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The new Ryzen family from AMD has hit very hard, providing very powerful processors, extremely good prices, and no heat problems…
In this post I want to talk a little about the Ryzen CPUs, how can we use them for gaming builds, and the main differences between Intel and AMD. After that, I’ll show you a couple of builds to take the most out of them for 1080p gaming!
Ryzen: The AMD’s Comeback
In the retail sector, competition between Intel and AMD has faded in recent years, with Intel leading the way in both performance and value. We’ve been awaiting AMD’s comeback and finally, Ryzen, AMD’s new processor line, is here to rebalance the game.
Ryzen uses the Zen microarchitecture, based on a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, and utilizes a new socket: the AM4. It also finally debuts AMD’s new Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) tech to the table. This is the equivalent to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, where two threads are utilized per core.
The more cores you have the better for multi-core applications
With this first Ryzen’s iteration, AMD has released a bunch of CPUs, covering almost the whole retail market needs, that is, processors ranging from $170 (Ryzen 5 1400) up to $470 (Ryzen 7 1800X). Towards the end of 2017, AMD will fill some gaps in the entry-level range with more affordable Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 processors.
Regarding its technical specifications, Ryzen is especially recommended for multi-core applications, such as video editing, deep learning, graphic designer, …but not for gaming. Why is that? Let’s first compare some Ryzen processors with its Intel equivalents (in price):
- Ryzen 5 1500X, 4 cores (8 threads) at 3.5 GHz: $190
- Intel i5-7400, 4 cores (4 threads) at 3 GHz: $185
- Ryzen 5 1600X, 6 cores (12 threads) at 3.6 GHz: $250
- Intel i5-7600K, 4 cores (4 threads) at 3.8 GHz: $240
- Ryzen 7 1700X, 8 cores (16 threads) at 3.4 GHz: $335
- Intel i7-7700K, 4 cores (8 threads) at 3.6 GHz: $337
Congratulations AMD! You guys are finally doing CPUs that can actually compete directly with Intel’s! It was about time… I bet that Intel was getting bored of being all alone with no competition.
Take a look at how the Ryzen’s cores grows up! The Ryzen 7 1700X just DOUBLES the number of cores of the i7 7700K. That’s crazy, and this may lead you automatically to think that Ryzen is better than Intel. But I’m afraid that this is true and false at the same time.
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
As I was saying before, the more cores you have the better for multi-core applications. The problem is that games are not programmed to take the most out of every core. In fact, most of the games use only two cores. And when it comes to performance-per-core, Intel outperforms AMD. That’s why Intel processors are still the best option for gaming builds.
But wait, that not means that anyone shouldn’t build a Ryzen-based gaming computer. You must think carefully what your needs really are. For example, I don’t use my computer only for playing games, but instead, I use it (mainly) also for working. I’m a software developer and I also run some machine learning experiments in my free time, which needs as many cores as possible. So, in my case, if I were to build a gaming computer I would consider getting a Ryzen gaming PC.
Don’t take the expert’s or guru’s word as the only and unique truth
It all depends on your personal needs. Don’t take the experts or gurus word as the only and unique truth. Just think what do YOU use your computer for or what would you like to. Trust yourself, nobody else.
The Best Ryzen Gaming Builds
Now that I’ve introduced you the Ryzen’s pros and cons, it’s time to show you a couple of builds. The first one is an entry-level gaming computer, based on the most popular build, the $500 Gaming Build.
If you compare these two builds, you will see that the Ryzen is around $40 more expensive due to the price difference between the processors. Unlike you might be thinking, the Ryzen 5 1400 is as powerful as the i3-7100 for gaming. In all other aspects, the Ryzen clearly outperforms the Intel processor. Nonetheless, there is a substantial price difference between them…
You can learn more about this CONSOLE KILLER Gaming PC in this post.
'SD CNSLKILLER 500 AN'
Thermaltake Versa H15
ASUS Prime B350M-E
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (Radeon Vega 8 iGPU)
Ballistix Sport LT 4 GB DDR4-2666 CL16
EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming 4GB
ADATA SU800 3D-Nand 128GB
EVGA 500 W1
The next build is based on the $1000 1080p Queen, which has been designed to get the most out of an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB. The only difference between the Intel’s and the Ryzen builds is the motherboard and the processor. Other than that they both share the same components, even the budget is the same.
What really matters in this build is that the GPU is not bottlenecked, not with the Ryzen CPU, neither with the Intel’s. It’s true that the i7-7700K will scratch some FPS out of the GTX 1060 6GB, but it won’t really make a difference. So, in my opinion, this Ryzen 7 build is really awesome as a good-for-all computer.
You can read more details about the overall performance in this post.
- Case: Corsair Carbide SPEC-01
- Motherboard: MSI B350 TOMAHAWK
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
- CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper D92
- RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4-2400 CL15
- GPU: ZOTAC GTX 1060 AMP Edition 6GB
- PSU: EVGA 650 GQ
- SSD: SanDisk Plus 240GB
'Ryzen 7 1700X AN OC'
'Corsair Carbide SPEC-01'
'MSI B350 TOMAHAWK'
'AMD Ryzen 7 1700X'
'Cooler Master Hyper D92'
'G.SKILL Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4-2400 CL15'
'ZOTAC GTX 1060 AMP Edition 6GB'
'EVGA 650 GQ'
'SanDisk Plus 240GB'
*** Note: the Hyper D92 cooler fan may require an “Upgrade Kit” to use it along with the AM4 socket. The latest production model includes the Upgrade Kit but in case you need it, you can get it for free at the Cooler Master site here.
Does The Ryzen CPUs Really Worth It?
I hope that after reading this post you are able to answer this question by yourself, but in case you are not completely sure, let me summarize the Ryzen VS Intel battle in two simple statements:
- Ryzen is better than Intel for multi-core applications (better price/performance ratio than Intel)
- Ryzen is worst than Intel for gaming (worst price/performance ratio than Intel)
So, if you are a game developer, graphic designer, video editor, data scientist… then a Ryzen based build will be definitely better for your needs. Otherwise, if you want a computer for gaming as a first priority, an Intel-based PC can be more powerful… at least for now.
I hope you have learned something new reading this post and if you have any question related to the builds presented comment below and I’ll do my best to help you 🙂