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Don’t Buy A Ryzen 3900X Until You Read This

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Don’t Buy A Ryzen 3900X Until You Read This

When the Ryzen 3900X hit the market a few years ago, it was finally able to rival the incredible Intel chips that were dominating the market at the time. The Ryzen 3900X came with faster speed, more cores, and an unbeatable price against competitors. But how does it hold up now, almost four years later?

Today we’re breaking down this CPU in detail. We’ll find out if this processor’s low power consumption and massive L3 cache, coupled with a high core count and clock speed, make it an ideal choice for modern workloads. 

Ryzen 3900X: Overview 

Release Date 

The Ryzen 3900X was first released on July 7, 2019. Given its compelling 12 cores and 24 threads along with an unbelievable L3 cache capacity, it didn’t take long for this chip to take the market by storm. At a price of $395 pre-tax, it came out over $100 less than its prime competitor, making this processor that much more desirable. 

Best for Speed
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor
$445.00
  • Supports ECC memory
  • Best at complex tasks
  • Ultra-fast 100 plus FPS performance
  • Comes with 12 Cores and 24 processing threads
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 04:37 pm GMT

Different Models 

In 2021, there was a release of second-generation Ryzen chips called the Ryzen 9 5000 series. The Ryzen 9 5950X processor was released with a whopping 16-cores, once again rivaling Intel, its top competitor.

You can easily find the latest and previous generations on Amazon for under $500, which is a bargain compared to the latest Intel Core i9s.

Features 

The Ryzen 3900X comes with an impressive resume. It was released into the AMD Ryzen 9 Desktop Processors line with overclocking tools and an impressive number of CPU Cores.

This processor operates at 3.8GHz at default but has a boost that can push it up to 4.6GHz for optimal speed, but of course, depends on the workload. The Ryzen 3900X comes with three impressive cache levels, the L3 being one of the most competitive on the market even today. 

Ryzen 3900X: Specifications 

Number of CPU Cores 12
Number of Threads 24
L1 Cache 768 KB
L2 Cache6 MB
L3 Cache 64 MB
Default TDP 105W
Base Clock 3.8GHz
Maximum Boost 4.6GHz 
Thermal Solution Wraith Prism
CPU Socket AM4 
System Memory Type DDR4

Ryzen 3900X: Review 

The design of the Ryzen 3900X is honestly meant for anyone and everyone in need of a powerhouse processor. The speed and core capabilities of this chip are enviable to other manufacturers today, not to mention the low price point and the three showstopping cache levels.

Physically speaking, the socket used for this chip is the AMD Socket AM4, and it has a power draw of 105 watts. This is a little on the high side as far as CPUs go, but you’ll have no trouble as long as you have a sufficient power supply. Aim for at least an 850-watt power supply, and you’ll have plenty of juice left over for the rest of the system. 

The Ryzen 3900X comes with a stock cooler. The cooler works well, and it keeps the CPU to its maximum operating temperature of 95 degrees Celsius.  You could always upgrade to a liquid cooling system if you want to overclock your CPU and squeeze some more performance and FPS out of it.

This chip really could be used for anything, but it is incredibly popular among gamers, digital content creators, software developers, and graphic designers who need a chip that can handle everything necessary for their work. 

Let’s dive into the individual facets of this CPU to really break things down.

The stock cooler keeps your temps in check on the Ryzen 3900X.

Graphics 

The Ryzen 3900X does not come with integrated graphics, and a discrete graphics card is required for this model. With that said, once you have the necessary tools, this processor will run just about anything you throw at it, even multiple heavy software systems at once, thanks to its core processing and speed. 

What graphics card should you get to pair with a Ryzen 3900X? That’s a great question. Depending on your use case, you may want to look at an Nvidia or AMD card. Your specific requirements will determine the best model.

For the most demanding gamers, an RTX 3000 or 4000 series card is the most capable option. If you’re just doing light graphic design work, something like an RX 580 or even an RX 6700 would be a good choice. Plus, there are always the new Intel GPUs if you’re feeling adventurous.

While the Ryzen 3900X has been able to produce high-quality graphics in most situations, there have been instances in particular with games at 1080p where the Ryzen 3900X produced fewer frames per second than their competitive Intel counterparts. 

With that said, the new Ryzen 5000 series has matched on every level so far with its competitors when it comes to graphics, so if you are specifically working with 1080p graphics, it may be worth seeking out the newer versions if you can find them. Otherwise, this Ryzen 3900X won’t disappoint in the graphics department. 

Compatibility 

The Ryzen 3900X is compatible with Windows 10 and 11, Linux, and Ubuntu operating systems, all 64-bit editions required. 

All of the Ryzen CPUs only go into an AM4 socket. In other words, this Ryzen 3900X processor isn’t necessarily compatible with every motherboard on the market. The good news is that you can find this information by searching for the specifications of your motherboard and determining compatibility that way. 

There are also quite a few motherboards that are compatible with this chip. So there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find one that works if you don’t already have one that does. 

MSI_X470

You will need an AM4 motherboard for the Ryzen 3900X.

Memory 

The Ryzen 3900X comes with a significant amount of cache memory to enhance its performance. It features a noteworthy 64MB of L3 cache. This acts as a high-speed storage buffer for frequently accessed data, reducing the need to fetch information from the slower main memory.

Additionally, each core of the Ryzen 3900X has 512k of L2 cache, totaling 6MB of L2 cache overall. This allocation of the L2 cache provides fast and dedicated storage for immediate data access by each individual core.

While the Ryzen 3900X supports DDR4 system memory, DDR5 is the latest and fastest memory standard available. DDR4, although not the latest, still offers significant performance improvements compared to previous generations.

DDR4 memory provides a balance between power consumption and speed, ensuring efficient and reliable performance for a wide range of applications. 

However, as technology advances, DDR5 memory is expected to offer even higher speeds and improved bandwidth, so this might be one drawback to this CPU.

The Ryzen 3900X is capable of supporting up to 128GB of RAM at a time. This is an important component for anyone working with extremely high-quality video footage, as larger files will take up more RAM as you work on them.

Speed 

It’s no secret that the Ryzen 3900X stands out as a high-performance processor in terms of speed and capabilities. With a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a turbo speed that can reach up to 4.6GHz, this processor offers impressive processing power for demanding workloads and intensive gaming experiences.

What truly sets the Ryzen 3900X apart is its configuration of 12 cores and 24 threads. Upon its release, this chip outperformed numerous processors in various categories. It continues to be one of the most competitive options available today, even compared to the latest generation Ryzen series.

The abundance of cores and threads enables the Ryzen 3900X to handle multitasking with ease. Particularly if you’re running apps that are optimized for multiple cores. 

If you’re running a graphic design or video editing apps, the Ryzen 3900X really flexes its muscles, delivering exceptional performance and responsiveness across a wide range of tasks.

To top it all off, this processor comes with overclocking capabilities unlocked. So even if it’s not enough as is, you can still tweak it to add a few points. 

world's largest computer chip

The Ryzen 3900X excels thanks to its high boost clock speed of 4.6 GHz.

Improvements 

AMD has produced four generations and seven series of desktop processors now, with at least two chips in every generation. With every new generation came massive improvements, and the Ryzen 3900X was no exception.

Compared with its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 3800X, the cores, and threads had an increase from 8 to 12 and 16 to 24, respectively. This is partially due to AMD’s newer 7nm manufacturing process, which squeezes even more transistors into an even smaller space.

Besides core clock speeds, which remained similar to the previous generation, the most notable upgrade is likely in the L2 and L3 cache levels. With L2 increasing by 2MB, the L3 shockingly doubled in capacity from 32MB to 64MB in the Ryzen 3900X. 

Is the Ryzen 3900X Outdated? 

Since it has been going on four years since when this processor was released, this is a fair question to ask. Technology moves so quickly and gets rendered obsolete often faster than we can get our full use out of it, but the good news is that is not the case for this particular processor. In fact, the 3900X still holds its own against the latest processors.

Four years is really not that old for a CPU of this capacity. It still competes well against chips of equal value that have been released more recently than the Ryzen 3900X did. If you bought this model at launch, you’d still be working with one of the most powerful consumer processors ever made.

If you’re thinking about getting one today, you can enjoy all the perks of this chip at a bargain price compared to when it was new.

There are at least a few solid years left of this processor as one of the highest-quality CPUs on the market before the idea of something else comes along to take its place. While there have been improvements in the newer series of AMD processors, the Ryzen 3900X should have no problem keeping up with them.

Ryzen 3900X: Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Incredibly efficient 12-core, 24-thread capacity.
  • The base clock of 3.6GHz with a maximum boost clock of 4.6GHz for amazing speed and efficiency 
  • 3-layer cache system with a whopping 64MB L3 Cache level for optimal performance across the board 
  • Up to 3,200MHz of DDR4 memory for optimal storage and connectivity
  • Ryzen 3900X is unlocked for overclocking when necessary. 
  • Massive improvements from previous versions of AMD processors

Cons

  • Ryzen 3900X has overclocking capability, but some have reported it as somewhat weak.
  • 1080p gaming and other graphics are sometimes slightly behind competitor’s processors 
  • You will need a separate graphics card since there is no integrated graphics.
Best for Speed
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor
$445.00
  • Supports ECC memory
  • Best at complex tasks
  • Ultra-fast 100 plus FPS performance
  • Comes with 12 Cores and 24 processing threads
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 04:37 pm GMT

Ryzen 3900X: Is It a Buy? 

Given the several incredible features of this processor, especially the core/thread capacity and the overall speed, it feels like a no-brainer to purchase this chip if you’re in the market for one. However, it still might not be for everyone.

You Should Buy This If… 

If you are in the market for a processor that can handle nearly everything you throw at it and more, the Ryzen 3900X is a great option to consider. If you’re someone who’s a heavy gamer or with a massive workload, you need a chip that can keep up with you and the task at hand. The Ryzen 3900X is a match made in heaven for those that like a highly efficient but low-maintenance processor that can keep their system up and running for long periods of time. 

The Ryzen 3900X is not much of an energy suck, and thanks to its included cooler and its high-temperature tolerance, this processor can withstand the heat. If you have a job or a game that requires ample energy to keep things running at top speed, this processor is sure not to disappoint. 

You Should Not Buy This If… 

You want a processor with integrated graphics or something budget-friendly. The Ryzen 3900X may not be the one for you at all if you don’t want to have to go out and buy a separate graphics card for your system or if you were hoping for integrated graphics with your processor. 

This chip is great on multiple fronts, but despite it being a rather fair price for what you get, it still may be a bit too hard on the wallet for some. If your budget is tight, you might be better off with an AMD Ryzen 7 or even a Ryzen 5. You can often find the latest generation of each one for less than the cost of a Ryzen 9.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Ryzen 9 3900X good for gaming?

Yes. With its high core count and boost clock speed, the Ryzen 9 3900X can handle gaming on high settings with ease.

What socket is the Ryzen 3900X?

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X requires an AM4 socket motherboard.

How fast is the Ryzen 9 3900X?

The Ryzen 3900X has a fairly high clock speed at 3.8 GHz base and up to 4.6 GHz boost.

How old is the Ryzen 9 3900X?

The Ryzen 3900X is getting older, with a release date in mid-2019.

Is 3900X overkill for gaming?

Despite its age, the Ryzen 3900X is still more than enough to meet the recommended requirements for most games. You could easily get away with a Ryzen 7 for many titles, so it is safe to say the Ryzen 3900X is overkill. That being said, if you’re chasing the best possible performance, you can’t go wrong.

Is the 5900x better than the 3900X?

The 5900X is one generation newer than the 3900X, and it comes with a few performance improvements as a result. AMD benchmarks place it around 26% better than the previous generation, and it is even faster than a 10th-generation Intel Core i9 when it comes to gaming.

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