AMD Ryzen 3 1200 and 1300X CPU Review
Published: 27th July 2017 | Source: AMD | Price: |
If you're one of those people who value your Internet Tough-Guy reputation and think that unless you're running i9-7900X on a custom waterloop with Quad-SLI then your system is worthless, then kindly stop at this point and take your smug lies elsewhere.
For the rest of us PC Hardware is always a case of finding the sweet spot between our hopes and dreams and the figure at the bottom of our bank balance sheet. Everyone has a system that is a compromise between what they wanted and what they can afford, and even if you see someone else's rig and get jealous of it you can be certain that they needed to make some tough choices on the road to that particular combination of components.
At the lower end of the cost scale are some hugely popular components. The Ryzen 3 1200 and Ryzen 3 1300 fit into this section of the market comfortably. Probably the closest match in terms of performance between it and the Intel models that we've tested is the i3-7350K, a dual core CPU with hyperthreading. The Ryzen 3 CPUs are quad-cores with no threading. That probably explains why they ended up somewhere near the i3 in nearly all our graphs.
Overclocking the Ryzens brings some additional 'free' performance in a manner that reminds us of Barton-cored AMD CPUs of old. The Ryzen 3 1200 naturally doesn't quite hit the heights of its bigger brother, but it is by no means disgraced. We think that the sweet spot has to be the Ryzen 3 1300 though. If you keep it at stock it has enough Turbo boost clock speed to not leave you hanging around while it thinks about whatever task you've assigned to it, but overclocked it really gets into its stride, often getting up to the performance of a stock i5-7600K.
Either of the two CPUs do the daily tasks very well. No you wont win any awards for the fastest SuperPi speed or the quickest 3D render, but if that is your intended use then you'd be foolish to look at something with so few cores anyway. As you could see from our PC Mark results in the browsing/letter writing/photo editing stuff that makes up 90% of our non-gaming time in front of our systems the Ryzen 3s have more than enough get up and go to keep you running smoothly.
If you do want to use them as the basis of a gaming system then they will absolutely make you happy. We've always said that - assuming you've got a half-decent CPU and a SSD - the single biggest reward-for-investment you can make is to buy the very best graphics card you can for the budget. If the difference between buying a Ryzen 5 and a Ryzen 3 is the next model up in whichever GPU range you're going for, then unquestionably you should spend the money on the graphics card, and the great value of the Ryzen 3 CPUs allows you to do so without compromising your final results.
Grab either one of these - probably the Ryzen 3 1300 - and a B350 motherboard and enjoy some seriously affordable gaming fun. Sure you wont win the "forum signature compensating for something" competitions, but you'll have the satisfaction of a healthy bank balance and a great time. The star of the show at just £105 is the 1200, we dont think the performance you get from the 1300X is worth an extra £20 and would probably rule that one out like we did the 1800x vs the 1700 and just say its irrelevant if you are going to overclock and should only really buy it if you will leave it at stock because then the extra ££ for the clock speed makes sense. The 1200 however if your going to overclock is an absolute blinder for a budget gaming system and well worth the effort of overclocking one too!