Greetings and salutations! Welcome to my first Ryzen Report, a series I intend to maintain over the course of the next few months to inform and try cut through all the BS about Ryzen (as well as try quantify the issues you may run into).
With a new architecture comes new problems and unfortunately, the much anticipated Ryzen launch had its fair share of issues. Even with that said however, Ryzen 7 brought 8 core, 16 thread CPUs into the mainstream segment with exceptional performance for the money.
Fast forward a couple months and Ryzen 5 has landed on our doorstep, with the R5 1600 being the “people’s hero” of CPUs. This 6 core, 12 thread chip graciously devours the competition in the same segment for a VERY reasonable price.
The final piece of the puzzle is the Ryzen 3 CPUs which should (hopefully) fill in the much-needed gaps in the low-end market giving plenty more options for a segment where there were very few before.
Before being carried away by this Red-tinted tsunami, there are a few things you should know.
Over the last few months, I have seen plenty of heartache. Brand-new PC’s not getting past the POST (power-on system test) phase, RAM clocks not making it to where they should and CPU coolers that Just. Won’t. Fit.
Advisory one – Check your board:
- No matter what type of chipset (X370, B350 or A320) your new motherboard contains, take note of what RAM speeds are supported on your board.
- Certain motherboards might only clock your RAM to a certain frequency, not matter how far your actual RAM is capable of going.
- On the point of motherboards, don’t waste your money on features you won’t use. Never going to use two graphics cards? Maybe stay away from the X370’s. Don’t need to overclock? Don’t pay extra for the B350’s .
- BIOS updates have been flowing regularly so check your motherboard manufacture’s website (and forums as many updates are deployed there) for the latest updates. Be sure to research the update before applying it, just in case.
Advisory Two – Check your RAM:
THIS IS IMPORTANT!
- Choosing the wrong RAM can cause your PC to not make it past POST (so much for all that RGB right?).
- In the last few months, AMD (and the motherboard manufacturer’s themselves) have released quite a few BIOS updates that allow higher frequencies to be reached on the RAM.
- This does NOT mean that your 3600 mhz (and higher) RAM will ever reach that speed or will even make it past POST.
- So far, 3200 mhz SEEMS to work fine on most boards.
- To be safe, refer to your motherboard’s specific QVL (Qualified vendor list). This can be found by a quick Google.
- Even if your RAM is not listed on the QVL, it may still work, HOWEVER don’t be surprised if it does not.
- Mindblank Tech (Youtuber) managed to manually overclock his RAM to reach 3600 while still being stable and saw MASSIVE gains in performance on a 1800X. This was later tested by other techtubers and it was found that this increase is tied to your class of graphics card. So if you have something like a 1050 or Rx 560, you will see a very marginal increase when using faster RAM. If you have something like a 1080 ti however; the performance increase can be substantial, often reaching double-digit percentages.
Advisory Three – Check your Cooler:
- There has been a shortage of AM4 brackets in our country for most popular cooling brands but AM4 brackets are now arriving.
- Certain motherboard’s that have both AM3+ and AM4 mounting holes (like the Asus Crosshair 6 for example) MAY support AM3+ coolers but have been known not to with some of the most popular ones (like Corsair’s double-rad AIOs) .
- Rune over at Rebel Tech has confirmed that they have received brackets for the following brands:
- Cooler Master (Air and water)
- Corsair (Water)
- RAIJINTEK (Air only, for now)
- Most of the other major e-tailors should have as well, however you should confirm this with your e-tailor of choice.
- While we’re discussing cooling; please note that the Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X have a +20 degree temperature offset; for example, if your 1700X reports its temp as 80 degrees Celsius, it is in fact running at 60. This doesn’t seem to affect any other Ryzen chip and will probably be rectified in future with microcode or motherboard updates.
Advisory Four – Check your games:
The last few niggles you might encounter.
- It is no secret that Ryzen has been having some small performance issues in games, however these are limited to 1080p and lower resolution. There is no effect when using 1440p or higher.
- Continued microcode updates by AMD are slowly resolving these issues with another update coming soon.
- As more games are developed with Ryzen in mind, these deficits should completely resolve themselves.
- AdoredTv (Youtuber who is absolutely fantastic and you should watch him) found that when playing a Dx12 game using an Nvidia graphics card, there were some pretty heavy performance impacts on Ryzen systems. It was often found that this could tank the performance to below Dx11 numbers. In fact, he found that two Rx 480s could outperform a Titan X because of it.
- The conclusion was made that it was probably Nvidia’s Dx12 driver which was so heavily impacting performance. Expect this to be fixed relatively soon, if it hasn’t already.
- Mindblank Tech did a follow-up to this investigation with his own and found other interesting results.
Wow, what an info dump. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you, good Sir or Madam.
Even with all these little quirks, the Ryzen platform is an absolutely fantastic buy and I personally believe it to (currently) be the best choice on the market, no matter what tier you buy into.
The extra cores and ability to use ECC ram which were previously only accessible on Intel’s HEDT platform; are now available to mainstream consumers. Quality of life extras, like the MUCH better livestreaming performance and a motherboard platform that has been confirmed to be with us for a few more years at least, just sweetens the deal.
So, looking for an upgrade? A new hoRyzen awaits.
EDIT: Oh my, a 9 approaches…
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