AMD Ryzen 7 3700X & Ryzen 9 3900X Workstation Performance

AMD Ryzen 9 Processor Packaging
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by Rob Williams on July 9, 2019 in Processors

How do AMD’s latest CPUs fare in workstation workloads? This article is going to investigate that, pitting the 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X and 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X against a wide-range of tests. Those include audio and video encoding, lots of rendering, photogrammetry, science, and for good measure: gaming.

Gaming: CS: GO, Far Cry 5 & R6 Siege At 1080p/4K, 3DMark

In recent years, we haven’t had a huge gaming focus in our CPU reviews, simply because we’ve had so much other testing to take care of, some of which isn’t tackled many other places (if anywhere else on a regular basis). But, with such a massive focus on gaming with this launch, we had to renew our focus, and thus, we have three games and a couple of synthetic benchmarks on-hand to help.

For our testing with real games, we’re sticking to testing with 1080p and 4K resolutions. If we’re going to benchmark games, it makes sense to us to run them at realistic resolutions, because a gain seen at 720p or lower quite literally doesn’t matter if there’s no differences seen at higher resolutions people actually play at.

Nonetheless, we’re up for suggestions on how to expand our gaming testing for CPU reviews. We already have a robust collection for our actual gaming GPU reviews, but when testing for CPUs, it can be hard to find good scaling. For this reason, we chose to start with two eSports titles here, as well as a high-end game, Far Cry 5. Synthetics will be shown after the real game results.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike Global Offensive
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (1080p Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (4K Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)

The results for both resolutions are interesting for a couple of reasons. First off, Intel clearly has an advantage in this game, delivering 18 FPS more at 1080p, and 7 FPS at 4K, over the 3900X. But… the fact that the 3900X is only behind the 9900K speaks good things about its gaming capabilities so far. Oh – and the 3700X is only behind that. Not bad so far for Zen 2 gaming.

What’s notable for all the wrong reasons is that out-of-the-box, the Threadripper CPUs have an obvious performance detriment in gaming, but as they’ve been targeted at creators more than gamers, that’s fair enough. Now, there is a Game Mode for those chips, which we did not test with for the sake of time, but it will definitely be testing we’ll revisit down-the-road.

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 (1080p Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X))
Far Cry 5 (4K Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X))

We’ve moved from a super-high FPS title to one that’s designed to batter current-gen GPUs with the help of some cutting-edge graphics. Even here, the 9900K shines bright, giving us a huge lead at 1080p. At 4K, all of the CPUs largely perform similarly, aside from the 2990WX. Yet, the 9900K still managed to eke that additional 1 FPS over everything else.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (1080p Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X))
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (4K Average FPS, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X))

Intel can rest a bit easier knowing that the 9900K still rules the roost for gaming. It doesn’t matter the game we’ve thrown at it, it’s come ahead overall. What we haven’t tested thoroughly up to this point is minimums, which is because we want to refine our testing procedures to increase confidence in our numbers. When time allows, we’ll revisit some of this testing, especially in time for the 3950X to drop (this fall).

Synthetic Benchmarks

UL 3DMark Fire Strike DirectX 11 Performance (CPU Score, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)
UL 3DMark Fire Strike DirectX 11 Performance (Overall Score, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)

With this DirectX 11 test, the 3900X somehow manages to place at the top. We say “somehow“, because based on our knowledge of previous performance with these chips, this is not quite the scaling we’d expect. With the overall score, the 3900X falls a couple of spots, but not very far at all. And yes, the second and third GPUs in the overall chart did in fact score the same digits.

UL 3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 Performance (CPU Score, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)
UL 3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 Performance (Overall Score, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and 7 3700X)

With DirectX 12, scaling becomes even more interesting, as the 2990WX now places at the top. And, we of course all know that the 2990WX is one hell of an amazing gaming CPU, right? (Hint: It’s not; just look at the performance from the real games above).

The ultimate takeaway is that the new Zen chips are not exactly holding back much in gaming. But, without question, Intel has the overall lead, which is going to be important for the most serious competitive gamers (or eSports players). At 4K, though, the rule of thumb is to just not go the Threadripper route, because real degradation can be seen there.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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