AMD Ryzen 3000XT Processors Reviewed: Zen 2 Turbocharged

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AMD Ryzen 3000XT Series Review: Gaming, Overclocking, And Power

For our next series of tests, we moved on to some game-related metrics with 3DMark, specifically the physics benchmark that's part of the Fire Strike test, along with a couple of actual games. For the 3DMark Physics test, we simply create a custom 3DMark run consisting solely of the physics test, which is CPU dependent, and report the results...

Gaming: 3DMark Physics
Taking the GPU out of the Equation

physics 3000xt

The multi-threaded 3DMark game physics tests shows the 3900XT offering only a slight improvement over the 3900X, and oddly, the Ryzen 7 3800XT couldn't quite catch the 3700X. The 3600XT, however, finished about 5% ahead of the 3600X.

High Resolution Gaming And Graphics Tests
1080P and 4K Gaming With GeForce GTX 1080

We also ran some high-resolution game and graphics tests on our test rigs 3DMark, Middle Earth: Shadow Of War and Rise Of The Tomb Raider. We used 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme preset, and both of the games were run in two different configurations -- either 1080p with Medium details, or 4K with High/Very High details. The lower resolution tests are more CPU bound, while the higher resolution tests are more GPU bound.

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With the taxing Fire Strike Ultra benchmark, which is mostly GPU bound, very is very little that separates all of the processors we tested. The small differences you see here fall well within the margin of variability in this benchmark.

sow 1 3000xt

tomb raider 1 3000xt

The medium-quality, high-framerate 1080p in-game tests also how the Core i9-10900K performing exceptionally well, leading the pack in both games, with the new Ryzen 3000XT series processors coming in slightly ahead of, or right on par with their predecessors.

sow 2 3000xt

tomb raider 2 3000xt

When you crank up the resolution and image quality, however, and shift the performance bottleneck onto the GPU, things balance-out considerably and the results blur. All of these processors are plenty fast enough to keep up with the GPU with these game titles running at 4K resolution.

Overclocking The Ryzen 9 3900XT
Pushing Zen+ Beyond Stock

We also spent some time overclocking the AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT, to see if we could wring any additional performance from the processor. AMD offers an array of tools for overclocking 3rd Generation Ryzen 3000 series processors, including simple methods like Precision Boost Overdrive and Auto-Overclocking via Ryzen Master, or manual overclocking via the BIOS.

Because the processors are unlocked, overclocking it is simply a matter of altering a few multipliers, tweaking voltages, and dealing with the additional heat and power requirements. These processors can also be overclocked by adjusting base clock frequencies though, so it's possible to really fine tune the end result.

3900x stock
Stock AMD Ryzen R9 3900XT Running Ryzen Master In Its Default Configuration -- >90°C Under Load

We took a somewhat conservative approach to overclocking the Ryzen 9 3900XT to give you all an approximate “worst case scenario”. Our results should be repeatable, assuming you’ve got similar hardware and everything is working properly. You shouldn’t need exotic cooling to pull off what we did here -- we used AMD's Wraith Prism cooler with the motherboard and processor installed in a mainstream NZXT mid-tower. Of course, more exotic cooling will result in higher overclocks, but its not a necessity to achieve some significant performance gains. Keep in mind though, that overclocking will void your warranty -- even if using something as simple as PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive), but that hasn't stopped you before, has it?

3900x oc
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT Overclocked To 4.2GHz On All-Cores With Ryzen Master

To see what our chip could do, we manually cranked the core voltage up and shot for a 4.2GHz (42x100MHz) all-core overclock, which worked without incident. We then moved up to 4.3GHz, but we couldn't get the system stable. At this speed, the chip's temps were quickly shooting into the mid 90-degree range when under sustained load, and our test rig would often shut down. So, we backed down to 4.2GHz all-core for the numbers you'll see below.  We should note, idle temperatures were relatively cool and stayed in the upper 30's, however.

Over and above our manual overclock, to gather some additional data, we also tried the Auto-Overclock feature and enabled PBO in Ryzen Master to see how they affected performance with our setup.
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Auto-OC and PBO had a minimal impact on performance. Manually overclocking and pushing all of the cores to 4.2GHz results in some modest gains. While we had the chip overclocked, we re-ran a couple of benchmarks and saw some nice performance improvements. We gained nearly 400 points in Cinebench and 3DMark's Physics test showed the overclocked Ryzen 9 3900XT performing right on par with the more expensive Core i9-10900K.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we also monitored how much power our test system were consuming with a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling at the Windows desktop and while under a heavy CPU workloads. Keep in mind, this is total system power consumption being measured at the outlet and not the the individual power of the CPUs alone.

power 3000xt

The new Ryzen 3000XT series' power consumption characteristics didn't reveal any big surprises. All three of these processors are a few percentage points faster than their "non-XT" counterparts, and they all consume somewhat more power. Idle power is essentially unchanged, but load power shows the XTs sucking a little more juice from the wall.

power oc 3000xt

We also monitored power while overclocked and saw only a marginal increase in power consumption with PBO (or AutoOC) enabled of 17 watts (we didn't graph PBO and AutoOC separated becaase they produced the same result). Manually overclocking, however, resulted in a 40W increase in total system power versus the Ryzen 9 3900XT's stock configuration.

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