It seems like only yesterday that the first generation of AMD Ryzen processors entered the market. A year later, AMD is proud to introduce their second generation of processors under the code name, Pinnacle Ridge. The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and AMD 5 Ryzen 2600X are six-core processors that cater to the mid-range market, or for the more demanding user, AMD brings you their eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processors. The main purpose of this article will be to compare the second generation of AMD Ryzen processors to the Intel Core Coffee Lake i5 8600K and i7 8700K, which currently hold the crown as the best gaming processors.
How the AMD Pinnacle Ridge compares with competitive Intel Processors on paper.
|Model||AMD Ryzen 5 2600||AMD Ryzen 5 2600X||Intel Core i5 8600K||AMD Ryzen 2700||AMD Ryzen 2700X||Intel Core i7 8700K|
|Number of Cores/Threads||6/12||6/12||6/6||8/16||8/16||6/12|
|Max Boost Clock||3.9GHz||4.25GHz||4.3GHz||4.1GHz||4.35GHz||4.7GHz|
|L3 Cache||19 MB||19 MB||9 MB||9 MB||20 MB||20 MB|
|Number of PCI-E 3.0 lines||16||16||16||16||16||16|
|TDP||65 W||95 W||65 W||65 W||105 W||95 W|
|IHS brazed chip||✓||✓||✕||✓||✓||✕|
|Selling price||170,9 GBP||285,9 GBP||213,9 GBP||270,9 GBP||285,9 GBP||304,9 GBP|
Everyone knew there wouldn't be much of a wait after AMD Ryzen's first generation of processors came out. Sure enough, just a year later the second generation are here. At the time, there was speculation as to whether Ryzen's first generation would be worth purchasing or if shoppers should wait a little longer for the second generation Zen+ 12 nanometer processor. Well now the Ryzen Pinnacle Ridge is here, and it brings with it a greater IPC performance, a higher base clock speed with precision boost 2 technology and a new chipset for a new motherboard.
When I tested the AMD Ryzen's first generation of processors, I said they would mature like a fine wine as the operating systems catch up with the new technology. I believe that the same goes for the AMD Ryzen 2 processors. However, of course, we should be able to expect some improvements from the beginning with the new AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X and AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and 2700X processors.
AMD Ryzen's first generation had one major flaw. To get the best performance, you had to overclock both the processor itself and the operating memory. You can see from the AMD Ryzen 2's design that it will also inherently suffer from this same handicap. However, there seems to be a smaller difference between the RAM and CPU defaults and their overclocking potential when pushed to their max, which is great news economically. The 2nd generation of AMD Ryzen processors is simply more impressive than their predecessors with a much higher base clock count. It appears that AMD has learned a lot in the last year.
In today's article, we won't be looking at how the Ryzen processors operate as you can read all about that in my review of the first generation. However, we do need to take a quick look at how I tested the processors to compare them. Measuring and then laying out the results in a way that displays an accurate comparison of the results is not easy. First of all, I compared the average purchase price of the hardware where that was possible and put processors of a similar comparative price together. This means that the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X are judged against the Intel Core i5 8600K, and the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 and 2700X are judged against the Intel Core i7 8700K. Other Intel processors might have fit into this range, but as I also wanted to show the comparison between the new AMD Ryzen 2 with their previous generation, there was no room for testing other models this time. In all of the following charts, the CPUs have been tested both in default (factory settings) and when overclocked to their maximum performances.
It is well known that the AMD Ryzen does quite well in the Cinebench test, but the higher IPC Intel Coffee Lake processor still gives it a run for its money. The AMD Ryzen's performance in this test is so superior because they can minimise their RAM use through using Infinity Fabric to increase the speed of communication between CCX modules.
Both the secondary Cinebench test and the secondary Geekbench test present the results of single-thread tests. There are very few modern applications that use only one thread, so the results of these tests are irrelevant for most users.
I updated Geekbench to the latest version during the testing process so I had to reassess the older results again. This test looks at processes you are likely to run into during your day-to-day work. You can do these tests yourself at home. The overclocked AMD Ryzen 7 didn't do badly, but the Intel i7 8700K pushes into a much higher range after overclocking and delidding.
If you know for certain that you will mostly be using applications that only use one thread, then the Intel Core i5 or i7 with an unlocked multiplier appears to be the obvious choice. However, as we mentioned earlier, most applications today use multiple cores so this won't be the case for many users.
WinRAR is a classic application that a lot of us use on a daily basis for storing large amounts of photos or documents at a reduced size. Although power is scaled by the number of cores in the processor, IPC and clock rate are the main factors in this test. AMD Pinnacle Ridge processors come significantly behind compared to their respective competition in this area.
The HWBOT H265 is a benchmark test of Czech origin from the Haveli overclocker workshop. The test measures video coding performance using the H265 codec, which is slowly coming into more popular use because videos that use H265 are far more robust than those that rely on the H264 codec. With the arrival of 4K video, which is increasingly becoming the norm, the extra facilities that the H265 codec has to offer are invaluable. I often hear that AMD's Ryzen line is better for working with video, but as that's not what the results of this test display, you'll have to judge for yourself.
This time around I've added Excel to the Processor Testing Methodology, specifically testing how the processor responds to having to process a lot of data. The gap between the first generation AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and the second generation AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is quite interesting to look at here.
Here, we have come to the end of the 2D tests and will start moving into the 3D game testing phase of this article by examining how the CPUs respond while operating the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation real-time strategy game. These CPU tests tell us how many times per second the computer monitor can refresh without losing performance, expressed in frames per second (FPS).
As we begin testing in a gaming environment, it's important to note that the synthetic testing that we will use here is not 100% accurately representative of the performance you will get at home. Why? It's unwise, for example, to run a cheaper processor like the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with a graphics card as powerful as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, as we are doing here. Something like the Intel Coffee Lake i7-8700K, which you can buy pre-delidded and tested with a full warranty to ensure its reliability, is likely to get much more out of the graphics card. The second thing is that although we will be showing results taken during gaming in Full HD (1920 × 1080) resolution, the GTX 1080 Ti is also strong in UHD (3840 × 2160) resolution but because it is more than likely that some of you are still running at 1080p at home, either because of budget or program ability, we won't be including this. These tests are not GPU-bound, ie test performance depends partially on the graphics card.
In creating an objective testing process and trying to gain accurate results, very specific measurement procedures must be followed. When comparing the performance of multiple processors in-game, we need to set the conditions and environment for each platform as fairly as possible. Whether we compare Intel or AMD platforms, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X, AMD Ryzen 7 2700 or 2700X processor or Intel Core i5 8600K with Intel Core i7 8700K, we have to compare the CPU and motherboards using the same hardware under the same conditions. Because of this, we must use the same graphics card, the same Solid State Drive, and similar memory. On the software side, it's important to have the same operating system including all the same updates, preferably installed 100% on the SSD with all the same drivers.
We will measure the games using the FRAPS tool and log frametimes, which records how long it takes for a graphics card to render a single frame. With MSI Afterburner, we will record several other values, such as graphics card usage, CPU usage, temperature, clock rate, and more. Logs from both programs are synchronised in the final result and are displayed as a snapshot analysis. The most important part of the whole process is ensuring an identical measurement process for each system. It is important to choose a section of the game that is easy to access and will consistently demand the same performance from the processor. If we were to measure scenes with many variables, the results for each processor would come out differently. It isn't possible to measure performance in multiplayer, for example, for this reason. After choosing the scene to measure, we need to find out how long the scene lasts and use the same time measurement on each system. In most games, the scenes need to be repeated, because shaders are compiled, textures are loaded, etc. the first time around. For these reasons, we normally run the scene two or three times before measuring.
We are at a somewhat paradoxical stage in the development of computer technology. Today, graphics card performance is so great that even the best processors are slowly becoming less necessary for any but the most performance-intensive games. The higher the resolution, the smaller the demands on the processor also. In short, in the near future, with a powerful 4K resolution graphics card, you will be able to purchase a lower powered, less expensive processor and get the same results. We will only compare 1920 × 1080 and 2560 × 1440 resolutions because at 3840 x 2160 resolution the graphics card will do so much of the work that we can no longer accurately represent the processor's power.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is one of the most demanding games on the processor. It is also one of the first games to natively support DirectX 12. The game is built to run with AMD technology and is included in AMD's Gaming Evolved application. The game was created by Oxide Games and runs on the Nitrous Engine. This title is not usually measured through FRAPS as the other games are because it has a built-in 180s benchmark that creates its own frametime log.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Fallout 4 is the latest part of the legendary post-apocalyptic cult RPG game series. The game is made by Bethesda and runs on Creation Engine, which is well known for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, by the same company. Although it is a slightly older engine, the game is still very popular and is played often throughout the world. There is no modern game at the moment quite like Fallout 4 for testing CPU and DRAM performance. We measured the game using FRAPS for 80 seconds at an in-game location called the Boston Commons using the Ultra graphics settings presets. Since it is likely that another Fallout will be created on the same engine, we will continue to keep this jewel in the test methodology for the time being.
Fallout 4 has a special place in my heart from both a gamer's perspective and a hardware performance comparison perspective. This game has the most obvious effects on the processor. However, it is worth mentioning that it does perform well on all of the processors when used in combination with the GTX 1080 Ti. The game is First Person Shooter based and is locked to 60FPS.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third part in the iconic RPG series based on the books by the author, Andrzej Sapkowski. The game is made by CD Project RED and runs on the RED engine. It also belongs to NVIDIA's 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' range and uses GameWorks libraries. It's quite challenging to find a good scene for testing in this game, so I chose an 80-second circuit in the city called Novigrad. There are no more updates expected for this game, but it is still very popular. This is evidenced by the fact that it was recently announced that Netflix will be creating a television series based on the books. This makes it quite possible that it will be updated for the new generation of players coming to play after watching the series.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher is starting to be a slightly older game, and since no more DLCs are going to be released for it, I may soon disqualify it from my test methodology. For the time being though, Geralt does well with measuring CPU performance in the in-game environment, and you can see the 1080p results for yourself.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the latest legendary adventure game featuring Lara Croft. The game was made by Crystal Dynamics and runs on the Horizon engine. Tomb Raider is part of NVIDIA's 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' program and fully supports DirectX 12. The gameplay scene we have used here again pushes the requirements of the game over the limits of the graphics card, making it ideal for testing the processor. The Geothermal Valley location is very demanding on the processor, and if there is a part of this game that will limit the graphics card use the most, it will be here. The frametime measurement section we used was 100 seconds long and the game graphics were set to Ultra with SMAA smoothing in both resolutions.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara seems to really appreciate a powerful processor, and this shows in the performance of the multi-core, high fibre processors. The strongest graphics cards, such as the ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Poseidon, really require a strong processor like the Intel Core i7-8700k to get the most out of this game.
Far Cry 5 is the newest addition to the well-known action series. It features intense, crazy action in an enclosed valley in Montana, USA, and was created by Ubisoft's Montreal studio. While it might be the 5th game in the series, it runs on the old Dunia Engine which has been used throughout the series. Hardware performance is measured through a built-in benchmarking system that lasts 57 seconds at the highest graphics settings with TAA smoothing.
Far Cry 5
Assassin's Creed: Origins is the tenth instalment in the Assassin's Creed action-adventure series. The game takes place in ancient Egypt. AC: Origins was built on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine by Ubisoft Montreal and released in October 2017 by Ubisoft. Frametime and framerates were measured on a built-in benchmark for 121 seconds using FRAPS.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
In the following tests, I will compare CPUs in their IDLE state, with nothing running, and in a working state, running PRIME 95, which uses a significant amount of CPU power. Please note that if you were to perform the same tests at home, they might have very different results to ours as room temperature, background processes and many other factors will all affect the test outcomes. Power consumption has been measured using a wattmeter connected to the power supply at the point of the mains power cable.
IDLE is the state at which your computer has the lowest workload. This is most frequently the case just after switching the computer on, when it has loaded the desktop but before you have started to run any other software. It should be noted that our consumption is slightly higher than normal as we have our desktop set to a high-performance power mode setting to reduce overall system response times.
The consumption results at full workload are a little more interesting. You'll certainly notice the performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700, which has a significantly lower consumption than other processors. This is because, with a workload like PRIME 95, this model runs at just 3600MHz. This allows it to run on a very low voltage, which reduces the overall consumption.
Since I did not have the coolers available for the AMD Ryzen 2 models, I used the NZXT Kraken X62 with every processor in the AiO test. This means that the temperature readings do not convey information that is relevant to the reader. Even without using the AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation appropriate coolers, it is clear from the thermal transfer behaviour that all four models use IHS on the CCX modules of the processor. Indium soldering is normally required to get the best results in this area. This method of heat transfer is the most effective but is not always possible with the processor or financially viable for the company so you'll only find the classic heat-conducting paste in Intel's current generation processors, and you will need to delid them to get the best performance.
Over the last few years, I have begun to get bored of processors. Nothing special had been released for some time before the AMD Ryzen first generation, and since then, with the bitcurrency mining craze, processor madness has taken over. This is only good because manufacturers are finally starting to feel some competitive pressure and are beginning to try to out-do each other. After comparing the first generation of AMD Ryzen processors with today's Pinnacle Bridge test results, I have a good impression of AMD's future, and I believe they are moving up. Of course, the performance test results I showed you today will hopefully not be final. The AMD Ryzen's results should rise by a few percent after the motherboard BIOS and the operating systems have time to be optimised to the new hardware.
If you are wondering whether you should upgrade from AMD Ryzen's first generation, I think it will depend on how much your existing CPU is selling for. Since Red's 2nd Generation AMDs are backward compatible with the old chipsets that came out with the 1st generation, upgrading may well be worth it. Always take into account what exactly you will be using the processor for. If you are running the latest games and/or programming, or are still operating in Full HD resolution, then it will depend on your choice of video card. If you go after the strongest videos cards then you're better off with Intel's Coffee Lake i7 8700K, especially if you invest in an OC PRETESTED DELIDDED version, which I consider to be the best gaming processor available today. Finally, I can not forget to mention the upcoming Intel platform upgrade. With the new Intel Optane Memory Card, which has already been released, you can noticeably accelerate your hard drive with an extremely fast SSD. This gives Intel a huge competitive advantage as this technology is exclusive to Intel processors.
Ryzen 2 Pinnacle RidgeProcessors
For its progression in the development of mainstream processors that easily fulfil the needs of the mid-range computer user, I grant the AMD Ryzen 5 2600(X) and Ryzen 7 2700(X) our second highest award, the Silver Alzac.
One of AMD's most important products - the AMD Ryzen 7 desktop processor - was launched last March, marking the manufacturer's return to the high-end market. In the following months, the cheaper AMD Ryzen 5 and AMD Ryzen 3 also arrived on the scene. In 2018, we are expecting a repeat of this release schedule with the second generation of AMD Ryzen processors, codenamed Pinnacle Ridge. What do we know about their plans for the coming months? And will the new CPU work on the current AM4 motherboards?
The second generation of AMD Ryzen Series 2000 processors, codenamed Pinnacle Ridge, builds on its predecessor from last year. Again, we can look forward to 8-core, 6-core and 4-core models that will be able to be overclocked. At first look, it seems that each of the processors in the line will have a higher base clock than their predecessors. How is this possible?
AMD has used a more modern 12nm chip for their Pinnacle Ridge line (14nm was used in Ryzen's first generation) and slightly improved AMD Zen+ cores. This makes it possible to raise the clock rate while at the same time reducing power consumption. This second feature will come as a welcome improvement, especially for office-based computers where low operating costs are prioritised.
The second taste of AMD Ryzen's second-generation came in the form of the AMD Raven Ridge APU in February 2018. These special CPUs are interesting in that they include a relatively powerful AMD Vega graphics chip. This is especially useful at the moment as separate graphics cards are relatively expensive due to their increased demand for cryptocurrency mining.
AMD are following their normal tactic of releasing their most powerful processors to the market first and gradually following them up with their weaker processors throughout the following year. However, in an interesting turn of events, they have decided to price the AMD Ryzen 2000 Pinnacle Ridge processors below their Ryzen 1000 Summit Ridge line.
|Features||AMD Ryzen 7 2700X||AMD Ryzen 7 2700||AMD Ryzen 5 2600X||AMD Ryzen 5 2600|
|Number of CPU Cores||8||8||6||6|
|CPU Thread Count||16||16||12||12|
|Max Boost Clock||4.35GHz||4.1GHz||4.25GHz||3.9GHz|
|L3 Memory Capacity||16MB||16MB||16MB||16MB|
AMD uses AM4's first-generation AMD socket for its AMD processors. We are pleased to say that this socket will remain the same for the upcoming AMD Ryzen 2000 Pinnacle Ridge. This great news comes with the confirmation that AMD is planning on using AM4 until 2020, as was speculated.
While you will need to perform a BIOS update to plug a new processor into an old motherboard, it is possible for the user to do this on their own as long as the processor is compatible. So, if you are planning to migrate from the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 to another Pinnacle Ridge processor, the BIOS will first need to be updated.
The upcoming AMD Ryzen Pinnacle Ridge processor also comes with a new chipset. The existing X370 has been updated to the AMD X470. So what new features can we expect from this update?
2018 will be a year full of milestones for AMD with the AMD Ryzen Mobile notebooks arriving on the market and AMD Raven Ridge desktop APUs, featuring integrated graphics to handle a range of Full HD games, having been introduced in February. Additionally, according to unofficial sources, AMD Ryzen Pinnacle Ridge will be followed by AMD Ryzen PRO Mobile for gaming notebooks. Later in the summer, the second generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper will also be released. And what about Intel? So far they seem to be treading water slightly while trying to solve the problems resulting from the recent Meltdown and Specter errors.
The official launch of AMD Ryzen Pinnacle Ridge processors will be on April 19th, at a similar time to last year's top first gen 8-core models. You can look forward to another insightful review from Michal Mikle after they've cut their teeth on the market.