Ryzen 5 Arrives with the 1600X and 1500X

More reviews to come…

Today AMD’s long-awaited Ryzen 5 series CPUs have reached retailers. Last month at an event in China AMD brief consumers and the press on four new SKUs that are designed to round out the Ryzen product stack with four and six core options. The Ryzen 5 1400 is now the most basic model that AMD sells with four cores, 3.4 Ghz boost clock, and a highly tempting $169 price point. For our review AMD sent us samples of the higher end 1500X and 1600X SKUs. We’ve benchmarked the 1600X which we’ll show you later, but we’re holding off on full reviews until later this week. BIOS updates containing the revision of AMD’s AGESA firmware are rolling out to many motherboards, but have yet to reach all of them; hence the delay in our review. In this article we’ll just be comparing the performance the 1600X and the 1800X sans AGESA update.

In the benchmarks we’ve run so far the Ryzen 5 1600X appears to offer similar single threaded performance to the 1800X. Of course multithreaded performance takes a hit, but it’s less than the 25% that lopping off two cores implies. It’s worth noting at this point that all of these number are from BIOSes with the AGESA and the Windows 10 revision prior to the Creators update. The full 1600X review will have benchmarks from a system with both of these updates.

DOOM serves as a simple check to demonstrate that gaming performance probably won’t differ all that much from what we’ve seen with the 1800X.

Comparing the 1600X to Intel’s venerable i7-6700K we see some significant per application differences in single threaded performance. But then the Ryzen 5 1600X is able to rebound with a commanding lead in all multithreaded apps save WinRAR. For whatever reason WinRAR reports consistently lower than expected performance with Ryzen CPUs.

Hopefully these benchmarks have given you a taste of what the Ryzen 5 1600X can offer. Bolstered by the Windows 10 Creators Update and a new AGESA revision I have no doubt that it’s capable of even more performance than what we’ve recorded here. But even within the limits of the testing in the article the 1600X looks like an excellent value proposition at $249. If single threaded performance is your primary concern Intel still has an edge, but 1600X appears nearly the same single threaded performance as more expensive Ryzen 7 chips.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.