Our gaming tests below are a small subset of what I would like to evaluate Ryzen with, but due to timing, this is what we could do and feel confident in. I decided to do testing at 1080p, but not any kind of “Low” or “Medium” presets as I just didn’t feel that was in any way indicative of how a consumer buying a $400-500 CPU would game. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that 1080p performance is NOT important as a great many gamers are still running 1080p displays. But at Very High to Ultra quality settings, we are right in the wheel house of what a user with a GTX 1070/1080 class GPU would do.
3DMark Fire Strike
The only test I felt comfortable reporting with any kind of score reliability was the raw physics score from 3DMark. AMD’s 1800X scores very well, beating out the 7700K and coming nearly in line with the 6950X and the 6900K from Intel. This is a “best case” scenario for CPU utilization in games and as you’ll see, doesn’t really line up with our gaming tests.
Civilization VI (DX12)
I ran both the graphics and the AI tests for Civilization VI, both in DX12 mode, at 1080p and Ultra quality settings. In the graphics result, the average frame rate for the 7700K is 12% faster than that of the 1800X, and the 95th percentile frame rate is 15% faster on the Intel processor. That is a bigger than expected gap. An even more interesting indicator is that the 6900K gets a better score than the 7700K due to threading optimizations and is 22% faster than the 1800X.
In the AI version of the test Intel’s Core i7-7700K is 15% faster while the 6900K essentially matches performance.
Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
This is an odd one, I won’t lie. All six of the Intel processors scored within a few frames of each other while the Ryzen 7 1800X is at a 23% disadvantage. This looks like a rogue result, that something wasn’t correctly setup. But I reinstalled the OS, the graphics driver, check PCIe status on the motherboard, and anything else I could imagine. The score remained consistent. I supplied AMD with these results (and all gaming results) before publication.
My final gaming test comes from the new Hitman game where once again we see the 1800X suffering a bit in gaming performance. Here the 7700K is 19% faster, as is every Intel CPU but the 7600K.
I’m not sure what to say about these results – I didn’t expect them. But I am hearing other reviewers are seeing very similar results with the same games and other titles as well. It’s possible we are looking at a bug of some kind in the firmware (I’ve heard disabling SMT will improve performance) of it could be a chipset level issue with add-in card performance. We are waiting to hear back from AMD on this but for the last few days I have been away from our test bed.