2017 has been an incredible year for AMD and it keeps getting better. With the release of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors, AMD has made Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 lineup completely obsolete and there's really not a single reason to purchase an Intel CPU anymore. AMD is offering users much more multi-core performance than any Intel Core processor. The Ryzen 5 lineup for example has put an end to Intel's i5 4C/4T era by giving people 2x thread count and 2 extra cores.
We have already reviewed the Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 7 1700X, Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 5 1400, and Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X in-depth and we strongly recommend these processors to users who want plenty of power whether it is for gaming, multi-threading work, streaming or pretty much anything you can think of.
On July 27th, AMD released the Ryzen 3 series which consists of 4C/4T processors with a fully unlocked multiplier. Today we will be looking at the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 processors which retail for $130 and $110 USD, respectively. The Ryzen 3 series takes aim at the lower-end of the market and competes with Intel's Core i3 series. AMD has priced the Ryzen 3 1300X at $130 to compete directly with the Core i3-7300 which retails for $150 while the Ryzen 3 1200 sports a $110 price-tag and competes with the i3-7100 which retails for $120. The lower-end CPU segment represents a huge percentage of the CPU market share and it's crucial for AMD to attract as many buyers as possible.
What you have to keep in mind when comparing the Ryzen 3 to the Core i3 is that Intel's Core i3 processors are all 2-cores and come with a locked multiplier. AMD on the other hand is offering users a true quad-core CPU with a fully unlocked multiplier and also at a much lower price. The Ryzen 3 series is much closer to Intel’s Core i5 4C/4T lineup but price-wise, it's much closer to the Core i3 2C/4T lineup. All of this extra performance will make a huge impact on gaming and applications that take advantage of multi-core processors. AMD has succeeded at offering users a superior product at a lower cost and this is exactly what they needed to get a big chunk of the lower-end market share.
Something to keep in mind with Intel's platforms is that they normally have a much shorter life-span compared to AMD's. AMD has said that the AM4 platform will last until 2020 so the upgrade path will be better with AM4 than LGA 1151. If you buy a Kaby-Lake CPU now, your upgrade path is probably going to end there and Intel is most likely changing sockets next year. So if you buy an AM4 motherboard now and in the future want to upgrade to Zen 2, you will have a clear upgrade path. The Ryzen processors are a much smarter buy than any Intel Core processor simply because you won't have to spend on buying a new platform when Intel releases their next CPUs.
The Ryzen processors are based on the Zen architecture which is a brand new architecture built from the ground up. I have already covered AMD's Zen architecture so you can read that if you want to learn about all the new features that AMD has implemented into the Zen architecture. Ryzen is very power efficient and the 1300X and 1200 processors come with a 65W TDP and use two CCX in a 2+2 configuration. The Ryzen 3 1200 has a 3.1GHz base and a 3.4GHz boost on all cores and also a 3.45GHz XFR speed (single core boost) while the Ryzen 3 1300X has a 3.5GHz base, 3.7GHz boost on all cores boost and also a 3.9GHz XFR speed (single core boost).
|AMD Ryzen Processors Lineup|
|Model:||Ryzen 3 1200||Ryzen 3 1300X||Ryzen 5 1400||Ryzen 5 1500X||Ryzen 5 1600||Ryzen 5 1600X||Ryzen 7 1700||Ryzen 7 1700X||Ryzen 7 1800X||CPU Process Node:||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||CPU Codename:||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||Summit Ridge||CPU Architecture:||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Zen||Cores / Threads:||4/4||4/4||4/8||4/8||6/12||6/12||6/12||8/16||8/16||Core Clock:||3.1 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.6 GHz||Boost Clock:||3.4 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.8 GHz||4.0 GHz||XFR (up to 2 Cores):||+50||+200||+50||+200||+100||+100||+50||+100||+100||L1 Cache:||384KB||384KB||384KB||384KB||576KB||576KB||768KB||768KB||768KB||L2 Cache:||2MB||2MB||2MB||2MB||3MB||3MB||4MB||4MB||4MB||L3 Cache:||8MB||8MB||8MB||16MB||16MB||16MB||16MB||16MB||16MB||Unlocked:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||TDP:||65W||65W||65W||65W||65W||95W||65W||95W||95W||DDR4 Speed:||2667||2667||2667||2667||2667||2667||2667||2667||2667||DDR4 DIMMs:||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||PCIe Lanes:||24||24||24||24||24||24||24||24||24||Socket Support:||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||AM4||Transistors:||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||4.8 billion||Die size:||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||192 mm²||Included Cooler:||Wraith Stealth||Wraith Stealth||Wraith Stealth||Wraith Spire||Wraith Spire||N/A||Wraith Spire||Wraith Max||Wraith Max||Cooler TDP:||65W||65W||65W||95W||95W||N/A||95W||140W||140W||Cooler Weight:||0.415 Kg||0.415 Kg||0.415 Kg||0.425 Kg||0.425 Kg||N/A||0.425 Kg||0.545 Kg||0.545 Kg||Cooler Dimensions (mm):||109 (L)|
|Price:||$110||$130||$170||$190||$220||$250||$330||$400||$500||Release Date:||July 27, 2017||July 27, 2017||April 11, 2017||April 11, 2017||April 11, 2017||April 11, 2017||March 2, 2017||March 2, 2017||March 2, 2017|
The Ryzen processors support modern features like dual-channel DDR4 memory, PCIe X4 storage, and USB 3.1 Gen 2. AMD plans to use the Zen architecture around a multi-year CPU roadmap which will be aimed at several market segments such as mobility products, HPC products and workstations. Most of the Ryzen processors have 16MB L3 cache with the exception of the Ryzen 5 1400 and the Ryzen 3 series which have just 8MB L3 cache.
Both the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 come with the Wraith Stealth cooler which offer reliable CPU cooling without the need of paying for a third party cooler. The Wraith Stealth cooler is a slightly smaller version of the Wraith Spire and you can head over here if you want to read our review of the AMD's new Wraith coolers. I have to respect AMD for putting an extra effort in shipping their Ryzen processors with high quality stock coolers that are built like third party coolers with a copper base and heatpipes. Intel has always bundled their processors with garbage coolers that most people simply throw away because they are extremely loud and do a terrible job of cooling.
|Processor:||AMD Ryzen 3 1200|
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Intel Core i7-6900K
Intel Core i5-7500
Intel Core i5-7600K
Intel Core i3-7100
|Motherboard:||MSI X370 xPower Gaming Titanium (BIOS Version 1.7)|
ASUS Prime B350-Plus (BIOS Version 0805)
ASUS X99 Deluxe II (BIOS Version 1504)
ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 2 (BIOS Version 0906)
|RAM:||Crucial Ballistix Elite 2933MHz DDR4 16GB (2x8GB)|
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 3000MHz DDR4 16GB (2x8GB)
|Graphics Card:||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070|
|Storage:||Crucial MX300 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply:||SilverStone Titanium ST80F-TI 800W|
|Case:||Open ATX Bench Case|
|OS:||Windows 10 64Bit|
|Thermal Compound:||Noctua NT-H1|
The testing is done with an ambient temperature of ~21C and the processors are tested with the power saving features disabled in the BIOS.
CPU-Z will be used to verify the processor speed and the voltage being used in Windows 10.
Also, the testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit and we made sure there were as few processes running as possible by disabling a bunch of unnecessary services that come with Windows 10.
We are using the latest BIOS version on all motherboards at the time of writing this review.
In gaming, we will be testing at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 and the settings will be set to high. Idle power consumption of the entire computer will be measured after leaving the computer idle for 20 minutes with no additional applications running in the background. Load power consumption of the entire computer will be measured during benchmarking in 3DMark FireStrike on max settings. I want to make it clear that power consumption measurements will differ per computer and components if you add optical drives, HDDs etc and it will also differ based on the PSU efficiency. We are measuring the entire system, not just the processor's power consumption.
+ Cinebench R15
+ Cinebench R11.5
+ POV-Ray 3.7
+ TrueCrypt 7.1a
+ SiSoftware Sandra
+ PCMark 8
+ 3DMark Fire Strike
+ Watch Dogs 2
+ Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
+ Hitman (2016)
+ Battlefield 1
+ Tomb Raider (2016)
+ The Division
+ The Witcher 3
Looking at the chart above, we can see that the Ryzen processors are extremely power efficient. Intel's Core i3-7100 is slightly more power efficient than the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 but the difference is negligible.
We used the Noctua NH-D15 to cool the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200.
Without any overclocking, the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 run under 31 Degree Celsius in idle and never go above 55 C in gaming.
I tested these two CPUs by playing Battlefield 1 on max settings and I never saw the temperature of either CPU go above 55 C so that's pretty amazing.
Similarly like the other Ryzen CPUs, I managed to overclock both CPUs to 4.0Ghz by going into the BIOS and bumping up the voltage to 1.4v.
I did this simply by increasing the multiplier and increasing the CPU voltage setting in the BIOS.
That is about as easy as overclocking gets when the CPU is fully unlocked.
After I managed to get the CPUs stable at 4.0Ghz, idle temp jumped to 35C and load temperature jumped to around 72 C. Once I got out of Battlefield 1, the temperature of both CPUs dropped back down to around 35 C within a few minutes. The Ryzen 3 processors have impressed me with their fantastic power consumption, temperature and overclocking ability.
Looking at the Cinebench R15 chart above, we can see that the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 performed much better than the Core i3-7100 in multi-core performance.
In the Cinebench R11.5 test, the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 wrecked the i3-7100 in multi-core performance and single-core performance is excellent too.
Once again, the Ryzen 3 CPUs outperformed the Core i3-7100 CPU in the POV-Ray 3.7 benchmark.
Moving on to the TrueCrypt test, the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 decimated the Core i3-7100.
The Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 demolished the Core i3-7100 in the SiSoftware Sandra test.
In the PCMark 8 Creative Suite benchmark, the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 performed better than the Core i3-7100.
Moving on to the 3DMark FireStrike Extreme test, the Ryzen 3 CPUs delivered excellent performance.
Looking at the Watch Dogs 2 benchmark, the Core i3-7100 performed on par with the Ryzen 3 1300X in 1440p and 1080p.
In Deus Ex Mankind Divided, the Ryzen 3 1300X outperformed the Core i3-7100 CPU in 1440p and 1080p.
Moving on to Hitman 2016, the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 fell slightly behind the Core i3-7100 CPU.
In Battlefield 1, we see the same thing with the Core i3-7100 performing slightly better than the Ryzen 3 CPUs.
The Ryzen 3 CPUs performed about the same as the Core i3-7100 in Tomb Raider 2016.
In The Division, the Ryzen 3 CPUs delivered very good performance in 1080p and 1440p versus the competitor.
In Witcher 3, the Ryzen 3 CPUs delivered excellent 1080p performance and did very well in 1440p.
AMD continues to dominate the CPU market with their Ryzen processors and the Ryzen 3 lineup is no exception. Intel's Core i3 lineup is all 2C/4T and have a locked multiplier while the Ryzen 3 lineup comes with four cores and a fully unlocked multiplier. Multi-core performance will be significantly better with the Ryzen 3 processors and as games become more optimized for multi-core, the Ryzen 3 lineup will perform even better. The Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 are staggeringly ahead of the Intel's Core i3-7100 in multi-core performance.
Gaming performance is very impressive considering that Zen is a brand new architecture and games have been tailored to Intel's CPUs for a long time now. While the Core i3-7100 CPU sometimes gets higher average FPS in some games, the Ryzen 3 CPUs feel much smoother and fps drops happen a lot less. During gaming, the i3-7100 was being maxed out at 95% CPU usage on all cores while the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 had plenty of headroom to do other things in the background.
If you are someone who's looking to build a budget gaming PC whether it is at 1080p or 1440p or even higher, the Ryzen 3 processors are a much smarter buy than Intel's Core i3 processors in pretty much every category. Intel CPUs might be slightly better in gaming in some situations, but when you are gaming at 1440p and above, there is almost no difference between the platforms.
Overclocking is super easy with the Ryzen 3 processor since they come unlocked.
Whereas with Intel, the i7-7700K, i5-7600K and i3-7350K are the only unlocked CPUs so you are forced to buy one of those if you want to have an unlocked multiplier.
I managed to overclock the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 at 4.0Ghz using 1.4v and if you invest in a good water cooling or air cooling solution,
you should be able to hit 4.0-4.1GHz very easily.
+ 50% More Cores Than Core i3
+ Outstanding Performance
+ Fully Unlocked
+ Can Easily Be OC'd to 4Ghz+
+ Perfect For Multi-Tasking
+ Future-Proof Platform
+ Great Price/Performance Value
+ Runs Very Cool
- Memory Compatibility Limited
Intel has been busy milking consumers for the past 6+ years with their 3% performance improvement each generation. They have basically released the same CPU every year while charging consumers premium prices for it. AMD's Ryzen 3 lineup has made Intel's Core i3 lineup obsolete now simply by offering people the option of buying a 4C/4T processor at less than $150. I can safely say that the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 processors are perfect for those who do multi-threading work, gaming, and streaming.
The Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 processors have a huge advantage over the Core i3 processors in non-gaming applications. Multi-Core performance, such as media encoding, rendering or even intense multitasking scenarios, the Ryzen 3 processors demolish the Kaby Lake Core i3 CPUs. We're in the new multi-threaded era and Ryzen will only improve with time. The Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 processors deserve our Gold Award.
Final Score 9.6