After months of rumour-mongering, they’re finally here - AMD has unveiled the third generation of Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 3000 series will be powered by the Zen 2 architecture, with the first wave of chips due to launch on July 7th.
This first batch of Ryzen 3000 processors scales from the hexa-core Ryzen 5 3600 all the way up to the frankly monstrous 12C/24T Ryzen 9 3900X. What isn’t monstrous is the pricing, but more on that later. AMD touts a 15% IPC improvement over the previous generation, made possible through Zen 2’s 7nm process. Pair this with a doubling of the floating-point performance and twice the cache size and we’ve got ourselves quite the generational leap.
We’ll start right at the very the top of the heap. Flagship models are typically fairly niche products, particularly when you’ve got expensive pricing models as Intel has for the past few years. However, the 12-core AMD Ryzen 3900X is comparatively cheap at $499. Its closest Intel competitor is the Core i9-9920X, which carriers an eye-watering recommended retail price of $1199. Shots fired.
Aside from the 12 Cores and 24 Threads, the 3900X has a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and a boost frequency of 4.6 GHz. It’s the fastest clock speed of all announced Ryzen 3000 series CPUs, despite the higher core count. That’s quite unusual and ensures the Ryzen 3900X will be the fastest gaming processor in the line-up. It’s also got a whopping 70MB cache and a TDP of just 105W (Intel’s 9920X is 165W).
Still, $499 is still above and beyond what most folks would consider spending on a CPU for a gaming rig. Luckily, the rest of the Ryzen 3000 line-up doesn’t disappoint. There are a pair of Ryzen 7 CPUs, the Ryzen 7 3800X and the Ryzen 7 3700X, which retail for $399 and $329 respectively. Both are 8C/16T and 36MB cache. The R7 3800X is clocked marginally higher of the two though, at 3.9 GHz base and 4.5GHz boost, with a 105W TDP. The R7 3700X packs 3.6GHz base and 4.4 GHz boost, with a 65W TDP.
Rounding out the line-up, we’ve got the value-for-money options. The Ryzen 5 3600X and Ryzen 5 3600 are both hexa-core with multithreading. The R6 3600X has 3.8 GHz base clock, 4.4 GHz boost clock, 95W TDP, and 35MB total cache size, retailing for $249. Bottom of the pile is the R5 3600 with 3.6 GHz base clock, 4.2 GHz boost clock, 65W TDP, and 35MB cache. This is set to retail for $199. That’s a hexa-core processor for sub-$200. While it’s important to see the actual reviews and real-world performance, on paper, at least, this is very, very impressive.
Ryzen 5 3600 Ryzen 5 3600X Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 7 3800X Ryzen 9 3900X Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12 8/16 8/16 12/24 Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.8 GHz Boost Clock 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.6 GHz Cache 35MB 35MB 36MB 36MB 70MB TDP 65W 95W 65W 105W 105W Price $199 $249 $329 $399 $499 Release Date July 7 July 7 July 7 July 7 July 7
These new Ryzen 3000 processors will be joined by the new X570 platform. A grand total of 54 different X570 motherboards will be ready for launch on July 7th. Older X470, X370, B450, and B350 motherboards will still be compatible with the new Zen 2 chips but may not be able to take advantage of some of the new features. Some may also require BIOS updates. A320 motherboards will not support 3rd generation AMD Ryzen whatsoever.
X570 includes support for PCI Express 4.0. Tying in nicely with the upcoming Navi 5000 series, PCIe 4.0 offers significantly faster bandwidth which could aid both GPU and SSD solutions.
Exciting times for AMD then. AMD Ryzen 3000 has the potential to knock Intel for six if it can live up to AMD's own claims. There's the impressive generational leap in performance for starters, but the real headline grabber is AMD's very aggressive pricing which has to force Intel to have a massive rethink of its own pricing structure. For the ryzen 9 3900X to be out-performing the Core i9-9920X for almost as little as a third of the price, well, you'd have to have more money than sense to go the Intel route this generation.