If AMD’s Ryzen 7 desktop chips were aimed at Intel’s Core i7 processors, and the Ryzen 5 family was AMD’s shot at Intel’s Core i5, then it makes sense that AMD’s Ryzen 3 chips are designed to take on Intel Core i3 chips.

According to AMD, Ryzen 3 processors are up to $20 cheaper than their Core i3 Kaby lake counterparts, and offer up to 29 percent better performance.

But while you should always take self-reported benchmarks with a grain of salt, there are a few nifty things about AMD’s 65-watt Ryzen 3 chips that could make them pretty interesting.

First up, the Ryzen 3-1200 and Ryzen 3-1300X are both multiplier unlocked, which means enthusiasts can try to overclock them to improve performance.

Second, while Intel’s Core i3-7100 and Core i3-7300 chips are dual-core chips with support for hyperthreading to offer 4 threads, the AMD Ryzen 3 chips are 4-core/4-thread chips. While there’s no hyperthreading, you get four physical CPU cores instead of two.

What does that mean in terms of real-world performance? According to AnandTech’s tests, the Ryzen 3 1300X seems to be very competitive with Intel’s Core i3 Kaby Lake desktop chips when it comes to price and performance. The Ryzen 3 1200 is a bit less compelling. But it’s still kind of impressive that AMD managed to design its Zen architecture so that it scales from entry-level chips like these all the way up to Threadripper 16-core chips and Epyc server processors.

Out of the box, the $109 Ryzen 3-1200 features a 3.1 GHz base speed and supports boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, while the $129 Ryzen 3-1300X has a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz and boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz.

AMD says all of its Ryzen chips are compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, with Ryzen 3 chips (and the Ryzen 5-1400) described as “VR-ready,” while Ryzen 5-1500X and faster processors are “VR-ready Premium.”

One thing to keep in mind about these chips is that like all other Ryzen chips to date is that they do not have integrated graphics. So if you’re looking for an entry-level chip with AMD Radeon graphics built in, AMD is continuing to push its A-Series and Athlon X4 chips.

The company also plans launch Ryzen mobile chips for laptops later this year. And AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper chips with 12 or more CPU cores are coming in August.

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6 replies on “AMD launches Ryzen 3 quad-core desktop chips for $109 and up”

  1. Mr. Linder is right, this is really not a very compelling showing for someone just wanting an economical desktop chip. I recently bought a 4-core AMD A8-7600 for $55 delivered off E-Bay which has a Passmark score of 5126/1541 (multiple core/single) while the low-end Ryzen 3 1200 scores 7029/1704 for $110. Both supposedly have a TDP of 65 watts. A 350 motherboard for the Ryzen costs about $80, I bought a FM2+ motherboard for the A8-7600 for $50 and it has 3 video outs and is currently driving 3 monitors in Debian stable without having to splash $50 or so for a video card that might be able to handle 3 outputs.

    If you need performance, I’d go for the Ryzen 5 1600, which I’ve seen for about $185 and is almost twice as fast as the Ryzen 3 1200 at the same power usage.

    Hopefully AMD will release the APU versions of these chips soon with onboard graphics, most of the motherboards already support multiple display adapters. Then it might be worth taking another look at them.

    1. A little unfair to compare the list price of a brand new product and the price you paid on ebay for a processor whose design is three years old and will . Same for the motherboards.

      It’s also true that at most levels you almost always get diminishing returns for paying more. It’s no different for the Intel processors, where you can get an excellent deal if you’re content with the performance of their entry level Pentium family of chips. Buying an i3 for twice the price doesn’t get you twice the performance either.

      Finally, pricing is a family affair — they can’t price the Ryzen 3 family of chips too low, otherwise they would cut into the sales of their Ryzen 5 chips, since the bigger gap would have deterred more people from stepping up.

      In the end, the main competition is between Ryzen 3 and Intel’s i3 processors. That’s where all the focus will be going forward, both for Intel and for AMD.

      1. Whoops — superfluous “and will” at the end of the first sentence.

        1. Agreed.

          However, the lack of an integrated GPU actually brings the value proposition down. If you got an i3 you can shove it into a shoe box and be done with it. With R3, you need a GPU and possibly a stronger PSU.

          This isn’t a problem for the 1500X where people expect to use something like a GTX 1050Ti (especially a LP-PCIE powered one).

          ….I have a sneaky suspicion that Ryzen 200 will come in 12months time and there will be slight improvements in drivers, applications, ram management, and the lithography that will cumulatively add up to a decent setup. On top of that, I think AMD will include a iGPU that’s equal/slightly better than Intel’s Iris Pro performance (ie/ eSports capable).

          So I think anyone who builds a B350 and Ryzen R5-1400 PC in 2017 will get a very nice CPU upgrade to a R5-2600 in 2019. Kind of like people who upgraded their Core i5-2500’s to OC 3770K’s back in 2011-2013.

    2. It’s not the most economical solution but it offers a path to upgrade in the future. My only grips is lack of igpu.

  2. Tempted to do a mini-itx 1080p gaming rig with this and a 1050ti just for fun.

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