When AMD announced that Zen 2 (Matisse) would be getting a refresh, many were left confused. Isn’t that what Intel had been doing for a while (Before 10th gen)? Well, I decided to compare the newly launched Ryzen 7 3800XT to the original octa-core Zen 2 part – Ryzen 7 3700X. The results weren’t exactly unexpected, but if you already own a Zen 2 CPU, then you’re better off holding on to it. Check out our Ryzen 7 3800XT review get an idea of what’s new with the Zen 2 refresh. Presenting the most confusing battle of the Zen 2 counterparts – Ryzen 7 3800XT vs 3700X.
|Ryzen 7 3800X||Ryzen 7 3800XT|
|Base Clock||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.4 GHz||4.7 GHz|
|Cooler||Wraith Prism||No Cooler|
|Launch Price (INR and USD)||INR 24990 + GST ($329)||INR 30,990 + GST ($399)|
Test Rig and Benchmarking Methodology
We used the following system for benchmarking the CPU:
- GPU – NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2060 Super
- RAM – 2×8 GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB at 3000 MHz
- CPU Cooler – NZXT Kraken M22 (We used the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste.)
- Motherboard – ASUS Prime X570-P
- Power Supply – Corsair CX 550W
For testing overall performance, we used a varying set of programs. We looked at synthetic benchmarks, real-world content creation metrics, and in-game performance.
Ryzen 7 3800XT vs 3700X – Gaming Benchmarks
Starting with gaming performance, we see that the higher clock speed on 3800XT does help, but it’s not too much of an improvement. And again I want to stress this – the 3800XT does not come with a cooler in the box.
Going over some other games where the gap is slightly larger, you still wouldn’t notice too much difference when playing on a 144 Hz display. 3800XT vs 3700X in gaming? I’d rather stick with my 3700X.
Ryzen 7 3800XT vs 3700X – Synthetic Benchmarks
Alright then, let’s go over the synthetic benchmarks. In Cinebench R20, the 3800XT pulls ahead as expected. But again, the change here isn’t exactly what I’d call noticeable in real-world usage.
During the Cinebench run, both the 3800XT and 3700X can sustain 3.9 GHz on all cores. But here’s the kicker – the 3700X actually runs cooler. I noticed a max temperature peak of 83C on the older CPU, while the refreshed processor maxed out at 91C. That’s extremely close to the max operating temperature which is 95C for these Zen 2 chips. I suggest going into the BIOS and limiting the max temp to something around 85C. You won’t even be losing any performance by doing that, with PBO enabled.
|Ryzen 7 3700X||Ryzen 7 3800XT|
|3D Mark CPU Score||9359||9351|
Yeah, the 3800XT scores slightly lower than the 3700X in our testing. However, I suspect that’s due to us using the same cooling setup and conditions. So then, when it comes to 3800XT vs 3700X in synthetic benchmarks – They’re almost the same.
Now then, the 3800XT is rated to boost higher than the 3700X, and it does. The newer CPU did reach 4.5 GHz during some of our tests, and during desktop usage sat around 4.3 GHz. With the Ryzen 7 3700X, it only reached 4.3 GHz during gaming, with desktop usage being around 4 GHz. This goes on to show that the rated boost that AMD advertises can only be achieved under special circumstances, not that we’re complaining about it. However, as noted in the 3800XT review, when we couldn’t reach the higher 4.7 GHz then it was virtually the same CPU as the original 3800X.
Another thing to note is that the newer 3800XT sat with lower voltage in the BIOS – around 1.28V. It’s widely known by now that the original Zen 2 CPUs used way too much voltage (the typical draw was 1.4V) which many people manually lowered for thermal headroom.
Let’s move on to video encoding performance then. We used Abobe Premiere Pro to encode a 1080p 30 FPS video with mutliple effects and color correction enabled on an adjustment layer.
Well, that was a little disappointing.
Verdict – If You Want A New Ryzen CPU…
By now you must’ve been able to arrive at the same conclusion as us – DON’T get the 3800XT over the 3700X if you already have it. Now, as we noted in our review of the new Zen 2 refreshment, get it only if you’re running on an older platform like Zen 1 or an Intel equivalent. Even then, you’ll still have to invest in a good cooling solution. Considering the cost of the new CPU and a 3rd party cooler, I suggest buying one of the older Zen 2 parts like the 3700X or even the 3800X. In some markets you can even get your hands on a discounted 3900X for the same price! But if you can wait, then we’ll have to see how Zen 3 (Ryzen 4000) turns out to be.