The second-best CPU in the Ryzen 7 line-up is the 1700X. Just like the flagship Ryzen 7 1800X, the 1700X has 8 cores, 16 threads and a wider extended frequency range (up to 100 MHz). But unlike the 1800X, the 1700X runs at a lower 3.4 base and 3.8 GHz boost (3.9 GHz with XFR). In fact, the only things different between these two CPUs are the base and boost frequencies — all other specs being the same.
With a retail price of $399, the R7 1700X comes right in-between Intel’s $350 Kaby Lake i7-7700K and the X99 chipset-based $450 i7-6800K. The 7700K and 6800K are meant for different market-segments, with the 6800K being more for content creators and the 7700K targeted more toward gamers and light content creation.
Not many reviewers talked about the 1700X specifically, but there are some good reviews from KitGuru and a YouTuber called MindBlank Tech. Both were able to achieve decent overclocks on the CPU at 3.9-4.0 GHz stable, bringing it to around the performance level 1800X.
KitGuru showed some non-gaming benchmarks, where the performance of the 1700X was close to expected: Very impressive in multi-threaded and well-optimized applications, but falling behind in single-threaded and Intel-optimized workloads.
Gaming benchmarks from both KitGuru and MindBlank Tech showed results similar to the single-threaded tests shown in the picture above, with the Ryzen CPU falling behind many cheaper Intel alternatives, even when overclocked.
MindBlank Tech, however, also tested games with AMD’s simultaneous multi-threading disabled (SMT is equivalent to Intel’s hyperthreading), as well as ran a few games on Windows 7 and showed some interesting graphs with framerate bell curves. This is a great way of identifying microstuttering in games and getting a better understanding of how much the framerate actually varies in-game.
In the end, the Ryzen 7 1700X is just a slower 1800X out of the box. In reality, both of these CPUs seem to overclock similarly, and if you have a good CPU cooler, then there is little need to choose the more expensive 1800X over its cheaper little brother.
For multi-threaded and well-optimized productivity, the 1700X is a no-brainer over Intel’s i7 7700K and 6800K, arguably even the $1000-dollar behemoth 6900K. We can also recommend the R7 1700X for mixed workloads, like gaming and content creation, as the value of an AM4-based system is much higher than that of an X99-based one, arguably even a Z270-based 7700K system too.
For purely gaming, on the other hand, we would still recommend the higher clocked Kaby Lake i5-7600K and i7-7700K. Considering some ongoing issues with AM4-based chipsets, as well as games still being optimized for higher clockrates instead of multi-threaded workloads, this does not favor the Ryzen CPUs.
For content creation (with some optional gaming): Get the 1700X.
For pure gaming: Stick with Intel’s cheaper CPUs.