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AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3700X Review: Zen 2 and 7nm Unleashed

Conclusion

AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series represent yet another big step forward as the company leads the way with the first 7nm processors for the desktop PC and brings the first PCIe 4.0-enabled platform to market. The benefits of the 7nm process paired with the Zen 2 microarchitecture, and its big boost to IPC, manifest as a more power efficient platform with higher core counts than competing chips, and at a lower price per thread.

The Ryzen processors are extremely competitive in performance across the full span of our gaming and application test suites, notching impressive wins in heavily-threaded applications and significantly narrowing the gap in the lightly-threaded applications that Intel has traditionally dominated. To put things in perspective, consider that the overclocked Ryzen 7 2700X rarely matched the stock performance of the Ryzen 7 3700X.

Intel still holds the absolute performance crown in gaming, but much of that performance advantage will be less noticeable when gaming at higher resolutions, or if you pair the processors with a lesser graphics card.

AMD is also taking the leadership position by delivering the first PCIe 4.0-enabled platform for the desktop PC, a role that we would typically expect the market leader to fill. Unfortunately the faster interface does result in higher-priced X570 motherboards, but AMD has wisely encouraged its partners to continue to offer X470 motherboards, which are cheap and plentiful. You'll lose access to the PCIe 4.0 interface in exchange for lower pricing, but you'll also have a compelling upgrade path in the future.

AMD continues to offer as much backward compatibility as it can given its expanding portfolio, earning kudos from the enthusiast community, and is also staying true to its standard value proposition of offering more for less. Both the Ryzen 9 3900X and the Ryzen 7 3700X come with a beefy bundled Wraith Prism cooler that can even provide a bit of overclocking headroom, too.

AMD also continues to offer fully unlocked processors for all models and allows overclocking on value-centric motherboards, which has long been a sore point for enthusiasts that have to pay a premium for access to Intel's overclocking features. AMD is even expanding on that with the introduction of Precision Boost Overdrive and AutoOC features that bring overclocking to mainstream users through a few clicks in its easy-to-use Ryzen Master utility. Intel has responded in kind with its Intel Performance Maximizer, but that software is only compatible with the company's pricey 9th-Generation processors. That said, Intel obviously still holds the overclocking crown, but that's becoming less of an advantage in the face of processors that come with up to twice the cores.

The Ryzen 9 3900X redefines our expectations for the mainstream desktop with a beastly 12-cores and 24-threads and represents a great value if you're seeking a well-rounded performer. The extra cores and threads will pay big dividends in productivity applications, and the solid performance in more common lightly-threaded applications is more than enough for most users.

The Ryzen 7 3700X slots in as the more accessible counterpart that will appease the vast majority of customers, and it also comes with the many of the same attractions of the previous-gen model, except it is faster and consumes less power. If you're looking for the best value on the market, the Ryzen 7 3700X is your chip.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware


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  • Isokolon
    too bad there wasn't a 3800X included, would be interesting to see if the price tag for the 3800X over the 3700X is indeed worth it
    Reply
  • feelinfroggy777
    Nice for worksation task, but disappointing it basically ties Intel in gaming if not just a tad behind.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    feelinfroggy777 said:
    Nice for worksation task, but disappointing it basically ties Intel in gaming if not just a tad behind.
    It tied to Intel for less money, with a great bundled cooler, and a cheaper platform (edit: and less power too). Also, unless you use a 144Hz monitor, the diference is purely synthetic. Did you expect it to be way faster than a 5 GHz Intel magically?
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Abel Rivera1 said:
    Thank you so much and to be honest the only reason why I bought the 750tx Corsair psu is because it was 30$, can I ask you if the gtx770 2gb will run battlefield 1 on high?
    Isokolon said:
    too bad there wasn't a 3800X included, would be interesting to see if the price tag for the 3800X over the 3700X is indeed worth it
    I can't imagine it would be.
    If looking at the 3800x as a binned 3700x - that's basically what it would be - grab one if it goes on sale closer to the 3700x's price.
    These chips don't overclock any better than their predecessors, which wasn't good to begin with, so whatever extra clocks you get with a 3800x will hardly be noticeable and won't be worth a $50+ price increase over 3700x.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    The overclocking results were disappointing. 4.1Ghz max on all cores. Given that the 3950x does a 4.7Ghz single core turbo boost and the 3900x does 4.6Hz single core turbo boost. I'd have assumed any of the Ryzen 3000 would OC to 4.6/4.7Ghz on all cores with decent air/water cooling.

    Power consumption: AIDA 64 seems to punish AMD a lot more than Intel. When you were using Prime95 Intel was punished a lot more. It seems the switch from Prime95 to AIDA 64 gives Intel an unfair advantage in the stress test power consumption test. While Prime95 gave AMD an unfair advantage. I'd suggest using both in reviews or find another torture test that will fully punish both AMD and Intel for a max load test. With such wild variation. I can't see how either is an accurate measure of a CPU under full load.

    Example Review: ?rel=ugc]https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-9900k-9th-gen-cpu,5847-11.html
    The Intel i9-9900K hit 204.6W in your old reviews stress test. This time it is only 113W.

    The AMD Ryzen 2700x hit 104.7W in your old review. Now it is 133W.
    Reply
  • feelinfroggy777
    salgado18 said:
    It tied to Intel for less money, with a great bundled cooler, and a cheaper platform (edit: and less power too). Also, unless you use a 144Hz monitor, the diference is purely synthetic. Did you expect it to be way faster than a 5 GHz Intel magically?

    It did tie Intel in gaming. It tied basically the same Intel CPUs that have been on the market since 2015 with Skylake. We are in the back half of 2019 and we see the same gaming performance that we had in 2015 mainstream CPUs.

    We know AMD is cheaper and comparing clockspeeds against different architectures between Intel and AMD is silly. But it would be nice to see some tangible improvement regarding fps with CPUs. The GPU still remains king when it comes to a quality gaming build.
    Reply
  • delaro
    I've seen reviews from 5 different sites and the conclusions bounce all over the place, which makes me think there is much to do on the software optimization side. :unsure: I was expecting gaming FPS to not change all that much with many of the titles being tested have partnered or optimized around Intel.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    feelinfroggy777 said:
    Nice for worksation task, but disappointing it basically ties Intel in gaming if not just a tad behind.

    Minus the ability to overclock yes tied. Most people who buy the 9900K will not be buying it to leave it stock.

    velocityg4 said:
    The overclocking results were disappointing. 4.1Ghz max on all cores. Given that the 3950x does a 4.7Ghz single core turbo boost and the 3900x does 4.6Hz single core turbo boost. I'd have assumed any of the Ryzen 3000 would OC to 4.6/4.7Ghz on all cores with decent air/water cooling.

    Power consumption: AIDA 64 seems to punish AMD a lot more than Intel. When you were using Prime95 Intel was punished a lot more. It seems the switch from Prime95 to AIDA 64 gives Intel an unfair advantage in the stress test power consumption test. While Prime95 gave AMD an unfair advantage. I'd suggest using both in reviews or find another torture test that will fully punish both AMD and Intel for a max load test. With such wild variation. I can't see how either is an accurate measure of a CPU under full load.

    Example Review: ?rel=ugc]https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-9900k-9th-gen-cpu,5847-11.html
    The Intel i9-9900K hit 204.6W in your old reviews stress test. This time it is only 113W.

    The AMD Ryzen 2700x hit 104.7W in your old review. Now it is 133W.

    Its what I wanted to know. Ryzen has always been pushed to the limit in terms of clock speed and Zen 2 is no different it seems. Little to no headroom. AnandTech was able to get it to 4.3GHz all core but with manual OCing it seems to disable boost clocking which in turn cuts 300MHz from single core performance.

    As for the power consumption, the differences are probably what they prioritize. I know Prime 95 heavily uses AVX which is a power hog. Not as sure on AIDA 64 since I never used it. I always use Prime 95 and IBT for stability.

    feelinfroggy777 said:
    It did tie Intel in gaming. It tied basically the same Intel CPUs that have been on the market since 2015 with Skylake. We are in the back half of 2019 and we see the same gaming performance that we had in 2015 mainstream CPUs.

    We know AMD is cheaper and comparing clockspeeds against different architectures between Intel and AMD is silly. But it would be nice to see some tangible improvement regarding fps with CPUs. The GPU still remains king when it comes to a quality gaming build.

    Its not silly to compare clock speeds as those can be advantages. Intel still clearly has a clock speed advantage and that advantage will keep them priced higher. We might see some drops but I doubt we will see enough to make it feel like Athlon 64 again.

    As much crap as people give Intel for getting stuck at 14nm I have to give them props for having a 5 year old process tech beat modern process tech, especially one that's supposed to be "half" the size. I know its not quite as most 7nms out there are still less dense than Intels initial 10nm plans but still it goes to show that the nm part has become pointless and a marketing gimmick more than anything.

    The only thing a CPU matters gaming wise is how long it will last before it will bottleneck the GPU. While its still early the clock speed and overclocking advantage Intel has might make their CPUs last longer in gaming than Zen 2. Only time will tell but maybe AMD will get a better process tech in a few years and finally compete like the old days.
    Reply
  • martinch
    jimmysmitty said:
    Its not silly to compare clock speeds as those can be advantages.
    Unless you're trying to give an indication of "performance-per-MHz" of varying architectures, yes, comparing clock speeds between differing architectures is a fundamentally invalid comparison (it's also not exactly an accurate predictor of per-core performance).
    Reply
  • feelinfroggy777
    jimmysmitty said:

    Its not silly to compare clock speeds as those can be advantages. Intel still clearly has a clock speed advantage and that advantage will keep them priced higher. We might see some drops but I doubt we will see enough to make it feel like Athlon 64 again.

    Clockspeeds between AMD and Intel are not apples to apples. Bulldozer hit 5ghz and it was a terrible CPU. Just because it could hit 5ghz, did not make a good chip.
    Reply