AMD Ryzen 5 1400, 1500X and 1600X CPU Review
Published: 11th April 2017 | Source: AMD | Price: |
With the release of the Ryzen 7 it quickly became clear that AMD had returned to their glory days of yore. With both the 1700 and 1800X proving to be that beautiful combination of performance and competitive pricing. However, AMD still have a huge market share in the more affordable end of the spectrum, so the Ryzen 5 range would be the models that truly determined if AMD are back on track or if the Ryzen 7 was a glitch in the matrix.
We're delighted to report that the Ryzen 5s are as good as the Ryzen 7s were.
Much like the Ryzen 7 1800X was a barnstormer, but the 1700 proved itself to be the wise choice thanks to its affordability and performance, so the 1500X is probably the star of today's review. We were hoping that the 1400 would do with the Ryzen 5 range what the 1700 did with the Ryzen 7, but whilst it was good, it wasn't quite the shining beacon that we hoped. That isn't to say it's bad at all, it isn't, merely that it is the model on the tipping point where overclocking can only achieve so much. The 1500X, however, was very good in 'out of the box' trim, but particularly shone once we'd overclocked it. 4 GHz on the quad-cores it contains ended up running the hex core 1600X close in many tests, and often far out-performed its price tag. It isn't a case of performance at the cost of efficiency either, as the 1500X is 23W better at the wall than the i7-7700K at stock, and 30W better than the 1400 when overclocked. So it overclocks harder than the 1400, performs faster, but takes less power to do so.
There are some benchmarks, usually calculation heavy ones like rendering or video encoding, where no amount of clock speed can overcome a core deficiency, and it was in these tests that the 1600X shone. Like the 1500X it could be overclocked to 4 GHz with 3200 MHz DDR4, more than enough for most tasks you can throw at it. If you find that you require a little more performance for rendering or encoding than a quad core CPU can handle then the Ryzen 5 1600X is definitely the one to go for.
The Achilles Heel of AMD CPUs of old was definitely their heat generation and, as has been well documented, this is something that AMD have cured with the Ryzen range, albeit whilst - for reasons best known to themselves - pretending the chips are hotter than they really are. The Ryzen 5 CPUs are definitely running on the cool end of the spectrum. We know we've got a pretty beefy CPU cooler in our test rig, but even still the 1400 was 39° at stock, 61° overclocked; the 1500X was 47° and 57° stock and overclocked respectively, whilst the 1600X was 70° and 78°. Except that the 1600X also has the 20° offset that has caused so much consternation, so is probably on a par with the 1500X in actuality.
Lastly as our 3D benchmarks showed, even the humble Ryzen 5 1400 has enough CPU grunt to get past 60 FPS in modern titles with our test GPU. If gaming is all you care about then grab the cheap CPU and spend the savings on a beefier GPU. And don't give us the 'oh in certain titles' spiel as Total Warhammer is about as CPU intensive as you're likely to get this side of Football Manager or a Chess game, and the Ryzens still pumped out super smooth gameplay.
If you want a quad core CPU then we think that the Ryzen 5 1400, whilst good, just hasn't got quite the same performance as the 1500X, thus they it won our Approved and the 1500X ended up with our Gamers Choice Award and this is the one out of the three we would recommend for most people considering the small amount extra it costs over the 1400 and the performance you can get compared to the 1600X in most games.. The Ryzen 5 1600X is another step up in price, but still a very affordable for a six core CPU with some decent overclocking headroom, hence it also winning our Approved Award.
Ryzen 5 1400
Ryzen 5 1500X
Ryzen 5 1600X
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