Up For Debate - Which AMD Ryzen CPU Looks Like the Best Buy?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Feb 26, 2017 4:00 PM

Forget about days, we can now feasibly count down the hours until AMD’s next-generation Ryzen CPUs are unleashed on the world. To say they look like a bargain seems like a huge understatement. Ladies and gents, this is what competition for Intel finally looks like. Over in Silicon Valley the blue team is probably proverbially cacking itself.

From what we’ve seen so far of AMD’s Ryzen (including leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen R7 1700X and AMD’s Ryzen R5 1600X), first impressions are that while AMD may not necessarily be smashing Intel in terms of performance, it very much is when it comes to price. Some of these CPUs offer the same performance as Intel processors triple their price. At this stage if you’re looking to buy a new gaming CPU it seems like an absolute no brainer to fall down on the Team Red side of the fence.

It’s got Intel spooked and they've panicked in spectacular fashion. Kaby Lake has only been on store shelves for about six weeks and already Intel has basically written the entire family off. The arrival of the 8th generation of CPUs has been accelerated (with Intel citing some modest 15% performance gains), effectively letting the world know it’s current crop of CPUs don’t quite make the grade in terms of price to performance.

Without a doubt it’s going to be an absolutely fascinating time in the CPU industry. This is the type of assault we haven’t seen AMD attempt in as much as a decade. Where there’s intense competition the customer always wins. It’s a fantastic time to think about an upgrade, but if you were going to down the AMD Ryzen route, what CPU would you hand over your hard earned cash for? Is there particular Ryzen CPU which is a major standout, perhaps offering great specs for a bargain bin price? Let us know!

AMD Ryzen R7 CPUs

CPU Core/Thread L3 Cache TDP Base Clock Boost Clock Price
R7 1800X 8/16 16MB 95W 3.6GHz 4.0GHz $499
R7 1700X 8/16 16MB 95W 3.4GHz 3.8GHz $389
R7 1700 8/16 16MB 65W 3.0GHz 3.7GHz $319

AMD Ryzen R5 CPUs

CPU Core/Thread L3 Cache TDP Base Clock Boost Clock Price
R5 1600X 6/12 16MB 95W 3.3GHz 3.7GHz $259
R5 1500 6/12 16MB 65W 3.2GHz 3.5GHz $229
R5 1400X 4/8 8MB 65W 3.5GHz 3.9GHz $199
R5 1300 4/8 8MB 65W 3.2GHz 3.5GHz $175

AMD Ryzen R3 CPUs

CPU Core/Thread L3 Cache TDP Base Clock Boost Clock Price
R3 1200X 4/4 8MB 65W 3.4GHz 3.8GHz $149
R3 1100 4/4 8MB 65W 3.2GHz 3.5GHz $129

Which AMD Ryzen CPU Looks Like the Best Buy?

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08:00 Feb-27-2017

i really want to see a gaming benchmark comparing my CPU to the R5 1600X , it will give me an idea of how much time i got before an upgrade would be essential.

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07:49 Feb-27-2017

Now where are the reference motherboards for Ryzen? >.>

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06:17 Feb-27-2017

i think i would go for r5 1400x, because it would be a huge improvement over my current i3 4160 and i dont have much money to spend, having in mind that i would still need a new motherboard and ram

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03:26 Feb-27-2017

I know the 1700X isn't a good value, but I don't care and that isn't why I chose it over the 1700, XFR, better binning and higher TDP is why

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03:51 Feb-27-2017

Pft i got the 1700x its absolutely good value compared to Intel.

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22:32 Feb-26-2017

What Ryzen CPU would be a good fit for a 490/490x or a 1080 Ti (assuming its coming)?

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22:33 Feb-26-2017

If you're going to shell out for a top tier card, it really doesn't make much sense to settle for anything less than a top tier CPU.... so that's kindof a nobrainer.... 1800x ;)

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23:19 Feb-26-2017

Yes, I was just wondering about it because when you usually consider the intel lineup of processors, the 8 core cpus and above are usually overkill. Most people would opt for no more than a 7700K even for the high/enthusiast level cards. Maybe the 1800x would be the sweet spot for Ryzen when it comes to high end?

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00:25 Feb-27-2017

The 1800X will no doubt be overkill, but considering the price difference between what you'd pay for an Intel "enthusiast grade" CPU and the 1800X, I'd say it's definitely an option.... another thing, it's the highest clocked of the entire Ryzen line so far, so you're likely to see the best gaming performance from it.

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07:50 Feb-27-2017

1700x with a better mobo and maybe a liquid cooling solution will be better because imo the 100$ gap would not be justified in gaming.

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22:08 Feb-26-2017

1700X - I believe that the 1700 (non-X) will be a piss-poor overclocker, while the 1700X and 1800X is alot better binned.


Might test the 1700X though, my first AMD-based system if so.

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22:38 Feb-26-2017

That is a nice cpu man! are you at the holy 5 ghz? i am highly considering getting a 7700k :D

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23:33 Feb-26-2017

go for R5 1600X .. 259$ + nice air cooler for the same price of just 7700K .. and you can get B350 motherboard to overclock, much cheaper than intel Z mobos .. 6 core 12 threads at 4+GHz for games is really enough ..

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01:55 Feb-27-2017

i am looking for gaming performance not encoding and when comparing the ryzen cpus and the 7700k, clock will be king :/ http://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-7-1700-gaming-performance-benchmarks-leak/

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07:01 Feb-27-2017

Nah, 1700X or the 7700K. I will not get a cheap motherboard, the VRMs would boil. And I got a 1K custom loop, so I don't need the extra cooling heh.


Yeah. 5 ghz was pretty easy, but a delid is necessary if you are not under water IMHO. (Custom loop)

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22:07 Feb-26-2017

I think for gaming, the 1600X is going to be by far the most popular....... I really do hope Ryzen has a ton of overclocking headroom though, because if it doesn't, it's really going to take a hit in older games when pitted against some of the higher clocked I5s and I7s.... the 1400X might end up being the better gaming CPU(atleast with older games) just for that reason(ryzen).

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21:20 Feb-26-2017

If you notice all of the benchmarks thus far have been shown agains high core lower clock CPUs. They may even be able to beat some of the i5/i7s clock for clock, but they won't be able to match clocks. There have already been some benchmarks showing that in gaming that the r7 1700 can't beat a 7700k (http://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-7-1700-gaming-performance-benchmarks-leak/). This is why you will see head to head comparisons with the 6800k/6900k in games but when you see the i7 7700k they have some kind of streaming software ( most notibly the one using x264 encoding which no one does. They will do h264 since it uses the gpu and has much lower overhead. Just my 2 cents. Though since there has been such an amd love fest recently i will get down voted to heck. :(

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21:26 Feb-26-2017

I think we will get a real feel for how things will shake out once the NDAs drop for the initial set sent out to reviewers. However, i hope i am wrong. i want amd to be fantastic because then intel will be pushed for the first time in what.. 4 years? Yeah, they need to do well, i am just scared that the hype train is so strong right now people with be dissapointed when they see no performance gain ( or a performance decrease) compared to their old OCed 4770k and up in gaming(which is generally the focus of this website).

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21:59 Feb-26-2017

Its because its impossible to compared 8/16 against 4/8. Its why the comparison you see is against high end cpus. A better match would be the r5 1600x against the 7700k. But there is such a difference between systems and ram and wtv else that it makes a difference. But its good seeing that it matches and beat 8/16 intel cpus so its a good start.

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01:36 Feb-27-2017

come on now.. it isn't impossible to compare two processors. Now is it impossible to compare a 8/16 and a 4/8 in a game (which won't use all of the threads in a 8/16) in such a way that the lower clocked 8/16 looks good? i would say yes.

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04:03 Feb-27-2017

Well comparing a 3.2ghz 8core to a 5ghz 4core is always going to have the 4core at an advantage in gaming. Games aren't too optimized for running more then 4 cores anyways since thats pretty much like 90% of the market lol. Me, i don't mind going with 8c/16t in games especially since ill be getting a Vega card to go with it.

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21:11 Feb-26-2017

The r5 1400X seems like the best to me. It might not have six cores like the two more expensive r5's, but it's still quad-core hyper-threaded and it has a higher clock speed, which is what matters more in gaming. And on top of that, it would be able to auto-overclock, unlike the r5 1500. However, if you are looking to spend as little as possible, hyper-threading rarely helps in games any significant amount, so the r3 1200X seems like the best from a pure gaming standpoint. Auto-overclocking, quad-core, 3.8GHz boost clock; with those specs it looks to perform like/outperform Intel's i5 lineup.

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20:11 Feb-26-2017

If r5 1600 has 50% more performance than a 7600k i5, then you would have a beating 6700k i7 performance for a very reasonable price... i'm gonna go for it!

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19:33 Feb-26-2017

I think R5 1600X will be the best bang for the buck as it seems aimed at the mainstream builder and user who normally would go for an i5 for the performance and utility.


Under cutting Intel's i5 pricing will help move units.

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19:53 Feb-26-2017

but most core i5 are below that price now

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19:58 Feb-26-2017

That doesn't really matter when the R5 1600X is competing with the +$1,000 i7-5960X performance-wise.

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18:45 Feb-26-2017

I think from the R7's a lot of people will get 1700X or 1700.


Me I'm going for the best, and that's 1800X.


R5's is mainly gonna be 1600X.

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18:42 Feb-26-2017

The best buy is whichever one you can afford. I was about to wait for the r5 1600x, the price difference however (to me at last in Euros) wouldn't have been much so i bought the r7 1700x instead (especially since on amazon i ended up scoring it for 430€ instead of 450€) don't ask me why it dropped in price one day then went back up, saw it and ordered it, 20€ is 20€ after all.


But personally i think the r5 1600x will be a gamers dream.

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18:37 Feb-26-2017

It depends mostly on your needs... On a budget? Buy the most expensive R3/R5 you can. Want a "future proof" gaming CPU? If single threaded performance is close to Intel's then the R5 1600X would be your best bet. Video Editing? Buy an R7.

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18:23 Feb-26-2017

Anyone else find it funny that AMD is using Intel's 3/5/7 scale? i3/R3. i5/R5, i7/R7 will make it easier to directly compare the tiers for sure.

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18:34 Feb-26-2017

... I didn't even notice until you pointed it out. That is super funny. XD

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18:12 Feb-26-2017

Finally something worth upgrading from my first gen i7... R7 1800X is my target..

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18:01 Feb-26-2017

Funny how the cheapest R7 1700X in my country cost 510$ and not $389, freaking lucky Americans. They get it so damn cheap...

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18:27 Feb-26-2017

But we still have some embarrassing internet speeds for way too much $. And since it was developed here it makes even more sad. We consistently don't make the top 10 avg internet speed charts every year and in 2015 we almost didn't make top 15.

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18:40 Feb-26-2017

Haha i was about to say. Problem isn't lucky Americans, problem is unlucky Americans for having to pay an arm, a leg, a lung and a heart for top notch medical care while we get it by paying slightly more for articles. Hey I'm not buying a cpu every year, and converting from EUR to USD never works. Take off the 15% extra tax we have from the 510 and see what you end up with. Youre at about 433 and thats in croatia, here its 455$ (converted from 430€ i paid for my 1700x, turns out to 386$)

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18:42 Feb-26-2017

i must to pay 50$ more in germany but im still fine with that considering how some other countries have to pay even more

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19:07 Feb-26-2017

Again, people don't take taxes into consideration. And especially here in Europe we can pretty much order it from anywhere. Mobos are cheaper here in french amazon then german amazon for example.

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21:16 Feb-26-2017

You can't directly compare money from different countries. It's worth different amounts.

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22:01 Feb-26-2017

Yea exactly my point, its even worse when the aussies compare it to USD lol. For me i get screwed either way, US bank account, buying in euros so gets converted and i pay 2% bank fees lol. Stop complaining people. For me 430€ turns out to 455$ and thats what i actually pay.

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17:50 Feb-26-2017

Intel became lazy and complacent with the crap they were pushing out for the past few years and now they will pay the price for their laziness.

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17:55 Feb-26-2017

Actually Intel's 14nm is giving them big troubles. They could NOT increase the transistor count very much from 22nm to 14nm, they have low yield and high failure rate, which makes their CPUs expensive to produce and they had to fire 14% of their staff to stay proffitable last year. Keep that in mind.

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17:37 Feb-26-2017

What means X?

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17:39 Feb-26-2017

it means it can boost over advertised boost freq. with proper cooler

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17:30 Feb-26-2017

if ends up r7 1700 overclocks to 4.0ghz then i can say its clearly best buy

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 5500 XT MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3550H 4-Core 2.1 GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 3 2200G Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-6700K 4-Core 4.0GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz Radeon HD 7730 8GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Windforce OC 3X 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 4600H 6-Core 3.0GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-7400 3.0GHz GeForce GTX 1050 MSI OC T 2GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Radeon RX 560 Gigabyte Gaming OC 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz Radeon RX 5600M 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz Radeon RX 5600M 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile 16GB
Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce GTX 1660 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce GTX 1660 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB 32GB