Lots of people are getting their new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max this weekend, so we wanted to provide this important piece of advice. While your wireless carrier can probably help, you should check out our guide on how to activate eSIM on iPhone 14 (opens in new tab).
As we explain below, U.S. models of the iPhone 14 don’t have a SIM card slot, so it’s eSIM all the way. So follow our step-by-step instructions and also see our guidance on how to transfer an eSIM or a physical SIM to your new iPhone.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 look almost identical, so is it worth the upgrade? In short, probably not, unless you’re already in the iPhone upgrade program. The design is the same, including the notch, as is the display.
But there are some notable differences, and our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison breaks everything down for you. The gist is that the iPhone 14 offers better images in low light, a slightly faster A15 Bionic chip (stolen from last year’s iPhone 13 Pro) and silky smooth Action mode video.
No matter which iPhone 14 model you choose in the U.S., none of them have a SIM card tray. And that’s because Apple is going eSIM only in America. That means you’ll have to enter the SIM card info into the Settings app.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to get up and running. Plus, we have a guide to eSIMs on the iPhone 14 and how they work. Once you are set up, it’s fairly easy to switch between active lines. So you can have one phone number for business and one for personal use. And you can store up to 8 eSIMs overall per iPhone 14.
One of the questions I got on my iPhone 14 Pro Max review on YouTube was whether the Dynamic Island is tough to reach when using one hand. My answer was yes, but Apple already has a solution on the way to make things easier.
As reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), the iOS 16.1 beta integrates the Dynamic Island into the Reachability feature under settings. So once you turn the feature on, the Island will actually move along with the rest of the display halfway down the screen. That’s a handy upgrade.
Like any new iPhone, the iPhone 14 is not immune to launch day issues. An iPhone 14 bug was initially preventing users from setting up their devices over Wi-Fi. But this problem has apparently been addressed.
According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Apple has released an iOS 16.0.1 update that “should resolve any activation or migration issues facing owners of the new iPhone.” However, note that users may need to update and restore their phones using a Mac or PC to solve this problem.
Whoops! It looks like Apple itself was aware of the rumors that the iPhone 14 Pro series was going to have dual cutouts at the top of the screen. As reported by MacRumors (opens in new tab), Apple has been showing a punch hole and pill shaped cutout for the iPhone 14 in various support documents, even though the new Dynamic Island uses a single cutout.
As good as the iPhone 14 is, it’s not necessarily the best phone in its price range. Case in point: the Samsung Galaxy S22. Samsung’s $799 handset offers a 120Hz display and 3x telephoto zoom, two features the regular iPhone 14 lacks.
Here’s a quick overview of four ways the Galaxy S22 beats the iPhone 14. But we also go over where Apple beats Samsung. Plus, we have a full face-off coming up this weekend to declare a definitive winner.
With any new iPhone launch you’ll find that Apple gives some older phones the axe. So be sure to see our overview of the iPhones Apple has discontinued (opens in new tab) following the iPhone 14’s release.
The iPhone 11 is no more, and there’s no iPhone 12 mini, either. The iPhone 11 going away hurts most as there’s no solid sub-$500 iPhone in Apple’s lineup now with a screen size 6 inches or bigger.
The iPhone 14 is a good phone, but you should really know about all of the differences between it and the iPhone 14 Pro before you buy. Our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro (opens in new tab) comparison breaks it all down so you’ll be able to make the most informed decision.
Here’s the gist. The iPhone 14 Pro has a bunch of exclusive features, including always-on display, Dynamic Island and a 48MP main camera. But that’s not all.
We just finished a couple of more battery tests on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and we have good news. Apple’s 6.7-inch flagship lasted an excellent 13 hours and 39 minutes on average, which puts this phone on our best phone battery life list.
Anything above 11.5 hours is considered excellent. Stay tuned for more results for all the new iPhones!
Early benchmarks before the iPhone 14’s arrival suggested that it might not be as powerful as people hoped.
We needn’t have worried, though — because own benchmarks tell a very different story about just how powerful the A16 Bionic really is.
In short: Apple has solidified its lead in the mobile system-on-chip space, because the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the fastest and most powerful phones ever. Get the full story in our iPhone 14 benchmarks test report.
Action mode is another new iPhone 14 feature, and the best way to show it off is to simply watch some footage with it turned on and off. And it’s pretty easy to do; you just press a button in the camera app when recording video, and you should see smooth and steady video, as if you were using a gimbal.
Running up this incline on a path, you can see that the video is much more stable with Action mode turned on. With it off, it looks like I’m veering wildly from side to side. Our iPhone 14 Pro Max review has more comparisons for you to check out.
Ever wondered what the inside of an iPhone 14 Pro Max looks like? No, don’t go prying off the back of your new phone, that’s not a good idea. Instead, take a look at the above iPhone 14 Pro Max teardown video by PBKreviews (opens in new tab), which takes apart the new device piece-by-piece to compare it with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
It’s fascinating stuff if you’re interested in what’s inside your phone rather than just what it can do.
The iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via Satellite option is another new feature for Apple’s latest handset, and this one’s available on all models rather than just the Pro.
It currently has limited global coverage, in that it’s only available in the U.S. and Canada, but good news is on the way: the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity could be coming to more countries this year.
The Dynamic Island is interactive, too. Long pressing this area brings up more controls, such as playback, so you don’t have to keep jumping between multiple apps or swipe down from the top of the screen.
It gets better. As third-party developers tap into Apple’s Live Activites API, you’ll be able to see the status of your Lyft ride, the score from your favorite NFL team or the ETA for your food delivery order. Now that’s smart, and it worked well in our testing.
Another great new iPhone 14 feature is the Dynamic Island found on the two Pro models. You’re going to be hearing this word a lot, so let’s break down what it means. Dynamic Island is the replacement for the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
This pill-shaped cutout doesn’t just house the TrueDepth camera and tech for Face ID; it delivers info and changes shape on the fly. You could start a timer and see the countdown clock towards the top of your screen, or album art for the music playing or the next turn for Apple Maps.
You might think from the name that the always-on display will always be… well, on. But Apple has now confirmed that there are some instances where the always-on display will temporarily turn off.
There are eight of these, including when your iPhone is face down, in a pocket or bag and when Low Power Mode is switched on, with the idea being that disabling the feature at these times will help you preserve battery life on your phone.
A few bugs and some (inevitable) delays aside, it’s pretty much all good news as far as the iPhone 14 range goes. In fact, there are so many positives — particularly with the Pro models — that it’s hard to know where to start.
But to pick one at random, how about the new iPhone 14 Pro always-on display?
This shows you a low-brightness version of your current lock screen, allowing you to check your notifications, your iOS 16 lock screen widgets, and of course the clock.
It’s something Android phones have had a version of for some time, but none look quite as pretty, or show quite as much at once, as the AOD Apple’s developed.
There’s also a bug that reportedly affects iMessage and FaceTime. According to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), this can leave users unable to receive messages and calls, or iMessages to be sent with the generic green bubbles to other iPhone users.
Fortunately, there is a fix for this one, which we detail in our iPhone 14 release day bugs article.
So what can you look forward to if you do have a shiny new iPhone 14 in your mitts today? Well, mostly lots of very good things, but also a couple of slight negatives.
We’ll start with the negatives, just because they’re freshly reported. For instance, it seems there’s an iPhone 14 activation bug which might be causing the set-up process to fail for some people.
This comes from MacRumors (opens in new tab), which says it’s seen an internal Apple memo where the iPhone 14 doesn’t connect to open Wi-Fi networks when being set up. The workaround is to instead use a PC or Mac for that part of the process, which isn’t the most elegant solution. Hopefully Apple will sort this issue out quickly.
The fact that so many people want to get their hands on the iPhone 14 Pro models is hardly a surprise — in fact, we think the difference between the base model and its more expensive siblings is greater than ever.
Why? Well, there are multiple reasons including the fact that the Pro replaces the divisive notch with the really clever Dynamic Island, the camera upgrade to a 48MP sensor and the increased battery life.
Here, our Global Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer explains why the iPhone 14 Pro is way better than iPhone 14.
Nor is the situation just bad for people looking to buy some iPhone 14 Pro models today — even some people who preordered those phones are being told they might not get their handset on time.
According to 9to5Mac, multiple iPhone 14 preorders have been delayed at the 11th hour. Many have contacted them to express their frustration at the estimated delivery dates slipping to September 23. And some have even been pushed back to September 30.
In the U.K., for instance, where Apple stores are already open, I can order an iPhone 14 Pro right now and pick it up from my local outlet tomorrow. However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is showing as unavailable to collect from any of the 12 nearest stores.
There are no such problems with the base iPhone 14: that’s readily available for pick up tomorrow in multiple colors and configurations.
|Model||Estimated delivery date (U.S.)||Estimated delivery date (U.K.)|
|iPhone 14||September 20||September 21|
|iPhone 14 Plus||October 7||October 7|
|iPhone 14 Pro||October 17-24||October 18-25|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||October 24-31||October 25-November 1|
Good morning, and welcome to Tom’s Guide’s iPhone 14 launch day live blog.
Let’s start by talking about wait times. As the table above shows, some new iPhone 14 models are far easier to get hold of than others. For instance, if you order the base iPhone 14 today, it should be delivered as soon as next week. But if you want the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you might have to wait until the end of October to get your hands on it!
In-store availability is potentially better than that, but it will depend on which model you want and where you are. Either way, it’s clear that the Pro models are in greater demand than ever this year.
Apple Watch Ultra Teardown Reveals Larger Battery, Improved Water Resistance, and More – MacRumors
iFixit today shared an Apple Watch Ultra teardown video, providing a closer look at the watch’s internal design and components.
While the Apple Watch Ultra has four exposed pentalobe screws on the back case for quick access to the inside of the watch, iFixit said the device remains challenging to repair. For example, after removing the back case, iFixit said a gasket contributing to the Apple Watch Ultra’s water resistance was immediately broken. In addition, accessing parts like the battery and Taptic Engine requires the difficult task of removing the display.
In line with a previous report, the teardown confirms that the Apple Watch Ultra is equipped with a 542 mAh battery, which is 76% larger than the Apple Watch Series 8’s 308 mAh battery also shown. The teardown also provides a closer look at the Ultra’s significantly larger speaker, which reviews said results in louder phone calls.
Apple Watch Ultra launched on Friday. Priced at $799, the high-end watch features a rugged design with a 49mm titanium case, a flat display, outdoors-themed bands, water resistance up to a depth of 100 meters, a customizable bright orange “Action” button, up to 60 hours of battery life with an upcoming low power setting, and more.
The all-new Apple Watch Ultra unveiled today is available to pre-order starting today in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K., and more than 40 other countries and regions around the world, with pricing set at $799. Apple Watch Ultra will launch in stores and begin arriving to customers on September 23.
Inspired by the “most extreme activities,” the Apple…
A YouTuber has put Apple’s claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display.
TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch…
The Apple Watch Ultra features a 76% larger battery compared to the 45mm Series 8, according to newly uncovered specifications in a Chinese certification database.
The certification, spotted by MySmartPrice, reveals that the Apple Watch Ultra features a 542mAh battery. The 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 features a 308mAh battery, representing a 76% increase in battery size for the Apple Watch…
It’s the official launch day for Apple’s latest and greatest product, the Apple Watch Ultra. We picked up one of the new watches to check out the features and compare it with the Apple Watch Series 8 to see if it’s worth the upgrade.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s largest watch to date, measuring in at 49mm, a full 4mm over the…
The new Apple Watch Ultra features the ability to measure the temperature of the water as you’re diving, swimming, and doing a range of other water sports thanks to new functionality, added durability, and a new Depth app pre-installed on the watch.
The Apple Watch Ultra is the most rugged Apple Watch yet, with features and design elements explicitly designed for swimmers, divers, and…
Apple on Wednesday unveiled the new Apple Watch Ultra, a larger, more advanced smartwatch aimed at athletes, explorers, and swimmers. The Apple Watch Ultra shares the same features as the new Apple Watch Series 8, but there is a whole lot more to the watch than meets the eye. Here are just some of the more notable differences that are worth highlighting.
Operating Temperatures Are Extreme
Apple Watch Ultra repairs cost $499 without an AppleCare+ plan in the United States, according to Apple’s website. This fee applies to an Apple Watch Ultra with damage to the titanium case, display, buttons, sensors, or other components.
Apple can also replace the battery in an Apple Watch Ultra for a $99 fee, regardless of whether the customer has AppleCare+ coverage.
Apple has listed two new apps on the App Store that are made exclusively for the Apple Watch Ultra: “Siren” and “Depth.” Siren is designed for emergency situations if users become lost or injured to draw attention to their location. When the Action button on Apple Watch Ultra is long-pressed, Siren emits a unique 86-decibel sound pattern which can be heard up to 600 feet (180 meters) away.
A YouTuber has put Apple’s claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display.
TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch…
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple’s lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max.
Almost two years later, rumors…
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we’re also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more.
Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected…
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently “likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,…
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its “Pro Max” iPhone with an all-new “Ultra” iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today.
Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its “Pro Max” branding, which it started to use…
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods…
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more.
After major iOS updates, it’s normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in…
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year.
There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and…
AMD's Zen 4 Has Arrived, Start With A Look At The Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 9 7950X – PC Perspective
One More Sleep Before You Can Buy One; But Should You?
AMD did a good job providing test samples of the new Zen 4 family, as you can see from the long list of reviews below. We will be adding to that list in the near future, once our testing wraps up and gets published; for we did get the whole stack to test. The Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 9 7950X are very different from the previous generation, as you are going to need a new motherboard and RAM to use them; a new PCIe 5.0 PSU might be a wise addition as well.
The biggest noticeable difference are the temperatures at which the new Zen 4 processors run. They are not just designed to run at a TJMax of 95C 24 hours a day, they actually prefer it and will try to run as close to that temperature as they possibly can when they are under load. AMD assures everyone this is not just safe, but better for the CPU. You can choose to modify this behaviour if you so desire, both the new Ryzen Master software and the BIOS allow you to specify your target TDP to 65 W, 105 W TDP or 170 W TDP. AMD also plans to update this to allow you to enable Eco-mode, which will dynamically set the TDP base on current load.
As for the performance, the details can be found at Ars Technica as well as below. The highlights are that the new processors noticeably outperform the previous generation of AMD’s Zen processors and Intel’s 12th generation Core processors. That could change very soon, as the new Intel processors are coming soon, but AMD’s timing allows them to claim top spot for now.
The move to Zen 4 is expensive, so if you own a current generation processor you might want to hold off on grabbing new silicon tomorrow. If you are several generations back, the combination of higher power efficiency, better performance and support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 will provide a noticeable improvement.
AMD’s Middle of the Pack Zen 4 CPUs Are Anything But Mid-Tier – Gizmodo
In case the leaks and lofty presentations that dropped over the summer did not make it clear enough, AMD’s newly released Zen 4 platform is aiming to compete with Intel for the title of World’s Fastest Gaming CPU. With claims of higher power delivery per watt, an improved architecture, astronomical increases in single core performance, and continued dominance in the multicore arena, the Ryzen 7000 series has a myriad of legendary promises to live up to.
Do the chips live up to the hype?
We can answer half of that question for you – the half that lives in the middle of the product stack. Over the past two weeks, we’ve been playing with and gathering data from the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X CPUs. We’ll get the rest of the product stack in later, but for now, we’ve examined the pros and cons of the new platform, and have walked away with some things to think about if you are considering an upgrade for an existing system or building a new PC.
We are going to be wading through a bunch of information to reach our conclusion, but I will tell you this up front: these middle of the stack CPUs offer far more than middle of the road performance.
New Platform, New Processor Design, and Some Familiar Features
The advances that AMD has been making in both GPU and CPU technologies over the past half decade are nothing short of remarkable. Five short years after the release of the original Ryzen CPUs, AMD takes a significant step forward with its fifth generation processors. With this step comes a major transition in platforms and the adoption of newer technologies.
Beginning with the socket, the Ryzen 7000 series (codenamed Raphael) moves away from AM4’s micro pin grid array (uPGA) to a land grid array (LGA) format similar to the sockets Intel has been using for several years. For AMD, designing the AM5 socket to the LGA1718 format was motivated by a desire to improve power management and delivery to the CPU as well as to provide optimal energy efficiency and voltage regulator health monitoring.
Power delivery wasn’t the only opportunity provided by the socket redesign. This new platform created an opportunity for AMD to integrate current technologies, plus lay the groundwork for next generation innovations. This isn’t a half-hearted approach, either; AMD has stated that it intends to support the AM5 platform through 2025 and beyond. To ensure this pathway forward, the new platform will support DDR5 RAM and PCI Express Gen 5.0.
To maximize performance with DDR5, AMD introduced a feature it’s calling AMD EXPO. Not to be confused with a gathering of AMD enthusiasts, AMD EXPO (or Extended Profile for Overclocking) is a one-click memory tuning feature similar to Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile). EXPO provides users with a simple and stable solution to optimize memory speeds and timing for AMD. For Zen 4, this optimum speed is 6000 MHz – a far jump from Zen 3’s 3600 MHz sweet spot.
Now, in all of this talk about memory, some of you might be wondering about DDR4 support. Unlike Intel’s Alder Lake, AMD’s Zen 4 cut ties with DDR4 completely. We will talk about that point later, but it is important to note as we talk about the technologies AMD is and isn’t integrating into the Ryzen 7000 Series.
Speaking of integration, AMD is finally including an integrated GPU with its main series desktop CPUs. While we have seen Ryzen APUs released after the core series of CPUs and mobile chips that paired with Radeon graphics, the Ryzen 7000 series is the first to ship with RDNA 2 cores on the I/O die.
Now, this is no replacement for a discrete GPU; the iGPU assists with tasks such as video encoding and decoding, freeing a dedicated GPU to do its heavy lifting elsewhere. The RDNA 2 iGPU also supports either HDMI or DisplayPort connections (depending on which the motherboard manufacturer chooses to include) which can come in handy for those unfortunate moments when your GPU decides it is done with the heavy lifting and you need an alternate display connection to troubleshoot your problems.
The final detail we need to discuss before getting into the chips themselves is motherboards… more specifically, we need to talk about chipsets. The new AM5 motherboards come in four flavors: X670E, X670, B650E, and B650. Both the X670E and X670 motherboards have been released with the announced Ryzen 7000 series CPUs, while the B650E and B650 boards are slated for release some time in October. Let’s break down what all those numbers and letters actually mean.
The X-series of motherboards are intended for users who are looking for maximum power delivery and overclocking headroom, while the B-series offers access to most of the benefits of the new platform while remaining budget-conscious. The E (or Extreme) variants of the X670 and B650 motherboards will offer PCIe 5.0 support for both storage and graphics, whereas the non-E motherboards will offer PCIe 5.0 lanes strictly for storage.
In case you are worried about the non-E motherboards going obsolete any time soon, don’t be concerned just yet. At the time of writing this review, there are no GPUs on the consumer market that utilize PCIe 5.0, and that’s including the recently announced NVIDIA RTX 4090. With the inclusion of support for the feature on the E variant motherboards, AMD could be teasing a PCIe 5.0 connection for its forthcoming RDNA 3 Radeon GPUs, but that is pure speculation at this point.
Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X Specs
Platform aside, we have to talk briefly about the specific CPUs we tested and some basic ways they differ from their predecessors. While we can draw a direct line from the Ryzen 9 5900X to the Ryzen 9 7900X, the Ryzen 7 7700X is a bit different. Historically, we have seen both “X800X” and “X700X” SKUs within the Ryzen 7 family, but an “X800X” version is missing from this release for the moment. Since AMD’s naming convention puts the 7700X into the “X700X” lineup, we will be comparing the Ryzen 7 7700X with the Ryzen 7 5700X.
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is an eight-core, sixteen thread (8C/16T) CPU with a base clock speed of 4.5 GHz and max boost speed of 5.4 GHz. Comparatively, the Ryzen 7 5700X is also a 8C/16T with a max boost speed of 4.6 GHz. You read that right: that boost speed is only 100 MHz higher than the 7700X’s base clock speed. When it comes to max boost clock, the 7700X is a whole 2 GHz faster than the 5700X. All of this does come with a slight trade-off: the 7700X has a higher thermal design power (TDP) – 65W versus 105W. It is worth noting because it means that thermal management is going to be a bit more important on the 7700X.
The AMD Ryzen 7900X, like its predecessor, has a 12C/24T design, but it, like the 7700X, takes a huge leap forward in speed as well. Coming in at a base clock speed of 4.7 GHz and boost clock speed of 5.6 GHz, the 7900X supersedes its predecessor by 1 GHz at base speeds and ~900 MHz at boost. The 7900X also sees a generational TDP increase from 105W to 170W.
The Zen 4 series as a whole sees this power increase as well as an increase in L2 cache size. On each CPU in the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series, we see those numbers doubled over the previous generation.
AMD 7000 Series Performance, Power and… Where Are These Numbers Coming From!?
Before we get into the numbers, here are some details about our test bench and how we gathered our data. We tried to keep our methodology simple in order to give the clearest picture of the performance that the average user can expect to get out of the Ryzen 7 7700X and the Ryzen 9 7900X. With that in mind, these numbers are for out-of-the-box performance – no overclocking or no settings tweaks. The only advantage we gave them is that we enabled an AMD EXPO profile for low memory latency and speed.
Here is the hardware we used to collect our data from the Ryzen 7000 Series CPUs: ASRock X670 Tachi motherboard, NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition GPU, 32 GB G.Skill Trident Z5 NEO DDR5-6000 RAM, 1TB WD_Black SN770 M.2 NVMe SSD, NZXT C1000 Gold 1000W PSU, NZXT Kraken Z73 360mm all-in-one liquid cooler with three 120mm fans, and an NZXT H7 Elite mid-tower PC case with four 140mm fans.
You will also notice that we are including test data collected from the Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K as well as AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X. This data was collected by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal and Joanna Nelius for Gizmodo’s reviews of Intel’s 12th Generation CPUs and AMD’s flagship from AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Series. While I will be drawing a number of comparisons between their data and mine, our testing environments were different and your mileage may vary.
Now, on to the numbers!
Benchmark Breakdown: Productivity
In our productivity tests, we ran a suite of software benchmarks to highlight single and multi thread performance in scenarios designed to test how each CPU performed under various computational loads.
In Geekbench 5, we see that in single thread tasks–such as image and text compression, web navigation, .PDF rendering, and machine learning–the Ryzen 7 7700X takes a 28% leap in performance ahead of the Ryzen 9 5950X while overtaking the Core i9-12900K by just under 13%! The Ryzen 9 7900X crossed the 13% threshold in comparison to the 12900K while leading the 5950X by 29%. Remember: Intel has been the king of single thread performance while AMD has previously led in multi core, multi thread scenarios. So, what does that picture look like in Geekbench 5?
Simply put: hail to the king.
While the 7700X overtakes the 12900K by 5.5%, the 7900X delivers a whopping 54.5% higher multi thread performance over the Core i9. Compared to AMD’s previous generation, the 7900X receives a massive 100% uplift in multi core, multi thread performance over the 5950X. Not to be overshadowed, the 7700X takes a 37% lead over the 5950X even with fewer threads to work with. This is a substantial generational gain, and we haven’t even seen numbers from the 7950X yet!
Before we get too carried away, our results were not a complete blowout for Team Red. The performance delta closes when we start to look at tasks like video and 3D image rendering. In Handbrake, we converted a 4K video file to a 1080p30 format, and the story changed. In this test, the Core i9-12900K maintained its leading position with an 8 second lead over the 7900X, while the 7700X lagged behind by 49 seconds. That being said, a four minute rendering time for a file that size is nothing to scoff at!
Speaking of rendering, in Blender, we saw AMD fight back. Rendering an image of a shiny, red BMW, the 7900X crushed the render in 80 seconds flat – 10 seconds faster than the 12900K – with the 7700X keeping in step at 119 seconds. For the Ryzen 7 7700K, that is only 20 seconds slower than the 5950X, again with fewer threads to work with. Not too shabby for either of them!
Benchmark Breakdown: Gaming
With our gaming benchmarks, we noticed a trend that we wanted to highlight without the GPU performance impacting the data set. To do this, we ran all of our tests at 1080p to move away from GPU dependency, ensuring the clearest picture of the CPU’s impact on gaming and how the two compare to each other.
The games that we chose to test all had synthetic benchmarks, allowing for predictable data gathering. That data, however, was less than predictable – or, in this case, oddly predictable.
The gaming performance of the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X was nearly identical.
After a number of retests and sanity checks with Gizmodo staff, the numbers you see in the chart above are valid. No background tasks, memory leaks, or system hiccups muddied these waters, and the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X are neck and neck in gaming performance – with one small caveat:
In games that utilize multiple threads, the 7900X does take a noticeable lead. It isn’t by much, but it is significant enough to be outside of the margin of error. Metro Exodus is a prime example of this. With ray tracing enabled, it takes the lead by a few frames per second. That lead, however, was not by a wide margin.
That isn’t to say that gaming performance is unimpressive or insignificant! Both CPUs ran at or beyond 1080p120 in our gaming tests and did so without any performance stuttering.
Energy Efficiency and Thermal Performance
In her August 9 keynote, Dr. Lisa Su shared AMD’s ambitious goal of making Zen 4 a platform that leads the industry in performance and energy efficiency. What we saw with the new AM5 socket was a higher overall TDP driving the CPUs at higher temperatures and wattage from previous generations, but at much higher frequencies as well.
In most of our tests, we saw an initial spike in power on the front end of tests that evened out over the course of the benchmarks. In most single thread situations, the Ryzen 7 7700X stayed below 100 W on average while the 7900X hovered closer to that point. In productivity tasks where multiple cores and threads are at work, we saw those numbers nearly double. However, both CPUs stayed far enough below their maximum power draw while crushing the 5 GHz barrier that AMD has been stuck below until now.
This extra power does translate into thermal yield, but according to AMD, the Ryzen 7000 Series is designed to take the heat. And, honestly, it isn’t too terrible. Looking at degrees Celsius over ambient temperatures (74 F or 23.33 C), the 7700X and 7900X both stayed in the mid-40 C and low-50 C ranges during our gaming tests, while our productivity suite ranged a fair bit higher (~70 C).
Granted, the gaming benchmarks are not terribly long, so they don’t tell us much about day-to-day use. Also, the productivity benchmarks tend to be a bit more punishing on purpose in order to test hardware limits. Anecdotally, I watched CPU temperature while playing through Destiny 2’s weekly story content, and the picture was pretty similar to the gaming benchmark averages.
The bottom line is that these Zen 4 CPUs do perform at a higher level, but you can expect the power draw and temperatures to be slightly higher as a result. According to AMD, this is intended. While we are talking about high power-per-watt, we’re also talking about more watts, overall.
Unsolicited Advice on Upgrading: The Cost of Power
Benchmarks and data points are fantastic, but one question that often gets asked around the time of any major hardware release is: should I upgrade or should I wait? I have a pretty standard answer for this question that is pretty annoying to most people: what you should do depends on a number of factors, including budget, use case, existing equipment, and your level of patience. All of those have a cost associated with them, and it all depends on what you are willing to pay and when you are willing to pay that cost.
Starting with the financial cost, the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X come in at $399 and $549, respectively. While these prices seem high for AMD, remember that we are talking about the middle of the product stack here. These numbers track with the cost of their closest competition; the Intel Core i7-12700K and Core i9-12900K retail for $399 and $589 USD. Don’t forget, too, that we also saw a launch price of $449 USD for the Ryzen 7 5800X3D just a few short months ago.
While CPU cost is one thing to consider, there is also the question of platform cost. At the moment, we do not have official costs for X670 motherboards just yet, and the more budget-oriented B650 boards will not be released until October. What we do know, however, is the cost of DDR5. For an AMD EXPO-enabled kit, like the one we received for this review, you are looking at around $269 USD from Newegg. That isn’t terrible for the size of the memory, but it will be an expense worth considering.
On the positive side of the cost consideration, if you are rebuilding an existing system, there are some components that can make the journey with you. For example, CPU heatsinks and all-in-one (AiO) liquid coolers that support AM4 are compatible with the AM5 platform. Also, if you have a solid PSU that is only a couple years old (under 3), AMD hasn’t added any proprietary connectors or dongles that you’ll need to worry about. If possible, I always recommend a clear start with a new PSU for fresh components.
Now, let’s talk about the patience cost associated with early adoption. A first generation release of any platform can be awkward, and Zen 4 is no exception. With the Ryzen 7000 series, there are some questions about maturity that I have on the front end, specifically when it comes to memory handling and its effect on boot time.
The initial boot process took a noticeably long time on the first try here. This delay was attributed to “training” the memory. Our motherboard documented a normal first boot taking a minimum of 2 – 3 minutes with 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) installed before hitting the power-on self-test (POST). That time goes up in increments with the amount of RAM installed. This training process is also repeated if the CMOS has to be cleared.
On a whim, I tested this theory out–and I was right… oh, I was painfully right. Eight minutes and a reseating of the RAM later, the system finally rebooted and, I assume, retrained the RAM.
If you have ever built a PC, that first boot is already filled with enough anxiety without the delay to POST for memory training. As it stands, each subsequent boot has taken around 45 seconds to go from powering on to hitting the POST screen. If you are used to a faster boot time, this might test your patience.
Should I buy an AMD Ryzen 7 7700X or Ryzen 9 7900X?
Even with the quirks of a new platform, the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 9 7900X are pretty impressive offerings for the middle of the Ryzen 7000 Series product stack! With incredible leaps forwards in clock speed, single thread performance, continued dominance in multithreaded environments, and simple RAM tuning tailored to the AMD experience with EXPO, as well as the adoption of PCIe Gen 5.0 and DDR5, the Zen 4 line-up is looking to live up to AMD’s promises.
There is, however, a looming question in this assessment: if you were going to buy one of these processors, which one is right for you?
If you are looking at value per dollar for gaming performance, without seeing the performance of the Ryzen 5 7600X, I would highly recommend the Ryzen 7 7700X at this time. In most single thread performance scenarios – such as gaming, our benchmarks showed a minimal delta of difference between it and the Ryzen 9 7900X. In most cases, the performance was achieved at a lower wattage as well.
However, if you are doing anything that leverages multiple threads, the Ryzen 7 7700X can hang, but the Ryzen 9 7900X is an absolute monster! Though this performance came at the cost of extra power draw and heat, it did crush each workload we threw at it.
When I take a step back from the numbers, I have to say that I am not mad about the similarities. Remember, these two processors fall in the middle of the Zen 4 product stack and provide power and performance for two very different users. For the user that is looking for high performance in gaming but doesn’t need much else, the Ryzen 7 7700X is an amazing choice. However, for the user that needs those extra beefy Zen 4 cores, but isn’t quite ready to sink the extra $150 USD for the 7950X, the 7900X provides ample performance while maintaining a strong showing in single thread tasks.
My hope with Zen 4 is that we will see a similar trajectory of improvement and innovation that we saw happen between AMD’s Zen 1 to Zen 3 releases. With each generation, we’ve seen continued maturity and stability. So, if this is the starting point for AMD’s new platform, Zen 4 is the beginning of an amazing new era for AMD CPUs.
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.
Born into a tech-forward family during the primordial dawn of the internet, Damien grew up with a nearly insatiable curiosity for how everything works. With curiosity spanning the topics of technology, faith, and psychology, Damien is a pastor by trade, but a podcaster, streamer, and freelance writer for fun.
The Commercial Real Estate Market: Crash, Train Wreck, Or Apocalypse? – Forbes
Chinese politics has become even more of a black box under Xi Jinping – The Globe and Mail
Montreal exhibit Parle Moi d'Amour celebrates art therapy creations – CBC.ca
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
News17 hours ago
Are Election Signs Worth the Environmental Destruction and Inequity They Cause?
Science22 hours ago
NASA Will Crash A Spacecraft Into An Asteroid For Science! – Forbes
News17 hours ago
5 tips for those moving to Hawaii
Media23 hours ago
NBA media days – The best quotes from around the league as teams kick off the 2022-23 season – ESPN
Health21 hours ago
Feds lift border vaccine requirements, mandatory masks on planes and trains
Politics18 hours ago
Opinion | Can the next generation change politics? – The Washington Post
Sports17 hours ago
Auger-Aliassime stuns Djokovic to help Team World win Laver Cup for 1st time – CBC Sports
Health24 hours ago
Using artificial sweeteners may raise the risk of heart disease, study shows – Prestige Online Malaysia