AMD Ryzen 5 1500X evaluation: after the six-core highs come the quad-core lows

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AMD Ryzen 5 1500X review

The Ryzen 5 1500X is the scaled down mid-range associate to AMD’s most interesting gaming chip ever, the R5 1600X. It’s retailing for $189 (£190) which then places the primary Intel K-series i3, the 7350K, firmly in its sights.

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It’s virtually an unfair comparability as a result of we’re speaking about pitching the quad-core, eight-thread 1500X in opposition to a HyperThreaded dual-core chip with half the thread-count of this Ryzen 5 processor, however that’s simply the way in which issues are with the Intel vs. AMD debate in 2017.

The large questions for this cut-down Ryzen 5 chip although are: how properly does the structure take care of being chopped up this a lot, can it nonetheless preserve tempo with Intel’s gaming prowess and might it justify its value within the face of its hexcore siblings?

Point your cursor at whichever of the leap hyperlinks takes your fancy and also you’ll get there very quickly. 

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X specs

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X specs

The R5 1500X is the top-end quad-core Ryzen CPU, however due to the addition of simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) within the combine the chip comes with a full eight threads of processing potential. That’s the identical important make-up of the Core i7 7700K from Intel, although with out the gaming grunt of their flagship Kaby Lake processor.

In a financially-smart transfer AMD are utilizing the identical base processor design to create all of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 chips. They’ve created a single eight-core, sixteen thread design – the top-end Ryzen 7 1800X – and for the lower-spec components are easy disabling cores and/or clocking them slower. Under the heatspreader then this quad-core 1500X is definitely only a hobbled octa-core CPU.

That makes issues simpler, and cheaper, from an R&D perspective in addition to from a producing one. The 14nm manufacturing course of continues to be comparatively new, particularly for AMD CPUs, and so this technique permits them to nonetheless use any silicon that comes off the manufacturing line which can not handle to get all its cores and threads operating on the speeds wanted for the highest chips. These less-capable processors can then be repurposed and shipped as slower Ryzen 7 chips or lower down Ryzen 5 CPUs.

For the uninitiated, the Zen processor design is constructed from quad-core blocks of silicon referred to as core complexes (CCX). For the Ryzen chips they incorporate a pair of those CCX to make up the complete eight-core base design, which then talk with each other throughout a proprietary interconnect AMD calls Infinity Fabric.

Like with the cut-down hexcore design AMD are ensuring to maintain issues symmetrical once they make their incisions into the silicon. They’re arranging the quad-core variants in such a method as to allow half the 4 core CCX on both aspect of the connecting Infinity Fabric in a two-plus-two format.

This is to make sure Windows scheduler doesn’t get too out of whack when attempting to portion workloads for the completely different threads and may guarantee they’re not oddly metered out throughout the Infinity Fabric interconnect if they are often saved to a single bodily core. 

The 1500X can also be the primary 65W ‘X’ sequence chip. That means in addition to having a decrease TDP it additionally doesn’t battle below the bizarre 20॰C offset that the 95W ‘X’ chips sport.

If you need a extra detailed run-down of the Zen structure we’ve gone into higher depth in our primary AMD Zen feature.

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X benchmarks

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X benchmarks

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X overclocking


AMD Ryzen 5 1500X efficiency

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X performance

Even if we’re wanting on the R5 1500X purely within the context of the way it performs up in opposition to the Core i3 7350Ok it finally ends up wanting just a little muddled, extra so in the event you convey the Ryzen 5 1600X or straight 1600 into the equation. The hexcore chips are so good at what they do due to the mix of comparatively excessive clockspeed and hefty multi-threaded grunt, all offsetting their less-powerful straight line gaming efficiency.

The slower-paced quad-core, eight-thread chip alternatively doesn’t have that a lot further within the tank. That means it drops properly behind the upper spec Ryzen 5 CPUs in all exams, and typically even behind the dual-core Intel processor relating to gaming. And, contemplating how shut it’s when it comes to pricing, the six-core, 1600 is a much more tempting various. For the sake of $30 I believe you’d be a idiot to go for the quad as a substitute.

AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5

That’s true whether or not you’re wanting on the gaming body charges or the straight CPU efficiency within the rendering or encoding exams. The further threads of the 1500X over the 7350Ok means it’s bought the win over the dual-core chip, however in contrast with the hexcore 1600X (and, by extension, the R5 1600 too) it’s a great distance off.

It’s truly solely bought a comparatively small multi-threaded lead over the resolutely quad-core i5 6600Ok too. That could also be primarily all the way down to the very fact the 6600Ok is clocked so excessive to start with, however the 1500X couldn’t even break the 4GHz barrier when overclocked, in order that delta is much more crushed once you push the 6600Ok as much as full pace at four.6GHz.

What the 1500X can provide although is impressively low temperatures, nevertheless, it’s not just like the Ryzen 5 1600X is especially toasty when you low cost the odd 20॰C temperature offset they’ve caught on the 95W chips.

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X verdict

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X verdict

After the highs of the Ryzen 5 1600X its quad-core sibling looks like a little bit of a disappointment. I’m nonetheless attempting to determine what it’s actually for. At just below $200 it’s merely priced too near the $219 (£220) hexcore 1600. That’s a six-core, 12-thread CPU which is actually only a down-clocked model of the 1600X. It’s nonetheless multiplier-unlocked which should imply overclocking that chip just a little ought to internet you virtually the identical efficiency because the ‘X’ sequence CPU.

So, what are you getting by saving $30 and shedding two bodily cores and all the additional gaming efficiency the hexcore processors can provide? Nada. It’s marginally cooler than the 1600X below load, however not by sufficient to make any real distinction in the event you’re operating a good air or closed-loop liquid cooler. And it definitely doesn’t enable the 1500X to overclock any higher, actually we couldn’t even get it as much as 4GHz.

The Ryzen 5 1500X’s gaming chops additionally go away just a little to be desired, typically even shedding out to the dual-core 7350Ok, although solely in a number of exams. But typically it’s comparatively far behind the six-core Ryzen on all counts. There’s additionally the truth that regardless that it’s bought twice the thread-count of the quad-core Intel 6600Ok it’s nowhere close to being twice as fast within the multi-threaded exams the place you’d anticipate a good lead.

Maybe at $150 the R5 1500X would possibly make some sense, however I’ve bought a sense that’s the place pricing is more likely to begin for the Ryzen three processors that are set to comply with in most likely solely a matter of weeks. Those would be the price range chips, nevertheless it nonetheless stays to be seen how properly these tremendous cut-down Ryzens are going to have the ability to match as much as the lower-end of Intel’s gaming processors.

At this value although I’m actually struggling to discover a motive to advocate the Ryzen 5 1500X so, properly, I’m not going to. Save up just a little and get a 1600 as a substitute, I imply it is simply $15 per further core…