AMD Ryzen 7 7700X review: Performance that’s great, but a price that isn’t

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X review: Performance that's great, but a price that isn't

Shortly after our review of the Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 9 7950X were published late last month, AMD sent us a box containing the other two members of the Ryzen 7000 launch family: the $400 Ryzen 7 7700X and the $400 Ryzen 9 7900X. 550.

Absent a member of the six-core family in the $200 range, AMD’s eight-core, 16-thread processors usually represent a sweet spot in the lineup — great gaming performance without being over the top, and enough cores to run reasonably well. handle heavy professional workloads like photo and video editing and playback without feeling sluggish.

That still holds true for the 7700X, which handily outperforms the six-core 7600X and costs $50 less than the first 8-core member of the Ryzen 5000 family a few years ago. At the moment it has two problems. The first is that, like the other Zen 4 CPUs, it requires a substantial investment beyond the $400 you’ll spend on the CPU itself in the form of a pricey new motherboard and DDR5 RAM that’s still a lot of money. more expensive than DDR4. The second is that the out-of-the-box power settings aren’t ideal – with a little tuning, the processor can run a little cooler and consume less power, while delivering comparable results. This is what we found.

On power settings

In our review of the Ryzen 7600X and 7950X, we spent some time explaining the importance of processor power settings and how they work (and are advertised differently) across the platforms from Intel and AMD. In short, a CPU that is allowed to consume more power will generally run faster, but will also run hotter. And especially as you go up the performance/power curve, the performance gains are usually disproportionate to the amount of extra power used. Especially for tasks that can use all your CPU cores at once, this can have a big impact on power efficiency.

Advertisement 65 W TDP (AM5) 105 W TDP (AM5) 170 W TDP (AM5) PPT (W) 88 142 230 TDC (A) 75 110 160 EDC (A) 150 170 225

AMD also has an “Eco Mode” feature that it has included in its Ryzen Master performance tuning software, urging AM5 motherboard makers to include it as an option in their BIOS. Eco Mode automates the process of downgrading chips to their second lowest TDP level: 170W chips can be scaled down to 105W and 105W chips can be scaled down to 65W. (To maintain AMD’s TDP levels compare to Intel’s base power figures, multiply any given TDP value by about 1.35 and you’ll get the actual maximum sustainable power consumption in watts.)

Like the Ryzen 5 7600X, the 7700X has a standard TDP level of 105W. We tested it at this power level to get an idea of ​​how AMD wants the chip to perform, as well as the Eco settings. mode to see how the behavior changes (the 7600X actually performed almost identically in its standard and Eco modes, although we suspected that the 7700X’s two extra cores would actually need the extra power to reach peak performance). When we set it to the TDP level of 170W, some of our tests became too unstable to run, so we didn’t test how the CPU might respond if it was given more power.

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