Table of Contents
Earlier this month, AMD announced their new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors along with the LGA socket AM5 platform. These processors are marketed as having substantially better performance for content creation applications in part due to their "Zen 4" architecture, as well as support for new technologies like DDR5 memory.
Today, we have the opportunity to put these new CPUs through their paces, specifically to see how they perform in content creation workflows like video editing, photography, rendering, and game development.
|Max Boost Clock
|Intel Core i5 12600K
|Up to 4.9 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
|Up to 4.6 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
|Up to 5.3 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
|Up to 5.4 GHz
|Intel Core i7 12700K
|Up to 5.0 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
|Up to 4.7 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
|Up to 4.8 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
|Up to 5.6 GHz
|Intel Core i9 12900K
|Up to 5.2 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
|Up to 5.7 GHz
|Intel Core i9 12900KS
|Up to 5.5 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
|Up to 4.9 GHz
There is a lot going on in the table above, but the big take aways are:
- In most cases, the TDP (power draw and thermal output) has increased with the Ryzen 7000 series
- The MSRP at the top end for the 16 core models has dropped significantly from $799 to $699. This is enough for the Ryzen 9 7950X to come in about $40 lower than the Intel Core i9 12900KS
- The MSRP for the 8 Core Ryzen 7 7700X is $40 lower than the previous generation Ryzen 7 5800X. This makes the Ryzen 7 7700X just a hair less expensive than the Intel Core i7 12700K
Overall, AMD has tweaked their pricing to make them slightly more attractive than their Intel counterparts, although other factors such as the motherboard is also going to come into play. In addition, relative pricing should be based more on how much performance you get for your dollar more than what the "equivalent" model is based on the name or specs.
Of course, this covers just the very basic of specifications for these new processors. Not listed above is the fact that Ryzen 7000 is using the new "Zen 4" architecture, which is a big part of the 13% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) performance improvement AMD has touted over the previous generation. These processors are also using the new "AM5" platform which adds support for new technologies like DDR5 memory. Altogether, this should result in significant performance gains over the previous generation.
Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:
|AMD Ryzen 7000 Test Platform
|AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 16 Core
AMD Ryzen 9 7900X 12 Core
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X 8 Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X 6 Core
|Gigabyte X670E AORUS MASTER
|2x DDR5-4800 32GB (64GB total)
|Intel Core i9 Test Platform
|Intel Core i9 12900KS 8+8 Core
Intel Core i9 12900K 8+8 Core
Intel Core i7 12700K 8+4 Core
Intel Core i5 12600K 6+4 Core
|Asus ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi
|2x DDR5-4800 32GB (64GB total)
|Shared Hardware & Software
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB
|Samsung 980 Pro 2TB
|Windows 11 Pro 64-bit (2009)
PugetBench for After Effects 0.95.2
(After Effects 22.4)
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95.5
(Premiere Pro 22.6.1)
PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve 0.93.1
(DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0.2)
PugetBench for Photoshop 0.93.3
PugetBench for Lightroom Classic 0.93
(Lightroom Classic 11.5)
Unreal Engine 4.6
*Latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware as of September 14th, 2022
In order to see how the new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series processors perform in content creation applications, we will be comparing them to the previous generation AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, as well as their primary competition – the Intel Core 12th Gen processors. While we are including most of the primary models from each of these product lines, note that we are skipping the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D which features AMD's 3D V-Cache Technology. We have looked at this model in past articles, and found that for content creation, it is either on par or slower than the normal Ryzen 7 5800X model.
For the tests themselves, we will be primarily using our PugetBench series of benchmarks using the latest versions of the host applications. Most of these benchmarks include the ability to upload the results to our online database, so if you want to know how your own system compares, you can download and run the benchmark yourself. Our testing is also supplemented with a number of benchmarks directly from the software developers for applications like Cinema4D, Blender, and V-Ray.
Photoshop is one of the most lightly threaded applications we routinely test, and should be a good way for AMD to show off the IPC (instructions per clock) improvements they made with the Ryzen 7000 Series.
Starting at the top with the Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X, we saw an impressive 22-26% performance gain versus the previous generation Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X respectively, which highlights how much AMD has improved for lightly threaded applications. The Intel Core 12th Gen CPUs are very strong for Photoshop, however, so even with this large gain, the 7900X and 7950X only manage to be roughly on par with the Intel Core i9 12900K and 12900KS.
With the lower-end models, the Ryzen 7600X and 7700X scored 30% and 25% higher than the previous generation Ryzen 5600X and 5800X. Unlike with the higher-end Ryzen processors, this is enough to allow them to take a solid 8% performance lead over their competition from Intel: the Core i5 12600K and i7 12700K.
What this means is that if you are looking for a CPU in the $550+ range, you can go with either AMD Ryzen 7000 or Intel Core 12th Gen and you would be hard pressed to notice a difference in Photoshop. Below that level, however, AMD has a small, but measurable lead with the Ryzen 7700X and 7600X.
Adobe Lightroom Classic
For Lightroom Classic, our testing results are very interesting since AMD was able to take the lead over Intel with the new Ryzen 7000 series, but there are some nuances to the results that may make you want to go with Intel instead. In general, the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series excel at many of the passive tasks in Lightroom Classic like exporting and generating previews, while the Intel Core 12th Gen processors are a bit faster for active tasks like culling and switching modules.
Starting again at the top of the stack, the AMD Ryzen 7950X is now officially the highest scoring CPU we have tested for Lightroom Classic. It scored an impressive 29% faster than the previous generation Ryzen 5950X, which allowed it to overtake the Intel Core i9 12900KS by about 3%. That isn't a big difference, however, and the real story is that the 7950X was 8% faster than the 12900KS for passive tasks, while the 12900KS flipped the tables for active tasks where it was 7% faster than the 7950X.
The story is similar with the Ryzen 7900X, only with slightly different details since, compared to the Ryzen 5900X, the 7900X is 31% faster overall. It fares better versus Intel overall with a 9% higher score than the Core i9 12900K, although that is entirely due to it doing very well for passive tasks where it was 16% faster. For active tasks, however, Intel still holds a slim lead with the 12900K scoring 5% higher than the 7900X.
For the Ryzen 7700X and 7600X, we are looking at about a 25-30% performance improvement over the previous generation Ryzen 5800X and 5600X. This makes them about 3-4% faster than the Intel Core i7 12700K and i5 12600K, or about 8% faster for passive tasks in particular.
Overall, AMD really closed the gap considerably with the Ryzen 7000 series, and managed to sneak ahead of Intel in terms of overall score in our Lightroom Classic benchmark. Intel still holds a slim lead for active tasks, but AMD now hold just as much, or more, of a lead for passive tasks. In most cases, the difference is small enough that you probably wouldn't notice much of a difference between an AMD Ryzen 7000 processor and an Intel Core 12th Gen.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro is unfortunately one of the worst applications we tested for AMD, as they struggle to keep up with the Intel Core 12th Gen processors. This doesn't mean that AMD Ryzen 7000 processors are always a bad choice for Premiere Pro, but rather that you have to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of Ryzen and plan accordingly.
The main issue is that many Intel Core processors (specifically those that have an iGPU) include a technology called Quick Sync that can be used for hardware decoding and encoding of H.264 and HEVC codecs. In the case of Premiere Pro, Quick Sync tends to give higher performance than using the GPU for decoding, but it also allows for a wider range of codecs to be used. In fact, the performance is so much higher that it tends to skew the Overall Score in our benchmark, and we are likely going to have to adjust how we calculate the scoring in future versions to weight the results more evenly across various codec types.
We had hoped that the iGPU AMD is including in the Ryzen 7000 series would be able to function similarly to Quick Sync, but unfortunately we could not get it to work properly in Premiere Pro. It was usable for a short time period, then all our media suddenly switched to "Media Pending" and wouldn't come back until we restarted Premiere Pro. We have full details of this issue in our more detailed Adobe Premiere Pro: AMD Ryzen 7000 Series vs Intel Core 12th Gen article.
However, that doesn't mean that Ryzen isn't a good choice for a number of other workflows in Premiere Pro. If you work with intraframe codecs like ProRes, the new AMD Ryzen 7000 series is about on par with the Intel Core 12th Gen processors, while RAW footage like RED can be as much as 42% faster with Ryzen. With all this explained, lets break down our benchmark results by SKU:
Starting at the top with the Ryzen 7950X, it scored overall 12% higher than the previous generation Ryzen 5950X, but still lagged behind the Core i9 12900KS by 16%. Again, this is mostly because of the H.264 and HEVC tests, and the Ryzen 7950X was around 40% faster than the i9 12900KS when working with RED RAW footage. For this model in particular, being aware of what codecs Ryzen is good at is especially important.
One step down, the Ryzen 7900X was a smaller 5% faster than the Ryzen 5900X. Since there isn't as much of a gen-over-gen improvement, it saw even a larger discrepancy compared to Intel, falling behind the Core i9 12900K by a very large 24%. However, the silver lining of Ryzen having comparable performance for ProRes is still true here, as well as the higher performance with RED footage where the 7900X can be around 20% faster than the 12900K.
For the Ryzen 7700X and 7600X, they are both around 13% faster than the previous generation 5800X and 5600X, respectively. And compared to the Intel Core i7 12700K and i5 12600K, Intel is about 40% faster overall. In this case, even for RED footage, AMD only manages to match the Intel Core 12th Gen models, so we give Intel the solid lead at these price points.
What this all means is that at the top-end (7950X and 7900X), the choice between Intel and AMD comes down to the codecs you are using. For LongGOP (H.264/HEVC) codecs, Intel has a strong lead, while Intel and AMD are about on par with intraframe codecs (ProRes). And if you work with RAW codecs like RED, AMD takes over as the clear performance leader.
At the lower-end (7700X, 7600X), it is going to be hard to justify going with AMD. Not only are longGOP codecs likely to be more prevalent for those in this price bracket, but AMD doesn't maintain the same performance advantage they hold at the high end for RAW codecs like RED.
Adobe After Effects
Unlike Premiere Pro, Intel's Quick Sync technology doesn't come into play nearly as much in After Effects, which removes one of the big advantages Intel held in the previous section. That doesn't mean there are not nuances to our testing, however, and there are two specific results we want to look at for After Effects.
The first is the Overall Score, which is simply a representation of a wide range of projects and workflows in After Effects. This is usually a good indicator of performance for an "average" After Effects user (if such a thing exists), and likely the most important result for users looking for a consumer-grade processor.
We also have a "Multi-Core Score" which is intended to show performance in especially heavy After Effects projects where the new multi-frame rendering feature often shows the biggest benefit. This test tends to favor high core count CPUs, although something to keep in mind is that heavy workflows like this often need more RAM than the 128GB that Intel/AMD consumer platforms allow. So, even if performance is higher, it may be a moot point if the platform itself is unable to satisfy the RAM capacity required by the end user.
Getting to the performance, we saw across the board impressive gains from the new Ryzen 7000 processors. Compared to the previous generation, they scored anywhere from 25% to 30% higher overall. This is impressive by itself, but for heavy projects they were between 23% and a massive 49% faster than the previous generation. The biggest gains were from the higher core count 7900X and 7950X, but no matter how you slice it, a nearly 50% improvement over a single generation – even in just a single category of test – is incredible.
The problem for AMD is that the Intel Core 12th Gen CPUs are also extremely good for After Effects. Even with the 25-30% gains over the last generation, that only brings AMD Ryzen 7000 to be neck-in-neck with their Intel Core 12th Gen counterparts. The biggest difference was the 7950X vs 12900KS, but even there AMD was only a small 4% faster.
The good news for AMD is that for heavier projects (as indicated by the Multi-Core Score), they do take a sizable lead over Intel with the Ryzen 7950X in particular. The other models don't show much, if any, of a performance lead, but the 7950X scored 43% higher than the 12900KS for those tests. This is tapered a bit by the fact that the workflows this represents will often want 256GB, 512GB, or even more system RAM, but it does make the Ryzen 7950X a great choice for those who only occasionally have to work with extremely heavy projects.
DaVinci Resolve Studio
Similar to Premiere Pro, the winner between AMD Ryzen 7000 and Intel Core 12th Gen depends quite a bit on the type of codec you are planning on using. Unlike Premiere Pro, however, Quick Sync doesn't give Intel quite as much of a performance advantage in DaVinci Resolve. On the other hand, Resolve supports hardware decoding for a much wider range of HEVC variations, and some of the ones that are growing in popularity (HEVC 4:2:2 10-bit for example), are only supported at a hardware level by Quick Sync.
Compared to the previous generation, the gen-over-gen performance from the Ryzen 7000 series is fairly consistent, with each model coming in at around 10-15% faster. Performance versus the Intel Core 12th Gen is where things are a bit more interesting.
Overall, Ryzen 7000 and Intel Core 12th Gen score almost exactly the same when comparing the models closest in MSRP. Only the Ryzen 7950X showed a significant advantage over the Core i9 12900KS, and even this was just by about 7%. We go over this more in our full analysis article, but this is almost entirely due to the 7950X doing exceptionally well when working with RAW footage like RED and BRAW, where it was an impressive 35% faster than the Core i9 12900KS. The 7900X also did well with RAW footage, coming in at a slightly lower 22% faster than the 12900K.
In the end, the choice between AMD Ryzen 7000 and Intel Core 12th Gen for DaVinci Resolve is going to be a very similar story as Premiere Pro. For LongGOP (H.264/HEVC) codecs, Intel has a strong lead in capability, if not raw performance in many cases. Intraframe codecs (ProRes), on the other hand, is a toss-up between the two product families. It is only if you work with RAW codecs like BRAW and RED that you will see a significant improvement by going with AMD Ryzen 7000, and in particular, the 7950X and 7900X.
Moving on to the first of our CPU-based rendering tests, it is worth pointing out that AMD’s Threadripper PRO line has long been the best choice for performance. Many users are looking for lower-cost systems to send the renders to a dedicated render server or to use GPU rendering, however, they still want to be sure their workstation is up to the task.
In V-Ray, the Ryzen 7950X is a whopping 44% faster than the 5950X. The changes to the CPUs due to Zen 4, plus the jump to DDR5 really make a dramatic generational improvement. This in turn means that the 7950X is 52% faster than Intel’s top CPU in this segment, the 12900KS. If you are looking for CPU performance without jumping up to a Threadripper Pro, there really is no other option.
The 7900X saw a 40% improvement in performance over the 5900X. Another significant generation-over-generation improvement. This translates to performance 24% faster than the similarly priced 12900K. Considering both of these CPUs have 24 threads, it shows the extra power that Ryzen possesses.
Moving down to the 7700K, we see a 32% uplift over the 5800X. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to outdo Intel’s 12700K. Intel manages a 4% win here. This was a very powerful CPU for the price when it launched, and it still holds up today.
Lastly, the 6 core 7600X posted a 43% improvement over the 5600X. Much like the 7700X, this low-end CPU falls to Intel’s 12600K by 3%. That could be within the margin of error. Either way, these bottom two CPUs aren’t ones we would recommend for CPU rendering.
Full Analysis: V-Ray: AMD Ryzen 7000 Series vs Intel Core 12th Gen
Cinema 4D is a little different from V-Ray in that it is not just for rendering. We also need to look at single core performance to see how they will perform for modeling and animating.
The Ryzen 7950X is 45% faster than the 5950X in multicore tests such as rendering, and 26% faster in single core tasks such as modeling. Compared to the Intel 12900KS, it is 43% faster in multi-core, but 6% slower in single-core. This 6% would be tough to notice when modeling or animating, but 43% faster renders is a huge difference.
The 7900X see a welcomed 38% improvement in rendering over the 5900X, as well as a 25% single core improvement. This puts it on even ground with the Intel 12900K for modeling/animating, but 27% faster at rendering.
Moving to the lower end, we see a similar change that we saw in V-Ray. The 7700X is 27% faster at rendering and 26% faster at modeling. Comparing that to the 12700K, the new 7700X is actually slower by 7% in rendering, but 3% faster in single core. The Intel 12700K really is a great CPU for its price.
Lastly, the 7600X sees a 42% increase in rendering speed, and 29% single core speed. These seem like great numbers, but they just don't hold up to the Intel 126600K. The Intel CPU manages to be 16% faster at rendering, and only 3% slower at single core. We wouldn’t recommend either any CPU below 8 cores for CPU rendering, but they would still be ok for modeling and to pair with a GPU renderer such as Redshift.
Full Analysis: Cinema 4D: AMD Ryzen 7000 Series vs Intel Core 12th Gen
Much like Cinema 4D, Blender is going to use a combination of multi-core and single-core performance depending on the task. For now, the Blender benchmark only covers rendering performance, but we can look to Cinema 4D’s results for modeling.
The top end AMD Ryzen 7950X sees a major improvement of 45% over the previous 5950X. Without increasing the number of cores, this is an impressive improvement. This translates to a 49% lead over Intel’s top CPU, the 12900KS. While they have the same number of cores, the CPUs are built very differently, giving AMD a major advantage in rendering.
The 7900X also sees an impressive 38% improvement in rendering performance over the 5900X. This translates to a more modest 19% lead over the similarly priced 12900K. Here the CPUs have different core counts, but the same number of threads. Again, this highlights the differences in CPU design between the two companies.
The 7700X only sees a 30% improvement in rendering over the 5800X. Any other launch a 30% improvement would be amazing, but here it seems small compared to the top AMD CPUs. This lets Intel take a small victory with its 12700K being 9% faster than the new AMD CPU. As stated in other sections, the 12700K really is impressive for its price.
Much like the 7700X, the 7600X sees a great improvement over the previous 5600X, being 43% faster at rendering. However, again it is not enough to unseat Intel’s 12600K, which is 8% faster. We would recommend either AMD or Intel’s CPUs this low for CPU rendering, but when paired with a good GPU for rendering, they do perform well at modeling.
Full Analysis: Blender: AMD Ryzen 7000 Series vs Intel Core 12th Gen
Lastly, we come to Unreal Engine. Much like rendering, the core count is king. Many users opt for Workstation grade CPUs such as Threadripper Pro. Its massive core counts really tear through shaders. However, not all users are compiling source code or massive amounts of shaders on a regular basis and would prefer a consumer-grade CPU.
The 5950X was already our top choice in this category, and the new Ryzen 7950X is 39% faster on average across code compile, light baking, and shader compile. Anyone that frequently has to wait for shaders to compile before they can begin working on their project will welcome this speed. This puts the 7950X as 53% faster than the Intel 12900K. There just isn’t any comparison.
The 7900X sees a 36% performance increase over the 5900X. Again, a very welcom improvement. This give it a more modest 29% lead over the similarly priced 12900K. This means on the top of of the consumer grade CPUs, there really isn’t anything like the Ryzen 7000 series.
Things take a quick turn on the lower two CPUs. The 7700X only sees an 11% improvement over the previous 5800X, however this is due to the 7700X completely failing one specific test, CPU Light Baking. That score aside, it was neck and neck with Intel’s 12700K. Hopefully this bug gets fixed quickly, but even if it does, these two CPUs would probably be tied.
Similarly, the 7600 saw a 35% performance bump over the 5600X (with no bugs). However, this wasn’t enough and the Intel 12600K averaged 3% faster. Each CPU had their own wins and losses. Either way, we dont recommend CPUs with 8 or fewer cores for Unreal Engine, as shader compile times can take way too long.
Full Analysis: Unreal Engine: AMD Ryzen 7000 Series vs Intel Core 12th Gen
Are the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series processors good for Content Creation?
Whenever Intel and AMD launch a new series of processors, we like to test them in a wide range of content creation applications to see exactly how the perform. The hard part is distilling our results down to a single conclusion, since there are often subtle nuances in the results on an application-by-application basis. Because of this, if we specifically tested an application you use every day, we highly recommend reading the more detailed application-specific analysis articles we linked to in each section.
But, as an attempt to summarize our testing as succinctly as possible, we can break it down by industry across photography, video editing, CPU rendering, and Unreal Engine (which could be game dev., virtual production, or real time visualization).
For Photography (Photoshop and Lightroom Classic), AMD made great strides with their new Ryzen 7000 processors, often scoring 25-30% higher than the previous generation. This brings AMD pretty closely in line with the Intel Core 12th Gen CPUs, and makes it very hard to definitely say which product line is the better option for everyone. If we had to declare a "winner", we would give it to the AMD Ryzen 7000 series, but it is very, very close.
Video Editing (Premiere Pro, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve Studio) is both more, and less clear. For Premiere Pro and Resolve in particular, it is going to come down to the type of codecs you work with. The Intel Core 12th Gen processors with Quick Sync are hard to beat for longGOP codecs like H.264 and HEVC, and earns our solid recommendation there. Intraframe codecs like ProRes and DNx, however, is a toss-up between Intel and AMD, with either being a great option. Lastly, for RAW codecs like RED and BRAW, AMD Ryzen 7000 (in particular the 7900X and 7950X) can give you as much as 40% higher performance than a comparable Intel Core 12th Gen processor, which makes AMD firmly the better choice.
This makes neither AMD or Intel a clear "winner" for video editing as a whole. It completely depends on what you are doing in these applications that will determine which processor line will give you the best performance.
Luckily, CPU rendering (Cinema4D, V-Ray, and Blender) is a bit easier. AMD has long held the performance crown for this type of workflow due to their high core count, and even though the Intel Core 12th Gen processors can match AMD in terms of total cores, many of those are their new "efficiency" cores which have much lower performance. Overall, the new Ryzen 7000 processors are a staggering 30% to 45% faster than the previous generation.
That doesn't mean that AMD is always faster, and the Intel Core i5 12600K and i7 12700K actually score slightly higher than the Ryzen 7600X and 7700X respectively. The tables are completely turned with the higher-end models, however, with the Ryzen 9 7900X being 20-30% faster than the Intel Core i9 12900K, while the Ryzen 9 7950X was a massive 40-50% faster than the Core i9 12900KS
Rounding out our testing was Unreal Engine, which can be used in a variety of industries including game development, virtual production, and real time visualization. Once again, the gen-over-gen improvement is massive, with Ryzen 7000 coming in at around 10-40% faster than the 5000 series depending on the specific CPU model. Interestingly, just like with CPU rendering, Intel still holds a lead at the lower end with the Core i5 12600K and 12700K, but AMD takes the crown with their Ryzen 7900X and 7950X. With those CPUs, AMD is anywhere from 30% (7900X vs 12900K) to 50% faster (7950X vs 12900KS).
While this article is all about the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors, it is worth pointing out that Intel is expected to launch their new Core 13th Gen processors sometime later this year, with some sites like Tom's Hardware speculating that they could launch as early as October. We won't know how those upcoming Intel processors will perform until they are released, but given the short timeframe we are likely dealing with, it may be worth holding off on purchasing a Ryzen 7000 (or an Intel Core 12th Gen) processor for a little bit if you can. In some areas it will be difficult for Intel to catch up to AMD, but they could change the landscape in the cases where the performance is close.
Update 9/27/2022: Intel has officially announced that the 13th Gen CPUs will be available in October.
Overall, we were very impressed with the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors. Intel still holds a lead in a few areas, but in most of the cases where the Intel Core 12th Gen was faster than AMD Ryzen 5000, the new Ryzen 7000 series at least closed the gap significantly, and in some instances allowed AMD to take the lead. And in the areas where AMD was already the leader, Ryzen 7000 only furthers their lead, providing an even greater benefit to going with team Red over team Blue.