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AMD Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X Review: Intel's Core i5 Lineup is Obsolete Now

Author: HP   Date:  Manufacture: AMD   Product Name: Ryzen 5 1500X / 1600X   Price: $189.99 / $249.99   Warranty: 3 Years

Introduction

AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs

The release of the Ryzen 7 processors has undoubtedly been a huge success for AMD. We have already covered the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 and AMD Ryzen 7 1700X in-depth and we were blown away by their excellent price-to-performance ratio. AMD has definitely shaken up the market with its Ryzen 7 line-up and has put some serious pressure on Intel. Today, we will be looking at the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X processors which retail for $249 USD and $189 USD, respectively. The Ryzen 5 series takes aim at the mainstream PC market while the Ryzen 3 series which will be released later this year is aimed at the lower-end of the market with sub-$150 processors.

The Ryzen 5 processors are much closer to Intel’s enthusiast X99-platform 6C/12T (i7-6800K and i7-6850K) but price-wise, they are much closer to the Kaby-Lake 4C/4T i5 lineup. Intel's Core i5 lineup are all 4C/4T processors while the Ryzen 5 1600X, which is the flagship of the Ryzen 5 lineup, is a 6C/12T processor. AMD has priced the 1600X at $250 to compete directly with the Core i5-7600K. Since the 1600X is a 6C/12T processor, you get 2 extra cores over the Core i5-7600K and not only does the 1600X have an advantage in core count but also in thread count because Intel has always disabled Hyper-Threading on their Core i5 desktop processors. On the other hand, we have the Ryzen 5 1500X which has the same number of cores as the Core i5-7500 but twice the thread count. AMD has priced the 1500X at $190 to compete with the i5-7500 which retails for $210 so the 1500X will be cheaper by about $20.

Specification-wise, AMD's Ryzen 5 lineup has made Intel's Core i5 lineup obsolete now. There is zero reason to buy an Intel Core i5 processor now that the Ryzen 5 processors are available. With the Ryzen 5 series, you will be getting 2 extra cores and 2x the thread count so you are getting much more multi-core performance than any Core i5 processor. This will make a huge impact on gaming and applications that take advantage of multi-core/multi-thread processors.

Another thing to keep in mind with Intel's platforms is that they normally have a much shorter life-span compared to AMD's and the AM4 platform will last until 2020. The upgrade path will be better with AM4 than LGA 1151. If you buy a Kaby-Lake CPU now, your upgrade path is probably going to end there and Intel is most likely changing sockets next year. So if you buy an AM4 motherboard now and in the future want to upgrade to Zen 2, you will have a clear upgrade path. The Ryzen processors are a much smarter buy than any Intel Core processor simply because you won't have to spend on buying a new platform when Intel releases their next CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 cpus

The Ryzen processors are based on the Zen architecture which is a brand new architecture built from the ground up. I have covered AMD's Zen architecture so you can read that if you want to learn about all the new features that AMD has implemented into the Zen architecture. The 1500X has a 65W TDP while the 1600X has a 95W TDP. The 1500X uses two CCX in a 2+2 configuration while the 1600X uses a 3+3 CCX configuration. The 1500X has a 3.5GHz base and a 3.6GHz boost on all cores. It also has a 3.7GHz 2-core boost followed by a 3.9GHz XFR single-core boost. The 1600X has a 3.6GHz base, 3.7GHz boost on all cores boost, 4.0GHz 2-core boost, and a 4.1GHz XFR single-core boost.

Specifications

AMD Ryzen Processors Lineup
Model:Ryzen 5 1400Ryzen 5 1500XRyzen 5 1600Ryzen 5 1600XRyzen 7 1700Ryzen 7 1700XRyzen 7 1800X
CPU Process Node:14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET
CPU Codename:Summit RidgeSummit RidgeSummit RidgeSummit RidgeSummit RidgeSummit RidgeSummit Ridge
CPU Architecture:ZenZenZenZenZenZenZen
Cores / Threads:4/84/86/126/126/128/168/16
Core Clock:3.2 GHz3.5 GHz3.2 GHz3.6 GHz3.0 GHz3.4 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock:3.4 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz4.0 GHz3.7 GHz3.8 GHz4.0 GHz
XFR (up to 2 Cores):+50MHz+200MHz+100MHz+100MHz+50MHz+100MHz+100MHz
L1 Cache:384KB384KB576KB576KB768KB768KB768KB
L2 Cache:2MB2MB3MB3MB4MB4MB4MB
L3 Cache:8MB16MB16MB16MB16MB16MB16MB
Unlocked:YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
TDP:65W65W65W95W65W95W95W
DDR4 Speed:2667MHz2667MHz2667MHz2667MHz2667MHz2667MHz2667MHz
DDR4 DIMMs:4444444
PCIe Lanes:24242424242424
Socket Support:AM4AM4AM4AM4AM4AM4AM4
Transistors:4.8 billion4.8 billion4.8 billion4.8 billion4.8 billion4.8 billion4.8 billion
Die size:192 mm²192 mm²192 mm²192 mm²192 mm²192 mm²192 mm²
Included Cooler:Wraith StealthWraith SpireWraith SpireN/AWraith SpireWraith MaxWraith Max
Cooler TDP:65W95W95WN/A95W140W140W
Cooler Weight:???0.425 Kg0.425 KgN/A0.425 Kg0.545 Kg0.545 Kg
Cooler Dimensions:???109mm(L)
103mm(W)
54mm(H)
109mm(L)
103mm(W)
54mm(H)
N/A109mm(L)
103mm(W)
54mm(H)
105mm(L)
108mm(W)
85mm(H)
105mm(L)
108mm(W)
85mm(H)
Price:$170$190$220$250$330$400$500
Release Date:April 11, 2017April 11, 2017April 11, 2017April 11, 2017March 2, 2017March 2, 2017March 2, 2017

The Ryzen processors support modern features like dual-channel DDR4 memory, PCIe X4 storage, and USB 3.1 Gen 2. AMD plans to use the Zen architecture around a multi-year CPU roadmap which will be aimed at several market segments such as mobility products, HPC products and workstations. All Ryzen processors have 16MB L3 cache with the exception of the Ryzen 5 1400 which has just 8MB L3 cache. The 1600X has 3MB L2 cache and 576KB L1 cache while the 1500X has 2MB L2 cache and 384KB L1 cache.

Not all Ryzen processors come bundled with the new improved Wraith coolers. The Ryzen 5 1600X does not come with a cooler, so you will have to spend an extra $30-50 for a cooler. Or you can just get the 1600 since it comes with a cooler and overclock it. AMD has sent me the Wraith Max and Wraith Spire coolers which I will cover in a separate review. You can read more about AMD's new Wraith coolers here. I have to respect AMD for putting an extra effort in shipping their Ryzen processors with high quality stock coolers that are built like third party coolers with a copper base and heatpipes. Intel has always bundled their processors with garbage coolers that most people simply throw away because they are extremely loud and do a terrible job of cooling.

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