After looking at the Ryzen 2000X models launched a few days ago, we come back today to the two other models launched by AMD, the non-X versions called Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600. We refer you to this article if you want more details on the Ryzen 2000 range in general and the changes it brings compared to the first iteration of Ryzen.
An echo story
Marketing being what it is, AMD copies its new range to that of its competitor:
Ryzen 7 2700X, $ 329 | Core i7-8700K, $ 359
Ryzen 7 2700, $ 299 | Core i7-8700, $ 303
Ryzen 5 2600X, $ 229 | Core i5-8600K, $ 257
Ryzen 5 2600, $ 199 | Core i5-8600, $ 213
Beyond the cosmetic changes (the K turns into an X), the alignment is fairly clear, AMD setting up a little more aggressively on the tariff side (as far as public prices are concerned, promotions on both sides can obviously change the deal!).
Characteristic side things are obviously very different, side 7 there are two more hearts, and side 5 the presence of SMT where it is disabled at Intel. But not entirely identical segmentation
What differentiates the X / K ranges from the others varies a little among manufacturers. Let’s talk about common things first, where the TDP of X / K models is at least 95W, it drops to 65W on non X / K models. This translates in practice into more or less frank cuts on the frequency side depending on the manufacturers’ margin vis-à-vis their process, particularly on the effective frequency under long load when all the cores are active.
Lowering the frequency in practice is a consequence of the reduced voltage necessary to fit within the defined thermal envelope. In practice these processors, by not seeking to grab the last MHz, generally have excellent efficiency, as we saw last year with the Ryzen 7 1700 for example, or more recently with the Core i5- 8400. We will see what it turns out in practice.
Technically, manufacturers can opt for several ways to obtain this reduction in consumption. The selection of the best dies (binning) can play a role, those able to rotate at a frequency equal to a lower voltage will obviously have an advantage. The other method is to lower the frequencies, which can be done on the specification side, or more generally via the Turbo mechanisms which self-regulate the frequency according to consumption and other factors (such as temperature). We will see how this translates into practice for the two manufacturers.
If TDP reduction is common, there is another feature that sets these K / X apart: overclocking. Where overclocking by the multiplier is allowed on all Ryzen models, Intel limits it to its K models only. No overclocking possible for Core i7-8700 and Core i5-8600!