The Ryzen lineup
Zen is riding in this morning on three new CPUs: the Ryzen 7 1700, the Ryzen 7 1700X, and the Ryzen 7 1800X. You'll already be familiar with these eight-core, 16-thread chips from AMD's launch event last week, but a couple details have changed since we last checked in. Most notably, all three CPUs now feature Extended Frequency Range, or XFR, support.
|Model||Cores||Threads||Base clock||Boost clock||XFR||TDP||Price|
|Ryzen 7 1800X||8||16||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||Yes||95W||$499|
|Ryzen 7 1700X||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||Yes||95W||$399|
|Ryzen 7 1700||3.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||Yes||65W||$329|
Contrary to what we've heard about XFR until now, however, the technology basically applies a 100-MHz clock bump if a Zen chip's internal sensors detect thermal headroom to work with. There's no way to configure or turn off XFR, either (short of overclocking); it's just a thing that will happen with adequate cooling. We found that even AMD's Wraith cooler is enough of a heatsink to let XFR kick in on the Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 7 1700X, so it seems as though many folks will be able to enjoy some additional out-of-the-box clock speed headroom without overclocking.
Next quarter, two Ryzen 5 CPUs will launch. The Ryzen 5 1600X will offer six cores running at 3.6 GHz base and 4.0 GHz boost clock speeds. It'll be accompanied by the Ryzen 5 1500X, a four-core, eight-thread CPU with 3.5 GHz base and 3.7 GHz boost clock speeds. AMD says these chips will be priced below $300, but it didn't offer further details. Those chips will be followed in the second half of this year by Ryzen 3 CPUs, although we don't know anything about those presumably budget-priced chips yet. We can say that all of these Ryzen parts will be unlocked for those who want to try their hands at overclocking on the appropriate platform.
A quick tour of AM4 platforms
Socket AM4 will launch on a dizzying array of motherboards this year. Most PC builders will be interested in AMD's high-end X370 chipset and the more entry-level B350 platform. Those two chipsets are the only way to get access to Ryzen CPUs' unlocked multipliers. You can see how the spec breakdown shakes out in the complicated table below. Most notably, the A320, B350, and X370 chipsets will enjoy native USB 3.1 support, a feature that Intel has yet to integrate into its chipsets.
X370 is also the only AMD chipset that will offer builders the opportunity to employ dual-GPU setups in SLI or Crossfire through splitting a Summit Ridge CPU's 16 lanes of dedicated PCIe 3.0 connectivity. We have a wide range of X370 motherboards in the TR labs now, and we'll try and offer our thoughts on them when we can.
What we're not testing today
Thanks to shipping delays, a constant stream of BIOS and software updates, and other headaches, we simply ran out of time to complete our testing before this morning's NDA lift. Because of those circumstances, we elected to paint as complete a picture of the Ryzen 7 CPUs' performance as possible now while leaving some other details only informally explored. We've completed all our usual productivity and gaming tests, and we think we can offer a solid idea of Ryzen's value for system builders of all stripes.
Unfortunately, we had to make a few cuts from our schedule to achieve that goal. Overclocking performance and power efficiency measurements will have to wait for a separate article, as will platform performance measurements for X370 like USB 3.1 transfer speed and NVMe storage performance. We apologize in advance for the omissions, but we think you'll enjoy the rest of our review. Let's get to it.