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TekSpek CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 Processor


Date issued:

AMD is officially back. After many years playing second-fiddle to Intel in the CPU stakes, everyone's favourite underdog returned to the limelight in March 2017 with the long-awaited realisation of its 14nm Zen architecture. Productised as Ryzen, AMD's latest chips first arrived as eight-core, 16-thread solutions, with the range-topping Ryzen 7 1800X offering massive multi-thread performance at a sub-$500 price point that is seemingly too good to be true.

Ryzen 5 CPU

Yet while flagship parts help lay down the groundwork, it's in the mainstream segment that architectures earn their keep. Hoping to cement Zen's position as a modern-day alternative to Intel Core, AMD is now fleshing out its range of 14nm processors with the introduction of Ryzen 5.

AMD's Growing Catalogue

Four new chips have emerged from the Zen stable, ranging from the $169 Ryzen 5 1400 to the $249 Ryzen 5 1600X, and continuing the good work of the Ryzen 7 siblings, the new additions offer more cores than the Intel equivalents at each respective price point. Here's how the full Ryzen line-up takes shape as of today:

AMD Ryzen Processor Comparison

  Cores / Threads Cache TDP Base Clock Turbo Clock XFR Memory Package Supplied Cooler MSRP
Ryzen 7 1800X 8 / 16 20MB 95W 3.6GHz 4.0GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 - $499
Ryzen 7 1700X 8 / 16 20MB 95W 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 - $399
Ryzen 7 1700 8 / 16 20MB 65W 3.0GHz 3.7GHz 50MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 Wraith Spire $329
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 6 / 12 16MB 95W 3.6GHz 4.0GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 - $249
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6 / 12 16MB 65W 3.2GHz 3.6GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 Wraith Spire $219
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 4 / 8 16MB 65W 3.5GHz 3.7GHz 200MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 Wraith Spire $189
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 4 / 8 8MB 65W 3.2GHz 3.4GHz 50MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 Wraith Stealth $169

The seven Ryzen processors are built on the same 14nm process and Ryzen 5 carries all of the architectural improvements available to the first-run Ryzen 7. The number of cores has decreased, but AMD delivers an intriguing prospect with the six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1600, as Intel currently has no 12-thread alternative.

Further down the ladder, the 65W Ryzen 5 1500X and Ryzen 5 1400 deliver four-cores and eight-threads, matching what's on offer from the competition, and all Ryzen 5 parts are compatible with a growing range of AM4 motherboards. Clock speeds remain competitive, though Zen's inability to match Intel in the IPC stakes means that single-threaded performance will be second-best, and Ryzen 5, in keeping with its Ryzen 7 brethren, will stand out from the crowd by offering excellent multi-threaded performance at an agreeable price point.

Technically-minded readers who are eager to learn how AMD has gone about creating the Ryzen 5 range can note that the new parts are essentially Ryzen 7 chips that have been purposely curtailed - we are looking at 3+3 across two CCXes for the six-core part, and 2+2 across the same two CCXes for the four-core part.

Performance

Ryzen 5 PiFast

Benchmarks from leading review sites confirm commonly held assumptions. When it comes to IPC and frequency lead, Intel continues to hold the upper hand. Ryzen 5 shares clock speed similarity with Ryzen 7, resulting in identical single-thread performance.

Ryzen 5 Cinebench

We know that the Zen architecture shines in multi-threaded workloads, and Ryzen 5 is no exception. The popular Cinebench test puts all available cores and threads to work, and in this scenario the six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 1600X is easily able to out-perform the pricier Intel Core i7-7700K.

Summary

AMD has extended the reach of its latest-generation Zen architecture with the launch of four Ryzen 5 processors priced from as little as $169. Taking the fight to Intel, the new chips offer four- or six-core processing at attractive price points and are destined for mainstream PCs seeking to balance value, performance and efficiency.

There's still work to be done with regards to single-thread performance and gaming optimisation, yet AMD has made significant strides and Ryzen 5 stands out as a solid choice for anyone needing impressive multi-core performance from an affordable PC.

Ryzen 5 Box

The entire range of AMD Ryzen 5 processors is available to purchase right here at Scan Computers.