Reviewing the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor
AMD has released its new desktop processors from the 3000 series. Their lineup also includes the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, which is an incredibly powerful processor (CPU), with 12 cores and 24 processing threads. If you also take into consideration that the base clock speed is 3.8GHz and its turbo speed is 4.6GHz, you immediately realize that we are dealing with a beast. Did AMD manage to take the world of top-tier desktop processors by storm? Read on and find out what the new AMD Ryzen 9 3900X can do:
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: Who is it good for?
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor is the right choice for:
- People who want the best processor on the consumer market, that can handle anything
- Digital content creators such as video editors, who use rendering apps that can take advantage of a powerful multi-threaded processor
- Gamers who want the crème de la crème and want to squeeze even the last frame from their games
Where To Buy
Pros and cons
There are plenty of good things to say about the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X:
- It is one of the fastest desktop processors in the world right now, both for productivity and gaming
- It has 12 cores and 24 threads, which gives it a considerable multi-thread computing power
- It is built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process and uses the latest architecture from AMD
- It has a high base and boost clock speeds, 3.8 and 4.6GHz respectively, and it is unlocked, meaning that it is easy to overclock it
- It supports PCI Express 4 and high-speed DDR4 memory
- It has rather low power consumption and does not heat excessively, even with the stock cooler
- It comes at a similar price with Intel's top i9-9900s processors but has more cores
We have nothing negative to say about the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X managed to impress the whole world with its specifications and, most of all, with its performance in real-life. With this processor, AMD manages to rightfully regain its place at the top of the desktop computing world. This processor can do anything you want it to do, from gaming to creating digital content, to software development. The per-core price that AMD asks is better than what Intel has to offer with its Core i9 lineup. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is a beast that is going to make users happy, no matter how they use this great processor.
Unboxing the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X comes in a rather large box, but that's because it also packs a Wraith Prism cooler inside. The box has a cubic shape with orange and gray patterns, and shows you some details about the processor. On the top, you can also see the Ryzen 9 3900X CPU through a cutout.
When opening the packaging, you find the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor, a Wraith Prism cooler with RGB lights (and the required cables), the warranty and mounting instructions, and a sticker with Ryzen 9.
Unboxing the AMD Ryzen 3900X is a pleasant experience: the package is made of premium cardboard, and it bundles a nice-looking cooler with RGB lights.
The 3900X is part of the Ryzen 3000 series of processors, which AMD just released. This series also bears the codename of Matisse, and they are all produced using a 7-nanometer manufacturing process and a new processor architecture, which essentially translates into smaller transistors, higher performance, and less power required to run.
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor costs about 500 USD and, for that price, gives you 12 physical cores and 24 threads. The base clock speed is 3800 MHz, and the boost clock speed is 4.6 GHz, more than the previous Ryzen generation was capable of. It also benefits from an L2 cache of 6MB and an L3 cache of 64MB. The high 4.6 GHz boost clock speed is what you need in apps that require single-core performance, such as games. Furthermore, the Ryzen 9 3900X is unlocked, meaning that you can overclock it with ease.
According to AMD, the 3900X should have a typical power consumption of 105 Watts. This is good, considering the number of cores, cache and clock speeds offered by this processor. To dissipate the heat from the processor, AMD bundles a cooler in the package. The company calls it Wraith Prism with RGB LED and it is a decent thermal solution. Not only does it look good, but it also keeps the processor cool at all times. The only issue is that it can become quite noisy in heavy workloads.
The Ryzen 9 3900X offers support for DDR4 memory in dual-channel configuration and standard speeds of 3200 MHz. AMD's recommendation for the best price per performance configuration is DDR4 memory running at 3600 MHz.
AMD built the 3900X processor, and all the CPUs from the 3000 series, to work on the Socket AM4. To offer their best performance, these processors are designed to be used on motherboards with X570 chipsets, because they are the only ones that support PCI Express 4.0. However, all of the 3000 processors, including the 3900X, are backwards compatible, meaning that you should be able to use them on older motherboards with 300 or 400 chipsets, as long as you update the BIOS before installing the processor.
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor is a high-end processor that packs a lot of performance. It is built using a 7-nanometer process and offers support for PCIe 4, and these are both premiers in the world of computer processors. When we saw its specifications, we suspected that this processor is going to ax many of Intel's top-tier processors in terms of productivity as well as gaming.
Performance in benchmarks and games
We tested the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor on a test computer with the following hardware and software:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER
- Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal Memory (2 x 8GB, 3600MHz, PC4-28800)
- Graphics Card: ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC
- Storage: AORUS NVMe Gen4 2TB Solid State Drive
- Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG32VQ Curved Gaming Monitor (32-inch WQHD 2560 x 1440, 144Hz)
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850W Platinum
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64 with May 2019 Update
To get a more realistic idea of what the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has to offer, we also compared it with its more affordable peer, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, and with the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor from the previous generation.
Cinebench R20 is a cross-platform benchmark that tests the processor performance and tells you how fast the CPU is at rendering a scene. We used the multi-thread test and, as you can see in the chart below, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X proved to be 45% faster than the 3700X and more than twice as fast as the Ryzen 7 2700. We expected this result, considering that the 3900X has 12 cores and 24 threads, while the 3700X and the 2700X have only eight cores and 16 threads.
In CPU-Z, the Single Thread benchmark measured a similar performance offered by the 3900X and the 3700X, but almost a 40% increase compared to the Ryzen 7 2700. Interestingly, the Intel i9-9900K processor is also only 8.5% faster than the 3900X.
The Multi-Thread test from CPU-Z showed a much bigger difference between the 3900X and the other processors we had. The 3900X was 46% faster than the 3700X and almost twice as fast as the 2700. It was also 38% better than the Intel i9-9900K. Wow!
Next, we turned to Blender Benchmark, which renders two different scenes (bmw27 and classroom) and returns the time needed by the computer to finish them. In this benchmark, the faster the scenes are rendered, the faster the processor is. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X was by far the fastest of our three CPUs. It needed 32% less time than the 3700X and only half the time needed by the 2700 to render the two scenes.
PCMark 10 offers a benchmark that lets you evaluate the performance offered by the computer, and consequently by its processor, in common tasks such as web browsing, video conferencing, apps start-up times, productivity, and digital content creation. Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3700X had close scores, but both of them were considerably better than the one obtained by our Ryzen 7 2700 (about 21 percent).
7-Zip, which is probably the most popular file compression software in the world, is another app that is great at assessing the performance of processors. Its benchmark results tell a rather accurate story about the speed of the processor used. In 7-Zip, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor managed to achieve a compressing speed of 69 MB/s, which is much better than the Ryzen 3700X, not to mention the Ryzen 7 2700.
The decompressing speed we measured with 7-Zip was 1510 MB/s with the Ryzen 9 3900X, which is 45% faster than the 3700X, and double that of the Ryzen 7 2700.
Next, we also wanted to see what the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X can do in gaming. To avoid any video bottlenecks, we used the 1080p resolution and lowest graphics quality in the games we benchmarked.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the benchmarking tool from the game showed that the number of frames per second rendered by the processor were similar between the Ryzen 3900X and 3700X processors, but were far better than the values we measured with the AMD Ryzen 7 2700.
In Metro Exodus, the average frames per second that we obtained was a frame lower for the Ryzen 9 3900X compared to the Ryzen 7 3700X. :) The Ryzen 7 2700 was only 9 frames slower.
In World War Z, using the Ryzen 9 3900X, we got 245 frames per second. For the Ryzen 7 3700X, we got 244 FPS, so no difference here. With the Ryzen 7 2700 however, the FPS was only 197, so the evolution between the second Ryzen generation and the third is obvious in this game.
We also checked the temperatures that the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X reaches in demanding workloads. For that, we used Prime95 to stress the processor and monitored its temperatures with HWiNFO. Note that we used the stock Wraith Prism cooler bundled by AMD with the processor. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X did not get hotter than 79 degrees Celsius (174 degrees Fahrenheit), which is excellent considering its 12 cores and high turbo clock.
Similarly, we also used HWiNFO to measure the power consumption of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. The maximum we've witnessed was 127 Watts, in full load. This is another excellent result considering that we are looking at 12 cores and a 4.6GHz boost clock. It is better than what similar Intel processors offer.
Where To Buy
All the tests and benchmarks that we ran using the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X tell the same story: this processor is a beast. It storms the ranking ladder of the best desktop processors and puts an incredible amount of pressure on Intel's high-end CPUs. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X can do whatever you want it to do, from rendering to video editing to gaming, very fast.
What is your opinion about the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X?
Now you know more about the new AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processor. It is a new world for desktop computing, and AMD proves once more that it is not just a serious contender for Intel, but actually ahead of them, both in terms of price and performance. Before you close this review, tell us what you think about AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X processor and whether you are considering buying it. Comment below and let's discuss about this exciting product.