The launch of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series of CPUs, which was introduced in September, has been met with strong performance but high costs associated with migrating to the new AM5 platform. This has led to fewer adopters than anticipated. To address this issue, AMD has implemented significant price cuts for the entire launch lineup, including the 7600X, 7700X, 7900X and 7950X processors. However, the high costs of AM5 motherboards and DDR5 memory remain a significant obstacle for many potential buyers. Currently, a barebones B650 motherboard can cost $160, while basic X670 boards start at $260. Additionally, DDR5 memory kits can cost around $150 for a 32GB kit or $180 for lower latency CL30 modules.
The high costs associated with upgrading to the AM5 platform for gamers may be a significant obstacle. For example, purchasing a Ryzen 7 7700X processor, a motherboard, and memory would cost at least $660 for an existing AM4 owner. In comparison, a new system builder could purchase a Ryzen 7 5700X processor, a B550 motherboard, and a 32GB DDR4-3600 CL16 memory kit for a total of $430, which in many scenarios is not significantly slower. In light of this, it remains to be seen whether AMD will be able to attract more buyers to the AM5 platform by offering more affordable non-X Ryzen CPUs.
The new Ryzen 5 7600, starting at $230, features 6 cores and 12 threads with a maximum clock speed of 5.1 GHz and a TDP of 65w. It is similar to the 7600X, but comes with a lower clock speed and comes with a box cooler, the low-profile Wraith Stealth, which can save you some money on a separate cooler. The Ryzen 7 7700, at $330, has 8 cores and 16 threads and can clock as high as 5.3 GHz, and it comes with a high-quality Wraith Prism cooler. The Ryzen 9 7900, at $430, includes 12 cores and 24 threads with a maximum clock speed of 5.4 GHz and also comes with the Wraith Prism.
When compared to the current prices of Ryzen 7000 CPUs, the MSRP for the Ryzen 5 7600 is only $20 cheaper than the current lowest price of the Ryzen 7 7600X, which is $250, although most listings are around $300. This suggests that the temporary price cuts for Zen 4 CPUs are over and have been replaced by these new non-X models. The lowest price the Ryzen 7 7600X has reached in recent months is around $240, making the Ryzen 5 7600 at $230 with a cooler included the most affordable Zen 4 deal yet, with the potential to decrease in price over time.
The Ryzen 7 7700X, which was originally introduced at an MSRP of $400, has been selling for as low as $330 and currently can be purchased for $350. The new non-X model, the 7700, is set to cost $330, making it around $20 cheaper than the X version, but it also comes with a high-quality box cooler. Similarly, the 7900X, which was introduced at an MSRP of $550, had dropped to as low as $440 late last year, but currently is closer to $480. The new non-X model, at $430, comes with the Wraith Prism cooler, making it a significant improvement in terms of price.
Ryzen 5 7600 / PBO
Comparing the 7600 to the 7600X, the latter sustained an all-core frequency of 5240 MHz, which is 7% higher than the non-X version. This resulted in a core power of 85 watts and a package power of 115 watts, with an operating temperature of 89c. The Ryzen 7 7700, on the other hand, runs at 4880 MHz out of the box in this workload, resulting in a package power of 90w and an operating temperature of 67c. Enabling PBO increased the frequency by 3.5% to 5050 MHz, but also increased power usage by 39% to 125 watts, which also significantly increased the operating temperature to 87c. This is quite tame compared to the 7700X, which clocks just 5% higher than the stock 7700, resulting in an almost 60% increase in power usage and a temperature of 98c.
Ryzen 7 7700 / PBO
The non-X model of Ryzen 9, the 7900, operates its 12 cores at an average frequency of 4415 MHz, using just 90 watts of package power, resulting in a peak operating temperature of 70c.
Ryzen 9 7900 / PBO
The Ryzen 7 7700 scored 18373 pts in the Cinebench R23 benchmark, and PBO was more effective, increasing performance by 7% and getting close to the performance of the 7700X. The Ryzen 9 7900 scored 25062 pts, which is slower than the 7900X, however, enabling PBO significantly reduced the performance gap, making it a more efficient version of the 7900X.
When comparing single core performance, the Ryzen 7 7600X is 5% faster than the 7600, the Ryzen 7 7700X is just 3% faster than the 7700, and the Ryzen 9 7900X is 4% faster than the 7900. These margins are fairly similar, with the original X models being only 3-5% faster, and PBO does a good job of closing that small gap in most cases.
To provide an example of the performance margins, the compression and decompression performance using 7-Zip was tested. In summary, the margins were similar to what was seen in Cinebench R23, with the 7600 being typically 3% slower than the 7600X, and the same being true for the 7700 vs 7700X, while the 7900 was up to 8% slower than the 7900X.
Adobe Photoshop 2022 primarily uses 1-2 cores, making it more of a single core benchmark. As such, there is little difference between the X and non-X CPUs in this benchmark, with a margin of around 3%.
In the Blender benchmark, the results align with those seen in Cinebench R23, where the 7600X demonstrated up to 5% faster performance than the 7600, the 7700X was 4% faster and the 7900X was 12% faster than the 7900.
When looking at total system power consumption, the Ryzen 7 7600X consumed 12% more power than the 7600 for a minimal increase in performance, making the non-X model more power efficient. Similarly, the Ryzen 7 7700X consumed 21% more power than the 7700 for a 4% performance improvement.
Performance in Horizon Zero Dawn is even closer between the X and non-X models. The 7900 and 7900X delivered identical performance, while the 7600X was only 1% faster than the 7600. This trend also holds true at 1440p, where in this game, the performance is the same regardless of which model is used.
It’s understandable why AMD went about things the way they did with their non-X parts. When compared to Intel’s 13th-gen range, the 7700X and 7700 look much less impressive on a graph. The 7700X is only a few frames slower than the 13900K and is in second place, while the 7700 is a few percent slower and trails the 13700K by a small margin. Despite this, AMD’s non-X parts still offer good performance and value for money.
Finally, we have the 7900, which is equipped with the Wraith Prism. We observed a peak temperature of 79°C, which is another great result. For comparison, the 7900 peaked at 70°C when using a 360mm AIO.
AMD’s new non-X Zen 4 CPUs are a great choice for those who want to save money without sacrificing performance. The CPUs offer the same core and thread count as their X counterparts, but at a lower price. These CPUs are unlocked, allowing users to overclock them to achieve full performance, and they come with a box cooler, which can be sold on eBay if not needed. Additionally, the Wraith Prism sells for around $30-40, making it a great value. All in all, these CPUs are the perfect choice for users who want to save money without sacrificing performance.
If the price difference between the X and non-X models is at least $20, we would likely opt for the latter. These models are more efficient and perform better right out of the box. Plus, if you want to overclock them for maximum performance, you can still do that despite the consequences of reduced power efficiency. By selling the cooler, we can pocket the difference in price.
In light of our recent re-evaluation of Zen 4, we have decided to create an updated cost per frame analysis. However, before we begin, we would like to provide a list of disclaimers
If you’re currently using an AMD AM4 platform, you might consider upgrading to either a Ryzen 5 7600X or Ryzen 7 5800X processor. On the other hand, if you’re using an Intel LGA 1700 platform, you could upgrade to one of the 12th Gen CPUs or consider a 13th Gen upgrade for a more powerful processor.