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AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 7 7700X Review

Impressive Leaps in Performance

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
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Hardware Reviews 0

The next generation of Ryzen has finally arrived. Promising better performance per dollar, higher clock speeds, better gaming performance, and a brand new socket platform to take us into the future, the Ryzen 7000 series comes highly anticipated. Today, we’re here to tell you exactly how two chips in the line-up stack up: the Ryzen 5 7600X and the Ryzen 7 7700X. These two chips are poised to be the new mainstream powerhouses for gaming and content creation and we’re here to tell you how they stack up (spoiler alert: it’s impressive). 

Stay tuned over the next week as we return with another review focusing on the top two CPUs launching this month, the Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X.

Each of these chips perform well and the improvements may just be big enough to warrant an upgrade. Find out more in this review!

Specifications

Ryzen 7000 Series - Big Changes and Improvements

The Ryzen 7000 series promises major improvements, whether you’re a gamer, content creator, or a first-time builder looking to achieve the most bang for the buck. In AMD’s testing, it delivered a 13% IPC uplift compared to last generation, while also offering improvements to energy efficiency thanks to its 5nm fabrication process. The company also claims major improvements to single-core workloads, boosting performance up to 29% — a figure that should have a direct impact on gaming performance and Ryzen’s competitive performance with Intel. 

The 7000 series launches with four major SKUs to start. In this review, we’ll be looking at the Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 7 7700X. The R5 7600X features 6-cores/12-threads and features a maximum boost clock of 5.3GHz. The Ryzen 7 7700X features 8-cores/16-threads and a boost clock of 5.4GHz. Both CPUs sport 32MB of L3 Cache. When you combine L2 and L3 cache stores, the 7700X comes out slightly ahead with 40MB but the 7600X is close behind with 38MB. The TDP of both chips is the same at 105W with a maximum socket power spec of 142W. 

The other two SKUs are the Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X. The R9 7900X features 12 cores and 24 threads with a maximum clock speed of 5.6GHz. The 7950X is the top-tier chip and offers 16 cores and 32 threads with a maximum clock speed of 5.7GHz. L3 Cache on these CPUs is 64MB but the combined totals are a whopping 76MB and 80MB respectively. TDP is expectedly higher at 170W with a socket power spec of 230 watts. 

Each chip has a higher frequency than last generation, something that pays immediate dividends in in-game FPS. The highest tier part, the 7950X, even offers up to 29% higher single-core performance. Just as interesting is that the 7900X and 7950X purport to offer all-core workload speeds of 5.2GHz. These are big improvements that can lead to noticeably better performance in games, apps, and benchmarks. 

The 7000 series brings a number of improvements to the CPU core microarchitecture, enhancing elements such as branch prediction and increasing the Op Cache to increase the performance capability of this generation. The core now supports AVX-512 instructions for enhanced AI and machine learning applications.

The I/O die has also been enhanced in meaningful ways for everyday users. JEDEC memory speed support has been dramatically increased from 3200MHz to 5200MHz from last generation (more on that in a moment). Every chip now has basic RDNA 2 graphics for easier troubleshooting and accessibility for business applications. The chip also now features 28 PCIe 5.0 lanes to support your graphics card and multiple M.2 NVMe SSDs. 

While the TDP of each processor has gone up since the 5000 series, the power efficiency is much higher at 40% more performance per watt. If that TDP is too high for you, each chip also features an Eco Mode that shifts the CPU to a lower TDP (for example, 170W to 105W and 105W to 65W). Eco Mode also reconfigures the processor’s other parameters to match this lower power setting, as if it were designed for that lower spec straight out of the box. Impressively, AMD claims the processing improvements of this generation still allow for competitive and sometimes continued improved performance compared to the 5000 series when locked to these lower TDP settings. 

Another set of major changes with this generation comes with the memory. As we discussed above, the default speed is much higher than last generation, but overclocking has now been standardized and simplified with the introduction of AMD Expo. Like Intel’s XMP, Expo is a one-click overclocking standard to quickly and easily get your memory running up to its full speed. Memory kits certified for Expo will also have to publish full self-certification reports detailing the components and settings they used to certify that rated speed. It’s quick compatibility guarantee that simplifies the PC building and upgrading process. 

AMD has also made changes to the Infinity Fabric. In the 5000 series, the sweet spot for DDR4 memory was 3600MHz. While you could use memory that ran at higher speeds, the Infinity Fabric would run out of sync with the memory speed, decreasing performance. This generation, the Infinity Fabric speed defaults to 2000MHz, but only so long as your memory kit is DDR5-4800 to DDR5-6000. Anything higher and the fabric’s ratio with the memory changes. As a result, the sweet spot for memory speed and performance this generation is 6000MHz. 

Also important to note is that these advanced speeds are only available on two DIMM kits. I’ve heard from some insider contacts that this could potentially change as the platform matures, but if you’re looking to fill out all four DIMM slots, you’ll be limited to 3600MHz only. 

While it’s possible to manually overclock these chips, AMD recommends utilizing Precision Boost Overdrive to simplify the process. Ryzen 5000 series processors weren’t great overclockers, but that could change here. More on this in the overclocking section of this review (see below). 

One change that’s poised to be rather alarming is how these new CPUs manage thermals. Under heavy load, AMD expects these chips to hit their maximum temperature of 95C fairly often. They note that this is an intentional design decision made to maximize performance and that the chips are designed to run safely at this temperature “24/7 without risk of damage or deterioration. 

Pricing on these new processors begins at $299 for the 7600X and $399 for the 7700X. These are mainstream performance parts, designed for gamers and creators with medium sized budgets but high performance needs. For more serious creators and enthusiasts, the 7900X and 7950X come in at $549 and $699 respectively. 

The AM5 Platform

First introduced in 2016, the AM4 platform had a legendary run, but AMD is finally ready to move on to its next-generation solution. With the new Zen 4 chips, the company is debuting AM5 to the world. It offers major improvements to power delivery and connectivity, as well as support for DDR5 memory and PCI Express 5.0. 

Compared to last generation, the advantages of AM5 are plain to see. The new LGA1718 socket makes installation easier and less likely to result in a damaged CPU for new builders. DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 are both much faster, forward thinking solutions for graphics and add-in components, as well as memory, directly increasing gaming and application performance. Improved communication between the voltage and thermal components results in more stable power delivery, increasing the reliability and capability of your system. There’s also improved USB, display, and audio connectivity. 

The AM5 platform is also excellent for PCI Express lanes. In addition to the 28 lanes provided by the CPU itself, up to 20 additional are available for different components you may want to add to your system. This count is decreased by up to eight lanes the more SATA peripherals you use, but there should be plenty to fully outfit a system with a top of the line GPU and multiple NVMe SSDs with lanes to spare.

The new socket will be supported in four new motherboard tiers. X670 and X670 Extreme motherboards will launch alongside the new chips in September. These top tier boards come at high prices but offer all of the features described above in some truly unique, feature-packed designs. 

More affordable B650 and B650 Extreme versions will launch in October. The more affordable versions will offer scaled back USB connectivity and four fewer lanes. 

Corsair Vengeance DDR5 EXPO Memory

While AMD provided a platform kit to complete this review, Corsair supplied us with a kit of its Vengeance RGB DDR5 memory to swap in for testing. Having had excellent experiences with Corsair’s Vengeance memory throughout the entirety of the Ryzen 5000 series lifespan, I decided to utilize the same here to add consistency between generations. 

The Vengeance RGB DDR5 kit has a number of advantages if you’re looking for a kit to pair with your new Zen 4 processor. The first, in my opinion, is Corsair’s long history in the memory space. They’ve been a leader in memory performance, speed, and reliability for years. This is what drew me to them in the first place and has kept me with them ever since. 

The second reason is that their kits are fast and EXPO certified. The kits sent over for our review bench is a 16GB (2x8GB) kit clocked to 6000MHz — right in the sweet spot. Just as importantly, it features a fast CL30 latency. It’s one of the fastest kits you can find in terms of latency and should offer some of the best performance results possible on the AM5 platform. 

The other reason is the incredible RGB lighting they offer. The Vengeance series is, in my opinion, the best memory available for customizable RGB lighting. The upper edge features large, full-length diffusers to evenly spread lighting without hotspotting. It’s bright and looks great. 

Just as importantly, every LED is independently color customizable and can be easily synced within the company’s iCUE software. My personal system is thunderstorm themed using Corsair’s prior generation Vengeance DIMMs. While the RGB fans flash with a lighting-like effect on a purple background, the memory sticks mimic raindrops to complete the picture. The potential within iCUE is exceptional for an RGB-centric gaming rig and memory kits sit front and center to draw the eye. 

Is RGB the end-all-be-all of memory? Not even close. But when you’re building your personalized gaming rig, being able to tailor its look allows you to make it uniquely yours. The Corsair Vengeance RGB kit allows you to do that while also offering top-shelf performance and official EXPO certification. 

At the time of this writing, pricing is currently unknown. Based on the low latency speeds of the particular kit I was sent, I expect pricing to be around $300 but will update this article as official prices become available. 

Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 7 7700X - Performance Testing

AMD Test System #1: MSI X670 MEG Ace Motherboard, Corsair H115i RGB Platinum AIO, Corsair DDR5-6000 Vengeance RGB Memory (32GB), Nvidia RTX 3090, Gigabyte AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD 2TB, Corsair HX-1000i Power Supply, Windows 11 (fully updated).

AMD Test System #2: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master Motherboard, Corsair H115i RGB Platinum AIO, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB DDR4-3600 (32 GB), Nvidia RTX 3090, Gigabyte AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD 2TB, Corsair HX-1000i Power Supply, Windows 11 (fully updated).

Intel Test System #1: MSI Z690 MPG Carbon WiFi, Corsair iCUE Elite LCD 360mm, Corsair DDR5-6000 Vengeance RGB Memory (32GB), Nvidia RTX 3090, Samsung 970 Pro NVMe 1TB, Corsair HX-1050 1050 Watt Power Supply, Windows 11 (fully updated).

Intel Test System #2: ASUS Z490 Maximus XII Extreme, Corsair iCUE Elite LCD 360mm, G.Skill TridentZ Royal DDR4-3600MHz (32 GB), Nvidia RTX 3090, Samsung 970 Pro NVMe 1TB, Corsair HX-1050 1050 Watt Power Supply, (fully updated).

The test systems used throughout these reviews were built to be as symmetrical as possible. Throughout all of my testing. Tests were conducted in sequence between platforms, taking the components from one system to the next. Given platform support for DDR5 memory, that is a core differentiating factor between both system for each platform. 

Processing 

Compression

Rendering and Encoding

Gaming

Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 7 7700X - Overclocking

Overclocking these CPUs is possible due to the unlocked multiplier. Due to the high temperatures, I would recommend only attempting to do so using an effective liquid cooler. For my testing, I kept things simple and adjusted the all-core multiplier while allowing the motherboard to adjust the voltage. I was able to reach a peak all-core clock speed of 5.1 GHz on the 7700X and 5.2 GHz on the 7600X. It’s possible to eek a bit more performance from these chips by manually adjusting voltages, but the trade-offs in heat just don’t seem worth it for the real world performance benefits. 

Discussion and Final Thoughts

Looking at the results we’ve experienced, it’s clear that these are extremely powerful chips that deliver an exceptional value within their price-performance tier. This is particularly true for multicore performance. Given their pricing at the bottom of the release stack — while still not cheap — they offer excellent results for both gaming and content creation. Even the 7600X, ostensibly the low man on the totem pole, excellent performance in both single and multi-threaded tasks, though hems a bit closer to the 12600K when viewed holistically.

The real value earner here is certainly the Ryzen 7 7700X. With 8 cores and 16 threads, it’s continually trades blows with the i9-12900K, which isn’t what we expected going into this test. Team Blue still pulls ahead in single-threaded performance at times, but AMD has made real gains here, and you really can’t go wrong with this part in particular. 

At the same time, the 95C operating temperatures are concerning. Though AMD has described a shift in philosophy, long-time PC enthusiasts will likely find that a bit hot to the touch. This is the point when the CPU begins to throttle down. That perspective can be flipped, however, which is what AMD is doing in their presentation of this design quality: by engineering these chips to sit at their highest safe operating temperature, they’re existing at the peak of their performance potential — at least according to your cooling solution. Longer-term testing will be necessary to really evaluate this quality and come to a community consensus on if it’s a design the PC enthusiast sector is comfortable with. 

Then there’s power draw. Though the performance per watt has increased, the total energy draw has also gone up. Thankfully, Eco mode is an effective solution to limit TDP until you really want to unlock its full performance potential.

These chips make for an excellent first entry into the next generation of AMD hardware. Both represent an outstanding value, particularly if you plan to do more than pure gaming. If you’re budget conscious, we would recommend waiting on availability of lower cost motherboards as manufacturers are expectedly showcasing their most premium offerings, but this seems like a launch sure to please the majority of enthusiasts eager to see fiery competition in the CPU space.  

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.

8.5Great
Pros
  • Excellent performance per dollar
  • Very feature rich AM5 platform
  • Ryzen 7 7700X in particular is an excellent value for gamers and creators
  • AMD EXPO is straightforward and easy
  • Solid performance gains over last generation
Cons
  • High temps
  • High power draw (but Eco Mode is available)
  • Intel still pulls ahead too frequently in single-core performance
  • Effective cooling is necessary and not included with either model


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight