Today AMD has extended its 3rd generation Ryzen lineup based on the Zen 2 architecture with the Ryzen 3 Matisse CPU offerings. These two CPUs are priced at very appealing price points for 4c/8t CPUs. At their current prices, it puts the power of 4c/8t into the hands of more people, gamers, and content creators alike.
The AMD Ryzen 3300X is priced at $120 and provides 4 cores/8 threads thanks to AMD’s SMT technology. The CPU operates at a base clock of 3.8GHz and a boost of up to 4.3GHz in a 65W TDP package. Then there is the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 also with 4 cores/8 threads at a base clock of 3.6GHz and a boost clock up to 3.9GHz in a 65W TDP package all for just $99.
In this review today we have specifically focused on the AMD Ryzen 3300X’s performance up against Intel’s Core i5-9400(F) CPU. Stay tuned Friday for our review on the AMD Ryzen 3 3100. The Intel Core i5-9400 and F variant are based on the Coffee Lake architecture. While our specific CPU on hand is the regular i5-9400 version, the only difference in the “F” variant is the lack of an iGPU, since we aren’t testing that today our i5-9400 can stand-in for the “F” variant. The pricing is different between them, naturally, the “F” is at a cheaper price that more aligns with the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X.
The i5-9400(F) is a 6 core/6 thread CPU with a base frequency of 2.9GHz and a max turbo frequency of 4.1GHz. So, while the i5-9400 has more physical cores than the Ryzen 3 3300X, the Ryzen 3 3300X has more threads. It’s a very interesting academic test finding out which one is actually better for content creation, and gaming performance. Which is what we did in our review today.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is $120 and right now pricing on the Intel Core i5-9400F is as low as $119.99 at Microcenter, (but that is highly marked down) otherwise the lowest is $150-$159 at various places like B&H, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. Therefore, they are close, but the i5-9400F is still mostly more expensive than the Ryzen 3 3300X by about $30-$40.
Application and System Performance
Let’s just put it directly, the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X whooped the competition. Except in a couple of very specific instances, the Ryzen 3 3300X was on top of the charts in every application and system test by wide margins. In the situations it wasn’t, it was on par with i5-9400. Aida64 Queen showed Ryzen 3 3300X on top, Geekbench 5 Multi-Thread and Single-Thread showed Ryzen 3 3300X on top, PCMark 10 showed Ryzen 3 3300X on top.
In SiSoftware Sandra the i5-9400 eeked out a win on Dhrystone integer testing, but the tables turned big-time when float entered the chat. The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X dominated float performance in Whetstone. Other applications like wPrime and WinRar saw very big leads with Ryzen 3 3300X as well. WinRar was particularly sensitive to the performance that Ryzen 3 3300X had to offer.
What these applications and system benchmarks prove is that real-world workloads for desktop and workstation will perform better with Ryzen 3 3300X. Whether you are just using your computer for office applications, or Internet or media consumption, the Ryzen 3 3300X is going to give you the best experience even compared to the Intel Core i5-9400.
Content Creation Rendering and Encoding
Our content creation testing and render testing also showed the advantages of 8 threads on the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X. In Cinebench R20 we experienced faster rendering times with the Ryzen 3 3300X. We saw very big rendering time savings using Blender Benchmark on the Ryzen 3 3300X, workloads that were cut in half compared to an i3-9100F and noticeable time savings compared to i5-9400. V-Ray was also faster on Ryzen 3 3300X.
The only oddity was HandBrake, with the Ryzen 3 3300X breaking even with the i5-9400 in video encoding. Which is still very good. However, different applications with different rendering engines will perform differently. Generally, you want more threads for video encoding, and the Ryzen 3 3300X offers that.
There is no doubt that the AMD Platforms advantage in being able to run faster memory up and down the product stack is an advantage. We experienced memory reads at 50GB/s. There was an issue with writes being slower, and we don’t know why, that one is a mystery. Memory copy was good. Generally, the Intel platform is slower on the memory read, but it makes up for it on memory writes. Overall, the Ryzen platform is more flexible being able to support memory as high and higher even than DDR4-3600 even on the B450/B550 chipsets. These CPUs benefit from that high memory frequency.
This one is interesting. We definitely experienced CPUs causing impacts on gaming performance. The performance of the CPU does matter, even at 1440p with maximum in-game graphics settings on a GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER. Things do even out more as you become more GPU dependent, but some games can still be swayed in performance by CPUs at these higher in-game settings and resolutions. You can still bottleneck a game by the CPU.
Overall the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X offered superior gaming performance when the resolution and game settings were low. At 1080p with Low settings the Ryzen 3 3300X was on top every single time. Sometimes by a large degree of performance better.
However, in a couple of games when the graphics were turned to the max at 1440p the i5-9400 stepped up by offering just a couple framerates higher performance. Now it wasn’t a lot, it wasn’t night and day, but technically it was slightly faster with those Intel CPUs. So many things here could be the reason, including those games just being better optimized for Intel CPUs.
In Ghost Recon Breakpoint the Ryzen 3 3300X was just as fast as the Intel Core i5-9400. Therefore, it does depend on the game. We do know this though, the Ryzen 3 3300X can hang with the best of them in gaming, and at $120 does so at a cheaper price compared to i5-9400. A more thorough gaming-oriented review would be in order to nail down differences better using more games.
Power and Temp
When it comes to power and temp the Ryzen 3 CPUs demand more compared to the Intel CPUs. However, the Ryzen 3 3300X also offers the highest performance, therefore it uses that extra power and temp to get the job done faster and cheaper. I wouldn’t worry too much about power drain, it isn’t exactly consuming a lot of power relatively speaking.
The temperatures were also good on our H115i, we suspect you’ll be fine with air cooling this CPU for daily use. If you will be pegging this CPU constantly though for things like video encoding and rendering, you might want to consider an inexpensive closed loop-liquid cooling system so your CPU will perform at its best and will have endurance.
We did not have time to dive into manual overclocking with the Ryzen 3 3300X today. However, this CPU does support AMD’s Precision Overdrive. In the BIOS you can easily get it to overclock up to 200MHz higher with Overdrive. It is an easy way to overclock and we suggest starting there, we feel it has the headroom as long as you have good cooling and a good motherboard. It performs so well already though without overclocking that it doesn’t really need it to compete with the competition. We experienced consistent clock speeds in its default operation and saw the maximum boost in certain situations.
AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X CPU is a very appealing CPU at a price point that will impress. AMD wasn’t kidding when it said it can offer Intel i7-7700K like performance now. Our Cinebench R20 score was in fact slightly higher than an Intel i7-7700K CPU produces, which was a 4c/8t CPU as well. Just think, what use to be $305 at launch for the i7-7700K, you can now have for $120 with the Ryzen 3 3300X, and it is still just slightly faster than that Intel CPU. That is progress, my friends.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is also faster overall, in every regard, for every application and workload, compared to the current generation Coffee Lake Intel Core i5-9400(F) CPU. The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is an all-around better value. It offers better performance, at a price that is $30-$40 cheaper. This is progress, my friends. We’ve never seen such a good value before. $120 will buy you a great gaming experience, and great experience in daily desktop workloads, content creation, rendering, Internet and media consumption. Make sure to check back on our website Friday morning (5/8) for our review of the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 $99 CPU.