Windows Central Verdict
AMD's Zen 4 architecture promised considerable uplifts in performance and the company has delivered with the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. This processor is a fantastic upgrade for those on older AMD hardware, though it does require a new AM5 motherboard.
Impressive clock speeds
Supports PCIe 5.0 and DDR5
Can be overclocked
Efficient core design
Runs a little warm
Requires AM5 motherboard
No bundled cooler
DDR5 RAM only
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AMD launched the Ryzen 7000 series of processors to succeed the 5000 series, which came to be in 2020. There have been some serious promises made through AMD's marketing and launch keynote, including a substantial uplift in IPC over the previous generation of processors using Zen 4, AM5, and TSMC's 5nm node manufacturing process.
In this review, we're going to be checking out the mid-range AMD Ryzen 7 7700X to see where it fits in AMD's latest line-up of desktop-class CPUs. The predecessor to the Ryzen 7 7700X was the Ryzen 7 5700X and it was met with mixed reviews. The chip was essentially a rushed answer to Intel's 12th Gen Core line-up of CPUs that offered better overall value.
That's not the case this time around and the Ryzen 7 7700X is part of the initial launch, leaving us to believe the Ryzen 7 7800X will arrive as a 3D V-Cache processor. Could it now become one of the best CPUs to buy for a PC in 2022?
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X: Price, specs, and availability
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is a mid-range processor with eight physical cores and 16 threads. Unlike 12th Gen Intel processors, AMD is sticking to an all-performance core configuration. The base frequency of cores is 4.5GHz and it's possible to boost up to 5.4GHz, which is substantially higher than the previous-gen AMD Ryzen 7 5700X. And because this is the latest processor from AMD, DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 support will be included.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AMD Ryzen 7 7700X|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC|
AMD is launching a new AM5 socket for the Ryzen 7000 series, requiring a new motherboard if you're moving from an older AMD processor. The price of the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is $399 at launch and is available to purchase from participating retailers.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X: Zen 4
Zen 4 is the next generation of processor design from AMD, intended to tackle Intel's 12th and 13th Gen offerings. The goal of this latest architecture was to deliver as much performance as possible. AMD wanted to take full advantage of available thermal headroom, allowing the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors to run hotter but faster. AMD states a typical load temperature range of between 70 degrees Celsius (C) and 90 degrees Celsius (C).
While we'd expect to see such temperatures on the Ryzen 9 processors with their higher core density, we saw even the less powerful Ryzen 7 7700X comfortable running at 95C during benchmarks and stress tests. This was with a 360mm AIO cooler attached. But before we get to all that, let's see the current Ryzen 7000 line-up from AMD.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Ryzen 5 7600X||Ryzen 7 7700X||Ryzen 9 7900X||Ryzen 9 7950X|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon||AMD Radeon|
|PCIe||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC||5nm TSMC|
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X sits in the middle of this processor generation, offering a solid mix of performance and value. The Ryzen 5 7600X is once again the entry point for AMD and may be the better option for gamers, but the Ryzen 7 7700X comes with more cores and a slightly faster speed to better handle intensive workloads.
As for the Zen 4 architecture, AMD boasts a 13% IPC improvement across the board. Excitingly, we're seeing all five AMD Ryzen 7000 processors boost higher than 5.0GHz, allowing even those on tighter budgets access to powerful chips. Combining the IPC gains and frequency boost together and AMD promises a full 29% improvement in overall performance.
What one may have overlooked when gazing at all the specs of the latest AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors is the inclusion of integrated Radeon graphics. Whether you're going all out with the AMD Ryzen 7950X or seeking value in the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, you'll be able to enjoy graphics right out of the box without adding a dedicated graphics card into the mix.
This is largely thanks to the use of TSMC's 5nm node manufacturing process (compared to AMD Ryzen 5000's 7nm process). The pins have been moved to the motherboard to allow AMD to add more and offer support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0. We're seeing a new AM5 socket to take advantage of these new technologies, which AMD aims to support through 2025.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X: Benchmarks and performance
To test the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, we utilized the motherboard and DDR5 RAM that AMD shipped with the processor for review purposes. This consisted of the Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master motherboard and Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 RAM. We threw in the GTX 1070 and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards to see how the chip performed in games at different price points.
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X performs really well under load in various benchmarks. We're seeing such an uplift in single-core performance that the processor even beats the Intel Core i9-12900K in some tests, and that 12th Gen CPU from Intel is a monster. The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X can also be a little behind the latest Zen 4 processor, which showcases just how far AMD has come with this generation.
For the aforementioned temperatures, the Ryzen 7 7700X will happily run at up to 95C in stress tests and benchmarks. You'll likely encounter such temperatures when running intensive loads. For gaming, you're looking at a more reasonable 55-70C. Even at 95C, the processor sits at 4.8GHz. This chip runs hot but is easily handled by a premium air cooler or AIO. The maximum power draw was recorded at 224W during a Cinebench run.
The integrated GPU isn't designed for gaming and AMD specifically states its addition is for offloading some CPU tasks to the GPU and running displays without a dedicated card. Still, like everyone who buys a Ryzen 7000 processor, we had to give it a try. Performance isn't what you'd expect from an AMD APU (or an Intel Core processor for that matter). You can play games, but on low settings.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X: Competition
The AMD Ryzen 7000 series has strife competition to deal with. The 12th Gen Intel range of processors is excellent in its own right. We're expecting some improvements with the 13th Gen family of CPUs as Intel further matures its hybrid core design, mixing performance and efficiency cores. AMD is sticking to the more traditional way of making desktop-class processors.
Comparing the Intel Core i7-12700K and the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X processors against one another and it's clear to see how the Ryzen 7 7700X offers improved performance. We've got fewer cores and threads, but a vastly higher base clock speed for cores, as well as a higher boost that can hit an impressive 5.4GHz before any overclocking is applied.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AMD Ryzen 7 7700X||Intel Core i7-12700K|
|Base Frequency||4.5GHz||P: 3.6GHz|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Row 2 - Cell 1||E: 2.7GHz|
|Boost Frequency||5.4GHz||P: 4.9GHz (Max turbo: 5.0GHz)|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Row 4 - Cell 1||E: 3.8GHz|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD Radeon||Intel UHD Graphics 770|
|PCIe||PCIe 5.0||PCIe 5.0|
|Manufacturing Node||5nm TSMC||Intel 7 (10nm)|
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X also has more L3 cache at 32MB (compared to 25MB), and AMD is including an iGPU with Radeon graphics. The TDPs aren't too dissimilar, though AMD has the edge here with a TDP of 105W compared to Intel's 125W. Interestingly, the Ryzen 7 7700X is likely to run hotter under serious loads as AMD makes full use of the available thermal headroom before hitting TjMax.
Performance-wise, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X sits comfortably next to the Intel Core i7-12700K with fewer cores and threads. We saw the Ryzen 7 7700X beat the Core i7-12700K in GeekBench 5.0 for single and multi-core tests. That's impressive, especially when you consider AMD is also more efficient with its use of power.
You also have to consider AMD's own Ryzen 7000 family of processors as competitors against the Ryzen 7 7700X. Should you have the available budget to spare, the Ryzen 9 7900X may be the better option for more enthusiast use. The Ryzen 5 7600X is a fantastic value-focused CPU with impressive performance.
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X: Should you buy?
You should buy if...
- You are set to upgrade your motherboard.
- You want the latest and greatest from AMD.
- You plan on playing games and working on the PC.
You shouldn't buy if...
- You don't have adequate cooling available.
- You don't want to spend so much on a processor.
- You don't need extra performance on top of the Ryzen 5.
- You don't have an AM5 motherboard.
There's a lot to appreciate with what AMD has done for the release of Zen 4 processors. The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is an excellent CPU and is able to go up against more powerful processors. It's just a shame the Ryzen 5 7600X is a better value proposition and is only slightly worse in games when not overclocked. The Ryzen 7 only makes sense if you're also running heavier software.
But when entering into creative territory, AMD has the Ryzen 9 series with the excellent 7900X and 7950X with countless physical cores. This leaves the Ryzen 7 7700X in a peculiar position. It's more expensive than the gamer-focused Ryzen 5 with a slight bump in performance, but is behind the Ryzen 9 for enthusiast use. It's only really appealing for those who have more budget to cover the cost.
If you do take the plunge and pick up the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, you won't be disappointed. The performance is amazing. Pair it up with a capable AIO and a 240mm radiator and you'll have one impressive gaming machine.
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is part of AMD's latest range of processors and offers a balance between performance and affordability. Rocking the new Zen 4 architecture, AMD has managed to offer impressive performance figures.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.