ProsNice upgrade from last year's parts; competitive pricing; lots of value-added features; capable new X470 platform
ConsIdle and load power use have gone up with the higher clockspeeds; gaming performance still not at Intel's level
CPU-Z Built-in Benchmark
We like to run CPU-z because it's a free, easy, and safe benchmark to use to get some baseline data.
As can be seen above, the single-core win goes to the Core i7-7700K, which beats the 2700X by 11%. That starts to sound a bit less impressive once you see the 2700X jump 80% ahead of the 7700K in the multi-core test! The Ryzen 5 2600X also proves impressive, offering single-core performance similar to the 2700X, and multi-core performance on par with the other eight-core processors in this test, the Ryzen 7 1700 and Core i7-6900K. Consider for a moment that the 6900K debuted at $1,100 in May of 2016 and you'll realize exactly how far we've come in the intervening two years. We have AMD to thank for making multi-core computing accessible to a much wider audience.
Cinebench has quickly become one of the most widely-cited benchmarks, probably because like CPU-z, it's free and easy to use, and it has the added benefit of actually loading up the CPU with a useful task: rendering an image!
Again we see the 2700X running away with the multi-core win, coming in at 26% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, which it matches in price. It's also nearly twice as fast as the 7700K. Sure, it and the 2600X still fall behind in single-core loads, but we think the total picture here is pretty compelling.
3DMark Time Spy
To give us another baseline, we're going to give you the numbers generated by 3DMark Time Spy, the newest in a long line of easily-comparable benchmarks from FutureMark. It's now owned by UL, the respected testing company previously known as Underwriters Laboratories. While it's marketed as a gaming benchmark, it actually has a very good CPU-specific test that provides a separate score from the graphics card tests.
Time Spy harnesses the power of Microsoft's DirectX 12. DX12 is a lower-level graphics API than its predecessor DX11, which means it's harder to code for, but also allows developers to get "closer to the metal", i.e., the CPU. It should in theory take better advantage of all of a CPU's cores, as well as Hyperthreading (or Simultaneous Multithreading, in AMD-speak). To help demonstrate the significance of this, we've thrown in a result from our Core i5-6600K, a 3.6GHz quad-core CPU that lacks any HT/SMT capability. Keep in mind that it has the same IPC as the Core i7-7700K, meaning it's faster on a single-core level than the Ryzen CPUs.
To interpret the results, we suggest you focus on the grey bars (the CPU Score). AMD has been trotting out its own data using this benchmark, but has focused on the Overall score to show how great Pinnacle Ridge is at gaming, but honestly, we don't read the test that way, and neither should you. Yes, it's ahead in the CPU benchmark as we'd expect, which leads to a higher overall score, but games aren't as massively multi-threaded as this test, which is why we suggest you turn to the next page to see how things actually turn out in games!