Conclusion

Looking at how the hardware performs a year or more down the road from its launch is a good way to see how it really stacks up.  The desktop processor AMD Ryzen 7 2700X was released in early 2018, and its successor the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X was released a year ago.  Both have gone through the wringer in terms of software and firmware updates.  AMD has released a myriad of AGESA BIOS updates for both CPUs over their lifetime.  In addition, new major OS updates have occurred, as well as application and software updates.  As we look forward now to Zen 3 on the horizon by hopefully the end of this year, it’s important to see how truly the Ryzen 7 2700X compares to the Ryzen 7 3700X, moving from Zen+ to Zen 2 architecture. 

What also made our comparison unique was that we tested both CPUs on an X570 chipset motherboard, instead of X470.  Running the Ryzen 7 2700X on X570 with fast DDR4 3600MHz memory is the sure-fire way to extract the most performance out of it.  In that way, we are testing both CPUs in the best way possible extracting all the performance we can.  This allows us to make a direct CPU to CPU comparison in 2020 with everything else being exactly the same in the setup.

Application Performance

We know that AMD indicated that the Ryzen 7 3700X at launch would have about a 10% IPC uplift over the Ryzen 7 2700X.  The Ryzen 7 3700X also has a slightly higher boost clock (4.4GHz) versus the Ryzen 7 2700X at 4.3GHz.  There are also changes in the chip design itself, moving from monolithic design to a chiplet design with Zen 2.  This fundamentally changes everything.  The L3 cache size also grew from 16MB to 32MB on the Ryzen 7 3700X.

These changes combined have yielded performance improvements across all of our benchmarks on the Ryzen 7 3700X.  Every single synthetic benchmark showed a noticeable percentage improvement in the Ryzen 7 3700X’s performance over the Ryzen 7 2700X.

PCMark 10’s standard test showed a 13% improvement, and the application test was even larger at 20%.  Geekbench 5 showed a 16% advantage on the Ryzen 7 3700X.  Aida64’s Queen test gave us a 6% advantage on integer-based performance on the Ryzen 7 3700X over the 2700X.  In the FPU Mandel test though, the Ryzen 7 3700X really wiped the floor with performance giving us a 94% boost over the 2700X.  In the GPGPU tests, you can also see large differences in Julia and Mandel, doubling performance.  SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone had a 15% improvement on the Ryzen 7 3700X and Whetstone had an 11% improvement. 

Rendering benchmarks were also faster and saved time on the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU.  In Cinebench Multi-Threading the Ryzen 7 3700X was 20% faster and in Single-Thread it was 15% faster.  Running Blender Benchmarks, we saw a 20% savings on time rendering the scenes.  When we ran HandBrake, we saw a 10% reduction in time with the Ryzen 7 3700X.  V-Ray was 15% faster on the Ryzen 7 3700X.  3DMark was very close in performance, but this benchmark is more GPU bound.

When you look at the application performance differences, you’ll note we saw a lot of 15-20% advantages in performance.  There were some outliers that were way up there and some integer tests that were less so.  However, it seems on average, 15% uplift in performance is a good descriptor for the Ryzen 7 3700X over a Ryzen 7 2700X in applications.  This exceeds the 10% IPC claim, naturally, the slightly higher clock is also attributing to this.

Game Performance

When it comes to games, this one is a bit more variable.  Unlike the application benchmarks, games are going to be more GPU dependent at higher settings and resolutions.  However, the CPU can still play a part.  In older games, or games that are CPU dependent anyway like Far Cry 5 and GTAV, we see the CPU making a difference even at 1440p.  We aren’t talking about a lot though, between 9-11%, but that is enough to make a difference in those games.

Yet, other games we don’t really see much of an advantage, and if we do it’s a few percent at 1440p.  Where the GPU really starts to take over is at 4K and between those two CPUs, there just isn’t any difference in the gameplay experience. 

Therefore, what it comes down to really is the game you are playing and the video card you have.  If you have a video card as fast as the RTX 2080 SUPER or RTX 2080 Ti you will be more CPU limited at 1440p and the Ryzen 7 3700X will give you better performance at 1440p, potentially around 10% better performance.  However, if you have a slower video card and playing at 1440p you will most likely be more GPU limited than CPU, and it won’t make any difference really.

If you are playing at 4K this becomes even more so, and unless you have an RTX 2080 Ti at 4K, the 3700X won’t give you a better experience compared to the 2700X.

Final Thoughts

This has been an interesting test to make now that these CPUs are a year or two years old now.  We can really see how they perform in applications and games and how they compare in 2020.  We used the latest software versions, the latest BIOS, the latest AGESA, and X570 chipset with fast DDR4 3600MHz memory. 

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is still a powerful CPU today for applications, office work, and gaming today.  With prices now as low as $240.99 it’s a great value for today.  If you have a powerful GPU, or play at lower resolutions, or play older games or known CPU dependent games, then the Ryzen 7 3700X will give you a boost, but don’t expect miracles on gaming performance.  In fact, the Ryzen 7 3700X will probably give you more performance in other applications and office work that may be more noticeable, or specific workloads that stress CPU performance. 

What’s even better is that prices on Ryzen 7 3700X have dropped a lot, and you can snag it now for $279.99, only $40 more than the Ryzen 7 2700X.  That’s actually a pretty incredible deal, and then you can claim you have the best performance, at least until Zen 3.

Discussion

Recent Posts

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...

Join the Conversation

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.
Leave a comment