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AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200 (4C4T) CPU Review

In Ryzen 3, AMD has delivered another strong addition to its current mainstream CPU line-up that reduces the cost of entry to the enticing AM4 platform. Giving budget-conscious buyers a true quad-core CPU with modern architecture and a strong upgrade path for a little over £100 is what Ryzen 3 brings to the table. And the performance that the 1300X, in particular, delivers is punching against Intel CPUs in a higher weight class in many scenarios.

Stock performance from both the 1200 and the 1300X is positive in computational workloads. Four true cores deliver performance that outpaces Intel’s competing 2C4T i3 chips whilst also proving competitive against higher-priced i5s when the unlocked multiplier of Ryzen is leveraged. High-speed – 3200MHz – memory support on budget motherboards is a significant factor that aids the performance of Ryzen 3.


Looking at the above table which shows performance per £ (or bang-for-buck, if you prefer), Ryzen 3 hits a strong value position. That point is particularly true for the cheaper 1200 that can be overclocked with the bundled cooler to frequencies in excess of 3.7GHz.

Equally as important as the strong bang-for-buck that Ryzen 3 offers is the fact that its value as a gaming CPU is clear. Gaming performance from both the 1300X and the 1200 is strong even in comparison to Intel’s price point competitors. However, the budget gaming king still looks to be the Kaby Lake Pentium G4560 when examining the landscape from a value – or FPS per £ – perspective.

Taking the Pentium G4560’s competitiveness into account, Ryzen 3 cannot be called an outright champion in terms of value. However, the 4C4T AMD chips can be thought of as a good value option which strike a positive balance between computational proficiency and gaming performance. That’s before multiplier-unlocked overclocking is added into the equation.

Another clear strength for Ryzen 3 is the AM4 platform it slots into. With budget motherboards allowing for CPU and memory overclocking, 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity, and upgrade routes to an eight-core Ryzen 7, Ryzen 3 and a low-cost B350 offering can be seen as a good starting point for cash-strapped buyers.

At a comparable price point, Intel motherboards are forbidden from overclocking, do not support DDR4 faster than 2400MHz, and are unlikely to be equipped with USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity. You do, however, still get an upgrade path to the fast Core i7-7700K.

Where Intel does, however, draw a trump card is in the iGPU department. To users with basic display needs, Intel’s competing chips and their iGPU can be useful. The basic HD610 or HD630 graphics on the Pentium G4560 and Core i3-7100, respectively, can allow budget buyers to build now and save up longer for a more powerful gaming GPU.

Personally, I would have to think twice before putting Ryzen 3 in my UnRaid servers, given its lack of iGPU. AMD will have APUs to fight that battle but they generally invest resources away from the CPU portion of the chip onto a powerful, gaming-capable GPU section that will be overkill to many users.

Aside from the obvious value victory for the sub-£80 2C4T Pentium G4560, another area where Intel’s competition outdoes AMD’s Ryzen 3 is power consumption. The Intel chips are far more efficient and demand significantly less power under load. Even on a Cinebench rendering performance per Watt scale, Intel’s price competitors outdo Ryzen 3.

Thankfully, AMD’s stellar Wraith Stealth cooler manages the chips’ thermal loads well and is noticeably quieter and more premium than Intel’s competing offering.

The Ryzen 3 1300X will be available for £124.99. The Ryzen 3 1200 will be available for £104.99 (but is currently cheaper at Overclockers UK). We think these price points are fair for Ryzen 3. They offer better value than Intel’s Core i3 line-up and deliver a true, modern quad-core solution for just over £100. Intel’s Kaby Lake Pentium G4560 still holds the value crown but there are numerous scenarios where a little extra expenditure on AMD’s Ryzen 3 makes sense.

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Pros:

  • Competitive price versus performance.
  • Significantly lowers AM4 and Ryzen platform entry cost.
  • Good 1080P60, 1440P60, and slightly higher refresh rate gaming performance at stock and when overclocked.
  • Unlocked overclocking multiplier.
  • High-speed memory support (DDR4-3200, for example) with budget chipset motherboards.
  • On-chip PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe storage link.
  • Benefits from the excellent AM4 platform – native USB 3.1 Gen 2, cost-effective motherboards, upgrade routes to Ryzen 5 and 7 CPUs.
  • Wraith Stealth cooler does a stellar job.

Cons:

  • Power consumption is significantly higher than Intel competitors.
  • Intel’s bargain Pentium G4560 remains a tough thorn in AMD’s side.
  • Lack of iGPU compared to Intel competitors may limit some possible applications or troubleshooting approaches.

KitGuru says: Another positive Ryzen product launch from AMD that gives Intel very tough competition against the Core i3 processors. Ryzen 3 is well-balanced with strong computational and gaming performance and decent gains to be had through overclocking. Despite Ryzen 3’s affordable pricing and cost-effective AM4 platform, Intel’s bargain basement Pentium G4560 remains a thorn in AMD’s side.

Rating: 8.0.

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  • SeniorPendejo

    I farted, whew.

  • Billynolegs

    Should also be noted that intel’s cheapest unlocked cpu, the 7350k, needs a comparatively expensive z270 mobo in order to be OC’d, whereas all ryzen chips can be oc’d on the more budget oriented b350 boards, expanding the price/value gap between the competing entry level unlocked chips.

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  • Emerest Thisk

    In the conclusion, more emphasis should be placed on the fact that both Ryzen chips significantly outperform competing Intel chips of similar price. Surely that is more important than any other metric yet this information is totally absent in the summary. Instead, points about iGPU and power draw are repeated. Strange.

  • Katrinacready

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !aw213d:
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  • Timothy Isenhart

    If you haven’t noticed this writer is slightly Intel bias. I have watched Kit Guru’s videos and read most of their AMD and Intel articles and they do tend to paint a picture that AMD is inferior and Intel is always the best choice. Even when AMD releases a ground breaking product it is difficult for Kit Guru to actually give them any praise. I stopped reading Kit Guru articles because of this but I decided to give this article a chance.

  • Luke

    Hi Emerest,

    I tried to focus more on price vs performance in the conclusion as it had less exposure in the rest of the review and fit in nicely in this section. There are plenty of points and charts in the rest of the review showing where Ryzen does well against Intel chips of a similar price. Not everything can be crammed into the conclusion without making it overly long to read. People generally look at the charts on the previous pages, as well as the analysis beneath the charts, and then look to the conclusion for summary points (such as price vs performance, strengths and weakness, value, etc.). The fact that Ryzen chips do well against their Intel price competitors has been outlined beneath the charts (including areas where the competition does well).

  • Luke

    Hi Timothy,

    Not sure what you have been reading. Not sure what you have been watching either as I have only recently started producing videos and haven’t yet had chance to do any videos for AMD products (though that will change in the coming weeks).

    I think you should go back and read our Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 3 reviews again. Then you should go and read our most recent Intel CPU reviews. You’ll see that there’s no bias or brand preference and that we have given positive feedback where it’s due and criticism where it’s due. Like Ryzen 7, which scored very highly and got positive feedback from us for what it brought to market, in a “ground breaking” fashion. An equally relevant point would be our review of the Core i7-7740X, which received a lot of criticism from us for several reasons, one of which was for AMD’s similarly-priced Ryzen 7 options being far more competitive.

    It is a shame you stopped reading the articles. You must have missed the ones that completely invalidate your claims of bias and finding it difficult to give AMD praise.

  • jdwii

    Have to call you out on that not only is this site great as it includes Sandy and haswell results which most don’t they are not bias towards intel hell I’d say they are nicer towards And.