AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.4 GHz 38

AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.4 GHz Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X currently retails for $129.
  • Excellent price
  • A viable alternative to Intel Core i3-7300
  • Good multi-threaded performance compared to similarly-priced Intel chips
  • Single-thread performance improved over previous generation
  • Unlocked multiplier
  • Heatsink included
  • Platform updated to include latest features (PCIe 3.0, USB 3.1, NVMe)
  • Single-threaded performance still lags behind competing Intel chips
  • Gaming performance slightly behind Intel chips
  • Lacks integrated graphics
  • Setup complicated (memory, HPET, CCX, and power profile)
  • Requires optimized apps of which there are not many
AMD has certainly stirred up the sub-$150 processor market with the new Ryzen 3 1300X. It may not be the first sub-$150 quad-core processor by the company, but is certainly its first based on an architecture that is highly competitive with Intel. The "Zen" architecture has breathed life back into AMD's dwindling CPU market share, and with the $129 Ryzen 3 1300X, things can only get better for the company.

The Ryzen 3 1300X has a formidable value proposition compared to Intel's 7th generation Core i3 dual-core parts in its price-range. You get four cores for the price of two from Intel, and an unlocked base-clock multiplier, which lets you squeeze out a little more performance than what you pay for. The cheapest Core i3 part with an unlocked multiplier is priced at $189, which is also the price of Intel's cheapest quad-core Core i5 part.

Thanks to its unlocked multiplier, we were able to run the 1300X at two clock speeds, one at its untouched out-of-the-box clocks and the other manually overclocked to 4.00 GHz. The single-thread performance at both speeds is behind that of the competing Core i3-7300, although the gap between the two isn't of the kind we were used to seeing between Intel and AMD before "Zen." The latter made significant core-performance gains. The multi-threaded tests see the 1300X predictably ahead of the i3-7300 because of its four cores.

The 1300X still has its moments in some synthetic single-threaded tests, such as AES encryption, and its multi-threaded performance comes in handy if you're both gaming and streaming simultaneously, something which could put a dent into the performance of dual-core Intel chips more adversely. In tests such as Cinebench R15, the 1300X even trades blows with pricier Intel quad-core Core i5 chips. It also adds to the "wholesome" desktop CPU appeal of the chip. Gaming performance is where the Intel chips fight back.

Full HD (1080p) could be the most popular gaming resolution for gaming PCs with $140-ish processors, as at this resolution, the Ryzen 3 1300X is slightly slower than Intel's chips, in some cases even behind the sub-$100 Pentium G4560. These performance gaps, however, aren't big enough to make you opt for Intel offhand. The Ryzen 3 1300X can still form the bedrock of a "balanced" entry mid-range gaming PC.

The Ryzen 3 1300X is great for everyone who wants to build a cost-effective gaming desktop bolstered by four cores, and one that is prepped for CPU overclocking. A point to consider here, though, is that you need a motherboard with at least the mid-tier AMD B350 chipset or high-end X370 chipset. CPU overclocking is disabled for the cheapest socket AM4 motherboards that are based on the entry-level A320 chipset.

We didn't care all that much about Ryzen 5-series and 7-series chips lacking an integrated graphics solution, but for the Ryzen 3 1300X, the lack of it borders on being inexcusable. Intel is able to sell Core i3 chips by the tons because of its turnkey nature; in that it not only powers entry-level gaming desktops, but also non-gaming desktops. The lack of integrated graphics would mean only those who intend to build gaming desktops with sufficiently powerful graphics cards should opt for the 1300X. It's pointless to pair this chip with an entry-level graphics card, such as the Radeon RX 550 or GeForce GT 1030, because you'd rather spend the extra $50 on a quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU with integrated graphics.

Something like the RX 570 or GTX 1060 should be the bare minimum you should be willing to pair this CPU with so as to beat something like a G4560 with a faster graphics card. Those wanting to build non-gaming desktops can only choose between Core i3 and AMD's new 7th generation "Bristol Ridge" socket AM4 APUs right now (which are based on much slower "Excavator" CPU cores). AMD had better hurry up with its next-generation APUs based on "Zen."
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