Ryzen 5 Series Preview

Photo credit: https://www.amd.com/en/ryzen


A lot is now known about the Ryzen 5 series of processors slated to hit the markets on April 11th 2020. This is because the flagship models in the 5 series will essentially be the same CPU used in the 7 series with 2 of its cores disabled among other tiny changes. Using that information and the performance of the Ryzen 7 thus far, we can begin to understand what the 5 series will bring with it.

Furthermore, based on the performance of the 7 series and also the current generation of Intel processors in the market that we have reviewed thus far, we have tentatively placed the entire 5 series in the fifth position. Obviously, once the CPUs release, we will conduct extensive tests to find out where each individual processor sits on our Top CPU list.

Until then, here’s what we have found out thus far.

The Entire Lineup And Indicative Analysis

First, the Ryzen 5 series will boast of 4 CPUs with the top 1600X having 6 cores and 12 thread counts, operating at the same base frequencies as the Ryzen 7 (3.6GHz/4.0GHz). In fact, it only loses 1MB in the L2 cache but retains every other detail from the Ryzen 7. Not surprising really since early indications are that the 1600X will basically be an 1800X with 2 cores disabled.

The Ryzen 5 1600 that might sell for $30 less will also feature a 6/12 setup of cores to threads with all other details remaining the same except for the CPU Clock Base and Boost that drop down to 3.2GHz and 3.6GHz. AMD hopes to give Intel’s 6800K a run for its money with the top two Ryzen 5 models without really toppling its performance. The idea is to provide a much cheaper alternative for folks who wish to use a 6 core processor.

As for the lower range of the 5 series, there are two more models namely, 1500X and 1400. Both will feature just 4 cores that operate 8 threads but that is the only similarity between then. The 1500X will have a clock speed of 3.5GHz that boosts to 3.7GHz with 16MB and 2MB of L3 and L2 cache respectively. The 1400 CPU though will have clock speeds of 3.2GHz with a boost of 3.4GHz plus 2MB and 8MB of L2 and L3 cache respectively. Basically, the Ryzen 5 1400 is aimed at budget gamers and users who want performance at a cheaper cost without having to splurge on competing Intel processors.

Preview And What We Know Thus Far

Currently, the information available to us suggests that the Ryzen 5 top CPUs will not have Precision Boost and Increased Base features. It simply seems that these chipsets will effectively have 2 cores shut down on the 1800X and nothing more.

Moving further down the 4-core Ryzen 5 processors does see some amount of manipulation on existing Ryzen CPUs. Take, for instance, the frequencies are different. Even then the 1500X retains CCXs enabled but only 2 pairs of the core active. Both the 1500X and the 1400 Ryzen processors are scheduled to take on Intel i5 7400 and the i3 7300 series.

AMD has confirmed that their Ryzen 5 CPUs will ship with Wraith series coolers and heatsink fans. While the Ryzen 1600 and 1500X will feature the Wraith SPIRE coolers that have larger heatsinks, the 1400 will ship with the STEALTH cooler. As for the 1600X, it will have a RGB-lit Wraith SPIRE cooler.

Speculative Performances

With the Ryzen 7 already belting out benchmark scores on consumer PCs, there is a lot of information that can be extrapolated to indicate the possible performance levels of the Ryzen 5 series of processors.

Please note that this section is purely speculative and is not indicative of actual Ryzen 5 benchmarks or real world performances. We have not received any test modules of Ryzen 5 and neither have we purchased any for our purposes thus far.

Ryzen 7 launched with a lot of hoopla over what it could achieve and how it might just manage to topple the grasp of Intel over the high-performance processor segment. However, at launch one thing became clear – Ryzen 7 might be on par with Intel’s top grade CPUs but there is still a lot of optimization pending from the AMD team and developers in general.

For starters, games for long have neglected to optimize their products to meet AMD requirements because AMD has not been active in the processor market. Secondly, with an entirely new architecture and design, existing games will need some amount of tweaking so that they manage to provide the best possible results on Ryzen processors.

By the time Ryzen 5 begins its full sales cycle, most game developers with popular titles should have managed to tweak and produce sufficient optimizations to take full advantage of the AMD architecture. That is when the true gaming benchmarks will come to the forefront. However, from the current benchmarks seen on the Ryzen 7 processors, it is safe to assume that the Ryzen 5 series will be able to withstand the onslaught of Intel Core i5 and Core i3 processors with relative ease.

The 5 series should outperform by at least 40% all Intel i5 and i3 processors on multi-thread operations and may even come close if not above Intel with single core performance. As for games, the difference here should be marginal as Core i5 processors do not exactly post the highest frame rates in games.

The real question, therefore, is whether Ryzen 5 processors will outperform Core series affordable CPUs at a lower cost once games push out Ryzen specific updates to their platforms.

The Verdict

AMD is simply targeting the 5 series towards budget conscious folks who want superior performance but are hamstrung by the exorbitant prices Intel puts on its top performers. Because, of unlocked multipliers and their top-to-bottom abilities, we are already vouching for the Ryzen 5 series as a mainstay for everyday gamers and users. Together with the B350 motherboards that feature all the same specifications as the X370 other than the dual GPU support, these processors could provide a killer performance while staying cost effective.

All this does point to the price to performance expectations of the Ryzen 3 series that will come out much later in the year. Those processors could effectively turn things around if they manage to meet Core i3 performance and older generation intel processors.

With Ryzen’s official unveiling, a lot of things have become clear such as its limitations and abilities. Naturally, overclocking is still a big thing with AMD architecture and that is what excites us especially with the 5 series as it can help etch out that extra bit of performance, which Intel reserves only for its 6600K and 7600K processors.

However, because AMD still opts to depend heavily on thread count for its performance gains, the single core performance is what continues to bother us. We just hope the 5 series will learn from the 7 series experience and give us a better performance on the whole.