Today we're taking an updated look at the gaming performance of the Ryzen 7 2700X and comparing it to more modern 8-core, 16-thread CPUs like the Ryzen 7 5800X and Intel Core i7-11700K. The 2700X is a CPU that we liked very much for productivity tasks, but wasn't entirely convinced of its gaming performance.
At the time, we felt that the Core i7-8700K was probably a better choice for gaming as it was faster in almost all cases and was about the same price. For those building a high-end gaming system, the $ 300 non-X Ryzen was also convincing, but if you're looking for maximum gaming performance, the Intel CPU seemed like the way to go again. However, for more affordable gaming setups, the Ryzen 5 2600 was a budget option that we have often recommended. All in all, due to the advantages of the AM4 platform and the potential to upgrade to the next generations of Ryzen CPUs, it was hard to ignore Ryzen for gaming.
If you've decided on the Ryzen 7 2700X (which is now 3 years old) and are wondering how it will hold up in 2021 and what the upgrade to the 5800X looks like, today we're going to answer both questions with a 30-game benchmark.
All CPUs were configured with 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 dual-rank, dual-channel memory. For motherboards, the AM4 platform is represented by the MSI X570 Unify with the latest BIOS and for the LGA1200 platform by the Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master. We tested 30 games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K with the Radeon RX 6900 XT. We'll look at the data for a dozen or so titles, then go into the usual data breakdown. So let's do it …
Starting with Battlefield V, we find some interesting results. Originally, Battlefield 1 was used to compare these CPUs and when we switched to Battlefield V we used much slower GPUs like the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti in 2018 and 2019. The 6900 XT, on the other hand, can reach well over 200 fps at 1080p and 1440p, in fact, even with the fastest 8-core CPUs available today, we're still mostly limited to 1080p CPU.
While the 2700X was good for 143 fps on average, which is a respectable level of performance, it's nothing like the 234 fps we got with the newer 5800X, which is an incredible 64% increase in performance. It's also worth noting that the 10700K – which is essentially a 9900K – was still 52% faster than the 2700X and we saw similar margins at 1440p as well.
It wasn't until we hit 4K resolution with the ultra quality preset that the game became completely GPU-limited with all four configurations. Still, it's remarkable how much slower the 2700X is than parts like the 5800X, 11700K, and 10700K when the CPU is limited and using the fastest 1080p gaming graphics card available. If I were to run these tests again with an RTX 2080 Ti, the margins would be smaller and then much smaller with the 1080 Ti.
As an example, the RTX 3070 will limit performance to around 170 fps at 1080p and this would reduce the margin between 2700X and 5800X to around 20%, less than half of what is shown here. However, if you use lower quality settings at 1080p or 1440p, that will again open up the wiggle room with the lower tier GPU too.
Watch Dogs: Legion is another CPU-demanding game and here the 2700X is quite behind at 1080p, and as a result, the 5800X was 41% faster this time around, although the margin was even bigger when comparing the 1% low performance that was in favor of the new part of the 5000 series failed to 52%. The Core i7-10700K, which in turn is basically a 9900K, was almost 40% faster when you compare 1% low performance.
When we hit 1440p with the 6900 XT, the margin between 2700X and 10700K will shrink to practically zero.
The 5800X is up to 28% faster, which is considerable, although we only see an 11% difference when comparing the average frame rate. At 4K, the game is then completely GPU-limited, so all four configurations produce essentially the same result.
The fact that the 2700X can produce a 1% low of over 60 fps and an average frame rate of around 90 fps means for most configurations that gamers with this CPU are still GPU-limited as the priority for a game like Watch Dogs Legion is Typically for the visual quality at high frame rates, an average of 90 fps is certainly sufficient here.
One game that you might need high frame rates for is F1 2020, and this is where the 2700X does well, reaching over 200 fps at 1080p. The 10th and 11th Gen 5800X and Intel CPUs were still much faster, delivering just over 40% more frames, but I think that's an unnecessary improvement for this title.
Even at 1440p, where the margin shrinks to 18% in favor of the 5800X, the older 2700X reaches almost 200 fps. We see a slight performance discrepancy at 4K, but the 2700X still allowed 137 fps on average. While slower than the more modern CPUs, this isn't a game that the 2700X suffers noticeably.
One game that suffers noticeably from this is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. The best that the Ryzen 7 2700X can muster here is an average of 38 fps and that makes the 5800X ~ 45% faster. This is an important scope that radically changes the way you play.
A similar margin is seen at 1440p, and it isn't until we hit 4K that the GPU becomes the primary performance-limiting component, but even then, the 1% slow performance on the older Zen + processor is noticeably worse.
The 2700X is well below the modern 8-core processors in Cyberpunk 2077, especially when you look at the 1% low performance. For example, the 5800X was almost 60% faster at 1080p and we're still seeing a margin of around 25% at 1440p, although the average frame rate is comparable, but it's the 1% lows that you will notice.
For mid- to lower-priced gaming systems with GPUs that only reach around 60-90 fps at 1440p, the 2700X won't let you down, but upgrade the CPU for higher-end GPU configurations.
Tests with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order show that the 5800X offers ~ 36% more performance at 1080p and 1440p and only when we reach 4K does the game become GPU-limited.
As with Watch Dogs Legion, this is a single player title where gamers will likely prioritize the graphics and, in terms of performance, likely only need around 60 fps for a comfortable experience, although I personally prefer around 90 fps for smoother input. The point is, you can do roughly that with the old 2700X, and it's really only high-end GPU configurations that benefit from a faster CPU.
Call of Duty Warzone is a game like Battlefield V that I expected the 2700X to suffer a lot from, but to my surprise it goes well. Sure, the 5800X offers almost 50% more performance at 1080p when you compare 1% low data, and the 10th and 11th Gen Intel 8-core models are much faster too, but averaging 172 fps and a 1% With a low value of 131 fps, the 2700X is hardly slow and enables games with high frame rates.
Additionally, the margin is significantly reduced at 1440p, with the 5800X being up to 24% faster compared to 1% lows and 14% faster on average. But with over 120 fps at all times and an average of 170 fps, the 2700X still enables a great gaming experience and takes full advantage of powerful GPUs such as the RTX 3060 Ti.
Death Stranding is another of those games that don't take you hundreds of frames per second, and the 153 fps average we see on the 2700X is more than enough for high refresh rate games in this title.
We're seeing more evidence suggesting that Zen 3, along with Intel 10th and 11th generation components, is faster for gaming. The 5800X was up to 44% faster at 1080p, while the Intel CPUs were around 33% faster on average. Margins are reduced slightly at 1440p as the newer 8-core CPUs start to get GPU limited, and then at 4K we see similar performance for all four configurations.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a CPU-demanding single player game and although the 2700X was good for over 100 fps at 1080p and 1440p, it was still significantly slower than the modern options from AMD and Intel. We're talking about 60% more performance on the 5800X and almost 50% on the 10700K.
Since the game is more GPU-limited at 1440p, this margin closes quite significantly, but the 5800X was still 21% faster when comparing the average frame rate and 36% faster when comparing the 1% low data. The edges are only neutralized in all tested configurations when we have reached the 4K resolution.
Surprisingly, the 2700X holds up pretty well in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, which shows that the Vulkan implementation in this title is pretty good.
We see an average of well over 300 fps at 1080p with almost 300 fps for the 1% low, so pretty playable performance. The 5800X is up to 52% faster, which is a massive increase in performance, but given the speed of the 2700X, this isn't very relevant in practice. And not only that, but by the time we hit 1440p the margins are reduced to single digits.
These results are interesting as I suspect those who play War Thunder may want a little more power than what the 2700X allows. Granted, it's still playable, but 1% lows of 86 fps might be less than ideal for competitive gamers.
The 5800X was up to 70% faster here and averaged 189 fps at 1080p, which is a really massive increase in performance. Worse still, this game is so CPU-bound that the 2700X is still well over 20% slower than modern 8-core AMD and Intel CPUs even when the resolution is increased to 4K.
The last game we'll look at in detail is the NPC-heavy Hitman 2.
Here the 2700X creates a severe CPU bottleneck at 1080p and 1440p, and as a result, the 5800X, 10700K and 11700K were 40% faster at 1080p and 1440p. As we've seen several times now, when playing at 4K, the game becomes GPU-bound and all CPUs allow for a similar level of performance.
Now is the time to compare these CPUs across all 30 games, starting with the 1080p data, so let's do that.
Here we compare the 2700X to the new 5800X and as you can see the Zen + processor was 23% slower on average. There were only four games where we saw single-digit margins and eight games where the margin was 30% or more. War Thunder, Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and World War Z were among the worst performers for the older CPU.
If you're using the 2700X with a modern, high-end GPU, it's probably time to think about a CPU upgrade, and the 5800X is a great option for both work and play.
Of course, if you're playing with a high-end GPU and super-high frame rates aren't a priority, but image quality is more important to you at resolutions like 1440p or higher, then CPU performance is a little less of an issue.
Here the 2700X was only 13% slower on average than the 5800X, even though we have eight games where the performance margin was 20% or more.
After all, 4K gaming is still all about the GPU, and even with the 6900 XT, we usually saw next to no performance difference between the 2700X and 5800X. Obviously, if you're using an RTX 3070 / RX 6800 or better, chances are you'll upgrade to a modern processor anyway.
The Ryzen 7 2700X is also slower than the Core i7-10700K, down 19% at 1080p, and it's worth noting that the gap to the 11700K is pretty much the same. To be fair, the 2700X was designed to compete with the Core i7-8700K, where the Ryzen had its number for core-heavy productivity tasks, while the Intel Core i7 was always better for gaming.
What did we learn?
It was very interesting to redesign the Ryzen 7 2700X in 2021 with newer games and a much more powerful GPU. You could look at some of the data above and conclude that the 2700X was and is a pretty terrible gaming CPU, but it's important to note that the chip only looks really bad if you look at the 1080p Data concentrated.
To better illustrate what this is all about, let's take a look at four generations of 6-core / 12-thread Ryzen CPUs versus half a dozen CPU-intensive games. Now ignore the number of cores, whether 6 or 8, the data are comparable. In this previous benchmark, we found that the 2600X was 31% slower than the 5600X at 1080p with the RTX 3090, which is not far from the 6900 XT data in this test. There are only a few other GPU-bound titles in this 30-game benchmark.
The 31% margin on the RTX 3090 is big, of course, but it drops to 24% on the RTX 3070 and then to just 6% on the 5700 XT, a GPU that rivals the RTX 3060, RTX 2070 in terms of performance Super comparable and GTX 1080Ti. That means if you're using the 2700X with a previous generation graphics card for $ 400 to $ 500, it won't be much slower than the 5800X in most games, so it does well against the Core i7-8700K.
For gaming purely, however, the 8700K has aged better as a high-end gaming CPU, and we know this from our CPU test data, which includes the Ryzen 7 2700X and the Core i5-10600K, which is basically a Core i7-8700K . In this example, the 2700X was 19% slower on average than the 10600K, and that's what we expected based on previous attempts to compare these CPU architectures.
For example, we often heard from AMD fans that the 2700X would be the superior gaming CPU in the future and would eventually overtake the 8700K thanks to the two additional cores. However, we invested a lot of time researching these claims as early as mid-2018 and have come to the conclusion that for this comparison, no, no.
The 8700K was and is the superior gaming CPU, but what that means for gaming depends on the user and there is certainly no wrong option here. As we said countless times in our Top 5 Best CPU Features from 2018-2019, if you want maximum gaming performance, go for Intel and refer to the 8700K and later the 9900K.
However, if you're into core-heavy work too, we've suggested that the Ryzen 7 2700 series might offer a better balance, and for a good chunk of its lifespan it was cheaper to buy too, dropping to just $ 160 in early 2020 , that was crazy. Meanwhile, the 8700K cost at least $ 360 over the same period, so it's easy to see why there was so much hype around these Ryzen 7 parts.
The advantage of spending more on the 8700K, however, is the fact that you don't really need to upgrade today. The jump from 10600K, which in turn is basically an 8700K, to the 10700K, which is basically a 9900K, gets you ~ 4% more performance. That's a good thing because the 9900K is really the only upgrade option you have on this platform, and it's still very expensive, selling pre-owned on eBay for around $ 300, that's how much the Core i7 costs -11700F new.
On the flip side, those who wanted to work alongside gaming and therefore invested in the 2700X now have the option to upgrade to the 5800X, 5900X, or 5950X for a huge improvement in both game and application performance.
Buying the 2700X in 2021 for a second-hand budget build isn't actually a bad idea and makes sense for the same reasons you would have bought it in 2018, that is, for productivity and gaming. Typically, the 2700 / 2700X chips sell for $ 170 while the 8700K is $ 200 and you can expect more for a used Intel motherboard, too. The newer Ryzen 7 3700X usually brings in about 40% more at $ 240, and it's not worth that premium, and then look at $ 350 for a used 5800X or $ 280 for a 10700-series processor at.
You can save a little more on a 1st Gen Ryzen 8-core part, but if you're just gaming and on a tight budget, a 2nd or preferably 3rd Gen Ryzen 5 processor is a much cheaper alternative. For example, the Ryzen 5 3600 is typically available for $ 160 and is faster than the 2700X in all of the games we tested. The beauty of the AM4 platform, of course, is that if you have a reasonably decent 400 or 500 series motherboard, there are tons of upgrade options open to you.
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon
- Intel Core i7-11700 on Amazon
- Intel Core i7-10700K at Amazon
- AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT on Amazon
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 on Amazon