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.
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.
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.
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.