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AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU Review

Rating: 9.0.

Ryzen 7 has already proven to be a worthy contender for Intel’s LGA 2011-3 set of processors thanks to its similar, or sometimes better, performance levels and significantly cheaper cost. That metric is stretched even further with the 8C16T Ryzen 7 1700 that ships at just £330. At a relative bargain price compared to the higher-end Ryzen 7 SKUs, never mind Intel’s £1000 octa-core part, Ryzen 7 1700 operates at a reduced clock speed out-of-the-box and is given a 65W TDP rating. You also get a decent Wraith Spire CPU cooler thrown into the bundle.

The most important point to enthusiasts is its retention of the unlocked CPU frequency multiplier that should allow a typical 1700 to reach 3.8-4.0GHz without much hassle. A £70-170 discount versus Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X with the ability to hit similar top speeds certainly makes the 1700 chip an intriguing value proposition.

As we highlighted in our review of the 1700X, it is not uncommon for AMD to release multiple processor SKUs to market which are all essentially the same silicon. Binning is not an uncommon process in the computer hardware industry and it still remains an excellent method for enthusiasts to extract additional performance from a lower cost part.

For now, AMD’s highest quality silicon forms the 1800X, with less-prime chips finding their home as 1700 and 1700X parts. There is a caveat to that logic, though, and that’s the 1700’s 65W TDP which will force it to use silicon that fits a different position on the voltage-frequency curve.

On the topic of that 65W TDP, we can already foresee the excitement of the 1700 to Small Form Factor (SFF) users once the AM4 mini-ITX motherboard situation improves. If you want to squeeze a high number of cores into a mini-ITX build, Ryzen 7 1700 looks to be an excellent method of doing so. That’s also whilst avoiding the complexities of using LGA 2011-3 and 140W TDP Core i7 or Xeon CPUs in the same form factor. The ASRock X99E-ITX/ac is still an excellent work of engineering, nevertheless, which can single-handedly help Intel’s HEDT platform in the SFF fight against Ryzen 7.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 comes bundled with a heatsink and fan, which is now unusual for £300+ CPUs since Intel removed the stock cooler from K SKUs with Skylake. The Wraith Spire cooler features a five-bladed, 92mm fan that forces air over an aluminium fin array fed by a copper slug in the core. The mounting mechanism now employs screws that fasten to an AM4 motherboard backplate, which is an upgrade over the relatively flimsy clip approach deployed with AMD’s AM3 stock coolers.

Compared to an Intel stock cooler pulled from an old 4790K or modern multiplier-locked Core i5 or i7, it is easy to see the size advantage for the Wraith Spire. Also worth noting is the braided 4-pin fan cable that adds an element of quality. There’s also an RGB LED ring on the top of the fan that can be controlled by the included 4-pin RGB adapter cable.

The Wraith Spire’s mount on our AM4 ASUS Crosshair VI Hero was very solid and did not cause interference with neighbouring components. Removal of the plastic retention brackets is required as the cooler screws straight into the AM4 backplate. With the 4-pin RGB cable connected to our motherboard’s header, the Wraith Spire cooler picked up the ASUS cyclic RGB profile without our adjustment and synchronised its operating mode and colours. Good job, AMD and ASUS.

Of course, being a cooler designed for use on AMD’s PGA socket, you still get the old traditions of having to yank the CPU out of its socket when removing the cooler. This is largely due to the very sticky pre-applied thermal paste. It’s something to watch out for if you decide to replace this cooler in the future as this is an easy way to damage the CPU.

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1800X AMD Ryzen 7 1700X AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Intel Core i7 6950X Intel Core i7 6900K Intel Core i7 6800K Intel Core i7 7700K
CPU Codename Zen Zen Zen Broadwell-E Broadwell-E Broadwell-E Kaby Lake
Core / Threads
8 / 16 8 / 16 8 / 16 10 / 20 8 / 16 6 / 12 4 / 8
Base Frequency 3.6GHz 3.4GHz 3.0GHz 3.0GHz 3.2GHz 3.4GHz 4.2GHz
Boost Frequency 4.0GHz 3.8GHz 3.7GHz 3.5GHz 3.7GHz 3.6GHz 4.5GHz
Maximum Frequency 4.1GHz (XFR) 3.9GHz (XFR) 3.75GHz (XFR) 4.0GHz (TBM 3.0) 4.0GHz (TBM 3.0) 3.8GHz (TBM 3.0) n/a
Unlocked Core Multiplier Yes (x0.25 granularity) Yes (x0.25 granularity) Yes (x0.25 granularity) Yes (x1 granularity) Yes (x1 granularity) Yes (x1 granularity) Yes (x1 granularity)
Total Cache 16MB L3 + 4MB L2 16MB L3 + 4MB L2 16MB L3 + 4MB L2 25MB L3 + 2.5MB L2 20MB L3 + 2MB L2 15MB L3 + 1.5MB L2 8MB L3 + 1MB L2
Max. Memory Channels
2 (DDR4) 2 (DDR4) 2 (DDR4) 4 (DDR4) 4 (DDR4) 4 (DDR4) 2 (DDR4 & DDR3L)
Max. Memory Frequency
1866 to 2667MHz 1866 to 2667MHz 1866 to 2667MHz 2400MHz 2400MHz 2400MHz 2400MHz / 1600MHz
PCIe Lanes 16+4+4 16+4+4 16+4+4 40 40 28 16
CPU Socket AM4 AM4 AM4 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 1151
Manufacturing Process 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm
TDP 95W 95W 65W 140W 140W 140W 91W
MSRP $499 $399 $329 $1723-1743 $1089-1109 $434-441 $339-350
UK Street Price Approx. £500 Approx. £400 Approx. £330 Approx. £1650 Approx. £1000 Approx. £400 Approx. £330

Similarities between the entire Ryzen 7 line-up are vast. The 1700 retains the 8C16T design split over a pair of CPU Complexes (CCX) as is used for the 1700X and 1800X. 20MB of total cache is still available and the core frequency multiplier is unlocked to allow for easy overclocking.

The differences between the 1700 and other Ryzen 7 SKUs come in the form of out-of-the-box frequency, TDP, and XFR headroom. By default, the 1700 operates at a modest, due to the TDP target, 3.0GHz with a maximum Precision Boost clock speed of 3.7GHz. Highlighting the non-X difference of this SKU, XFR headroom is cut in half compared to the 1700X and 1800X, allowing the 1700 to operate at 50MHz above its maximum Precision Boost clock speed under the relevant conditions.

With sufficient cooling, you’ll get a 3.2GHz all-core operating frequency out-of-the-box, 3.7GHz maximum multi-core Precision Boost operating speed, and 3.75GHz XFR frequency for single-core operations. Of course, that’s before playing with the core ratio multiplier that can give 25MHz granularity for CPU speed increases.

For more information regarding Ryzen 7 and the AM4 platform, read our launch review for the Ryzen 7 1800X HERE. You can also read our Ryzen 7 1700X review HERE.

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