Saturday, 02 September 2017 11:44

AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor – two happy months in the saddle Featured

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AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor – two happy months in the saddle Tony Austin

COMMENT My faith in the AMD processor range has been reinforced by the impressive new Ryzen series.

I've nothing against Intel except their premium pricing — a bit like Telstra, I suppose — but have been using AMD processors in my desktop systems for well over a decade.

I was still pretty happy with the AMD 2012 vintage FX-8150 8-core processor, only lamenting that it didn't support an extra 8 threads like Intel's 8-core processors do. Then, in early July this year, disaster struck, in terms of my system powering off all the time and it turned out that the motherboard had developed an unfixable problem of some indeterminable sort.

I had no choice but to get a new motherboard. With that came the need to get new memory cards and a new processor. I was fortunate that AMD's Ryzen series was released earlier this year, and I pondered hard about whether I should get a Ryzen 7 8-core processor or one of the more recent and very keenly priced Ryzen 5 6-core processors.

I ended up going with the Ryzen 7 1700 model, which has the extra 8 threads that I desired. I have been deeply involved with system performance since I joined IBM Australia in 1970 (and also in my own business after retirement from IBM), and I can say with confidence that the past two solid months' usage during July and August have proved to me that the Ryzen 7 1700 performs excellently for my workload style, which is 99% mixed-mode computing, with occasional gaming (gaming enthusiasts would probably prefer faster Ryzen models).

My system gets pretty busy at times, with video conversions, search index updates, and other moderate to heavy tasks. I have found that the Ryzen 1700 handles all that I can throw at it with with aplomb, and it makes a fine partner for 64-bit Windows 10. You can get an idea of this from the accompanying screenshot (using the All CPU Meter gadget, which comes with 8GadgetPack) which shows a few seconds of system activity recorded while running a mixed-task medium workload (general user activities plus a modest video conversion assigned to cores 3 through 8).Tony Austin - AMD Ryzen 7 1700 during a modest video conversion

What I also like about the Ryzen 7 1700 is its very modest 65-watt power consumption, roughly half that of my previous 2012-vintage AMD processor, yet providing significantly better multitasking while rarely encountering any noticeable overall system slowdown.

You have to hit the Ryzen 1700 really hard, with what I might call an artificially intense workload, before all 16 threads run flat out. Even so, with water cooling, the 65W system sits atop my desktop running whisper quiet.

I might have saved about $100 by selecting a Ryzen 5 1600 or 1600X model (6 cores with 6 extra threads), but the model I chose with its two extra cores (four extra threads) has extra headroom and the extra investment has proven to be well worth it. In my opinion, the Ryzen 1700 certainly hits the "sweet spot" in terms of price/performance.

Also, I could have selected a Ryzen 7 1700X or 1800X model. However they are pricier and their power consumption is higher. My detailed research indicated that they weren't worth the extra moolah for a not-all-that-great performance boost.

As you can gather, I'm extremely impressed and very happy to be using this AMD Ryzen processor, and would recommend the Ryzen series unreservedly.

For the very latest about AMD's Zen architecture models, see iTWire colleague Alex Zaharov-Reutt's report at FULL VIDEOS: AMD’s impressive Ryzen Pro arrives in systems from Dell, HP, Lenovo and others

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Tony Austin

Worked at IBM from 1970, for a quarter century, then founded Asia/Pacific Computer Services to provide IT consulting and software development services (closed company at end of 2013). These says am still involved with IT as an observer and commentator, as well as attempting to understand cosmology, quantum mechanics and whatever else will keep my mind active and fend off deterioration of my grey matter.

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