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AMD Ryzen 7 1800X review




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AMD Ryzen 7 1800 X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800 X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X


Our Score:



  • Blistering multi-threaded performance
  • Exceptionally good value
  • AM4 platform allows for easy upgrades
  • Unlocked for easy overclocking


  • Single-core performance slower than 7700K
  • Too pricey for most

Key Features

  • 8 cores/16 threads
  • 16MB L3 cache
  • 3.6GHz base clock / 4GHz boost clock
  • Simultaneous multi-threading
  • Zen architecture
  • Multiplier unlocked
  • Manufacturer: AMD
  • Review Price: £499.00

What is the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X?

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is the top-of-the-line processor from AMD’s new Ryzen range of CPUs that’s launching today. Boasting eight cores, it’s a monster chip that’s designed to power through the heaviest of workloads – and take on the likes of the Intel Core i7-6900K.

AMD releasing a CPU isn't new, but this time round the company has delivered on its promises by way of a leap in performance and power efficiency. As a result, the AMD Ryzen 1800X and the rest of the AMD Ryzen lineup bring true competition to the CPU market for the first time in a decade.

Not that the 1800X comes cheap. It will set you back £500, while the cheapest Ryzen 7 processor launching today costs £330. However, it undercuts the competition from Intel by a significant margin, and suggests bargains await when the rest of the AMD Ryzen range launches later in the year.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X – Ryzen and Zen

To recap, Ryzen is the new brand name for AMD’s fresh line of CPUs. It’s akin to Intel’s Core branding and either replaces or sits alongside AMD’s older Athlon and FX models. Since these are CPUs only, with no built-in GPU, they sit apart from the company’s A-series APUs.

Like the older brands Ryzen will cover a wide range of CPUs, running from the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 chips that have just launched, down through Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3, which will be arriving later in the year. If you're just into gaming and won't be embarking on big video editing projects, it's probably worth waiting for those to launch instead.

Related: The best CPUs for gaming, tested

All the Ryzen chips will be based on the company’s completely new CPU micro-architecture – the underlying design that makes up the chips – known as Zen. This is a significant change from previous AMD designs and it brings with it huge leaps in power efficiency and raw performance.

The biggest development is that the number of instructions per clock – the calculations for each tick of the CPU’s internal many-GHz clock – that Zen is capable of has leapt 40% over previous AMD designs.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

Zen also brings support for simultaneous multi-threading for the first time. This is where each core of the chip can deal with two threads at once, making it appear to your software that it's a dual-core, or in the case of these Ryzen 7 chips, 16-core chip. It’s analogous to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology.

Along with these improvements, Zen is also far more power efficient than before, thanks in part to more granular control of the processor’s speed and voltage; it's able to ramp up and down far faster than before. The technology for managing this is called SenseMI.

Also crucial is the move to a new 14 nanometre (nm) FinFET manufacturing process. This brings AMD in line with Intel’s current lineup of CPUs – the Kaby Lake range – that also use a different but equally small 14nm technology.

The general rule is that the smaller the manufacturing technique, the greater power efficiency and the lower the price of manufacture; generally, this is in area where Intel has led over AMD.

This time round, however, Intel hasn’t been able to keep up its usual pace of development, allowing AMD to catch up.

What’s more, this doesn’t look set to change any time soon. Kaby Lake only just launched, and Intel’s smaller 10nm technology isn’t expected to arrive until well into 2018, with the Cannonlake range of processors.

Other features to arrive with Zen and Ryzen include support for DDR4 and a new auto-overclocking feature called XFR (eXtended Frequency Range). Like Intel, AMD’s chips have a base clock frequency and a boost clock frequency that allow the chip to ramp up and down in response to the workload. XFR is the last bit of auto-overclocking that can be applied to a single core, if the processor isn’t too hot. It can apply up to 100MHz on top of the boost clock speed on X chips and up to 50MHz for non-X chips. This should mean the processor is always working to very near its maximum capability.

The Ryzen 7 range

There are just three Ryzen chips launching today: the Ryzen 7 1800X, the Ryzen 7 1700X and the Ryzen 7 1700. These are set to be the top three chips that will be available for the foreseeable future. However, cheaper chips will be making an appearance later in the year.

All three are 8-core/16-thread chips, which are also multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking. This is great, but it rather begs the question of what differentiates the three and what defines the numbering/naming system AMD has used. So let’s break it down.

The easy bit is the first number. Just like Intel has Core i7, i5 and i3 to denote a general overarching summary of the performance level of the chip, so is the case with Ryzen. Ryzen 7 is "prosumer", Ryzen 5 is high-end consumer and Ryzen 3 is mainstream.

Next is the second number, which is split into three parts. Like Intel, the first digit is the generation of the chip, so all the new Ryzen chips will start with a 1.

The next digit is essentially then a repeat of the first number, giving a broad indication of the performance level. Then follow two more numbers for further differentiation of the performance level.

Finally, at the end is an optional letter (normal processors don’t get a letter) An X denotes the extra XFR speed bump, plus there are various other options for low-power and mobile variants.

Product Line Model Base Clock (GHz) Boost Clock (GHz) TDP (Watts) Included Cooler Suggested Price
Ryzen 7 1800X 3.6 4 95 N/A $499/£480 inc VAT
Ryzen 7 1700X 3.4 3.8 95 N/A $399/£384 inc VAT
Ryzen 7 1700 3 3.7 65 Wraith Spire $329/£316 inc VAT

It seems logical enough, but when applied to the three chips launching today, it isn't exactly clear. All three chips are essentially identical except for clock speed and XFR, but the numbering system seems to suggest they have different features.

In contrast, if you're familiar with Intel’s labelling scheme then you can look at the name of a chip and pretty much determine its features and roughly the speed of which it’s capable. This isn't the case with AMD’s system.

Regardless, the 1800X, 1700X and 1700 are priced at £499, £399 and £330 respectively, and AMD is pitching them as direct competition to the Intel Core i7-6900K, 6800K and 7700K.

However, while the 6800K and 7700K are roughly the same price as the 1700X and 1700, the 6900K is more than twice the price of the 1800X. As such, if it can deliver similar performance, the 1800X is going to be quite the bargain.

Meanwhile, the 7700K is only a quad-core chip going up against the eight-core 1700, which again suggests a possible big win for AMD. However, the 7700K is clocked considerably faster, and so will have the edge in single-threaded applications; it will be interesting to see how it performs.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X – AM4 platform

Launching alongside Ryzen is the AM4 platform and five new chipsets. This will mean buyers have to get both a new motherboard and CPU if they want to invest in a Ryzen processor. However, AMD has committed to continuing to support AM4 for future CPUs, so you won’t have to upgrade your motherboard again too soon.

Moreover, AMD is using a single-socket and motherboard platform for its full range of CPUs. So even though there are no cheap CPUs available yet, when lower-priced Ryzen chips eventually launch, you’ll be able to buy a cheap motherboard and quad-core processor and still have the option of later upgrading all the way to the top-of-the-line eight-core chips.

In contrast, Intel requires you to jump to an expensive X99 motherboard to gain access to any of its processors with more than four cores.

That said, Intel still has an advantage when it comes to the raw power of its chipsets. The X99 chipset has a whopping 40 PCI-E lanes, allowing for huge multi-graphics card configurations and storage arrays. The current top AM4 chipset – the X370 – has just 20. This remains enough for a single x16 graphics card and x4 PCI-E SSD, but for truly extreme performance Intel still has an edge.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

Otherwise, AMD’s new chipsets are essentially just playing catch-up. You get DDR4 support, USB 3.1, PCI-E 3.0 and all the usual SATA ports and other connectivity options you’d expect. Both the X370 and B250 chipsets will also support overclocking, but only X370 will be able to handle multiple graphics cards. Meanwhile, the A320 chipset drops overclocking support.

The X300 and A300 chipsets are meant for small-form-factor systems, and they take an interesting approach. They’re essentially nothing more than a PCI-E interface to the CPU, with all other I/O and features left to motherboard manufacturers. This makes the chips tiny, in turn making them very low power and leaving plenty of room for motherboard manufacturers to optimise their board designs to fit the features they want.

AM4 uses a new cooler-mounting system. As a result, three new CPU coolers will be launching alongside Ryzen – although AMD freely admits that it expects users to buy alternatives. Indeed, the 1800X won’t be available at all with a cooler included. The new cooler-mounting system will mean that, depending on how existing coolers affix to the motherboard, many existing coolers won’t fit. Many will work with small tweaks, though.

Finally, thermal design power is another area AMD has made some gains. The 1800X and 1700X are 95W TDP chips, but the 1700 is just a 65W. In comparison, the Intel Core i7-7700K has a 91W TDP, while the 6900K and 6800K have a 140W TDP.


March 2, 2017, 4:38 pm

I'm all up for the underdog and having some competition, but the single thread benchmarks aren't as good for Zen as Intel's and these are the one that matter most for gaming and day to day tasks since most games and apps can't take significant advantage of multi-core cpu's.

AMD should have really thought out the single thread performance before releasing these chips. I was all hyped for Intel to finally get a thrashing and to be able to get some decent CPU's at reasonably affordable prices compared to years of Intel extortion in the market.

Hope Vega doesn't screw up against the 1080ti as well.


March 2, 2017, 5:16 pm

Far too early to call it like that. The 7700K is a quad-core chip, 1800X is eight-core. The 1800X beats Intel's rival eight-core for single- and multi-thread performance (well, it rivals it - they exchange top spot). It does seem unlikely AMD will quite be able to reach 7700K levels of single-thread performance with its quad-core parts but we simply don't know yet. I'd say that if it can get within 10-15% then it's onto a winner, if it's priced right. Moreover, if it can get close enough that it forces Intel to lower the price of the 7700K then everyone's a winner.


March 2, 2017, 5:25 pm

I guess when you look at bang for buck then the Zens could possibly pan out especially if it starts a price war not seen since the good old Athlon times.....


March 2, 2017, 5:54 pm

You analysis is way off friend. Programmers and game developers can now take advantage of the Ryzen chips neural network, 8 cores and on chip cache. Apps can now be developed to be more powerful on that chip. The restrictions have always been that games were developed for few cores, now we have 8


March 3, 2017, 12:27 pm

While that's a fair comment, I do lots of numerical simulations that scale on multiple cores very well. We've had to use Intel chips in our clusters for a decade but suddenly AMD has offered a very interesting alternative. Considering we are at the start of the process of buying a new cluster, and we're looking at buying several hundred CPUs, the parallel capability is brilliant. (and our cluster is small!)

While I appreciate our usage is unusual to most, consider that high performance compute facilities or data centres buy CPUs in quantities of hundreds or thousands for applications that - these days - scale really well on many threads. (Our applications scale well on cores rather than threads, but that's another discussion for another day) I, personally, am glad AMD didn't hold off on releasing this chip to improve single thread performance. It is still first-gen; I reckon the Zens in a couple of years time should be something special.


March 3, 2017, 3:12 pm

I can definitely see the potential. The muti-thread performance is already good and to be fair Intel have had years to fine tune their architecture so a few cycles down the road the Zen should be an all round perfect choice, but at the moment, IMO the single thread and memory bandwidth performance need fine tuning especially since SMT has proven to reduce FPS in games when switched on.

AMD themselves said that their Zen will improve over time. I'm just hoping they didn't release it prematurely with the next iteration being the chip to have just like how Windows 7 was the one to have over Vista.


March 3, 2017, 3:57 pm

Very good point on the memory bandwidth and we're looking to see how this is handled on the multi-CPU boards.

Nothing can compare with how Windows 7 was the one to have over Vista! Just thinking about Vista again is giving me small spasms...!


March 4, 2017, 2:14 am

It is not only the CPU that is working toward the right direction, even I/O has improved a lot.


March 7, 2017, 3:36 am


The point that no one wants to actually state directly is that Intel doesn't have an 8 core chip that can challenge their 4 core 7700 either. Therefore this constant comparison in single core and few core games and apps between AMD's "8" core chips and Intel's "4" core chips is immaterial because no one is dinging Intel for the failure of its own 8 core chips being unable to beat the 7700. Good grief people ,this incessant apples to oranges comparison is really painting the PC online reviewers in a very bad light. Even more disturbing is the fact that so few people are complaining about it. This is essentially on par with the main stream media's totally one sided bias against trump.


March 7, 2017, 10:21 am

Not entirely sure why your reply is directed at me, given I am basically supporting the points you raise in my review. As for the bit about Trump, not sure that really helps your argument.


March 7, 2017, 9:51 pm

If you were selling Intel CPUs then you might want to rethink that career...


March 7, 2017, 9:57 pm

It'd be cool to take advantage of its neural network but I think it's only used for smarter branch prediction, which is good for IPC but probably more marketing than real AI. Shame; it'd be fun getting it to ask "Shall we play a game?" :o)

The analysis was pretty astute for the as-is; you're predicting that AMD's strategy will pay off in the future which it may well. I've got 6 intel cores so anything that pushes development for higher numbers of cores is good in my book.


March 7, 2017, 10:02 pm

For the price it's still good for gaming, it's just that Intel beats it at that price-point. Considering what a joke AMD's been for years that's still a pretty amazing turnaround.

The fact that for many tasks they whup Intel is fantastic; it's just a shame that what most high-performance seekers want high performance for is the area where it's weakest.

In real life scenarios will the GPU or the CPU be the limiting factor? It'll vary by game but for most well-written games I'd expect it to be the GPU.


March 7, 2017, 10:05 pm

Wait, is there a new Godwin's Law that replaces the Nazis with Trump? I mean it makes sense obviously, I'm just surprised I hadn't heard.

Sy Isma

March 8, 2017, 7:46 am

So you complain ryzen 1800x gaming performance lower than i7 7700k. So what the diffrent with i7 6900k?? Are you forgetting it also perform lower than i7 7700k but cost 1000 dollar? Talking about bias..

Matthew Salmon

March 8, 2017, 10:09 pm

This comment makes no sense. The only reason people buy the 6900k over the 7700k is for multithreaded workstation applications..video editing etc.. not for gaming. You can game on a pentium anniversary edition cpu and see little drop in framerates on most games. Really Ryzen is only good value when put against 2011 systems.. for the average user its prob best to stick to skylake.


March 9, 2017, 6:04 pm

That´s why Ryzen received an almost 5 stars review.
Maybe this review was made 6 years ago? Or maybe reviewers put the processor in a new category: the "retro CPUs"?

Matthew Salmon

March 9, 2017, 6:45 pm

what point is it you're trying to make?


March 13, 2017, 2:52 am

The Ryzen is pitted against the 6900 not the 7700 as it performs and excels the 8 cores, Wait for the 4 core to see if the Ryzen platform is as good as in the 8 core space.

Stay with intel if you want the best 4 core performance for you're money, but AMD is the way to go for 8 Core.

The game optimizations will come if Ryzen sells well in the following months.


March 16, 2017, 11:21 am

This part "Really Ryzen is only good value when put against 2011 systems.." in your comment can be misunderstood.
First: yes, you have good options in the counterpart and surely IF you have skylake, keep it. There´s no point in exchanging for Ryzen.
Second: there´s much value in buying Ryzen right now IF you are choosing between Ryzen or Skylake.
I just wanted to adjust that part of the comment, because in some way, comparing a 2017 processor with old 2011 ones sounds really ugly :-)

Matthew Salmon

March 16, 2017, 11:39 am

Obv mean socket 2011 systems ie the higher end Intel 8 core enthusiast socket. Its really this cpu intensive workstation space that Ryzen really has a place in the market. If you do alot of CPU intensive work then a £500 amd cpu vs a £1000 intel one really makes alot of sense..


March 16, 2017, 12:43 pm

Yeah, agreed... from the reviews, R7 is struggling a little in games and people is waiting for R5 with better perf/core. But in multithread scenarios, it really shines and has awesome perf/price.

Marc Lowli

March 16, 2017, 4:42 pm

as usual, 8 amd cores roughly equal 4 intel

Marc Lowli

March 16, 2017, 4:43 pm

shit, go for skylake dude, if you want performance that is...

Marc Lowli

March 16, 2017, 4:45 pm

ryzen would do well to hold its own against the i3 series, let alone anything with 4 cores

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