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AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Desktop Processor
Computer Reviews

AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Desktop Processor

It’s cheapest mainstream Ryzen CPU in the family, but the performance is exceptional for value.

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We finally make it the bottom end of the mainstream Ryzen lineup, but that’s not necessarily a bad connotation for the Ryzen 5 1400 CPU. We’ve been impressed with almost everything so far as each processor offered their own benefits, and an surprising amount of performance that punched higher than anyone could ever anticipated.

The 1400 in particular is the cheapest 65W TDP quad-core eight-thread (4C/8T) alternative at less than $160. To match the price you get a base clock of 3.2GHz, and a default boost of 3.4GHz across dual cores, unlike its bigger brothers though this is the only Ryzen with 8MB of L3 cache but still offers simultaneous multithreading (AMD SMT), Precision Boost with SenseMI, and a 14nm FinFET process.

XFR (extended frequency range) is included in very limited form that bumps frequency up to 3.45GHz (50MHz) on a single core, similar to other non-X models (1600, 1700) which is ok for a little extra oomph for casual usage. It won’t set your world on fire but we appreciate the effort from AMD.

Customers get the processor, sticker badge, installation/warranty manual, and a Wraith Stealth cooler inside another box (our press kit didn’t include the latter). AMD also provided a MSI Tomahawk B350 Motherboard and 16GB of GeIL EVO RGB 3200MHz dual-channel DDR4 memory. Additionally, I bring a Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB SSD and an NVIDIA OEM GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to the table.

The reason why we are using an AM4 B350 chipset is largely due to cost-friendliness by omitting four USB 3.0 ports, two fewer SATA6Gb/s ports, two fewer PCI-E 2.0 ports, and no capability of dual GPU enhancement (NVIDIA SLI and/or AMD Crossfire). Component overclocking is still possible except you aren’t burdened with paying more for the X370 chipset, which is a realistic compromise considering the CPU in use. For even more straightforward value, I’d even recommend stepping down to a A320 chipset if you’re needing a tighter economic build.

Out of the box performance is surprisingly good despite the 1400 being on low-end of Ryzen’s mainstream spectrum. It’s closet in-house competitor is the 1500X , offering decent figures—a technically equal and/or better value-to-performance ratio when matched against an Intel Core i5-7400 up to a i5-7600K.

Due to the technical specs of the 1400 though, video editing and workspace priorities take a backseat compared to gaming, but can still hold its own if the tasks are shared between a discrete GPU.

If you need another good reason to pick the Ryzen 5 1400, it’s the potential to overclock. As I and others have observed all Ryzen family chips in current form can manually be bumped up to 4.0GHz before encountering system instability, with a vcore of 1.425V, and with a CPU temperature of 68°C and ambient room temperature of 73°C. As far as we are concerned, the 1400 appears to represent good value that could theoretically rival the 1600X.

The quad-core Ryzen 5 1400 might be the introductory choice, but AMD put their best foot forward in giving us an adaptable CPU. It is actually incredible when you consider their lowest processor can often keep pace with Intel’s most expensive Core i5, and remains a solid effort for PC gamers looking at buttery smooth 1440p performance.

I’m not even kidding about liking this power plant despite the supposed low-tier expectations many will balk at it for. It’s fairly impressive for not that much dough and a smart choice if realistic and/or incremental upgrades are in your immediate future.

About the Author: Herman Exum