Test Bed Setup

As per our testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory. With this test setup, we are using the BIOS to set the frequency using the provided straps on the GIGABYTE Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.

Test Setup
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700, 65W, $300 MSRP,
8 Cores, 16 Threads
3.0 GHz Base, 3.7 GHz Turbo
Motherboard GIGABYTE AX370-GAMING 5
Cooling Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 W Gold PSU
Memory Team Group Night Hawk RGB
DDR4-3000 16-18-18
2x8 GB
1.35 V
Video Card ASUS GTX 980 STRIX
1178 MHz Base, 1279 MHz Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1 TB
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds.

Thank you to ASUS for providing us with GTX 980 Strix GPUs. At the time of release, the STRIX brand from ASUS was aimed at silent running, or to use the marketing term: '0dB Silent Gaming'. This enables the card to disable the fans when the GPU is dealing with low loads well within temperature specifications. These cards equip the GTX 980 silicon with ASUS' Direct CU II cooler and 10-phase digital VRMs, aimed at high-efficiency conversion. Along with the card, ASUS bundles GPU Tweak software for overclocking and streaming assistance.

The GTX 980 uses NVIDIA's GM204 silicon die, built upon their Maxwell architecture. This die is 5.2 billion transistors for a die size of 298 mm2, built on TMSC's 28nm process. A GTX 980 uses the full GM204 core, with 2048 CUDA Cores and 64 ROPs with a 256-bit memory bus to GDDR5. The official power rating for the GTX 980 is 165W.

The ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB (or the full name of STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5) runs a reasonable overclock over a reference GTX 980 card, with frequencies in the range of 1178-1279 MHz. The memory runs at stock, in this case, 7010 MHz. Video outputs include three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI 2.0 connector, and a DVI-I.

Further Reading: AnandTech's NVIDIA GTX 980 Review


Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX300 SSDs. Crucial stepped up to the plate as our benchmark list grows larger with newer benchmarks and titles, and the 1TB MX300 units are strong performers. Based on Marvell's 88SS1074 controller and using Micron's 384Gbit 32-layer 3D TLC NAND, these are 7mm high, 2.5-inch drives rated for 92K random read IOPS and 530/510 MB/s sequential read and write speeds.

The 1TB models we are using here support TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 (eDrive) encryption and have a 360TB rated endurance with a three-year warranty.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Crucial MX300 (750 GB) Review

Memory Straps and Explaining Frequency vs. Data Rate CPU Performance
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  • Threska - Saturday, September 30, 2017 - link

    That could potentially be VERY interesting since GPUs are one of the few things that need a high bandwidth.
  • Thefinaleofseem - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Pity that latency wasn't tested as well as clocks. It would be interesting to see how Ryzen scales with both factors.
  • germz1986 - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    I would really like to see a review of this G.Skill kit F4-3200C14D-16GFX, It seems it was the first ryzen optimized set for 3200 @ fairly low timings out of the box.
  • kpb321 - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Small nitpick

    DDR4-2933 16-18-18 (Nearest to memory kit rating)
    DDR4-3066 16-18-18

    DDR4-3066 is actually closer to the memories kits rated 3000 speed. 2933 is the max speed supported by the processor that is below the rated speed of the kit. 3066 would be a slight overclock.
  • Gavin Bonshor - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    It probably needs re-wording as 2933MHz CL16 is what the XMP profile runs at on Ryzen with this particular kit.
  • nismotigerwvu - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Perhaps he was going by "The Price Is Right" rules :)
  • Dr. Swag - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    You guys should've lowered timings along with frequency to keep latency constant while increasing bandwidth/IF clock speeds
  • kpb321 - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Those ashes results are interesting. They are the only one that doesn't show a fairly straight forward improvement as memory speed increases. For the tested kit you'd actually get better performance dropping speed down to DDR4 2800 instead of DDR4 2933. Same thing if you are OCs the memory 3200 is faster than 3333.

    Overall this makes me happy that I decided to spend an extra buck or two when I put together my Ryzen system to grab a 3000 kit which happened to be from Team Group also over the typical 2400/2666 kits around the same price. I hadn't typically seen the value in paying a premium for faster memory kits but the even the early indications showed it was more important for Ryzen systems and this shows how important it can be.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    That result makes me suspect the dominant effect we're seeing is something random not memory related.
  • SpartanJet - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Really disappointing results, all people talked about is how Ryzen scalled with memory. I guess I'm going with Intel 8700k after all.

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