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Intro

We tested the Ryzen 5 1500X, mainstream CPU from AMD’s new Ryzen 5 lineup. It has four cores, eight threads, 3.5 GHz base clock, 3.7 GHz turbo clock, TDP of 65 W, and uses the new AM4 socket. Check it out!

After several years, AMD finally launched a new generation of CPUs, based on a brand new architecture, called Zen, using the new AM4 socket. The first CPUs based on this new socket are called Ryzen 7 and they are high-end processors. AMD now launched the Ryzen 5 (mainstream) processors, and the Ryzen 3 (entry) models will be available soon.

There are, so far, four Ryzen 5 models: the Ryzen 5 1600X (6 cores, 4.0 GHz maximum clock), the Ryzen 5 1600 (6 cores, 3.6 GHz maximum clock), the Ryzen 5 1500X (4 cores, 3.7 GHz maximum clock,) and the Ryzen 5 1400 (4 cores, 3.4 GHz maximum clock). All of them have the SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) technology, similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, which simulates two logic cores on each physical core.

Ryzen CPUs use the new AM4 socket, and are compatible with DDR4 memory. This means they are incompatible with “old” motherboards that use AM3+ and FM2+ sockets. They have no integrated video, but the AM4 socket supports integrated video, because future APUs that use this socket will have this feature.

These new CPUs are manufactured under 14 nm “FinFET” technology. These CPUs are build with “Core Complex” (CCX) modules, and each CCX has four cores. Each core has 128 kiB L1 cache and 512 kiB L2 cache, and each CCX has an 8 MiB L3 cache.

The Ryzen 5 1500X have two CCXs, with two disabled cores each, so its configuration is called 2+2. Its base clock is 3.5 GHz, and it can uses a core boost clock up to 3.6 GHz on all cores, and 3.7 GHz boost on up to two cores. There is also another clock rate named XFR, of 3.9 GHz, but AMD don’t let clear when this clock is actually enabled.

Ryzen CPUs have unlocked clock multiplier, which allows the user to overclocking it simply by changing the settings on the motherboard setup, if it uses one of the chipsets compatible with this feature (B350 e X370).

Besides that, Ryzen CPUs have a set of features called “SenseMI”, where the CPU detects and controls the clock in 25 MHz steps, according to several factors.

The Ryzen 5 1500X comes with the Wraith Spire cooler, the same that comes with the Ryzen 7 1700.

The direct competitor of the Ryzen 5 1500X is the Core i5-7400. So, we compared the Ryzen 5 1500X to the Core i5-7400, and we also included in the comparison the Ryzen 5 1600X, the Core i5-6500, and the Core i5-7600K.

Figure 1 shows the box of the Ryzen 5 1500X.

Ryzen 5 1500XFigure 1: Ryzen 5 1500X package

In Figure 2 you see the box contents: a small manual, a case sticker, and the CPU itself.

Ryzen 5 1500XFigure 2: box contents

In Figure 3 you see the bottom of the Wraith Spire cooler.

Ryzen 5 1500XFigure 3: base of the Wraith Spire cooler

In Figure 3 you see the Ryzen 5 1500X processor.

Ryzen 5 1500XFigure 4: the Ryzen 5 1500X processor

As the Ryzen CPUs have no integrated video, we used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on all tests.

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.