3700X 3900x
3700X 3900x

Over the last few years, AMD has really been making waves in the CPU market. They’ve really invested in the CPU architecture and it is starting to pay off.  The AMD Ryzen CPUs have really shaken things up and have given consumers a chance to be at least somewhat competitive with Intel-based builds. However, the past two generations of AMD Ryzen CPU has lagged just a bit behind in terms of performance but extremely competitive in terms of price. Along with the new Ryzen CPUs, AMD launched a new chipset, the X570 of which the biggest feature is bringing PCIe 4.0 to market.

At CES 2019, AMD showed off some early silicon and introduced its 1st 7nm CPU.  The AMD Ryzen 3000 series is now a reality. The new Ryzen 3000 CPUs move away from a monolithic core design and instead use a chiplet design. The idea is to have 7nm chiplets connected to a 12nm I/O die.  The I/O die handles things like USB, PCIe for storage, and the memory controllers. Separating the CPU cores from the I/O allows AMD to increase yields and lower costs. A few architectural changes get thrown in as well. The new process shrink to 7nm and the generational changes to the Zen cores all lead to what AMD claims is a 15% increase in IPC. The two CPUs featured in this review is the Ryzen 9 3900x and the Ryzen 7 3700x. The Ryzen 9 series is new for this generation and features more cores. The Ryzen 9 3900X is a 12 core/24 thread CPU and features a 3.8 GHz base clock with a 4.6 GHz boost clock. The Ryzen 7 3700X is the replacement for the last generation flagship CPU, the Ryzen 7 2700X. The Ryzen 7 3700X retains the 8 core/16 thread configuration and features a 3.6 GHz base clock and a 4.4 GHz boost clock. AMD also updated the memory controller on Ryzen 3rd Gen to handle a much more diverse range of modules. Official transfer rates supported are 3200 MHz.

AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen or Zen 2, changes things up a bit. AMD’s design goals were to get more bandwidth between nodes, increase density while reducing power consumption, and enable more cores on the AM4 platform.

Below, we’ll go over a brief overview and hit the highlights. This is in no way meant to be a deep dive into the new Ryzen CPU architecture.

So how did they do it? SMT or Simultaneous Multi-Threading was carried forward from the previous generation. A new TAGE predictor was added. AMD improved the load/store bandwidth that keeps more data on-chip and increased throughput.  A Larger 180 entry register files provide the CPU more access to more available working data.

Cache is one of the biggest contributors to performance. AMD Doubled the L1 cache over the previous Zen architectures. L3 cache is doubled per CCD to 23 MB.

Below is a representation of the logical layout of the single CCD CPU. Each CCD contains two 4core/8thread CCX. The CCD  connects to the 12nm I/O die using infinity fabric. The I/O die is responsible for handling items such as PCIe storage, USB, and contains the Unified memory controller.

The dual CCD CPUs look similar to the above except there are two CCDs each containing 4 core/8 thread CCXs.

All of the improvements to the new CPUs result in what AMD claims are about a 15% uplift in IPC performance. Typically AMD has lagged behind Intel in IPC performance.

While there are many Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs planned, we will be testing the Ryzen 7 3700x and the Ryzen 9 3900X CPUs.

A Closer Look At AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700x is the replacement for the Ryzen 2700x from the last generation. The CPU is an 8 core 16 thread CPU with a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.4 GHz. This CPU retails for $329 and is designed to compete against Intel’s Core i7-9700K

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700x comes in with familiar packaging.  On the front of the box, you can clearly see this CPU is the Ryzen 7 line and is 3rd GEN with the indication at the lower-left corner of the box. The CPU’s IHS is visible through the cut out on the right side of the box and a graphic of the included cooler is on the left.

The CPU is housed in a plastic blister pack which is enclosed within a small cardboard container. AMD also includes a Ryzen 7 sticker.

Externally, the CPU doesn’t look much different than the generation it replaces. You can see the IHS doesn’t look much different from before even though the CPU under the heat spreader has. This is still and AM4 CPU and still uses the Pin Grid Array underneath the CPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900x

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is a 12 core 24 thread CPU. The 3900x has a base clock of 3.8 GHz with a boost clock of 4.6. Since the 3900x contains dual CCDs the cache increases on both the L2 and L3 caches to 6 MB on L2 and 64 MB for the L3 cache. Price-wise, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is designed to compete with Intel’s Core i9-9900k in the $499 price bracket.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900x has a very Nvidia like package as in there is a top and a lower shell that separates from each other much like the Founder’s Edition cards do.  On the front of the box, you’ll find AMD’s Ryzen logo in the center. Near the lower right corner, you’ll see this is a Ryzen 9 series CPU and on the lower left. The left side of the box shows a brief glimpse of the cooler housed inside. To get a peek at the CPU, you’ll only need to look at the top of the box.

Once you slide off the top “shell”, you’ll be presented with a blister back housed in a rigid foam insert that contains the CPU. Below the foam, is the box that contains the stock heatsink and fan.

As with the AMD Ryzen 3700x, the AMD Ryzen 3900x doesn’t look any different than the past generations of AMD Ryzen CPUs.

Wraith Prism Cooler

Each of the CPUs is packed with AMD’s Wraith Prism CPU cooler. As a matter of fact, every Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 CPU come packed with the Wraith Prism.

Athestitaccly, the cooler has a dual LED-lit ring with a transparent fan in the center with LED lights in the fan hub. There are two ways to control lighting. The lighting for the cooler is compatible with the control software from ASRock, Asus, BioStar, Gigabyte, and MSI all controlled by a 4-pin port on the fan shroud. There is also a 3-pin port that allows external control of the LEDs. Finally, there is a switch on the fan shroud that allows the user to set the fan at low, medium, or high settings.  The cooler itself is based on a 4-Heatpipe design.

The base of the CPU cooler features a large copper base and in the center, features heatpipe direct touch for maximum thermal performance. Thermal paste is pre-applied at the factory so the cooler is ready to go right out of the box.

Test System and Benchmarks

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x Test Bench
Product Name Provided By
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3700x AMD
Motherboard Aorus X570 Master Gigabyte
Memory G.Skill Trident Royal F4-3600C16D-16GTRG 16-16-16-36 (XMP) G.Skill
Drive Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD Samsung/Crucial
Video Cards Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI Founders Edition Nvidia
Monitor BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz
Case DimasTech EasyXL DimasTech
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W Cooler Master
Operating System Windows 10 1903 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates
AMD Ryzen 9 3900x Test Bench
Product Name Provided By
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 3900x AMD
Motherboard ASRock X570 Taichi ASRock
Memory G.Skill Trident Royal F4-3600C16D-16GTRG 16-16-16-36 (XMP) G.Skill
Drive Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD Samsung/Crucial
Video Cards Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI Founders Edition Nvidia
Monitor BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz
Case DimasTech EasyXL DimasTech
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W Cooler Master
Operating System Windows 10 1903 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates
Intel Core i7-8700k/Core i9-9900k Test Bench
Product Name Provided By
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K (Retail)/Intel Core i9-9900K (Retail) Intel
Motherboard Aorus Z390 Pro Gigabyte
Memory G.Skill Trident Royal F4-3600C16D-16GTRG 16-16-16-36 (XMP) G.Skill
Drive Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD Samsung/Crucial
Video Cards  Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI Founders Edition Nvidia
Monitor BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz
Case DimasTech EasyXL DimasTech
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W Cooler Master
Operating System Windows 10 1903 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates

Early Adopter Pains

So I’m a little bit late with my reviews. I’ve spent the last week or so troubleshooting some issues with both AMD and the folks over at Gigabyte. You could say I experienced some early adopter pain and I think it’s important to talk about it. So, what I experienced was on the Aorus X570 Master, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x wasn’t boosting properly. I get that Precision Boost is opportunistic and all that. However, I would never see a single core in single-core testing go above 4.2 GHz. I tried every combination of BIOS from Aorus and Matt was super helpful in getting information to the right people over there and even sent a 2nd motherboard. However, I still could not get the 3900x to perform properly on either. The 3700x rocked it after the F5e BIOS release. Once I switched to the ASRock motherboard, scores got quite a bit better. However, what I saw in a piece of software made me realize that I may not have been comparing apples to apples and I’ll get to that in a second.

After the first round of testing on the Aorus board, I downloaded and installed the Ryzen Master software. I noticed that one of the indicators, specifically the EDU gauge in the upper right corner was pegged at 97-100% of 140a all the time. I didn’t matter what power profile I chose the gauge was still pegged. Keep in mind these are the stock settings on each of the motherboards with ONLY XMP enabled (for now). Once I swapped over to the ASRock board, the gauge bounced around and was sitting around 40% of 230a which was a higher limit than the Aorus motherboard.

I went back into the ASRock BIOS and manually set the PPT, TDC, and EDC, settings to match with what AMD has set on their stock CPU. Through overclocking in the BIOS, you can set higher limits. Other than setting the power limits for the CPU, I did not allow Precision Boost Overdrive to add any additional frequency to the CPU.

With that set, I want to show the boost behavior that I experienced between the two boards. I used CPUID’s HWMonitor Pro’s graphing functions in a benchmark of Xplane 11. This is a flight simulator that thrives on single-core performance.

First up, the 3900x on the Aorus X570 Master.

As you can see, the CPU does peek up above 4.2GHz in small spikes here and there. However, the main frequency sat right around 4.2 GHz.

Next up, the ASRock X570 Taichi in the same test.

On the ASRock motherboard, we get more cores boosting above the 4.2 GHz mark more often. There is most definitely a boost speed difference between the two motherboards.

My experience above is just my experience. I know other reviewers that are using the Aorus X570 motherboard with the same BIOS revision that are not experiencing the issues that I did. Their graphs look a lot like the ASRock graph above. I thought it was important to lay out why I didn’t use the Aorus motherboard for the 3900x review and what my experience was. The change in boost speed represented about a 7-12% increase in performance over the Aorus X570 motherboard and right in line with the performance that other reviewers experienced with the 3900x.

The BIOS on all the motherboards had enhanced core performance turned OFF. CPUs were allowed to boost to their manufacture’s specification. XMP was turned on to profile 1 which set the memory to DDR4-3600 CL 16. All motherboard enhancements for CPUs were disabled in order to show a CPU to CPU comparison.

Cooling for ALL CPUs did not use the stock coolers. For the Intel System, I used a custom look with an EKWB Velocity waterblock and the AMD used the same custom loop with an EKWB Velocity waterblock for AMD CPUs. Fans were set to the normal profile vs. Silent or full speed.

For synthetic benchmarks, each benchmark was run on each system three times. Then we picked the best of the three results. The system was allowed to idle in between each benchmark for no less than 30 minutes. This gives the processor time to rest and cool down a bit before the nest test is performed. The ambient temperature is kept as close to 21°c, or 70°f as possible. We use both Core Temp and Hardware Monitor to record temperatures and CPUZ to validate clock speeds and voltages.

Testing and Performance


AIDA64 has a set of several 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Multi-threaded memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. Benchmark pages of AIDA64 Extreme provide several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, so their results show only the theoretical maximum performance of the system. The AIDA64 suite has various benchmarks for CPU, FPU, GPU, storage and memory testing.

In Aida64’s memory test, we see AMD clearly has done work on their memory controller. Keep in mind as well, the official supported memory speeds of the Intel CPUs is DDR4 2666. The Ryzen 9 3900x leads the pack with 55386 read speed, 53178 write speeds, and 56010 copy speeds. The Ryzen 7 does well in both read and copy and scores 52003 in reading and 49539 in copy however, the write speeds are about half of the read speed. I reached out to AMD on this issue and they explained that there is very little pure memory write workloads so, the CCD to IO link is 32B per cycle for reads and 16B per cycle for writes.

As far as latency, the AMD CPUs can’t match the low to mid 40’s of the Intel CPUs and both tested at 68 ns.

CPU Queen is an integer benchmark that tests branch prediction and misprediction penalties. CPU PhotoWorxx tests the SIMD integer arithmetic execution units of the CPU and the memory subsystem. CPU ZLib is a compression benchmark that tests the combined CPU and memory performance. CPU AES is a multi-core encryption benchmark that uses Advanced Encryption Standard data encryption. CPU Hash is an integer benchmark that measures performance using SHA1 hashing algorithm. FPU Julia measures single-precision FP, FPU Mandel measures double-precision FP, FPU Sin Julia measures extended precision FP while FPU VP8 is a video compression test utilizing the FPU Julia fractal module. Both benchmarks measure the single and double-precision floating-point performance through the computation of a scene with a SIMD-enhanced ray tracing engine. We ran both the FP-32 and FP-64 ray-tracing benchmarks in the AIDA64 suite.

The increased core count really helps the Ryzen 9 3900x take the lead over the rest of the pack, as expected. However, I was a bit surprised at the performance gap between the Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel i9-9900k. The CPU tests show an ever so slight lead for the Ryzen 7 3700x over the 9900k but when we look at the FPU test, it goes back and forth without much of a difference between the two. And it is illustrated even more so when you compare the Ryzen 7 3700x to the previous Ryzen 7 2700x.

Cinebench R20

Cinebench is a real-world cross-platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s hardware capabilities. Improvements to Cinebench Release 20 reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D’s ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

It is not really a surprise that in the multi-core test, the Ryzen 9 3900x runs away with the crown. What did catch me off guard is the fact that both of the Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs were able to match the performance of the Intel CPUs in single-core performance. In this particular test, that has been AMD’s weak spot as you can see the Ryzen 7 2700x lags quite a bit behind the 8700k.

POV-Ray 3.7

The Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, or POV-Ray, is a ray-tracing program that generates images from a text-based scene description and is available for a variety of computer platforms. It was originally based on DKBTrace, written by David Kirk Buck and Aaron A. Collins for the Amiga computers. There are also influences from the earlier Polyray[6] raytracer contributed by its author Alexander Enzmann. POV-Ray is free and open-source software with the source code available under the AGPLv3.

The multi-threaded performance here is strong from AMD and both CPUs are able to beat out their Intel counterparts and a significant performance increase of the 2700x. AMD’s single-core performance still continues to be strong but not quite strong enough to beat either of the Intel CPUs in POV-Ray 3.7.

Multimedia, Compression, Synthetic, and Gaming


HandBrake is a free and open-source video transcoder, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Essentially, it can convert video to almost any modern format. HandBrake is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. The workload video file is a file that I’ve used for years called Sintel. It is a 1.09-gigabyte file that is full HD. I used the Apple 240p preset for this test.
The Ryzen 9 3900x rendered the video in 56 seconds at an average frame rate of 382.2 frames per second. The Ryzen 7 3700x rendered the video in 69 seconds with an average frame rate of 311.5. From a ranking perspective and in second place, the Intel i9-9900k renders the video in 65 seconds with 329.6 frames per second average. The older Ryzen 7 2700x comes in fourth with a 76 second render time with 281.5 frames per second with i7-8700k trailing with a 99 second render time and 240.8 frames per second average. Keep in mind more cores win in this test. The 3900x has 12 cores/24 threads so it should place at the top and the 8700k has the least amount of cores and places at the bottom. Again, the interesting battle here is the Ryzen 7 3700x and the Core i9-9900k. The 3700x barely loses out to the 990ok. Four seconds and a few frames per second is all the difference between them.


The 7-zip benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with the results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So, if you have a modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with the LZMA method. Once the total passes reach 100, the score is taken. 7-Zip gives the resulting score for decompressing, compressing, and an overall score.
With 7-zip, it’s dang near a clean sweep. However, you can clearly see the improvements that AMD has made between the 2nd Gen Ryzen 2700x and the 3rd Gen Ryzen 3700x. There’s a bit more performance between the two and the 3700x bests both Intel CPUs. The 3900x with the increased core count really shines and totally runs away with the decompression test.

Before we move on to the final set of benchmarks, I wanted to really test clock for clock IPC performance between all of the CPUs. At this point, I disabled all boosting on the motherboards and locked the frequencies for all the CPUs at 4.2 GHz. I ran the single-core Cinebench R20 test and the Single CPU test in POV-Ray 3.7. Yes, I intentionally took away Intel’s frequency advantage in order to get a better look at CLOCK for CLOCK performance but I also negated any boosting on the AMD CPUs. Clock speeds were checked using HWMonitor to ensure no frequency advantage of any CPU.

Cinebench R20 4.2 GHz
POV-Ray 3.7 4.2 GHZ

A lot of the time, I have to cut through the marketing “speak” to get to the real information I want. AMD claimed a pretty significant IPC boost over the last generation and I wanted to see how it compared to Intel’s IPC at the same frequency. What we see is that for the first time in a long time, AMD leads Intel in IPC AT THE GIVEN CLOCK SPEED. However, while Intel’s CPUs do lag behind a bit, it’s really not that much and their frequency advantage with a high IPC still keeps AMD in check.  Plain and simple, AMD cannot reach the speeds that Intel can. But bringing everything down to a level playing field for all CPUs sure helps see the improvements AMD has made.

PCMark 10 is a system benchmark for Windows PCs which focuses on common tasks performed in the office. PCMark 10 offers a variety of workloads categorized into four groups. The Essentials group includes web browsing, video conferencing, and app start-up time. The Productivity group includes tests based on spreadsheets and writing. The Digital Content Creation group includes photo editing, video editing, and a rendering and visualization test. The final group, Gaming, includes tests for real-time graphics and physics. It has three different benchmarks, PCMark 10, PCMark 10 Express and PCMARK 10 Extended.

I’m not so sure we would see a better boxing match than watching AMD and Intel battle it out in PCMark 10. So overall, the Core i9-9900k takes the top spot at 7740 with the Ryzen 9 3900x nipping at its heels with a score of 7430. The Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel Core i7-8700k are neck in neck with scores of 7017 and 7012, respectively. Where before we were seeing the Ryzen 7 3700x taking it to the Intel 9900k, we see the 3900k close behind the 9900k and the 3700x chasing the 8700k.


3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark used to determine the performance of a computer’s 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. It does this through a series of graphics and physics and or CPU tests. I ran the extreme and ultimate version as I wanted to see how well AMD could handle the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080ti.

3DMark Firestrike Ultra
3DMark TimeSpy Extreme

In Firestrike Ultra, you can see the overall scores are in the same range. Really, I see no clear winner. However, the CPU scores show more cores help. Again, I go to the 3700x and the 9900k performance and compare just how close these two CPUs are in terms of performance. TimeSpy Extreme puts things back in perspective as the 3900x and 9900k duke it out for the performance crown and the 2700x and the 8700k battle each other for third place.


For gaming, I chose to mix it up a little bit from what we’ve done in the past. Most games we test are first-person shooters, so I chose to throw a flight simulator in the mix. Xplane 11 depends heavily on single-thread performance, even more so than newer modern games. Games are slowly starting to use more and more cores. I also used the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm AI benchmark.

In gaming, we see the advantage Intel has over the AMD Ryzen CPUs in terms of clock speed. Most games love frequency and the more you can throw at it the better they perform. Xplane 11 is a highly detailed flight simulator that relies on single-core performance and speed. In this test, we see the Intel i9-9900k leading the pack with an average FPS if 110 with the 3900x coming in second with an average FPS of 101. For 3rd place, the 8700k and the 3700x are dead even at 99 frames per second with the 2700x trailing the pack at 84 FPS. Shadow of the Tomb Raider shows Intel leading by a good margin at 161 FPS to the 3900x’s 143 FPS. The 8700k is ever so slightly ahead of the 3700x with 146 FPS. The 2700x falls further behind at 122 FPS. Ghost Recon Wild Lands shows Intel’s 9900k leading at 163 FPS followed by the 3900x and the 8700k at 155 FPS each. Third place goes to the 3700x with 152 FPS and the 2700x is last with 139 FPS. FarCry New Dawn shows both Intel CPUs leading the AMD CPUs with the 9900k averaging 142 FPS and the 8700K with 134 compared to the 3900x with 129 and the 3700x with 125. 111 FPS is the average frame rate for the 2700x. Finally, in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we see the 9900k with an average frame rate of 134, the 3900x at 129, the 8700k, and 3700x are basically tied with 119 and 120, with the 2700x bringing up the rear at 108 frames per second.

The last gaming test I chose was Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 and the Gathering Storm Benchmark. This benchmarks artificial intelligence and measures the time it takes to complete each turn.

The newer CPUs are all fairly close to each other in performance with a four-second delta between first and fourth place. The 9900k turns in a time of 31 seconds. The 3900x turns in a time of 32 seconds and the 3700x turns in a time of 33 seconds. The 8700k is slightly out of the 1-second difference at 35 seconds and the 2700x completes the benchmark in 38 seconds.

Final Thoughts

I really don’t have any mixed feelings about the new AMD Ryzen CPUs. In reality, they perform very well and give Intel’s CPUs a run for the money. AMD is really chasing Intel’s performance crown. AMD has put a lot of work into the Ryzen 3rd generation CPUs and their hard work is paying off. They’ve closed the performance gap considerably between last generation and this one. When I reviewed the Ryzen 7 2700x the Core i7-8700k was the performance king at the time. It’s nice to see a decent jump in performance from AMD between the 2nd and 3rd gen CPUs. AMD is increasing the core count we’re seeing on Desktop CPUs once again as well. With the 1st gen Ryzen CPUs, we saw 8 cores and 16 threads for the 1st time. Now we have 12 cores and 24 threads with 16 cores and 32 thread CPUs coming up. With that, one of the things I didn’t mention in the review is temperature. Now, I did not test with the stock Ryzen CPU cooler.  I used a custom loop with a 360mm radiator for both systems. As far as “off the cuff” temperatures, I didn’t see anything that would make me concerned. The CPUs really didn’t run hot during the benchmark sessions and I saw a maximum temperature of 50°C during multiple runs of the Cinebench R20 test.

In most of the benchmarks, AMD and Intel fight it out like two well-matched boxers. Trading blows, ducking and dodging around. I wouldn’t say AMD beat Intel by a knock out by any means. It’s a decision that’s going to come down to the cards. And the cards are going to be what workloads do you need. Content creation and heavy CPU arithmetic workloads such as compression, encoding, and encryption are going to be the strongest for AMD.  Whereas in our gaming tests, Intel’s Core i9 9900k is still the leader, although that lead has shrunk a bit. As more and more games become less dependent on frequency and single-core performance, you’ll see AMD start encroaching on Intel’s lead even more. But, does that mean AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are bad for gaming? Absolutely not. They perform well in the game benchmarks I performed. And really, lagged behind Intel no more than 18 frames per second and each of the two were pulling over 100 FPS. Intel’s advantage over AMD really comes down to frequency and Intel has a bit more of it. The 9900k can boost over 5.0 GHz and sustain that speed for a longer period of time, whereas the 3900x is 400 MHz slower are 4.6 GHz and only in short bursts.

As far as overclocking, I did little to none of it. I attempted to however, I feel with a little more BIOS maturity, we’ll see some overclocking coming along very nicely. The only clock speed manipulation I did was to set all the CPUs at the same speed in order to compare them clock for clock. And when you take it to that level, AMD has a win on their hands. Compared to the previous generation of AMD CPUs, Intel obtains about a 7% IPC advantage at the same clock speed. When you look at the 3rd Gen Ryzen, they obtain about a 10% IPC advantage over Intel at the same clock speed. However, as I mentioned before, the frequency can and does negate an IPC advantage if the CPU cannot reach and maintain that speed. Honestly, I think we’ll see a bit more increased performance as the BIOS matures. I tried enabling Precision Boost Overdrive and adding 200 MHz however, there was no change in clock speed in any of the tests or results of said tests. In my opinion, AMD needs to work closer with motherboard manufacturers to get the BIOS nailed down.

To wrap up, AMD is also extremely competitive on the pricing front. The Ryzen 7 3700x is priced at $329 and is aimed at the Intel i7-9700k which at the time of this review is $362 and the popular Core i7-8700K is $349. The Ryzen 9 3900x is priced at $499 and is aimed at the Core i9-9900k and at the time of this review is currently priced a bit cheaper than it’s launch price of $499 (depending on where you look) at $474.99. What the new CPUs give is choice with very little compromise. These CPUs give you the opportunity to choose one side or the other. The overall performance of the Ryzen 9 3900x and the Intel Core i9-9900k are extremely close in performance as is the performance between the Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel Core i7-8700k. In terms of pure performance, the winner is up to you and which of the CPUs you choose. A choice is always good for consumers as is competition. If we look back to when AMD and Intel were actually in competition in the past, we saw the CPU landscape change rather rapidly from both sides. My personal hope is that we see that kind of competition and innovation once more. In either case, I would not hesitate to recommend either of the AMD CPUs to those that are looking to build a new system or simply upgrade and replace the previous generation Ryzen CPU.


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