AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

An­other month, an­other Ryzen to screw with In­tel

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB -

RYZEN 3 IS THE LAT­EST, and most af­ford­able, sub­set of AMD’s Ryzen fam­ily. Com­ing in two dif­fer­ent guises, the Ryzen 3 1300X is the faster of­fer­ing, pack­ing sup­port for XFR and a slightly faster clock speed over the Ryzen 3 1200, and it’s com­pletely un­locked. It is also $20 more ex­pen­sive than the 1200, although rolling in at $129, it’s still very much a bud­get of­fer­ing.

The big news, when com­pared to Ryzen 5 and 7, is that Ryzen 3 doesn’t of­fer SMT sup­port. Which means you get four cores to play with, but that’s it. No ex­tra clev­er­ness to make the chip han­dle eight threads at once. Much like an In­tel Core i5, then, al­beit one that is closer in pric­ing to a Core i3. For this rea­son, we’ve com­pared it to the Core i5-7600K in our bench­marks, although such a chip will set you back $220.

So what does that $130 net you? A quad­core chip with a base clock of 3.5GHz, tur­bo­ing up to 3.7GHz. AMD’s XFR (eX­tend Fre­quency Range) will see this boost up to 3.9GHz, pro­vided there is suf­fi­cient cool­ing. The Ryzen 3 1300X has a TDP of 65W, and ships with AMD’s Wraith cooler, which keeps the chip in check quite com­fort­ably and qui­etly. For our main test­ing, we swapped to the NZXT X62 Kraken, which we use for all of our CPU bench­marks.

There are no real sur­prises with the rest of the spec­i­fi­ca­tions, with the same 384KB of L1 cache and 2MB of L2 cache that you’ll find on the other chips in the Ryzen fam­ily. Where it does de­vi­ate is in the amount of L3 cache—match­ing the 8MB of the Ryzen 5 1400, as op­posed to the 16MB you’ll find in the other chips. Again, this may lead you to think that the core con­fig­u­ra­tion is a sin­gle Ryzen core com­plex, but as with the 1400, this isn’t the case; it’s a sim­i­lar 2+2 con­fig­u­ra­tion that we’re used to, just with some of the cache turned off, and SMT dis­abled.

As for per­for­mance, there’s a lot to like from such an af­ford­able lit­tle pack­age, es­pe­cially when you con­sider that you’ll be able to slot this into a bar­gain­ous B350 moth­er­board and have a de­cent base for around $200. We’ll ad­mit that it’s odd see­ing only four lit­tle boxes com­plete the Cinebench test, es­pe­cially as we’ve quickly got used to see­ing eight, 16, or even 32 of them, but the score is still solid enough. Sin­gle-threaded per­for­mance is still off the pace of In­tel’s, but com­pared to a Core i3, this is a strong win for AMD.

Games con­tinue to fa­vor In­tel’s chips, although the dif­fer­ence isn’t as pro­found as it was when Ryzen first hit our test benches. In­tel’s slightly higher base clock helps here as well. Even so, there are only a few frames per se­cond in it, with To­tal War:At tila man­ag­ing 36fps to the Core i5’s 40fps, and FarCryPri­mal record­ing 73fps to In­tel’s 77fps.

Over­all, it’s hard to ar­gue against the Ryzen 3 1300X. It’s a de­cent per­former at a com­pet­i­tive price. Not a halo chip, like Threadripper, but it should still find its way into plenty of sys­tems, and rightly so. If you’re in the mar­ket for a bud­get ma­chine, this is a strong start­ing point. The only thing it doesn’t of­fer the bud­get buyer is in­te­grated graph­ics, so un­til AMD re­leases its Ryzen APUs, there’s life in In­tel’s Core i3s and i5s yet. –ALAN DEX­TER

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