With unfortunate regularity Intel has been the dominate player the high-end mainstream and enthusiast corner of the markets for the past couple generations. This is because much like what Intel did with their Pentium 4 series… AMD went down a CPU design road that did not quite pan out like they had hoped it would. Don’t get us wrong AMD’s Bulldozer based designs (like the Excavator) were fantastic value CPUs but they never were able to quite match Intel’s latest and greatest. This lack of true competition is why Intel has gotten downright miserly with their performance improvements in each new generation. So much so that when looking only at Intel 115x CPUs its pretty darn hard to justify upgrading from a Z87 Haswell system to a Z270 Kaby Lake system! Intel’s socket 2011-v3 is even worse with prices that are so high you need a mortgage to afford them.
Thankfully AMD like the phoenix of mythology has risen… eer ‘Ryzen’ from the ashes and have released their own “Core 2 Duo” that takes them in a new, exciting direction. Ok… to be fair AMD’s Ryzen is pronounced ‘Rye-Zen’ and not ‘risen’… but the new Ryzen 7 series of CPUs is a phoenix. It not only promises a IPC performance improvement of better than 50% over their previous Excavator design, they also promise to take Intel on at their own game and beat them.
So what exactly has AMD’s Ryzen team done and how do they specifically plan on beating monster CPU designs like Kaby Lake (i7 7700k) and Broadwell-E (6950X)? By doing what AMD does best: offering consumers more processing power for their hard-earned dollar. However, this time around it is not just ‘bang for your buck’ consumers that should be interested as AMD 7 CPU’s offer eight real cores capable of handling a combined 16Threads. Yes that is twice what an i7 7700K offers (4c/8t), the same as a thousand dollar Intel Socket 2011-v3 6900K offers, and only 2c/4T less than a fifteen hundred dollar i7 6950k ten core option. More importantly the top of the line Ryzen 7 1800X only costs $499, the 7 1700X costs $399, and the real value star of the show the 7 1700 will only set consumers back a mere $329 – or only $29 more than a piddly little 4c/8t i7 7700k.
This alone is a lot of information to digest, and on paper the Ryzen 7 series does indeed look like it is going to rekindle the enthusiast’s imagination for building AMD based systems. We of course don’t live in a paper world. Instead we live in the real world ruled by facts and not promises. So today we are going to put the AMD 7 1800X, 1700X, and 1700 under the microscope to see how they match up against Intel’s socket 2011-v3 and socket 1151 CPUs. Then and only then can we decide if AMD is indeed ‘back’ and ready to take Intel on in all markets and not just a select few.