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

The Definitive AMD Ryzen 7 Real-World Gaming Guide

With our AMD Ryzen 7 overclocked to 4GHz we find out if this is a competitive real-world gaming CPU or not. We compare it with two overclocked Intel 7700K and 2600K systems across six different video card configurations at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p to find out which CPU provides the best gameplay experience using playable game settings.

Introduction

The hype is real, AMD’s Ryzen series of CPUs have garnered intense interest from computer enthusiasts. There was a lot of hype leading up to Ryzen’s launch, and everyone is clamoring to test Ryzen in every way possible from gaming to content creation. You can check out our initial Ryzen 7 1700X CPU review. Our coverage has not stopped there, we have, well, a lot of Ryzen related coverage including lots of overclocking.

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Most of that coverage has been based on CPU oriented testing, naturally. Now it’s time to deep dive into real-world gaming and find out once and for all how the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU does when it comes to actual gaming at playable graphics settings. Let’s put aside the hype, and find out what kind of gaming CPU Ryzen truly is.

This evaluation today is going to cover a lot of information. Simply put, we want to evaluate real-world gameplay at normal game graphics setting across many video cards and compare performance based on CPUs used. We want to find out if Ryzen 7 is advantageous in gaming, or not. The AMD Ryzen is multi-faceted, but does it make for a solid gaming CPU? This is as real-world gaming as it gets, and will tell us all once and for all if the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X is a good solid gaming CPU. The testing here today is comprised of literally of over 400 real-world gaming instances, not a canned benchmark in sight.


The Three Test Systems

Instead of comparing by GPU we are instead comparing gameplay by CPU today as you might have guessed. The video card will be the "baseline" and the graphs will compare three systems together on these at the same apples-to-apples game settings. The three systems are as follows.

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X @ 4GHz - The main star of the show is of course our AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU overclocked to 4GHz for maximum performance. Memory consists of 16GB of DDR4 at 2933MHz. The motherboard is GIGABYTE AORUS AX370-GAMING 5, based on the AMD X370 AM4 platform.

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.5GHz - The first platform we are utilizing is an Intel i7 2600K "Sandy Bridge" CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz. Memory consists of 16GB of DDR3 at 2133MHz. The motherboard is an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Gen 3. This is based on the Intel Z68 chipset. One interesting note about this configuration, PCI-Express runs at 2.0 maximum with this CPU. Bandwidth is thus reduced when utilizing multi-GPU CrossFire, compared to the other two systems tested.

Intel i7 7700K @ 5GHz - The final system is an Intel "Kaby Lake" 7700K CPU overclocked to 5GHz. Memory consists of 16GB of DDR4 at 3600MHz. The motherboard is GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-GAMING 7, based on Intel Z270 chipset.

These three CPU/Systems are what will be compared to each other on each graph, as is, with the video card remaining the control.

The Six Video Card Configurations

We are going to utilize six total video card configurations on each system for a comprehensive performance evaluation from top to bottom. We will encompass 4K, 1440p, and 1080p gameplay testing. The video cards that will be used are as follows.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (reference) at 4K resolution.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (reference) at 1440p resolution.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (reference) at 1080p resolution.

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 480 at 1080p resolution

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 480 CrossFire at 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

Note that the Radeon RX 480 GPU based video card is a retail SAPPHIRE NITRO+ video card and carries a factory overclock of 1342MHz. For comparison, this overclocked GPU frequency matches the newly released AMD Radeon RX 580 specifications closely. Therefore, the retail video card being used in this evaluation can also represent reference Radeon RX 580 performance. We do have two of these video cards to use in CrossFire.