AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation is finally here, and the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X might just be the poster child for what this generation of processors has in store for consumers. Sure, it might have stuck with the 8-core, 16-thread setup, which it inherited from its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 2700X. However, with the new 7nm manufacturing process, it delivers a far better performance at lower power consumption.
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is essentially the best processor for most people. It won't overpower the Ryzen 9 3900X, especially in multi-threaded workloads, but it's so much more affordable and needs less robust cooling. Most people will find a lot to love with the Ryzen 7 3700X, and we're sure the inevitable Black Friday processor deals will only help.
Price and availability
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X was rolled out on July 7, 2019 for $329 (£319, AU$519), which puts it in the same general price range as the last-generation Ryzen 7 2700X. This means that at least we're not seeing any considerable price jumps from generation to generation.
It gets more interesting, however, when you compare the Ryzen 7 3700X to its main competitor. The Intel Core i7-9700K is available for $374 (£384, AU$595), an 8-core processor with no hyperthreading, which means that the Ryzen 7 3700X offers twice the processing threads at a lower price tag. Intel is still king when it comes to single-core performance, but when it comes to multi-core ones, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is the absolute beast.
Specs and chipset
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, like the rest of AMD's Zen 2 processors, is built on a 7nm manufacturing node – the smallest in a commercially available CPU. What this means for most people is lower power consumption and much improved performance at the same time.
This decision to 7nm has brought a beefy 15% boost to IPC (instructions per clock) performance. Effectively, compared to a Ryzen 2nd Generation processor at the same clock speed, you will get a straight 15% increase in performance. That’s not big enough to be evident in day-to-day workloads, but it does still mean something.
The improvements don't just end at IPC. With Ryzen 3rd Generation, as the CPU cores are on their own chiplets, AMD was able to pack way more L2 and L3 cache into the Ryzen 7 3700X – with 4MB and 32MB, respectively. Essentially, this processor has a grand total of 36MB of Cache, which AMD lumps together as 'GameCache'. This GameCache isn't anything entirely new, but it does show that this will help boost gaming performance in some cases – especially in older 1080p esports games.
The major addition to the 3rd Generation of Ryzen, however, is PCIe 4.0. When paired with an AMD Navi graphics card like the Radeon RX 5700 XT or RX 5700, you'll experience much better performance, thanks to increased bandwidth.
However, the way we look at it, SSDs are the real stars of the PCIe 4.0 show. Through this superior connection, NVMe SSDs are potentially up to 51% faster than their non-PCIe 4.0 peers. In our own testing, the Aorus PCIe 4.0 SSD that AMD provided was able to get up to 4,996 MB/s sequential read speeds. That’s remarkably fast for an SSD.
Test system specs
CPU: 3.8Ghz AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (8-core, 36MB cache, up to 4.4GHz)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
RAM: 16GB G.Skill Royale DDR4 (3,400MHz)
Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570
Power Supply: Corsair RM850x
Storage: 2TB Gigabyte Aorus M.2 SSD (NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4) Case: Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB
Operating system: Windows 10
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X has a 65W TDP, and with that fairly low amount of power, it's able to deliver quite a lot. This processor can keep up with even the Intel Core i9-9900K, a processor that considerably costs more and consumes more power, with its TDP of 95W.
The proof is in our benchmarks. In Cinebench R15, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X got 2,087 points, next to the 1,873 scored by the Intel Core i9-9900K.
In addition, the Ryzen 7 3700X scored a monstrous 34,515 in Geekbench compared to the 9900K's 33,173 in the multi-core test. However, in the single-core test the Ryzen 7 3700X did fall behind, only scoring 5,590 points to the 9900K's 6,333.
What this all means is that the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Ryzen 7 3700X.
In gaming, however, Intel pulls ahead, though only by a smaller margin than before. In Middle Earth: Shadow of War at 4K, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X managed 118 fps when paired with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, compared to the 120fps that the Intel Core i9-9900K was able to produce. That's not a substantial difference by any means, but it is still a win in Intel's corner.
We do have to commend AMD, however, for including the Wraith Spire cooler with the Ryzen 7 3700X. While it isn’t exactly the most robust cooler in the world, it was able to keep the processor under 80 degrees Celsius, even during the most intensive tests.
The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is another impressive release from AMD and its 3rd Generation of Ryzen chips. With it, you’re getting 8-cores and 16-threads, with a boost clock of 4.4GHz. It may not be the strongest contender ever made on paper, but when you see and feel the actual performance gains it offers, you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your $329 (£319, AU$519) buck.
Bear in mind, however, that if you already have something like the Ryzen 7 2700X, this generation doesn't offer the biggest boost in performance. You might want to wait another year or so before dropping a few hundred bucks, or even opt to splurge on a higher-end but pricier chip.
With another remarkable chip from the Ryzen 3000 series, we can't wait to see what the future holds for AMD processors. If the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is any indication, Team Red's recent upset isn't likely to end any time soon.
First reviewed July 2019