UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £319.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $329 (exc. tax)
If you've been looking for a CPU in the region of £300+, your options until now have in recent history been the Core i5-9600K (closer to its launch last year) or the Core i7-9700K (since Intel's price-drop bonanza), which now retails for just £360 - a highly uncharacteristic drop of over £100 from its October 2018 launch price of £480.
As we write this, CPU prices continue to fall ahead of today's 3rd Gen Ryzen's launch, and we're still trying to fathom where things sit, especially as the Ryzen 7 3700X that we're looking at here is not even AMD's fastest eight-core CPU. Instead, it has a 100MHz lower boost frequency, 300MHz lower base frequency, and 40W lower TDP than the Ryzen 7 3800X. AMD doesn't list all-core boost frequencies, but if you're dying to know, we observed 4GHz in our test system using a good all-in-one liquid-cooler (EK WaterBlocks EK-MLC Phoenix 240mm).
|Model||Cores/Threads||Base Freq||Boost Freq||Total Cache||TDP (Watts)||Included cooler||SEP (USD)||Availability|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||16/32||3.5GHz||4.7GHz||72MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$749||September|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||12/24||3.8GHz||4.6GHz||70MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$499||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||8/16||3.9GHz||4.5GHz||36MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$399||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||8/16||3.6GHz||4.4GHz||36MB||65W||Wraith Prism RGB||$329||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||6/12||3.8GHz||4.4GHz||35MB||95W||Wraith Spire||$249||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600||6/12||3.6GHz||4.2GHz||35MB||65W||Wraith Stealth||$199||July 7, 2019|
For the moment, the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X are all that have been sampled by AMD, although the rest will undoubtedly follow, so if you had your heart set on the Ryzen 7 3800X, you'd be well-advised to hold off reaching for your wallet until the official figures come through.
As you can see above, we're dealing with fairly a similar CPU to the Ryzen 7 3800X, with Ryzen 7 3700X having an identical amount of cache, or Gamecache as AMD is now calling it. You get an extra megabyte of L2 cache compared to the six-core options, but the L3 cache remains the same at 32MB for both six and eight-core options thanks to the presence of two Core Complexes. The main differences in boost speeds come as a result of the TDP difference, which will undoubtedly affect boosting behaviour.
There's a bit of a snag here with the Ryzen 3700X, though, as the cheaper Ryzen 5 3600X offers a 200MHz higher base frequency and matches the eight-core CPU on boost frequency too. With just 1MB less L2 cache to separate the two elsewhere, if you're not gunning for maximum cores and threads, the Ryzen 5 3600X already looks like a better option, especially as it it has more power headroom at stock.
Another interesting consideration is overclocking headroom. If 4.3GHz is the going rate for most 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs with an all-core overclock, then given the maximum boost frequency is only 100MHz higher than this, manual tweaking is a little more palatable than it was with the 12-core CPU, which saw a hefty fall in single-threaded performance once an all-core overclock was applied.
We'll hold off making firmer judgments about the Ryzen 7 3700X versus the Ryzen 5 3600X 'til we get our mitts on the rest of the stack.
With a 65W TDP in play, we're essentially looking at another Ryzen 7 1700/Ryzen 7 2700 here, which makes us question AMD's decision to sample it and not the Ryzen 7 3800X. The primary reason we can see is price, so let's take a look and see if it's worth the cash.
February 26 2021 | 22:15