By Robert “Bob” Reyes
After four long years and thousands of hours of development, American multinational semiconductor company AMD (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.) released a few days ago the first of three models from its highly anticipated, high-performance AMD desktop processor based on the entirely new x86 AMD “Zen” core microarchitecture: Ryzen 7.
We got our hands with an AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X to test the power of an 8-core processor based on the new AM4 infrastructure, designed to bring more performance to mainstream applications. Will it fly?
We mounted the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X desktop processor to an ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Crosshair VI motherboard with the following configuration:
- RAM: 16GB of Corsair Vengance LPX DDR4 at 3000MHz
- HDD: Samsung Shinpoint F1 1TB (HD103UJ), 7200RPM, SATA 3.0GB/s
- OS: Windows 10
- Display: Samsung S22D390 22” LED Monitor at 1080p
- Cooling System: Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 120mm U-type Tower Cooler
AMD said that using the Ryzen Master Software utility gives broad control of CPU settings allowing users to squeeze every drop of performance from the processor. This utility software is freely available from AMD.com. But for this test, we will leave the values of the processor core to the default ones.
The Flight Test
Using the Maxon Cinebench 15 for Windows, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (3.6GHz-4.0GHz) received a score of 1637, compared to an Intel Core i7-6950X’s (3.5GHz) published benchmark of 1797 and an Intel Core i7-6900K’s (3.7GHz) 1490 all in the multi-thread tests. In the single-thread tests, Intel Core i7-6950K emerged as winner with a score of 168 compared to AMD Ryzen 7 1800X’s 162 (which is tied with the Intel Core i7-6900K). With the Intel Core i7-6900K priced at around PHP50,000 and the Core i7-6950K at PHP80,000, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X emerged as the winner with a local SRP of just PHP27,000.
AMD Ryzen 7 Temperature Readings
Following reports of high temperature readings with the Ryzen 7 1800X (and 1700X), AMD clarified that an offset for fan policy must be applied.
“Specifically, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X carry a +20°C offset between the tCTL° (reported) temperature and the actual Tj° temperature. In the short term, users of the AMD Ryzen 1700X and 1800X can simply subtract 20°C to determine the true junction temperature of their processor. No arithmetic is required for the Ryzen 7 1700. Long term, we expect temperature monitoring software to better understand our tCTL offsets to report the junction temperature automatically,” according to this blog post in AMD’s Community site. [https://community.amd.com/community/gaming/blog/2017/03/13/amd-ryzen-community-update]
Windows 10 Thread Scheduling Issues
Lower-than-expected performance scores are inaccurate according to AMD, suggesting that Windows 10’s thread scheduler is the culprit for such reports. “We have investigated reports alleging incorrect thread scheduling on the AMD Ryzen processor. Based on our findings, AMD believes that the Windows 10 thread scheduler is operating properly for “Zen,” and we do not presently believe there is an issue with the scheduler adversely utilizing the logical and physical configurations of the architecture,” as posted in the AMD Ryzen Community website.
Noteworthy to mention that the AMD Ryzen 7 family of processors are unlocked out-of-the-box. Having an unlocked processor multiplier will help enthusiasts to gain more power and control when they do overclocking. The tests that we did are just about the basics and had not gone to the point of overclocking the processor. Indeed, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor is a total solution that is a powerful and comfortable complement to any high-end PC user. With its competitive pricing, local gamers and PC enthusiasts must begin building their own AMD Ryzen 7 systems now.