Although we've only just learned official information about Ryzen 3, it feels like we already know everything there was to know about AMD's new R3 1200 and 1300X after running simulated benchmarks last week. Today we get to see how accurate those preliminary results were and get to match those impressions with finalized pricing.
As before, the Ryzen 3 1300X will operate at a base frequency of 3.5GHz with a boost frequency of 3.7GHz, while the slightly lower-end 1200 drops that to 3.1GHz with a 3.4GHz boost. Both parts are unlocked, so the pricier 1300X seems less attractive to us at $130, which is only $40 away from the SMT-enabled R5 1400. At $110, the R3 1200 offers $60 in savings over the R5 1400 and seems like a better buy for budget builders.
We're curious to see how much slower the SMT-less Ryzen 3 processors are, particularly when compared to similarly priced Intel CPUs. Doing this is a little tricky because as we explained before, Intel's CPUs make little sense here and the $80 Pentium G4560 eliminates everything right up to the $190 Core i5-7400. In other words, everything priced below $180 in Intel's current lineup is pointless, including the company's entire Kaby Lake Core i3 range.
We're also wondering how much overclocking will affect the overall picture (teaser: using the Wraith Stealth box, the Ryzen 3 1200 hit 3.9GHz while the 1300X offered 4.0GHz). Assuming they can outpace the locked 7400 and 7500, AMD's new entry-level chips should be sitting comfortably at their $110 and $130 MSRPs.
Synthetic & Application Benchmarks
First up, memory performance and a few quick notes. When I put together the simulated Ryzen 3 article, I used DDR4-2933 with the Ryzen 5 1400 (SMT-disabled) as I noted that it was likely that Ryzen 3 CPUs would have a hard time running with faster memory. So far this has indeed been the case as neither the 1300X or 1200 would boot using the DDR4-3200 XMP setting.
So I was forced to run at DDR4-2933 and this was also the case with my Ryzen 5 1500X and 1400 CPUs as well. Nonetheless performance was decent and we saw over 34GB/s of memory bandwidth. That figure was boosted to around 35.5GB/s once the CPUs were overclocked.
We have the first CPU-related benchmark here, in which Ryzen 3 1200 shows fairly weak single thread performance, coupled with reasonably decent multi-threaded performance. The higher clocked 1300X made out bit better, matching the single thread performance of the Core i5-7600 with slightly weaker multi-threaded performance.
After being overclocked, both Ryzen 3 CPUs achieve similar scores as they were running at a similar frequency. Both were faster than the i5-7500 for both the single and multi-threaded tests.
For those interested in compression and decompression work, in 7-Zip the 1200 was a good bit faster than the Pentium G4560 but slower than the Core i3-7350K. The 1300X was much more impressive as it beat the i3-7350K and edged out the i5-7500. Once overclocked, both Ryzen 3 CPUs sat comfortably ahead of the i5-7500.
In our Microsoft Excel 2016 test the 1300X did well to match the lower-clocked 1400 while the 1200 trailed the i3-7350K but it was much faster than the G4560. We squeezed a little more out of the Ryzen 3 CPUs via overclocking but even so the 1300X still trailed the i5-7500 by a small margin.
Moving on, we have the first of four PCMark 10 test suits that we're going to look at. The data here is arranged by the video conferencing results and here the Ryzen 3 CPUs slot in between the Pentium G4560 and Core i3-7350K. Once overclocked they moved ahead of the Core i5-7500.
The productivity test has been arranged by the spreadsheets results and here the Ryzen 3 CPUs sat at the bottom of our graph behind the G4560. They make up considerable ground with overclocking in this test, however, and are now able to match the Ryzen 5 1600X and Core i5-7500.
This graph has been arranged by the photo editing result and here the Ryzen 3 CPUs do well with the 1300X nearly matching the Core i5-7500. Once overclocked, both the 1200 and 1300X pulled ahead to deliver 1500X-like performance.
The Ryzen 3 1200 was slightly faster than the G4560 in our video editing test while the 1300X sat between the i5-7500 and i3-7350K -- the higher-clocked Core i3 CPU was the faster of the two. Overclocking boosted Ryzen 3's performance significantly and we are now seeing Core i7-7700K-like performance in this test.
Rendering and Encoding Benchmarks
The Ryzen 3 1200 wasn't much faster than the G4560 in the Corona benchmark, but the 1300X was a good bit faster and even managed to beat the i3-7350K -- in fact, it wasn't much slower than the i5-7500.
Overclocking didn't help improve the 1300's score by a noteworthy margin though it was now faster than the i5-7500, as was the 1200, so a good result for the budget Ryzen 3 processors.
The Ryzen 3 1200 isn't that much slower than the i3-7350K in Blender while it's significantly faster than the G4560. The 1300X was faster than the i3-7350K and now much slower than the i7-7500. Unfortunately, the overclocked 1300X was only able to match a i5-7500. Given the stock performance, I thought it would pull ahead here.
Moving to HandBrake, the Ryzen 3 CPUs beat Intel's Pentium and Core i3 range but even overclocked it didn't have enough in the tank to match the Core i5 series.
For content creators on a budget, Ryzen looks to be a god send, especially once overclocked. At stock settings the 1200 roughly matched the i3-7350K while the 1300X sat between the 7350K and i5-7500. After overclocking though, the 1300X beat the i5-7500 and wasn't much slower than the Ryzen 5 1400.
Let's see how Ryzen 3 stacks up when gaming. Please note that I have dropped Mafia III because it's been hugely inconsistent over the past few months and yet another patch recently changed things for Ryzen again. I'm now seeing much better performance from Ryzen, similar to what I was seeing months ago, but now the game has other performance glitches so rather than waste anymore time on it I simply removed the title.
Battlefield 1 reveals some interesting results. Out of the box the Ryzen 3 CPUs did great, particularly when looking at the minimum frame rate which is considerably better than that of Intel's dual-core, Hyper-threaded G4560 and 7350K. After being overclocked, the Ryzen 3 CPUs managed to match the Core i5-7500.
Again we see strong gaming performance for Ryzen 3, this time in Hitman. Here both the 1200 and 1300X easily beat the G4560 while they are roughly on par with the i5-7500. Once overclocked, they're able to overtake the 7500 and deliver a similar experience to the quad-core, SMT-enabled 1400 and 1500X CPUs.
Finishing up the game benchmarks we have some disappointing results in Ashes of the Singularity. It seems the lack of SMT support really hurts Ryzen in this title. Even with overclocking, the Ryzen 3 CPUs were quite a bit slower than the Core i5-7500 and their SMT enabled quad-core parts.
Power & Temperatures
Thanks to its relatively low clock speeds, the Ryzen 3 1200 was light on the go juice with a total system consumption of just 87 watts in our Excel test. Conversely, the 1300X was quite a bit thirstier than you would expect based on the 1200's results.
Although the 1200 is clocked 8-10% lower, it consumed 26% less power when measuring total system draw. The reason for this is that my Asrock board was running the R3 1200 at a much lower voltage than the 1300X and this really helps to reduce consumption. They were closer once overclocked but again I was able to hit 3.9GHz using less voltage than what it took for the 1300X to hit 4.0GHz.
The Cinebench R15 power consumption results are more what I was expecting, that said the 1200 still consumed 17% less power when comparing the total system figures. This put the 1200 on par with the i3-7350K and i5-7500. After overclocking, consumption was still tame and the 1300X system only hit 120 watts.
For temperature testing Ryzen 3 I used its bundled Wraith Stealth cooler which makes the most sense to me, though there are $20 coolers that will enable even lower temps if you find the need.
Out of the box the 1300X peaked at 62 degrees when stressing the CPU, FPU and cache whereas the 1200 hit only 55 degrees. It's worth noting that if we only stressed the CPU, which I feel is a more realistic test, the 1300X maxed out just 49 degrees and only 42 degrees for the 1200. Those are amazing results for a box cooler under heavy load.
When overclocked, the 1200's idle temps were in the low 30s and stressing only the CPU saw temps max out at just 52 degrees while stressing the CPU+FPU+cache saw temps touch on 72 degrees, though 67 degrees was the norm here. I was still using the default fan curve and I would describe the Wraith Stealth as being quiet, which is probably the most shocking part.
Clocked at 4GHz, the 1300X and its extra voltage required the Wraith Stealth's fan to be max out, but even spinning at a full 2600 RPMs the cooler isn't hideously loud. Stressing just the CPU saw temps hit a manageable 63 degrees, but adding stress to the FPU and cache saw peaks of 92 degrees with an average of 83 degrees.
All in all some incredibly good results from the Wraith Stealth when overclocking these Ryzen 3 CPUs.
Price vs. Performance
Before wrapping things up let's take a quick look at a few price vs. performance scatter plots. Please note that we are just comparing CPU prices here, which doesn't take into account additional costs like the need for a cooler with Intel's K-series for example.
This graph is quite telling, isn't it? For those of you wondering what you're looking at, the further right a plot is the better its performance, while the lower a plot goes the cheaper it is, which is to say that processors want to be situated as far right and as low as possible.
The overclocked R3 1200 achieves precisely that, costing half as much as the Core i5-7500 while being only a little bit slower, not to mention that it's cheaper than the Core i3-7350K yet much faster when comparing minimum frame rates. The overclocked 1300X was slightly faster but also more expensive, so the 1200 is clearly the better value choice here.
Moving to HandBrake we see that the scatter plot is again dominated by red dots in all the right spots -- sorry about that. Intel puts up more of a fight this time but for quite a bit less cash than the Core i3-7350K, the R3 1200 delivers a smidgen more performance. Overclocked, the 12000 pulls well ahead of the i3-7350K. Of course you can also overclock the Intel chip but once you factor in the cost of a cooler and a motherboard with an overclocking-enabled chipset, the price vs. performance ratio favors AMD.
Lastly we have Premiere Pro CC and here the red team comes out in force. At its stock settings the R3 1200 isn't particularly impressive but looks considerably stronger once overclocked, particularly its render times. After being boosted, the R3 1200 isn't much slower than the Core i5-7500 and again at almost half the price that's a great result. Looking at this scatter plot, it's pretty clear that Ryzen is great for content creators.
Last week we checked out simulated Ryzen 3 performance by disabling SMT on the R5 1400 and adjusting its clock speeds. At the time, we were working on the assumption that the leaked pricing info was accurate, which would see the R3 1200 priced at just $110 with the R3 1300X coming in at $130. As fate would have it, those figures were indeed correct.
Based on previous findings, I thought that Ryzen 3 looked like it was going to be a decent proposition yet I wasn't overly excited by what I saw. Sure, it beat Intel's Core i3 and locked i5 processors, but compared to SMT-enabled Ryzen 5 quad-cores, it seemed smarter to spend a little more on an eight-threaded part such as the R5 1400.
I previously wasn't sure what kind of cooler we'd get in the package and what kind of overclocking performance we could expect. However, we now have all the facts. As it turns out, Ryzen 3 is packaged with the Wraith Stealth, which did a commendable job throughout testing and allowed us to achieve 3.9GHz on the 1200 and 4.0GHz for the 1300X.
The fact that these overclocks were achievable using nothing more than the humble box cooler is amazing and it certainly adds a lot of value to these chips, especially given that the Core i3-7350K doesn't come with a cooler at all and currently retails for $150.
The Pentium G4560 still puts forward a strong case for budget builders at its $64 MSRP, but it's currently $80 in the US (a 25% markup) and out of stock in Australia. That's a shame because the chip is super efficient and enables playable performance in all the latest titles using an entry-level or mid-range graphics card.
To regurgitate a portion of our simulated Ryzen 3 article...
"If you are aiming for the cheapest possible gaming build with a basic B350 board, 8GB of DDR4 memory, a GeForce GTX 1050, a 500GB Seagate FireCuda along with a cheap case and PSU, you'd save 18% on the entire build cost by opting for the R3 1200 over the R5 1600 and you'd be getting half as much L3 cache, two less cores and eight less threads.
For those wondering, the same system would be just 10% cheaper with the R3 1200 versus the SMT-enabled R5 1400, so spending more seems worth it here. Overall, the Ryzen 3 1200 should deliver relatively strong results at $110 for those who are hellbent on spending as little as possible."
Given that 1300X only produced an additional 100MHz overclock (probably a best case scenario over the 1200), I don't think spending an extra $20 is worth it. Folks considering the 1300X might as well buy the Ryzen 5 1400 for its SMT support, or the six-core R5 1600 on the pricier end of things.
The 1200 is a ripper once overclocked, often delivering 1500X-like performance in games. Of course, you could overclock the 1500X for even more performance but that's somewhat beside the point.
Closing out our official Ryzen 3 coverage, it still seems like the biggest challenge this series faces is AMD's own Ryzen 5 lineup. On that note, there is much more testing to be done. Coming up soon, I want to benchmark a wider range of GPUs and I'm also keen to compare the R3 1200 against the R5 1400 in mid-range gaming with both clocked at 2.9GHz.
Pros: The R3 1200 overclocks well (even for a Ryzen CPU) and doing so put it nearly on par with the i5-7500. Overclocking is enabled by low temps, low power consumption along with a great box cooler. Beats anything Intel has at the same price points.
Cons: The R3 1300X is less attractive than the 1200 considering it costs $20 more and only overclocks another 100MHz.