When the leaks regarding the power of Ryzen 3rd gen came out, I was very excited but apprehensive as we saw Ryzen 5 processors having single core performance on par with Intel i9 processors. Just that in itself is so bizarre you’d not be blamed for calling BS, however here we are, just a few days after launch and holy cow. Ryzen 3000 delivered.
So here’s all what we know now, this is monumental, its the first time in over a decade that AMD have had clear clean-cut wins over Intel. This comes, in part, from the raw performance but also the die shrink and the smart engineering behind these CPU’s.
Let’s talk about smart engineering, Ryzen 3000’s precision boost is designed to run flat out for as long as it can providing it is within safe temp and voltage limits itll be boosting to the max; where as Intel’s boost is more of a timed affair. This helps hugely with how the Ryzen chips run, bottom line if you’ve got good cooling then you’re getting better performance for the long term.
XFR has also changed — for those who dont know, XFR was the auto-oc feature built into Ryzen Zen and Zen+ — in the new Zen 2 architecture its now the boost speed you see on the box, so this is a sort of auto overclock rather than a traditional boost speed, meaning the speed you see on the box might not always be the speed you boost to by default, some folks are reporting lower boost clocks than advertised but this is easily remedied by playing with the BIOS.
Speaking of cooling, these processors are an engineering marvel, as their very reasonable TDP’s listed are made even more sweet by the fact that they’re measured at that boost clock unlike Intel who measures their processors TDP at the base clock. Alongside this RAM speed optimisations are also much improved over the last generation, most reviewers out there are clocking memory up to 3733MHz which again is bonkers as AMD’s infinity fabric design benefits from faster memory.
Carrying the focus on their CPU design lets talk about Cores/Threads, with the die shrink to 7nm comes some interesting observations, we’re seeing 12c/24t processors on the same size CPU due to their chiplet approach to cpu design where they kinda strap cores onto the die in a modular way which is why AM4 Ryzen can go from 4 cores all the way up to a whopping 16 cores without too much of a huge leap in TDP or size, previously the gargantuan TR4 threadripper cpus were reserved for core counts above 8, this is clearly no long the case.
Obviously there’s even more to discuss here, for one PCI-E gen 4.0 is now here, its got 2x the bandwidth of the previous PCI-E 3.0 but at the moment nothing can really take full advantage of that massive bandwidth. X570 chipsets also seem to get plenty toasty so were seeing higher end boards with small active cooling fans for the chipset itself, something I’m not the biggest fan of but I understand the necessity for this.
I know what you want to hear. The reason you clicked this article is to hear about performance, well, after seeing a number of tests focusing on the Ryzen 7 3700x and Ryzen 9 3900x vs Intel i7 9700k and i9 9900k I’m happy to say that AMD is on par with Intel in gaming. We’re talking either matching FPS or behind by less than 8%, at frame rates way over 100FPS, 3-5 fps of difference really doesn’t matter. So yeah, AMD is finally comparable in gaming, in workloads however… AMD takes the lead by around 15-20% while being cheaper to buy overall, even Ryzen 7 can match or even outperform Intel i9.
This is a clear victory for AMD and its on launch. These processors haven’t had updates and optimisations through windows scheduler or microcode processor updates, meaning we’re going to see these same processors continue to grow and increase in their performance meaning that small lead Intel clings to in gaming might soon slip through their fingers, along with their market share.
This is truly an exciting time to be a PC Gamer, are you going to buy Ryzen 3000? if so what CPU do you plan to buy? Personally I’d say the sweetspot is in the R5 3600. A cpu I’d love to test first hand or even the R7 3700 is sitting in a great position, if i’m being fair all options in this CPU family are right on the money in terms of price/performance.
Keep your eyes peeled, as soon we’ll be talking about how AMD are also setting their sights on Nvidia’s mid/high range crown with their Radeon 5700 and 5700XT GPU’s.