A great al­ter­na­tive to Intel

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - By Koh Wanzi

The good­e­nough CPU with de­cent gam­ing prow­ess and a very at­trac­tive mul­ti­threaded per­for­mance for the price.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 tar­geted the high-end, work­sta­tion seg­ment of the mar­ket with their 8-core/16thread of­fer­ings, but it’s the mid-range Ryzen 5 chips that will be of most in­ter­est to main­stream con­sumers.

The Ryzen 5 1600X sits on top of the Ryzen 5 stack, boast­ing an im­pres­sive 6-core/12-thread de­sign. The clos­est Intel al­ter­na­tive – the Intel Core i5-7600K – only has 4-cores/4-threads, even if it does have a higher turbo fre­quency of 4.2GHz.

So while Intel wins in terms of sin­gle-core per­for­mance, the 1600X ab­so­lutely tears it apart when it comes to heav­ily threaded work­loads. Sim­i­lar to what we saw with Ryzen 7, AMD has a strong ad­van­tage in multi-threaded per­for­mance in the Ryzen 5. Fur­ther­more, it doesn’t hurt that 12 threads was pre­vi­ously un­heard of at this price point, and if you’re go­ing to be deal­ing with CPUheavy tasks, it’s dif­fi­cult to say no to the 1600X.

In fact, there’s a lot to like about it. For starters, it shares sim­i­lar clock speeds as the Ryzen 7 1800X, with a 3.6GHz base clockand4.1GHz boost clock with XFR. Yet, it is less than half the price of the lat­ter; you only trade off two cores for a small per­for­mance penalty.

It also sup­ports all of Ry zen’ s sig­na­ture SenseMIfea­tures, suchasPure Power and Pre­ci­sion Boost.

While the Ryzen 7 1800X was 31 per cent quicker than the Ryzen 5 1600X in Cinebench R15, the per­for­mance dif­fer­en­tial be­tween the two in games was al­most neg­li­gi­ble. To put in per­spec­tive, the 1600X was a good 28 per cent faster than the 4-core/8thread Intel Core i7-7700K in the same Cinebench test, a CPU that costs nearly $200 more.

How­ever, as to­day’s games fa­vor high sin­glecore clock speeds, Intel is over­all still the bet­ter op­tion if you want all out gam­ing per­for­mance.

That said, Ryzen isn’t as bad at gam­ing as the head­lines make it out to be. It isn’tthe­fastest, but­some­times “good enough”, is enough for most folks. The 1600X makes up for it with ma­jor ad­van­tages in highly-threaded work and com­pet­i­tive pric­ing.

The chip can be over­clocked us­ing AMD’s Ryzen Master util­ity.

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