The Ryzen 3900X is a classic all-in-one processor with remarkable features, performance, core count, and clock speed. It’s compatible with many old and modern software, making it ideal for gamers, students, graphic designers, and even professionals. But many people have leveled various complaints against the Ryzen 3900X over the years. Going through Reddit and Quora threads, you’ll find many solid reasons to avoid a Ryzen 3900X.
While the 3900X processor is high-performing, it lacks in a few places and becomes unstable when running demanding tasks. This can be a bummer if you’re running the latest titles or using advanced image editing software. So, are these factors significant enough to avoid the Ryzen 3900X? Let’s find out in the next section.
Reason 1: Compatible With Few Motherboards
The Ryzen 3900X is compatible with only a limited number of motherboards with an AM4 socket. This powerful processor best works with AMD series motherboards with specific chipsets, memory, and power delivery requirements. BIOS updates also hold a significant place. Such motherboards ensure the Ryzen 3900X keeps performing at its best.
Besides the AM4 socket, the Ryzen 3900X needs a motherboard compatible with PCIe 4.0 to reach its full potential. Unfortunately, many older motherboards don’t support PCIe 4.0, which can be a limitation of this processor. The compatibility limitations can result in stability issues and reduced performance. Compatible motherboards are pretty expensive. If you’re on a budget, this processor won’t be a good choice.
Reason 2: Consumes A Lot of Power
Typical of new generation processors, the Ryzen 3900 is a heavy power user. Its power consumption is relatively high, so not every motherboard can fulfill the processor’s requirements. Under a full load, like video editing or gaming, Ryzen 3900X will draw much power. The processor also features 105 watts of TDP or thermal design power, which is relatively higher than other CPUs with the exact specifications. If you run your PC for many hours, you can imagine how much it will add to your monthly bills. Not to mention the problem of overheating. But that’s the price you pay for high performance and speed, which is another valid reason to avoid a Ryzen 3900X.
Reason 3: Extensive Cooling Requirements
The high power consumption leads to another reason you should avoid a Ryzen 3900X—extensive cooling requirements. When the processor isn’t cooled properly, it generates significant heat that becomes hard to dissipate. A liquid or air cooler will be ideal for preventing thermal throttling.
Choosing the right cooling system for the Ryzen 3900X can be challenging. You must ensure it has a proper airflow for efficient heat dissipation and sufficient ventilation. Another critical factor to consider is the location of the fans. They must be in the right place to ensure proper airflow.
A processor’s cooling requirements depend on the workload. Less demanding tasks, such as writing or web browsing, generate less heat and require less cooling. Meanwhile, complicated tasks like video editing or gaming produce high heat and need high cooling requirements.
So, you’d have to get the right cooling system for your Ryzen 3900X to ensure its full performance. This adds additional work and can exceed your budget more than expected.
Reason 4: Not-So-Impressive Gaming Performance
Despite being an all-in-one processor, the Ryzen 3900X lacks in many gaming aspects. We are not saying it’s a lousy CPU for gaming; it’s just that the 3900x doesn’t provide as many features as other processors at this price. The Ryzen 3900X falls a little behind its counterparts in terms of single-threaded gaming performance.
Compared to the Core i9-9900K (the best Intel gaming processor), the Ryzen 3900X has a slower single-core performance. This difference isn’t noticeable in routine tasks but is apparent in gaming. One factor behind this reason to avoid a Ryzen 3900X is the memory latency. This processor has a higher memory latency than Intel CPUs, resulting in low performance.
Reason 5: Overclocking Limitations
While many people love the overclocking feature of the Ryzen 3900X, it doesn’t come as easy for some users. You can overclock the CPU, but its limitations may restrict you from doing it freely. So, if you like to overclock your system a lot, this can be a great reason to avoid a Ryzen 3900X.
As you know, this processor consumes a lot of power, generating high heat when running high-end applications at full load. As a result, it increases the CPU’s default clock speeds, causing stability and overheating issues.
Another factor that makes overclocking the Ryzen 3900X challenging is its core configuration. This processor has 12 cores and 24 threads, making the CPU relatively harder to overclock than processors with fewer cores. After all, you will have to increase every core’s clock speed simultaneously. Thus, the more cores a processor has, the more challenging it will become to keep them stable at higher clock speeds.
The motherboard and cooling requirements can also limit the overclocking capabilities of the Ryzen 3900X. After overclocking, you must use a high-quality motherboard to handle the immense power and heat the processor generates. The cooling system must also be efficient to keep the CPU running at a safe temperature when overclocked.
Reason 6: Memory Compatibility Issues
Another reason to avoid a Ryzen 3900X? The processor has memory compatibility issues. While the CPU only shows errors with certain memory types, you may not experience them. But if you do, you can expect several stability and performance issues.
The Ryzen 3900X comes with DDR4 memory with 3200MHz and latency of CL16 or lower. The real problem occurs when using the processor with specific memory modules, especially timings, and speeds. Using a low-speed or high-latency memory can lead to severe instability and even unexpected crashes.
Another reason behind the memory compatibility issue is your type of motherboard. Some motherboards don’t support memory modules with high speeds. So, you must check the compatibility of your motherboard and memory module’s timings and speed when purchasing the CPU.
Reason 7: No Integrated Graphics
Any serious gamer would prefer having a processor with integrated graphics, so they won’t have to buy a graphic card separately. Unfortunately, the Ryzen 3900X doesn’t have this feature, meaning you must also invest in a graphics card. Of course, this isn’t a big enough reason to avoid a Ryzen 3900X, but it can be an issue if you are on a budget.
Integrated graphics add extra points to a processor. As well as helping run games, it also supports basic tasks, such as video editing, document creation, and web browsing. They also act as a backup when your graphics card fails to perform.
However, knowing that the Ryzen 3900X isn’t compatible with entry-level systems is essential. A good number of people looking to buy this processor might already have a dedicated graphics card in hand. Also, the absence of integrated graphics will put less load on the process, resulting in better performance.
Is the Ryzen 3900X Worth It?
The Ryzen 3900X is generally an excellent processor for gaming, video editing, and many other tasks. Yes, it has a few shortcomings, but which processor doesn’t? So, the decision to avoid a Ryzen 3900X depends on your priorities, budget, and expectations from a processor. If you don’t have any specific preference in mind, keep these factors in mind when deciding whether a processor is good or not:
- The Number of Cores and Clock Speed. Both clock speed and the core count significantly contribute to a processor’s performance. Faster clock speed and more cores mean the CPU can effectively handle complex applications and perform demanding tasks.
- Thermal Design Power (TDP). TDP indicates the power a CPU takes to work and the heat it will produce. A good processor has a lower TDP, showing that it will generate less heat and consume lower power.
- Cache Size. The cache is the tiny amount of memory where processors store frequently accessed data. A processor with a large cache size has a high response time, which ensures better performance.
- Socket Compatibility. Different processors work with specific motherboard sockets. So, if you already have a motherboard, you must buy a compatible processor.
- Integrated Graphics. Processors that come with integrated graphics have an edge over those that don’t have this feature. They allow users to perform basic web browning, writing, complex gaming, and high-end video editing without requiring a graphics card.
- Overclocking. Many processors can be overclocked for better CPU performance to achieve a higher clock speed than the rated maximum. Unfortunately, some processors don’t support overclocking, and others that do allow it may have limitations.
An excellent alternative to the 3900X is the AMD 3600 processor:
- AMD's Wraith Stealth cooling ensures temperatures no higher than 95°C
- Boost Speed: 4.2GHz
- PCIe 4.0 support (x570 motherboards only)
- Up to 100 FPS gaming support
While the Ryzen 3900X is a good gaming processor, it lags be some respects. The processor is incompatible with most motherboards, draws much power, and has extensive cooling requirements. Overclocking limitations are another sticking point, leading to overheating and performance issues. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid the 3900X.
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