AMD’s New ‘Ryzen’ CPUs Do Not Look Quite Ready to Rival Intel in Gaming

AMD, Ryzen, Gaming


The newest line of AMD’s “Ryzen” CPUs go on sale today for the public and it doesn’t appear to be ready to rival Intel in gaming just yet.

AMD announced Ryzen back in December and have been hyping it up since. They said it met their own internal goals and delivered more than a 40 percent increase in instructions-per-clock compared to their older hardware. They said it could even rival Intel’s i7-6900K, currently retailing for over $1,000.

PC Gamer, in their review of Ryzen, had the following to say:

More critically, AMD’s gaming performance during my initial testing is far lower than expected in a variety of titles. I’ve got games where every Intel Core i5/i7 CPU performs within a few percent of each other, indicating the games are largely GPU limited. Based on the CPU-centric testing, I expected Ryzen to be right in the mix, matching Broadwell-E. But while that happens in a few games, in others it comes up well short, sometimes by 20 percent or more.

AMD offers a solution to this by increasing the resolution to 1440p or even 4K. This is misleading, however, since doing that will put the stress on your graphics card and take the burden off the CPU. The end result is that any CPU will increase in performance since your GPU will end up becoming the bottleneck of your system.

Hitman, Ryzen, Intel, Tom's Hardware

(Tom’s Hardware)

Tom’s Hardware showed how AMD’s new chip compared with other processors on the market with benchmarks of the newest Hitman game. What they found was Ryzen does perform better than the older FX chips from AMD but still falls behind Intel’s newest Kaby Lake processor, the i7-7700K. On average, Ryzen 7 1800X lags behind the 6900K by 15 frames per second at the same clock speed of 3.8 GHz.

Bioshock Infinite, Ryzen, Intel, Gaming


GameSpot tested Bioshock Infinite to show how Ryzen performed on an older title and the result was still the same with the Ryzen 7 1800X finishing in last.

Rise of the Tomb Raider, AMD, Ryzen, Gaming

(ARS Technica)

If you look at the benchmarks of Rise of the Tomb Raider by ARS Technica, the new Ryzen CPU loses in DX11 titles but falls further behind in DX12 which isn’t a good sign. With more games adopting DX12, AMD needed to win or at least gain ground here.

Hitman, AMD, Ryzen, Gaming

(ARS Technica)

The same thing happens to Hitman in DX12.

The Ryzen 7 1800X still remains well above 100 frames per second in both Hitman and RotTR running in DX12 but Intel will still be a better option here. More benchmarks can be found here.

It’s good to see AMD has improved on their old line of CPU’s but there is still a lot of catching up to do if they are going to rival Intel. It’s important to note these benchmarks are being compared to the high-end Intel processors. It’s possible you’d see better results in comparing with Intel’s i3 or i5 processors but that would also mean comparing with a different price range.

If you take gaming out of the equation, the Ryzen CPU is still a good processor to have. For applications that require several cores, video editing for example, Ryzen can help you out there since Ryzen’s performance for multi-core applications is impressive. GameSpot says in their review the Ryzen 7 1800X makes the most sense for users that are looking for more than just gaming in a CPU.

The problem still remains that most games benefit from individual core speed. You’ll be hard pressed to find many games that take advantage of several cores. Intel wins here usually due to their superior architecture and hyper-threading feature for the i3 and i7 line of processors. AMD is closing the gap but it isn’t enough this time around to completely overtake Intel. These are still excellent chips for gaming, just Intel is better. If you’re gaming at 60 FPS, 1080p, you’re probably good with either Ryzen or Intel.

AMD still has two more lines of Ryzen to roll out so be on the lookout for those.

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