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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  • jor5 - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Pull this shambles and repost when you've corrected it fully. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, May 14, 2018 - link

    Not an argument. It is just as interesting to learn about how and why this issue occured, to understand the nature of benchmarking. Life isn't just about being spoonfed end nuggets of things, the process itself is relevant. Or would you rather we don't learn from history? Reply
  • peevee - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    When 65W i7 8700 is 15% faster in Octane 2.0 than 105W Rizen 7 2700x, it is just sad.

    Of course, the horrible x64 practically demands than compilers must optimize for a very specific CPU implementation (choosing and sorting instructions in the code accordingly), AMD could have at least realized the fact and optimize their own implementation for the same Intel-optimized code generators...
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Intel compilers and libraries tend not to use the ideal instructions unless they detect a GenuineIntel signature via CPUID - it'll likely use the default lowest-common-denominator pathway instead.

    TDP is more of a guideline - it doesn't determine actual power usage (we've seen Coffee Lake use way more than the TDP), let alone the power used in a particular operation. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if Intel were more efficient in this particular test. But it'd be interesting to know how much impact Meltdown patches have in that area; they might well increase the amount of time the CPU spends idle (but not idle enough to go into a sleep mode) as it waited to fetch instructions.
    Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Compare power consumption to blender score. Ryzen is about 9% more power efficient.

    TDP is literally Thermal Design Power. It has nothing to do with power consumption.
    Reply
  • peevee - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    "TDP is literally Thermal Design Power. It has nothing to do with power consumption."

    Unless you have invented a way to overcome energy conservation law, power consumed = power dissipated.
    Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    It's a guideline for cooling solutions. Look at the power consumption numbers in this test for example.

    Ryzen 2700X power consumption under full load 110W.
    Intel i7 8700K power consumption under full load 120W.

    Both are at stock speeds with the Ryzen having 8 cores versus 6 cores, and scoring 2700X 24% higher Cinebench scores. Ryzen is rated at 105W TDP so actual power consumption at stock speed is pretty close. The 8700K uses 120W so it's pretty far from the 95W TDP it is rated at.
    Reply
  • ijdat - Saturday, April 28, 2018 - link

    The 8700 also uses 120W so it's even further from the 65W TDP it's rated at. In comparison Ryzen 2700 uses 45W when it has the same rated 65W TDP. I know which one I'd prefer to put into a quiet low-power system... Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, May 14, 2018 - link

    Perhaps this is AMD's biggest win this time round, potent HTPC setups. Reply
  • peevee - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    "Intel compilers "

    What Intel compilers have to do with it?
    Reply

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