A Few Words Before We Start
Intel has been dominating the market the past few years in all sectors (mainstream pc, laptops, server) until 2017, when AMD had released their Ryzen lineup. It gave Intel a big blow in the face and quickly gained market share in the server and desktop PC market that requires multi-threaded performance. But it lagged behind intel in applications that greatly benefits from a single-threaded performance like gaming.
But with each generation of new products, AMD started to catch up with Intel in single-threaded performance, benefiting from their latest technology with IPC (instruction per clock) improvement and their new 7nm manufacturing process compared to Intel’s 14 nm. To beat Intel in the gaming and low budget PC segment, AMD recently announced Ryzen 3100 and 3100x processors to compete directly against Intel i3 (or even the i5) processors.
Today we are gonna go through the details and value of AMD Ryzen 3100 and 3100x CPUs to determine if they are worth buying for low budget casual gaming rigs.
|Model||Cores/Threads||Base/Boost Freq||Total Cache||TDP (Watts)||Included cooler||SEP (USD)|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||16/32||3.5GHz/4.7GHz||72MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$749|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||12/24||3.8GHz/4.6GHz||70MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$499|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||8/16||3.9GHz/4.5GHz||36MB||105W||Wraith Prism RGB||$399|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||8/16||3.6GHz/4.4GHz||36MB||65W||Wraith Prism RGB||$329|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||6/12||3.8GHz/4.4GHz||35MB||95W||Wraith Spire||$249|
|Ryzen 5 3600||6/12||3.6GHz/4.2GHz||35MB||65W||Wraith Stealth||$199|
|Ryzen 3 3300X||4/8||3.8GHz/4.3GHz||18MB||65W||Wraith Stealth||$120|
|Ryzen 3 3100||4/8||3.6GHz/3.9GHz||18MB||65W||Wraith Stealth||$99|
As you can see, the 3100 and 3100x are the lowest in the series in core count. They also have the lowest 18MB of L3 cache. But the magic comes in their single-threaded performance which we will discuss later.
Difference between 3100 and 3300X:
Ryzen 3000 series is based upon a CCD (Core Chiplet Die) design where each CCD contains 2 (Core Complexes) CCX. Each CCX can contain up to 4 cores. So logically, a processor with 1 CCD will have 8 cores. The CCX will be connected by the High Speed interconnect called the “Infinity Fabric”. Getting too technical for you? Well here is a visual representation.
Some background information to get you enlightened that the CPU manufacturing process is a very sophisticated job. When creating a CPU core, there is a very good chance that the die might have full or some partial fault in there and as this is a semiconductor the die performance will be significantly lower. AMD solves this problem with a very intelligent way.
The Ryzen series is designed in a way that you can disable some cores inside a CCX, or the whole CCX itself. By doing so you can solve the yielding problem that existed in CPU without increasing the production cost. Although from the surface, the 3100 and 3100x seem similar, their inside architecture is quite different. Both of them have a single CCD containing 2 CCX.
The 3100 is a 2 cores per CCX design with each CCX having 8MB of L3 cache. On the other hand, Ryzen 3300X is a single active CCX design which means all 4 cores are housed in the same CCX having a 16MB of L3 cache for all cores to access. This results in lower latency as you don’t have to go through the infinity fabric every time you perform some instructions. It helps the cores communicate with each other very efficiently.
As a result, you will get a much better Base and Boost Clock performance for the 3300X compared to the 3100. So, enough talk with the architectural stuff! Now, let’s dive into the benchmarks.
For our testing, we will be using a powerful motherboard (Gigabyte Aorus Pro X570) so that we can confirm that we can push the processor to the absolute limit. Also, we’ll be adding an Nvidia RTX 2080ti to remove any GPU Bottleneck from the processor. For ram we will be adding Dual Channel 2x8GB @ 3200Mhz speed from GSkill. The memory clock speed is higher as AMD always favors the high-speed RAMs. We’re using the stock cooler as most of the users within this price point won’t spend the extra buck for a premium cooler. In short:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 & 3300X
GPU: MSI RTX 2080ti Gaming X Trio
RAM: 2x8GB @ 3200Mhz
Cooler: AMD Wraith Stealth
OS: Windows 1909
In the benchmarking section, we will divide the topic into 3 categories.
The first will be a synthetic workload which will give us an idea about raw CPU power when it comes to video rendering, photo editing, compression & decompression. These types of workloads are mainly dependent on multi-threaded performance.
Our second benchmarking will be on the gaming section which is the main target for these CPUs. Gaming is heavily dependent on the single-threaded performance where the extra boost clock comes very handy.
Finally, we’ll be overclocking both the CPUs to their absolute limit, where we can check if they both ran at the same speed then their performance is the same or not irrespective of the core design. There is no point in spending extra money if they both perform similarly.
Also, for reference, we’ll be adding the big brothers from the Ryzen family (3950X, 3900X, 3700X and older 2600 to see the generational leap) and their Intel counterpart mainly the i5 9400F and the i3 9100F.
We can see from the results that in Multi-core workloads, the Intel i3 gets beaten severely by both the AMD Ryzen 3 CPUs. On average, the Ryzen 3 CPUs are around 40-60% faster than the Intel 9th Gen core i3 9100F. The core i5 9400F isn’t safe either, being only beating the lower-end 3100 by a small margin and getting beaten by the 3300X.
On the Single-core workloads, we can tell that Intel is losing the competition as their processors are more or less 10-20% slower than the new Ryzen processors.
Gaming has always been a strong suit for intel and now we can see the table is turning but slowly. From the games, we’ve seen that intel is still taking the lead on most of the titles but ever so slightly. The games where single-core performance is much needed (like Farcry 5, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Red Dead Redemption 2etc.) this is where Intel processors shine. But AMD is not falling much further though. In most of the cases, the intel i5 9400F trades blows with the 3300X and the 3100 with the i3 9100F. But In general, it’s safe to say that the Ryzen processor is 5-10% slower than the Intel Offering when it comes to gaming.
Then again, you can overclock the Ryzen CPUs which you can’t do in Intel processors.
We can see that both CPUs are overclockable to 4.4GHz and the performance is increased significantly. Now the 3300X can beat the Intel CPUs, where the 3100 is a touch behind than both the Intel counterparts.
Also, looking at the graph we can see that, the single CCX design from 3300X is the winner even though both processors are running at the same speed. This is mainly due to the fact that the 3100 having 2 separated CCX has a time latency as the data passes through the infinity fabric more often.
This is really a marvel that AMD has come up with these smart designs that are offering significantly improving CPU performance every year.
For a long time Intel has been the champion in the gaming category. But it seems AMD is heading for the crown. If you want a gaming PC in the budget of a console, then Ryzen 3 3000 series is for you. We prefer the 3300x over the 3100, because of it’s much superior performance and costing you only $20 more. In the long run, it will be worth the cost.
But it seems that Intel will give a good fight with their upcoming 10th gen CPUs. The 10th gen Intel i3 CPUs will also feature 4 cores 8 threads design with better single-core performance. We recommend you to wait a little bit longer If you can. But if you want a platform with great compatibility across generations, PCI-e 4 technology, or plan to upgrade the CPU in the future, AMD is the way to go.