Menu

logo

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X - The Gamer's CPU Featured

Ryzen 5 is pitched as the Gamer's CPU. Let's take a moment to look at the core needs of a gamer. Multiple cores are important but not as much as to an enthusiast; price and motherboard options are also key with regard to longevity, upgrades and connectivity for peripherals and potentially VR. Speed - single core performance is also important as many games are not optimised to take full advantage of multiple cores. Overclocking is on the list but it isn't a universal requirement.

We received two AMD Ryzen 5 series CPUs for this review (1600X and 1500X) along with an ASROCK B350 motherboard, GEIL memory and a Wraith LED cooler. I'll talk about the supporting components individually in the test setup section but we tested with what was provided for this review and followed the instructions from AMD with regard to BIOS and Windows settings - again I'll declare all of this in the test section but there was nothing untoward.

ryzen header

The Ryzen 5 1600X CPU is the highest rated and priced Ryzen 5 chip available running at 3.6-4.0GHz, featuring 6 cores / 12 threads and rocking a TDP of 95W. This specification is a step down from the Ryzen 7 series where all CPUs had 8 cores / 16 threads. The Ryzen 5 1500X operates at 3.5 - 3.7 GHz, with 4 cores / 8 threads and running at 65W, making it a step down again and more aligned with the number of cores that gamers usually buy for their rigs. If Ryzen 7 was for enthusiasts and creators, Ryzen 5 looks to be aimed at serious gamers.

LINE

AMD Ryzen™ 7

AMD Ryzen™ 7

AMD Ryzen™ 7

AMD Ryzen™ 5

AMD Ryzen™ 5

AMD Ryzen™ 5

AMD Ryzen™ 5

MODEL

AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X

AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X

AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700

AMD Ryzen™ 5 1600X

AMD Ryzen™ 5 1600

AMD Ryzen™ 5 1500X

AMD Ryzen™ 5 1400

PLATFORM

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

TDP

95 W

95 W

65 W

95 W

65 W

65 W

65 W

Performance

# OF CPU CORES

8

8

8

6

6

4

4

# OF THREADS

16

16

16

12

12

8

8

BASE CLOCK SPEED

3.6 GHz

3.4 GHz

3 GHz

3.6 GHz

3.2 GHz

3.5 GHz

3.2 GHz

MAX TURBO CORE SPEED

4 GHz

3.8 GHz

3.7 GHz

4 GHz

3.6 GHz

3.7 GHz

3.4 GHz

Memory

MEMORY TYPE

DDR4

DDR4

DDR4

DDR4

DDR4

DDR4

DDR4

MEMORY CHANNELS

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Key Features

AES SUPPORT

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

AVX

AVX2

AVX2

AVX2

AVX2

AVX2

AVX2

AVX2

XFR

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

AMD SENSEMI TECHNOLOGY

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FMA

FMA3

FMA3

FMA3

FMA3

FMA3

FMA3

FMA3

AMD VIRTUALIZATION

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

The above table shows the AMD Ryzen line up so far. Interestingly, the 1600X has the same clockspeed rating as the 1800X so we would logically expect the 1600X to outperform the 1700 in some areas where multi-threading isn't utilised or is not optimised beyond 12 threads. It's important to note that the 'X' processors have the ability to extend themselves a little further with decent cooling using the Extended Frequency Range (XFR). Our testing of the higher TDP 1600X involved the stock cooler as provided by AMD and we saw all cores hit 4092MHz at some point in the benchmarking as a maximum on the ASROCK B350 board. The temperatures seemed to top out at 80C but the Wraith cooler didn't seem as warm to touch as we'd expect so it looks like the 20C offset for temperature reporting is in effect here.

Ryzen 5 1600X unboxing shots are in the gallery below including the Wraith Max LED cooler that was also supplied by AMD. Please note that this cooler is not bundled with the 1600X for retail sale.

The Ryzen 5 1500X comes with a Wraith Spire cooler. You need to remove the AMD clamp mounts from the motherboard and mount the Wraith Spire into the backplate. It sounds tricky but takes about 5 minutes in total to fit.

The new AM4 platform is the only platform AMD system builders need to worry about. The 1331-pin socket will support the 7th Generation AMD APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), Ryzen and the future "Raven Ridge" APU. This means that you can buy a board with an APU or entry level CPU, decide to become a power user, developer or content producer and then upgrade the CPU to the top end later without needing to change the rest of your system. Cheaper upgrades and the lack of a need to reinstall the operating system is very handy indeed.

During our testing, we tested first with the 1600X, then just swapped out the CPU/Cooler and the only thing requiring intervention was the motherboard BIOS where the memory timings and CPU configuration needed to be re-tweaked. The operating system didn't care about the change and the only difference was the performance of the 1500X.

Ryzen 5 - Same as Ryzen 7 but with less cores?

Ryzen is built on a 14nm manufacturing process. Each CCX package contains 4cores/8 threads - AMD have incorporated 2 CCX packages with a shared cache. The Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X use 2 CCX packages with some cores disabled (2 cores on the 1600X and 2 cores on the 1500X) but the shared L3 cache of the two CCX packages is still available despite the disabling of 1-2 cores per CCX.

ccx


DDR4 Memory support is identical across the series and officially rated up to 2667MHz and Dual Channel but we are already seeing motherboard manufacturers push the envelope here and there have been several BIOS updates from the board manufacturers to improve memory compatibility. The GEIL EVOX DDR4 3200 kit that we received with our review kit was able to run at 2933MHz with some tweaks to the voltage and timings.

Ryzen 5 has Simultaneous Multi-Threading (two threads per physical core) with some intelligent cache and prefetch instructions. The 512KB dedicated L2 cache per core provides a 6MB total cache for the 1600 and 1600X or a 4MB total cache for the 1500X, 1500 or 1400 CPUs. The pre-fetching algorithms were designed and implemented to enhance the throughput of the cache and execution engines.

AMD SENSEMI technology has the task of monitoring and managing the power/thermals of the processor. AMD breaks the explanation down to Pure Power, Precision Boost, Extended Frequency Range ('X' series CPUs), Neural Net Prediction and Smart Prefetch.

  • Pure Power monitors the power draw, temperature and usage of the CPU to optimise the power draw for the workload which can result in reduced heat and noise (from cooling).
  • Precision Boost covers tuning performance with 25MHz incremental adjustments to the clock speed in real time.
  • Neural Net Prediction looks at how the applications are using the CPU and prepares the fastest processor pathways for the application instructions based on past behaviour.
  • Smart Prefetch is achieved with learning algorithms that can identify the data used by applications and then manage access to that data by preloading it.

The new chipsets dictate what you can get out of the new AMD AM4 CPUs
AM4-Chipsets

Ryzen Master

Whilst incredibly easy to use, Ryzen Master didn't have as much success with the 1600X or 1500X using the included stock coolers that came with our review kit. The XFR certainly kicked in and we saw speeds beyond the rated standard boost clocks but when we tried to push it further, we only managed another 50MHz above the XFR rated speed (4.15GHz on the 1600X and 3.95GHz on the 1500X). Due to time constraints and wanting to use only the components as supplied by AMD, we will follow up with another article covering overclocking with a different motherboard and superior cooler.

ryzenmaster-1500X

« Prev All Pages Next » (Page 1 of 4)
Last modified onThursday, 13 April 2017 22:31
More in this category: « Ryzen 7 1700 : Welcome Back AMD!

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

back to top