AMD Ryzen 5 3500X Review: China Gets a CPU Exclusive

The China-only AMD Ryzen 3500X packs a punch.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500X
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Rendering on Ryzen 5 3500X

The Ryzen 5 3500X provided surprisingly strong performance in gaming due to its lack of threading, but the culled thread count comes at the cost of performance in heavily-threaded rendering applications. 

We can spot the clear delineation in the charts between chips without threading and those with the feature. The Ryzen 5 3500X trails the previous-gen 2600X, which comes with six cores and twelve threads, by significant margins across the full spate of threaded tests, like Corona, Cinebench, and v-ray. As expected, the faster Zen 2 chips enjoy an even larger lead in those same tests. The 3500X does manage a full sweep of the 9400F, though the margins are slim in a few threaded applications. 

The 3500X notches solid performance in the single-core Cinebench test, beating the 9400F by 9%. The Ryzen 5 3600 offers nearly identical performance in the test, though overclocking turns the tables in the 3500X's favor. 

Encoding on Ryzen 5 3500X

The single-threaded LAME and FLAC encoding test results find the Ryzen 5 3500X once again beating the Core i5-9400F, but the overclocked Core i5-9350KF takes the top of the chart by a large margin. 

The threaded HandBrake x264 and x265 tests once again find the 3500X trailing its current-gen counterparts that come with threading. The Ryzen 5 2600X beats the 3500X in the x264 test, but the x265 rendition employs a heavier distribution of AVX instructions that propel the 3500X's Zen 2 architecture into the lead. 

Web Browser on Ryzen 5 3500X

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 of fully-patched systems.

Single-threaded performance reigns supreme in these tests. The Ryzen 5 3500X matches or exceeds the 9400F in the Speedometer 2 benchmark, but trails in WebXPRT 3 and ARES-6. Overclocking helps, but the overclocked Core i3-9350KF is a potent force in these tests. 

Office and Productivity on Ryzen 5 3500X

The stock 3500X posts solid performance in the Microsoft Office overall score, again beating the Core i5-9400F, but the Ryzen 3000 chips equipped with threading are faster. Overclocking improves performance, but similar efforts with other Ryzen 3000 chips yield higher scores. 

Compression, Encryption, AVX on Ryzen 5 3500X

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. The 3500X trails other 3000-series chips in these benchmarks with a 56% and 30% deficit in the 7zip decompression and compression tests, respectively, and a 50% deficit in the Zlib test.

The heavily-threaded y-cruncher benchmark, which computes pi using the taxing AVX instruction set, finds the overclocked 3500X trailing only the 9350KF in the single-threaded test, while its 3000-series counterpart take the lead in the multi-threaded test. 


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy Comparisons

MORE: All CPUs Content

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • refillable
    We have plenty of these in Indonesia, but I'd pass this for a 2600 or 1600AF. They're a bit cheaper and have more threads that would be useful once games starts to be optimized for 8C/16T CPUs.
  • gfg
    2016 and AMD looked like they had the coffin bought .... but 2017 came and Ryzen appeared:
    Newly announced Ryzen 3 3100X and 3300X are worth $ D99 and $ D120 very comparable to a two-year-old Core i7 7700 that were worth 3-4 times more.
    Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 cores / threads from U $ DS750 which is the High End on desktop PC ... broke the floor to U $ D2000 processors from Intel professional workstations.
    Thread Ripper 3990X 64 cores / 128 threads and 288 MB of total cache, forced Intel to completely surrender the crown of professional workstations, it seems Japan defeated in the second world war by the US in this sector, it has nothing at all to compete at this level against AMD.
    Ryzen Mobile 4000: Ryzen 4900HS 8 cores / 16 threads 35W, integrated igpu comparable in power to a Geforce MX250, is in notebook in the price range of U $ D1400 and is equated with the Intel 10980HK 8/16 core CPU / 45W wires and comparable remaining specifications where the price far exceeds U $ D2500 ... * Intel PCI-E 4.0 vs 3.0 in the entire range of PCs and more connection lines in each product range vs. Intel.
    On the server side, Epyc is an excellent processor with a top of the range of 64/128 cores and 128 PCI-E 4.0 lines, although it is difficult to overcome the root part of Intel in this regard. Still, AMD already has contracts for the world's fastest supercomputers where EL Capitan with a theoretical maximum capacity of 2.0 Exaflops and Frontier of 1.5 Exaflops outperforms all other Supercomputer projects. Intel has Aurora programmed for "only" 1.0 Exaflop, meaning "1 Exaflop" for "1 million Teraflops". In no case is Nvidia part of this panorama and at the moment it does not have new contracts of this scale in the future, although it is currently the leader in most of the top500. * And there are new Ryzen 3 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU architectures out by the end of the year, the future looks bright if things get right, and Intel continues on the current timeline.
    And finally out of the PC world, next-gen consoles have comparable specs to a Ryzen 7 3700 and Radeon 5700XT with slightly lower clocks, an improvement especially in CPUs that was heavily needed to upgrade the graphics-quality floor to current game titles, by the fact of sharing PC and Console platforms and the console has always limited PCs in recent years. I summarize ... Thanks AMD !, Thanks Advanced Micro Device !!!
  • Zarax
    What would be extremely interesting is a review of how AMD HEDT chips fare in gaming with SMT disabled.
    It was done for the 2000 series and it would be interesting to repeat the test for the 3000 too.
  • RodroX
    Nice review, too bad the price is soo high. I guess for an all around office PC it will be a very powerfull chip, but thats it. If the price was around U$100, it could be a nice budget CPU for some games.

    I feel both the Ryzen 5 3500X and the Core i3 9350KF are kinda pointless. The first is too expensive and the lack of HT turn it sorta useless against the Ryzen 5 1600AF and 2600, heck for the same price you could get a Ryzen 5 3600. The second it only make sense if you are going to OC and for that you need to dish out a lot of cash for high end motherboard, so you are better off getting a budget B450 mobo and a higher core and threads Ryzen CPU.
  • hennes
    "Intel Core i5-9400F review, that CPU ticks at a 2.9 GHz base clock and . But "

    Half sentence?

    " the AMD Ryzen 5 3500X handles just like any other Ryzen 300 chip. "

    Otherwise a fun read :)
  • panathas
    The B460 is a new upcoming INTEL chipset and not an AMD one. The correct AMD chipset is the B450 or the new B550.
  • mdd1963
    With the rather noted (and surprisingly high,IMO) placing of the 9350K here, it's almost like someone went out of their way to find the last 5-6 semi-popular games that still did quite well on 4 threads, even at 1% lows...and used just those. :)