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TekSpek CPUs
AMD Ryzen 3 Processor

AMD Ryzen 3 Processor

Date issued:

AMD introduced the Ryzen series of processors in March 2017. The high-performance Ryzen 7 was swiftly followed by Ryzen 5. Now, in the middle of 2017, AMD is reinforcing the notion that it provides best-in-class value by extending the Ryzen line to include two new Ryzen 3 processors.

Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 are priced at £125 and £105, respectively, and they target the ground held by the rival Intel Core i3 processors. You should expect to find these processors providing the beating heart of systems costing as little as £500, so the Ryzen 3 launch is important for AMD to grab back some market-share opportunity from Intel.

The new Ryzens use the same Zen architecture as all of the others, but AMD makes sensible performance cuts in order to hit the desired price points. We can show you how they stack up against the rest in the following table.

AMD Ryzen CPU Specifications

Model Cores / Threads TDP L3 Cache Base Clock Turbo Clock XFR Memory Package Price
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8 / 16 95W 16MB 3.6GHz 4.0GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $499
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 / 16 95W 16MB 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $399
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8 / 16 65W 16MB 3.0GHz 3.7GHz 50MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $329
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 6 / 12 95W 16MB 3.6GHz 4.0GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $249
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6 / 12 65W 16MB 3.2GHz 3.6GHz 100MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $219
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 4 / 8 65W 16MB 3.5GHz 3.7GHz 200MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $189
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 4 / 8 65W 8MB 3.2GHz 3.4GHz 50MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $169
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 4 / 4 65W 8MB 3.4GHz 3.7GHz 200MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $129
AMD Ryzen 3 1200 4 / 4 65W 8MB 3.1GHz 3.4GHz 50MHz DDR4-2666 AM4 $109

Both chips feature four cores but have symmetric multithreading (SMT) disabled at the factory, thus limiting performance in many compute-centric cases. Architecturally, the Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 use the same die as Ryzen 7, and AMD massages it into place for these processors by running two cores from the two CCXes that are present in all designs. Ryzen 7s, for example, have the full complement of four cores active in each CCX, leading to eight cores, plus 16 threads by way of SMT. It is sensible to think of Ryzen 3 representing about 40 per cent of the all-out performance of Ryzen 7.

Ryzen 3 1300X betters the 1200 by running at higher speeds - a peak 3.7GHz speed improves upon the 3.4GHz of the cheaper CPU. Looking into the specifics, the 1300X has a higher voltage curve than 1200, enabling AMD to push the frequency boat out. Both chips ship with the updated Wraith Stealth cooler in the box, too.

Because Ryzen 3 is cut from the same Zen cloth, it does not feature any form of integrated graphics, unlike the Intel Core i3, so do be wary if you are planning to run a budget system without a discrete graphics card in place. This is one area that AMD will address with the forthcoming APU versions of Ryzen.

Keeping costs in check, AMD reckons it makes most sense to pair Ryzen 3 with a B350 chipset-based motherboard. Fully-featured models cost less than £100, enabling enthusiasts to build a quality base unit for under £500.

At the time of writing, AMD is squarely pitching Ryzen 3 against Intel Core i3, as the Ryzen 3 1300X costs about the same as the Core i3-7300 while the Ryzen 3 1200 is a touch cheaper than the Core i3-7100. The key argument from AMD with respect to Ryzen has been one of offering more performance for your pound than Intel offers with its processors, and AMD says it can achieve this by offering more cores than Intel Core i3 at the same price point.

However, the argument for Intel-beating performance isn't as strong for AMD as it is in the upper echelons of Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7, mainly due to these two new chips not offering the goodness of SMT.

AMD Ryzen 3 Cinebench

Leading websites bear this thinking out. The professional application tool Cinebench shows that while Ryzen 3 has an advantage over price-equivalent Core i3 chips, the lead is not nearly as big as for Ryzen 5 vs. Core i5 or Ryzen 7 vs Intel Core i7.

AMD Ryzen 3 Total War

Looking across to gaming, the lower frequencies of Ryzen 3 doesn't seem to hurt performance, with the numbers produced by both CPUs comparable to chips costing many times more.

AMD is bolstering its recent CPU line-up with a pair of price-sensitive Ryzen 3 CPUs launched in July 2017. Great for a budget build, Scan Computers, as always, is at the forefront of retailing and has both in-stock today.