Why you can trust Tom's Hardware
AMD is hitting hard with Ryzen 3. The quad-core models aren't as aggressively segmented as Intel's Core i3 family, so you get unlocked ratio multipliers, a competent Wraith Stealth cooler, and a lower cost to entry. And it isn’t like overclocking Ryzen 3 1300X requires much effort; we used a B350-based motherboard and the stock thermal solution for a quick and easy jump to 3.9 GHz.
In comparison, Intel's only overclockable Core i3 is pricey on its own, and that's before you factor in an expensive Z270-based motherboard or third-party heat sink/fan.
The following price efficiency chart uses a geometric mean of the 99th percentile frame times (a good indicator of smoothness), which we convert into an FPS measurement and plot against price. Our suite includes six games released in 2016 and five older titles that launched in 2014/2015. Ryzen's extra cores could enable more performance in the future as software evolves to utilize them better, so we also include a chart with newer games that exploit host processing resources more thoroughly.
At stock settings, Ryzen 3 1300X only lags the more expensive Core i3-7300 by an average of 2.2 FPS across our suite. That shrinks to a negligible 1.75 FPS when we focus on newer games. You probably won't be using a GTX 1080 with Ryzen 3 either, so graphics bottlenecks will pop up more readily than what we saw. The story changes when we apply an overclock. Suddenly, Ryzen 3 1300X takes the lead any way you dice up the results.
Intel recently slipped two new -7120 and -7340 models into its Core i3 line-up, but we don't know what they'll cost yet. Using their positioning in Intel’s product stack as a guide, the -7340 will likely battle Ryzen 5 1400, while the -7120 takes on the Ryzen 3s. We don’t expect Core i3-7120 to change our position much: it only offers 100 MHz more than the -7100 and it'll probably cost more. Intel does give you HD Graphics 610 and 630 across its Pentium and Core i3 line-ups, which is an advantage over the Ryzen models. So, if you're only doing office work and don't plan on buying an add-in GPU, Intel's the way to go.
However, enthusiasts looking for a speedy chip should strongly consider the Ryzen 3 1300X. It's an excellent value that leaves room in your budget for other high-performance devices. It also gives you spare cores for productivity applications. AMD has solidified its AM4 motherboard ecosystem, so the platforms are stable, and we can confidently recommend them. We’ll follow up with in-depth application testing, but initial signs are positive. After all, it isn’t hard to imagine that quad-core models will best Intel's dual-cores offerings in most productivity applications.
Make no mistake, you’ll see the Ryzen 3 1300X on our Best CPUs list soon. We'll circle back with application testing in the Ryzen 3 1200 review. Meanwhile, the Coffee Lake processors can’t come soon enough for Intel.
MORE: Best CPUs
MORE: All CPUs Content
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
I don't remember when it was last time when we saw a review where, practically, in every chart AMD was at the top, and Intel at the bottom. It is refreshing really. Hopefully this will drive Intel to cleanup the mess it created in 5+ years of unchallenged leadership, and get its acts in order.
I'm enjoying the moment though. With my Ryzen 5 1600 :)
This is the product segment my slim wallet has been waiting for. I just hope that Intel will fight back with a price war. Now bring in the Ryzen+IGP for office gaming!Reply
The only mainstream chips Intel makes worth buying are the G4560 and 7700k, AMD has the rest of the product stack.Reply
The thing I found interesting from the review is that the disabled cores still receive power (second to last page of the review). Now we just need to figure out how to enable the "hidden" cores!Reply
While I wasn't impressed with the Ryzen 5, their 7 and 3 are really putting the hurt on Intel. Good job AMD for getting back into the race. :) Let's hope they can do the same against Nvidia so true competition will finally be back.Reply
There isn't a whole lot that Intel can do about it other than drop prices for a given amount of cores and threads, though you can expect Intel to hold on to premium pricing for its IPC, clock frequency and lower power advantages.19988753 said:Hopefully this will drive Intel to cleanup the mess it created in 5+ years of unchallenged leadership, and get its acts in order.
What I'm really curious to see for the mainstream/office segment is the Ryzen-Vega APUs.
Amd are just absolutely smashing it this year.Reply
Which is a great great thing after Intel's dominance & stranglehold for the last 6 years.
Intel price war ??
No that's not going to happen if it hasn't already ,they're way too arrogant to ever do that.
OH YEAH!!! AMD AMD AMD!Reply
One of the best CPU of the year with the 1600x. I still take my 1700x over them, but if you are under budget, there is no questions.Reply
Too bad their Vega card seems like another Fury. I sold my stock and wait for the first benches before rebuying it. Also, indication is that RX will cost 600-650$ and barely beating a 1080 GTX. However Vega core are going to be incridilbe with AMD APU on the laptop segment. Nvidia MXM cards are going to be a bad investment and cost a fortune while everything will be on the same chip for AMD.
If AMD wants to grab business/oem market, they should come out with a very low end graphics card, something that costs 40$(preferably 20$) or less, that they could bundle with these Ryzen 3s and sell as a one stop solution. So long as it performed similarly to intels IGPs, and the price was competitive, their performance advantage would give them a shot at stealing sales. For them to really get market share, which is where these Ryzen 3s sit, they need to be able to offer something to more than just gamers on a budget.Reply