(Image credit: AMD)
We’re on the cusp of Intel’s Comet Lake launch, but AMD fired a preemptive strike today on the low end with its new Ryzen 3 3300X and Ryzen 3 3100 processors. These new quad-core eight-thread processors fill the gap left in AMD’s Ryzen 3000 lineup and address Intel’s looming Core i3 lineup. Given the value-centric nature of these new overclockable chips, they’ll need a new cheaper motherboard ecosystem to go along with them. To that effect, AMD also announced the long-anticipated B550 chipset that will bring the mainstream an affordable path to the PCIe 4.0 interface.
To put things in perspective, the new AMD chips come with the same core counts as Intel models that sold for ~$350 three short years ago. Continuing its streak of upsetting the market, AMD’s $120 Ryzen 3 3300X lands with an 3.8 GHz base frequency and 4.3 GHz boost, while the $99 Ryzen 3 3100 weighs in at a 3.8 GHz base and 3.9 GHz boost. Both chips come with a capable Wraith Stealth cooler and will be available in May 2020.
AMD also announced that B550 motherboards, which will support the PCIe 4.0 interface present on the new Ryzen 3 models, will land June 16, 2020. AMD was light on details about the new motherboards, though we do know they will come from OEMs like ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, among the other usual players. The company expects over 60 models to come to market, and we’ve already seen a few examples leak out over the last several months.
ProcessorMSRP/RCPCores / ThreadsBase / Boost Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)TDP (W)Ryzen 3 3300X$1204 / 83.8 / 4.31665Ryzen 3 3100$994 / 83.8 / 3.91665Ryzen 3 2300Xnot available4 / 43.5 / 4.0865Ryzen 3 3200G$994 / 43.6 / 4.0465Core i3-10320?4 / 83.8 / ?865Core i3-10300?4 / 83.7 / ?865Core i3-10100?4 / 83.6 / ?865Ryzen 5 3400G$1494 / 83.7 / 4.3465
*Intel specifications in the table are unconfirmed.
AMD’s jump forward to 7nm Zen 2-based processors didn’t come with new models to replace the Ryzen 3 2300X, instead the company leaned on its performant Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G APUs, which come with comparatively beefy graphics, to tackle Intel’s Core i3 lineup. In contrast, the Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100 come without an integrated graphics engine, so you’ll need to pair them with a discrete graphics card.
As expected, the new 65W Ryzen 3 chips also come with the 7nm process paired with AMD’s Zen 2 microarchitecture, but only feature one core compute die (CCD). AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X and the 3100 come with all of the normal trimmings we find with Ryzen 3000 processors, including support for the PCIe 4.0 interface that is twice as fast as the PCIe 3.0 interface on Intel’s looming Comet Lake Core i3 models. They also support DDR4-3200 and come fully unlocked, meaning you’re free to overclock at will. The chips also come with a full 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, which is much better than PCIe 3.0 x8 connection found on AMD’s APUs.
While the Ryzen 3 3200G offers entry level gaming performance with integrated graphics, it comes with four cores without threading for $99, and stepping up to the quad-core eight-thread Ryzen 5 3400G requires moving up to the $149 price point. Both processors also only come with 4MB of cache, while the new Ryzen 3 models come with 16MB.
As per normal, though, Intel’s Core i3 line comes with the company’s integrated graphics, while AMD’s Ryzen 3 series comes devoid of an iGPU. That means the Ryzen 3 series will grapple with Intel’s graphics-less F-series Core i3 chips that come at a discount compared to their full-fledged brethren. With Intel’s Comet Lake still unannounced, it’s hard to ascertain how Ryzen 3 stacks up against Intel’s pricing.
AMD also has value offerings within its own stable that could weigh in as competing options, provided you don’t need access to the PCIe 4.0 interface. The $85 Ryzen 5 1600 comes as a new AF model with an updated 12nm process with six cores and twelve threads, making it a potent offering that you can pair with low-end previous-gen motherboards. AMD also has a new refreshed chip with 12nm, the four-core four-thread Ryzen 3 1200, that weighs in at a mere $60. However, given its previous-gen design and lack of threading, it won’t be nearly as potent as the new Ryzen 3 models.
In either case, AMD has a firm roster of value-centric chips down on the low end of the market, and as you’d expect, we’ll see reviews soon enough.