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AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100 Review: Low-End Gaming Gets a High-End Boost

$120 scores a potent chip

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Rendering on Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

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It isn't surprising to find the Ryzen 3 3300X near the top of the threaded Cinebench rendering charts; Ryzen processors are apex predators in the realm of threaded workloads. It is surprising, however, to see the big delta between the stock Core i7-7700K and Ryzen processors in the single-threaded Cinebench tests. The 9350K also sports impressive per-core performance, but it also trails the stock 3300X. Surprisingly, that also carries over to the single-threaded POV-Ray test. 

The Ryzen 3 3300X also impresses in the Blender benchmark, but we also see another trend arise in the heavily-threaded workloads. In our gaming suite, the overclocked Ryzen 3 3100 trailed the stock 3300X in nearly all of the real-world benchmarks, but it provides similar performance to the stock 3300X after tuning in these workloads. Basically, inter-core latencies aren't a massive hindrance in 3D rendering performance, unlike in games.

Encoding on Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

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The single-threaded LAME and FLAC encoding test results highlight the Ryzen 3 3300X's agility in lightly-threaded apps, which is obviously helped along by the single cohesive L3 cache. Intel's chips assert their frequency advantage to take the lead, but only after overclocking. Meanwhile, the Core i3-9100 scores a win over the Ryzen 3 3100 in the FLAC encoding test. 

The threaded HandBrake x264 and x265 tests really speak to the AVX performance improvements AMD made to the Zen 2 architecture. Naturally, the chips with higher thread counts enjoy a lead here, but the new Ryzen 3 processors offer a surprising amount of performance from four cores and eight threads, especially in relation to comparatively priced Intel models. 

Web Browsing on Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

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Browsers tend to be impacted more by the recent security mitigations than other types of applications, so Intel has generally taken a haircut in these benchmarks on fully-patched systems.

Single-threaded performance still reigns supreme in these tests, though, and the Ryzen 3 3300X is plenty snappy. In its stock configuration, it takes the lead across the board over the other stock processors. The Ryzen 3 3100 isn't as impressive in this round of tests as the Core i3-9100 largely takes the lead, but it's hampered by its locked multiplier, granting the overclocked 3100 the lead.

Office and Productivity on Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

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The Ryzen 3 3300X impresses throughout this group of benchmarks, proving equally adept in both multi- and single-threaded workloads. It often vies with the Ryzen 5 3600 for the lead in threaded applications, showing that it can handle office and productivity applications exceedingly well for its price point. 

The stock Ryzen 3 3100 has to lean on its thread count advantage to scrape out its wins against the Core i3-9100, with the latter often leading in lightly-threaded applications.

Compression, Encryption, AVX on Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100

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The 7zip and Zlib compression/decompression benchmarks rely heavily upon threading and work directly from system memory, thus avoiding the traditional storage bottleneck in these types of tasks. A copious helping of cores and threads is a real advantage to crunch through the massive influx of incoming data, so the Ryzen 5 3600 and 1600AF take the lead in the compression/decompression benchmarks. The Ryzen 3 3300X proves its mettle once again as it leads the other chips, even beating the overclocked 7700K in the 7zip compression and decompression workloads.

The heavily-threaded y-cruncher benchmark, which computes pi using the taxing AVX instruction set, finds the Ryzen 3 3300X notching another win over the Core i7-7700K in both stock and overclocked configurations. The Ryzen 3 3100 also grapples with the i5-9400F as it takes a big lead over the Core i3-9100. 

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  • InvalidError
    If we take Intel's stock 7700k as a placeholder for 10th-gen i3s, looks like Intel will have some more catching up to do with AMD's stock 3300X.
    Reply
  • AlexTSG
    Just a correction for the first page in the Specifications and Pricing section:

    ...but you'll need to step up a tier to the six core 12-thread Ryzen 5 3600...

    Great article. I'm surprised how well the 3300X does in particular. It seems like AMDs biggest competition for these CPUs will be from it's own Ryzen 5 1600AF.
    Reply
  • Myrmidonas
    An impressive CPU. I expect clever configurations around it.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Hmm, you know, if I were building an AM4 system today, the 3300X would definitely supplant my choice of $85 1600AF for gaming purposes. MAYBE even the 3100. Very cool stuff.

    Also:
    AMD didn't send our samples with a stock cooler, so we pushed a spare Wraith Spire into service to measure the impact on performance at stock settings. As we demonstrated on the second page, cooling matters, so you'll need a better cooler to unlock the best of the Ryzen 3 3300X.

    The Wraith Spire cooler is the lowest-end budget cooler for the Ryzen 3000 series, which shows. We experienced high temperatures in extended workloads, and the fan was generally noisy as it ran at full speed to keep temperatures in check. But, to keep things in perspective, Intel doesn't provide a stock cooler at all with its overclockable i3 model, and bundled coolers at this price point are generally lackluster. It's a shame AMD didn't bundle the Ryzen 3 3300X with the Wraith Spire, as that would allow enthusiasts to crack open more of the overclocking potential.

    Wait, shouldn't those first 2 of the 3 mentions of "Wraith Spire" here actually say "Wraith Stealth"?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    King_V said:
    Hmm, you know, if I were building an AM4 system today, the 3300X would definitely supplant my choice of $85 1600AF for gaming purposes.
    The 1600AF's limited availability probably disqualifies it from many people's shopping list too. For people building new right now, another significant issue is going to be availability of reasonably priced 3rd-gen-ready B-series motherboards: last time I looked, most were either out of stock or marked up by $20-50.
    Reply
  • King_V
    InvalidError said:
    The 1600AF's limited availability probably disqualifies it from many people's shopping list too. For people building new right now, another significant issue is going to be availability of reasonably priced 3rd-gen-ready B-series motherboards: last time I looked, most were either out of stock or marked up by $20-50.

    Ugh, yeah, I've noticed that trend recently. Hopefully it's a temporary issue....
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    King_V said:
    Hmm, you know, if I were building an AM4 system today, the 3300X would definitely supplant my choice of $85 1600AF for gaming purposes. MAYBE even the 3100. Very cool stuff.

    Also:
    Wait, shouldn't those first 2 of the 3 mentions of "Wraith Spire" here actually say "Wraith Stealth"?
    Yes. Paul was up all night finishing testing and writing. I'm giving the article a full technical editing pass now. (I'm west coast, so a couple hours later than intended, but such is life.) We will flog Paul once he wakes up. :D

    Update: And the editing pass is done. You can now blame me for any remaining errors, though I must admit I skimmed pages 3 and 4 a bit.
    Reply
  • King_V
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    Yes. Paul was up all night finishing testing and writing. I'm giving the article a full technical editing pass now. (I'm west coast, so a couple hours later than intended, but such is life.) We will flog Paul once he wakes up. :D
    ROFLMAO!!

    And, NOT having been up all night, I can't tell you how many times my eyes have blurred the distinction between Stealth and Spire.

    I think I (usually) notice when Prism is mentioned, but I make no guarantees on that!
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    AMD just dropped a bombshell that you won't be able to use Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 series CPUs on 300 and 400 series chipset motherboards, which means eBay and other such sites may be flooded with relatively inexpensive X370 and X470 motherboards, making the B550 motherboard irrelevant.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    AMD just dropped a bombshell that you won't be able to use Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 series CPUs on 300 and 400 series chipset motherboards, which means eBay and other such sites may be flooded with relatively inexpensive X370 and X470 motherboards, making the B550 motherboard irrelevant.
    I'm not sure that will be the case, as the same slide mentions that X370 and B350 are not supposed to support Ryzen series 3000... Yet it works.
    Reply