AMD has always promised that it’s new Zen architecture is a core suitable for entry level x86 computers all the way up to high-performance server parts. Within that scale so far, AMD has launched EPYC, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 . The Ryzen 3 for entry level desktops, being launched today.
he two entry level parts are quad core Zen CPUs, targeting the $109 to $129 boundary and offering four full x86 cores for the same price Intel offers two cores with hyperthreading. The series includes two models, the Ryzen 3 1200 at $109 ( ₹6993 )and the 1300X priced at $129 ( ₹8277 ).
The $129 Ryzen 3 1300X has four cores and four threads with a base clock of 3.5GHz and boost clock of 3.7GHz. It can go up to 3.9GHz with XFR provided you ditch the stock Wraith Stealth cooler and get an aftermarket one like the new $59 Wreath Max with RGB lighting.
The $109 Ryzen 3 1200 also has four cores and four threads with a base clock of 3.1GHz and boost clock of 3.4GHz. Both have 65W TDP.
Both processors are based on the socket AM4 platform and compatible with motherboards using X370, B350 and A320 chipsets.
Value for Money:
Both Intel and AMD are comparable on platform price, where B250 and B350 motherboards respectively cost around the same. The big upswing for AMD here is going to be overclocking, and potentially push the Ryzen 3 CPUs through to compete with the next one up the stack depending on stock performance. By contrast Intel’s performance is going to be static, and Intel might argue that for entry level products, overclocking is rarely a consideration for the bulk and volume purchasing agreements at this level. Intel also has a slight advantage in having some integrated graphics, negating the need for a discrete GPU.
Ryzen 3 isn’t the fastest processor on the block, but it doesn’t need to be. AMD has scaled performance down quite a bit, harvesting chips that likely weren’t viable as higher performance parts. As with most budget processors, there are tradeoffs that need to be made, but Ryzen 3 competes well against Intel’s budget offerings.
As a general purpose CPU, Ryzen 3 often outperforms Intel’s Core i3 parts. The gaming story flips that around, with Core i3 clearly being a better performing gaming solution. But will you notice the difference between Core i3 and Ryzen 3 in games when using a budget graphics card, though? Not likely.
The best thing about Ryzen isn’t just that it’s competitive, but it’s forcing Intel to step up its game after resting on its laurels for much of the past decade. You can make a strong case for the Pentium G4560 with Hyper-Threading, 10-core i9-7900X with up to 18-core coming in October, an unlocked Core i3 part, and the 6-core Coffee Lake planned for Intel’s mainstream LGA1151 platform in early 2018 all being a response to Ryzen’s performance and value.
With the mainstream Ryzen parts now fully released, all that’s left now is for AMD to deliver some Ryzen APUs with integrated Vega graphics. Those are slated for release in the fall, and will use a completely different die. And now that we have a competitive AMD again, let’s hope Zen+ can build on the elements that make Ryzen good, and improve on the areas where performance is still a bit low.