Ryzen For The Masses: A Look At AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 Box
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by Rob Williams on April 24, 2017 in Processors

With our Ryzen 7 review, we found that AMD had released three powerhouse CPUs, chips able to do proper battle against the competition – and in many cases, win. Now, we have Ryzen 5. Will we see the same kind of bang-for-the-buck with these chips as we did with Ryzen 7? Obviously, there’s only one way to find out!

Rendering: (3ds Max 2015 & 2017), Blender, Cinebench, POV-Ray

(All of our tests are explained in detail on page 2.)

Design and rendering is one of the greatest areas of computing to benchmark to highlight the benefits of faster hardware, whether it be a CPU, GPU, memory, and even storage. On a low-end system, a production render might take hours, for example, whereas on a high-end system, that render could be shaved down to the tens of minutes.

With these results, it’s up to you to gauge where the best value can be found. In some cases, it might be beneficial to go with more modest hardware if the time-to-render isn’t of a great concern; in other cases, spending more on faster hardware might actually save you money in the long-run.

For our rendering tests, we use Autodesk’s 3ds Max (2015, for SPECapc, and 2017, for our real-world model render), the popular open source design suite Blender, as well as Cinebench and POV-Ray for some quick-and-dirty results.

All of the tests here are hugely scalable, and will remain so for the forseeable future. If AMD or Intel want to bring 16-core chips to the desktop, then the results could wind up being downright jaw-dropping.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2015 & 2017

AMD Ryzen 7 1600X & 1500X Performance - Autodesk 3ds Max 2017
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X & 1500X Performance - SPECapc 3ds Max 2015

Both of the Ryzen 5 chips included here perform extremely well against their closest competition, offering an excellent bang-for-the-buck. The 1500X in particular is quite impressive, as it costs $20 more than the i3-7350K, but performs much better.

Blender

AMD Ryzen 7 1600X & 1500X Performance - Blender Renders

With Blender, the 1600X proves to be just about as fast as the i7-7700K, which isn’t too shabby for a chip that costs about ~$80 less. The 1500X is clearly beginning to set a trend, though, performing extremely well against the dual-core i3-7350K – the gains are completely worth the extra $20.

Synthetic Renderers: Cinebench, POV-Ray

AMD Ryzen 7 1600X & 1500X Performance - Cinebench
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X & 1500X Performance - POV-Ray

With the results for both 3ds Max and Blender, we saw the 1600X fall behind the 7700K overall, though not by much. Both Cinebench and POV-Ray have a different story to tell: the 1600X is faster. On paper, that’s to be expected, given we’re talking about a 6-core doing battle against a 4-core. But we didn’t see the same performance with those earlier results.

Given that AMD promoted Cinebench results heavily leading up to the Ryzen launch, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that the application was somehow optimized for that architecture (even though the benchmark hasn’t been updated in eons, outside of a recent minor one that didn’t even deserve patch notes), but POV-Ray – historically a strong Intel test – backs up Cinebench’s results perfectly.