With 2017 finished, and Ryzen being very successful for AMD, the inevitable question was due: what happens next? Early in 2018, the plans were laid bare: a second generation Ryzen processor was set to come in mid-year, followed by a second generation Threadripper, using GlobalFoundries’ 12nm process. This is not AMD’s next big microarchitecture, which we know is called  Zen 2 on 7nm, but an opportunity to launch a wave of components with minor improvements and take advantage of a manufacturing process that gives more frequency and more performance. Today AMD is launching four CPUs, and we have tested them all.

Updates

  • (4/21) Some of our results, initially thought due to Spectre/Meltdown patches, were not in line with others. Testing audit was started.
  • (4/25) Our extensive internal audit showed reasons for the differences, as documented in detail in this follow-up article. In short, an issue with a non-standard use timers on Windows was causing the performance of both AMD and Intel processors to dip, particularly impacting the latter.
  • (5/2) Benchmark results have been updated.
  • (5/22) X470 Motherboard. StoreMI, and Power Analysis pages updated.
  • (5/26) Conclusion Updated, Performance Per Dollar graphs added.

Straight To The Scene: The New CPUs

For readers that only want one piece of information, this is it: AMD is launching the Ryzen 7 2700X, the Ryzen 7 2700, the Ryzen 5 2600X, and the Ryzen 5 2600.

AMD Ryzen 2000-Series CPUss
  Ryzen 7 2700X Ryzen 7 2700 Ryzen 5 2600X Ryzen 5 2600
CPU Cores/Threads 8 / 16 8 / 16 6 / 12 6 / 12
Base CPU Frequency 3.7 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.4 GHz
Turbo CPU Frequency 4.3 GHz 4.1 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.9 GHz
TDP @ Base Frequency 105 W 65 W 95 W 65 W
L1 Cache I: 64K. D: 32K I: 64K. D: 32K I: 64K. D: 32K I: 64K. D: 32K
L2 Cache 512 KB/core 512 KB/core 512 KB/core 512 KB/core
L3 Cache 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB
DRAM Support DDR4-2933
Dual Channel
DDR4-2933
Dual Channel
DDR4-2933
Dual Channel
DDR4-2933
Dual Channel
PCIe Lanes (CPU) 16 Free + 4 NVMe 16 Free + 4 NVMe 16 Free + 4 NVMe 16 Free + 4 NVMe
Price $329 $299 $229 $199
Bundled Cooler AMD Prism RGB AMD Spire RGB AMD Spire AMD Stealth

The Ryzen 7 2700X takes over the top spot from the Ryzen 7 1800X, and for an extra 10 W in TDP will provide a base frequency of 3.7 GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.3 GHz on its eight cores, with simultaneous multi-threading. This is an extra +100 MHz and +300 MHz respectively, going above the average limits of the 1800X when overclocked.

The 2700X also reduces the top cost for the best AM4 Ryzen processor: when launched, the 1800X was set at $499, without a bundled cooler, and was recently dropped to $349 as a price-competitor to Intel’s most powerful mainstream processor. The 2700X undercuts both, by being listed at a suggested e-tail price of $329, and is bundled with the best stock cooler in the business: AMD’s Wraith Prism RGB. AMD is attempting to hit all the targets: aggressive pricing, top performance, and best value, all in one go.

The Ryzen 5 2600X is the six-core option, also with an aggressive frequency strategy: 3.6 GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo. At a 95W TDP and a suggested retail price of $229, it comes bundled with AMD’s Wraith Spire cooler, which again is an impressive stock cooler.

The Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600 are the 65W versions of the X counterparts, offering near-similar frequencies for $30 less. All the CPUs will support dual-channel DDR4-2933 memory, up from the DDR4-2666 memory support of the 2017 Ryzen processors. One of the big changes is that now every processor comes with a bundled stock cooler, ranging from the Silent 65W Stealth models up to the big Prism RGB, all of which are easily sufficient for good turbo performance.

AMD’s intended AM4 Ryzen product line is now going to look like this:

AMD Ryzen Product Stacks & Launch Prices
Ryzen 1000 (2017) Ryzen 2000 (2018)
Ryzen 7 1800X $499 Ryzen 7 2700X $329
Ryzen 7 1700X $399
Ryzen 7 1700 $329 Ryzen 7 2700 $299
Ryzen 5 1600X $249 Ryzen 5 2600X $229
Ryzen 5 1600 $219 Ryzen 5 2600 $199
Ryzen 5 1500X $189 Ryzen 5 1500X $159
Ryzen 5 1400 $169 Ryzen 5 2400G $169
Ryzen 3 1300X $129 Ryzen 3 1300X $114
Ryzen 3 1200 $109 Ryzen 3 2200G $99

At the top, the 2700X takes over from both the 1700X and 1800X. Rather than having three Ryzen 7 CPUs in the market for this generation, AMD examined its product line and opted on two, perhaps based on sales figures. As seen in this review, the 2700X is already pushing the silicon process to the limit, so there is not much headroom to go above this product for a new model in the future.

The full list ends up being a mix of Ryzen 2000-series CPUs (the new ones), Ryzen 2000-series APUs, and a pair of Ryzen 1000-series. We already examined the APUs in great detail in the past few weeks, showing that they directly replaced some of the original first-generation parts very easily. So far the four new 2000-series will sit at the top of the pile, however AMD’s strategy is often to drip feed its new parts, so we might see some more 2000-series as time goes on.

The Other Information From Today’s Launch

No launch is complete without talking about the features. AMD is using GlobalFoundries’ 12nm manufacturing process which has obvious on-paper benefits, however there are a number of internal firmware adjustments to touch upon, updated features and roles for AMD’s Precision Boost and XFR technologies that can have direct impacts on performance, a new chipset (along with 30+ motherboards) to run alongside the current offerings, and also new/renamed features such StoreMI. We also want to examine how these new products fit into AMD’s longer term plans and whether they are on track.

We’ll cover these in the next few pages, as well as the results from our testing.

  • Talking 12nm: GlobalFoundries and Extra Performance
  • Improvements to the Cache Hierarchy: +3%  IPC and +10% Overall
  • Precision Boost 2: Getting More Hertz Across The Board
  • XFR2: A Dynamic Response to Cooling
  • New X470 Chipset and Motherboards: A Focus on Power
  • StoreMI: The Way To A Faster JBOD
  • Power Analysis
  • Our CPU Benchmarking Results
  • Our Gaming CPU Benchmarking Results
  • Conclusions

AMD’s Ryzen 2000 Competition: Intel’s Coffee Lake

As part of today’s launch, AMD went into extensive benchmarking detail about its new chips. It was abundantly clear from the data provided that these new processors are aimed squarely at Intel’s most recent mainstream processors: Coffee Lake. This is in contrast to when the Ryzen 1000-series was launched last year, when the octo-core Ryzen 7 1800X was compared against an 8-core Broadwell-E: in the interim Intel has updated its mainstream processor line to six-cores with high frequencies.

As a result, AMD is suggesting to compare the Ryzen 7 2700X against the Core i7-8700K and the Ryzen 5 2600X against the Core i5-8500K. This is significant – now both of the main x86 players in the processor market are keen to pit their most recent products against each other in a head to head battle. This hasn’t really happened like this for a number of generations. However, certain metrics will still run true as to the launch last year:

  • Intel is expected to have a frequency and IPC advantage
  • AMD’s counter is to come close on frequency and offer more cores at the same price

It is easy for AMD to wave the multi-threaded crown with its internal testing, however the single thread performance is still a little behind. A number of the new features with the Ryzen 2000-series are designed to help this: slightly higher IPC, higher frequencies, a higher TDP, and a better dynamic frequency boost model. We will cover these over the next few pages.

Comparison: Ryzen 7 2700X vs Core i7-8700K
AMD
Ryzen 7 2700X
Features Intel
Core i7-8700K
8 / 16 Cores/Threads 6 / 12
3.7 / 4.3 GHz Base/Turbo 3.7 / 4.7
16 (Free) + 4 (NVMe) PCIe 3.0 Lanes 16 (Free)
512 KB/core L2 Cache 256 KB/core
16 MB L3 Cache 12 MB
105 W TDP 95 W
$329 Price (List) $349

Frequencies and core counts are one part of the equation, though the way that AMD and Intel have different cache models will also play a significant part. One of the things we will see in this analysis is the comparative cache metrics, as well as the tuning AMD has done to close the gap. For pricing, AMD has put the Ryzen 7 2700X below the i7-8700K, as well as bundling the Wraith Prism RGB stock cooler which easily replaces any $30-40 cooler, saving the user some money.

Comparison: Ryzen 5 2600X vs Core i5-8600K
AMD
Ryzen 5 2600X
Features Intel
Core i5-8600K
6 / 12 Cores/Threads 6 / 6
3.6 / 4.2 GHz Base/Turbo 3.6 / 4.3
16 (Free) + 4 (NVMe) PCIe 3.0 Lanes 16 (Free)
512 KB/core L2 Cache 256 KB/core
16 MB L3 Cache 9 MB
95 W TDP 95 W
$229 Price (List) $239

The Ryzen 5 2600X comparison with the Core i5-8600K is much closer than the higher-end parts. These components share core counts, although the Ryzen 5 has double the threads. For any multithreaded workload that can take advantage of simultaneous multithreading is likely to pull ahead. The Core i5-8600K is slightly ahead in core frequency, and is expected to have an IPC advantage as well. Again, AMD bundles the CPU with a good stock cooler, whereas Intel’s offering is poor-to-nil.

Overall, AMD is claiming that its high-end processors will come in within 1-2% of the competition at 1440p gaming, but give +20% in ‘creative performance’. We’ve got a few ways to test this.

Talking 12nm and Zen+
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  • YukaKun - Saturday, April 21, 2018 - link

    Oh, I'm actually curious about your experience with all the systems.

    I'm still running my i7 2700K at ~4.6Ghz. I do agree I haven't felt that it's a ~2012 CPU and it does everything pretty damn well still, but I'd like to know if you have noticed a difference between the new AMD and your Sandy Bridge. Same for when you assemble the 2700X.

    I'm trying to find an excuse to get the 2700X, but I just can't find one, haha.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Luckz - Monday, April 23, 2018 - link

    The the once in a lifetime chance to largely keep your CPU name (2700K => 2700X) should be all the excuse you need. Reply
  • YukaKun - Monday, April 23, 2018 - link

    That is so incredibly superficial and dumb... I love it!

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, April 23, 2018 - link

    YukaKun, your 2700K is only at 4.6? Deary me, should be 5.0 and proud, doable with just a basic TRUE and one fan. 8) For reference btw, a 2700K at 5GHz gives the same threaded performance as a 6700K at stock.

    And I made a typo in my earlier reply, mentioned the wrong XEON model, should have been the 2680 V2.
    Reply
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - link

    For daily usage and stability, I found that 4.6Ghz worked best in terms of noise/heat/power ratios.

    I also did not disable any power saving features, so it does not work unnecessarily when not under heavy load.

    I'm using AS5 with a TT Frio (the original one) on top, so it's whisper quiet at 4.6Ghz and I like it like that. When I made it work at 5Ghz, I found I had to have the fans near 100%, so it wasn't something I'd like, TBH.

    But, all of this to say: yes, I've done it, but settled with 4.6Ghz.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Friday, March 29, 2019 - link

    (an old thread, but in case someone comes across it...)

    I use dynamic vcore so I still get the clock/voltage drops when idle. I'm using a Corsair H80 with 2x NDS 120mm PWM, so also quiet even at full load; no need for such OTT cooling to handle the load heat, but using an H80 means one can have low noise aswell. An ironic advantage of the lower thermal density of the older process sizes. Modern CPUs with the same TDP dump it out in a smaller area, making it more difficult to keep cool.

    Having said that, I've been recently pondering an upgrade to have much better general idle power draw and a decent bump for threaded performance. Considering a Ryzem 5 2600 or 7 2700, but might wait for Zen2, not sure yet.
    Reply
  • moozooh - Sunday, April 22, 2018 - link

    No, it might have to do with the fact that the 8350K has 1.5x the cache size and beastly per-thread performance that is also sustained at all times—so it doesn't have to switch from a lower-powered state (which the older CPUs were slower at), nor does it taper off as other cores get loaded, which is most noticeable on the the things Samus mentioned, ie. "boot times, app launches and gaming". Boot times and app launches are both essentially single-thread tasks with no prior context, and gaming is where a CPU upgrade like that will improve worst-case scenarios by at least an order of magnitude, which is really what's most noticeable.

    For instance, if your monitor is 60Hz and your average framerate is 70, you won't notice the difference between 60 and 70—you will only notice the time spent under 60. Even a mildly overclocked 8350K is still the one of best gaming CPUs for this reason, easily rivaling or outperforming previous-gen Ryzens in most cases and often being on par with the much more expensive 8700K where thread count isn't as important as per-thread performance for responsiveness and eliminating stutters. When pushed to or above 5 GHz, I'm reasonably certain it will still give many of the newer, more expensive chips, a run for their money.
    Reply
  • spdragoo - Friday, April 20, 2018 - link

    Memory prices? Memory prices are still pretty much the way they've always been:
    -- faster memory costs (a little) more than slower memory
    -- larger memory sticks/kits cost (a little) more than smaller sticks/kits
    -- last-gen RAM (DDR3) is (very slightly) cheaper than current-gen RAM (DDR4)

    I suppose you can wait 5 billion years for the Sun to fade out, at which point all RAM (or whatever has replaced it by then) will have the same cost ($0...since no one will be around to buy or sell it)...but I don't think you need to worry about that.
    Reply
  • Ferrari_Freak - Friday, April 20, 2018 - link

    You didn't write anything about price there... All you've said is that relative pricing for things is the same it has always been, and that's no surprise.

    The $$$ cost of any give stick is more than it was a year or two ago. 2x8gb DDR4-3200 G.Skill Ripjaws V is $180 on Newegg today. It was $80 two years ago. Clearly not the way they've always been...
    Reply
  • James5mith - Friday, April 20, 2018 - link

    2x16GB Crucial DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM kit.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019FRCV9G/

    November 29th 2016 (when I purchased): $172

    Current Amazon price for exact same kit: $329
    Reply

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