The story with overclocking the Ryzen 7 3700X is pretty much the same as its been with most of the Ryzen 3000 series. However, there are some high points to it. First off, it isn’t difficult. At 1.35v, I was able to achieve an all-core overclock of 4.2GHz. Some cores can do 4.3GHz, but not all of them. Using the 3900X as an example, the single-core overclock isn’t worth using at all. You won’t get enough of a boost on all cores to make up for the dramatic boost clock reduction in single-threaded applications. However, the Ryzen 7 3700X isn’t like that. While overclocking manually isn’t really worthwhile for gaming, it does yield positive results in some productivity applications.
Obviously, this is lower than what we see with boost clocks. Whether or not that’s worth the trade-offs here and there is a personal decision, but the results were consistent enough that it may be worth doing in some specific use cases. Although, I think those specific use cases are generally better served by using a CPU with more physical cores. However, if budget is a concern then overclocking an 8c/16t CPU for those applications may be of interest to you. It isn’t as if you can’t switch between a manual overclock and PB2 via Ryzen Master. A reboot may be required, but you can do it relatively easily.
I’ll keep this brief. The boost clocking topic makes things sound bad. It is something I feel AMD needs to address and frankly, it shouldn’t even be a problem in the first place. Again, this is a topic in itself and I don’t want to get sidetracked here. I think this is something that deserves its own article and that’s coming. I simply wanted to be transparent about the issues I’ve encountered in the testing and provide the insight I’ve gained from using both a review CPU and a retail CPU. Despite the remaining platform issues and the boost clocking issues, I think these CPU’s, and more specifically the Ryzen 7 3700X are an incredible value. However, there is some outrage and disappointment out there from people who either were unaware of or do not fully understand these issues. I wanted to make sure that I addressed that before giving the final verdict on what I think of this specific processor.
In most cases, the Ryzen 7 3700X is the best bang for your buck for productivity and gaming. While there are some instances where other options are faster, they are always more expensive or less versatile. The Intel Core i7 9700 non-K is a good example of that. It’s just as fast in rare instances, but costs the same and sacrifices versatility without Hyperthreading and being unlocked. The 9700K is actually faster in more cases, but again without Hyperthreading and a higher price tag, I think its a non-starter. Also, keep in mind that the Intel processors outside of the Core i9 9900K get absolutely thrashed by the Ryzen 7 3700X in most cases. Add to that the fact that it consumes less power and costs less, I think it’s pretty clear that the Ryzen 7 3700X is easily the best value in the CPU market today.
The 3600 is obviously cheaper at $194, but I think the 3700X at $329 is truly in the sweet spot for performance and price. It sits right in the mid-range, which is where most people seem to spend their money. There are some cases where one could potentially justify the Ryzen 9 3900X at $499, but none where the more expensive 3800X at $399 would make sense. The only reason to go lower is if you simply don’t have the money to spend on the 3700X and need a processor now.
AMD supposedly has a boost clock fix inbound, but that’s weeks away from deployment as manufacturers need to get the AGESA code, validate it and integrate it into their UEFI BIOS for each model. I can’t say whether or not the boost clock issues will ever truly be resolved to the satisfaction of all. Regardless, even if they never get fixed, I think this is the best value processor on the market today. If you’re building a gaming machine today, there are faster choices but they come with increased cost and some drawbacks. The 3700X generally makes the most sense. If your building a machine with mixed usage in mind, or even productivity, again, the 3700X makes sense and is a good buy. Another nice aspect of this particular model is that they seem to have good availability. If you’re in the market for an 8c/16t CPU today, I don’t think there are any better choices than the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X.