AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Review

Fresh from a successful roll-out of mainstream Ryzen 7 and 5 CPUs, AMD's attack on Intel now extends down into the low-end with its Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 processors, which the company is making available today.

Intel's Core i3s are a staple of the high-volume mainstream market. They make up the most popular brand for budget-oriented builds by far. AMD is looking to shake that up with true quad-core processors that sell for even less than two Hyper-Threaded cores. As if a resource advantage wasn't already compelling enough, Ryzen 3 also enables unlocked multipliers. Intel is ill-prepared to fend off such a combination.

Although there is an unlocked Core i3-7350K at the top of Intel's Core i3 family, it isn't particularly popular. The chip is relatively expensive, and it unfortunately requires a pricey Z270-based motherboard for overclocking support. In comparison, AMD lets you overclock Ryzen 3 on cheaper B350-based platforms.

Right out of the gate, Ryzen 3 should sell for $130, going up against Intel's almost-$150 Core i3-7300, while the $110 Ryzen 3 1200 undercuts the Core i3-7100 at just under $120. In threaded workloads, the quad-core Ryzens should enjoy an advantage against Intel's dual-core models. Of course, AMD doesn't give you integrated graphics like Intel does, but for enthusiasts building cheap gaming PCs, the HD Graphics engine isn't much of a draw anyway.

Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200

The quad-core 1300X is AMD's first Ryzen processor that doesn't feature simultaneous multi-threading, so it only schedules four threads at a time, like Core i5. Still, when it's up against Intel's two Hyper-Threaded cores, the 1300X boasts a notable resource advantage.

AMD arms Ryzen 3 1300X with a 3.4 GHz base frequency that jumps as high as 3.9 GHz under lightly-threaded tasks. The -1300X also offers a 3.6 GHz clock rate with all cores active. Meanwhile, Intel keeps its Core i3-7300 operating at a static 4.0 GHz clock rate.

The quad-core Ryzen 3 1200 has a 3.1 GHz base frequency that scales to 3.45 GHz via XFR. It does battle against the Core i3-7100's static 3.9 GHz.

Ryzen 3's unlocked multipliers play a key role in overcoming Core i3's higher clock rates. You'll need a capable cooler to push these chips hard, though. Both AMD and Intel bundle their lower-end CPUs with heat sink/fan combos. But in a nod to the overclockers out there, AMD includes Wraith Stealth coolers with both Ryzen 3 models.

Although the 65W-rated Stealth doesn't feature a copper base or the LEDs found on AMD's higher-end thermal solutions, it does handle Ryzen 3's heat output deftly enough to facilitate XFR-triggered frequencies. This gives you an extra 200 MHz. We were even able to overclock the 1300X to 3.9 GHz within a reasonable temperature range. The fan also blows down onto the motherboard, which provide additional cooling around the socket. If you need more bling, AMD recently announced that it now offers the LED-equipped Wraith Max separately.

Like all other Ryzen chips, the 3-series CPUs drop into any Socket AM4 motherboard. But most will find a home on boards equipped with the B350 chipset, which has provisions for overclocking and offers plenty of connectivity options. Unlike Intel, AMD plans to utilize its current socket until 2020, so upgrading to future Ryzen models shouldn't require a new motherboard.

If you'd like more detail on the architecture Ryzen 3 is built on, check out Everything Zen: AMD Presents New Microarchitecture At HotChips and our Ryzen 7 1800X launch coverage. In brief, AMD uses two quad-core building blocks in a single Zeppelin die to create all of existing Ryzen-branded products. That means that each processor actually has eight cores, but AMD disables some of them (and, in this case, 8MB of cache) to create a segmented product stack. For Ryzen 3, the company symmetrically disables half of the cores on each CCX, creating a 2x2 array.

Ryzen Memory SupportMT/s
Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Four-DIMM1866
Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Four-DIMM2133
Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Two-DIMM2400
Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Two-DIMM2677

According to AMD, it plans to keep selling its older FX-series CPUs. We suspect they'll receive a deep price cut, though. FX-6300 should serve the sub-$100 market, while AMD's A-series APUs and Athlon surface today with Excavator and Polaris cores for AM4 motherboards.

We've updated our gaming suite along with new motherboard firmware (AGESA 1.0.0.6), graphics and chipset drivers. That necessitated an entire retest of our test pool. Due to time constraints, we'll circle back with more in-depth application testing in the upcoming Ryzen 3 1200 review. For now, let's take a look at Ryzen 3's gaming performance.

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  • yankeeDDL
    Wow.
    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 :)
  • SS_1__
    The only mainstream chips Intel makes worth buying are the G4560 and 7700k, AMD has the rest of the product stack.
  • Other Comments
  • yankeeDDL
    Wow.
    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 :)
  • blackmagnum
    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!
  • SS_1__
    The only mainstream chips Intel makes worth buying are the G4560 and 7700k, AMD has the rest of the product stack.
  • mjslakeridge
    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!
  • bloodroses
    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.
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    Hopefully this will drive Intel to cleanup the mess it created in 5+ years of unchallenged leadership, and get its acts in order.

    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.

    What I'm really curious to see for the mainstream/office segment is the Ryzen-Vega APUs.
  • madmatt30
    Amd are just absolutely smashing it this year.
    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.
  • ajac09
    OH YEAH!!! AMD AMD AMD!
  • redgarl
    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.

    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.
  • dudmont
    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.
  • neblogai
    Anonymous said:
    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!


    That is just Paul's assumption. It could very well be (and is probably more likely) that those cores do not receive power- the opposite, in light testing unlocked but unused cores could be switched off very very effectively, to the point end result is the same- unused or locked off.
  • g-unit1111
    Man I was just going to slap a 4930K in my work PC and be done with it, but considering I could get a Ryzen 3 1300X and a B350 motherboard for less than $250, it suddenly makes things much more interesting! AMD definitely hit a home run with the 1300X!
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    If AMD wants to grab business/oem market, they should come out with a very low end graphics card, something that costs 40$(preferably 20$) or less, that they could bundle with these Ryzen 3s and sell as a one stop solution.

    Why is nobody manufacturing new GPUs under ~$80? Because even the cheapest modern GPU you can build still costs ~$50 to make and by the time you add the chip manufacturers' margins, their distributors' margins, the board manufacturers' margins, the board distributors' margins and the stores' margins, you're at the $80+ mark for the cheapest GPU that still wouldn't make any sense next to modern IGPs.

    Businesses who want the cheapest graphics money can buy will buy APUs and Raven Ridge should be out by the end of the year to cover that market segment. Until then, companies can get things like GT730s to put in their Ryzen-pased office PCs if they can't wait for APUs.
  • dudmont
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    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.

    Why is nobody manufacturing new GPUs under ~$80? Because even the cheapest modern GPU you can build still costs ~$50 to make and by the time you add the chip manufacturers' margins, their distributors' margins, the board manufacturers' margins, the board distributors' margins and the stores' margins, you're at the $80+ mark for the cheapest GPU that still wouldn't make any sense next to modern IGPs.

    Businesses who want the cheapest graphics money can buy will buy APUs and Raven Ridge should be out by the end of the year to cover that market segment. Until then, companies can get things like GT730s to put in their Ryzen-pased office PCs if they can't wait for APUs.


    Indeed, and that is why AMD will have a hard time getting serious penetration of the business/oem market. What Granny, who wants a cheap system to search the web and look at pictures of her grandkids, is going to need/want a more convoluted/complex solution that AMD offers?
    Without the computing power of Ryzen in an APU, AMD still can't compete in that very large market segment. Those APUs that were announced today don't have the punch of Zen.
  • Ne0Wolf7
    It seems AMD has taken over.
    Just a note, I use computers mostly for CAD and CAM, not gaming. I run the whole CAD/CAM thing for my highschool robotics team. I have some saplings (called so because they call me tree due to my height) who have come to me wishing to learn programs like Solidworks and Inventor, but I have to turn don their requests for the software at home due to their insuffecient computers (I'm talking like acer laptops with two cores and IntelHD here).
    In the future, I would apriciate including the CAD/CAM software testing in your reviews of the lower end hardware like these new Ryzens so I can show them some cheap(ish) ways to get Solidworks and Inventor up and running at home so they can really learn how to use it.
    Regardless, this was a great and refreshing review.
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    Those APUs that were announced today don't have the punch of Zen.

    Those APUs were released to system integrators around a year ago, the only change with the announcement is that they are becoming available at retail now that most older APU stock has been phased out. While bulldozer-v2 isn't as good as Ryzen, it should still be more than good enough for most office and grandma uses.
  • spdragoo
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    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.

    Why is nobody manufacturing new GPUs under ~$80? Because even the cheapest modern GPU you can build still costs ~$50 to make and by the time you add the chip manufacturers' margins, their distributors' margins, the board manufacturers' margins, the board distributors' margins and the stores' margins, you're at the $80+ mark for the cheapest GPU that still wouldn't make any sense next to modern IGPs.

    Businesses who want the cheapest graphics money can buy will buy APUs and Raven Ridge should be out by the end of the year to cover that market segment. Until then, companies can get things like GT730s to put in their Ryzen-pased office PCs if they can't wait for APUs.


    Or they can go ahead with the Bristol Ridge APUs -- Piledriver CPU cores & R7 graphics, but use the same Socket AM4 motherboards & support DDR4 RAM -- until Raven Ridge comes out.
  • takeshi7
    I wish you'd make your Gaming Price/Performance chart start at 0 on both axes. It makes the CPUs more clumped up, but it also makes it easier to visualize price performance just from the slope of the line to the origin. Tech Report does this and I like it better.
  • the nerd 389
    Can you, by any chance, add the i9-7900x to the power consumption charts?

    It would help drive home some of the issues with it if we could see it's results next to the FX-9590.
  • madmatt30
    As said the raven ridge are the zen core apu's.
    I'd expect the same CPU grunt as the ryzen 3 with the inclusion of an igp with similar performance to the RX 550.

    I see a pricepoint issue with those though personally , they're going to cost more than the r3 chips without a doubt.

    For a budget gamer they'll be a good buy , for your average Granny (your words) who just wants the internet & a bit of word processing the Pentium is still going to be untouchable on price.
    Intel killed their own i3 range releasing that CPU for that rrp - with no help from amd whatsoever !