The transition to PC gaming has been an interesting one, particularly as someone who has become accustomed to primarily playing on a console. When it comes to gaming on a PC, second to only the graphics card, a good CPU is a must, particularly for those who are into the emulation scene. So it’s no surprise then, that when AMD sent one of their XT line of Ryzen based processors for review, I jumped at the chance to look at the AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT eight-core CPU.
The AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT CPU is based on the existing Zen 2 Architecture possibly making it one of the last iterations of this chipset before the jump to a new standard. The 3800XT features PCIe 4.0 compatibility, ensuring users the latest in connectivity and higher bitrate transfer limits. For my build, I went with the ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard, paired with 32GBs of DDR4 RAM and a Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB graphics card. One thing that should be noted about the Ryzen 7 3800XT is that unlike past offerings from AMD, this particular chip does not ship with an included cooler, so in terms of cooling, I went with a Noctua Chromax Black, 120mm fan.
One key feature of AMD’s 3800XT versus last year’s 3000X line of Ryzen CPUs is the higher turbo clock speeds at 3.9Ghz, peaking at 4.7Ghz, a 200Mhz gain from the previous iteration. Overall, not substantial increase but one that in essence maxes out every last drop of AMD’s current Zen 2 architecture, while still coming in at a reasonable asking price.
Before jumping into some game benchmarks, let’s look at some purely CPU bound stats using the latest version of Cinebench. Unsurprisingly, the test took only about a minute to complete, yielding an impressive 5023 CPU score, while single-core results were still relatively high at a score of 524 points and an MP ratio of 9.59x, something that should prove to provide a nice boost for those looking into emulating newer consoles.
Now, in moving into some real-world tests with game benchmarks, I’ve selected a couple of games that tend to rely heavily on not a good GPU but also fast processor. First up, I thought I would try something a little bit easier, a game that takes advantage of the Vulkan API, that game being, Doom Eternal. With everything maxed out, in terms of detail and a resolution of 1440p, the game ran at in a rock-solid 120FPS, even when loading in new areas or spawning in after a death screen.
The next game I benchmarked was Cities Skylines, a title I seldom play but one that features a lot of dense detail in any given time. Upon loading up an old save, even with a large city in place, the game ran comfortably at around 140fps. With dips to about 130 FPS in a few situations, like when adding geometry or zooming into the map.
Another game I often see benchmarked when looking at CPU usage is the Civilization series of RTS titles, and with the recently free copy of Civ IV on Epic, I had to test it out for this review. The game itself runs at around 90FPS, but for a game such as Civilization, the metrics matter more when looking at the average turn time. The Ryzen 7 3800XT clocked in at a solid 7.59 on high settings at 1440p when running the benchmark option.
For the last couple of tests, I wanted to look at the 3800XT’s emulation capabilities, one of the main reasons I wanted to make the jump to PC outside of content creation. Instead of focusing on tried and tested emulators that I am familiar with, I wanted to try newer console emulation, specifically the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii U.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 for a long time, was notorious for being difficult to emulate due its proprietary cell processor, but in recent years the RPCS3 emulator has shown great progress in not only being fit to run most popular PlayStation 3 titles, but do so in ways that exceed the performance possible on the actual hardware.
For my test, I stuck to two games, Persona 5 and Demon’s Souls. Starting things off with the more traditional RPG, Persona 5 is a game that utilizes turn-based combat, making it the perfect candidate for a not too intensive but still demanding title for testing. Sure enough, the game on the 3800XT runs perfectly at 30fps, but more impressive is its ability to render the game at 60fps with a resolution of 1440p. In terms of latency, the only notable issue I had was with asset streaming, with some textures taking a moment to load in fully, but once loaded for the first time, seemed to stick and offer a consistent experience, both in the overworld and in the dungeons and battles.
Moving on, with the announcement of a Demon’s Souls remake, I wanted to see just how well the original title could hold up when thrown at the 3800XT. Like Persona before it, Demon’s Souls seemed to run perfectly at 1440p at 30fps and when patched to run at 60fps, the game ran almost perfect, with frames ever only dropping, momentarily when colliding with heavy physics-based objects, such as barrels and background fodder.
In conclusion, both Persona 5 and Demon’s Souls are very playable, with both outperforming their native hardware specs with only minor hiccups that mar an otherwise stellar experience.
To cap things off, I wanted to try one more game, this time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. After some time building the cache through the CEMU Wii U emulator, the game at 1440p with an fps mod ran at a fairly consistent 72fps on average, peaking at around 110-120 in less busy areas. I did notice some frame drops, but only as low as 45-55, mostly when streaming in new data. Again, like RPCS3 from earlier, Zelda on CEMU ran great and highlighted the performance end-users can expect out of the CPU.
The AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT CPU Review is a great choice for most users, offering enough performance to get through the majority of real-world tasks promptly, and especially a solid fit for gamers, with excellent performance across the board.