AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 3000XT brings 7nm improvements, higher boost

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 3000XT brings 7nm improvements, higher boost

by Tech News
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come correct with the cooling —

An extra 100-200MHz boost is nice, but it’s not worth upgrading from Ryzen 3000.

Jim Salter

A Colorful Box For A Computer Component.

Enlarge / “Thermal solution must be purchased separately” for both the Ryzen 9 3900XT and Ryzen 7 3800XT. (Ryzen 5 customers still get the freebie.)

On Tuesday, AMD announced three new additions to its desktop Ryzen CPU line: Ryzen 9 3900XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT, and Ryzen 5 3600XT. The new processor designs are expected to become generally available on July 7, the anniversary of the original launch date of 7nm Zen 2.

The new CPU designs take advantage of newly optimized 7nm process technology to offer higher performance at the same TDPs as Ryzen 3000 designs. The new 3000XT CPUs are drop-in replacements on AM4 motherboards that supported Ryzen 3000 CPUs and offer small (up to 4 percent) single-threaded performance improvements over their Ryzen 3000 counterparts.

ModelCores/ThreadsBoost/Base FrequencyTotal CacheTDPSuggested retail price
Ryzen 9 3900XT12/24Up to 4.7GHz/3.8GHz70MiB105W$499
Ryzen 7 3800XT8/16Up to 4.7GHz/3.9GHz36MiB105W$399
Ryzen 5 3600XT6/12Up to 4.5GHz/3.8GHz35MiB95W$249

Although the single-threaded performance improvements are small, the margins between CPUs in that stat tend to be razor-thin, and AMD says they’re enough to take the coveted single-thread performance crown away from Intel. A 4 percent improvement to the Ryzen 9 3900X score shown on the CGDirector leaderboard would come out to 531—a few points higher than CGDirector’s posted score for the i9-10900K, although a few points lower than our own Cinebench R20 result for that processor, using an NZXT Kraken fluid-cooler and Primochill Praxis open-air bench.

AMD has determined that most consumers are discarding the free Wraith Spire coolers in favor of higher-performance third-party cooling systems—so in the 3000XT line, only the Ryzen 5 3600XT retains the included OEM cooler. Ryzen 9 3900XT and Ryzen 7 3800XT will require the consumer to supply their own cooling solution, and AMD recommends “a minimum 280mm radiator or equivalent air cooling.” The company offers the existing 3950X compatibility list for those who aren’t sure what to buy.

For anyone who still isn’t certain, that choice of cooling is critical to getting the most out of these processors. It’s worth noting that AMD is following Intel’s lead in specifying base and boost clocks with “up to” numbers rather than firm ratings. Users who skimp on the cooling with enthusiast processors are unlikely to achieve those numbers—or be able to sustain them for long if they do.

Also coming soon

AMD also announced a new motherboard chipset for Ryzen 3000 desktop processors: the A520. Specifications for the new chipset are not yet available, but we’re expecting it to largely replace the earlier A320 in the budget category, with PCIe support most likely limited to 2.0. A full launch of the new chipset from motherboard vendors is expected in August.

A new version of AMD’s StoreMI software will also be coming soon. For those unfamiliar, StoreMI is Windows software which aggregates SSD and mechanical hard drive storage in a familiar bid to offer users both the speed of SSDs and the cheapness and bulk capacity of mechanical drives. AMD dropped the original software in April, but the new version—presumably developed in-house rather than licensed from a partner—will be coming soon.

AMD is playing the rest of its cards close to the chest until we get closer to the official launch of the Ryzen 3000XT parts—except for one thing reviewers and reporters are permitted to “leak”: the company says that its Zen3 project is well on-track, and rumors of delays in its development are false.

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