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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  • notashill - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    There's a new AGESA but AMD has said very little about what changed in it.
  • JocPro - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    According to page 3, how come 2933 MT/s (67 MT/s apart of the rated bandwidth) is *nearest* to the kit's rating, if 3066 MT/s is just 66 MT/s apart of the kit's rating?
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Because rounding. They're 2933.33333.... and 3066.66666..... Both are 66.6666.... off and XMP (which is how the DIMM maker specifies what to do) rounds to the lower one not the higher one.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    In theory anyway. In practice manufacturing variance (not sure if CPU or mobo) means the step size won't be exactly 133.3333.... but rather slightly higher or lower than that value.
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    For those prices I would rather pick up G Skill Flare x running at 3200Mhz and CAS14 ($190 on newegg).
  • qlum - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    While it is an older lgame it would have been interesting to see fallout 4 included here as it is notorious for its memory scaling
  • Outlander_04 - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    I am curious about the use of such an old graphics card. Surely an nVidia 10xx card, or RX vega was available
  • Lolimaster - Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - link

    Come one, people are running 3200 CL14 on Ryzen for many months, why test with a puny CL16.

    This should also include DDR4 3600-4000 with many brands.
  • Nagorak - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Few have even managed to get 3600 MHz stable with Ryzen, let alone anything more than that. Even 3466 isn't a given for many boards/processors.
  • CheapSushi - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    I think it is time for RAM to go the QDR route (quad data rate) instead for upcoming DDR5. It's already proven and workable in SRAM and GDDR5X (it's QDR despite the name. This would be a MUCH more significant improvement in latency and I/O than the paltry MHz bump DDR5 will do. I think AMD's Zen architecture would benefit and go even further with QDR for next gen.

    Image of QDR vs DDR: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thu...

    Image of QDR vs DDR: http://image.slideserve.com/1303208/qdr-class-vs-d...

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