AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 9 3900X X470 vs X570 Review

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X Review


The importance of competition in every sector of the hardware market cannot be overstated. Whenever companies aren’t able to rest on their laurels then you get wholesale improvements to performance and pricing. After all, in a monopoly it behoves any company to update their products as slowly as possible so as to not leave them bereft of future update ideas, whilst their pricing can remain steep because you have only Hobson’s choice.

For a while the PC market seemed to be heading that way as AMD were struggling with their processors starting with the Phenom range and gradually losing more and more market share all the way through to the Bulldozer processor. As much as we might have hoped desperately for them to turn it around, each update was something of a false dawn and it reached a nadir when Intel were able to release products because they wanted to, rather than because they had to. Clearly a change was needed as even the most hardened AMD fanboys were struggling to justify their purchases and AMD themselves were in danger of going to the wall.

AMD bet the farm on Ryzen and the Zen architecture, and it was a gamble that has paid off tenfold. The original Zen architecture and Ryzen CPUs suddenly brought AMD from being so far behind that you needed binoculars to see them, to right up on the shoulder of Intel. There were, as all first launch products are, a few areas that could be improved, but when things were once so grim even the most curmudgeonly enthusiast had to accept AMDs return to the sunlit uplands. The hard work involved in every stage of the design process must have exhausted the hard working people at AMD and they could be forgiven if they were just happy to be back in the conversation, but they returned to their metaphorical anvils almost immediately and quickly brought us the Zen and Ryzen 2nd Generation. This refined the main Ryzen characteristics whilst overclocking better, requiring a little less power, having a bit better memory performance and giving a slight boost to the biggest weak point of the first gene, the single thread performance. No longer on the shoulder of Intel they were now neck and neck in the mainstream market.

Now, with the confidence that comes from knowing the fundamental design theory is extremely sound, AMD have brought out their latest Zen 2 architecture and 3rd Generation Ryzen CPUs. This has some serious improvements and indeed in two distinct areas is the first of its kind on the market.

Technical Specifications

There are six main CPUs being released as part of the 3rd Gen Ryzen family, with the Ryzen 9 3950X coming later on in the year. Much like the RX 5700 GPUs we are also reviewing today, the 3rd Gen Ryzen is based around a 7nm manufacturing process. Not just on the high end processors, but across the whole of the Ryzen 3xx0 range. With greater efficiency from the smaller die the boost clocks have seen a massive improvement with most of their CPUs now boosting to 4.5 GHz without needing the user to do anything.

There have also been concerted efforts to improve the single thread performance for older titles, up the gaming performance and memory bandwidth thanks to a 15% improvement in Instructions Per Clock (IPC). Add in a world first inclusion of the new PCI Express 4.0 format with its bandwidth of 64 Gb/s compared to the 32 Gb/s of PCI Express 3.0 and in every regard the 3rd Generation of Ryzen processors follows the maxim of “bigger, better, faster, more”.

It shows how flexible the original AMD idea was, considering that the first AM4 socket was a Quad Core without hyperthreading on a 28nm process, and now they’re at 16 Core, 32 Thread processors on a 7nm process. Given that any Intel CPU update almost guarantees a new motherboard it’s something that is very beneficial to people on an extremely tight budget, even if you need the X570 chipset to get the full Zen 2 experience.

With the Ryzen 9 3950X still awaiting release we have the current top end processor, the Ryzen 9 3900X, as well as the key mainstream option the Ryzen 7 3700X for review today.

(c)OC3D Ryzen 9 3950X Ryzen 9 3900X Ryzen 7 3800X Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 5 3600X Ryzen 5 3600
Base Clock 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.6 GHz
Boost Clock 4.7 GHz 4.6 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
Core/Thread 16/32 12/24 8/16 8/16 6/12 6/12
L2 Cache 8 MB 6 MB 4 MB 4 MB 3 MB 3 MB
L3 Cache  64 MB 64 MB 32 MB 32 MB 32 MB 32 MB
TDP 105W 105W 105W 65W 95W 65W
Chiplets 3 3 2 2 2 2
MSRP $749 $499 $399 $329 $249 $199
Comparison   i9-9900K i7-9700K i7-9700K i5-9600K i5-9600
Cooler Wraith Prism RGB Wraith Prism RGB Wraith Prism RGB Wraith Prism RGB Wraith Spire Wraith Stealth

Let’s look at some slides before we move on to our testing.