This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200.
Four Real Core FTW: The Ryzen 3 processors might be the first not to utilize AMD's SMT design, and it does seem like performance compared to comparable Intel parts is very strong because of it. AMD could have gone with two cores and four threads using SMT to fight Intel's i3 parts, but instead, they went with four real CPU cores, which puts them ahead of the i3's in multi-threaded workloads and proves that four cores are better than two cores and four threads. Although we might have already known that, since i5s exist, it's nice to see it at such a low price point.
Overclock Out of the Box: Not only was I able to overclock the 1300X to 3.9GHz, which is also most as high as the 1800X and 1700X, but I was able to do it on the stock cooler! AMD's AEGIS microcode, 126.96.36.199, has greatly improved overall memory overclocking. I had never been able to get to 3.2Ghz with any of my kits before this microcode. While the Ryzen 5 CPUs didn't show great memory overclocking potential, the new microcode was able to unleash the IMC inside the Ryzen 3 CPUs, and I was very pleased. All you have to do is type in your CPU frequency, CPU voltage, and enable XMP, and you get a free performance upgrade without requiring a cooler upgrade!
Excellent Price to Performance Ratio: Intel doesn't have much in this price range that allows for overclocking, nor do they have anything with four real cores at this price. Compared to comparable i3s in the same price range, the Ryzen 3 processors do well. I am very pleased AMD decided to utilize four cores instead of using SMT, and the benefits are obvious.
SoC and Platform Cost: You still get all the same IO with a Ryzen 3 CPU as you would with a Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 CPU that costs more than double. It's an impressive stack, and AMD should be praised for not disabling features to differentiate their product lineup. The upgrade path is also quite impressive, as you can go from four cores and 4 threads to 8 cores and 16 threads on the same platform.
I'm not sure: I have been sitting here trying to think up negative points about the Ryzen 3 processors before me, and I can't really think of much. Sure, it could have done better in some games, but I tested the 1300X against an Intel CPU that costs $20 (about 15%) more, but doesn't typically produce 15% better gaming performance.
The Ryzen 3 CPUs are perhaps the best value buys AMD currently has to offer. These days, with AMD's new Ryzen 3 offering, there is almost no point in buying a 2-core 4-thread CPU, unless you play specific games (or use applications) that are single threaded and take advantage of Intel's frequency, and while many do, that trend is shifting. The gaming talk aside, since most enthusiast gamers will go with an i5 or Ryzen 5 to match their faster GPUs, Ryzen 3's power consumption is quite impressive. I was super impressed with the Ryzen 3 1200's power consumption numbers and AMD for their TDP calculations.
I was impressed with the value not only in the CPU, but also on the platform, and finally, overclocking is easy, and increasing the Infinity Fabric speed with improved memory overclocking makes the platform feel mature and well worth it.
AMD has always been extremely strong in the more affordable market, and the new Zen core, higher core counts, and new platform are sure to seal the deal for many at this price point.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||94%|
The Bottom Line: AMD's Ryzen 3 1200 and Ryzen 3 1300X processors offer significant value, performance, and overclocking without breaking the bank, making them some of the best value buy CPUs on the market.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [The CPUs and Coolers]
- Page 3 [Test Setup]
- Page 4 [Out of the Box Performance: CINEBENCH, wPrime, and AIDA64]
- Page 5 [Out of the Box Performance: Handbrake Video Transcoding, ScienceMark, and SuperPI]
- Page 6 [Out of the Box Synthetic Gaming Performance: UNIGINE and 3DMark]
- Page 7 [Out of the Box Gaming Performance: Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, GTA:V, Ashes of the Singularity]
- Page 8 [Overclocking and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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