We’re less than a week away from the 11th April launch of AMD’s Ryzen 5 CPUs, which will retail from just £169 for a 4-core, 8-thread CPU and $249 for a six-core in the form of the Ryzen 5 1600X. However, with Ryzen 5 samples already for sale on eBay, it was only a matter of time till someone jumped the gun and sure enough a full review of the Ryzen 5 1600 – the second most powerful Ryzen 5 CPU, has been published over on ElchapuzasInformatico.
Once again, in multi-threaded applications, AMD is looking extremely strong and usually has a good lead on the far more expensive Intel Core i7-7700K. The Intel CPU sports a higher clock speed, but only has four physical cores and eight threads, compared to the six cores and 12 threads of the AMD Ryzen 5 1600. The AMD CPU costs $219, while on Newegg today the Intel CPU will set you back $350.
The x264 benchmark looks at video encoding performance and has the AMD CPU slightly ahead of the Core i7. Even more impressive is the Cinebench R15 rendering test, where the AMD CPU’s score of 1,123 is not just faster than the stock speed Core i7-7700K, but it actually beat it when the Intel CPU was overclocked to 4.9GHz too. This is with the Ryzen 5 1600 at stock speed of course – the reviewer managed to get the AMD CPU to a frequency of 3.9GHz using a CPU voltage of just 1.3V, which is 700MHz above its base frequency of 3.2GHz.
This should mean it’s able to beat Intel’s Core i7-6850K, which is also a 6-core/12-thread CPU. This managed 1,209 in Cinebench in my own tests, so the 1,123 score of the stock speed Ryzen 5 should mean it can easily pass the Intel 6-core once overclocked. That would mean this $200 CPU could end up being faster than a $600 Intel CPU, which is massively exciting for anyone that does a lot of multi-threaded work.
As usual, though, the Ryzen CPU wasn’t able to deliver the same hammer blow in games. Intel’s Core i7-6700K – the predecessor to the 7700K, was usually ahead in the games that Elchapuzas Informatico ran, such as Rise of Tomb Raider, Metro Redux and Doom. Using DX11 in Battlefield 1 saw the Intel CPU post some faster frame rates again, although in DX12 it was neck and neck.
Elchapuzas Informatico has published a review of the Ryzen 5 1600
The argument that we’ve seen about AMD’s lack of grunt at lower resolutions doesn’t hold up here, though. While you might not be gaming at 1,920 x 1,080 with a $350 Ryzen 7 1700, this is absolutely a resolution that potential Ryzen 5 owners will be gaming at.
I should point out, though, that the Intel CPU was Intel’s last generation flagship mainstream CPU, which is clocked higher and costs a lot more than the AMD CPU. A fairer comparison would have been an Intel Core i5 7500, which costs around $210, or maybe the unlocked Core i5-7600K, which costs $20 more than the AMD CPU, both lacking hyper-threading and the additional four threads of the Core i7-6700K and 7700K.
This is our first look at how the Ryzen 5 series CPUs will measure up in the critical mid-range market. It’s a key battleground for AMD as the cheaper model, the 4-core/8-thread Ryzen 5 1400, costs just $169, making it close to the same price as some of Intel’s 2-core/4-thread Core i3 CPUs, and potentially very attractive for budget conscious PC gamers.
I’ll be covering the Ryzen 5 launch reviews coverage next week as well as any other Ryzen news between now and then so don’t forget to follow me here on Forbes, Facebook or Twitter.