AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT and Ryzen 9 3900XT Review
Published: 7th July 2020 | Source: AMD | Price: |
Often when we're reviewing new processors it's because they are a wholesale change from what has come before, so we have a lot of architectural differences to comment upon and discuss the new abilities when compared to the current crop. With the AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation XT processors though it's very much a case of 'same as before, but slightly better'.
Instead of going back to the drawing board and producing something entirely new, AMD has decided to utilise the refinements to their manufacturing processes to create faster Zen 2 CPU models without higher pricing or decreased motherboard compatibility. Thankfully, AMD won't be price gouging the paying public to obtain the best of the best, though this has, in part, helped by the fact the Ryzen 7 and 9 XT models now ship WITHOUT a stock cooler.
If you're spending this much on a CPU, it would be nice to think you'd, at very least be purchasing a recent iteration of Coolermaster's Hyper 212X or something like the BeQuiet Pure Rock 2. This would be both for temperatures, which will help your CPU perform better and keep the boost higher for longer, but also to help keep your system quiet under load.
To say that these are no brainer recommendations is almost underselling them. We're already big fans of the 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs here at OC3D, and these XT models are faster than those, and a bit cooler, and in every case but one require less power drain to achieve that performance. Only the Ryzen 9 3900XT was a tiny bit - 6W - harder on your utility bill than the regular X model, but that is balanced by its 44W reduction in power draw if you run it as AMD intended. If there has been one major change in modern CPUs when compared to those that existed when we began OC3D, it is the ability of the infrastructure of your system to boost the necessary number of cores to high levels when needed, and back off when idle. It used to be that nobody ran at stock because why would you give up free performance, but these days you'd have to have a very particular power habit to have your processor running flat out on all cores all the time. It just makes your system hotter, louder, and heavier on your electric bill, for a decent but hardly game-changing amount of extra speed.
Comfortably the biggest use of extra power is in rendering, whether 3D or video. In video rendering our overclocked XT CPUs ran about 30 seconds faster on our Sony Vegas 16 Pro test, which is nice but not worth the extra demands it places upon your cooler. Alternatively, if you're a hardcore 3D renderer then overclocking makes perfect sense, with a couple of minutes able to be shaved off our 4K Blender times, and that is unquestionably worth the heat and power additions and overclock makes. Although if your main system use is 3D rendering you know it's an expensive business and will take any edge you can get. For gaming, overclocking provides only a frame or two of difference here and there, so it just makes more sense to let AMD handle the boosting when necessary. With the extra 100-200 MHz boost speeds on the 3rd Generation XT CPUs, AMD can achieve higher framerates in single-thread limited games, which is great news for Zen 2.
When it comes to overclocking, AMD's Ryzen 5 3600XT is the star of the show. Our sample achieved all-core clock speeds of 4.65GHz, which is 150MHz higher than the processor's maximum boost across all cores. That's incredible. While end-users shouldn't expect the same overclock as us, it is impressive to see a Zen 2 CPU clock this high on all cores. Remember that the Silicon Lottery is always a factor when overclocking. This is the first high-end Zen 2 CPU that we have seen overclock to higher than boost all-core clock speeds, and it is a glorious thing.
Where AMD definitely deserves praise for is in sticking to the same pricing as their 3x00X CPUs has. These are more efficient, refined versions of already existing CPUs, but don't cause you to wail and gnash your teeth in frustration and the extra cost for your build. Instead, if you were planning of getting a 3rd Gen Ryzen CPU you know have better, faster ones to pick from without increasing your budget. Additionally, the speed increases are slight enough that those of you who've just invested in a Ryzen 9 3900X won't feel overly violated by the release of these XT chips. The six-core Ryzen 5 3600XT is $249, the eight-core Ryzen 7 3800XT $399, and it will cost you $499 for the twelve cores of the Ryzen 9 3900XT.
The 3rd Generation Ryzen CPUs continue to be massively impressive, and with this updated trio, they have only increased in our estimation. An excellent trio for anyone looking for lots of performance without needing to sell the family silver.
Discuss the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT and Ryzen 9 3900XT on the OC3D Forums.