AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

HWM (Singapore) - - Contents - by Koh Wanzi

We be­gan hear­ing about Ryzen even when AMD was still strug­gling with its bum­bling Bull­dozer ar­chi­tec­ture. Orig­i­nally known as Zen, this was the chip that would in­tro­duce new com­pe­ti­tion at the high-end of the desk­top mar­ket.

Ryzen fea­tures a bunch of new sens­ing and adap­tive pre­dic­tion tech­nolo­gies known as SenseMI. The core of this is a trio of fea­tures – Pure Power, Pre­ci­sion Boost, and Ex­tended Fre­quency Range (XFR) – built into the hard­ware it­self that are able to con­tin­u­ously ad­just the chip’s clock speed, voltage, and tem­per­a­ture to re­duce power con­sump­tion and max­i­mize per­for­mance.

Sen­sors at the chip level en­able con­stant mon­i­tor­ing and ad­just­ments, so while Pure Power en­ables more ef­fi­cient power de­liv­ery, Pre­ci­sion Boost al­lows gran­u­lar 25MHz in­cre­ments in fre­quency, and XFR will boost clock speeds be­yond the of­fi­cial range if the cool­ing so­lu­tion al­lows.

For the Ryzen 7 1800X, XFR is a mod­est 100MHz boost to 4.1GHz from its 3.6GHz base clock, but it’s worth not­ing that the fea­ture is only en­abled on Ryzen “X” chips. It also only works across two cores at once, and not all

eight, so the dif­fer­ence will be most ap­par­ent in sin­gle-threaded tasks.

More im­por­tantly, the Ryzen 7 1800X, like all other Ryzen 7 parts, are true eight-core chips that leave Bull­dozer’s mod­ule-based de­sign be­hind. Bull­dozer com­bined two dis­crete cores into a sin­gle “mod­ule”, with the two shar­ing sev­eral re­sources be­tween them. This meant that they could not op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently and ex­e­cute eight in­struc­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously as a true eight-core CPU could.

That changes with the 8-core/16thread Ryzen 7 chips, which have also adopted In­tel’s si­mul­ta­ne­ous mul­ti­thread­ing ap­proach. The re­sult is truly im­pres­sive multi-threaded per­for­mance that ri­vals the far more ex­pen­sive 10-core In­tel Core i76950X (3.0GHz, 25MB L3 cache).

In the multi-threaded Cinebench R15 bench­mark, the Core i7-6950X was only 14 per cent faster than the Ryzen 7 1800X, and it re­tails for well over S$2,000 com­pared to the lat­ter’s S$818. It was also a whop­ping 63 per cent faster than the quad-core Core i7-7700K (4.2GHz, 8MB L3 cache), so AMD is stand­ing toe-totoe with In­tel’s Broad­well-E chips.

How­ever, this means that ap­pli­ca­tions need to be able to fully uti­lize all eight cores and all those nifty hard­ware fea­tures in order for the chip to demon­strate its full prow­ess. When it comes to games, which of­ten ben­e­fit far more from higher clock speeds rather than more cores, the Core i77700K still takes the lead.

This is es­pe­cially ap­par­ent when gam­ing at 1080p, where the CPU and not the GPU is of­ten the bot­tle­neck. Of course, this will de­pend on how much the game ac­tu­ally re­lies on the CPU. For in­stance, Ashes of the Sin­gu­lar­ity clearly taxes the CPU more, and the Core i7-7700K was up to 50 per cent quicker at 1080p and High set­tings. On the other hand, a more in­ten­sive, GPU-fo­cused game like Deus Ex:

Mankind Di­vided saw the per­for­mance dif­fer­en­tial nar­row to just a hand­ful of frames.

That said, the dif­fer­ence is less ap­par­ent at 4K where the GPU is the lim­it­ing fac­tor, so you’ll also want to con­sider what res­o­lu­tion you in­tend to game at. One added boon is a bet­ter abil­ity to han­dle stream­ing, which is very CPU-in­ten­sive. Ryzen’s multi-core prow­ess en­sures a smaller per­for­mance drop, even if In­tel’s CPUs are still over­all faster.

If you’re look­ing for the best per­for­mance while gam­ing, we wouldn’t rec­om­mend the Ryzen 7 1800X now be­cause the Core i77700K is both faster and cheaper.

When it comes to over­clock­ing, the Ryzen 7 1800X has rel­a­tively limited head­room, es­pe­cially com­pared to the Core i7-7700K that can com­fort­ably over­clock to 5.0GHz on air. AMD says most chips can get to 4.2GHz at 1.4V, but we only man­aged to hit 4.05GHz (over­clock­ing dis­ables XFR un­for­tu­nately). Of course, your mileage will vary as over­clock­ing can dif­fer very much from chip to chip.

But if you’re re­ally look­ing to squeeze out a ton of ex­tra per­for­mance from your CPU, Ryzen isn’t the chip for that.

The fi­nal piece of the story is the de­but of the AM4 plat­form, which sup­ports mod­ern fea­tures like du­alchan­nel DDR4 mem­ory and USB 3.1 (Gen 2). The good news is that there’s also a ded­i­cated mi­cro-ATX and mini- ITX chipset in AMD’s X300 chipset, so com­pact work­sta­tions are an op­tion with Ryzen as well.

A solid, af­ford­able op­tion for con­tent cre­ators and work­sta­tion users, but not so for gamers and over­clock­ers.

Ryzen Master is a ded­i­cated tool for mon­i­tor­ing and over­clock­ing the chip.

Ryzen will work with AMD’s new AM4 plat­form.

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