Today, we’re finally taking an in-depth look at AMD Ryzen with the 1800X processor, the top SKU in the Ryzen stack priced at $499. The 1800x features 8 cores and 16 threads along with a 95W TDP. For clock speeds, it comes out of the box at 3.6GHz and advertises a boost clock of 4GHz.
XFR & Boost
As this is one of the “X” series of Ryzen processors it supports “XFR” or Extended Frequency Range. XFR is advertised as giving more performance as long as the end user is able to cool the CPU well enough.
I need to clear this up a bit. Many were lead to believe this was an automated overclocking feature that makes it unnecessary to manually overclock for the best speeds. Unfortunately, XFR as it is limited to only working on a single core and only truly gets utilized when performing demanding single threaded tasks.
In addition, the XFR boost is limited on X-series CPUs to 100MHz, while non-X processors, like the AMD Ryzen 7 1700, are limited to 50MHz of additional boost on that single core. This adds up to little for gamers and won’t serve you any good unless you’re playing a very unoptimized title that runs on a single core.
As you can see, the 1800X sits steadily at 3.7GHz/1.26v which is the highest boost I’ve seen when performing multi-threaded workloads. So again, I’ll say that the advertised 4GHz boost, as well as the XFR headroom, are limited to a single core that I’ve found to really only show its strength in a few select single threaded benchmarks like CPU-Z.
For manual overclocking, things were a little touchy at first. I struggled to find a stable voltage for any frequency over 4GHz. I thought I’d finally settled at 4GHz and 1.35v for my stable OC until I began testing CPU intensive applications like Sony Vegas and gaming in Battlefield 1 that resulted in almost an immediate blue screen on launch.
So, I had to settle at 3.9GHz @1.345v which gave us a decent little bump in performance. Still, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit disappointed with the overclocking potential on my 1800X. I’m excited to see what results other reviewers are getting in their testing as well as anyone out there watching this. If you happened to get an 1800X, please let us know in the comments what your best overclock was.
|AMD Ryzen 1800X|
|See Amazon Price|
The reviewer kit for the 1800X was shipped along with a Noctua tower heatsink that had a single fan. To try and leverage some additional cooling I put on a second 120mm fan for a push-pull configuration. At the time of this review, I’m still waiting for an AM4 bracket to use in the Better Red build. Once that gets here, I’ll immediately jump into testing on water and give you an update to see if there’s any additional overclocking headroom.
In my testing at stock settings, the average temp under load was 69C after running Aida64 for one hour. When I applied my overclock of 3.9GHz that temperature rose to 74C.
Now jumping into our performance benchmarking. I went through a selection of synthetic benchmarks to give us some baseline performance numbers between the Ryzen 1800X and the Intel i7 6800K which is one of their enthusiast level X99 processors. In addition to that, I’ll also go over gaming benchmarks from a good mix of modern titles.
Test System for AMD Ryzen 1800X:
Our AMD testing system uses the Gigabyte X370 Ryzen Gaming 5, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM at 3000MHz which was working stable from the XMP profile in the BIOS of the Gigabyte motherboard. A list of Ram for Ryzen at 3200MHz can be found here. All of our games and benchmarks were running off of Samsung SSDs.
For cooling, I used the included Noctua air cooler that came with the reviewers kit.
Test System for the Intel i7-6800k
The Intel i7-6800k system was tested at stock settings as well as with a 4.3GHz overclock in the Asus X99-A motherboard along with 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM at 3000MHz. This is the very same RAM as our AMD system.
The only difference being this is a quad-channel setup as opposed to the dual-channel one of our 1800X build.
Lastly, for the cooler, I ended up using the BeQuiet Dark Rock 3 so that should help keep things fair with both systems using air coolers.
AMD Ryzen 1800X vs Intel i7-6800k Benchmarks
Kicking things off with Sony Vegas and rendering out a 5-minute 4k video, with two layers of video, both filmed in 4k at 24fps as well as an additional layer with a watermark over the videos.
In a real world test like rendering out 4K video, something I do on a daily basis, we get to see the true benefit of having an 8-Core CPU with AMD Ryzen.
Sony Vegas Benchmark
Our 1800X was able to render out the 5-minute 4k video at a bitrate of 50 million in just over 19 minutes at stock settings, while reducing that to 17.6 minutes when our manual overclock of 3.9GHz was used. Things are just a bit different with the Intel X99 part, taking a 27.6 minutes at stock settings and 22.4 minutes with that 4.3GHz overclock.
Without a doubt, this is something that will prove invaluable to a content creator like myself because if you add up the amount of time you gain back by shaving off 5-8 minutes on every video, that ends up working out to quite bit over the course of a year.
|AMD Ryzen 1800X|
|See Amazon Price|
Taking that very same file and converting it in Handbreak to a 4k, MKV file from its original MP4 encoding, the 1800X manages to take a commanding lead yet again. Finishing its render 137 seconds at stock speeds and reducing that to 129 seconds when overclocked. Meanwhile, our 6800K took 180 seconds to finish that same encoding at stock settings and 145 seconds when overclocked.
This benchmark is a rather interesting one because, as you’ll see in the performance numbers, our 1800X actually loses some speed with the manual overclock of 3.9GHz. The reason for this is that with the manual overclock, XFR did not kick in like it did at stock settings. However, this really isn’t something to be concerned as the only time I’ve seen XFR matter is in running synthetic benchmarks as the XFR is limited to only one core (as previously mentioned).
So hopefully that explains why we see a 5 point difference on the 1800X, dropping from 162 to 157 in single core testing. The Intel i7-6800k manages to gain ground going from 152 to 178, winning out with its 4.3GHz overclock. However, it’s important to note that when both processors were at stock settings, the 1800X did get a victory by 10cb.
In multithreading, we see a much different story as the 1800X stomps a complete mudhole into the 6800K. Pulling in 1639cb at stock settings and 1698 when overclocked. So, not a huge gain there, but more than enough to win here with the i7 only getting 1087 at stock speeds and 1331 when overclocked.
AMD Ryzen 1800x vs i7-6800k CPU-Z Benchmark
In CPU-Z we end up seeing the same thing here where the 1800X dominates in multithreading as well as single threaded performance, but once again with the manual overclock we see the 1800X losing a small amount of performance without XFR to help.
3D Mark Physics Score
Our last synthetic benchmark here which probably applies most to gamers is the 3D Mark Physics score test. Here we get to see the 1800X at stock settings getting 19003 and 20034 when overclocked.Falling far behind at stock settings the 6800K only manages a score of 14920 while when overclocked actually beats out the 1800X stock score by a narrow margin, getting 19094.
Gaming Performance Benchmarks AMD Ryzen 1800x vs i7-6800k
For our gaming performance, we will start with Average FPS and then move into separate graphs to go over the minimums. All of our game performance was measured at 1080p ultra settings with a GTX 1080 that is overclocked with 200MHz on the core and 300MHz on the memory.
Why 1080p and not 1440p and 4k?
The reason I’m only testing at 1080p is that as you increase resolution the performance difference we begin to see come down solely to the pixel throughput of the GPU, rather than the speed or number of cores on our CPU. So by testing at 1080p, we get to see which of these processors is capable of delivering the most FPS as possible.
Stock Gaming Performance – Average FPS
Beginning with stock performance testing these numbers are extremely close. Some are so close, that it’s pretty much within the margin of error. However, the 6800K does win consistently over course of the 10 games tested with a few exceptions. On the whole, here we see Intel winning by an average of roughly 4FPS.
One other exception in here would be Overwatch where both saw a pretty hard bottleneck in testing. As I monitored performance, it was apparent that this game only utilizes up to 2 cores at any one time. This held back our GTX 1080 at 1080p to only 80% utilization. This resulted in both CPUs tying at 154 average FPS.
Ryzen 1800X vs i7-6800k Minimum Frames
The landscape here changes up a bit with the minimums where Ryzen took the lead in 4 titles with Sniper Elite 4, Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3 and The Division while also tying in Overwatch and GTA V with the 6800K.
Overclocked Gaming Benchmarks R7 1800X vs i7-6800k
Now looking at our overclocked game testing we see that Intel is able to take a win thanks to its higher overclocking potential being at 4.3GHz. Here we saw a tie in only one game Overwatch, but like we discussed this comes down to a bottleneck of the game only using 2 cores on either processor.
Once again we take a look at the minimums, but now with both CPUs overclocked we get to see the advantage swaying to Intel while the 1800X did tie here in Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch and Sniper Elite 4, Intel swept the other 7 games tested.
In conclusion, I think what the 1800X is able to do at its pricepoint of $499 is extremely impressive when you consider the Intel parts that are in its same weight class. Consider the 6900K which is over $1000. Unfortunately, I don’t have a 6900K to test, but comparing scores on my synthetic benchmarks with other reviews out there on the $1000 CPU, I can tell you that the 1800X manages to maintain a strong lead in multi-threaded tasks like video editing.
The margin of victory certainly narrows against a comparable 8-core/16-thread part, buts its still winning or tying the 6900K while doing it at half the price and with much cheaper motherboard options.
When it comes down to in-game performance, we do see the 1800X trailing behind here against the $410 priced 6800K. It shows its true strength at multithreaded tasks. In my opinion, the performance difference we see here would not be enough to sway me to get the Intel CPU if I had any intention of doing any sort of work that would benefit from more cores.
So if you’re a streamer, youtuber, photo editor, graphic artist or a content creator of any kind, there is no reason right now to buy an X99 processor. You’re better off going with AMD for better performance at a better price.
For those of you out there that are strictly gamers, the decision is really up to you for which side you’d like to support. Another thing to consider is that Ryzen could prove to be better over time as more DirectX 12 titles become available. Hopefully, developers will begin to leverage the additional cores and threads to get the most performance possible.
So, with that I’m going to go on and get out of here guys. If you enjoyed today’s review please consider leaving me a comment. If you want to buy the Ryzen 1800X, then take a look at the link down below to give me a small kickback on Amazon.
|AMD Ryzen 1800X|
|See Amazon Price|