Last Updated: 1st July 2019
AMD has been finishing second in the race for global CPU dominance for years now thanks to INTEL's impressive range of processors. However, that could all be about to change...
If like us, you enjoy staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest technology releases, you'll be fully aware of the imminent arrival of AMD's Ryzen 3000 chips. There's been a lot of hype surrounding the new CPU's as many believe they have the power and ability to knock Intel's latest offerings clean out of the water in both price and performance.
"$199 Ryzen 5 3600 set to beat 9900k in some benchmarking..."
The hype was created when AMD taunted crowds with the potential design ideas of Matisse 3000 chips at CES back in January. They stated that Ryzen 9, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 would be available to customers this summer offering superb performance and price respectively.
Since CES, we've been gifted with a superb Computex keynote speech where Dr. Lisa Su announced some crucial details regarding the new chips and what they have to offer.
The Ryzen 9 3900x is amongst the most anticipated CPU's to be released and will come boasting 12-cores and a boosted clock speed of 4.6GHz. Furthermore, the new range will be built upon AMD's new Zen 2 chiplet-based microarchitecture using TSMC's 7nm process. All new chips will be PCI-E 4.0 enabled as will the new range of x570 motherboards which will be released at a similar time. This being said, the new 3000 chips use the AMD AM4 socket meaning they are going to be compatible with some older 300/400-series motherboards.
Before going into any more details regarding performance though, let's have a brief look at what's in store and everything we currently know about AMD Ryzen 3000.
Ryzen 3000 Release Date
Ever since people got earshot of the new Ryzen chip's, they've been patiently waiting for AMD to announce the official release date. Thankfully the wait is over.
Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, recently held a keynote speech at Computex in Taipei stating that the new chips would be released to the public on the 7th of July. It's a relatively significant date as it purposely symbolizes the new 7nm TSMC process used in these chips.
Even though a release date has been given, we still don't fully understand everything the new chips have to offer and expect to see announcements made between now and July 7th which will provide further data. But let's not dwell on what we don't know, we have a tonne of information on Ryzen 3000 so let's jump right into that.
Ryzen 3000 CPU Specs
Let's take a moment to discuss some of the spec's surrounding the new chips and what that means for you as a consumer.
Firstly, let's get the socket situation out of the way. Back in 2016, AMD launched its AM4 socket motherboards and CPU's and made a statement saying they would be fully committed to the AM4 platform right through to 2020. After news of their new 3000 chips was leaked, consumers weren't sure whether or not they would stay true to that statement. However, AMD has recently announced that all new chips will be built upon the AM4 socket and will be compatible with older 300/400-series motherboards. Great news for those wanting to sample the new chips without fully upgrading their builds.
This being said, however, the new chips do come equipped with many features that simply won't function on older motherboards. PCI-e 4.0 is the first compatibility problem that springs to mind. Nonetheless, if you're looking to see what the new chips have to offer without physically upgrading your entire build, it's good to know they are compatible with those older boards.
Check the chart below to see a breakdown of the new chips and some of the core specs:
|CPU||Core/Threads||Base Clock||Boosted Clock||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||PCI-e 4.0||TDP|
|Ryzen 9 3950x||16C/ 32T||3.5GHz||4.7GHz||6MB||64MB||16+4+4||105W|
|Ryzen 9 3900x||12C / 24T||3.8GHz||4.6GHz||6MB||64MB||16+4+4||105W|
|Ryzen 7 3800x||8C / 16T||3.9GHz||4.5GHz||4MB||32MB||16+4+4||105W|
|Ryzen 7 3700x||8C / 16T||3.6GHz||4.4GHz||4MB||32MB||16+4+4||65W|
|Ryzen 5 3600x||6C / 12T||3.8GHz||4.4GHz||3MB||32MB||16+4+4||95W|
|Ryzen 5 3600||6C / 12T||3.6GHz||4.2GHz||3MB||32MB||16+4+4||65W|
No one will be surprised to see 8core/16 thread processors due to the fact that AMD has already released processors of similar ilk. However, thanks to the new chiplet design, AMD can now house 2 pieces of silicon onto one chip. Very exciting but what does that mean from a consumer point of view?
So in short, it basically means that AMD now has the ability to create chips with more cores than ever before. This is perfectly highlighted in their 3900x CPU which currently boasts 12cores and 24threads.
Because the chips can now house 2 pieces of silicon, they can fundamentally house twice the amount of cores than before, leading many to believe we will surely be seeing the first 16core domestic processors in the near future.
Another handsome feature is the power consumption of the new chips. As you can see from the slide above, the Ryzen 9, AMD's new flagship CPU, requires MUCH less power than it's main competitor the 9920X from Intel.
Cores and wattage aside, another noticeable improvement is in the cache. The Ryzen 9, for example, has a total cache of 70MB boasting 64mb of L3 and 6mb of L2 respectively. They also come with the first ever PCI-e 4.0 support meaning secondary hardware components now have the ability to produce much better performance.
Overall, everything we're hearing from the AMD camp sounds fantastic but leads us to believe the new hardware isn't going to be cheap. So let's waste no more time and jump into approximate costs.
Ryzen 3000 APU specs
The new Ryzen launch wouldn't be complete without a new line of APU's to boot. Luckily, AMD do no disappoint.
The fresh-faced 3200g & 3400g were announced at the latest 'Next Horizon Gaming' event and was live-streamed at E3 giving crowds information on the latest APU's (Accelerated Processing Unit) due for release. It takes no detective to work out that the new APU's are generational successors to the ever popular 2200g and 2400g.
|Model||Cores / Threads||Base Clock||Boost Clock||Graphics||TDP||Suggested Price|
|Ryzen 5 3400G||4 / 8||3.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||Radeon RX Vega 11||65W||$149|
|Ryzen 5 2400G||4 / 8||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||Radeon RX Vega 11||65W||$170|
|Ryzen 3 3200G||4 / 4||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||Radeon Vega 8||65W||$99|
|Ryzen 3 2200G||4 / 4||3.5 GHz||3.7 GHz||Radeon Vega 8||65W||$100|
As you can see from the table above, there isn't a huge difference between the new range and the old generation APU's. Slightly improved base & boost clock speeds are probably the most noticeable differences. Both new APU's make use of the same Vega 8/11 graphics as the 2nd gen chips, the TDP is the same as well. You'll also notice that the cores/thread count is exactly the same as well.
This being said, there are some subtle differences that separate the old and the new. The IGPU (Integrated Graphics Processing Unit) is now 150Mhz faster in both the 3200g & 3400g giving it further power over the 9400.
AMD released these benchmarking FPS figures over a number of different games where the 3400g makes light work of some popular game titles where the 9400 struggles.
Overall if figures are to be believed, the new range of APU's might completely destroy Intel's chances of selling another 9400. Especially when you consider the price that these processors might come tagged with once released.
Ryzen CPU Prices
So by now, you're probably trying to figure out exactly how much these CPU's are going to retail for and whether or not you'll be able to afford them... We asked the same questions but found ourselves pleasantly surprises with the announced prices.
Below is a table showing the approximate prices of the new CPU's:
|Ryzen 9 3900x||$499|
|Ryzen 7 3800x||$399|
|Ryzen 7 3700x||$329|
|Ryzen 5 3600x||$249|
|Ryzen 5 3600||$199|
If you're like us, you will no doubt be quite impressed with those prices especially when you start comparing them to CPU's currently available at the moment. Let's take the 3900x for example.
The 9900k currently retails at $489 making it $10 cheaper than the 3900x, however, Dr. Lisa Su forecasts that the 3900x performs 60% better than it in the multi-thread benchmarking. If these performance figures are to be believed, the markup they've been given is an absolute steal.
What Performance Can We Expect
Thanks to Zen2 and TSMC's 7nm process, performance expectations are set at an all-time high. Simply comparing it against zen+ brings a 15% IPC (Instructions per cycle) improvement amongst a whole plethora of other technological advancements.
Higher clock speeds, more cores, larger L3 cache, and memory latency are all areas that profit massively from the newly improved chip makeup. This not only makes them a significant step up over the 2000 chips but even surpasses their main rivals Intel.
The slide above was taken from Computex and clearly shows the difference in class between the new chips and the current flagship desktop chips. The 9900k, widely considered to be the best CPU for gamers in today's market, sees the 3900X have a 60% performance increase over itself. It even beats it by 1% in the single thread performance, something we have never seen from AMD.
Furthermore, during Dr. Su's keynote, an 8core/16thread 3000 chip was compared with the 9900k to give attendants an idea of how the chips would perform. Dr. Su specifically stated that the chip wasn't running at its final frequency which gives us all hope that when released on the 7th of July, will produce speeds much faster than we previously thought.
Multi-thread and single thread performance aside, the new chips consumed vastly less power consumption than similar level CPU's available today, boasting 26% less than the 9900K and the likes.
From a gaming perspective, AMD showed the excellence of the 3800X in an 'in-house' battle against the 2700x. We saw stats that would suggest an average of 20-25% performance increase across a range of games which peaked at 34% in League of Legends and CS:GO. This is mainly down to the higher cache, higher latency speeds, improved IPC and other architectural improvements.
An area that wasn't really discussed in Dr. Su's keynote was overclocking. I would have thought overclocking would be hugely implemented into the new chips due to the 2000 series being able to overclock so successfully. This being said, nothing was mentioned regarding this topic and we will simply have to wait to find out for ourselves.
Compatible Hardware Options
We've already covered the fact that the new chips will be compatible with older 300-400series motherboards, what we haven't covered is the new hardware which is going to be released alongside the 3000 series and what that have to offer.
So let's take a look:
The X570 is the newest generation of motherboard and will accommodate all the new features and benefits the 3000 series chips can throw at it. We've already seen a number of different x570's surface since the Ryzen 9 announcements and we expect to see up to 25 x570's in total.
The x570 chipset comes equipped with 16lanes which include 4 for the upstream connection to the CPU and an additional 12 for other devices such as GPUs and the likes.
Motherboard manufacturers clearly expect the 3000 chips to hit Intel hard as the new x570 boards can retail upwards of $600 and match their flagship Intel offerings.
PCI-e 4.0 is one of the biggest feature implementations to the new chips and boasts hugely impressive speeds over 3.0 respectively.
We saw SSD manufacturers promoting PCI-e 4.0 options at Computex before the boards had even been revealed which shows you the direction and hype these chips have created.
Another exciting new arrival to the AMD camp is the new Radeon 5700 XT GPU's. Built on the 7nm Navi architecture, these cards boast impressive performance stats which include 2560 cores, 8GB GDDR6 VRAM and 9.75 TFLOPs Compute power.
They will be released in late July and mark the new era of GPU's for AMD. They will come housing a hefty price tag but that has yet to be announced or speculated. Further good news about these new cards is that naturally, a knock-on effect will occur in GPU markups meaning we will be seeing much more affordable cards right across the board.
Will I Need A Bios Update?
So, as mentioned above, you can utilize your older 300/400 series motherboards with the brand new 3rd gen Ryzen chips. To do though, you will need to update your bios.
Updating your BIOS is a pretty easy task and requires you go to the motherboard manufacturer page and download the relevant update onto a flash drive then install on startup.
It's also worth getting CPU-Z to check what version your motherboard is currently running.
Here is a list of BIOS support links for a number of different motherboard manufacturers:
- ASRock AM4 (3rd Gen Ryzen) BIOS Support Link
- Gigabyte AM4 (3rd Gen Ryzen) BIOS Support Link
- ASUS AM4 (3rd Gen Ryzen) BIOS Support Link
- MSI AM4 (3rd Gen Ryzen) BIOS Support Link
- BIOSTAR AM4 (3rd Gen Ryzen) BIOS Support Link
All you need to do is click the manufacturer and search for your motherboard, then see if it needs a BIOS update.
Ryzen 9 3950X
The Ryzen 3950x is the latest CPU to be announced in the Ryzen 3rd generation lineup and has LITERALLY smashed previous benchmarking world records clean out of the water. This thing is an absolute beast.
- Cinebench R15: Ryzen 9 3950X with 5434 points (Previous WR: Core i9-9960X with 5320 points)
- Cinebench R20: Ryzen 9 3950X with 12167 points (Previous WR: Core i9-7960X with 10895 points)
- Geekbench 4: Ryzen 9 3950X with 65499 points (Previous WR: Core i9-7960X with 60991 points)
AMD announced the arrival of the 3950x at the latest E3 gaming show and set a release date for this September. It will come to shelves with an impressive 16 cores, 64MB L3 cache and a base clock speed of 3.5GHz. However, with the turbo boost enabled this will be increased to 4.7GHz.
Ryzen 9 3900x
Before the 3950x was announced, the 3900x was AMD's current flagship desktop CPU aimed towards gamers and enthusiasts alike. It didn't hold the crown for long, however, it will still be one of the most powerful CPUs available once released on the 7th July.
"Ryzen's 3900x has a whopping 60% Multi-thread performance boost over 9900k"
The 3900x will be boxed in a square Ryzen box very similar to the 2nd Gen boxes we have become so used to. It will boast an impressive 12 core makeup with 3.8Ghz Base clock and boosted clock of 4.6GHz respectively.
Ryzen 7 3800x
The 3800x is the next CPU in the lineup and comes to shelves, or soon will, with 8 cores/16 threads which currently run at 3.9GHz at base and 4.5GHz boost clock speed. AMD released some benchmarking results comparing it with the 9700K which can be seen below.
Impressive stats when you consider how far behind Ryzen were on a gaming front over the years.
Ryzen 7 3700x
Both the 3800x and the 3700x will share the same style packaging, only separated by a cut out to show you which CPU is inside. The 3700x again has 8cores and 16 threads which run at 3.6GHz base and 4.4GHz boost.
CPU benchmark has posted some interesting figures which compare the 3700x against 10 other CPU's.
As you can see from the top graph, the 3700x is far superior in the CPU benchmarking when compared with the 8700k.
Ryzen 5 3600x
Getting to the 3600x and below, we start to touch on what can be considered the budget range of CPU's. However, don't let the price fool you, both the 3600x & 3600 bost some hugely impressive benchmarking figures.
The packaging has changed for the 3600x & 3600 and now comes in a more rectangular, less vibrant box. Maybe to reflect the price tag? I'm not sure. I actually quite like it though.
To touch on specs, the 3600x has 6cores and 12threads which run at a base speed of 3.8GHZ and boosted to 4.4Ghz respectively. It will retail at $249 which we believe, is superb value for money, especially if the benchmarking figures are to be believed.
Ryzen 5 3600
Finally, we come to the final CPU in the list, and the most affordable if you aren't referencing the APU series which will be touched upon shortly.
The 3600 is, for me, the most anticipated because some benchmarking figures actually score the 3600 higher than the 9900k.
The 3600 has been rated at the top of the list when it comes to single thread performance which is really quite impressive when you consider it can be purchased for $199.
Clocks speeds read 3.6GHz base and 4.2GHz boost over 6 cores/12 threads.
Well, there you have it, our roundup of everything we currently know about AMD 3000 and the surrounding technology that comes with it. If rumors and figures are true, we might well see something I haven't personally seen in my lifetime, AMD surpassing Intel in the CPU race.
I suppose for now we can only make an educational guess, come the 7th of July however, those questions will be answered in full. Let the countdown commence.