Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Two More Retail Ryzen 7 1700 Overclock Tested

Last week we headed out and purchased two retail Ryzen 7 1700 CPUs to see what 1700 processors purchased would attain in terms of overclocking. After that we went out and purchased two more retail 1700 CPUs to see what those would do overclocking-wise. After spending some time with those, we have a better picture of what to expect.

Overclocking the Ryzen 7 1700

Certainly the Ryzen 7 1700 is the least expensive 8-Core 16-Thread processor you can buy at $330. The 1700X comes at $400, and the 1800X sells for $500. So the thoughts of keeping $70 or $170 in your pocket to budget towards new DDR4 RAM or a motherboard is very attractive.

Also what is very attractive is hitting the magic 4GHz number. We know that when the 1700, 1700X, and 1800X processors are clocked the same, those will be identical in terms of user experience. So if you can "get away" with buying a lower model Ryzen 7 processor and can put forth some overclocking skills, the truth of the matter is that you can buy your processor and motherboard for what an 1800X alone would cost you.

What we found out last week was that neither of the two Ryzen 1700 CPUs we bought would run the "magic" 4GHz, but both got extremely close. One of our 1700s would run 3.9GHz and the other would run 3.8/3.85GHz, both with very respectable 2933MHz RAM clocks.

Chinese or Malaysian

The other thing we noticed while we were doing our testing is that one of the CPUs was manufactured in China, and the other was manufactured in Malaysia. The Malaysia CPU performed a bit slower in terms of clocks. This made us wonder if the Malaysian built CPUs were "slower" than our Chinese built CPUs. Certainly with just two processors, this was not something we could be certain about in any way, but it did make us wonder. So to find out, we headed out again to purchase a couple of CPUs.

First I went to the local Microcenter. The guys there were nice enough to check the racks and see if they had Malaysian built and Chinese built CPUs. I was told that all of the ones it had in stock were from Malaysia. Given that I was limited to purchasing one there, I headed to Fry's next. The associates at Fry's were nice enough to check their stock as well and they reported to me that all of their Ryzen 1700 CPUs were built in Malaysia as well. I bought one there and headed back to the test bench. Given this, I have to assume that the one Chinese built CPU I have came from Newegg since I did buy one 1700 online from Newegg. Not that it really means anything, but just a point of interest.

What We Found

To be to the point, we did not find much! Which is a good thing!

One of our Malaysian built 1700 CPUs would overclock to 3.917GHz/2933MHz at 1.4v/1.2v/1.4v votages. The other Malaysian built 1700 would do 3.867GHz/2933MHz. Here is a quick video of our Ryzen 7 1700 CPUs in action.

Worth mentioning, and you will see this in the video, when we test these CPUs, we test to find what we call "100% stable." This means that we are running multiple workloads simultaneously that fully load the processor's 8-Core 16-Thread architecture. I would suggest that many users that are "just gaming" could use these processors at 4GHz or higher clocks without any issues whatsoever. With slimmer workloads these Ryzen processors remain stable at higher clocks, which is somewhat to be expected, but a bit moreso than what we have seen with Intel processors in the past few years.

The Bottom Line

After going out and purchasing four Ryzen 7 1700 processors, none of our retail CPUs overclocked as well as the one 1700 sampled to us directly from AMD. That said, none of the four purchased CPUs pulled up what we would consider incredibly short in terms of overclocking either. If you go out and purchase a Ryzen 7 1700 ($330), you should expect at least an overclock of 3.8GHz or better using a good air cooler. The included Wraith Spire LED cooler that comes with the Ryzen 7 1700 is a well built cooler, but it is simply not robust enough to handle the heat you are going to be generating while trying to reach the 4GHz mark with an 8-Core 16-Thread load. Once you load up all cores on the Ryzen 7, and overvolt it for overclocking, the Wraith Spire (rated at 95 watts) is simply out of its element. Our suggestion right now in the "budget" category for air cooling is the Thermalright True Spirit 140 Direct at $47. This cooler is as good as the Noctua NH-U12S, quieter, and less exspensive. The True Spirit also comes with extra fan mounting brackets as well if you want to set it up for a push/pull configuration.

As always, we want to see your Ryzen 7 1700 overclocking results in the HardForum as well, so please take time to share your overclocking results.

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