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!

Test Systems & Methodologies

Benchmarking a CPU might sound like a simple enough task, but in order to deliver accurate, repeatable results, and not to mention results that don’t favor one vendor over another, strict guidelines need to be adhered to. That in turn makes for rigorous, time-consuming testing, but we feel that the effort is worth it.

This page exists so that we can be open about how we test, and give those who care about testing procedures an opportunity to review our methodology before flaming us in the comments. Here, you can see a breakdown of all of our test machines, specifics about the tests themselves, and other general information that might prove useful.

We’ll start with a look at our test platforms, for AMD’s AM4, and Intel’s LGA 1151.

Techgage’s CPU Testing Platforms

AMD AM4 Test Platform
ProcessorsAMD Ryzen 7 1800X (3.6GHz, 8C/16T)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (3.4GHz, 8C/16T)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (3.0GHz, 8C/16T)
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (3.6GHz, 6C/12T)
AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (3.5GHz, 4C/8T)
MotherboardASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO
All CPUs tested with BIOS 1002 (Mar 29, 2017)
MemoryCorsair VENGEANCE LPX (CMK16GX4M2B3000C15) 8GB x 2
Operates at DDR4-2933 16-16-16-39 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB; GeForce 378.66)
StorageCrucial MX300 525GB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCorsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 (1200W)
ChassisCorsair Obsidian 800D
CoolingNoctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 (1x 120mm Fan)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (Build 14393)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Summit Ridge)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
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As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Summit Ridge)
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (Summit Ridge)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (Summit Ridge)
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (Summit Ridge)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (Summit Ridge)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - SLI Configuration
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (Summit Ridge)
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X - As Tested EFI Overview AMD Ryzen 7 1600X - As Tested EFI Overview
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1600X (Summit Ridge)
AMD Ryzen 7 1600X - As Tested EFI Overview
AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (Summit Ridge)
AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
AMD Ryzen 7 1500X - As Tested EFI Overview AMD Ryzen 7 1500X - As Tested EFI Overview
As tested configuration: AMD Ryzen 7 1500X (Summit Ridge)
AMD Ryzen 7 1500X - As Tested EFI Overview

ASUS’ CROSSHAIR VI HERO makes it easy to attain a proper “stock” setup, even when increasing the default DRAM speed to 2933MHz. That’s a bit of a relief, as some ASUS boards automatically overclock the processor after changing absolutely anything performance-related – something that would have caused an issue here.

While DDR4-2800 was used across both Intel platforms, the same frequency couldn’t be used on the AM4 platform without skewing the CPU clock. Rather than back the speed down to DDR4-2666MHz, 2933MHz seemed like the better bet. That means the AM4 platform inherently gains a bandwidth boost, but it comes at the expense of the latencies, as the 14-14-14 timings used on both Intel platforms could not be used with either of the two DRAM kits AMD sent us for our Ryzen testing.

Also, I should point out that unlike the Intel systems, this AM4 one uses an air cooler. This is because a bracket wasn’t available for any cooler we have on hand. Thus, the decision was made for us to use the air cooler that AMD provided. We’ll be retesting all of Ryzen over in the near-future once we can liquid cool it.


Intel LGA1151 Test Platform
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-7700K (4.2GHz, 4C/8T)
Intel Core i3-7350K (4.2GHz, 2C/4T)
Intel Core i7-6700K (4.0GHz, 4C/8T)
MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX Z270E Gaming
All CPUs tested with BIOS 0801 (Feb 09, 2017)
MemoryG.SKILL TridentZ (F4-3200C14-8GTZ) 8GB x 4
Operates at DDR4-2800 14-14-14-34 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB; GeForce 378.66)
StorageCrucial MX300 525GB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCorsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 (1200W)
ChassisCorsair Obsidian 800D
CoolingCorsair Hydro H100i v2 (2x 120mm Fan)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (Build 14393)
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As tested configuration: Intel Core i7-7700K (Kaby Lake)
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As tested configuration: Intel Core i7-7700K (Kaby Lake)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
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As tested configuration: Intel Core i3-7350K (Kaby Lake)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
As tested configuration: Intel Core i3-7350K (Kaby Lake)
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
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As tested configuration: Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake)
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Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
As tested configuration: Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)

ASUS’ ROG STRIX 270E Gaming is a fantastic motherboard with a long name, but it complicates out-of-the-box testing by defaulting its Ai Overclock Tuner setting to “Sync All Cores”, which ultimately runs the CPU faster than actual stock, giving the 7700K a 30 cb boost in Cinebench (+3%).

To get around this, after the DRAM speed and timings are configured, the Ai Overclock Tuner setting is switched to Auto, negating that out-of-the-box performance boost.

Windows Benchmarks

For the bulk of our testing, we use Windows 10 build 14393 with full updates as the base. After installation, LAN, audio, and chipset drivers are installed even if they are not explicitly needed (because Windows can use generic driver versions). Our basic guidelines beyond that are:

  • Everything is disabled in “Customize settings” during OS install.
  • 3D Vision and GeForce Experience are not installed with the graphics driver.
  • V-SYNC is disabled in NVIDIA’s Control Panel.
  • Some services are disabled: search, User Account Control, Firewall, and Defender.
  • The OneDrive app is changed to not start with Windows.
  • The “Performance” power profile is used, with screen timeouts disabled.
  • All notifications are disabled through the Settings screen.
  • Desktop resolution is run at 2560×1440.
  • Testing doesn’t begin until the PC is idle (keeps a steady minimum wattage).
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Adobe Lightroom CC 2015: RAW to JPEG Export
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Autodesk 3ds Max 2015: (SPECapc 3ds Max 2015)
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Autodesk 3ds Max 2017: Naomi Render (Model by Nikola Bechev)
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Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017: 4K RED Encode
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Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017: Blu-ray Concert Encode
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Blender: Pavillon Render
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Cinebench R15.038
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dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
dBpoweramp R15.1
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
SiSoftware Sandra 2016 SP3
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)

All of the tests shown above are used in their stock configurations, outside of CUDA encoding being disabled on the Premiere Pro projects. If you’re a Blender user and wish to compare your system’s performance to ours, you can download the project files for free here.

Gaming Benchmarks

Because the biggest bottleneck in a game is the graphics card, the workload needs to be put on the CPU as much as possible in order to better understand the raw performance scaling. As such, all of the games tested here were run at 1080p and 1440p, with moderate detail levels. A single 4K benchmark in the form of 3DMark is included as well, which will highlight the differences when the GPU is the bottleneck.

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Ashes of the Singularity: Game Settings
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Ashes of the Singularity: Benchmark Screenshot
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Battlefield 1: Game Settings
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Battlefield 1: Game Settings
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Battlefield 1: Benchmark Screenshot
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Futuremark 3DMark
Futuremark 3DMark
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: Game Settings
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: Game Settings
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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands: Benchmark Screenshot
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Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Rise of the Tomb Raider: Game Settings
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Rise of the Tomb Raider: Benchmark Screenshot
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Total War ATTILA: Game Settings
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Total War ATTILA: Benchmark Screenshot
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Watch Dogs 2: Game Settings
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Watch Dogs 2: Game Settings
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Watch Dogs 2: Benchmark Screenshot
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)

Because Ashes offers the explicit ability to act only as a CPU benchmark, we opted to use that over the GPU version. The rest of the games aside from ATTILA are standard gaming benchmarks. While ATTILA can be used as a graphics benchmark, too, it’s incredibly CPU-bound, as the results will attest.

Linux Benchmarks

Ubuntu 17.04 is the OS of choice for our test bed, as it’s both simple to setup, and so de facto that everyone reading the results should feel at home. The OS is left as stock as possible, with the screen timeout disabled and open source Nouveau graphics driver used over the proprietary NVIDIA one.

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Blender: Pavillon Render
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Phoronix Test Suite 7.0
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Both the Blender and HandBrake tests are shared with the Windows testing. Examples of the performance differences between two OS versions can be seen on the results page. Phoronix Test Suite is used for the bulk of our Linux testing, as it supplies the tests we need, and makes them easy to use.


If you think there’s some information lacking on this page, or you simply want clarification on anything in particular, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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