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AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT and Ryzen 5 3600XT Review: Small Gains, Big Price Tag

Ryzen XT underwhelms

AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT, AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT and AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT
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We recorded some of the largest performance gains for the Ryzen XT processors in the Adobe suite of benchmarks. We generally don't include processors with fewer than six cores in these benchmarks, but in light of the substantial performance gains we see in these tests, we'll add these tests for the Ryzen 5 3600XT and comparable chips in our forthcoming review. 

Some of these applications also make an appearance in our standard test suite, but those test configurations and benchmarks are focused on a typical desktop-class environment. In contrast, these tests are configured to stress the systems with workstation-class workloads, which is a particular strength for the Ryzen 9 3900XT given its hefty core counts. 

We loaded down our test platforms with 64GB of DDR4 memory spread across four modules to accommodate the expanded memory capacity required for several of these workstation-focused tasks. We also outfitted the test systems with PCIe 4.0 SSDs to factor in the platform-level advantage of AMD's support for the faster interface.

Puget Systems Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT

Puget Systems is a boutique vendor that caters to professional users with custom-designed systems targeted at specific workloads. The company has developed a series of acclaimed benchmarks for Adobe software, which you can find here.

Adobe After Effects CC Render Node Benchmark

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The After Effects render node benchmark leverages the in-built aerender application that splits the render engine across multiple threads to maximize CPU and GPU performance. This test is memory-intensive, so RAM capacity and throughput are important and can be a limiting factor.

Ryzen XT's enhanced "mid-threaded" performance pays off in the Adobe tests. The Ryzen 9 3900XT gains 13.6% percent over the 3900X in the render node test, which is an impressive feat that unseats the Core i7-10700K. The 3900XT also benefits more from the auto-overclocking PBO feature, allowing it to surpass the stock 10900K. However, the Core i9-10900K is still impressive after overclocking, so it takes the leadership position. 

We also see a similarly impressive jump for the 3800XT, which notches an 11.8% increase in performance. That doesn't change it's ranking relative to the 10700K, but it does reduce the performance disparity. 

Adobe Premier Pro CC Benchmark

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This benchmark measures live playback and export performance with several codecs at 4K and 8K resolutions. It also incorporates 'Heavy GPU' and 'Heavy CPU' effects that stress the system beyond a typical workload. Storage throughput also heavily impacts the score. 

The PCIe 4.0 interface benefits the Ryzen processors, but sheer brute computational force is the name of the game here. That plays well to the Ryzen 9 3900XT's 12-core design as it provides 6% more performance than the 3900X. Meanwhile, the 3800XT improves its standing with a 9% increase in performance over the 3800X. 

Adobe Photoshop CC Benchmark

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The Photoshop benchmark measures performance in a diverse range of tasks, measuring the amount of time taken to complete general tasks and apply filters. 

The Ryzen 9 3900XT picks up a 10% win over the 3900X, nearly matching the Core i9-10900K, while the 3800XT gains 15% over the 3800X.

GPU acceleration is here to stay in professional applications, and the overclocked 10900K's high clock rates help push it to the lead in the GPU score, contributing to its overall lead. 

SPECworkstation 3 Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT

The SPECworkstation 3 benchmark suite is designed to measure workstation performance in professional applications. The full suite consists of more than 30 applications split among seven categories, but we've winnowed down the list to tests that largely focus specifically on CPU performance. We haven't submitted these benchmarks to the SPEC organization, so be aware these are not official benchmarks. We've upgraded to the new 3.0.4 revision that supports spanning the tests across processor groups and sockets.

Media and Entertainment

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We run the new Blender Benchmark in our regular suite of tests on the preceding page, but different render jobs can stress processors in unique ways. Here we can see a breakout of several industry-standard benchmark renders that largely favor chips with hefty core counts. 

We see some jockeying back and forth between the 3900XT and the 3900X in some of the renders, which clearly shows which scenes are heavily threaded. The 3BMWs render, however, obviously doesn't load the cores fully, giving the 3900XT some room to scrape out a few wins over its X-series counterpart.  

The 7zip, Luxrender, and Handbrake workloads exercise all of the CPU cores, so we don't see any large performance gains with the XT models. Again, we see the 3900X and 3900XT swap positions in a few of those heavily-threaded tests. 

NAMD and Rodinia LifeSciences

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NAMD is a parallel molecular dynamics code designed to scale well with additional compute resources, and here we can see performance scale well largely based on core and thread counts. The 3800XT picks up a few slight gains over the 3800X, but the 3900XT is obviously constrained by its power limits in this all-core workload. It still exhibits Intel-beating performance, though. 

SPECworkstation 3's Rodinia LifeSciences benchmark steps through four tests that include medical imaging, particle movements in a 3D space, a thermal simulation, and image-enhancing programs. These are heavily-threaded tests, so we're largely lost in a sea of power limits and run-to-run variance that doesn't show any meaningful performance differences between the 3900XT and 3900X. The 3800XT again takes a few steps forward from the 3800X, with the hotpsot and srad tests standing out as a significant improvement. 

Product Development and Energy, Financial Workloads

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The earth’s subsurface structure can be determined via seismic processing. One of the four basic steps in this process is the Kirchhoff Migration, which is used to generate an image based on the available data using mathematical operations. The Ryzen 9 3900XT maintains AMD's spot at the top of the chart, but it's nearly identical to the 3900X in this test.

Calculix is based on the finite element method for three-dimensional structural computations. This benchmark performs well on the Intel processors and the strength of the 10900K's high clock rates comes into play here, lending it the pole position among the stock processors, and the overall lead after tuning. 

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  • sparrow2
    price on 3800XT is wrong in 2. table (339 not 399)
    Reply
  • Myrmidonas
    Indifferent CPUs of the decade?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    AMD micro-binning the hell out of Zen 2.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    InvalidError said:
    AMD micro-binning the hell out of Zen 2.

    I find it interesting yet expected. Both do this when they can. It also makes sense to remove the cooler, although Intel got hell for it, with a CPU thats designed for higher performance. Most people who build a system with top end CPUs tend to buy a third party cooler anyways and it just becomes more waste.
    Reply
  • King_V
    (sarcasm)

    AMD has been listening to the Intel fanboys on the forums. Higher clocks are all that matter. Included coolers are always stupid, because nobody will use them.

    So, AMD offered just such an option. Ergo, having catered to what the Intel fanboys wanted, I obviously expect to see them snapping up Ryzen XT processers en-masse

    (/sarcasm)
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    I don't think I will be buying Ryzen XT anytime soon.
    Reply
  • Carlos Enrique
    Man, these CPU's are a waste of time (and money).
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    jimmysmitty said:
    It also makes sense to remove the cooler, although Intel got hell for it, with a CPU thats designed for higher performance.
    Part of that "hell" is for charging more despite removing the stock HSF which is in itself already an intrinsic value loss. If I'm going to get negative value for my money from ditching the stock HSF, I'll take the stock HSF even if I have no plan to actually use it.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    InvalidError said:
    Part of that "hell" is for charging more despite removing the stock HSF which is in itself already an intrinsic value loss. If I'm going to get negative value for my money from ditching the stock HSF, I'll take the stock HSF even if I have no plan to actually use it.

    They did the same thing here though.

    But still the mass majority would throw the HSF away creating waste. Not worth it IMO.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    jimmysmitty said:
    But still the mass majority would throw the HSF away creating waste. Not worth it IMO.
    You can flip the Prism on eBay for ~$35.
    Reply