The Ryzen 7 1700 is — just as the 1800X and 1700X — an 8-core 16-thread processor. Unlike the X-series CPUs though, the 1700 only has an XFR (extended frequency range) of 50 Mhz, whereas both the 1800X and 1700X can boost up to 100 Mhz higher on a single a core. The clockspeeds are also lower, with the 1700 working in a range of 3.0 to 3.7 Ghz, with the TDP set at 65 W. Otherwise, all these chips are basically the same, including their ability to overclock.
In our previous articles we talked about the launch of AMD’s new Ryzen 7 CPUs, built a few systems with these new processors (here, here, and here) and compared the Ryzen 7 1800X and 1700X to their respective competitors in terms of price. Today we will take a look at how AMD’s cheapest Ryzen 7 offering, the $330 Ryzen 7 1700, compares to Intel’s price equivalent: the $340 i7-7700K.
Looking at the benchmarks, nothing has changed compared to the other Ryzen CPUs. In workstation environments, for instance video and image editing, programming, and file conversion, the Ryzen 7 1700 is faster than Intel’s i7-7700K. GamersNexus show this very well in their review.
Looking at the gaming benchmarks, the story is the same as with the previous Ryzen processors. When not bottlenecked by the GPU, the Ryzen 7 1700 manages to perform around the i5-7600K level, even when overclocked. Just as with the workstation performance, this depends on how well the application utilizes multiple threads and if it’s able to leverage the performance Ryzen offers.
Livestreamers will benefit from using the Ryzen 7 1700 over the Intel equivalent because software-encoding on the CPU gives noticeably improved picture quality over GPU-based encoding (for instance NVENC). The i7-7700K struggles with 1080p streaming and encoding at the same time, but the Ryzen 7 1700 barely drops any frames.
There is one very interesting part about the Ryzen 7 1700, though: overclocking. As you can see in the benchmarks from both GamersNexus and PCPer, the 1700 can be manually overclocked to around 3.9-4.0 Ghz, which is around the maximum for all Ryzen 7 CPUs. This means that at that clockrate, all three Ryzen 7 CPUs perform within 1-2% of each other. Power consumption, on the other hand doesn’t scale very well when overclocked. A Ryzen 7 1700 overclocked to 4.0 Ghz can pull up to 90 more watts than an i7-7700K overclocked to 4.8 Ghz, which is a very conservative overclock on the Intel CPU.
It is also important to consider that the performance of the AM4 platform is heavily dependent on RAM speed. This thread on the Anandtech forums delves a bit deeper into this, but to sum it up: faster RAM speeds play an important role in gaming performance on Ryzen processors.
For content creators and livestreamers: The Ryzen 7 1700 is the better buy thanks to its stellar multithreading and decent gaming performance.
For pure/competitive gamers: If you only use your PC for gaming and web browsing, the i7-7700K, or even the i5-7600K, would be a better recommendation.
The AM4 platform is currently plagued with problems, but its value is undeniable. Maybe not so much for gamers, but definitely for content creators, programmers and the like. We would arguably recommend the Ryzen 7 1700 at $330 paired with an aftermarket cooler (though it seems that AMD’s Wraith coolers do a good job anyway) as perhaps the greatest value of the Ryzen CPUs because it can be overclocked to reach very comparable performance to the 1700X and 1800X.