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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  • HStewart - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    I think of this way, AMD was desperate to get back into business of CPU's, but financially they had some issues to really think it though. So they created an 8 Core Zen and then clunk them together so that they claim higher core count. This designed is likely primary why it does not scaled.

    But they did something that they probably didn't want to here - they ignored that Intel has been making higher core CPU's in the Xeon and that it quite simple for them to place them in gaming machines. This has a good side effect for Intel owners, because it means it keeps Intel on its toes - but the bad news I am afraid is that AMD will not be financially able to keep up with core wars and eventually have to drop - also purchasing ATI has alienated potential buyers - who in right mind would purchase an AMD GPU on Intel CPU.

    One thing that is interesting, is that Intel and the industry is moving in a different direction. Mobile is where the industry is going not huge fat desktops. This is a place where AMD is missing the mark and could possible complete loose it enter company open and solely based there efforts on the desktop industry.
  • duploxxx - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    lol dude what have you been smoking?

    A) its intel that responded on AMD core count
    B) Zen 8 core multi die was in the design from the start to keep cost low
    C) Xeon v2 and v3 both had issues with scale out on core hence the reason for the new grid which is sub optimal on caching.
    D) Intel has a way more expensive die, you forget that they ask 2500+ euro upto 14000 euro for there 16+ cores? while AMD charges 4000 euro for 32 cores. The gold series dont even come close to AMD offerings in cores.
    E) Intel is not moving at all, they own the biggest part of the industry on x86 and that is what they try to keep. THey lost the low power war vs ARM and they sure try to get into IOT with lots of money but it aint that easy.
    F)AMD has low budget so they infiltrate markets where they believe they can gain.
  • cap87 - Friday, September 29, 2017 - link

    Intel didn’t respond to AMD with higher core counts, processors are designed years in advance, suggesting otherwise is just plain ignorance. What they did do was push forward the release date of Coffee Lake thanks to AMD’s pressure.
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, September 30, 2017 - link

    Their design was meant for servers. Bringing the 18 cores suddenly to the high end desktop was most certain my something they kept as an ace option but it wasn't their original plan and that is obvious from the way it was rushed to market, being months later than the 10 core model and many of the earlier motherboards barely or simply not able to handle the load. They are also obviously clocked very high with barely room for overclock and breaking their tdp, throttling under heavy use on many boards even without oc.
  • Hixbot - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    I'm tired of hearing this. what you are suggesting is ignorance.
    Intel had loads of time to R&D, yes designs take years, but they've had those years to design coffe lake with 4 cores, with 8 cores. They design and design, they could have designed a sandy bridge as 8 core and not released it. You think they need to take years to respond to a competitive push. Let me tell you, they can design all sorts of options "years in advance" and only bring to market what they choose. So if it weren't for Zen, we might be staring at a 4 core (max) coffee lake. OMG it's hilarious to see this "design takes years" argument. They can and do take years to design all sorts of potential processors, they can then choose what to bring to market in a much shorter time.
  • Arbie - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    For what? Some small and very expensive ST performance increase? Consider what AMD has done for us in reigniting competition and moving the tech envelope forward. Think what that took, and whether they could possibly do it again. Anyone who doesn't absolutely have to buy Intel this time around should give the nod to AMD. They've earned it, where Intel has not. Really, the tech is almost equal and in most regards AMD gives you more for the dollar. If we as consumers don't respond to that, vigorously, they may give up. How would you like an Intel-only future?
  • Nagorak - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Plenty of other tests have shown significant scaling. This is with loose subtimings. You can get even more performance from tight subtimings on top of faster memory speed. Remember Ryzen was only about 8% slower clock for clock than Kaby Lake. Faster memory speeds make up most of that difference, albeit Ryzen can't run at such high frequency as KL.
  • notashill - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    I'm curious if the higher clocked parts scale any better, presumably they were spending more time waiting on memory in the first place. The tests were done with a 1700, 1800X has 20% higher all-core clock.
  • willis936 - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    It would seem that 2 channels of DDR4 is not enough to keep 8 cores fed. It will be interesting to see if it's enough to keep 6 cores fed on coffee lake since intel's memory subsystem is higher performance but they also have higher single threaded performance (and may need more memory throughput as a result).
  • sor - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    “AGESA BIOS updates were introduced several weeks ago”

    Shouldn’t that be several *months* ago, or was there some more recent AGESA release from the one being discussed in April/May?

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