Buying an 8-core processor was a matter of tearing purses before Ryzen's arrival. In the absence of competition, the Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6900K was ridiculously overpriced at $ 1,050. Intel had to make changes to its HEDT platform by releasing the Core i7-7820X in response to the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1700.
However, I'm not entirely sure whether Intel understands how competition works. While the AMD solution was launched at a $ 330 MSRP and is available online today for just $ 290, Intel still charges $ 600 for the i7-7820X. Even worse, the cheaper Ryzen 7 1700 can be easily combined with a $ 100 motherboard, while the more expensive Core i7-7820X requires one that costs over $ 220.
Although it is clear that the R7 1700 is significantly cheaper than the Core i7-7820X, we wondered how much faster the Intel solution is considering that both chips have 8 cores and 16 threads. Granted, we've already done a lot of Ryzen and Core X benchmarks here at Catrachadas, so we have a pretty good idea of how these CPUs are compared.
Originally, this article was supposed to be one of the "for science" deals where the information would have been pointless for the average consumer, but dealt with something that most other benchmarks don't. I wanted to see how the Skylake-X-based Core i7-7820X with the same DDR4-2666 memory beat the Broadwell-E 6900K clock by clock at 4 GHz.
I thought you'd want to see Ryzen 7 in the mix, but I also tested the 1700 in two configurations: 4 GHz using DDR4-2666 and DDR4-3200 memory. For the most complete picture possible, I went back and tested the 7820X at 4.5 GHz with 3 GHz mesh overclocking and DDR4-3200 memory.
At that point, I was deprived of sleep and I continued to write the semi-coherent introduction you just read. In retrospect, I admit things have deviated a bit from me here, but the good news is that we have 19 graphics and 6 CPU configurations to check out, so the real fun starts right away.
Ryzen system specifications
Skylake-X system specifications
Broadwell E system specifications
Instead of starting with productivity benchmarks (see page 3), we're going to skip the starters and go straight to dessert with the game results, but first let me explain what's going on with all these yellow bars.
The three yellow bars below represent the Ryzen 7 1700, the Core i7-6900K and the Core i7-7820X, all of which were clocked at 4 GHz using the DDR4-2666 memory with the same primary timings. The two blue bars compare the R7 1700 and the i7-7820X, also with 4 GHz, but this time with the DDR4-3200 memory. Then the golden bars above show the i7-7820X in all its glory at 4.5 GHz using the DDR4-3200 memory, with the mesh connection overclocked to 3 GHz. Every configuration was tested with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
If we look at the results from apples to apples (the yellow bars) for Battlefield 1, we see that the 6900K in this title is a few percent faster than the new 7820X when all things are straight, while the 7820X is 13% faster than the 1700.
It is interesting that once the R7 1700 has been increased, the memory speed can roughly correspond to the 7820X (we also saw this in our 30-game benchmark when comparing the Ryzen 5 1600 and Core i7-7800X). In fact, the increased memory speed in this game has nothing to do with the Intel CPU, since the 7820X is only 2% faster when comparing the minimum frame rates. Wrapping Intel's 8-core CPU at 4.5 GHz didn't help much, as the 7820X is only 3% faster than the humble R7 1700.
Civilization VI is a game where Ryzen has looked pretty bad in the past alongside Intel's quad-core offerings like the 7700K and has been a bit sluggish to this day. That said, throw Core-X into the mix and Ryzen looks great.
With the slower 2666 memory, Ryzen was 11% faster than the 7820X, but shockingly 14% slower than the 6900K. Increasing the memory frequency to 3200 increased the performance of the 7820X by a whopping 17%, but compared to the performance increase of the R7 1700 by almost 30% by a whopping 17%. We only see a 20% increase in memory frequency here, so the speed of 2666 Ryzen must have created a serious bottleneck.
Overclocking the 7820X to 4.5 GHz helped achieve another 11% performance, but even then the 4 GHz R7 1700 was still 9% behind it. Looking back at our 30-game benchmark, Civilization VI gave the 7800X one of its worst results over the R5 1600. So let's see how it goes in F1 2016.
The performance is much more competitive here. For the DDR4-2666 numbers, the 6900K was actually faster than the 7820X when adjusted clock by clock, and the 7820X was only 6% faster than the R7 1700 when looking at the minimum frame rate.
Increasing the memory speed again to 3200 brings little or nothing to the 7820X. The profits for Ryzen weren't huge here either, but it was enough for the R7 1700 to roughly match the new 8-core CPU from Intel. However, our maximum overclocking on the 7820X brought it to the top at around 6% faster than the 1700.