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AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Review: Intel's 4C/4T Era is Finally Over

Author: HP   Date:


AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs

With the release of AMD's Ryzen 5 CPUs, there's really not a single reason to buy a Core i5 CPU now. The Ryzen 5 lineup has put an end to Intel's 4C/4T era by giving people 2x thread count and 2 extra cores. You would have to be romantically in love with Intel to even consider getting a Core i5 CPU now. Intel's Core i5 lineup is obsolete now because you are getting much more multi-core performance with Ryzen 5 than any Core i5 processor. This will make a huge impact on gaming and applications that take advantage of multi-core/multi-thread processors.

The Ryzen 7 lineup has also disrupted Intel's i7 lineup and AMD has put some serious pressure on Intel in both the high-end and mainstream market. We have already covered the AMD Ryzen 7 1700, AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X in-depth and we strongly recommend these processors to users who want plenty of power whether it is for gaming, multi-threading work, streaming or pretty much anything you can think of.

Today, we will be looking at the Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 5 1400 processors which retail for $220 USD and $170 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 lineup consists of 6C/12T and 4C/8T processors which is 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 because Intel has always disabled Hyper-Threading on their Core i5 desktop processors. AMD has priced the 1600 at $220 to compete directly with the Core i5-7600 which also retails for around $220. On the other hand, we have the Ryzen 5 1400 which has the same number of cores as the Core i5-7500 but twice the thread count and AMD has priced the Ryzen 5 1400 at $170 to compete with the i5-7400 which retails for $190 so the Ryzen 5 1400 will be cheaper by about $20 depending where you look.

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 price

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. Ryzen is very power efficient and the 1600 and 1400 come with a 65W TDP. The 1400 uses two CCX in a 2+2 configuration while the 1600 uses a 3+3 CCX configuration. The 1400 has a 3.2GHz base and a 3.4GHz boost on all cores and also a 3.45GHz XFR speed (single core boost) while the 1600 has a 3.2GHz base, 3.6GHz boost on all cores boost and also a 3.70GHz XFR speed (single core boost).


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
L3 Cache:8MB16MB16MB16MB16MB16MB16MB
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)
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 1600 has 3MB L2 cache and 576KB L1 cache while the 1400 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 the Wraith Spire cooler and save some money. AMD has bundled the Ryzen 5 1400 with the Wraith Stealth cooler which is a slightly smaller version of the Wraith Spire. You can head over here if you want to read our review of the AMD's new Wraith coolers.

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.

Test Setup

Test Setup
Processor:AMD Ryzen 5 1400
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Intel Core i7-6900K
Intel Core i5-7500
Intel Core i5-7600K
Motherboard:MSI X370 xPower Gaming Titanium (BIOS Version 1.6)
ASUS Prime B350-Plus (BIOS Version 0606)
ASUS X99 Deluxe II (BIOS Version 1504)
ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 2 (BIOS Version 0906)
RAM:Crucial Ballistix Elite 2933MHz DDR4 16GB (2x8GB)
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 3000MHz DDR4 16GB (2x8GB)
Graphics Card:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Storage:Crucial MX300 1TB SSD
Power Supply:SilverStone Titanium ST80F-TI 800W
Case:Open ATX Bench Case
OS:Windows 10 64Bit
Thermal Compound:Noctua NT-H1
Heatsink:Noctua NH-D15

All of the testing is done with an ambient temperature of ~21C and the CPUs are tested with the power saving features disabled in the BIOS. CPU-Z will be used to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows 10. Also, the testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit and we made sure there were as few processes running as possible by disabling a bunch of unnecessary services that come with Windows 10.

We are setting the Windows power profile on High Performance mode because Ryzen's SenseMI doesn't function properly when set on Balanced mode. When the Windows power profile is set on Balanced mode, it seems that Windows takes over and mis-manages Ryzen's power/clocks. The Balanced mode has problems with waking up the cores from sleep and setting it on High Performance mode forces all cores to be active.

In gaming, we will be testing at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 and the settings will be set to high. Idle power consumption of the entire computer will be measured after leaving the computer idle for 20 minutes with no additional applications running in the background. Load power consumption of the entire computer will be measured during benchmarking in 3DMark FireStrike on max settings. I want to make it clear that power consumption measurements will differ per computer and components if you add optical drives, HDDs etc and it will also differ based on the PSU efficiency. We are measuring the entire system, not just the processor's power consumption.

Synthetic Benchmarks:

+ Cinebench R15
+ Cinebench R11.5
+ POV-Ray 3.7
+ FryBench
+ TrueCrypt 7.1a
+ SiSoftware Sandra
+ PCMark 8
+ 3DMark Fire Strike

Gaming Benchmarks:

+ Watch Dogs 2
+ Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
+ Hitman (2016)
+ Battlefield 1
+ Tomb Raider (2016)
+ The Division
+ The Witcher 3

Power Consumption

amd Ryzen 5 power consumption
In the past, AMD has struggled to compete with Intel in power consumption but it seems that Ryzen has finally taken care of that issue. Intel's Core i5-7600K and i5-7500 are slightly more power efficient than the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 but the difference is negligible.


We used the Noctua NH-D15 to cool the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400. Without any overclocking, the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 run under 29 Degree Celsius in idle and never go above 50 C in gaming. When playing Witcher 3 on max settings, I never saw the temperature of the 1600 and 1400 go above 50 C so that's pretty amazing. Similarly like the other Ryzen CPUs, I managed to overclock the 1400 to 4.0Ghz by going into the BIOS and bumping up the voltage to 1.41v. The 1600 on the other hand wasn't fully stable at 4.0Ghz so I brought it back down to 3.9Ghz. You can easily get a 10% performance gain by overclocking either CPU at 3.9Ghz+.

After I managed to get the 1600 stable at 3.9Ghz, idle temp jumped to 32C and load temperature jumped to around 63 C. With the 1400 overclocked to 4.0Ghz, idle temp jumped to 33C and load temperature to 59C. Once I got out of Witcher 3, the temperature of both CPUs dropped back down to around 32 C within a few minutes. The Ryzen 5 processors have impressed me with their fantastic power consumption, temperature and overclocking ability.

CPU Performance Results

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 cinebench r15
Looking at the Cinebench R15 chart above, we can see that the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 performed much better than their competitors in multi-core performance.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 cinebench r11.5
In the Cinebench R11.5 test, the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 wrecked the i5-7600K and i5-7500 in multi-core performance and single-core performance is excellent too.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 frybench
FryRender is a popular benchmarking tool and the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 wrecked both of Intel's i5 CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 pov-ray
Once again, the Ryzen 5 CPUs outperformed the Core i5 CPUs in the POV-Ray 3.7 benchmark.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 truecrypt
Moving on to the TrueCrypt test, the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 decimated the i5-7600K and i5-7500.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 sisoftware sandra
The Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 jumped ahead of their competitors in the SiSoftware Sandra test.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 PCMark 8
In the PCMark 8 Creative Suite benchmark, the Ryzen 5 1400 fell slightly behind while the Ryzen 5 1600 destroyed its competitor.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 3DMark FireStrike 8
Moving on to the 3DMark FireStrike Extreme test, the Ryzen 5 CPUs delivered excellent performance.

Gaming Performance Results

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Watch Dogs 2
Looking at the Watch Dogs 2 benchmark, the Core i5 CPUs performed slightly better in 1440p and 1080p than the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
In Deus Ex Mankind Divided, the Ryzen 5 CPUs outperformed the Core i5 CPUs in 1440p and 1080p.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Hitman 2016
Moving on to Hitman 2016, the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 fell slightly behind the Core i5 CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Battlefield 1
In Battlefield 1, the Core i5-7600K and i5-7500 performed the same as the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 in 1440p but the Core i5s did slightly better in 1080p.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Ryzen 5 CPUs did much better than the Core i5 CPUs in Tomb Raider.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 The Division 4
In The Division, the Ryzen 5 CPUs delivered very good performance in 1080p and 1440p versus the competitor.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 The Witcher 3
In Witcher 3, the Ryzen 5 CPUs performed about on par with the Core i5 CPUs.

Value & Conclusion

The Ryzen 5 lineup has put an end to Intel's Core i5 lineup because you now have the option of getting either a 6C/12T or 4C/8T processor while the Core i5 lineup is all 4C/4T. Multi-threaded performance will be significantly better with any Ryzen 5 processor because you get 2x the thread count and 2 extra cores depending on which Ryzen 5 CPU you get. As games become more threaded and optimized to take advantage of as many cores possible, the Ryzen 5 lineup will perform even better. The Ryzen 5 lineup is staggeringly ahead of the Intel Core i5 lineup in multi-core performance.

Gaming performance is very impressive considering that Zen is a brand new architecture and games have been tailored to Intel's CPUs for a long time now. While the Core i5 CPUs get higher average FPS in some games, the Ryzen 5 CPUs feel much smoother and fps drops happen a lot less. During gaming, the i5-7600K and i5-7500 were being maxed out at 90-95% CPU usage on all cores while the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 had plenty of headroom to do other things in the background. I tried to run an anti-virus software in the background during gaming and the i5-7600K and i5-7500 choked because there wasn't any headroom left.

If you are someone who's looking to build your own PC for gaming whether it is at 1080p or 1440p or even higher, the Ryzen processors are a much smarter buy in pretty much every category. It would be foolish to spend anywhere from $100-$300 on Intel hardware for a more expensive Intel motherboard/cpu combination when that money should really be spent on a better video card. Intel CPUs might be slightly better at 1080p gaming, but gaming at 1440p and above, there is almost no difference between the platforms.

Overclocking is super easy with any Ryzen processor since they all come unlocked. Whereas with Intel, the i7-7700K, i5-7600K and i3-7350K are the only unlocked CPUs so you are forced to buy one of those if you want to have an unlocked multiplier. I managed to overclock the 1600 at 3.9Ghz and the 1400 at 4.0Ghz using 1.41v. If you invest in a good water cooling or air cooling solution, you will most likely be able to hit 4.0-4.1GHz with any Ryzen processor.


+ Comes With SMT Which Core i5 CPUs Lack
+ Outstanding Performance
+ Fully Unlocked
+ Can Easily Be OC'd to 4Ghz+
+ Perfect For Multi-Tasking
+ Future-Proof Platform
+ Great Price/Performance Value
+ Runs Very Cool

- Memory Compatibility Limited

Intel has been busy milking consumers for the past 6+ years with their 3% performance improvement each generation and they have basically released the same CPU every year while charging consumers premium prices for it. AMD's Ryzen 5 lineup has made Intel's Core i5 lineup obsolete now simply by offering people the option of buying a 6C/12T processor. I can safely say that the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 processors are perfect for those who do multi-threading work, gaming, and streaming.

The 1600 and 1400 processors have a huge advantage over the Core i5 processors in non-gaming applications. Multi-threaded performance, such as media encoding, rendering or even intense multitasking scenarios, the Ryzen 5 processors demolish the Kaby Lake Core i5 CPUs. We're in the new multi-threaded era and Ryzen will only improve with time. The Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 processors deserve our Gold Award.

Final Score    9.7

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