The CPU market is stuffed full of amazing processors theses days. There are multiple options that can handle any workload from both Intel and AMD. What if you are looking to build a powerful system that is also quiet and energy efficient?

In the $300 CPU market the Intel Core i7-7700 and the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 are the best 65W processors offered by team red and team blue.

Intel Core i7-7700 & Ryzen 7 1700 Specs

Core i7-7700 Ryzen 7 1700
Series Kaby Lake Summit Ridge
Socket LGA 1151 AM4
Cores 4-Cores, 8-Threads 8-Cores, 16-Threads
Base Clock 3.6GHz 3.0GHz
Boost Clock (multi core) 4.0GHz 3.2GHz
Boost Clock (single core) 4.2GHz 3.7GHz
L3 Cache 8MB 16MB
Graphics HD 630 NA
Unlocked No Yes
TDP 65W 65W

Looking at the raw specs it would appear that the 8-Core 1700 might have a serious advantage over the 4-Core 7700. Especially when you factor in the Ryzen CPU’s ability to be overclock. Intel is banking on a higher boost clock, and better IPC (instructions per clock) performance to maintain it’s edge.

Stock Cooling

wraith spire vs stock intel coolerBoth CPU’s come with coolers. However looking at the picture above, you will notice how much larger the AMD Wraith cooler is than the stock Intel cooler. For the same price you get a much larger, better performing, RGB LED cooler from AMD.

Both coolers can really benefit from aftermarket cooling. The i7-7700 almost demands it if you are doing anything intensive and don’t like the sound of a hair dryer coming from your case. The Ryzen 1700 really only needs a new cooler if you are planning on doing a heavy overclock.

CPU Benchmarks

cinebench cpu testFor the benchmarks I ran my normal suite of synthetic and gaming tests. This should give you a good all around idea about which CPU is better at what. Each CPU was test at stock settings, then I put a modest 3.6GHz all core overclock on the 1700 and ran the tests again.

Core i7-7700 Ryzen 1700 1700-3.6GHz
Cinebench 874 1403 1571
Passmark CPU Mark 11420 14170 15575
Geekbench (Single) 4066 3914 4133
Geekbench (Multi) 16059 20875 23044
3D Mark CPU Test 5012 4437 4526
CPU-Z (Single) 2030 363 412
CPU-Z (Multi) 8917 3952 4448

Temperatures

noctua nh-l9i & amd spireTo test the temperatures I used a Noctua NH-L9i on both systems. All testing was done in an open air environment. If you are planning on using this cooler with an AMD CPU you will need to request the free AM4 upgrade kit.

i7-7700 Ryzen 1700 1700-3.6GHz
Idle 33C 35C 40C
Gaming 55C 52C 57C
100% Load (Prime 95) 79C 72C 81C

Power Draw

Each of these CPU’s has the same 65W TDP, but the Ryzen part uses less power.

i7-7700 7 1700 1700-3.6GHz
Idle 36.8W 24.7W 31.5W
100% Load (Prime 95) 106W 95W 111W

Conclusion

The Ryzen 7 1700 will be the better CPU in all but high end gaming applications. If you are looking to do high fps gaming, you are probably not looking at an i7-7700 anyway. With its beastly multi core performance, overclocking capabilities, and low power draw, the 1700 is hard to beat. The AMD CPU wins this shootout.

Intel Test System

COMPONENT PART NAME
CPU Intel Core i7-7700
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-L9i
RAM Corsair 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
Motherboard MSI H270I Motherboard
GPU Zotac GTX 1060 Mini
HDD Samsung 960 EVO 256GB

AMD Test System

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-L9i
RAM Corsair 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
Motherboard Biostar AB350 Motherboard
GPU Zotac GTX 1060 Mini
HDD Samsung 960 EVO 256GB

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