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

We leave the system to idle on the Windows 10 desktop for 5 minutes before taking a power draw reading. For CPU load results, we read the power draw while producing five runs of the Cinebench multi-threaded test. We also run 5 minutes of AIDA64 stress test to validate data.

The power consumption of our entire test system (at the wall) is shown in the chart. The same test parameters were used for temperature readings.

Power Consumption

Power draw readings are accurate to around +/-5W under heavy load due to instantaneous fluctuations in the value. We use a Platinum-rated Seasonic 760W PSU and install a GTX 1070 video card that uses very little power.

Power draw is an area where Ryzen 3 clearly falls short. While AMD’s latest-and-greatest CPUs look power efficient at higher ends of the market, that same efficiency does not translate into low power draw numbers in lower ends of the market. The Ryzen 3 1200 held around 100W system-wide power draw when running Cinebench, which was around 20W more than Intel’s 2C4T competitors. Even Intel’s faster 4C4T Core i5 chip drew less power under load.

Switching focus to the Ryzen 3 1300X shows even less appealing power draw numbers. The equally-fast (albeit more expensive) Core i5-7400 used 43W (36%) less power during Cinebench. That equates to around 15p extra daily electricity cost for Ryzen 3 1300X if you left your system 100% loaded for 24 hours.

Electricity cost is minimal but the increased power draw necessitates a stronger power supply, better motherboard VRM, and enhanced cooling. In a SFF system where cooling clearance and space for a decent Wattage PSU are at a premium, that increased power consumption level is rarely good news.

The Cinebench performance per Watt chart summarises the previous points appropriately. Ryzen 3 offers sub-par performance per Watt and is generally outdone by Intel’s more efficient Core-based offerings.

Of course, performance per Watt and overall power draw may mean very little to users who simply want a true quad-core chip with good performance and have a little over £100 to spend.

Temperatures

Temperature recordings were taken using each CPU’s bundled cooler with fan speeds set to maximum. These coolers were the Wraith Stealth for AMD Ryzen CPUs and Intel’s Intel E97379-003 for Kaby Lake chips. Ambient temperatures were held around 23°C (and normalised to 23°C where there were slight fluctuations).

We read the Tdie/Tctl temperature for Ryzen (the 20°C offset does not seem to be present on these CPUs).

No cause for concerns with the temperatures from AMD’s Ryzen 3 CPUs. At full speed, the Wraith Stealth cooler’s noise output is perfectly tolerable even if one must sit next to it for an extended period of heavy load. The only time that Ryzen 3 pushed past 60°C was when we overclocked the 1300X to 3.9GHz and ran a synthetic stress test.

Comparing the Ryzen 3 1200 with the Core i3-7100, AMD’s chip actually runs at a lower load temperature despite its higher power consumption. This situation can be attributed to AMD’s smart design of the Ryzen heatspreader and the proficient Wraith Stealth cooler.

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