AMD X370 vs X470 vs X570 - 3600X & 3700X Review
Published: 26th July 2019 | Source: AMD | Price: |
Phew. That was one of the lengthiest reviews we've ever done here at OC3D. Hopefully, you found it as interesting as we did.
Normally when a new processor comes along it has a different chipset that you have to use, and this means that we rarely revisit older technology to see how it bears up. Even AMD, the acknowledged masters of providing you with a long product lifespan, has revealed a new chipset to go along with the 3rd Generation of Ryzen CPUs. However, as we saw when we reviewed the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X, the X470 chipset still has plenty of life in the tank and much to offer. This is especially true if you're the owner of a premium X470 motherboard. We were super interested in how far back in the AM4 socket lineage you could go through and still obtain reasonable performance, hence today's review. The further you go back into the past the better the quality of your original product needs to be. A lesser manufacturer might not release the BIOS updates necessary to allow you to drop a Ryzen 5 3600X into your X370 rig, and even if you do you might not be able to tax it completely. With the ASUS Prime range, we knew we had three motherboards that were all more than capable of running the Ryzen 5 3600X and, fortunately for our testing ethos, all were as close as possible to each other so that we were eliminating any variables as much as possible.
What we've learned is fairly surprising to us. We knew the X570 chipset would give us the fullest range of Zen 2 features, and it certainly does. If you're the type of user who wants headache-free installations, or maybe you're moving from another platform to the AMD setup, or you just enjoy the knowledge you've got the latest and greatest then clearly the X570 is the way to go. The X470 Prime was by no means disgraced though. Thanks to the high-end engineering and regular BIOS updates from ASUS you can run the Ryzen 5 3600X in the X470 Prime without any noticeable drop in performance. Yes you wont get quite the bleeding edge memory speeds and if you populate all the available storage and PCI Express slots then the lack of PCI Express 4.0 in the chipset will start to become an issue, but for the "one M.2, one GPU" brigade you would do well to either stick with your current X470 motherboard or take advantage of some retailers stock clearances to save a bit of money on your setup.
None of that is particularly new though and merely echoes what we've already discovered when we tested the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X. Could the X370 chipset genuinely remain relevant though given how rapidly the technological market has evolved? We couldn't wait to find out and, as we think our results clearly show, the answer is yes. As you might imagine though there are more caveats than there were with the move from X570 to X470. The X370 designs weren't intended to run processors with these enormous core counts and so there will be some power issues to consider. This is the primary reason we waited for the Ryzen 5 3600X to do this test. With "only" 6 cores and 12 threads it gives the X370 the best possible chance of doing well. Equally, you're starting to lose some of the latest high bandwidth elements such as across the board USB 3.2 or Intel's WiFi 6 802.11ax specification. And, finally, the memory isn't capable of hitting the same heights as you would get on a newer board. However, if you purchased a premium X370 motherboard and plan on upgrading from something like the Ryzen 7 1700X to the Ryzen 5 3600X then you can safely drop it in without having to scrap your whole system.
As for the Ryzen 5 3600X itself, it's priced to compete with the Intel Core i5-9600K and compares well thanks to the inclusion of hyperthreading that is missing from the Intel hex-core equivalent. Indeed in some of our benchmarks the 3rd Generation Ryzen processor was capable of matching or beating the Intel Core i7-9700K, a processor that costs considerably more. It's a clear demonstration of the massive gains that AMD has found with their Zen 2 architecture compared to their older offerings, and how quickly and efficiently they have improved and optimised their designs to be a genuine match for anything on the market.
If you thought that the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X were impressive, and they were, then the Ryzen 5 3600X demonstrates that it isn't only at the top end that AMD has nailed their design. The six-core, twelve thread Ryzen 5 3600X is right in the price/performance sweet spot and, thanks to its abilities on the full range of Xx70 chipsets, is guaranteed to prove extremely popular.