With the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, AMD is squeezing Zen 2-silicon into the mainstream budget desktop market with devastating effects. This $120 quad-core processor supports up to eight processing threads and continues the tradition of its original Zen predecessors and stronger Ryzen 5 brothers, setting a new standard for affordable desktop processors used by gamers and PC developers who want to get more by spending less money. The Ryzen 3 3300X is one of two new chips released today. The other is the equally fascinating Ryzen 3 3100. Both represent all that AMD is doing well in 2020. The company also used this to launch the next AMD B550 chipset. This gives amateur content producers and multiplayer gamers the performance they need with a new version of an even more affordable budget. The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X offers developers and mainstream gamers a new level of CPU pricing and upgrades to compatible AMD AM4 motherboards, a new low-cost upgrade option. For all of these people, our editorial team has chosen the best actual-generation budget processor currently available.
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AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Specs
|Base Clock Frequency||3.8 GHz|
|Maximum Boost Clock||4.3 GHz|
|Socket Compatibility||AMD AM4|
|L3 Cache Amount||16 MB|
|Thermal Design Power (TDP) Rating||65 watts|
|Bundled Cooler||AMD Wraith Stealth|
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: The Position and the Platform
First, an overview of the current status of AMD’s third-generation Ryzen desktop processors. Ryzen 3 processors are at the end of the stack. All of these chips are based on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 process technology, so Ryzen 3 “G” series processors based on the company’s next-generation Zen processors are not listed here.
With the introduction of the Zen 2 chipset last year, there was a new series of motherboards based on the new AMD X570 chipset and with the much-discussed PCI Express 4.0 (PCIe 4.0) bus standard.
While opinions differ almost a year after they were launched, the usefulness of PCIe 4.0 for the average user is greater, the faster the better, everyone else is the same. Although only a small percentage of PCIe 4.0’s high-end M.2 solid-state drives (SSDs) are currently used, it’s always a good idea to have future-looking technology. And these two new Ryzen 3 chips, like other 3rd generation Ryzen desktop chips, are PCIe 4.0 compatible when installed on a newer model AMD AM4 socket motherboard.
In other words, for speed lovers trying to keep costs down, investing in the AMD X570 platform, which is the only current platform on AMD’s AM4 interface, is connected to PCIe 4.0 might be a big leap. Who has motherboards in our budget? First, these new Ryzen 3 chips will work on existing AM4 motherboards as long as the motherboard manufacturer’s BIOS supports the new chips. (You have to check). Older AMD AM4 interface cards, such as those based on the B450 and A320 chipsets, are not PCIe 4.0, but for most price-conscious buyers, this doesn’t matter.
With the arrival of this, however, new boards based on the new AMD B550 chipset are expected, which include some of the outstanding features of the X570: PCIe 4.0 support and support for USB 3.2 gen 2 interface and dual GPU support. At the same time, some things were added that made it more expensive for enthusiasts, such as the CPU chipset uplink, which was also based on PCIe 4.0.
The new B550-based boards, which are due to be released on June 16, are intended to unlock the potential at minimum cost and give PC gamers and creators the opportunity to create a sustainable budget desktop for the future. The future-proof is based on technologies that may not have many real applications in today’s software environment but may become relevant in the near future.
And while AMD is launching a new board with a new chipset, the chipmaker has at least not specifically insisted on buying a new motherboard to upgrade to the latest budget option like Intel. With the introduction of tenth generation core chips (including the Core i3-10100 from the competition), Intel is also switching to a new chipset, all of which are connected to the new LGA 1200 interface. This means that people who want to buy with a budget must also include the cost of the new motherboard in the next build, while loyal AMD (and AM4) users can use just about any motherboard available, provided there is BIOS compatibility with the new ones Ryzen 3 models.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Why Late Arrival?
The launch of Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X is very similar to the reverse echo of the AMD “Navi” graphics launch on July 7th last year. In its GPU strategy (supported by AMD’s then-new Radeon DNA architecture), AMD advocated an “in-between” approach when the Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT were first released, which was a new direction represents for the company followed by budget options like the Radeon RX 5500 XT and the Radeon RX 5600 XT in the fall. On the other hand, the Ryzen processors released on July 7 were almost all high-performance segment versions from the start.
At the time of launch, the Ryzen 5 3600 was the lowest Zen 2-based Ryzen processor, a $199 six-core/12-thread gaming engine with a clock speed of 3.6 GHz. It really made sense because most PC games, except for extreme cases like the Civilization series, don’t know what to do with more than six cores at the same time. Since then, Ryzen’s stack has only gotten more impressive. Mega-core monsters like the Ryzen 9 3950X control games and content creation like nothing before on the main platform. (And we’re not even talking about Ryzen’s huge, muscular cousin, the third-generation Ryzen Threadripper.)
When Ryzen launched last year, the only two new quad-core chips it introduced were the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G, chips with an integrated graphics processor (IGP) on the board, both based on the previous production process of 12nm.
At this point, the price of a quad-core/eight-threaded processor (Ryzen 5 3400G) would start at $149. (Technically, there was a Ryzen 3 2300X quad-core/quad system, but only as an OEM part that was used by manufacturers. AMD still sells the first-generation Quad-Core Ryzens like the Ryzen 3 1300X.) Now the price has reached a third and costs only $99 for the Ryzen 3 3100. The new Ryzen 3 retail without IGP has been launched three years ago. Why are these two Ryzen 3 chips so far from the rest of the Zen 2-based pack?
This may be related to AMD’s earnings for Zen 2. Our assumptions are plausible given the rumors of an excellent Zen 2 take. Typically, a chipmaker expects a certain percentage of the return of “approved” chips for a particular processor design, of which a sufficient number are defective. A path that makes them a perfect opening for smaller locations in the chip family. For discussion: The die originally developed for the Ryzen 9 3900X should only pass its quality assurance test by 66 percent since four of the 12 cores do not fire as they should. In this case, instead of damaging the chip, AMD can lock four of the 12 cores provided and name it Ryzen 9 3800X with eight cores. And before you let yourself be fooled by the quality of the parts, this “binning” process is an industry practice … no harm, no mistakes.
The underlying chip architecture, which forms the basis for all Zen 2 processors, offers AMD an advantage when it comes to which chips smake it into which sections of the stack through binning. Therefore it is possible (and again: our assumptions!). The reason why we didn’t see the Ryzen 3 3300X or 3100 in 2019 is that the chipset design worked so well that last July the company may not have enough silicon down-binned silicon to launch four-core parts with!
If that’s true, then, of course, that’s a good problem. But after third-generation Ryzen chips were in the market for almost a year, the company finally brought Zen 2 to the low end, opening opportunities for budget PC upgrades and builders to get the greatest possible bang for their money.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Intel Vs AMD
Despite the value, no chip release would be complete without comparison with Intel. Intel to the Ryzen 3 3300X and Ryzen 3100 now available in the market, the closest comparable desktop processors appear to be the next-gen Core i3-10100 or the current Core i3-9100 respectively.
All four chips in this price range are designed for 65 watts of TDP. Like Ryzen 5 3600, another possible reference to the down-binning discussed above. While both Intel’s are equipped with integrated graphics (the generic UHD Graphics 630, which is enough to run Fortnite in the lowest possible configuration), the two new Ryzen 3s don’t have IGP at this level. This means that you will need to purchase a video card to use it.
Now AMD may face (or perhaps stay) in really tough competition with the upcoming release of the 10th generation Intel Core desktop processors (“Comet Lake-S”), which is expected this month. As you can see from the launch summary below, several of them are quad-core processors designed to compete against each other in the current batch of Ryzen 3 chips in terms of specs and pricing.
The fear is that the performance improvements over Intel may be present today, but with this writing (because we can only compare these Ryzen 3 versions with the 9th generation Intel Core chips) this lead could be reduced or disappear in a few weeks when the Intel chips launch. We can’t say for sure what can happen, but we assumed at an early stage that the market budget segment can see more value than anywhere else with the advantage of AMD’s 7nm lithograph over the 14nm advantage of Intel,
On the other hand, Intel closes another gap in this CPU segment, if not in terms of process technology: the number of threads. The ninth-generation low and mid-range desktop chips do not support thread-doubling Hyper-Threading, so the ninth-generation Core i3s were quad-core/four-thread chips. On tenth-generation Comet Lake S chips, Core i3 chips are now quad-core/eight-threaded chips, meaning that in applications where this matters, they are likely to perform much better than relatives of the previous generation.
Regardless of what happens with the end benchmarks, the new AMD processors have a decisive advantage over Intel. As they are compatible with all AM4 socket-based motherboards if manufacturers offer a compatible BIOS, while the 10th generation will work on the new LGA 1200 interface. This opens up numerous existing motherboard options for budget buyers in the used and refurbished markets, as well as new mid-range B550 motherboards that are on the way for just over a month. As mentioned above, if you’re willing to give up on PCIe 4.0, you’ll also find the latest generation of cheap chipsets, some under $60.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: CPU Performance
For the test setup, we installed the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X on the AM4 motherboard MSI MEG X570 Godlike (our standard test bench for the 3rd generation Ryzen) and used two DIMMs with 16 GB memory at 3000 MHz. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Ti handled video output during the CPU test. (As mentioned earlier, like other Ryzen desktops that don’t end with “G”, these Zen 2-based Ryzens have no graphics on the chip, so a graphics card is required.) We use the AMD’s stock Wraith CPU cooler installed the components ADATA XPG Invader chassis.
We test the processors using various synthetic benchmarks as well as real tests with consumer applications like 7-Zip and 3D games like Far Cry 5. The following tables show several competitors at similar prices and sibling CPUs. However, you can see one out of place: Intel Core i7-7700K. Where does it come from?
Well, AMD suggested that the Ryzen 3 3300X should compete with this flagship Intel quad-core processor three years ago in CPU testing. (Key: This chip debuted at around $400 at the time!)
One of the most common predictors of relative CPU performance is the Cinebench R15 benchmark, which provides a good overview of the performance of many different types of demanding applications. It is a CPU-centric test that measures the performance of both the core processor and multi-core processor when loaded. The resulting scores are property numbers that represent the characteristics of the processor in the production of a complex 3D image.
It was no secret last year that AMD tends to beat Intel in desktop chips when it comes to multi-threaded tasks. This trend continues at low-end chips like the Ryzen 3 3100 outperforms the Core i3-9100 by almost 30 percent, and the Ryzen 3 3300X extend the line even further. (We need to see what happens to the tenth generation Hyper-Threads Core i3 if we can get it our hands.) The 3300X also responded to the Core i7 2017.
We will use an older version of Apple’s iTunes to encode a series of music tracks for real-world single-core performance. In our test series, it only remains representative of old software that we all use from time to time and that is not optimized for multi-core.
As well as AMD winning multi-threaded missions, Intel chips tend to be stronger in single-thread performance battles, as shown above. Nevertheless, it was a close competition with the Core i3-9100.
The POV-Ray benchmark is a highly threaded synthetic rendering test that provides a second opinion on the Cinebench results. In this test, ray tracing is used to produce a three-dimensional image. (Please note that the ray-tracing functions of Nvidia’s RTX-GPUs are not used. This is exclusively CPU oriented.)
Let’s go back to multithreading (blue bars) and go back to the victories of the Ryzen 3 3300X with the Core i3-9100 and once again: the latent parallelism with the Core i7-7700K.
As an all-core rendering benchmark, the Handbrake test is an excellent indicator of how well the processor is performing tasks such as video editing, video rendering, and video conversion, as these types of applications tend to chew all the cores and the threads they can get in their teeth …
The handbrake shows that more threads mean more power for video rendering, and that’s again the win for the Ryzen 3300X over the Core i3-9100.
At the same time, the shorter Blender test, as it is carried out with our test, is primarily useful to emphasize the big differences between low-end and high-end chips and the similarities between the two classes of chips.
Here the chip is in the range of Ryzen 5 3600 in terms of capability, and there is a small gap between them so that it can only be recognized in the largest renders. The Core i3 was 6 seconds away, not absolutely large, but relatively large.
And here is a 7-Zip file compressor benchmark, another heavy-threaded and CPU intensive task …
… The Ryzen 3 3300X shows that AMD is way ahead of the ninth-generation Intel Core i3 in terms of putting the maximum cores at play when it comes to simpler tasks like zipping or unzipping files. These tenth generation Core i3 chips may not arrive early enough.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Overclocking
Overclock all the cores??? if you can. Typically, this is the part of the review where we talk about the various performance gains (or potential losses) that we saw when overclocking the sample. But the Ryzen 3 3300X has some limitations this time.
First, when testing the third-generation Ryzen stack, we found that these chips tend to reach their limits out of the box and leaves limited space for stable overclocking. Next, like most third-generation chips, the Ryzen 3 3300X comes with a stock cooler (mandatory if you’re trying to save money). As such, it’s not ideal for the cooling requirements of the overclocked 3300X.
Finally, during testing, we found that the Ryzen Master‘s automatic overclocking setting was not “accepting” due to the 3300X’s unique CCX design. (However, AMD points out that this should be fixed in a future software version “in the coming weeks”.) We did not consider it tedious to manually overclock the chip on the stock cooler. For serious overclocking, we recommend an aftermarket cooler, which will definitely get you closer to the price of a more powerful processor. Conclusion: If you buy a 3300X for overclocking, just spend the extra $50 and buy a Ryzen 5 3600X instead, unless you already have a fancy AM4-compatible cooler.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Gaming Performance
While the high-end of the third-gen Ryzen stack is more than just a tip for gaming, the quad-core/eight-thread budget CPU is in a very good position to become the next big processor, that can power Fortnite, and CS:GO machines from around the world together with a complimentary graphics card.
We used a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition to show extreme features with the GPU turned off. (Using the RTX 2080 Ti is also a good example of how a processor can limit chip-to-chip performance in some cases.)
As expected, the Ryzen 3 3300X performs almost as well (if not slightly better sometimes) from the Ryzen 5 3600 in terms of gaming and performs better in CS:GO, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Far Cry 5.
The chip also breaks this critical 240fps hurdle in Rainbow Six: Siege and crashes to the finish line with a score of 271fps at 1080p. If you are trying to put together a multiplayer gaming machine that saves as much money as possible, you can spend the rest on a good GPU and a very high refresh rate monitor like the ViewSonic Elite XG270, the Ryzen 3 3300X is a strong foundation for building a PC in the years to come.
Remember again: Ryzen 3 3300X or Ryzen 3 3100 does not have IGP. This means you need a separate GPU to pair (of course, a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti over $ 1,000 like ours, maybe an overkill for the budget buyer) for the system to work, but that shouldn’t be a problem for gamers or developers who buy this chip specifically so they can put the rest of the savings on the graphics card. Core/thread hunters who want to save money and not into gaming could consider the Ryzen 5 3400G with IGP.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Review: Final Verdict
Compared to Intel and Nvidia, AMD could sit comfortably in its image for years as a “cheap” choice for the CPU and GPU world. Not necessarily the one who would win all the performance tests, but who still offers good value at a low price level.
The launch of the third-generation Ryzen in 2019 changed all of this. AMD (in most use cases) quickly became the winner of the mainstream desktop in both price and performance segments over Intel. Now, in early 2020, releases like the Ryzen 3 3300X are more than a surprise. But it’s not better than expected: the chip is very good for the price.
Now we don’t know what exact firepower Intel 10th generation processors will bring, but pairing should be interesting on paper. The Ryzen 3 3300X costs $120 compared to parts that start at $ 122 and rise from there, but at least with the same number of core and thread for now. Until these parts are released by Intel, the problem with AMD is that it competes hard against itself. Prior to this release, the only way to create a Zen 2-based AMD-based gaming desktop with “budget” was to buy a Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 5 3600X (preferably an upgrade to an AM4 board that you already own to save even more money) and leave every extra penny on the GPU.
Since the Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100 perform almost as well in many games as both Ryzen 5 brands in-game benchmarks (if not slightly better than in some cases), AMD has the Ryzen 5 line virtually in the role of the “mid-range Creator’s” processor. This is something but not as important as “players who want to build a good gaming desktop on a budget”. The Ryzen 3 3300X resolutely takes the crown off the Ryzen 5.
It will be interesting to see what performance future chips like the Core i3-10100 will offer on Intel’s side in a few weeks to compete with AMD at this price. But at least for the time being, AMD is the king of its budget castle.