Intel Core i7-7700k versus AMD Ryzen 1700X 14 Game CPU Showdown

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Gaming Performance Showdown AMD Ryzen 1700x vs Intel i7-7700K

We have been reading and seeing a lot of performance and testing done on the latest AMD CPU, the Ryzen 7 1700X.  After it was released, people were quick to find that there was a significant difference in performance between running the system in a Balanced power plan vs High Performance power plan; the trade off is the amount of power they consume and the High Performance plan keeping the system in a full speed state.  Recently AMD released the fix to the Windows plan, allowing users to run the AMD Ryzen process in a Balanced power mode without sacrificing performance.

Ryzen 1700x Vs Intel i7-7700x

Legit Reviews took a quick look at the new AMD Ryzen Balanced plan a couple weeks ago, and we did see a performance increase in a couple of games.  We decided to expand the testing to fourteen games and 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme putting the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X against the Intel Core i7-7700k.

The AMD Ryzen is based on the new “Zen” microarchitecture design meant to be used for high performance gaming, while still supporting content creation.  AMD has plans to stick with the Zen design for several years, as they are already discussing the next generation Zen 2 and Zen 3 products.  The initial release of the Ryzen processors features the Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 7 1700X, and Ryzen 7 1800X.  All of these are nearly identical with a few differences.  Each of them has 8 cores, and supports up to 16 threads.  The biggest difference comes in the clock speeds with the Ryzen 7 1700 having a base clock of 3.0GHz with a 3.7GHz Boost, Ryzen 7 1700X has 3.4GHz with a 3.8GHz Boost, and Ryzen 7 1800X features 3.6MHz with a 4.0GHz Boost.  The Ryzen 7 1700 also includes the AMD Wraith Spire cooler, while the others do not as AMD assumes people would prefer to use third party CPU coolers or liquid coolers.  The final difference is the inclusion of AMD XFR (Extended Frequency Range) on the -X processor models.  XFR allows the CPU to boost the processor dynamically in 25MHz steps getting the highest possible clock speed for a specific task.

Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake Processor

The Intel Core i7-7700k was the first flagship processor from Intel based on their Kaby Lake architecture.  The initial release of the Kaby Lake i7 processors, Intel released three models for different purposes, one for mobile, power users, and then an enthusiast class.  The Core i7-7700k is the enthusiast class and has the highest clock speeds and overclocking capabilities.  The Core i7 processor features 4 cores, with 8 threads and has a base clock speed of 4.2GHz with a 4.5GHz.

Let’s take a quick look at the two new test systems we will use in this round of testing.

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  • Darkside
  • Đenan Hajrović

    Very nice, if the oc was a bit better on zen it would be a clear winner

  • EZ for RYZEN , BOYS

  • jason

    The trick here is proper RAM speed for Ryzen which Legitreviews has done. Ryzen thrives on higher clocked RAM due to the way the core complex’s internal bus functions, believe its somehow reliant on RAM speed. That and the recent BIOS improvements for RAM performance… all add up to quite a lot.

    • jalebi Singh

      Latency isn’t a big issue for Ryzen because of the layout, only bandwidth is. Intel is the opposite. Latency is important to Intel and not bandwidth. The ram on the market is currently more suitable for Intel.

  • Terry Perry

    -I have a 970 and it will not do 4K alone i had to get 2 just to work 3800 and the coil wine was horrible. Good at 2500 Fantastic. In MY research for 4K. YOU need 2 high end cards like 1080 or 1080TI. PLUS a REAL 6 core and at least 16-32 G ram. Then you can run those Monster 55-75′ 4K all out.My Problem with AMD are there Bios and Drivers there NEVER as Good as Nvidia or Fast as Intel. But AMD Prices do make up for there mistakes. I have the old 9650 and 6350 BUT my I-7 and I-5 Destroy them in Speed.But i paid Double and MORE for them.

  • Patrick Wise

    The reality here is that almost all the games are GPU bound, with the exception of one game running at 100+ fps. That doesn’t invalidate the review at all. Instead it demonstrates that there’s not much point spending a fortune on a CPU for gaming (unless, perhaps, you’re extremely dedicated to very large and complicated turn based strategy games like big Civ V or Civ V1 maps where the difference is measured in time, not fps). Spend your money on a good GPU instead.

  • SeepMan

    Especially since I’m gonna be gaming at 1440p, I now know Ryzen is the one to get.

  • Jay Jardin

    Where’s is the O/C?!!

  • Antonis Damigos

    Just always look the perfomance/cost ratio. It is a good thing that amd finally catches up with intel in order to increase the competitiveness and lower the price of electronics. We consumers should not care if intel or amd wins in benchmark but should care if our wallet wins. I had cpu’s from both companies and loved them.

  • ngoy 39

    I’m trying to figure out how someone decided to benchmark a 4 core cpu against an 8 core CPU when the 6 core Intel chip is $15 more. Exactly what was the point of this article? Price? The 6 core Intel platform is almost the same price. I thought maybe something about the balanced power plan making a difference in the benchmarks but there are no charts showing the difference.

    • Antonio Amigo

      it’s to compare gaming performance from each companies CPU. it’s not to compare core for core. the 7700 is the gaming cpu kind ATM, not the 6 core Intel chip. Also, the 1700x is 8 cores, not 6 cores so what would be the point of using a 6 core Intel if you’re going to compare core vs core.

    • jalebi Singh

      The motherboards for LGA 2011 age very expensive

  • Streetguru

    Probably more relevant to do 1060/580 and a 1080ti for showing how it scales without a GPU bottleneck at 1080p

  • Lickitylick

    The thing is this. It’s obvious the review scared away from running anything at low settings nor did any of the games use optimized settings that would tax a CPU. I like Ryzen, but this is not the right way to review it. Especially not a CPU like the 7700K when everyone knows the IPC would produce much higher FPS than Ryzen on a CPU-bound game running at… say 640×480 (we are testing right?) Other than that liiiitle thing, your review format looks pretty good. You might have thrown in a comparison CPU that everyone already owns… like 2600K or 5820K.

    • Alexander Yordanov

      Low settings lower the number of draw calls (and in some games – physics calculations) games need. Low settings isnt how a CPUs are tested.

      An optimized, special setting that is neither Ultra nor Low is often the most CPU demanding. Almost never low settings though.

      • Lickitylick

        That point could be easily made if the CPU utilization were shown. We just have no idea how much of the processor or GPU was actually used.

        • Alexander Yordanov

          Unfortunately, CPU utilization is not as linear as that. So in reality only the game/engine developer and AMD/Intel engineers know EXACTLY where the CPU stands in certain games.

          You see, GPU and CPU utilization is not quite as cut and dry as people think it is. Ryzen’s synthetic and prosumer benches show it actually really is VERY powerful, but in all honesty I think it is just too new and games arent making good use of it (or to be fair AS good of a use as they could, Ryzen is powerful enough for all modern and all games except ARMA and STALKER 😛 ).

    • ltkAlpha

      Tests comparing R7s to the 7700K at 1080p driving high end GPUs are all over the place and we know how that looks, there’s no argument there. Admittedly, the angle presented here could have been framed better and the 970 was a bit of an odd choice to pair with these particular CPUs, but the results are still useful.

  • ltkAlpha

    First of all, a disclaimer – I’m running a 6700K and I recently bought an 1080 Ti (yeah, I don’t have a family to support I hadn’t bought a new machine for years and I went all out, I wanted the best). Hardly on Team Red, I think you’ll agree.

    With that out of the way – you can’t have it both ways, Intel fans. When all the initial Ryzen tests came out and people asked why we’re mostly seeing tests on 1080p one of the arguments was that over 90% of gamers use that resolution (and, of course, higher resolutions create an equalizing GPU bottleneck).
    Well, over 90% of gamers don’t use 1080s or 1080 Tis either. Most people are and will remain graphically bottlenecked. And then, as we can see here and elsewhere, the picture changes.
    So I for one welcome this type of test using something more mainstream – 970s, 1060s, RX 570s and 580s etc. It’s an aspect of reality that complements the previous conclusions and I see no legitimate issue in showing it to people.

    • Streetguru

      I just hope you’re using that 1080ti on a 1440p 144hz or 4k 60hz display

      • ltkAlpha

        Asus MG279Q. Seemed like a good idea at the time…

        • Sandcat

          I have the same. Brilliant monitor.

        • Streetguru

          Don’t worry about that as long as it was cheap, the free-sync implementation only goes to like 90Hz unless they’ve fixed it, not even worth using really.

      • To Be or Blah

        apparently people buy 1080ti/Titan Xp and 300+$ CPU to play at 720p low settings. At least thats what “reviewers” claim.

        • Roy Vijfvinkel

          Looooool

  • Greg Bryett

    So many haters, lol…..
    Ryzen performance is improving slowly, I have seen less latency and better memory performance since the latest batch of AGESA releases and bios updates. My swap from 4790K at 4.6Ghz to Ryzen 1700 at 4.0Ghz has seen no real changes to my gaming at 2560×1440 with a GTX 1080, however time taken for video encoding/rendering and Photoshop manipulation have improved by a multiple of 4-6. While gaming is part of what I do with my PC, it is not everything and Ryzen for me has been a good upgrade. If all I wanted to do was game at 1080 I’d likely buy a games console.

    • jdwii

      I also did that same exact swap except i bought the 1700 i had the 4790K at 4.7Ghz before it

      • not-a-fanboi-honest

        4790k @ 4.8 to 1800x at 3900 solid and still testing higher.

  • Rodger Tallywacker

    Enjoying the hilariously salty Intel fangirls in the comments. Don’t worry, guys – you can still sell that overpriced quad core housefire on eBay and get most of your money back. There are plenty of other suckers out there!

    • Patrick Wise

      That’s only because legitreviews made the mistake of having “realistic scenarios”. What they’re supposed to do is run games on low resolution and quality settings so they become CPU bound at 100+ fps, then point out the the Intel chip gets 140 fps to the AMD one’s mere 125 fps, and for only twice as much money.

    • Darkside

      Hahahah so true, now they all RIP INferior, INferior fanboys and other 5cum…

  • Amet Monegro

    There´s some GPU bottleneck but looks like RYZEN goes well on mid-end cards and lower
    sub-980/R9 390X cards (580/1060 6G/480/570/470/1060 3G etc etc)

    • To Be or Blah

      same happens with higher end cards at their proper resolutions.

  • Skylake

    My Asus crosshair with 1800x (4.0Ghz) still lags behind our 7600K (stock) in all the latest UBI titles I’ve played.

    • To Be or Blah

      too bad you have neither of those.

    • Anonymous

      How much speed you have your memory running at?

    • Julio Cesar

      Hard to believe

  • techguy

    GTX 970.

    Yeah… You don’t really understand how CPU testing works, do you?

    • realjjj

      Or maybe you’ve seen so many idiotic tests that you have no idea what you are talking about.
      The best kind of testing in any area is a real world scenario.

      When you test at high FPS you don’t highlight anything , you just create artificial bottlenecks, alter the load profile and render the data irrelevant.
      Flawed methodologies promoted by incompetent reviewers ,that’s what you are asking for.

      • techguy

        Tell me – why are the results of this comparison different than literally every other 7700k/Ryzen comparison on the planet, even including questionable ones from no-name AMD shills on youtube like joker and mindblank?

        Did Legit Reviews get a magical Ryzen chip that automatically overclocks to 5GHz on the AIO cooler used in testing? Does it have an HBM L4 cache on-board? You explain the results to me in a way that doesn’t result in the answer “because they used a relatively slow GPU and thus shifted the bottleneck to the GPU”. I’ll give you a gold star if you can do so convincingly and without resorting to ad hominem.

        Good luck!

        • Jordan

          Probably because the 1700x is automatically overclocking to its max potential out of the box where as the 7700k is cable of being pushed over 5hz yet the didn’t bother doing that in this review.

        • Stacey Bright

          5Ghz is not a standard supported frequency of the 7700K. 4.5 is with-in spec and covered under warranty, which holds true for Ryzen’s XFR as well. These test are equal from an out of the box perspective.

        • Lukeh

          Not to mention not all 7700k’s can hit 5GHz and many run so hot at that speed that you need to delid them and replace the garbage Intel claims to be thermal paste.

        • Steven Kean

          We didn’t do any overclocking with the processors, these are both run at stock settings. Overclocking results always vary, so we didn’t focus on that at this time. The Intel would be used its boost to 4.5 while the Ryzen would be used its XFR. The scores posted ate the scores we received over multiple runs of each game. We even questioned several of the scores, so we ended up running them multiple times. Its possible that the difference between stock balanced power vs amd Ryzen power could be belong the scores with faster power management,

        • fumz

          Hi Steven,

          This is non-responsive. At issue isn’t overclocking; rather, a gpu bottleneck created by using a 970.

        • ELLAS

          GPU Bottleneck? With a 970? R U Kidding LOL

        • fumz

          /facepalm…

          yes ellas, a gpu bottleneck with a 970. what part of that is confusing you?

        • Lukeh

          He was running medium quality in most of the tests. A 970 should be able to run most of those games at 1080P at medium.

        • Cohen

          You didn’t do any CPU testing either, you were testing the GPU in your benchmarks.

        • Ghazanfar A. Khan

          Yeh right. CPU testing is more important. cpu testing can not be done in gaming. we have seen cpu testing and Ryzen beats the crap out of Skylake processors in real world cpu testing. Those who buy $380-$500 processor usually use gpu with it for gaming.

        • Cohen

          The problem is that you automatically start defending Ryzen when I didn’t say anything about which one was better or worse. That says more about your bias than anything.

          I commented on the fact that this benchmark is useless because it doesn’t test the CPUs it tests the GPU.
          Which part about the GPU being bottleneck in these tests is difficult to understand.

        • A certain someone

          But you know that he is right. The 7700K can’t even come close to 1700 when you do the CPU intensive test. That mean, however you put it, 1700 is way more powerful than the 7700K. Just game is not optimized to use all of the resources. Heck, even in single threaded game, the core i3 can beat the crap out of same clocked core i5. That doesn’t mean the i3 is faster!!!

        • Cohen

          Again, you are jumping to defend for no reason. Where did I say Ryzen was slower? where did I claim the 7700K is better?
          If Ryzen is faster in gaming then lets see it in the benchmarks. These benchmarks don’t show anything at all because BOTH processers are being restricted by the 970.

          Instead of deflecting to try and protect AMD, which seems rather silly considering both intel and AMD are corporations, try to discuss the testing method which would be more beneficial for everyone.

          Do you agree that there is a GPU bottleneck in these benchmarks?

        • Adam Baldwin

          If the benchmarks were testing the GPU, then there wouldn’t be any difference in the benchmarks.

          The mental gymnastics surrounding Ryzen gaming benchmarks is astounding. The only logical reason to benchmark games is to find real-world performance with one configuration versus another. It literally does not matter one bit what the bottleneck is, what matters is the resulting performance.

          If you want to complain about something, complain about what a poor benchmark average FPS is. Or maybe the fact that games themselves serve as very poor indicators of CPU performance.

        • Lukeh

          Lol so you game with a cpu bottleneck? Are you planning a max-FPS system @ 720P with low graphics quality? Afraid your upcoming CPU purchase might bottleneck your GTX 1060? At some point these benchmarks become irrelevant to anybody other than a CSGO tool that thinks he needs 400FPS to be competitive or a fangirl upset that their brand of choice didn’t have better bar graph results than the competition.

        • ELLAS

          Ryzen Optimizations. Most sites re-testing Ryzen show similar results. Denial is a bad thing, you should stay away from it.

        • disqus_GB8lUuziuG

          “even including questionable ones from no-name AMD shills on youtube like joker and mindblank?”

          and

          “I’ll give you a gold star if you can do so convincingly and without resorting to ad hominem.”

          Multiple layers of EPIC fail here.. LOL thanks for the laugh.

    • To Be or Blah

      yeah, the most popular gaming GPU in the world…..and faster than what 95% of PC gamers have. Courtesy of steam survey.

    • Cohen

      All users whether they prefer one brand or the other should be calling out bad testing when they see it. Tests like this help no one at all.

    • Han Solo

      yes. because you have to test with a 1080ti ON 720p AND 1080p. yay

  • Dante

    Neck and neck in gaming and Ryzen beats it pretty handily in most non gaming suites. Winner, Ryzen.

    • Martin Vest

      Not only that, but you can get the same results with slightly overclocked Ryzen 1700, instead of the 1700X, and cheaper.

  • realjjj

    Maybe you messed up the graphs(inverted results) and your conclusion certainly doesn’t reflect the numbers but in your numbers Ryzen is ahead in 77% of tests so the conclusion should be that the 7700k struggles.
    14 games x 3 resolutions for each and AMD is ahead in 33 tests while Intel wins in 9.

    • Skylake

      7600K is able to push 1080 where 1800x cant. thus this $199 CPU offers slight better average fps @ 1440p and this is with shadowplay on most of the time. I am desperately looking forward to better bios and ram compatibility to justify the downgrade to 1800x at least in high end gaming system. My 1800x+Crosshair VI reminds of me early days of X99 platform.

      • Michele Del Becaro

        if you already a good cpu why are u thinking for a change?

        • A certain someone

          I doubt he have all those processors. I think he play game on Intel/AMD iGPU. It’s just way cool to show off like that. Even I have an imaginary 6950X system with quad Titan Xp

  • MonteCristo

    Thank you!