Watch Dogs 2
Here's a new addition to our CPU-testing suite. We heard through the grapevine that Watch Dogs 2 can occupy every thread one can throw at it, so we turned up the eye candy and walked through the forested paths around the game's Coit Tower landmark to get our CPUs sweating.
Unfortunately, because of the DRM baked into this title, we were only able to complete testing on six of our test CPUs before the NDA lift. We've updated all of our graphs with complete data now, but what a headache. Note to publishers: if you'd like to make your game useful for hardware reviewers, don't lock us out just because we switch machines a bunch.
We thought we were doing the Ryzen chips a favor by running them with a title that does indeed take advantage of all of their cores and threads. Instead, the Ryzen 7 1700 had an embarrassing moment when Watch Dogs 2 advised us that the chip didn't meet the game's minimum specs. Intel's Extreme Edition CPUs and the Core i7-7700K didn't take Watch Dogs 2 lying down, either. With this almost entirely CPU-bound setup, the Ryzen chips and the Intel competition all fall into a neat line that's purely reflective of their performance.
At the 16.7-ms threshold, the Ryzen 7 1700 spends by far the most time on tough frames: three seconds of our test run on scenes that make our GTX 1080 drop below 60 FPS. The other two Ryzens perform better, but they still can't quite match the Intel chips here. A flip over to the 8-ms graph shows an Intel lead at that demanding threshold, as well.