AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 9 3900X X470 vs X570 Review
Published: 7th July 2019 | Source: AMD | Price: |
The Zen 2 and Ryzen 3rd Generation definitely fall into two camps when it comes to summing them up.
Firstly AMD have, for a long time, been slowly solving the heat and power problems that plagued their CPU releases for some time. The first Ryzen release was a lot better than anything that had come before, and the second generation improved upon that. With the launch of their 7nm process CPUs the 3rd Generation has finally put to bed any issues with either horrendous power draw or ludicrous temperatures. The stock cooler both the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X are supplied with is enough to run them at stock, but we still recommend investing in a beefier cooler if you plan to overclock either of them. You certainly will want to overclock them too as AMDs own Precision Boost makes it a simple matter to gain another 200 MHz, whilst careful manual overclocking can unleash yet more performance. The Ryzen 7 3700X overclocks decently but the Ryzen 9 3900X is the star of the show when it comes to squeaking some free speed out of your latest purchase.
Another area that AMD have taken a while to solve is their memory bandwidth speeds. We had a slightly mixed set of results here with the write speed of the Ryzen 7 3700X remaining around the same speed no matter how fast we ran our memory. Otherwise though the days when 2400 MHz was most of what you could hope from an AMD setup are long gone as the 3700X hit a ludicrous 4600 MHz on our Crosshair VIII Hero whilst the meatier requirements of the Ryzen 9 3900X topped out at a still blistering 4533 MHz. Like all things there are ever decreasing benefits from going all out with your memory speeds but it's nice to have the option, particularly if you have more time to fine tune things than we have here as the software catches up. Reviewing things pre-release is always a case of accepting that some elements might not be fully mature, but it's a great jumping off point.
The last of the key areas AMD needed to fix was the single threaded performance. Whilst a lot of games and applications are able to make full use of all the hardware you can bring its way, there are still the odd poorly coded or older product that is determined to utilise one core and one core only, and it has been a bit of a historical weakness of the Ryzen CPUs. No longer. As you could see from the Geekbench and particularly the Cinebench scores the 3rd Generation Ryzen is now more than a match for the Intel equivalent and this also brings impressive performance in our gaming benchmarks. It's a product that requires no caveats. It just works. Excellent. One thing we like in particular is how easy the Ryzen 9 3900X is to use. With the Threadripper CPUs there was always the need to turn off some cores to get the best gaming performance and it was an annoying juggling act. The Ryzen 9 3900X just delivers sledgehammer rendering abilities and high frames per second without requiring you tinkering with anything.
Of course a new processor isn't all that comes along with the Zen 2 architecture, but there is also the X570 to consider and the inclusion of PCI Express 4.0. It was something we were very interested in as AMD have always been great at giving you a platform that will last a long time thanks to retaining the same socket amongst many generations and making an effort to ensure backwards compatibility. Obviously if you are going all in on a new system, or money is no object, or you haven't any AMD hardware to utilise, then the X570 will provide the best setup. Those of you who have recently invested in an X470 based motherboard will be as surprised as we were that with either the Ryzen 7 3700X or Ryzen 9 3900X installed there was no real difference between the X470 or X570 in performance terms. Whether utilising the RX 5700XT GPU or the RTX 2080Ti the scores were basically the same. Perhaps even more amazingly the storage speeds instantly took advantage of the extra bandwidth the PCI Express 4.0 format delivers.
The AMD Ryzen CPUs were launched with much fanfare and delivered a lot for the first revision. AMD have refined it greatly with the 2nd Generation and now with the 3rd Generation there are no holes in its armour. It's fast with single-threaded performance and multi-threaded. The memory performance is excellent. It's not too power hungry. It doesn't get too hot. With the addition of PCI Express 4.0 it actually steals a march on the currently available Intel products and is a fantastic setup at a good price point. If you've already got a good AM4 X470 motherboard then you can instantly upgrade and reap the benefits too.
The eight core Ryzen 7 3700X has a MSRP of £319.99 whilst the twelve core Ryzen 9 3900X is £479.99.