This may come as a surprise, but it's been more than a year since we tested AMD's original Ryzen CPU series, which is based on builders' 14nm Zen architecture. After several generations of processors from AMD that couldn't keep up with the competing Intel chips, it was great to have more competition in the CPU space, and the question is whether we can expect similar results from the new Zen + architecture .
Based on the 12nm process, AMD sent us its new Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X processors for testing. The company tells us that Zen + offers a cache latency reduction (between 13% and 34%), DRAM latency reduction by 11%, IPC improvements of around 3% and improved memory support for higher frequencies . So that it all sounds good.
Because Zen + is based on the Globalfoundries 12LP process (LP for "Leading Performance"), you can also expect these chips to process higher frequencies and offer improved power consumption. According to AMD, this new method offers transistor performance that is 10-15% better than the previously used method. In short, we see a 300 MHz clock speed increase to 4.3 GHz, a 50 mV reduction in core voltage, and a possible all-core overclocking of around 4.2 GHz.
AMD has previously announced four 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs, and today we're testing the X models. The non-X 2600 and 2700 are available, but AMD prohibits us from testing them in time for today's release. Therefore, we have pre-ordered these models and will check them properly shortly.
|Ryzen 7 2700X||Ryzen 7 2700||Ryzen 5 2600X||Ryzen 5 2600|
|RRP||$ 330||$ 300||$ 230||$ 200|
|Cores / threads||8/16||8/16||6/12||6/12|
|Fundamental frequency||3.7 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|Increase frequency||4.3 GHz||4.1 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|L2 cache||4 MB||4 MB||3 MB||3 MB|
|L3 cache||16 MB||16 MB||16 MB||16 MB|
|Storage configuration||Double channel|
|Max Mem Support||DDR4-2933|
|TDP||105 W.||65 W.||95 W.||65 W.|
|Box cooler||AMD prism RGB||AMD Spire RGB||AMD Spire||AMD stealth|
The table above shows that the 2700X is an 8-core / 16-thread CPU with a base of 3.7 GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 4.3 GHz. The 2600X is a 6-core / 12-thread CPU that works 100 MHz lower for the base and boost clocks.
The 2700X costs $ 330 and the 2600X only $ 230. This means that the 2700X is significantly below the starting prices 1800X and 1700X and corresponds to the 1700. The 2600X is between the starting price of the 1600X and 1600, so AMD looks like they will continue to be extremely competitive pricing.
These are the highlights, and while there are more things we could talk about, like XFR2 or SenseMI technology, we'll skip this for now and discuss our testing methods before jumping straight to the results.
We mainly use the Asrock X470 Taichi Ultimate to test the new Ryzen CPUs of the second generation, but we also checked the results with the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7. Both boards worked perfectly. The memory of choice is G.Skills SniperX DDR4-3400 CL16 and I only loaded the XMP profile. All tests were performed on the box coolers unless otherwise stated. This applies to all CPUs evaluated in this article. The Corsair H110i v2 was used for the unlocked Intel K processors.
First generation Ryzen CPUs, including the Ryzen 7 1800X and Ryzen 5 1600, were tested on the Asrock X370 Taichi with G.Skill's FlareX DDR4-3200 CL14 memory. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to include additional first-generation Ryzen CPUs in the results, but these two parts give us a good idea of what we're seeing in terms of profits for the newer processors.
All data has been updated for this review, which means that it is all fresh and has been collected in the past two weeks. So I couldn't just transfer the 1600X or 1700 data from previous tests. These have to be tested again. All testing was done with the latest drivers, Windows updates, motherboard BIOS updates, game and application updates.
During the test, we'll look at both out-of-the-box performance and overclocking. The first generation Ryzen CPUs were overclocked to 4 GHz, while I was able to stabilize the 2600X at 4.1 GHz and the 2700X at 4.2 GHz. I should note that it was difficult to keep my 2700X stable at 4.2 GHz.
Reaching 4.2 GHz on all cores was not easy, and 1.4 volts were required to pass our one-hour Blender stress test. I used the Corsair H150i Pro for this overclocking. The 2600X failed the 4.2 GHz stress test and lowered our chip to 4.1 GHz, which was disappointing, but maybe we have a bad chip, as time will tell. Also keep in mind that when overclocking nothing is guaranteed and we don't know if this article is good or bad overclocking when compiling this article. AMD suggests that watches are now in the 4.2 GHz range, but we'll take that with a grain of salt until there is more data.
The good news, however, is that our 2600X with the Wraith Spire box cooler was stable at 4.1 GHz and I will report the temperatures at the end of the test. As already mentioned, due to time constraints, we no longer had time to test and include as many first-generation Ryzen CPUs as we would have liked. We didn't have time to overclock the Skylake-X CPUs either, but we'll do that in a future article.
That’s about all, time to get into the benchmarks.
Before we look at the application and gaming benchmarks, here is a brief overview of memory bandwidth performance. Despite the use of a slightly faster DDR4-3400 memory, the Ryzen CPUs of the second generation with a throughput of around 39 GB / s are comparable to the original parts.
The overclocked memory bandwidth remains broadly the same, but I'll probably examine memory scaling performance in more detail in a future article.
Above you can see the results from Cinebench R15 and here we see some really nice wins. Please note that we do not give the absolute best score, but the average of six consecutive runs. The 2700X delivers slightly better results with an improved cooler.
The 2700X improved the 1800X's single-thread score by 11%, although only 8% for the multi-thread score, but that was enough to displace the Core i7-7820X. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 5 2600X looks impressive compared to the non-X 1600, and even though it only matched the single-thread score of the 7800X, it was 7% faster for the multithread test.
The 2700X is a beast when overclocked. It delivers a multithreaded score of 1879 points, or 7% faster than an 1800X, which is maximum at 4 GHz. It also outperformed the 5.2 GHz 8700K with a convincing margin of 13%. The 2600X, on the other hand, was less impressive and only improved its stock value by 4%.
The Ryzen 7 2700X was 10% faster than the 1800X for the PCMark 10 video editing test, roughly on the 7700K and ahead of the 7820X and 8600K. The 2600X could keep up with the R7 1800X and the i7-7800X, although it was only slightly faster than the R5 1600.
Overclocked, the 2700X was 6% faster in this test, while the 2600X was only 3% faster. It looks like overclocking the Ryzen 5 2600X is a waste of time.
The Ryzen 7 2700X dominated the PCMark 10 physics benchmark with a score of 20985 points, again 10% faster than the 1800X. This time the 2600X was 15% faster than the 1600, which is an impressive win, although the margin is of course reduced compared to the 1600X.
Overclocked, both the 2700X and the 2600X offer additional performance, although it's hardly worth looking forward to in this review.