A Performance Review: AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600X & Ryzen 7 2700X Processors

AMD Second-gen Ryzen 7 Box
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by Rob Williams on April 19, 2018 in Processors

Following a deluge of leaks, AMD’s 2nd-gen Ryzen ‘Pinnacle Ridge’ CPUs have landed. These new ‘Zen+’ chips are built on a 12nm process, and bring in a brand-new chipset (even though the older chipset will work just fine!). Read on as we take a look at both the 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X, and 6-core Ryzen 5 2600X.

Gaming: 3DMark, Ashes, GTA V, TW: WARHAMMER 2 & Watch_Dogs 2

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

It’s been easy to highlight the performance differences across our collection of CPUs on the previous pages, since most of the tests used take advantage of every thread we give them. But now, it’s time to move onto testing that’s a different beast entirely: gaming.

In order for a gaming benchmark to be useful in a CPU review, the workload on the GPU needs to be as mild as possible; otherwise, it could become a bottleneck. Since the entire point of a CPU review is to evaluate the performance of the CPU, running high detail and high resolutions in games won’t give us the most useful results.

As such, our game testing revolves around 1080p, and sometimes 4K, with games being equipped with moderate graphics detail (not low-end, but not high-end, either). These settings shouldn’t prove to be much of a burden for the TITAN Xp GPU. For those interested in the settings used for each game, hit up page 2 (a link is found at the top of this page).

In addition to 3DMark, our gauntlet of tests includes four games: Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (CPU test only), Grand Theft Auto V (Fraps), Total War: WARHAMMER II (built-in benchmark), and Watch Dogs 2 (Fraps).

Futuremark 3DMark

AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Futuremark 3DMark Overall Scores
AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Futuremark 3DMark Physics Scores

With the memory result on the last page, we saw that the 2600X somehow managed to beat out the 2700X. With 3DMark, we don’t see quite the same thing, but the fact that both chips perfect extremely similarly definitely stands out a little bit. Extra retesting had to be done to make doubly sure these results are accurate, and they are, but because these results are so close, variation can sometimes mean that the 2600X will outperform the 2700X on occasion; multiple runs will smooth things out.

That all said, gaming remains best on Intel, but that doesn’t mean gaming on Ryzen 2 is poor. As with the first-gen chips, these second-gen offerings still fall behind at 1080p versus Intel, but as the resolution grows higher, the delta between the cards tightens quite a bit.

From a straight-forward physics perspective, the extra brawn of Ryzen helps keep it ahead of the pack, but I haven’t really seen how this kind of performance result correlates with real gaming, since most physics nowadays are not going to be designed to take advantage of many-core chips. If more games start to take advantage of 6+ cores, we’d be able to see some more interesting results.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Ashes of the Singularity Escalation

Like the physics test above, the CPU test in Escalation removes the GPU from the equation effectively entirely, so the scaling should technically be similar. However, it’s not, leading me to believe that this test favors IPC as well as extra cores.

Grand Theft Auto V

AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Grand Theft Auto V

For the final 1080p-only test, GTA V runs very well on Ryzen, and it’s not because of its overall framerate, but rather its minimums. The 2700X fell 19 FPS short of the 8700K, but few people are going to scoff at 122 FPS. In another comparison, though, the 8700K hit 57 FPS minimum, which was improved by 21 FPS with the 2700X. Even the 2600X managed to match that. There’s really not much to say here: for minimums, Ryzen delivers more than the competition in GTA V.

Total War: WARHAMMER II

AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Total War WARHAMMER 2

WARHAMMER II seems to be a game that benefits greatly from both IPC and additional cores, but likely the former more than the latter. Here, the new Ryzen chips score very well, being bested only by Intel’s highest-clocked chips. At 1080p, even the 18-core Intel chip falls short of the 8700K. At 4K, I think it’s safe to call performance equaled across the board.

Watch Dogs 2

AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Watch Dogs 2 (1080p)
AMD & Intel 16-core CPU Performance - Watch Dogs 2 (4K)

Watch_Dogs 2 seems to be a pretty decent CPU benchmark, outside of the fact that it doesn’t run too well on AMD’s hardware. Both Ryzens fall to the bottom at 1080p, but deliver performance more on par with the competition at 4K.

Before moving onto the next page, I will say that the games on this page are not by any stretch an ideal set. Gaming is one thing in particular I haven’t had much time to dedicate to improving for CPU reviews, but once the Spectre dust finally settles, and the suite can be updated, I’ll be scouring for more appropriate benchmarks. And likely more of them, since it’s hard to appreciate the overall picture with a mere four titles. Or, ultimately, I may just keep the choice simple for articles like this, but plan on doing a dedicated article looking at the grander picture in more depth. If you have interest in our take on that, please leave a comment.

Rob Williams

Rob founded SmartKevin 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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