AMD launched their new Ryzen lineup about a month and a half ago but when they sent out initial sampling they only sent out the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X. Those were mostly what people wanted to see, but they did launch a few other CPUs at that same time. A few reviewers went and picked them up at the store but I don’t have the budget for that. AMD did follow up though and sent over the Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600, two really interesting CPUs. I will get into why in just a minute. After that, I will go through my testing and then talk about how they fit in the market. Let's go!
Review Sample Provided by: AMD
Written by: Wes Compton
Pictures by: Wes Compton
What no X?
Okay, so you have most likely seen the 2700X and 2600X from everyone’s coverage including our own (check it out). But where do the none X models fit into things? Well here are the basic features and launch prices.
So the 2700X and 2600X make sense, they are the fastest possible versions of the new Ryzen 8 and 6 core offerings. But things get interesting when you check out the details. Sure the 2700 has the same core count and 20MB cache as the 2700X but in addition to it coming with a different heatsink, the clock speeds are also different, especially with the base clock. The same goes with the 2600 compared to the 2600X. It also has a lower end heatsink but has the same 6 core 12 thread configuration with 19MB of cache. The clock speed gap between those two isn’t as large though. Overall the low base clock of the 2700 actually stands out when you compare all four, the 2600 even has a higher base clock.
The TDPs tell a different story though. So the breakdown is below. Basically, the 2700X is up above everything, of course. But then the 2600X is the next highest in TDP. The 2700 and 2600 that I’m taking a look at today both have a 65-watt TDP that is a lot more friendly in Small Form Factor builds. Actually, if anything it makes it look like the lineup is missing a 95W 8 core part, like the 2700X should have been with a 2800X being the 105W model, but we will have to wait to see what AMD does in the future there. But with the same TDP, the 2700 has to have a lower base clock to compensate for the additional two cores. It is an interesting tradeoff that I’m sure will make our scores later interesting.
Ryzen 7 2700X - 105W
Ryzen 7 2700 – 65W
Ryzen 5 2600X – 95W
Ryzen 52600 – 65W
So the two CPUs did come in another dual CPU box that looks like it could almost be ready for an AIO combo or for AMD to pack in some swag with a CPU purchase. Wouldn’t a Ryzen beach towel or something be awesome with your new purchase? Inside on top of the two normal boxes was another insert, this time about the 2700.
Nothing special going on here, standard grey and orange Ryzen boxes came with both.
So both CPUs come with a cooler. The 2700 comes with the Wraith Spire, the same cooler the 2600X comes with. Then the 2600 comes with the Wraith Stealth. At first glance, they both look very similar, but you can see that the extruded heatsink design under the matching fans is thicker on the Spire. They do both have the same screw mounting design that I prefer over the old school clips. On the underside, you can also see that the Spire actually has a machined copper slug built into the bottom for better heat transfer as well. They both come with thermal paste pre-applied to make things easy the first time. But you will need some if you go to reinstall them later.
Then you have the CPUs. They come in a black box with a warranty and information paper. Then inside of that, they have these clamshell trays. I noticed recently that the tray design has changed from the original Ryzen launch, they now have a larger flat spot at the part you open it, maybe to make it easier. Random TIL right?
Test Rig and Procedures
Motherboard: MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC- Live Pricing
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12S for cooling - Live Pricing
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste - Live Pricing
Memory: G-Skill Sniper 3400MHz CL16-16-16-36 8GB - Live Pricing
Storage: Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD - Live Pricing
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti - Live Pricing
Power Supply: Corsair TX750M - Live Pricing
Case: Dimastech Test Bench - Live Pricing
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit - Live Pricing
So my big focus with my testing this time around was to see how the 2600 and 2700 compare to the 2600X and 2700X as well as to see how the lower base clocks on the 2700 with a higher core count will compare to the 2600. The boost clocks on the 2700 are still higher so single core results should still be good, but I’m wondering if there will be some situations where the 2600 is the better option. So to start my testing I went with an older benchmark, the X264 HD Benchmark 4. X264 is an open source encoding format and this test runs a standard encode, noting the FPS that it encodes at then averaged over 4 tests. So here right out of the box, I ran into a situation where the 2600 was a slightly better option, by 6 FPS. This is one of the tests where higher core counts are used, but pure clock speed is favored. Both the 2700 and 2600 were still a good 20+ FPS lower than the much higher clocks of the 2600X and 2700X but still above even the 1800X from the original Ryzen launch.
For my next set of tests, I wanted to be able to compare both multi-core and single core results so I went with our recently added CPUz Benchmark. Here the test is run twice, once with just one core active and another with all of the cores. Now here is where the lower boost clock of the 2600 shows where the boost clock of the 2700 is up just behind the 2600X. In the multi-core test, things look a little more like how you would expect. The 2600 is a touch below the original 1600X but above the 1500X and the 2700 is well above the 2600X but below the 1700X.
For the second set of tests that look at both single core and multi-core, I went with Cinebench that renders a photo block by block. In the multi-core test, the 2600 and 1600X are right with each other, above the 7700K from Intel and the 2700 is paired up with the 1700X and above the new 8700K. In the single-core test, the 2600 is up above all of the original Ryzen CPUs but still below all of the Intel CPUs in the test. The 2700 isn’t much higher, that extra boost clock helped a little though putting it just below the i5-8400.
My next tests are both math related, wPrime calculates prime out to 34 million and 7-Zip is a compression benchmark. In wPrime the lower the score is the better as it is the total time it took to run the test. Here the 2700 with its 8 cores really pulled ahead, coming in right in between the 1700X and 1700, also beating the 8700K as well. The 2600 did well beating the older 7700K but it is the last of the fast times before that big jump from around 140s to 170s and above. Now in 7-Zip the results are almost spot on the same, the 2600 is paired up with the 1600X again, above the 7700K and the 2700 is paired up with the 1700X and above the 8700K.
So JetStream is actually a compilation benchmark. This is a browser-based test designed to look at Java and HTML5 performance. It runs just about every browser-based test you can imagine then putting them all together for a score. Then it runs the total run 3 times to get an average. In the end, we get a good look at what you can expect for performance in the ever popular browser games. As usual, the AMD CPUs as a whole are in the bottom half of the chart, this is an area that Intel CPUs have always done better. That said the 2700 did well here but the 2600 didn’t fare so hot.
So next I got into Passmark’s Performance Test 9 and ran the CPU focused benchmark. This runs a stack of synthetic CPU benchmarks then takes those results to create an overall score. Here the 2700 did extremely well, coming in right with the always fast 1800X. The 2600 was once again paired up with the 1600X.
I ran PCMark10 because I love that they test using real-world situations. This includes video calls, web browsing, gaming, word processing, excel, photo editing, etc. Basically, everything I use my computers for lol. I included the overall score as well as all three of the test section results. The 2700 is about halfway down, just below the 1800X and above the 6900K. No big surprises here, The 1600X edged out the 2600 just slightly, but they are once again almost exactly the same for performance.
Before getting into actual gaming performance I did want to take a look at a few of my preferred synthetics. Well, 3DMark would fall under that, Dolphin 5 is actually an emulator and a great look at gaming performance in that situation. So in Dolphin the lower the score the better as it is actually the number of seconds it took for the test to run. This is another test where Intel has dominated by a large margin. The 2700 came in at 468 seconds outperforming the 1800X by a good amount but just behind the 2600X with its higher boost clock speeds. The 2600 was again close to the 1600X but this time did outperform it by 14 seconds. Overall if you are hoping to get the best performance in this Wii emulator Intel is still going to be the best option, but the new Ryzen options are still better than the old ones. Now in 3DMark, I ran the Fire Strike benchmark focusing on the physics score that is CPU dependent. The 2700 and 2600 don’t have much a gap between the two in this test but once again the 1600X is again right there with the 2600. The higher boost clocks of the 2600X and 2700X put them both much higher up in the charts though.
Okay now that we have taken a look at some Synthetic benchmarks, now we need to check out actual game performance. To do that I ran through four different games, not a huge amount but enough to get a peek at the performance. I tested using the newer Ashes of the Singularity with its CPU focused benchmark, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and the much much older TF2 to get a variety. My results were mixed. For starters in three of the tests, Intel is still dominating the top half of the charts but especially with the 2700X, AMD is clawing their way up slowly. Then in two of the four tests, the 2600 outperformed the 2700. Again these are specific situations where multiple cores are being used so the higher boost clock of the 2700 doesn’t come into play and the 2600 having a higher base clock shows. This was in Wildlands, where the 2600 was right up near the top behind the 2700X and the two new Intel CPUs and in Dues Ex. In TF2 the higher boost clock helped the 2700 get 9 more FPS and in Ashes of the Singularity, the 2700 had 3.4 FPS more than the 2600.
For my last set of tests, I ran through a few extra benchmarks in AIDA64 focusing on Cache and memory speed and latency. We know the 2700 has 20MB of cache to the 19MB in the 2600. That difference was noticeable, especially in the L1 and L2 tests. The memory speeds and especially latency that the 2700X and 2600X both had big improvements on carried on to the 2600 and 2700. As for Single and Double precision FLOPS the 2700 with its two extra cores did come in above the 1600X, same with IOPS as well.
Power Usage and Temperatures
For the last testing section, I just like to take a look at power usage and overall temperatures. These aren’t important to everyone, but in some cases (literally and figuratively) it is very important. For the power testing I have our AIDA64 stress test running to put the CPU under load and then I use a Kill-A-Watt to document the power being drawn for the entire system. In this case, the 2600 actually pulled a few more watts than the 2700. I think this comes back to those base clock speeds again as when all of the cores are loaded the boost clocks aren’t going to come into play as much. For comparison, the 133 watts that the 2600 pulled is 30 watts lower than the 1600X that it performed right within almost every test. This is in the bottom half of our charts but still 16 watts higher than Intel’s ik7-8700K.
For temperature testing, I used the same AIDA64 Stress Test as before to heat things up. This is done using a Noctua U12S heatsink and Noctua thermal paste, not the included stock coolers. This is done to keep testing consistent as possible between CPUs. Of course, all of these tests are done using the sensors onboard the CPU and motherboard and those themselves aren’t always the most accurate. So keep that in mind with these results. So how did the 2600 and 2700 do? Well, they both had the same result, not too much of a shock considering they both have the same TDP. The 2700X and 2600X being a little lower in temps though was interesting and a great example as to why testing like this is only going to get us into a range. I don’t know if our launch 2700X and 2600X were just better chips or if there was some other issue, but what is still clear though is that the new Ryzen 2000 series CPUs still run worlds cooler than what Intel is putting out right now. This is in part due to AMD using solder not cheap thermal compound under the integrated heatspreader to help pull that heat up and out of the package into the heatsink.
Overall and Final Verdict
So as I expected after looking at the specifications of the Ryzen 5 2600 and the Ryzen 7 2700, the test results were interesting. Both are 65-watt TDP models but the 2700 packs in two more logical cores. To do that they had to sacrifice a little on the base clock for it. In most tests, the 2700 did still outperform the 2600 as you would expect, but there were a few tests, including a lot of the games tested, where the 2600 pulled ahead. These were situations that used all 6 and 8 cores enough that boost clocks couldn’t be used but were still dependent on clock speeds.
Now both CPUs ended up having good cooling performance when compared to Intel (there were some weird Ryzen to Ryzen results in there that I’m going to have to revisit). This was thanks to AMD sticking with a soldered heatspreader design where Intel has skimped and used low-quality TIM. Also, a big plus for both the 2700 and 2600 is that while they don’t have the X designation, they are both still overclockable where the competition likes to lock things down just to specifiK (get it) models. Both also have a low 65-watt TDP that makes them both ideal for small form factor builds. I’m actually building a new build right now where the limited space capped me at a 50mm or less heatsink (lower even than the stock AMD heatsinks) and with that no higher than a 65 Watt TDP. Speaking of heatsinks, both come with them, but the Spire included with the 2700 is a much nicer model. This means when building a PC you can save money and run the stock cooler for as long as you would like and from past testing I can tell you both of these perform well so no worries there.
On the downsides, with the 2700 the low base clock is obviously its biggest fault. But both CPUs also still leave room for improvement in the in game testing overall. Intel is still the best choice if this is your only focus and you want the best possible performance. But with 6 cores on the 2600 and 8 on the 2700, what Ryzen still has going for it is better performance when multi-tasking and in highly threaded applications.
Like the 2700X and 2600X review that I did previously, I wouldn’t recommend running out to upgrade to these if you already have Ryzen processors, though you could given they still share the same AM4 platform. In fact, if you look through the results, the 1600X and 2600 perform almost exactly the same in nearly every test. But if you held out, the new Ryzen CPUs are improved and in this case, you have a few lower TDP options. Where things get interesting is when you have to decide between the 2600 and the 2700. Frankly, I would go with the 2600X if given the choice in a build that the 95 Watt TDP isn’t an issue. But for SFF I would be going with the 2600, the higher base clock comes in handy. More importantly, the price gap makes a big difference. The Ryzen 7 2700 has an MSRP of $299 where the Ryzen 5 2600 is $199. But when you look at the performance gap between them, the 2700 doesn’t really justify that much of a premium, even with its extra two cores. Like I said the Ryzen 5 2600X actually outperformed the 2700 in a LOT of tests and it has an MSRP of $229. That is the sweet spot and includes the same Spire cooler as well. But for those SFF builds I’m Ryzen 5 2600 all the way.
Live Pricing: HERE
Live Pricing: HERE