Doom likes to run fast, and especially so with a GTX 1080 pushing pixels. The game's OpenGL mode is an especially hard test for keeping that beast of a graphics card fed. We cranked up all of Doom's eye candy at 1920x1080 and went to work with our usual test run in the beginning of the Foundry level.
As we've come to expect from testing Ryzen CPUS, Doom's OpenGL mode favors single-threaded grunt over broad-shoulderedness. While the Ryzen 5 1600X isn't in contention for the highest average frame rate around, it turns in a 99th-percentile frame time on par with that of the much more expensive Ryzen 7 1800X. The Ryzen 5 1500X falls toward the back of the pack a bit, possibly thanks to its lower clock speeds.
These "time spent beyond X" graphs are meant to show "badness," those instances where animation may be less than fluid—or at least less than perfect. The formulas behind these graphs add up the amount of time the GTX 1080 spends beyond certain frame-time thresholds, each with an important implication for gaming smoothness. The 50-ms threshold is the most notable one, since it corresponds to a 20-FPS average. We figure if you're not rendering any faster than 20 FPS, even for a moment, then the user is likely to perceive a slowdown. 33 ms correlates to 30 FPS or a 30Hz refresh rate. Go beyond that with vsync on, and you're into the bad voodoo of quantization slowdowns. 16.7 ms correlates to 60 FPS, that golden mark that we'd like to achieve (or surpass) for each and every frame. And 8.3 ms corresponds to 120 FPS, an even more demanding standard that Doom can easily meet or surpass on hardware that's up to the task.
For this review, we've also added a button for the 6.94-ms mark, or 144 Hz. In combination with the GTX 1080, some of our CPUs have no trouble pushing frame rates that high in some of our test titles. We figure it's worth diving in and seeing how well they do at this most demanding threshold.
None of the CPUs we tested have more than a trace of frames that would drop frame rates below 60 FPS, so it's worth clicking over to the more demanding 8.3-ms plot to see what's happening. The Ryzen 5 1600X trails only the Skylake and Kaby Lake chips here, while the 1500X performs about on par with our overclocked Core i5-2500K. At the 6.94 ms threshold, all of the Ryzen chips spend significantly more time working on tough frames than the Intel competition does.