AMD Ryzen 7 2700X review

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Final Words 

AMD made a nice step forward with what is pretty much a bit of a die-shrink and tweaking. When you look at absolute and average numbers the 2700X is certainly a good 10% faster than a 1800X, however considering the price, what you really need to be comparing to is the 1700X, and that's a 20% difference in performance. Now everything, however, has to do with the increased clock-frequency, over time the platform that houses Ryzen has evolved and matured as well, it all adds up from lower latency, better memory support, faster base clock, higher turbo bins, the accumulation of it all is what has become Ryzen 2000. It is a truly fast threading processor! Game performance at the lowest resolution, hey, Intel still wins there but the margin and gap have become smaller. I stated in the original Ryzen review already that 1080p gaming really isn't an issue, except, maybe in that grey matter in between your ears. Everything is trivial towards pricing, and what I did not see coming is the price level of the 2700X. The asking price of 329 USD for this eight-core processor is just staggering, it oozes value. With Ryzen 2000 / Zen+ the 3.8~4.0 GHz domain also has been breached. Zen+ can easily manage 4.2 GHz, the top-notch SKUs 4.3 and, with a bit of luck on all cores, you can achieve 4.3 or 4.4 GHz with a bit of liquid cooling. Ergo, I am impressed as to what Ryzen 7 2700X is offering.

Price and value

I already spilled the beans here, but prices are 229 and 329 USD for the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700X respectively. Prices in the EU should be fairly equal, however, with VAT differences throughout the region, prices can be higher with the USD/EUR conversion and VAT. So does the 2700X offer value for money? Well, let's revert back to my most simple plot purely based on the Cinebench multi-threaded score mathed back to price versus relative multi-core performance:


So in the above a mathematical plot, we take the CB score from CineBench 15. We normalize the value and basically plot how much money it takes to calculate the CB score. All processors are clocked at default frequencies, this plot would look different if you'd math in tweaked clock frequencies and thus get higher CB scores. Also, you need to take the number of CPU cores into account (as in what number of CPU cores is relevant for you). But this is very simple math, have a peek at the chart (the higher a CPU is positioned the better). Value for money wise (Cinebench) shows that the new Ryzen 2700X offers proper value for your money. Granted, and I always state it, this is a fairly subjective chart as it is based on just one test, but it does paint a certain picture. And please do not confuse the chart as to 'what is the better processor'. 

Gaming performance

Previous Ryzen reviews have taught me that it is extremely hard to convince a big part of the guru3d community and reader base that Ryzen is plenty fast for gaming. The new Zen+ processors and the respective platform overall bring a bit more oomph compared to last year's Ryzen. The fact remains, that if you take a Core i7 8700K it will still beat Ryzen in CPU bound gaming situations (low resolutions or extremely high refresh rate where a game is not GPU bound). The difference and gap to Intel are getting smaller though. Get yourself a nice G.Skill FlareX memory kit at 3200 MHz and you've covered your gaming bases. Keep in mind that a CPU bottleneck always has been far less important compared to a GPU bottleneck, which is why I'll keep saying it, that differential is trivial at best. Honestly, with the money you save on this processor compared directly to the cheapest eight-core Intel processor you can find, you probably should invest in a faster graphics card. 










Ryzen 7 2700X






Wraith Prism (LED)


Ryzen 7 2700






Wraith Spire (LED)


Ryzen 5 2600X






Wraith Spire


Ryzen 5 2600






Wraith Stealth


DDR4 Memory

The latest firmware for both the older 300 chipsets series and the new 400 Chipset series including the X470 have matured and is an accumulation of DDR4 memory support that evolved when the original Ryzen series was released. Memory compatibility should not and likely will not be an issue as long as you stick to recently released DIMMs. I'll keep repeating this, but there are some really good Ryzen optimized kits out there. The G.Skill Flare X series at 3200 MHz CL14 hits a nice sweet-spot and is 100% stable + optimized for your Ryzen infrastructure. We also tested the new Ryzen Sniper X optimized kit from G.Skill, it runs 3400 MHz straight out of the box and will bring you memory bandwidth in the 50K ranges. However, take my advice: Flare X at 3200 MHz CL14. Install it, activate the profile in the BIOS, restart... and never look back. 

Energy efficiency

With this processor now fabbed at 12nm, TDP has now risen to 105 Watts, that is a bit steep. Realistically, does anyone really care? I honestly doubt it. A full PC at idle will sit in the 50 Watt range with a dedicated graphics card installed (GeForce GTX 1080 / 16 GB memory / SSD and the motherboard). When we stressed the processor with a Prime 1024M run we reached roughly 166 Watts. A threaded CB15 run, however, reveals close to 200 Watts of power consumption (for the entire PC). That certainly is on the high side. When we game we hover at 270~280 Watts, but obviously that factor is dependant on the type of game and graphics card you use of course. So yeah, it's all a notch higher with the 2700X for sure, it's up to you whether or not this is a relevant thing for your purchasing choices. Remember, this is a fully unlocked & loaded eight-core and 16-thread processor. 

The Tweak

The original Ryzen series from 2017 revealed clocks in the 3900~4000 MHz ranges on all cores. For Ryzen 2000 / Zen+ you may add roughly 10% to that frequency. In our findings, these processors will reach 4200/4300 MHz fairly easily. Our Ryzen 7 2700X was able to reach a stable 4400 MHz, but that was on proper liquid cooling. So do not expect performance differences that are miraculous as the 2700X definitely is already spiced up and often reaching the highest performance levels already. If you tweak to the maximum, likely 1.425v~1.450v is needed for a stable 4.3 GHz on all cores, for us that was the equilibrium threshold on both the 2600X and 2700X processors, 100% stable.  In our 2600X review, for a bit of variance, we cool 'n tweak with a stock air-cooler. 



The conclusion

An eight-core / sixteen-thread Ryzen processor that has been tweaked, optimized running up-to 4.35 GHz at a cost of 329 USD, with fairly similar prices in Euro, I mean really yeah, that's a spectacular price. The non-X models might be something to look out for as well, often these bring in even better value and can be tweaked to roughly the same levels, just sayin' ;) We do expect to review the regular 2600 and 2700 (non-X models) soon as well, of course. So the million 329 USD question, is the Ryzen 7 2700X worth it? Well yes, unequivocally and undoubtedly yes. Zen+ brings in that extra edge you probably missed out on performance, it really is a good, properly done processor. Is it worth upgrading from your original Ryzen processor? Hmm, here I'd have to say no, and that is the honest brutal truth. The extra 10 to 20% performance on your threading madness really isn't going to make the difference, and that is the same for gaming. Those, however, that have been waiting with an outdated/older PC thinking it's time for something new; well, yeah, here it makes sense. The 2700X offers excellent value for money in performance. The X470 chipset offers versatile and super fast features bringing your PC experience into the year 2018 at proper performance levels. Also, you'll have plenty of PCIe lanes available and your M.2 SSD will get a dedicated x4 PCIe 3.0 lanes directly from the processor, it cannot get any faster. When you opt to build a gaming PC with a dedicated graphics, the sky is the limit. We do need to factor in though that for gaming on Ryzen you need reasonably fast frequency memory, and that is more expensive. Overall, we think the Ryzen 7 2700X is an awesome processor that, if you ask me, you don't even need to tweak. AMD refined threading and optimized Turbo boosting bins for you precisely and accurately, it offers a truly fast PC experience overall and is a threading beast. At a price of 329 USD, all we can say is well done AMD. 

ATH +++

- Hilbert out

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”

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