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AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU Review

Rating: 9.0.

The initial verdict is in for Ryzen 7; AMD’s latest and greatest CPU offers superb multi-threaded performance and even proves itself to be a solid option in lightly-threaded applications. Add in the aggressive pricing and our thoughts on the flagship Ryzen 7 – 1800X – CPU are overall very positive, provided you aren’t an ultra-high refresh rate gamer.

£500 still a little much for you to drop on an 1800X? Worry not as that’s where the Ryzen 7 second-in-command 1700X comes in. Take some less favourable Ryzen 7 silicon, drop the clock frequencies by a couple of hundred Megahertz, put £100 back into your pocket and you are left with a Ryzen 7 1700X. Oh, and you still get the unlocked multiplier that allows you to overclock hassle-free (and close to Ryzen 7 1800X numbers). Where’s the catch?


It has been a long-time tradition for AMD to have multiple SKUs in the market competing in different price points, despite being basically the same chip. A quick look at the purchasable Vishera line-up from a few weeks ago shows that SKUs such as the FX-8320, FX-8350, FX-8370, FX-9370, and FX-9590 all exist alongside one another, regardless of them being the same chips with different clock speeds. AMD charges a premium for higher-quality silicon that the binning process positions on a more favourable voltage-frequency curve.

To stock-clocked users or buyers who want to squeeze out every last drop of clock speed, the price premium can be a worthwhile investment. However, savvy enthusiasts have typically gravitated towards the lower-cost options knowing that a few minutes or hours of tweaking in the BIOS will result in similar clock speeds and performance. That’s the beauty of unlocked frequency multipliers.

Following in the same vein, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700X is simply a cheaper way of getting an eight-core, 16-thread processor than the £500 1800X. Of course, there’s also the cheaper Ryzen 7 1700 (non-X) that’s about £70 less than the 1700X. However, the differences for the 1700 are a little more than just speed – the TDP is reduced to 65W by way of frequency reductions, Extended Frequency Range (XFR) headroom is halved, and a Wraith stock cooler is included. That’s a topic for another day, though, when our full review is ready for publication.

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

AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700X is an 8C16T processor thanks to its support for Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT). Base clock speed is 3.4GHz with Precision Boost taking it as high as 3.8GHz under the correct loading conditions (typically two-or-fewer core loading scenarios). Throughout our testing, we saw the chip spend most of its time at its 3.5GHz all-core turbo level when used with a strong Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler. Another part of AMD’s SenseMI technologies – XFR – takes the Ryzen 7 1700X single-core clock speed as high as 3.9GHz, provided sufficient power and thermal headroom is available.

Ryzen 7 1700X’s primary price competitor from Team Blue is the ~£400 Core i7-6800K. The Broadwell-E 6C12T chip is likely to show significant disadvantages in multi-threaded applications, though slightly higher overclockability and quad-channel memory could claw back some performance downfall put forward by a lower core count. This looks to be an interesting fight for power users and gamers alike.

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

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  • sassafras15

    Hey there KitGuru!

    Have you talked to other reviewers regarding your RAM speeds? Of all the reviews I’ve read/watched, yours was the only one I saw that reached 3200 Mhz (let alone 3000 Mhz).

    Seems like the difference is that you guys are using the Trident Z instead of the provided RAM by AMD. Maybe other review outlets should also test on Trident Z.

  • John

    Why would they talk to other reviewers? I think they are using a properly certified Trident Z kit so have done their homework. KitGuru always seem to work with G.SKILL which is good, as their memory is generally very very good. Unlike Corsair, which is hit and miss. Don’t even get me started on Kingston.

  • sassafras15

    “Why would they talk to other reviewers?”

    I meant if anyone approached them asking about their RAM speeds. It’s also not uncommon for different media outlets to contact one another to verify test data/methodology.

  • John

    Really? interesting – never knew that. I thought another reviewer would simply just look at the KitGuru review and see the memory they used and just try to get the same memory. Its funny how many times ive actually seen eteknix for instance ‘borrow’ some KitGuru testing/layout/page structure – just a little later.

  • Nikolas Karampelas

    Hello thanks for this nice review, but is it possible that you add a photoshop test as well?

    Thanks

  • sassafras15

    the kind ones do it properly. dunno about eteknix though. i don’t frequent their site.

  • John

    Photoshop used to be a good benchmark, but i use it a lot and there are very few, if any filters that stress more than 3-4 cores. its not a good test anymore for 8 or 16 threads – it will likely show high clocked cores from Intel to perform the best. Adobe coding lately is shockingly bad – Premiere for instance? what a mess in 2017!

  • John

    Have you bought a Ryzen sassafras15? whats your views on the 1800x and 1700x ?

  • cmvrgr

    Rayzen is super powerful from half to a third price in comparison with Intel’s 8core cpu’s. I was always an Intel person but I think that intel charges too much for the same performance.

    From now I am thinking to switch to AMD cause the price performance ratio. Imagine if you build 3 to 5 systems how much money will save.

    Also about the gaming performance I believe that if is combined with AMD GPU will perform better as game developer’s on current games have not made optimizations as they have on Intel’s CPU’s. I am sure that in the new games we will see the performance gap closing and for current games some developer’s are making patches.

    It need some more time to unlock all the potential. I hope that soon AMD will create the ryzen mobile chips and if they manage to fit a light spec GPU on the same chip they will lick Intel in gr8 nuts for the same time.

    I hope also AMD to create a Ryzen architecture alternative for ultra mobile computing with a great GPU to fill the gap of intel atom. That will give many cool devices like GPD win and.GPD Pocket and who knows maybe a surface phone that could run x64 apps natively and not only x32 via emulation on a snapdragon 835.

    I am sure that at Intel’s HQ they lost their sleep and that they will start playing dirty by paying reviewer’s to spil mud where ever they can on AMD.

    Price difference is huge and also if Intel drop prices on the same level of AMD in a short term will make consumer’s more furious as they were paying a high premium for the same cpu’s.

  • S.O.T.O.S

    Very disappointing Intel is still better for games

  • Nikolas Karampelas

    yeah it is crap and I use affinity photo now, but it is an industry standard and since I can’t completely remove it (yet) from the workflow, I could love to know how the CPUs perform.

  • sassafras15

    don’t have the money yet. but will go full AMD.

    my general opinion on the entire R7 lineup is that they’re really good even on gaming. they may not beat out Intel on that category but they don’t run shit on games. just lower fps compared to Intel (specially with the 7700k which is I think stupid to compare to an 8c/16t cpu when making a recommendation).

    overclocking range seems to vary though. the maximin (maximum minimum) frequency i’ve seen is 3.9 Ghz while maximax is 4.1 Ghz. would be interesting to see a 4.2+ Ghz though.

    over at AMD reddit, users seems to be on a consensus that Ryzen chips suffer less stutters compared to Intel counterparts. I have yet to form an opinion on that until someone makes a proper benchmark on it (maybe showing frame times?) but looking at video reviews with benchmarks, that seems to be the case.

  • sassafras15

    Coming from a neutral perspective, I think it’s inconclusive to say that when Intel has no issues with their platform while AMD is currently having one. In order to make a proper conclusion, both needs to be on equal grounds. By equal grounds, I meant when both don’t have platform issues anymore.

    However, if that’s what you really think, then I’ll leave you to it.

  • Luke

    Hi.

    I haven’t spoken to other reviewers regarding 3200MHz memory but I have seen the hit-or-miss results with the ASUS C6H and other motherboards when trying to run at such speeds. I think this is down to the kit being used, as our G.Skill Trident Z kit worked on the ASUS C6H and also the Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 (a higher-capacity variant of the G.Skill kit is on that board’s memory QVL). However, some old 3200MHz 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DIMMs would not run at 3200MHz XMP on the Gigabyte board. We got the RAM kit provided by AMD running at 2933MHz (a 3000MHz divider doesn’t exist on this platform without reference clock adjustments) but chose not to use it to maintain comparability against other platforms and CPUs that were partnered with the G.Skill 3200MHz Trident Z.

    3200MHz certainly isn’t 100% bug-free. Getting it to work from a cold boot can sometimes require the memory frequency to be cycled up from 2933MHz @ 1.35V rather than going straight to 3200MHz. But without a cold boot or BIOS reset, 3200MHz has worked fine throughout our testing with two different 1800X CPUs and one 1700X CPU.

  • demigod79

    I really don’t see the point of using a 16-thread processor for gaming (that would be a massive waste of processing power). I’m a gamer but I also run distributed computing apps when I’m not gaming (which is about 22/24 hours) so a Ryzen 7 would be very good for me. And frankly, I view the GPU as the single biggest factor for gaming performance (dropped frames are rarely a CPU issue

    If you only do gaming on your PC then the 7700K is ideal. For anyone doing heavy content creation, heavy data crunching or multitasking Ryzen 7 is best. For someone who does a mix of the two (like me) the Ryzen 7 is the better choice overall.

  • John

    im pretty sure Skylake/Kaby Lake and even older Intel will cream AMD due to the clock speeds – ive a few intel systems in the house and the quad core at 5ghz is much quicker than my octo core at 4.2ghz.

  • John

    Loads of people use something like a 58xx series or 59xx series for gaming, even my mate who was insane enough to buy the 6950X plays games. He does a lot of other things too and he uses twitch a lot while gaming. Have you ever tried to game on a 7600k and stream at the same time? You can’t. I am pretty sure another publication (maybe Anandtech?) said a 7700k will drop frames doing something similar. We need to see more of this testing.

    Ryzen with the extra cores would work well. In fact I think for some serious gamers who are more socially geared – a Ryzen 1800x or Ryzen 1700x would be more versatile and practical than a 7700k. Intel are charging – what £350 for a 7700k and you can get the Ryzen 1700X for £50 more and its got twice the cores? Unless you only want to game on a 1080p panel at 150 frames per second the Ryzen chips look a much better deal.

    Dont even get me started on the 5960x or 6950x, thats Intel just price gouging their customers to maximise their profits. As a company they disgust me.

  • John

    AMD are only having a problem due to years of optimisations for Intel by game developers. Which makes sense as AMD haven’t had a processor anyone wants to buy for years. Piledriver? Bulldozer? yeah, I don’t think so.

    Its worth pointing out yet again that this problem isn’t really a problem for most people, unless you game at 1080p and want 144hz refresh rates. 4K and 1440p are much less of a weakness.

  • shumok62

    I don’t do any fancy prosumer stuff on my computer…but I usually have a few webpages up and perhaps a download going on in the background…not to mention a few memory resident programs in the background.

    I don’t want to bother closing this stuff down just to play a game, so how much of an impact could this have on gaming performance on Intel vs Ryzen?

  • Rocky40

    Thank you for another great review. I am glad to see the G Skill 3200 ram was able to run at it’s rated speed it only shows things are gonna get better over time with this platform. I do have a question when running the game tests did you disable SMT for the games I hear it gives pretty good gains in the games. I guess there will be either bios or windows update to fix the SMT problem very soon. I know in a perfect world you would never disable something like SMT but with this platform being a ground up design I guess things are slightly less than perfect. I think most that have bought these CPU’s and are gaming on them most likely will have already disables the SMT until there is a fix released I know I would until then if it gives a 7-10% frame boost.

  • apudapus

    Thanks for the thorough review! I’ve been looking for a review like this to help me decide between Ryzen (1700X) or Kaby Lake (it-7700K).

  • lehpron

    I agree that GPU-bottleneck testing doesn’t do much for CPU testing where all processors result in the same performance. But it also shows us that there is no reason to purchase expensive processors if all you do is play GPU-bound gaming. From the graphs shown above, for now, the cheapest processor that still allows the same performance at 4K resolution are the Core i5 and older FX processors. Ryzen 7 isn’t that cheap to produce the results shown above.

    This will remain unchanged until Ryzen 3 and 5 models are released, although I recommend the review include Core i3 models.

  • Supermax

    Amazing review. Any chance you could review streaming performance? They really pitted it as an amazing streaming processor.

    Any chance we could see what the FPS is like while running OBS on twitch.tv at 1080p / 60fps? As a person looking to upgrade their setup to stream live or even record I would love to know how Ryzen performs compared to a 7700k.

  • davkdavk

    That’s actually a good point! I haven’t seen anyone do benches with multiple apps running for ages. Might be a good thing to test

  • davkdavk

    ‘Very’ disappointing? They are highly competitive!

  • davkdavk

    Games haven’t even been patched and optimized for the new AMD platform yet. OF course there are going to be gremlins.

    Nothing wrong with Piledriver, just that DX12 and Vulkan are 5 years too late.

    Intel have had the luxury of pretty much shrinking and rebadging the same shit for the last 5 generations, with a higher base clock. ( I do understand there have been slight improvements and extra features)

    Lets face it, AMD started as a Intel cloner. They have always had to pretty much redesign the Intel wheel each generation, with no where near the resources.

    I think they have done a good job with the new stuff. to be within a few percent of Intel’s current lineup is a massive achievement.

  • marco

    U can observe a sample of gaming and streaming at same time with OBS starting at 20:00min mark and up to 22min mark (or so) between the ryzen cpu and a 7700K kabby.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0fgy4rKWhk

  • marco

    Correct, also what very few people are actually showing is CPU scaling & performance of older cpus such as 2500K / 2600K or 3770K which even at stock speed (with modern GPUs ex1070 or 1080) are holding their own very well at 1080p/1440p/4K in most well optimized games like Mafia3, Doom, Hitman, Rise of TR or DeusEx for ex. (with exception of poorly optimized games, such as Fallout4 or GTA5).
    AdoreTV have a couple of good vids showing this.

    But so far I have not seen anyone test how older cpus (oc/stock) such as FX-8350 and
    i7-2600K would scale with modern GPUs at frequencies: stock/ same /oc to verify current gaming needs or even frequencies to properly compare IPC.

    I believe that anyone who bought a 2600K/3770K or 4770K has no need whatsoever to upgrade to current cpus for gaming (especially when in OC). Better to upgrade the GPU instead, as these cpus will easily get another 2-3y of life from them.

    AdoreTV:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0fgy4rKWhk

  • DK

    I own two gaming systems, one with the 7700K and the other with the 1700X and when gaming I have to admit the 1700X provides a smoother gaming experience. There are several technical hardware studies trying to figure this out without much success at this point other than the 1700X allows for the CPU overhead to provide a lower 0.1% frame rate dip occurrence over time while gaming and doing other activities. Gaming is where the difference is most evident since you are constantly staring at the screen when gaming and any dip in frame rates rendered is almost always immediately noticeable. Now, I have to admit that if you only plan to game and don’t use your PC for anything else that requires multitasking (i.e. multimedia, folding, bitcoin farming, photo editing, streaming, etc.), then I would tell you to buy the 7700K or wait for Intel to release Sky Lake-X and Kaby Lake-E before jumping to buy an Intel CPU as those releases will surely drop the prices on existing Kaby Lake CPUs. If you need a PC that does it all (gaming & multi-task intensive activities), then I would tell you to buy a Ryzen 5 (6-core) or 7 (8-core) as you will get the bang for the buck by saving yourself a couple hundred dollars easily. That money could go toward a more powerful graphics card 😉 I don’t think Ryzen 9 will be affordable from the standpoint of the average PC game as it is expected to be at least 50% to 100% more expensive for a Ryzen 9 vs. Ryzen 7. In the end, I love both of my gaming systems and I can choose which to use depending on my needs for that moment. Anyways, I wish you the best of luck with whatever decision you make!

  • DK

    What almost none of these tests show is just how crazy smooth Ryzen gaming is compared to their Intel counterparts. I’m no fanboy of either AMD and Intel and own two gaming systems; one with a 7700K and the other with a 1700X. I love both systems, but have to admit that the Ryzen gameplay on the average is smoother and has less momentary dips in frame rates. However, would I still recommend someone getting the 1700X over a 7700K? No necessarily. In the end, each consumer/gamer will have to do their homework and make their own decision as to which CPU architecture is best for them.

  • Now to just buy one. 🙂

  • dividebyzero

    For those disappointed about the lack of support for quad channel, “for scientific applications” to quote the article, don’t despair and move to Intel just yet! New 16 cores “Threadripper” processors just announced by AMD support quad.

  • TEAM GREEN

    Wait for 8700K…At 4.7GHz MCT on all 6 cores and 12 Threads it will be a game changer…..