AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU beside AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU on a white background

Introduction

Today we are going to directly compare and review performance between the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU and AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU.  Tested on the same motherboard, with the same memory, and the same configuration with the only difference being the CPU, we will see how the Ryzen Processors compare in 2020.  With the next-generation Zen 3 processors on the horizon, this is a good time to see what kind of upgrade the 3700X has over the 2700X on an X570 chipset since prices are at extremely competitive numbers right now on new CPUs.

It has been a year since the Ryzen 7 3700X has been launched, and it’s been over two years since the Ryzen 7 2700X was launched.  It’s important to not only look at performance when new hardware is launched but also after the hardware has been out for a while.  This allows for firmware and software updates, BIOS updates, new AGESA software improvements, driver improvements, application version, and game patch improvements and of course, OS updates and patches.  These things change performance over time and could mean comparison results are different after a given amount of time compared to when products launched.  Therefore, we are going to perform a 2020 CPU comparison between the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 7 3700X.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

First let’s do a little history lesson and look at the differences between both CPUs.  The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X was launched on April 19, 2018.  The Ryzen 7 2700X was a refresh of the Zen architecture that the previous Ryzen 7 1700X was based on.  AMD dubbed this refresh Zen+, but that did not mean an architecture change, only a more refined manufactured process change.  The manufacturing process improvement allowed higher clock speeds, higher all-core clock speeds and overclocks, and a slight ~50mV Vcore voltage reduction.

The Ryzen 7 2700X is manufactured on the GlobalFoundries 12nm (12LP) process.  The Ryzen 7 2700X has 8 cores and 16 threads and runs at a base clock of 3.7GHz and a Turbo clock of 4.3GHz.  It has 4MB of L2 cache, and 16MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 105W and was launched at $329.  At the time, the latest motherboard chipset for this CPU was AMD’s X470 and it supports DDR4 2933.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

The Ryzen 7 3700X is the direct successor to the Ryzen 7 2700X, but instead of just a refresh this time AMD managed a generational microarchitecture improvement called Zen 2 as well as a better node/manufacturer process at 7nm.  In addition, AMD moved to a chiplet design, instead of one monolithic chip design.  These upgrades gave the Ryzen 7 3700X a more substantial upgrade over the Ryzen 7 2700X than the 2700X did compare to the 1700X.

The Ryzen 7 3700X is manufactured on TSMC’s 7nm process.  The Ryzen 7 3700X has 8 cores and 16 threads and runs at a base clock of 3.6GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz.  Therefore, technically the base clock is slightly lower than the 2700X but the boost clock is slightly higher.  You also have to account for the 10% IPC gain of the Zen 2 architecture over the Zen+ architecture. 

It has 4MB of L2 cache and 32MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 65W and launched at $329, same as the 2700X.  You can see that it has more L3 cache than the 2700X, a lower TDP but the same pricing.  One other feature the 3700X has is support for PCI-Express 4.0.  The new motherboard chipset that released alongside this CPU was AMD’s X570 with PCIe 4.0 support and DDR4 3200.

Comparisons based on X570 Chipset

What is going to make our performance comparison unique today is that we are comparing both CPUs on the Socket AM4 X570 chipset platform.  When the Ryzen 7 2700X was released, the latest chipset released alongside was the X470 and it supported DDR4 2933 and only PCIe 2.0 to peripherals. 

With the X570 chipset, however, which was released alongside the Ryzen 7 3700X we have a bit more platform performance to help the Ryzen 7 2700X.  The X570 officially supports DDR4 3200 and has PCIe 4.0 support to peripherals.  This means by putting the Ryzen 7 2700X in an X570 motherboard, we should have some kind of advantage with the higher RAM clock speeds than we would on X470.

We will put the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 7 3700X on the same X570 motherboard so the platform is as fast as possible, and exactly the same to isolate CPU performance.  Ryzen 7 2700X is now getting a chance to run as fast as it possibly can.  In addition, we are going to run our RAM at 3600MHz on both CPUs.  This is something that was not always stable on Ryzen 7 2700X and previous CPUs.  Now we can run very fast memory, at a high speed, with low timings, and remove any memory bottlenecks from the benchmarks.  This will truly be a competitive CPU comparison using the latest motherboard chipset and features.

The motherboard we are testing on is the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi X570.  This motherboard will ensure the absolute best performance on both CPUs.  We are using the default “optimized defaults” BIOS settings on both CPUs.  The only manual thing we changed was to enable DOCP on the RAM so that it runs at DDR4 3600MHz 16-19-19-1T.  We also have the latest BIOS on this motherboard installed which is version 2103 dated 6/29/2020 and based on AMD AM4 AGESA V2 PI 1.0.0.2.  That is another advantage of testing right now, in 2020, the Ryzen 7 2700X is also benefiting from the latest AGESA code.

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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13 Comments

  1. Interesting analysis, great seeing an actual tangible progression from AMD. We knew this but this is much better data points since now both CPUs are mature with software and hardware, great stuff. I can see you doing this again hopefully next year with the 4070x or whatever the 8core/16 thread part is from AMD.

    I was surprised you were able to get 3600mhz out of the 2700x, my 2700 gets 3466mhz out of the B450 MSI board but nothing close to 3600mhz with Samsung B Die modules. X570 memory tracing that much better is my guess.

    The 3700x is really an outstanding deal for the $, then again with Zen 3 coming not too long from now one can only wonder what that can bring. May have to do the full progression model, Zen 1, Zen+, Zen2 and Zen3. Compared to Intel, I can’t even remember all the lakes now which all tend to blend together with virtually the same performance overall.

  2. That is why we really wanted to use the X570 chipset for the review, it’s a unique perspective and gives the 2700X the best chance possible.
  3. Very interesting! I’m sitting on a X470 chipset and am planning on upgrading just the CPU with zen 3 – straight jump to the 4950X (or whatever they call 16 core 32 thread part). I didn’t think chipset would really hold me back at all, but maybe I need to reconsider. Wonder how they 3700X would do on x470
  4. I didn’t think chipset would really hold me back at all, but maybe I need to reconsider. Wonder how they 3700X would do on x470

    Per AMD, there are no performance differences between the various chipsets that are out there. The differences are related to feature set and number/type of pci-e lanes.

  5. Per AMD, there are no performance differences between the various chipsets that are out there. The differences are related to feature set and number/type of pci-e lanes.

    Other than having a better VRM design or more BIOS options, the X470 would perform the same here.

  6. Where are the Hunt:Showdown Comparisons?!!!!! :cry: :p

    Another great write up. I’m glad I upgraded to the 3700x from my 2700x. Aside from the performance increase ..one of the biggest gains/advantages I got from the upgrade was memory compatibility. From only being able to run 4 x 8gb 3200mhz sticks at 2933mhz with the 2700x to running the same memory at it rated speed using XMP profile.
    I experienced that across the board going from 2000 series to 3000 series .. 1 2200g couldn’t run 2 x 16gb 3000mhz stable (2866mhz stable) switching to 3600x same memory can run 3200mhz .. another 2200g couldn’t run stable at all with 4 sticks installed, switching to 3400g, can now run same 4 sticks at rated 3200mhz (XMP profile) ..

    I now run 2 x 16gb 3200mhz stuff on my x570 Steel Legend at 3800mhz (Hynix chips CAS18 1.41v)with fclk on my 3700x at 1900(1:1) with just PBO enabled and no other voltage increases with the CPU.

    Thanks for putting this up! :cool:

  7. Other than having a better VRM design or more BIOS options, the X470 would perform the same here.

    So the 2700X should be able to hit 3600 on the memory on a X470 board too? Not that I’m going to rebuy my 32gb of 3200, but I’m curious if I should have gone with faster ram.

  8. So the 2700X should be able to hit 3600 on the memory on a X470 board too? Not that I’m going to rebuy my 32gb of 3200, but I’m curious if I should have gone with faster ram.

    When I say that performance is the same between the chipsets, I mean given all things being equal. The Ryzen 7 2700X is incapable of achieving higher memory speeds on the X470 chipset. I don’t know that it would do so on an X570 board either. I haven’t tested that.

  9. I just made this upgrade a week ago. With the prices dropping so low, I was thinking this should keep me going a bit longer without going to a new MB. It is a smooth running CPU. I have been playing Modern Warfare multiplayer lately and it does seem a bit smoother overall. Is it just my imagination? Hard to say, but it sure feels like it. I am running a 1080ti with a 27in 1440p g-sync monitor.
  10. Thanks for the comparison review. I always find these reviews extremely interesting but don’t see them often.

    This should give you some really nice baseline info when the 4xxx series processors release to see how they all compare against each other. I look forward to seeing all of it together when that comes to pass.

  11. Very timely comparison, because I have been wondering if I should have dropped a Zen 2 CPU into my dev box to replace the 2700X. Your testing justified my inaction, particularly given that the money tree has flowered only weakly this year! Keep up the good work.
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