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AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Performance Review

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Power Consumption

I don’t typically dedicate a whole page to power consumption but there’s a pretty substantial story lurking behind the numbers you see below and how they directly relate to TDP claims from both Intel and AMD. Without getting too technical, the way these two companies go about measuring TDP is fundamentally different from one another. Intel themselves published a very comprehensive and quite neutral White Paper (PDF download) about some of the nuances of power testing a few years ago and its worth a quick read if you have a chance.

In this case it looks like AMD is publishing something quite different from Intel. As such, the Ryzen’s TDP aren’t directly relatable to Intel. It sure looks bloody impressive and make no mistake about it, Ryzen is a relatively efficient 14nm design but there’s no secret black magic that would make its process node that much more efficient than Intel’s.

As both Intel and AMD recommend, the best way to measure true power deltas between processors is via a simple (yet calibrated) power meter plugged into the wall outlet. That’s exactly what we do but add in a controlled 120V power input to eliminate voltage irregularities from impacting the results.

I mentioned at the beginning of this review that both qand and six core Ryzen 5 processors were based upon the same core as the 8-core variants; they simply have a few of those cores disabled. As a result the 1600X’s high clock speeds bring its power consumption numbers close to those exhibited by the 1700X but the disabled processing modules insure sufficiently higher efficiency than the 1800X. The Ryzen 5 1500X exhibits much the same behavior but remains the most energy frugal of AMD’s newest processors.

Against Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs, depedning upon which benchmark you look at Ryzen 5 either delivers competitive or less than optimal performance per watt metrics. Overall though, I would say these two processors come out ahead.

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