will definitely be used to ensure the second quarter releases match up or even beat competing Intel processors. Your only question, therefore, is to either wait for new Ryzen updates and launches or take its cutting edge processor to futureproof yourself today.