So many CPUs, but which one to pick?

HWM (Singapore) - - LEARN - By Koh Wanzi

AMD’s Ryzen CPUs have earned high praise since they were rst rolled out. But with a to­tal of seven pro­ces­sors across the Ryzen 5 and 7 line-ups, it can be quite a chal­lenge pick­ing out the right CPU, es­pe­cially if you’re con­sid­er­ing Intel’s own Kaby Lake pro­ces­sors as well.

Ul­ti­mately, Ryzen is tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced, but isn’t the fastest. It loses out to the Intel Core i7-7700K in gam­ing, and doesn’t quite match up to the 10-core Core i7-6950X. But some­times “good enough” is enough for most folks, and Ryzen is gen­er­ally very price com­pet­i­tive while of­fer­ing ex­cel­lent multi-threaded per­for­mance com­pared to Intel.

If you’re look­ing to build a new PC, you’re prob­a­bly hav­ing a hard time de­cid­ing be­tween AMD and Intel, which given the years-long lack of com­pe­ti­tion, is say­ing quite a lot.

But in a nut­shell, each Ryzen chip has its own unique propo­si­tion. Here’s what you should care about.

Most bang for your buck

The Ryzen 5 1600X is par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive be­cause it is dif­fi­cult to turn down 6 cores and 12 threads for its $359 price tag. What’s more, at that price, the clos­est Intel of­fer­ing is the Core i5-7600K with just 4 cores and 4 threads. It also of­fers roughly 90 per cent of the per­for­mance of a Core i7-7700K while cost­ing around two-thirds of the price, which means you’re get­ting a lot more per­for­mance per dol­lar.

In ad­di­tion, it has the same base and boost clocks as the $818 Ryzen 7 1800X, which means its gam­ing per­for­mance isn’t even that far be­hind the ag­ship Ryzen chip.

Best over­clocker

But if you want Ryzen 7 1800X per­for­mance but don’t want to pay the full price, the $499 Ryzen 7 1700 will plug the gap quite nicely. Boast­ing over a 20 per cent per­for­mance boost af­ter over­clock­ing to around 3.95GHz, the 1700 even man­ages to outdo the stock per­for­mance of the 1800X in Cinebench R15.

The seem­ingly large over­clock­ing head­room is due to the low 3.0GHz base clock, and over­clock­ing helps un­lock the full po­ten­tial of the 8-core/16-thread chip.

Flag­ship per­for­mance on a bud­get

Like the Ryzen 7 1700, the 1700X is ar­guably a bet­ter deal than the top-end 1800X pro­ces­sor. It of­fers very sim­i­lar per­for­mance to the lat­ter, while cost­ing over $200 less. The 1700 re­quires over­clock­ing to be a se­ri­ous con­tender, but the 1700X is per­fectly ne at stock set­tings.

That said, it does ex­ceed the de­fault Cinebench score of the 1800X when over­clocked to 4.0GHz as well. How­ever, if the best pos­si­ble per­for­mance in CPU-in­ten­sive tasks is not a top pri­or­ity, the 1700X will do just ne for your com­put­ing and gam­ing needs.

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