The 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs from AMD are finally available to consumers starting today. With AMD promising improved clock speeds, overclocking, better memory capabilities and general improvements to the architecture, we have a look at the next gen Ryzen processors.
First and foremost, lets talk specs. AMD will be rolling out 3 new processors as part of the 2nd Gen Ryzen wave. The king of the hill, Ryzen 7 2700X and the lower clocked 2700 which also draws significantly less power. Then the mainstream Ryzen 5 2600X and it’s slightly slower sibling, the 2600. The Cache, PCIe lanes and memory support is uniform across the board. All the 2nd Gen Ryzen processors come with 16 MB of L3 cache, 512 KB/Core of L2 and 96 KB of L1 (I: 64K. D: 32K). All the CPUs have 20 PCIe lanes, 16 for a discrete GPU and 4 for SSDs. The memory support is also identical for all the four processors, with 2933 Mhz, Dual Channel DDR4 memory capability.
The differences arise when we move onto the Core count, Clock and the TDP. While the Ryzen 7 CPUs each have 8 cores and 16 threads, the Ryzen 5 parts have 6 and 12 respectively. The 2700X and 2600X are clocked at 4.3 and 4.2 Ghz, and their non-X counterparts are a tad bit slower coming in at 4.1 and 3.9 Ghz. The non-X parts make up for the slower clock speeds with a much lower TDP of 65W. Comparatively, the 2700X and 2600X have a TDP of 105W and 95W, respectively. All these new Ryzen CPUs are clocked appreciably higher than their predecessors that would hit a wall around 4 Ghz. This indicates that the 2nd gen Ryzen CPUs should overclock relatively better.
The heatsinks are also different for each of these CPUs. The top-end Ryzen 7 2700X gets the AMD Prism RGB and the 2700 gets the AMD Spire RGB. Lastly, the Ryzen 5 2600X comes bundled with the AMD spire while the 2600 with the AMD Stealth. As for the costs, all the 2nd Gen Ryzen parts are priced quite aggressively. While the 2700X is available for $329, lower than both Intel’s Coffee Lake competitor as well as the 1st Gen Ryzen 1700X which costs $349 at the moment. The non-X version of the 2700X is priced at $299 which is a pretty good bargain for a minor drop in core frequency. As for the 95W 2600X, the price is $229, and the 2600 at $199. Given the 65W TDP of the 2600 and the sub $200 price-tag it is hard to recommend any other CPU for home or office use if you are on a budget. That deal is even harder to resist when you consider the fact that both the Ryzen 5 CPUs are bundled with AMD ‘s new coolers/heatsinks. Keep in mind that the AMD CPU heatsinks are way better than the trash that Intel provides or at least used to provide with it’s products.
2nd Gen Ryzen Benchmarks: Synthetics
We kick off the CPU benchmarks with the trusty Cinebench:
The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X routs all competition in the multi-threaded Cinebench test, just like it’s predecessor. However, in the single threaded test, the Intel Coffee lake Core i7 8700K still holds the performance crown. The Ryzen 7 2700X comes in third in the single threaded test, marginally slower than the i7 8600K. However, the overclocked results are still in Intel’s favor, and both the i7 and i5 processors gain heftily, while the 2nd Ryzen Gen CPUs are more or less unaffected by the overclocking attempts.
PC Mark takes into account the extra Zen cores that come packed with the new Ryzen CPUs, and the top positions are once again dominated by the 2nd Gen Ryzen chips. Overclocking the 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs however didn’t yield any solid results. In comparison, Intel got some sweet gains and so did the older Ryzen parts. Looks like the increases in the core clocks in the new Ryzen CPUs has left no headroom for overclocking via conventional means.
2nd Gen Ryzen Benchmarks: Content Creation Benchmarks
Corona is one application that leverages both core count and core clock rather well and both the factors are taken into account to give the resultant performance. As a result, here the Skylake X Core i7 7820X comes in first, only to be beaten by the overclocked AMD Ryzen 7 2700X. Although, we reckon the the Skylake X would regain the top spot once pushed to it’s limit. Overall, this is where the enthusiast CPUs with “Moar cores” dominate. The Core i7 7700K, i5 8600K are at the bottom of the rug. The Intel Core i7 8700K when pushed to 5.2 Ghz does eclipse the Ryzen 7 1800X, but falls short of the new 2700X.
Just like Corona, blender once again reiterates that in content creation and professional tasks, cores make the difference, although the clock speeds are also instrumental when it comes to deciding the fastest piece of hardware. Here once again the Intel Skylake X and the Ryzen octa-core parts take the top spots, only to lose the first one to the overclocked Coffee Lake Core i7 8700K. The Intel CPUs perform relatively better in Blender compared to Corona.
Adobe Premier Pro Encode
Same results once again, except the Ryzen 7 2700X regains the top spot. The Core i7 7820X comes in second while the Coffee Lake i7 8700K OC’d manages to grab the third place. Same story once again, both the core count and the core frequency have a strong impact on performance, almost equally.
2nd Gen Ryzen Benchmarks: Productivity
Just like it’s predecessor, the new Ryzen processors perform nicely in Handbrake. Handbrake seems to appreciate the high core count that Ryzen offers and leverages them properly. In comparison, the Intel 8th gen Coffee Lake i7 comes in a third and the i5 follows the Ryzen 5 1600X closely.
Just like their predecessors, the Ryzen 2nd gen processors put up a strong show in 7-zip. 7-zip seems to benefit from core count more than the frequency, as it’s clear from the fact that all top four performers are 8 core/16 thread Ryzen CPUs. The fastest Intel chip is the Skylake X part, while the Coffee Lake Core i7 8700K comes in fourth that too after a major 5.2 Ghz overclock.
2nd Gen Ryzen Benchmarks: 1080p Gaming
Ashes of the Singlularity
Ashes of the Singularity is a major AMD title, but despite that Intel walks away with the top score. The Kaby Lake Core i7 OC’d gets 52 FPS at high setting using the DX12 API, while the 1st Gen AMD Ryzen 5 1600X OC’d comes in a close 2nd. The stock i7 8700K gets an identical score. The 2nd Gen Ryzen 7 2700X gets the 3rd spot with a faster 3400Mhz RAM kit. This proves that AMD still has ways to go before it beats Intel in gaming, although it has come real close. Overclocking seems to make a drastic impact on performance for all the CPUs here.
Deus Ex Mankind Divided
Once again Intel proves that gaming is it’s own turf. In Deus Ex Mankind Divided at 1080p, all top four spots are claimed by Intel Coffee Lake CPUs. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X comes in fourth, with faster memory. However, the difference here between the various CPUs isn’t significant and to AMD’s credit they seem to have made remarkable strides with the 2nd Gen Ryzen chips. The 2700X with faster RAM is 5 FPS faster than the 1800X.
Fallout 4 was an NVIDIA partnered title, as such the Ryzen CPUs give a relatively lack-luster performance. The top four spots on the chart are bagged by the Coffee Lake Intel Core i7 CPUs. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X give identical performances in Fallout 4. This game seems hungry for single core performance, as is clear from this fact. Again, these FPS scores are all 100+ so shouldn’t cause any notable CPU bottlenecks.
Final Fantasy XV
The PC port of Final Fantasy XV was a technological marvel. Although an NVIDIA title, it runs well on all systems once the gameworks features are turned off. This game however seems to run into a GPU bottleneck at 1080p. The average FPS varies by just 1 FPS across the top-end and bottom-end contestant. All in all, I’d say this is a win for AMD. It once again it proves that a lot of games don’t utilize the extra cores present on the the enthusiast CPUs.
2nd Gen Ryzen Benchmarks: 1080p Gaming Average
As said earlier, Intel still retains the performance crown in gaming, thanks to the higher IPC, core clocks and the overclocking capabilities. However, to AMD’s credit the gap is now smaller. In comparison to the Ryzen 7 1800X, the Ryzen 7 2700X is 5 FPS or ~5% faster and can now keep up with the Kaby Lake i7 7700K. The Coffee Lake CPUs are still out of reach but in the future the gap will be closed.
Power Draw and Thermals
When it comes to the power consumption and the TDP, thanks to it’s refined architecture and improvements over the decade Intel is superior to AMD. This was evident when the older Ryzen chips were tested and it is further validated with today’s tests.
The stock power draw for the Intel Coffee Lake i7 8700K is a meager 161W, while the AMD Ryzen 2700X pulls a considerable 220W. AMD seems to have concentrated purely on the performance gains with it’s 2nd gen Ryzen offerings, and neglected the TDP. Even the older Ryzen chips consume less in comparison. The Ryzen 5 2600X ends up drawing 195W. This is much higher than the rated 105W and 95W for the 2700X and 2600X, respectively.
On overclocking, the 2700X almost nears the 300W mark, while the hexa-core 2600X maintains a respectable 221W. The Intel chips seem to surge as well however not nearly as much as the Ryzen chips. The older Ryzen chips stay within the expected parameters, as such we expect the erratic power draw of the 2nd Gen Ryzen chips can be patched via a BIOS update.
Thanks to the AMD wraith coolers bundled with the new chips, the stock temps are more than acceptable. However, the same can’t be said for the OC’d configs. The system crashed multiple times in Blender and other times reached temps exceeding 90+. In games and other apps however, the going was smooth.
2nd Gen Ryzen Chips: Overclocking
The first gen Ryzen chips struggled when it came to overclocking. Many enthusiasts reported that their parts hit a hard wall at 3.5 Ghz, while for others this was 4.0 Ghz. AMD was promising better overclocks with the 2nd Gen Ryzen parts. It seems that it was merely a marketing stunt. Most reviewers have barely been able to hit 4.2 Ghz with the Ryzen 7 2700X and lower with the 2600X.
This is one facet where the Zen architecture still falls flat. Intel chips walk away with wins multiple times thanks to their exceptional overclocking capacity. Granted there are some people out there who have pushed their Ryzen chips to 5+ Ghz, but none of them were achieved via conventional means.
Conclusion: Is Ryzen For Gaming or Content Creation
The short answer to that question is that while the AMD Ryzen CPUs are more suited to content creation and other related tasks, they can very well be used for gaming. However, if you want the top of the hill CPU and have the money to spare then Intel Coffee Lake is the way to go.
For the masses though, who take the price performance ratio into consideration, the Ryzen 2700X which is available for $329 is both cheaper and faster than Intel’s offerings, excluding gaming of course. Even if you a gamer, you are much more likely to run into a GPU bottleneck than a CPU block. So it will be better to invest in a 2700, or a 2600X and overclock it. This way you save money for a more powerful discrete GPU and get a near identical performance with respect an Intel chip.
With the 2nd gen Ryzen chips, AMD has proved that it will continue to push Intel into a corner, and seems that it’s going to be dark corner. It may still take a bit to snatch the gaming crown from Intel and overclocking is an issue, but it’s good to see that AMD is on the track.
- Splendid Multi-threaded Score
- Improved Gaming Performance
- Higher memory and Core clocks
- Decent Stock Cooler
- Aggressive Pricing
- Intel still retains the Gaming Crown
- Overclocking is not Impressive
- Single Threaded Performance could be Better
- Power Draw is Relatively High