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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  • willis936 - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    QDR is the same thing as DDR with a the clock running at half frequency. It's not a magical way to make your datarates higher. The same paltry MHz increase would be seen on QDR but with just tighter jitter requirements. I don't see the benefit since DDR isn't running into a power limit.
  • NeatOman - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Now that i don't play to many games I'm ok with my 5 year old FX-8320@4.5GHz and R9 280x. Although i find that it does keep up with heavy multi-tasking, like having 20-50 tabs open while playing a FHD youtube video and working in SketchUp on a 40" 4K monitor. It also runs a file server, media server that real time transcodes 1080p in high quality, and i won't really notice while browsing and watching videos other than the lights getting brighter inside the case because the fans ramp up a bit.
  • Zeed - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Well poor test in my eyes... Gyuess You dont know that pass 3200 its TIMINGS ALL THE WAY !!!! Join us at Overclockers.net for PROPER numbers and tests with carious timings ect.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    I hope your comment isn't an example of Overclockers.net writing quality. Proper numbers and tests aren't very useful when the supporting writing is almost incoherent.
  • chikatana - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    I'm more interested in how will the system perform when all DIMMs are fully loaded.
  • TAspect - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    All gaming tests are GPU bound, and that is why the CPU shows little to no scaling. The GTX 980 is clearly the bottleneck here. Either test with a GTX 1080 /Ti or lower settings until GPU is not a bottleneck.

    Tests only show average fps, which is a mistake as faster RAM affects minimum fps more than average. You should add 99% and 99.9% minimum fps to the graphs.

    You should also include G. Skill Flare X 3200 CL14 RAM with the Stilt's 3200 fast OC profile found in the Crosshair VI Hero UEFI. On other MB's the settings are relatively simple to configure and you only have to test stability once instead of tuning all subtimings for days.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Agreed on this. Game testing at more modest resolutions and settings would remove potential GPU bottlenecks from the results. Then again, there is a little bit of support for testing at settings closer to the settings an end user would realistically used on a daily basis. It does at least demonstrate the lack of change memory timings would have in a real-world gaming scenario. It'd be optimal to do both really so readers could see results free of GPU concerns AND see how memory perfomance will impact their day-to-day gaming.
  • lyssword - Friday, September 29, 2017 - link

    I think AT is one of the worst sites to get an idea of CPU gaming performance, always GPU limited or scripted part of the game with low cpu demand. Really the only time you see difference is 10% on bulldozer vs i7, where as in real world the difference is 40%. Most of the time AT test show almost no difference between core i3 and i7 because of that testing methodology
  • DabuXian - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    Trying to find a CPU bottleneck while using an old Geforce 980? Seriously? I'd expect some basic hardware knowledge from Anandtech?
  • r3loaded - Friday, September 29, 2017 - link

    I'd like to see what the effects are on Threadripper, considering that the IF spans two dies and the platform is geared towards maximising memory bandwidth.

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