AMD Ryzen processors made a strong impression last week. However, a number of technical difficulties and time constraints resulted in more questions than answers when it came to the four games we ran as a benchmark in time for launch. As promised, we're back to continue our first 1080p tests with a closer look at Ryzen's gaming performance on 16 titles with 1080p and 1440p resolutions.
In addition to more games, we're also adding results for 1800X and 1700X with SMT disabled, as Anandtech forum visitors have discovered a problem with the Windows 10 scheduler that can cause Ryzen to perform poorly in applications with light threading and SMT enabled. Windows 10 apparently treats all Ryzen threads the same (without identifying SMT based on physical cores), and so the operating system believes that all threads have access to their own L2 and L3 cache, though it doesn't.
To start with a clean plan for this test, I built a brand new test system using the Gigabyte X370 Gaming 5 motherboard and the all-in-one liquid cooler EK XLC Predator 240. The Gaming 5 was updated with the latest F3 BIOS version and my Corsair DDR4 memory ran at 1.5 GHz for a double data rate of 3000 mega transfers per second.
With that in mind, we should show Ryzen in the best possible light how it exists today, and this is indeed the performance you can expect if you invest in one of AMD's new processors.
In front of us are the results of 16 games that were tested with two resolutions on 11 different processors (plus the two configurations without SMT). This results in a total of 416 results from at least 1,250 individual benchmark runs. It took approximately four full working days to collect all of this data. Let's just say I'm grateful that I had the foresight to test Intel's processors before Ryzen arrived …
Let the benchmarks begin!
The Division, Hitman, Civ VI, Overwatch
Starting with Tom Clancy & # 39; s: The Division, we see a fairly serious GPU bottleneck when using the ultra quality settings (even at 1080p). Of course, we only see a slight decrease in performance when we look at the dual-core Intel chips or the AMD FX-8370.
As expected, the 1440p results look similar: The dual-core Intel chips catch up with the average frame rate, but are still slightly missing when you look at the minimum. Needless to say, the Ryzen CPUs all do well here.
With DirectX11 for testing, the Ryzen CPUs are similar to the Core i7-5960X, making them a good deal slower than the 6900K, 6700K, and 7700K, although AMD's new chips still do slightly better than the unlocked Core i5 Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs. Disabling SMT support doesn't have much of an impact on performance here, though it gave us one or two additional frames.
The change to 1440p shows some interesting changes in the results, which are mostly expected. As the system's GPU becomes a performance-limiting factor, the distances between the CPUs are reduced. For example, the 1800X is now only 11% slower than the 6900K, while it was 19% slower at 1080p. Overall, strong performance from Ryzen CPUs here, since they roughly correspond to the 5960X.
The Civilization VI numbers may seem surprising, but AMD's own review has shown that Ryzen loses some of its performance compared to Intel CPUs. Still, the performance was far from bad as the 1800X was only 10% slower than the 6900K at 1080p and only 7% slower for the minimal result.
Jumping to 1440p doesn't change the results significantly: the 1800X is still 10% slower than the 6900K, which is obviously a commendable achievement and a solid result for AMD.
I changed my methodology a bit to test Overwatch. I'm now doing a 12 player bot match while I'm watching. The bots are set to simple and I only used the "Zarya" hero and the "Ilios" card. When the bots start fighting, I start the test, which takes 5 minutes, and as always, the average results of three runs are reported.
This is an in-depth test that I've found to give accurate results. The only other change was the upgrade from Ultra to Epic quality settings, which could help lower frame rates from this 300 fps cap.
At 1080p, we see that the Ryzen processors don't seem particularly impressive at the average frame rate like my previous test, although they're fast enough to drive a 144 Hz display in this title, and what needs to be considered here their minimum frame rate results.
After unpacking, the 1800X is not much slower than the 5960X, but when SMT is deactivated it actually moves forward. We have a good example here of why the Windows scheduler for Ryzen needs to be updated.
Ryzen gets pretty competitive at 1440p. The 1800X is ready to go for the 5960X, and this time disabling SMT will not result in the same minimal frame rate gains. I have to say that both the 1800X and 1700X look great here.