AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU Review

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Gaming Performance

I think it was essentially a foregone conclusion that the Ryzen 9 3900X would be faster in most content creation and productivity applications due to its higher core and thread count. The clocks and IPC should be close enough for that to be the case in most scenarios. However, Intel has dominated on the gaming front. This was especially clear at 1920×1080 where the 1st and 2nd generation Ryzen CPU’s fell way behind in benchmarks. This wasn’t as much of a problem at higher resolutions indicating that 1920×1080 is at this point, rather CPU limited. As a result, all of our gaming tests were conducted at 1920×1080, but at low settings to try and isolate the CPU performance and avoid using the GPU too much. The same GPU was used for all our game tests, which was a GIGABYTE RTX 2080 Ti Aorus Xtreme 11G. It was running its factory overclock.

Tests at these settings are in no way representational of what you should expect to see in actual gaming unless you really use a $1,299.99 video card to game at 1920×1080 with potato mode levels of detail in games. In game benchmarks were used in each of the tests. Finally, we wanted to add more games into the mix. I had added Destiny 2 to the list. It was actually tested on the other configurations but would not launch on our Ryzen 9 3900X and MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE test system. On some of the other systems, I ran into problems using FRAPS or MSI Afterburner for benchmarking the game and eventually ran out of time for testing. We will certainly be evaluating CPU performance on more games in the future, but for now we are going to use the standard tests used in our motherboard reviews. Again, these results are all done using systems with the latest build of Windows 10. The OS is at the latest patch level and we are using the latest drivers available at the time of this writing. This includes the pre-release AMD chipset drivers for X570 for all three AMD test systems as it’s a unified driver.


This is the only totally synthetic test we employ here. More than any of the other tests, I’ve used, it seems to show the greatest delta between different processors which is why I used it here. As you can see, there is allot we can take from these results. First and foremost, there is no benefit to having more than 8c/16t here. Secondly, clock speeds do matter, and AMD and Intel are closer in terms of IPC as far as this test goes. The latency issues we talked about earlier regarding Zen and Zen+ can be seen in the delta between the Ryzen 7 2700X and the Threadripper 2920X.  

The Division 2

In this test, we can see Intel’s Core I9 9900K is clearly the fastest in the lineup. However, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X isn’t too far behind. The curious thing is that the 3rd generation Ryzen is only a bit faster than the previous generation CPU. By no means is the difference anywhere near what AMD suggested in its product brief and all the talk about “GameCache.”

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

SoTTR is a fantastic looking game that embraces the latest technologies such as ray tracing. Obviously, we aren’t concerned with that here, but it’s a very modern game technologically speaking. However, once again, Intel shows a still fairly substantial lead here. It also benefits quite a bit from being overclocked. The AMD systems didn’t, which is curious. We also see a fairly decent performance increase going from the Ryzen 7 2700X to the Ryzen 9 3900X.

Hitman 2

It should come as no surprise that Intel remains dominant here. We can see another substantial gain relative to a minor clock speed increase. We also see a fairly large gap between Intel and AMD here. It is a gap that’s relatively similar to what we saw in the Division 2. The gap is equally as pronounced comparing the Ryzen 7 2700X to the Ryzen 9 3900X.

Dan Dobrowolski
Dan has been writing motherboard reviews for the past 15 years, with the first decade or so writing for [H}ard|OCP. Dan brings his depth of knowledge about motherboards and their components to his reviews here at The FPS Review to help you select the best one for your needs.

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