For PC users who are budget conscious, many brands of CPU may cost a bit more than they are willing to dish out—AMD has answered the prayers of budget users with the new line of Ryzen 3 CPUs, which are aimed at users looking for a powerful CPU without breaking the bank.
We had a chance to test out both the Ryzen 3 1200 and 1300X models. Both models feature 4 cores and 4 threads but lack the simultaneous multi-threading that their bigger siblings have. The Ryzen 3 1200 has a 3.1GHz base clock speed that can be boosted to 3.4GHz if needed. On the other hand, the Ryzen 3 1300X starts at 3.5GHz and can be boosted up to 3.7GHz. During testing, we never boosted the CPUs, but that speaks to the power that they brought with base clock speeds.
The direct competitors for the Ryzen 3 series would be the Intel i3 series of CPUs. Both are the budget models for each hardware giant and both are aimed at the same market. While the Ryzen 3 series features the aforementioned 4 cores and threads, the Intel i3 line only features 2 cores and 4 threads. This means that even before we began testing, AMD had already set itself up for success in the budget CPU category.
To test these CPUs, we paired them with a Radeon RX 570 Series GPU, which meant that we had plenty of graphical power ready and available. Any benchmarks that we noted would be reflections of the CPU—not directly influenced by the GPU. Alongside that, the base cooler that came with the Ryzens was left in the box. We didn’t want to limit the CPUs in any way during testing so we provided them with the tools they needed to shine.
Getting started, we looked at how the chips scored in Cinebench R15. The 1300X scored a decent 84 fps in Open GL. It also scored 484 cb on the CPU test. Meanwhile, the 1200 scored a slightly lower 439 cb. Over in 3DMark, the 1300X achieved a total score of 3619 while the 1200 scored a 3541. These numbers are lower than the other models in the Ryzen family, but that is expected. If you want to see the scores for the Ryzen 5 series or the Ryzen 7 series, check out our review of them here and here.
The Ryzen 3s are designed to bring big power at a lower price point, and in this respect they succeeded. I wouldn’t try to render a video while also streaming myself playing a game, but these cards aren’t designed for that. They’re designed for the person who wants to play games without worrying about their CPU bottlenecking. More specifically, AMD is targeting the gamer who is aiming for a smooth 1080p gaming experience.
To see how the CPUs actually function during gameplay, we took a look at two of the biggest eSports titles on the market right now, as the relatively low price of the Rryzen 3s makes them ideal for eSports machines. We tested the chips against Blizzard’s Overwatch and Valve’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
For Overwatch, we ran both CPUs at ultra-settings. The game ran crisp and responsive with no noticeable hiccups or stutters. On the 1300X we received an average of 160 fps while the 1200 saw a very respectable 130 fps. Beyond the marginal increase in frames, both cards handled the game beautifully.
Likewise, in our CS: GO tests, there were also no noticeable hiccups or stutters. On the 1300X we received regular frames between 120 – 150 fps on Ultra settings. On the flip-side, the 1200 ran at very high settings and managed a respectable 100 fps. Playing a few rounds in CS:GO with either card felt great. It was smooth and there were no issues.
Both games ran exceptionally well on the Ryzen 3 line. The chips really do make a splash in the budget CPU market that was once held onto firmly by Intel. To read more about the Ryzen family, check out the official site.
The chips are certainly worth the money; they are much stronger than anything else in this price range. I got what I expected out of these chips: solid performance for a low price. These cards aren’t going to be rendering videos while multi-tasking, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t powerful. For what they bring to the table, I think AMD might get to sit on the golden throne of budget CPUs for a while. To any PC builders on a budget, the Ryzen 3 line of CPUs should be an immediate purchase—nothing else competes with it.