Ashes of the Singularity
Ashes of the Singularity is a Sci-Fi real-time strategy game built for the PC platform. The game includes a built-in benchmark tool and was one of the first available DirectX 12 benchmarks. We run the CPU-focused benchmark using DirectX 12, a 1080p resolution and the Extreme quality preset.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is a third-person shooter available on Xbox One and in the form of a well-optimised DX12-only PC port. We run the built-in benchmark using DirectX 12 (the only API supported), a 1080p resolution, the Ultra quality preset, and Async Compute enabled.
Note: The Core i7-2700K, i5-3570K, and i7-4790K are not shown in Gears of War 4 as the game download was too large to install on their system SSD and the clunky Windows Store platform gives errors when moving games installed on a secondary SSD between test systems.
Rise of The Tomb Raider
Rise of The Tomb Raider is a popular title which features both DX11 and DX12 modes. Heavy loading can be placed on the CPU, especially in the Syria and Geothermal Valley sections of the built-in benchmark.
We run the built-in benchmark using the DirectX 12 mode, a 1080p resolution, the Very High quality preset, and SMAA enabled.
Total War: Warhammer
Total War: Warhammer is another title which features both DX11 and DX12 modes. Heavy loading can be placed on the CPU using the built-in benchmark. The DX12 mode is poorly optimised and tries to force data through a low number of CPU threads rather than balance operations across multiple cores. As such, this gives a good look at pure gaming performance of each CPU in titles that aren’t well multi-threaded.
We run the built-in benchmark using the DirectX 12 mode, a 1080p resolution, and the Ultra quality preset.
Ashes of the Singularity puts the Ryzen 7 1700X around Haswell Core i7-4790K performance numbers. The 6C12T Broadwell-E 6800K is noticeably faster both at stock frequency and when overclocked.
Gears of War 4 puts Intel’s modern 4+ core chips ahead of the Ryzen 7 1700X. Looking at the actual numbers, though, the 1700X was able to deliver an average frame rate of 120 FPS at stock and 130 FPS when overclocked. Minimum FPS numbers were 91 and 98 at stock and overclocked speeds, respectively. Even to high refresh rate gamers, losses for Ryzen 7 in Gears of War 4 are hardly deal-breakers with the AMD chip putting out such functional real-world performance numbers. With that said, if you are a gamer who simply demands that your system has performance to lock your 120Hz monitor at its maximum refresh rate, Ryzen 7 will not do that.
Rise of the Tomb Raider in its DX12 mode is also slower on Ryzen 7 1700X than on many of the modern Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs that we compared it against. With that said, we are talking about average frame rates over 100 FPS for the 1700X, so this performance deficit is likely to be immaterial if you game at 60Hz or even 100Hz.
Clock speed and IPC are critical to Total War: Warhammer performance due to its preference for forcing data through a single thread. Even accounting for those limitations, the 1700X’s performance is noticeably lower than that of a 6C12T i7-6800K. You don’t need 100+ FPS in this game but if you want to run it at such levels, Ryzen 7 1700X is not a smart choice with settings turned up to Ultra.
DX12 Gaming Performance Overview:
DX12 gaming performance actually paints a more negative picture of Ryzen 7 1700X against Intel’s Core chips than DX11 performance does. With that said, both Gears of War 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider will happily run at 100+ FPS average on Ryzen 7 1700X, while Total War: Warhammer will generally stay above the refresh rate of a 60Hz monitor.
If you game at 60Hz, Ryzen 7 1700X is a fair choice for the DX12 titles that we have tested (ignoring Ashes of the Singularity’s CPU-intensive benchmark mode). Even to 100Hz+ gamers, Ryzen 7 1700X is still a solid choice, though there will be some compromises compared to Intel’s modern Core i7 CPUs.
It must be emphasised that AMD is suggesting poorer than anticipated gaming performance can be fixed via optimisation work from game developers. This is something that is worth bearing in mind when analysing the pros and cons of a Ryzen 7 purchase. However, we can only pass judgement on the performance numbers that we have gathered, not the ‘promise’ of improved results.