With Ryzen's third genetics set to hit stores very soon, we're heating up that jet by reviewing some heated CPU battles over the last two years that can bring further background to today's owners of these processors.
The current shot is between the Ryzen 7 1800X and the Core i7-7700K. But before entering this, some disclaimers. We are testing the 1800X and not the cheaper 1700 in part because we wanted to do a one-on-one test and time was substantial, so we could only choose a Ryzen 7 processor. The 95 Watt TDP 1800X is a better Ryzen dealer 7 if we could only select one.
After the release, the 1800X brought an MSRP of $ 500 making it far more expensive than the Core i7-7700K to $ 340. This made the Ryzen 7 1700 the most direct competitor since the price was just $ 330. However, it was not too long before AMD made some price cuts and the 1800X dropped down to match the Core i7 processor.
To be exact, the 1800X dropped to just $ 320 in the same year of its release and has since dropped to $ 220. As part of our test, we also overcame the Core i7 and Ryzen 7 processors. The R7 1700 usually hits 4 GHz and so it should offer exactly the same overclocked performance that you will see today from the 1800X.
On the front of the memory, we talked internally about the use of expensive Samsung B-Die materials with low latency and we finally decided to use G.Skill's FlareX DDR4-3200 CL14 for a few reasons: they are not budget processors, the additional memory does not and then we test the performance of the CPU with a RTX 2080 Ti to remove the CPU lock, so why would we do this and then restrict performance by using slower system memory.
This was our reasoning and should not bother you too much in one way or another, since both CPUs were tested with exactly the same memory. We have tested 9 games in two analyzes, shares and overclocked, along with some application reporting points. Let's take it.
Application reference points
Starting from this meeting, we have the Cinebench R20 that was always good at showing Ryzen's two stories. Here we have the multi-threaded performance and despite the rather large clock speed deficit, we see that Ryzen has no problem unlocking all over the Core i7 processor. From the box, the 8-core processor is impressive 55% faster, although it has the advantage of doubling the number of cores, of course. Still, when fully used it is clear that the 7700K does not match the 1800X.
Here's the other side of the story: single core performance. The Core i7-7700K is 22% faster than the box and when overcrowded. This gives the Intel CPU an important advantage in slightly spiraling workloads.
WinRAR is more for memory bandwidth and delays than kernels and as a result the 7700K is ~8% faster in this particular workload. It's not a huge difference, but after seeing the Cinebench R20 multicore test, this is not the result you would expect.
By continuing, we have a point of reference that is of particular importance to video creators and editors. I use Premiere Pro almost everyday to connect directly. Note that the junior is best here as we look at the time it takes to encode a video without a 4K H.264 hardware box. The R7 1800X is 43% faster in this test, taking 508 seconds off the box. So for content creators, the 8-core CPU is the obvious choice.
Similarly, the 1800X was welcomed with open arms by professional 3D modeling. Here we see when we use the latest version of the V-Ray, the 1800X is 57% faster than the 7700K from the box and 50% when the CPUs are overloaded.
We see a similar story with Corona: the 1800X was 57% faster than the box, completing the job in just 131 seconds.
The last point of reference is Blender and here in 1800X it was 62% faster stock and 60% faster with overclocking, a huge advantage here for Ryzen.
When we were running the Blender load, we also measured total system consumption, and here the Ryzen 7 1800X pushed the power supply 26% higher, which is a positive result for about 60% performance gain. Overclocking makes Ryzen's performance out of the window, although honestly the 32% increase in system performance is not worth the small increase in performance.
Game Reference Bets
Time for some games. First we have Assassin's Creed: Odyssey where the 7700K was 5% faster on average and 8% faster for the 1% low score. These margins remained quite the same one time overclocked.As one would expect to move to 1440p reduces the margin as we have become a bit more GPU limited and once overclocked and both CPUs were able to max the RTX 2080 Ti. It is worth noting that we do not use the highest quality settings in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, so it's possible to make the game much more GPU bound without increasing the resolution.
The results of Battlefield V are interesting, here the 7700K is maximum and while doing so much better than the 7600K, we can see that the 1% low performance is below 1800X which enjoys significantly more breathing. So in this example the average frame rate may be misleading as the 1800X provides the smoothest experience.
Even at 1440p the 7700K continues to peak and therefore provides a remarkably worse experience compared to the 1800X. The game is still very playful for the 7700K, but given the choice of these two BFV processors, we are sure that most players will choose the 1800X.
Here we see that the 7700K does well in Tomb Raider's Shadow and that's entirely under Hyper-Threading support. In the past, when the 7600K was tested, it actually struggled in this title and was considerably slower than the R5 1600. In this case the 7700K and 1800X provided smooth play, but the Core i7 processor was faster and with a reasonable margin 11%.
The jump at 1440p cuts this margin down, but the 7700K was even faster than a 6% margin when the average frame rate was compared.
Division 2 is another title where the 7600K fought, but with the help of Hyper-Threading, the 7700K makes it great and is much faster than the 1800X when it compares 1% of its low performance.
The 1800X returns to the more limited 1440p GPU resolution and yet the 7700K manages a comfortable lead of 11% when comparing the low 1% results.
Once again we see that Far Cry is a title where Ryzen's processors tend to struggle. Here the 7700K was a whopping 24% faster than the box and 31% faster overclocked once. Ryzen 7 was able to keep frame rates above 60 fps, but the 7700K was much better overall.
Even at 1440p we see that for high-refresh rate gaming in Far Cry New Dawn the 7700K is just a much better processor for the job. This time overclocked was 35% faster and this is a huge difference for the CPU to make at 1440p, even with a RTX 2080 Ti.
The Ryzen 7 processor also loses World War II, but this time the loss is less important, as the two CPUs allowed the RTX 2080 Ti to perform over 130 fps at any time.
Of course the margins are reduced to 1440p and here the 7700K was up 8% faster. Needless to say, both CPUs have allowed a great gaming experience.
Rage 2 is not a demanding CPU title and in this title both CPUs provided the same average frame rate. The higher 7700K clock kept a 1% lower score, delivering about 12% more performance.
This margin is reduced to a minimum of 1440p and it is fair to say that both CPUs provided the same gaming experience.
The first generation Ryzen does not do so well on Hitman 2 and you will see a significant performance improvement, especially for the low 1% when moving to a second Ryzen segment like the 2700X. The 1800X allows playback with smooth performance, but the 7700K manages the same with about 18 to 20% more frames.
Even at the 1440p we still seem to be committed to the CPU and as a result the 7700K offers a slightly better gaming experience.
The latest game in our list is Total War: Three kingdoms where both processors achieve a similar average frame rate, but the highest number of cores in the 1800X offers appreciably better 1% low performance.
This is also seen in the 1440p when comparing the box performance, but we see that the 4.8 GHz overclock overcalls the 7700K up to speed.
What have we lost?
For modern games, the Core i7-7700K and Ryzen 7 1800X are evenly compatible. There are slightly threaded games where the 7700K enjoys an important frame advantage, but in all these titles the 1800X still offers silk smooth performance. Meanwhile, in the most demanding titles the 7700K begins to find its limits. When the CPU came out of the low 1% performance it suffered in particular.
Honestly, this situation is not so different from what we found today – a review two years ago, is now more intense now. Here is a direct excerpt from the recent review of Ryzen 7,
One thing we noticed is that all the games we've seen so far have been smoothly on Ryzen's processors. The GTA 5, for example, plays very well at the Core i7-7700K, but every day a small injury can be observed, while the 1800X runs as smooth as silk, without letting go of what we've noticed.
We found a similar situation when we tested Battlefield 1. The performance was smooth with the Ryzen processors, and each day the quad-core 7700K had a small spear. These were rare but it was something we did not notice when we used the 1800X and 1700X. But the smoother the experience, it does not change the fact that players running a high-frequency refresh can be better served than a higher-timed Core i7-6700K or 7700K.
While the results of the games may not be as strong as we were hoping for, they are particularly competitive and should apply especially to the Ryzen 5 and 3 series. It is also worth noting that we are testing extreme game performance here with the Titan XP at 1080p. Ryzen looks more competitive at 1440p, and certainly so when combined with GTX 1070 or Fury X.
For the most part, we would say that the conclusion remains expensive today, although we would not recommend the 7700K to any Ryzen 7 part in 2019, even if sold at the same price.
Also, the 7700K left us with a bad taste in our mouth after firing at $ 340 in early 2017 for the LGA1151 socket, was really dead in the same year. In order to stay competitive, Intel rushed to two extra cores and released the 8700K at the end of 2017 for $ 360 using the same and totally incompatible LGA1151 socket.
We've built the platform compatibility card many times before, but for good reason. This broken upgrading path left those who invested in the 7700K before October 2017 with nowhere to go, while Ryzen owners can still upgrade this day.
But without trying to get anything away from Intel, the Core i7-7700K is still a very capable game processor, but as a quad-core in 2019 it begins to falter. On the other hand, we expect the first-generation Ryzen processors to improve gradually over the coming years, as the games continue to use better cores.