AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X
Temperatures and Power Consumption
Rather than use a high end AIO for testing, we went with the bundled Wraith Spire which is what a lot of people will end up using. Itís quite likely that youíll get a bit of extra performance when using better cooling.
This could be evident as we see with the 3900X under sustained load, where the clock speed of around 3650 MHz is below its rated base clock. 80c isnít bad at all for 24 fully loaded Prime 95 threads. The Wraith Spire kicks up a bit in noise, but itís far from a vacuum cleaner. This clock behaviour is something weíll need to investigate further with better cooling to see what happens.
The 3700X fared better as youíd expect with its lower core count and TDP. No throttling at all here. In fact itís able to hold above its base clock quite easily and never hit 75c. Very nice for a comparatively low surface area air heat sink! A good quality AiO paired with a 3700X should be a good choice for noise conscious users.
We ran prime95 small fft to load the processor up as much as possible for measuring power consumption. These figures proved to be interesting. They show AMDís 7nm process and power efficiency engineering efforts are effective. The results are amazing under load, with both the 3700X and 3900X taking an efficiency lead despite the handicap of their extra cores. Idle is a bit different though with both AMD processors idling a bit higher than weíd like. Given that weíre dealing with an unreleased motherboard and beta BIOS at the time of testing, weíll reserve judgement on that for now.
At this point itís worth mentioning that weíd like to include some more in depth performance testing and overclocking, as well as diving deeper into Ryzen 3ís significantly improved memory capabilities. As youíre probably aware, the Radeon 5700 series and Nvidia Super cards all dropped at almost the same time. So much to bench.. so little time..
Zen 2 takes all the things we liked about Zen and Zen+ and makes them better. Multithreaded performance has gone from very good to excellent. Single threaded performance has taken a big jump forwards and AMDís gaming performance is as competitive as itís been since the glory Athlon 64 days.
Zen 2 is a monumental feat of engineering. AMD deserves credit for maintaining backwards compatibility despite the complexities of moving to a chiplet design, shrinking the process to 7nm and adding PCIe 4.0 all at the same time, without a socket change.
Ultimately, performance is what really matters when it comes to CPUs, and itís easy to make the argument that AMD has pulled alongside Intel in outright performance. Consider that the 3900X goes close enough to matching the mighty 9900K in single threaded performance whilst offering more cores and hence significantly better multi-threaded performance, all while using less power. If I were looking at a CPU in this price range (though Iím not a hardcore gamer), Iíd go with the 3900X over the 9900K. The small percentage of lightly threaded performance or fps loss is easily offset by the strong lead in multi-threaded workloads. Even gamers will hardly notice a difference once the eye candy puts the load back onto the GPU.
Looking at the processors themselves, The Ryzen 7 3700X is a wonder. It's power thrifty, runs cool, has mega multithreaded prowess combined with single threaded performance that brings it to within touching distance of Intelís higher clocked parts. Itís a really good all-rounder. Itís so close to getting maximum marks. The only significant thing that stops us from giving it a perfect score is its price increase over its equivalent predecessor, the 2700 non X. At around $360 for the 65w 2700 vs $519 for the 3700X, itís quite a step up. We think the 3700X will prove to be very popular among those who can make use of its multi-threaded grunt as well as those looking to build a cool and quiet machine without compromising much in the way of performance.
The 3900X is just as praiseworthy. It smashes anything outside of the upper tiers of the HEDT realm and comes in at a relatively affordable price. If you need the multi-threaded grunt then for sure itís a terrific purchase compared to the likes of AMDís own Threadripper platform and Intelís 12 core $1750 i9 9920X. In that light, the $780 3900X is an absolute steal. In fact AMD has just made the bottom half of its Threadripper line-up obsolete. The other thing to consider is the upcoming 3950X. Itís got more cores and higher frequencies, so depending on price, it could steal some of the 3900xís thunder.
If we had to be critical, weíd say we wish AMD didnít keep the top turbo bins for the 3900X and 3950X. Obviously thatís to steer enthusiasts and gamers towards its more expensive parts. 8 cores is perfectly adequate for gaming in 2019. A hypothetical 8 core 3850X with a genuine 4.7 or 4.8GHz boost would go awfully close to taking the performance crown, and should do so for cheaper than the 3950X will go for. But, thatís what overclocking is for! Ryzen processors are all unlocked. We look forward to seeing how these processors OC in our test systems, and also the hands of end users.
The CPU wars are raging unabated. Intel might hold onto the single threaded and gaming crown, but its lead has shrunk dramatically. It risks being lured into another Pentium 4 cycle where only increasing clock speeds with associated power compromises keeps it in front. Even then the gap is going to remain largely negligible unless an app is coded or compiled to take advantage of Intelís architecture. Its 14nm process is obviously maxed out. While itís hard to speculate about the likes of Comet Lake, we do know that seemingly reactionary 5GHz all core 9900KS due in Q4 could be Intelís best shot before 10nm arrives. That, along with a new architecture is likely going to be the only way to stay in front of AMD in 2020, assuming AMD continues to execute the way it has been.
AMD were competitive with Ryzen and Ryzen 2nd gen, but with Ryzen 3, they have come back to a state of near performance parity. Competition is good for everyone. It forces innovation and price competition benefits the buyers. Developers are being forced to cater for higher core counts as IPC gains seemingly diminish year on year. Gaming continues to drive the market, though content creators and increasingly multi core aware software suites continue to drive demand for more computing power. Itís a good time to be shopping for a new CPU.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Performance has taken a big step forward
Amazing 65W TDP
Excellent all round performer
Price has gone up significantly compared to the 2700
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Massive multithreaded performance
Work and play performance
Leaves a lot of the HEDT market obsolete
First testing indicates the Wraith Prism is at its limit
It would get a 10/10 with just a tiny bit more single threaded performance
Feel free to discuss this review in this thread, or join our Ryzen 3 mega-thread!
Page 1: Introduction, Architecture Details
Page 2: AM4, Test SEtup, Benchmarks & Performance
Page 3: Temperatures, Power Consumption, Conclusions
All original content copyright James Rolfe.
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