AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Evaluation

After years of awaiting their release, it's hard to believe that AMD's Zen-based Ryzen CPUs only arrived a month ago. Frankly, I've never seen so much drama in the tech community – what an exciting time to be a PC enthusiast!

When we start to recover from the roller coaster ride with Ryzen 7, we now have to deal with Ryzen 5. AMD has announced four models in its cheaper series, including a pair of six-core CPUs and two quad-core models.

The 1600X is configured similarly to the Core i7-6800K and is considered the flagship of the Ryzen 5 family from AMD. It has six cores and 12 threads with a base clock frequency of 3.6 GHz and a boost speed of up to 4 GHz. Like all Ryzen CPUs, the 1600X is unlocked, but we wouldn't necessarily expect to get much more out of inventory settings given the data we've seen from Ryzen 7.

According to AMD, the 1600X is almost 70% faster than the Core i5-7600K when measuring multithreaded performance in Cinebench. However, this is not a big surprise when you consider that the Ryzen part has two more cores plus eight threads.

Next to the 1600X is a second six-core part, known as 1600, which is clocked down by 400 MHz, but is still fully unlocked. As with the 1700X and 1700 review, it's likely that the 1600 is a much better buy than the 1600X. However, we only have the 1600X on hand for today's testing.

The models 1500X and 1400 represent the new Ryzen 5 parts with four cores and eight threads from AMD and are clocked even lower. The 1500X works with a base clock of 3.5 GHz with a boost of 3.7 GHz and the 1400 with 3.2 GHz, but can increase to 3.4 GHz (and both are unlocked again).

For those wondering, the 1500X and 1600 come with the Wraith Spire cooler, while the 1400 comes with the smaller Wraith Stealth cooler. Unfortunately, we only have a quad-core model for review, and that's the higher clocked 1500X.

In addition to the Core i5-7600K, the 1600X is priced at $ 250, although we suspect you are better off buying the Standard 1600 for $ 30 less at $ 220. People looking for a Ryzen 5 chip under $ 200 can be a terrible value to choose between $ 1500X and $ 1400 at $ 190 and $ 170.

By the way, the Ryzen 5 1400 should have the entire Kaby Lake-based Intel Core i3 series on paper asking for mercy, while the locked Core i5 models should be equally, if not more, confused.

In the first of probably a lot of records about Ryzen 5, we will put the 1500X against the locked Core i5-7500 and the 1600X against the unlocked 7600K. The Core i7-7700K, 6900K and 1800X will only be included for comparison purposes, and although we haven't had time to add results for the 6800K with six cores, we consider this unnecessary anyway. Given Ryzen's pricing scheme, Broadwell-E can be considered depreciation at this time.

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