AMD is already selling every 3900X it can punch out at premium pricing, so there's little impetus to bring the Ryzen 9 3900 to the enthusiast market at a lower price point. It's really a shame this processor isn't coming to the retail market as it would present a great value option for budget builders, particularly for small form factor systems. In either case, AMD's new Eco Mode feature allows you to downshift a Ryzen 9 3900X to a 65W TDP and receive the same type of performance we've measured today.
The Ryzen 9 3900 holds incredible promise for AMD's OEM and System Integrator (SI) initiatives. AMD is steadily chipping away at Intel's market dominance in the DIY market, but the OEM market comprises a much larger share of the overall picture. By leveraging the advantages of its process lead over Intel, AMD has created quite the compelling part for pre-built systems.
If you're chasing power efficiency, dropping back down the voltage/frequency curve can often yield great results, which means AMD can extract a surprising amount of performance within a much lower power envelope. And that's exactly what we observed in our test suite.
Below we plot the geometric mean of our gaming test suite in both average fps and 99th percentile values, the latter of which is a good indicator of the overall smoothness of your gaming experience.
The gaming results speak for themselves. The stock Ryzen 9 3900 delivers nearly the same performance as the stock Ryzen 9 3900X, and surpasses it after tuning. You'd be hard-pressed to notice a difference with the naked eye, and these slim deltas will shrink further with high-resolution gaming. Intel's processors still hold the claim to the fastest gaming performance, bar none, but the Ryzen 9 3900 is plenty competitive given its lower power consumption. It also comes with the other advantages of AMD's platform, like stronger performance than Intel models in many threaded workloads.
Our application benchmarks revealed much the same trend. The difference between the 105W Ryzen 9 3900X and the 65W Ryzen 9 3900 is slim in most cases, with the 3900 offering a great mix of performance given its low power envelope.
AMD holds a big advantage with the PCIe 4.0 interface, which enables storage devices that are twice as fast as Intel's comparable models. AMD's PCIe 4.0 connection between the processor and chipset also opens the door for powerful RAID storage arrays. The lower power envelope also makes the chip more suitable for use with less-expensive motherboards that don't have beefy power circuitry.
Unfortunately, AMD isn't making the Ryzen 9 3900 available for the retail market, so we don't have pricing information to share. However, when paired with a suitable cooling solution (which shouldn't be much of a task given the 3900's low power draw), it will make a powerful addition to the pre-built market.
For enthusiasts, the real story here is the advantages of dialing back the Ryzen 9 3900X via AMD's Eco Mode to a lower power envelope. If you're looking to build a portable frag box for LAN parties, or just a DIY NAS or PlexBox, the Ryzen 9 3900X's basic design offers a great option for tremendous threaded horsepower--and more than acceptable gaming--at a lower TDP that's sure to please the small form factor enthusiasts among us.
MORE: Best CPUs
MORE: All CPUs Content