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AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: Zen 2 in all its glory

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The first processor microarchitecture Zen was released in March 2017. Since it’s only been two and a half years, but today, AMD is updating the lineup of its desktop processors that inherit this microarchitecture for the second time. Moreover, it is not about the formal updates. Let appeared in last year Ryzen second generation and can be calculated by a simple translation of the initial design on rails for a more advanced technological process, but now we are talking about much more significant change. New Ryzen third generation, we are talking about today, is not just advanced technological process, but also significant changes in the topology and microarchitecture.

AMD acts decisively and quickly: time after time she makes strides toward improving their proposals. And the results are not forced himself to wait. The company is steadily increasing its share of the processor market, and Ryzen second generation deservedly reputed to be the best proposals for the mass market on a combination of price and performance. And even the skeptics now believe that AMD has managed to seriously shake up the CPU market and make at least so that announcements of new processors from mediocre updates turned into the main events in the computer industry.

However, now the company wants even more. While Intel continues to torment the 14-nm process technology and microarchitecture Skylake come from 2015, AMD is going to finally seize the initiative. At Ryzen third generation has the mission to demonstrate the technological superiority of AMD and translate it from second place to first. But will the third attempt improved AMD to create the best in recent history processor for desktop systems successful?

We write these lines, when you already know the test results. And I can say for sure, Ryzen in 3000 there is a lot of positive changes that put them head and shoulders above its predecessors. However, challenges remain, which subject the story of the novelties turns out not too simple.

For this reason, the material on testing Ryzen 3000 we broke into two parts. In the first part we talk about the new osmeteria Ryzen 7 3700X, the example which is easiest to analyse design compared Ryzen previous generation Intel Core. The second part, which will be released following the first, will be devoted to testing the 12-core flagship Ryzen 9 3900X with which AMD is going to put in the mass market segment a series of absolute records.

#What you should know about the new microarchitecture Zen 2

If the release of processors Ryzen first and second generation AMD wanted to convey the idea that she finally returned to the top League of developers and manufacturers of x86 processors, today’s announcement Ryzen 3000 brings already a completely different message. Now the company puts before itself a more ambitious goal – to become the leader of the processor market, which offers the fastest, most energy efficient and most technologically advanced chips.

And this task seems impossible. In the past year, AMD managed to build a very solid Foundation from which she is able to confidently start up. Thanks to the cooperation with one of the leading contract manufacturers of semiconductors, Taiwan’s TSMC, the first company in the PC industry shifted the production of its processors for the 7-nm technology, which allowed it to increase the density of the crystals to raise their operating frequencies and, in parallel, to improve energy efficiency. In addition to this, AMD has introduced another innovation and moved to a new mnogoshipovyh (cabletow) the layout of processors, which suggests the Assembly of final products of several semiconductor crystals, which allows to circumvent many manufacturing complexity and significantly reduce the cost of complex multi-core processors.

But Ryzen third generation mark so highly not only because they are able to offer the users a lot of working at high frequency cores for a relatively small amount. Something similar already was in the range of AMD before. But based on previous arm processors, there were many claims with low single-threaded performance with serious delays in the internuclear interaction and the inefficient memory controller. Now, all these deficiencies in varying degrees, should be eliminated. Speaking about the improvement of the performance of new Ryzen in comparison with the predecessors, AMD operates two-digit percentages, and it really seems very serious progress against the background of development in recent years Intel.

However, you need to understand that this major increase in performance Ryzen third generation is largely driven by the low base effect. The new processor microarchitecture is not something fundamentally new: 2 Zen is different from Zen/Zen+ is, in fact, carries with it a set of fixes for the most critical problems of its predecessors. But because of the problems of a different sort were many, and many of them caused considerable damage to the overall efficiency of the microarchitecture, their removal ultimately leads to significant productivity gains.

And yet, to belittle the merits of AMD, we would not like. The ultimate in Zen 2, there have been many positive changes: increased throughput on-chip all major highways, increased download of available processor cores of the computing resources become more amounts of data that the processor can operate locally, as well as significantly increased key performance indicator specific performance microarchitecture – the number of executable per clock instructions (IPC).

Detailed analysis the analysis of the architectural innovations and improvements in Ryzen 3000 we have dedicated a separate article in it about the structure of micro Zen 2 describes in great detail.

Here we only recall the main causes that determine the growth of the notorious figure of the IPC. They need to know at least in order to better understand the results of the tests representatives of the family Ryzen 3000. So this:

  • Increase the width of the block floating point unit (FPU) from 128 to 256 bits. Thanks Zen 2 can execute a 256-bit AVX2 instructions in one go, that is twice as faster than previously.
  • A two-fold increase in cache decoded micro-operations, which should reduce the downtime of the Executive part of the conveyor due to the lack of performance of the decoder of x86 instructions.
  • Significantly improved the prediction of transitions in the mechanism which is now used new TAGE predictor (Tagged geometric) and increased by the amount of buffers for the purposes of branchings of the first and second levels. All of this reduces the error probability of the branch prediction and minimizes the number of situations when the processor is forced to reset the pipeline state from-for incorrectly made predictions of branching code.
  • The appearance of an extra (third) of the block address generation (AGU), which allows the execution units more timely access to necessary data even at high loads.
  • Doubled bus width of the cache memory that also allows you to eliminate bottlenecks when handling the actuators to the data.
  • Double volume cache of the third level, the total amount of which made up 32 MB for each eight-chiplet.
  • Advanced algorithms pre-fetch data, enabling transfer of data from memory into the cache before they are requested during the execution of the program code.
  • Increased the size of the queue schedulers that allowed us to improve the efficiency of the SMT technology.
  • Increased the size of the register file, which gives the processor the ability to process more commands in parallel without any delay.
  • Additional fixes in microarchitecture that help to neutralize the attacks, the Spectre V4 without impacting performance.

To illustrate the micro-to improve the practical examples is quite simple. For this we usually use a simple synthetic benchmark test of AIDA64 utility: they allow you to see how performance has changed in the performance of certain standard algorithms. In the figures below we compare the past generation Ryzen (Pinnacle Ridge) with the current (Mattisse) for example shestnadcatiletnih and eight-core chips running at the same clock frequency of 4.0 GHz. In addition, the chart is placed the results of eight Lake Coffee Refresh, also clocked at 4.0 GHz.

In fact, all these results are very curious. First, they show that for some algorithms, microarchitecture Zen 2 provides almost two-fold performance increase, while in other cases, the performance remained at the same level. Second, they allow to say that in terms of a relatively simple computational algorithms, which are well rasparallelivanija and do not need in active work with external data from memory, microarchitecture Zen 2 has not only grown to the efficiency of the microarchitecture of Intel Skylake, but even surpassed it.

The most impressive progress Matisse shows in those algorithms which use floating point. Specifically, where used instructions AVX2, FMA3, and FMA4. After all, it is their performance in Zen 2 has doubled.

As for integer calculations, with them, no problems there in previous processors Ryzen. Now there was a small change in performance, associated primarily with changes in the caching and decoding of instructions with a decrease of the L1I cache and increase the cache decoded micro-operations. Not to mention the relatively poor result of Matisse in the CPU Photoworxx test. The fact that it is the only benchmark in which among other things plays a role in the performance of the memory subsystem. And with it a new Ryzen really is not as good as a class. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

#Bus Infinity Fabric and the speed of internuclear interaction

If we talk about osmeterium and shestiyaderny, the processors Ryzen third generation has retained its traditional basic structure – they are composed of two Quad-core complexes CCX (Core Complex), which are placed in one eight-core processor chip-Deplete CCD (Core Complex Die) and connected inside tire Infinity Fabric. However, the difference from previous processors is that the OCTA core CPU is no longer a single monolithic crystal. The memory controller, PCI Express controller and the SoC elements removed from the CCD chiplet in a separate I/O-chipset manufactured for 12-nm technology at GlobalFoundries companies. This double-crystal arrangement does not affect the communication between cores and L3 cache – everything here stays the same.

In processors with 12 and 16 cores all adds another level of hierarchy – they use the same OCTA core CCD chipley, but a double number. This direct connection with each other CCD chipley do not have. They are connected by bus Infinity Fabric only with I/O-capleton, so all the interaction between nuclei in different chiplet, going through the smart host – I/O chipset.

In the end, it turns out that even in the case of eight cores cores of unequal relative to each other: there is a “close” of the kernel (in one CCX-complex), and is – “distant” (located in different CCX and having the ability to communicate with each other only via Infinity Fabric). In processors based on CCD pair are still “very far” cores physically located in different crystals. For this specific delay when communicating between cores is different depending on, they are United in one CCX or are different. And it is quite disturbing moment: in the processors Ryzen past generations delay encountered when communicating cores from different CCX became quite noticeable and in some cases hindered the performance.

Ryzen in 3000, this issue should have been partially fixed. First, AMD worked with Microsoft and was able to ensure that the scheduler of the operating system now account for the topology of the processor and first loaded the kernel from one CCX-complex, moving to the next CCX, available only when the kernel is already loaded in the previous job. Such a strategy is inherent to the scheduler in the new version of Windows 10 May 2019 Update in relation to the processors Ryzen this allows to reduce the number of calls inter-core bus-Infinity Fabric high delays and focus calculations, if they do not load all the processor cores inside the CPU the smallest unit.

Secondly, the tyre Infinity Fabric Ryzen new generation of markedly accelerated by itself: its width is doubled from 256 to 512 bits. Much it improves the situation? Positive effect it is easy to check that, we did our traditional test delays when transferring data between cores. For comparison, the following are the results of the measurements made, not only for the OCTA-core processor Ryzen third generation, but also for osmeteria last generation (Pinnacle Ridge), and eight Coffee Lake Refresh. All processors during the test was reduced to a single clock frequency of 4.0 GHz, the memory of all CPU operated in the mode DDR4-3466, and that means the tire is Infinity Fabric to compare Ryzen used the same frequency 1733 MHz.

The situation in Ryzen 3000 really has improved markedly. Core belonging to the CCX-complex, is now able to exchange data 25% faster, and the kernel belonging to different CCX are “closer” to each other by a third. Thus, Ryzen 3000, at least if we talk about CPUs with cores not more than eight, problems with high latency inter-core cooperation will be subject to significantly lesser extent. Moreover, the speed of connections between nuclei belonging to the CCX-complex, new members of the family Ryzen has surpassed even Coffee Lake Refresh, which uses a ring bus, which is considered the most successful variant of the connection parts of the processor into a single unit.

The positive impact of high speed Infinity Fabric should be manifested not only when transferring data between cores. It is worth Recalling that each CCX-complex Ryzen processor has its own cache of the third level, and all the large 32 MB L3 cache in eight Ryzen 3000 actually represents two cache to 16 MB. Therefore, treatment using Infinity Fabric occur in the case when the kernel of the same CCX-complex need of data in L3-cache of the second CCX-complex. Therefore, the observed speedup Infinity Fabric should have a positive impact on performance in a wide range of situations, including when working with data.

However, another problem associated with the speed Infinity Fabric remained unresolved: the frequency of this bus continues to be associated with the frequency of the memory controller. Although the new AMD processors and implemented the asynchronous mode of operation Infinity Fabric, the frequency of this bus still can not exceed the frequency at which the memory controller and the DDR4 SDRAM will continue to have a significant impact on the performance of Ryzen 3000.

#Speed cache memory

If we talk about working with the data, then the subsystem of the cache memory in processors Ryzen 3000 has not changed. The cache memory of the first (L1D) and the second level will retain the same size, organisation and latency, and the only novelty is the increased cache of the third level. Due to the transition to the 7-nm technology AMD allowed themselves to significantly increase the transistor budget CCX-complexes, and thus the third level cache has been doubled to 16 MB for every four cores. But even this area, which Ryzen 3000 is a CCX-a set of 7-nm semiconductor crystal is only 31,3 mm2, while in the processors of the previous generation, which are produced at 12-nm technology, CCX-complex is a 60 mm2.

But the increase in L3 cache there was not so much from the generosity of the developers. This is partly a forced measure. The new processors chilenas layout memory controller “drifted away” from the cores, and cache as much data – a method is needed in order to try to reduce the number of situations when processor cores are idle waiting for data from memory. AMD representatives say that in the first place, this should help resolve performance issues in games, but we’ll see.

Now I want to talk about another point: the increase in the volume of the cache memory is always accompanied by an increase in its delay. So what happened this time, but in fairness it should be noted that the increase in latency was quite small, with 38-39 to 41-42 cycles.

In the graphs below, we compared the latency of the cache memory eight cores Ryzen second and third generations, as well as relevant representatives of the family of Intel Core. All processors during the measurement was reduced to a single frequency of 4.0 GHz.

The cache memory of the first and second level Ryzen 3000 in comparison with processors of the previous generation has not changed its key performance parameters. The latency L1 and L2 cache remains at 4 and 12 bars. However, to say that the nearest to the computing cores, the cache memory is not changed, it would be wrong. The first-level cache Ryzen in 3000 is actually faster, because now he is able to serve two 256-bit read and one 256-bit write each cycle, which means increased throughput compared with previous processor family Ryzen in half.

As a result, the speed of L1 and L2 cache Ryzen 3000 are fully comparable with the speed of the cache memory levels lower in the actual mass processors competitor. And the cache memory of the third level in the new Ryzen, though, and increased its latency can still offer lower latency compared to the L3-cache in Intel processors Coffee Lake Refresh. However, we should not lose sight of the fundamentally different algorithms L3 cache in processors from different manufacturers. Zen/Zen+ and Zen 2 cache of the third level is very simple and victimization, and also independent for each CCX-complex. At the same time, consumer Intel platform LGA 1151 implemented more intelligent of inclusive cache, with writeback that is shared between all cores. In other words, the practical efficiency of the L3 cache in AMD and Intel are very different.

However, graphs are given of the latency give some reasons for concern. Namely, the concern is the terminal part of the curve of latency to Matisse, which shows the characteristics of the memory subsystem. As you can see, there are no reasons for optimism: Ryzen third generation were worse than their predecessors and, as a consequence, really lost on memory latency processors competitor. What’s the matter?

#Work with memory

Implemented in Ryzen 3000 Chilena layout was shared between the computing cores and the memory controller. While CCX-complexes with cores and L3 cache are in the 7-nm CCD-chiplet, the memory controller along with a PCI Express controller and elements of the SoC issued in another I/O-chiplet. The connection between chipsetati mounted the processor on a single printed substrate, using tires Infinity Fabric, which means data path from memory to CPU core has an additional stage. Although AMD says that the external bus Infinity Fabric similar high-speed characteristics of the bus that bind CCX-complexes inside the CCD chiplet, all of this somehow had an impact on the delays that occur when accessing the memory.

In other words, when it was discovered that the latency of memory Ryzen 3000 became worse than before, we are not surprised. More interesting: how deteriorated the speed of the memory in the new AMD processors. Clearly the answer to this question indicators Cachemem test from the AIDA64 utility (for correct measurements, all processors have the same frequency of 4.0 GHz in all cases, the systems have dual channel DDR4-3466 SDRAM timings 16-16-16-36-1T).

As shown, worsening memory latency Ryzen in 3000 compared with the previous generation processor is about 11 %. In addition, deteriorated, and the throughput speed of the recording, which shows the memory controller Ryzen 3000, became one and a half times lower than they were before. In other words, miracles do not happen: just as occurred in the mid-2000s, years of moving the memory controller from the chipset into the processor to accelerate work with memory, reverse the separation of the memory controller from cores naturally led to the opposite result.

Moreover, for AMD processors, the increase in memory latency is not just annoying little thing, it is really a very unpleasant moment. Speed of work with memory Ryzen last generation and so much lost to competitor processors. Now, with the release of Ryzen 3000, the situation will only get worse. Although throughput when reading and copying data from Ryzen 3000 and Intel Refresh Coffee Lake remain comparable, the speed of entry and from the point of view of the latency of memory, the new AMD processors are inferior competitors in 1,6-1,8 times.

But not everything is so dramatic. For potential buyers Ryzen third generation there is good news. The most important – in the newer processors used significantly redesigned memory controller, which is not so capricious as its predecessor. This is reflected in the passport characteristics: new Ryzen 3000 has received official support DDR4-3200 SDRAM, which had not formally been proposed. Moreover, the performance of the memory in the mode DDR4-3200 is guaranteed for all pairs of modules, regardless of their organization and the component base.

In addition, if we talk about implemented in a new memory controller capabilities, it is worth mentioning a couple of important things. First, Ryzen 3000 will now be supported by 32 GB modules, which means that in a system based on the new processors can be installed in a total of 128 GB memory. Second, the memory controller supports ECC. However, the ability to use this feature will depend on the motherboard, and, as experience shows, in regular consumer platforms, manufacturers usually do not activate.

However, the main advantages of the new controller becomes clear when its practical use. It is no exaggeration to call it unproblematic: it is omnivorous in respect to the memory modules and much more stable, not requiring tedious selection of timings to achieve stability at a relatively high frequency. At the time, as with processors Ryzen in previous generations the memory modules rarely could run in the modes faster DDR4-3466, with the new controller does not cause the problem and run the memory in higher speed modes. Coupled with the increased volume cache of the third level, this largely offsets the increase in latency of the memory subsystem as a whole.

However, AMD wouldn’t be himself if positive change didn’t come with the list of limitations and reservations. So, despite the possibility of considerable acceleration of memory, the maximum a rational mode of operation of memory Ryzen 3000 supports DDR4-3600. In this case, achieving maximum productivity, a more rapid frequency modes is meaningless from the point of view of performance.

Ryzen 7 3700X c DDR4-3600

Ryzen 7 3700X c DDR4-3600

The reason is that relations between the frequencies of the memory, memory controller and bus Infinity Fabric. They have complicated the lives of fans of AMD before, and will continue to do the same in processors Ryzen 3000, although certain changes have occurred. The most important thing: AMD has been able to decouple the bus frequency Infinity Fabric from the frequency of the memory: they are in the newer processors can vary independently. However, there is an important caveat: frequency Infinity Fabric must be either equal to or lower than the frequency of the memory. This means that the choice of memory modules will continue to have a significant impact on the processor performance in General.

The second caveat concerns the fact that the maximum number Infinity Fabric Ryzen 3000 is 1800 MHz, and at higher values the processor can not function. Also there is a third caveat. It concerns the fact that when using faster memory modules DDR4-3600, the clock generator of the memory controller automatically switches to 2:1, that is, starts to operate at half the frequency.

The memory frequency (mclk) The frequency of the memory controller (uclk) Bus frequency is Infinity Fabric (fclk)
Up to DDR4-3600 To 1800 MHz uclk = mclk fclk = mclk
DDR4-3600 1800 MHz uclk = 1800 MHz fclk = 1800 MHz
After DDR4-3600 Above 1800 MHz uclk = mclk/2 fclk = 1800 MHz

All of this leads to the fact that the use of memory in the faster modes DDR4-3600 no practical sense: when crossing the border into the subsystem memory comprising asynchrony adds additional and very significant delays.

Ryzen 7 3700X c DDR4-3866

Ryzen 7 3700X c DDR4-3866

As you can see by the above screenshot, the latency of the memory in the mode DDR4-3866 is approximately 9 NS is higher than when you select DDR4-3600 with the same settings, timings. To compensate for this increase in delay with a further increase in the frequency of DDR4 SDRAM, if we talk about the usual non-extreme overclocking, almost unreal.

Little hope remains that the frequency at Infinity Fabric in the serial processor under some conditions still to be raised above 1800 MHz, because in theory the motherboard have the appropriate setting with a rich choice of frequency for this bus. In this case, the processor systems Ryzen 3000 can make sense to use and faster than the DDR4-3600 modules.

However, we cross the line in the 1800 MHz to Infinity Fabric failed: select higher values will inevitably lead to complete failure of the test system.

#X570 chipset and compatibility with old boards

Ryzen testing the 3000 we were armed with a platform based on the chipset X570. AMD has prepared this chipset specifically for the release of their processor microarchitecture Zen 2, however, the fee for X570 – dispensable companion to the new Ryzen. Like their predecessors, Ryzen 3000 is compatible with the usual socket Socket AM4, capable of working in boards, as issued during the first and second generation Ryzen.

However, it is not so simple. For the new CPUs in older boards needed their support at the BIOS level, but its implementation is not so smooth for marketing reasons. In fact, Ryzen 3000 will be probably compatible with any Board on the X470 and B450, with all other platforms the situation is at the mercy of motherboard manufacturers. Therefore, support for new processors in any specific motherboards with chipsets X370, B350 A320 and may or may not appear.

The criterion of compatibility is simple: to ensure that she or other fee to work with Ryzen 3000, its BIOS needs to be rebuilt using the libraries AMD AGESA PI Combo_AM4 or later. If the motherboard manufacturer has released an update to the firmware Plata Ryzen 3000 will fit.

However, to use now for testing the new processors the old boards, it would not be a good idea. The fact that the motherboard manufacturers put all the efforts on optimizing the BIOS fresh generation Socket AM4 platform and support Ryzen 3000 to older platforms is implemented by a residual principle. It appears that almost all of the available BIOS updates for old boards are based on the code AGESA version or, and these versions do not disclose performance Ryzen 3000 in full.

For proper operation of the new CPU and achieve maximum performance in the BIOS code needs to be applied library Combo_AM4 AMD AGESA PI, and this condition is currently performed only for a few boards, mostly with the chipset X570. For this reason, the tests were conducted us to the X570 which is due to better optimizations to offer better performance in a pair of Ryzen 3000. However, this situation is temporary: as code updates the BIOS in old motherboards with their performance Ryzen 3000 will have to catch up to the same level, which today provide a fresh platform.

The chipset X570 are no particularly popular in this moment of opportunity in the platform Socket AM4 adds. The main reason why users should pay attention to is the appearance in boards based on PCI Express 4.0. If you use 3000 Ryzen in such fees this interface is supported both graphics PCIe x16 slots and slots M. 2 NVMe drives, but also any other PCIe slots. In addition, charges of new generation usually are equipped with a large number of ports USB 3.1 Gen2: processor and chipset X570 unable to provide up to 12 ports.

Processors Ryzen 3000 have 24 lines PCI Express 4.0. Four lines of that number are utilized to connect to the chipset, and four more lines are given to work with the system NVMe SSD. The remaining 16 lines is an interface with the graphics card.

Chipset X570 has at its disposal 20 PCI Express 4.0, four of which need to communicate with the processor. The remaining 16 lines of the manufacturer of the motherboard may allocate the PCIe, M. 2, or to configure them as additional SATA ports.

At this stage it all seems not so popular, although devices that support PCI Express 4.0 gradually penetrate into the market. So looking interface with twice as high throughput will use the graphics card Radeon 5700 RX and RX 5700XT. In addition, in the near future will begin to appear and SSD based on Phison controller PS5016-E16 (for example, the Gigabyte AORUS Gen4 NVMe SSD or Corsair Force Series MP600) that will also be able to take advantage of the increased bandwidth of the interface.

However, if you are thinking about purchasing motherboards X570, you should keep in mind that this chipset is very hot chip, the dissipation of which lies in the range of 11 to 14 watts under peak loads. Technically it is a reconfigured I/O-chiplet from server processors EPYC Rome, meaning it is based on a 14 nm chip manufactured at the facilities of GlobalFoundries. And so it is not surprising that she, as the processors need active cooling: the vast majority X570-motherboard used chipsety cooler with a fan.

In addition, Socket AM4-boards that use the X570 will be among the flagship platforms. And this means that they will cost a lot to expect that the price of the cheapest boards of the new generation will start from $200-$250.

#Read more about Ryzen 7 3700X

The range of processors Ryzen 3000 (code name Matisse) consists of six versions: two shestiyaderny, two osmeteria, dvenadtsatietazhnogo and shestnadtsatiyaderny processors. For the first trial review we chose the average model Junior OCTA core CPU Ryzen 7 3700X.

This was done primarily because it is easy to pick up competitors – OCTA core processor as a competitor, and among Ryzen past generations. In addition, Ryzen 7 3700X seems to be one of the most popular new products. It is possible to conclude, if you look at the composition of the lineup completely.

Cores/ Threads Base frequency, MHz Turbo frequency MHz L3 cache MB TDP, watts Chipley Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 3,5 4,7 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12/24 3,8 4,6 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8/16 3,9 4,5 32 105 CCD + I/O $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8/16 3,6 4,4 32 65 CCD + I/O $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6/12 3,8 4,4 32 95 CCD + I/O $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6/12 3,6 4,2 32 65 CCD + I/O $199

The attractiveness of Ryzen 3000 is due to four factors: high performance, affordable price, reasonable power consumption and heat and hope for a non-zero overclocking potential.

And indeed, Ryzen 7 3700X – a full eight-core Socket AM4 processor microarchitecture Zen 2, collected from a single 7-nm CCD-chiplet with a complete set of active cores and 12-nm I/O chiplet. It has a slightly lower frequency in comparison with the older osmeterium Ryzen 7 3800X, however, the difference in maximum frequency is only 100 MHz. No other fundamental differences have Ryzen 7 3700X in stock and a full-sized L3 cache for a total volume of 32 MB, and the L2 cache capacity of 512 KB per core.

That as the base frequency for the CPU is specified at 3.6 GHz, it is possible not to pay attention – in reality due to the technology of Precision avtoradgona Boost 2 CPU almost always comes at a much higher speed. For example, when testing in Cinebench R20 with load for different number of cores our instance showed real frequencies in the range from 4.1 to 4.4 GHz, which not only looks good, but exceeds the typical operating frequencies of last year’s flagship, Ryzen 7 2700X.

However, AMD is clearly disingenuous, speaking of energy efficiency Ryzen 7 3700X and relating it to 65-watt thermal package. To understand this, it helps to see how the system behaves with this CPU in the nominal mode in the stress tests, for example, in Prime95.

Raises questions are literally everything. And we should start with high operating temperature, which for our instance Ryzen 7 3700X test in Prime95 29.8 reached 90 degrees at that the AMD considers to be the maximum possible heating of CPU only to 95 degrees. But this picture in our case, there is not even a boxed Wraith Prism, but with much more powerful Noctua NH-U14S.

Of course, the processor crystal, performed on a 7-nm standards, has a very small “contact patch” with the heat-spreading lid, and therefore, cooling Ryzen 3000 really harder than the 12 – and 14-nm processors. However, the 90-degree heat CPU makes me doubt that this CPU under load shows the energy consumption at 53 W warn about all of its internal sensors. The impression is that AMD deliberately and very much lowers rates of consumption so that the processor is automatically overclocked to a higher frequency in the technology of Precision Boost 2, which for 65-watt Ryzen 7 3700X sets the upper threshold of consumption of 88 watts.

About what the real consumption Ryzen 7 3700X, to let the sensor Converter power the motherboard. According to their testimony, on the processor, which supposedly creates electrical load 53 W, current is supplied with a power of 106 watts plus about 15 watts per SoC. The system as a whole at this time shows consumption of the order of 185-190 watts, so that no doubt remains: 65-watt Ryzen 7 3700X under load can consume about twice the declared thermal package. In other words, energy efficiency Ryzen 7 3700X is a lie, slander and provocation.

Of course, this consumption can be attributed to misconfiguration technology Precision Boost 2 in the BIOS specific motherboard or AMD initiated by the most wilful disregard of the part of the heating package, but you need to understand that if the manufacturer and decide to return Ryzen 7 3700X promised energy efficiency, it will inevitably hurt its performance. Otherwise here is not given.

But then Ryzen 7 3700X not to take, it’s a very attractive price. Ryzen 7 3700X – not just the cheapest cosmedent architecture Zen 2, is also the processor with the lowest in the new model range of the specific value of the kernel. In addition, its cost is lower prices Junior OCTA core proposals of the competitor. All of this could easily be done by Ryzen 7 3700X “choice of millions”, despite any of its shortcomings.


Ryzen 7 3700X – Junior cosmedent in the lineup of new products, and such induction usually means the processor is effective to disperse at least reach the frequency of senior representatives of the model range. Moreover, AMD traditionally did not repair any obstacles overclockers. Multipliers Ryzen in 7 3700X are not blocked and heat-dissipating cover continues to pripiats to the surface of semiconductor crystals, despite the fact that under it their is now two.

However, dispersal is still not about Ryzen 7 3700X. AMD in each new generation has steadily squeezed from the processor frequency potential all the juice, and to date has achieved this perfection. We can say that Ryzen 7 3700X operated close to the limit of their capabilities even in the nominal mode due to the technology of Precision Boost 2, which is clearly implying the observed operating temperatures.

Anyway, the maximum frequency we managed to “squeeze” when manually overclocking Ryzen 7 3700X, was only 4.2 GHz. If you increase the voltage to 1.4 V CPU at this frequency was stable and passed stress tests in Prime95, but temperatures under load increased to 105 degrees, which is hardly a normal operational mode.

The result is of more theoretical value, and to resort to such a crackdown on the practice makes no sense. The performance boost in multi-threaded load will be a few percent despite the fact that at partial load of cores the CPU will work even slower than in the nominal mode.

While AMD offers enthusiasts another way to increase performance – adjustment settings Precision Boost 2 so that the processor yourself out on the higher frequencies as a built-in algorithm avtoradgona. This technology allows you to change the key supporting constant – consumption limits current (PPT) and electric power (TDC and EDC), together with the increase in the upper limit frequency, and can be used for acceleration. However, some noticeable effect by changing these limits in the case of Ryzen 7 3700X us to achieve and failed. Even in the nominal mode Precision Boost 2 controls the frequency Ryzen 7 3700X very aggressive, and the main problem standing in the way of dispersal is not limiting, consumption and currents, and high temperatures.


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The Intel Core i9-9900KS: the gigahertz vs Ryzen

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The whole story of the appearance on the market of Core i9-9900KS from its very beginning made us feel deja vu. Why? It’s very simple, similar events we found sixteen years ago, when AMD released its revolutionary Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX to a class of Hammer. Then, to repel these innovations, Intel urgently organized the release is equipped with 2 MB L3-cache of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, hastily converted from a server chip Xeon MP. Now, of course, the situation is somewhat different scenario, but the General plot outline remains the same. Without the ability to symmetrically respond to the daring encroachments of rival, Intel gets out as he can and instead of the new product family offers temporary flagship processors “rapid response”.

Core i9-9900KS is such made from scrap materials response Ryzen third generation. Remember, the announcement of the impending release of the Intel CPU made in early June at Computex – just a few days before the announcement Ryzen 3000. The significance of this step was easily guessed is just that, at which point it was made, because in reality, the Core i9-9900KS made it to the market only a few months in November. At that, what about Core i9-9900KS would have to say so far in advance, there is is a slightly overclocked version of OCTA-core Core i9-9900K, which in reality should be the main trump card of Intel only for the next few weeks, high pre-Christmas demand.

A full answer to Intel Ryzen 3000 we will see soon enough. Issue 10-core processors in Comet Lake is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. But if you want to put new Intel under the tree, the content will be Core i9-9900KS. However, do not think that it would be something like a “consolation” gift. Intel about skromnosti says about Core i9-9900KS this: “based on the Core i9-9900K, we made the world’s best gaming CPU is even better, “and it seems to be true.

Translated to marketing, this thesis means that received in the sale of Core i9-9900KS is a special version of the Core i9-9900K, built on selected semiconductor crystals, able to work at even higher clock frequencies. Moreover, the “special” literally: letter S that appeared in the end of the model number – it is short for Special Edition. Formal specs are such that Core i9-9900KS able to work on “beautiful” 5.0 GHz with simultaneous load on all eight cores. Confuses only one: the warranty period of such accelerated processor is limited to one year, while on a conventional Core i9-9900K (in single package) is given a three-year warranty.

The exclusivity of the Core i9-9900KS manufacturer underlines with a story that, for the manufacture of such a CPU it has to use a special procedure for the selection of semiconductor chips, causing the circulation of such processors becomes quite small. What specific number of “special” chips will be put on the market not reported, but you can be sure that in the next year to buy a Core i9-9900KS in the store will be problematic. This is due in part to the fact that the margin for the tab for the Special Edition and 5-GHz frequency is not so large and not able to become a major obstacle for buyers. The recommended price of the Core i9-9900KS — $513 for just $25 more than the cost of conventional Core i9-9900K.

However, the question of whether or not to chase it for a Core i9-9900KS, still remains, and the answer is we will try in this review in which we compare the new Intel with available alternatives from the same price category, among which the most interesting is not even the usual Core i9-9900K, and 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

#Read more about Core i9-9900KS

Core i9-9900KS was the fifth member of the family Coffee Lake Refresh received model number 9900. His colleagues have always offered eight cores with support for Hyper-Threading technology and had a 16-megabyte L3-cache, but differed thermal package, with overclocking potential, the target frequencies and the presence or absence of the integrated graphics core. At the Core i9-9900KS as the culmination of the evolution of the ninth generation Core, all of these characteristics are unscrewed on a maximum value, but when matching with a previously released related processors, formal specification of Core i9-9900KS imagination does not impress.

Core i9-9900KS Core i9-9900K Core i9-9900KF Core i9-9900 Core i9-9900T
Cores/threads 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16
Base frequency, GHz 4,0 3,6 3,6 3,1 2,1
Turbo frequency (max) GHz 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 4,4
L3 cache MB 16 16 16 16 16
Acceleration There There There No No
Integrated graphics UHD 630 UHD 630 No UHD 630 UHD 630
Memory, DDR4 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666
TDP, watts 127 95 95 65 35
Price $513 $488 $463 $439 $439

Imposing this table looks, except the calculated dissipation Core i9-9900KS — 127 watts. However, among the mass of processors there have been instances and hotter enough to remember, for example, about Intel Core 2 Extreme or AMD FX Black Edition thousandth series.

More high than the other 9900, the base frequency of the Core i9-9900KS absolutely nothing. First, as we know it, Intel never really work, and the real frequency determines the aggressiveness of the technology Turbo Boost 2.0. Second, the growth of the base frequency is a direct result of raising the heat of the package, because under the current wording, TDP just is defined as the dissipation of the processor at nominal base frequency.

Therefore, in order to assess the uniqueness of Core i9-9900KS fully, you need to look deeper, up to the maximum achievable within the turbo mode frequency when the load on different number of cores. It’s funny that recently Intel decided to remove information about the value of open access, and now the company is faced with the fact that this was done completely in vain, because without this advantage, Core i9-9900KS not to show it. However, with some patience the value of turbo frequencies can be ascertained experimentally or by using diagnostic utilities.

And only in this case the advantages of Core i9-9900KS become clearer: when the load on the six and more cores that the processor is allowed to operate at 300 MHz or 6.3% faster than Core i9-9900K and Core i9-9900KF.

  Base frequency, MHz Maximum frequency in turbo mode, MHz
8 cores 7 cores 6 cores 5 cores 4 cores 3 core 2 cores 1 core
Core i9-9900KS 4,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900K 3,6 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900KF 3,6 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900 3,1 4,6 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900T 2,1 3,6 3,8 3,9 4,0 4,1 4,2 4,3 4,4

In fact, however, all this does not mean that by selecting Core i9-9900KS for your system, you will get 5.0 GHz at any load. Don’t forget that the turbo frequency is the maximum autorange, which is possible, but not guaranteed. The Turbo Boost technology 2.0 automatically increases CPU frequency not just on the basis of the number of operating cores, and taking into account other parameters, in particular, the nature of the load and, most importantly, caused by her consumption. The theory of sets of power consumption of the processor in turbo mode two limit values PL1 and PL2, which limits its short-term and long-term loads. Limit PL2, specifies the maximum consumption for long time intervals, is assumed to be the nameplate value TDP. The same limit PL1 is typically set to one quarter above PL2, allowing the processor to consume more than laid down in TDP, but only for small periods of time. Limit the duration of such time intervals is defined by the constant τ, which, according to the specification, can be selected in the range from 1 to 8 seconds.

All this means that when designing the Core i9-9900KS was laid, that he will consume no more than 127 watts when used for long periods and not more than 159 W for short. And consumption limits with a 5-gigagertsevogo frequency is clearly incompatible. For example, even Core i9-9900K at its turbo frequency of 4.7 GHz in multithreaded rendering in Cinebench R20 consumes around 195 watts. The new Core i9-9900KS at a frequency of 5.0 GHz in this test shows a consumption of about 220 watts.

So if all was fair and in accordance with the specification, it would be no 5.0 GHz we would not have seen even close. The following chart illustrates this, where we have built a frequency curve Core i9-9900KS depending on the load in Cinebench R20, built upon the work of the CPU with the correct limits PL1 and PL2 mounted to 127 and 159 watts. Immediately given, and a similar curve for Core i9-9900K, which are the limits in accordance with the specification set to a quarter lower at 95 watts and 119 watts.

Although Core i9-9900KS and operates with significantly higher frequency compared to Core i9-9900K, about any 5 GHz under full load it still is not. This frequency can be observed if the number of busy threads does not exceed six, and no more. Maximum load in the multi-threaded Cinebench R20 cuts the frequency of Core i9-9900KS to 4.5 GHz due to the fact that silicon Coffee Lake Refresh, produced by 14-nm technology, crossing the line in the 4.4-4.5 GHz is always sharply increasing energy appetite.

However, all of these concerning the frequency of surveys is interesting theoretically, because motherboard manufacturers with the tacit consent of Intel simply ignore the limits PL1 and PL2, setting them to maximum. To meet some meaningful setting these limits is possible only on low-cost motherboards with weak power, the overwhelming majority of Z390 platforms the default is twisting these limitations in maximum and obviously unattainable values. And that’s why reducing the frequency with the growth of power consumption within specification TDP in reality, Intel is not observed.

Until now, such a liberal attitude to power settings went Intel and motherboard makers with it. Everyone was happy, because the users eventually received while not as economical as stated in the specifications, but automatically overclock to the maximum turbo mode frequency of the system with improved performance.

But the Core i9-9900KS this focus takes place with difficulty. Operating at a frequency of 5.0 GHz, this CPU produces so much heat that can deal with it only selected cooling system. For example, during testing of our copy Core i9-9900KS we are faced with the failure of our usual air supercooler Noctua NH-U14S and NH-D15. And with a one-body and two-piece tower CPU when running Prime95 29.8 quickly reached the limit temperature of 115 degrees and sinking into the throttle. To achieve stable operation Core i9-9900KS at a frequency of 5.0 GHz in any program, without exception, was possible only after the transition to liquid cooling. Not aby what, and one of the most effective LSS closed loop NZXT Kraken X72, which includes a 360-mm radiator.

NZXT Kraken X72

NZXT Kraken X72

But even with such a powerful DLC the CPU temperature during the tests reached values of 108 degrees, which, however, is natural, given the 275-watt power Core i9-9900KS under heavy load, seasoned with AVX2 instructions.

All this means that the owners of the Core i9-9900KS unprepared cooling this processor properly, you can easily deal with temperature was throttling, even if they are armed with quite a powerful cooling system and will not overclock it. We are confident that soon the forums and groups in social networks will be swamped with complaints about overheating Core i9-9900KS with the default settings. From Intel there is only one way to avoid this: how to negotiate with producers of motherboards, that at least in the case of Core i9-9900KS they didn’t ignore setting consumption limits.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that we checked the temperature in Prime95 29.8 program, very much warming the processors search for the Mersenne numbers. Such heating occurs in the common problems not so often, but, for example, a high risk of overheating is, in the transcoding of video content modern encoders or rendering. Therefore, by setting the system Core i9-9900KS, better some time to devote to checking temperature and setting it up. We would recommend either to manually pick the consumption limits PL1 and PL2, or set down amendment to the frequency when using AVX instructions, or try to reduce the voltage. And the stories about the 5.0 GHz out of the box always and everywhere do not need to believe: this is hyperbole (literary exaggeration).

Here there is a reasonable question, and it better Core i9-9900KS than Core i9-9900K, if the 25-dollar overpayments for this CPU ensures no overheating to 5.0 GHz and also inevitably dooms the user to careful selection of cooling and additional configuration of the system? But the answer is still positive. As a minimum, Core i9-9900KS really based on selected crystal Lake Coffee Refresh, resulting in slightly lower temperatures and consumption at the same frequency and voltage. For example, we compared the thermal and power characteristics at our disposal copies of Core i9-9900KS and Core i9-9900K at a frequency of 4.7 GHz at a voltage of 1.25 V with liquid cooling system NZXT Kraken X72. And as can be seen from the results obtained when running a stress test like Prime95, Core i9-9900KS really is ceteris paribus more efficient and colder.

4.7 GHz, 1.25 V The maximum temperature Maximum consumption
Core i9-9900KS 86°C 218 W
Core i9-9900K 90°C 226 W

In addition, the Intel Core i9-9900KS, in contrast to Core i9-9900K and Core i9-9900KF guaranteed based on semiconducting crystals of R0 stepping CPU. This means that they have appeared hardware patches for some high-profile vulnerabilities, in particular Fallout and the Spectre V4 (Speculative Store Bypass). However, from a practical point of view it means not too much. Hardware fixes, like their software counterparts, about the same performance impact, and, ultimately, users of Core i9-9900KS did not win, except for the lack of the need to update the firmware and install critical operating system updates and software.


Given how heated Core i9-9900KS when working in nominal mode at 5.0 GHz, to expect from him some of the feats of acceleration would be weird. However, to achieve higher frequencies, overclockers can use special spare tool that helps with overclocking HEDT-Core processors, X-series. Namely, the limit frequency when operating the CPU with AVX instructions.

That in the case of Core i9-9900KS it can have a positive impact on the result, he says, for example, that resort to it all the foreign shops offering samples of Core i9-9900KS with a guarantee of overclocking. And Caseking.deand when you sort processor share reduction amendment -2 or -3 for the coefficient of multiplication when working with AVX instructions.

But it did not help. Our copy Core i9-9900KS could not ensure stability at the frequency of 5.1 GHz when working with resource-consuming programs, even if they did not use AVX instructions. In other words, the processor was actually, without any overclocking potential, 5.0 GHz – his ceiling.

However, to be surprised about this absolutely should not be. We are dealing with already pre-overclocked factory CPU that was selected among the usual Core i9-9900K just on the principle of performance at 5.0 GHz. And if its overclocking potential would allow to take a more distant frontiers, Intel probably would have used it to improve the performance of its proposal, because it is not a mass product, but on a special limited-edition series of processors.

In fact, all this is well corroborated by the results of the selection of the most successful representatives of family Core i9-9900KS, which is conducted by specialists of the store Collected them according to the statistics dispersed on 5.0 GHz only one of the three copies of Core i9-9900KS. And we obviously “happy” chip this time not got.


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Review AMD Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500: Zen 2 for Russia and China

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Hardly anyone would argue with the fact that the processors Ryzen 3000 could significantly strengthen the position of AMD in the desktop segment. “Thank you” for this is to say microarchitecture Zen 2, which was much better than the Zen and Zen+ used in processors Ryzen before. The increase in specific productivity in Zen 2 noticeable 15% in the aggregate 5% increase in clock frequency,is provided with a 7-nm process technology, doubling the capacity of the cache memory of the third level and double extension block floating point operations gave an undeniable synergistic effect. As a result, processors Ryzen first and second generations, which until recently seemed pretty good options for desktop systems, now permanently dropped to the second League, speaking on background Ryzen 3000 exclusively in the role of “poor relatives”. Yes there past Ryzen, new members of the family is now possible even in a fair number of cases, to flout the actual mass Intel processors, offering at comparable price the best computational performance.

Illustrates that giant leap forward, which could make AMD, the situation with prices Ryzen different generations: the flagship CPU microarchitecture Zen+, Ryzen 7 2700X, now sold for $190, that is cheaper one of the youngest media micro Zen 2, Ryzen 5 3600. It turns out that the invisible hand of the market quickly pushed all of Ryzen the first and second generations, the solution below the average level, while the upper market segments were completely at the mercy of members of the family Ryzen 3000.

In fact, it is for this reason AMD did not release based on the microarchitecture Zen 2 processors priced below $200 – the emergence of such models would not allow her to sell the chips to past generations, which stocks in the warehouses of the company, obviously, is far from depletion. So do not expect that in the foreseeable future the market will be cheap Ryzen members of the series 3000, which, for example, to the class Ryzen 3. Strap the entrance to the club owners, the media micro Zen 2 will remain at a high level for a long time.

But even the strictest rules there are exceptions, and the situation with the new Junior model Ryzen 3000 – a case in point. The fact that AMD is a flexible company that continually analyzes market conditions and are ready to quickly make targeted decisions to strengthen their positions. In the result of this analysis, it was observed that in some regions a very high popular six-core processor-level Intel Core i5-9400 and i5-9400Fthat many users are willing to choose as the basis for a relatively inexpensive gaming builds. Among the current proposals like AMD for the price and gaming performance options initially was not provided, leading to loss of company of a certain share of the market.

AMD quickly realized that to resolve this situation it is necessary to release a slightly more affordable model Ryzen 3000, which would be an alternative to the Junior Intel shestiyaderny and pulled on his interest buyers cheap gaming PC. But in order not to undermine the implementation channel Ryzen past generations, to sell the Junior processors Ryzen 3000, it was decided not globally, but only in those countries where the popular Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F is really high. “Tricky” models, selectively opposed to the younger versions of the Core i5, steel Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, as well as their target audience has been selected, users from China, Russia and some Eastern European countries, where demand has historically shifted towards cheaper models of CPU. And it could work: on the one hand, Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 got the value of $150, allowing them to make Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F in one market segment, and on the other they have six cores Zen 2, providing a quite competitive level of performance, at least at first glance.

However, Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 still differ markedly from the more expensive six-core processors Ryzen Ryzen 3600X and 5 5 3600. In their regional AMD chips shut off the SMT technology, that is, each core Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 can perform only one and not a pair of computing threads. But their juxtaposition against the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F it absolutely doesn’t, because six-core Intel processors also do not support Hyper-Threading. As for the difference between Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, it is not too obvious and is not in clock frequencies, and the size of the cache memory of the third level: the Junior model L3-cache is reduced from 32 to 16 MB.

AMD’s original plan was to offer Ryzen 5 3500X in the Chinese market, and Ryzen 5 3500 in Russia. But in reality, domestic users are luckier because they can get their hands on as he and another processor. In particular, Ryzen 5 3500 gradually appears on the Windows of the large computer shops, while Ryzen 5 3500X you can buy on Aliexpress. As such, we felt duty-bound to conduct detailed testing of both processors in order to establish whether it was true, they can be considered a good alternative to Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F; how their performance is worse than the usual 5 shestiyaderny Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600; and whether it is necessary to deal with these artificially reduced native architecture Zen 2, when for the same or even less you can buy some of the full Ryzen processors of the previous generation.

#5 about Ryzen Ryzen 3500X 3500 and 5 more

With the advent of processors under Ryzen 5 3600 model number desktop media micro Zen 2 was better.

Cores/ Threads Base frequency, MHz Turbo frequency MHz L3 cache MB TDP, watts Chipley Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 3,5 4,7 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12/24 3,8 4,6 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8/16 3,9 4,5 32 105 CCD + I/O $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8/16 3,6 4,4 32 65 CCD + I/O $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6/12 3,8 4,4 32 95 CCD + I/O $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6/12 3,6 4,2 32 65 CCD + I/O $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6/6 3,6 4,1 32 65 CCD + I/O ~$170
Ryzen 5 3500 6/6 3,6 4,1 16 65 CCD + I/O ~$155

Immediately evident that Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 look at the background of Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600 5 somewhat alien. Senior and Junior model class Ryzen 5 close clock frequencies, but they have different nuclear formula. Although all of these processors – shestiyaderny in Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 number of simultaneously executed threads is six, i.e. twice less than in 5 and 3600X Ryzen Ryzen 5 3600. Generally, users Ryzen for such a serious distinction of characteristics within the same class of processors is already accustomed to. For example, in the past generation of processors under the brand Ryzen 5 AMD offered at the same time and six-core and Quad-core CPU. Now the number of cores different Ryzen 5 remained the same, but in the younger members of the series of disconnected technology SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading), which previously were blocked by the manufacturer solely in the processor class Ryzen 3.

And it would be a quite normal approach for differentiating one class if he didn’t break the whole paradigm of AMD. Still the basis of the company’s strategy in the consumer market were to offer users the best possibilities of multi-threading compared to Intel in the same price category. New Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 for the number of cores and threads fully on par with the Core i5 processors. However, this does not mean that AMD did a kind of “analogue Core i5-9400F” the microarchitecture Zen 2. In fact, considering the novelty is still superior to Intel processors for a number specification.

Ryzen 5 3500X Ryzen 5 3500 Core i5-9400 Core i5-9400F
The number of cores 6 6 6 6
The number of threads 6 6 6 6
Base frequency, GHz 3,6 3,6 2,9 2,9
Turbo frequency, GHz 4,1 4,1 4,1 4,1
L3 cache MB 32 16 9 9
TDP, watts 65 65 65 65
Memory, DDR4 2 x 3200 2 x 3200 2 x 2666 2 x 2666
Graphics core No No UHD 630 No
Average price 10 500 RUB 10 000 RUB 12 000 RUB 11 000 RUB

Speaking about the merits of Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500, AMD can focus on two things. First, younger Ryzen 5 compared to the Core i5 have more volume L3 cache, which is not inferior cache in the third level Refresh Coffee Lake from the point of view of latency. Moreover, this is true not only for Chinese Ryzen 5 3500X with a 32-megabyte L3-cache, but even for Russian Ryzen 5 3500, despite the fact that most affordable modification Ryzen 5 cache memory is reduced in volume by half.

Second, the AMD processors support faster memory. Formally, we are talking about DDR4-3200, but in fact Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500, like any other mass AMD processors based on the microarchitecture Zen 2 is compatible with faster memory, up to DDR4-3600. Moreover, due to improvements in Ryzen third generation memory controller, high-speed DDR4 SDRAM can be used in all motherboards, including those based on older chipsets X470, even B450 and B350. At the same time, for Intel Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F in the specs the performance is declared only with DDR4-2666. In part, this condition is also formally: if the Core i5 processor installed in the motherboard the chipset Z370 or Z390, the memory can operate at arbitrarily high frequencies – this is no problem. However, in low-cost platforms using chipsets H370, B360 (B365) or H310 specifications and the limitation starts to play a role in such cases to operate the memory with a higher than DDR4-2666 frequency will not work.

We should also mention the clock frequency. Although advertised for 5 Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3500X 3500 base frequency values substantially higher than the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F, in reality, all these processors are operating at the same frequency. Turbo mode in Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F even load on all six cores keep them running at 3.9 GHz, about the same frequency you can see at full load and at Ryzen Ryzen 5 or 5 3500X 3500.

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500

Ryzen 5 3500

As seen in the screenshots, and 5 3500X Ryzen, Ryzen 5 and 3500 under load on all cores develop the frequency of 3.95 GHz. And this is about 100-150 MHz below the frequency at which full load working shestiyaderny AMD higher class Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600 5, although younger shestiyaderny and stated exactly the same base frequency as for Ryzen 5 3600.

Speed L3 cache and the memory subsystem in the Junior six-core Ryzen there are no surprises. Despite the fact that Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 differ dramatically in the amount of L3 cache, it is his capacity, not bandwidth or latency is a major cause of the difference in their performance. That is, a full-sized 32-magarity and trimmed the 16-megabyte L3-cache in this processor offers approximately the same performance.

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500

Ryzen 5 3500

However, with the synthetic CacheMem test from the Aida64 package to notice some differences in bandwidth and latency path is still possible. The cache is a smaller size Ryzen 5 3500 slightly faster than the full-size version, but at the same time at the speed of memory operation is a small the advantage is over Ryzen 5 3500X with full L3-cache capacity of 32 MB. However, the differences are in any case unimportant: if we talk about latency, it is no more than two bars.

The apparent lack of differences between Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 is not surprising. These processors are based on the same silicon basis, common to all desktop AMD offerings to a class of Zen 2 and the number of cores not more than eight. Both CPU are under the CPU cover, two semiconductor crystal, one of which is the standard eight-core 7-nm crystal CCD, and the second on 12-nm crystal cIOD that contains the memory controller, the logical part of the tire Infinity Fabric and elements of the SoC. Lock for the considered models Ryzen 5 two “extra” cores and SMT technology, as truncating the cache Ryzen 5 3500 runs at the production stage logically, however, the possibility of restoring lost characteristics by the user hope not. The last time unlocking cores and cache, AMD has allowed the processors of the Phenom, and it was a very long time. In addition, you need to understand that processors like Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 convenient for the manufacturer so that they can be widely applied in the sorting of partially inoperative semiconductor crystals with defects of single cores or cache.


We usually say that the overclocking Ryzen third generation is deprived practical sense: the manufacturer its technology Autonomous dynamic overclocking Precision Boost 2.0 already squeezed them dry. However, the nominal clock frequency Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 are somewhat lower than more expensive counterparts, even in comparison with other shestidennomu. For example, Ryzen 5 3600X under load on all cores running at a frequency of about 4.1 GHz, and for 5 and 3500X Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500 that is the limit in turbo mode.

So deliberately expunged from consideration overclocking potential, referring to its insignificance, we will not. Moreover, the possibility of increasing the frequency above the rated values is another competitive plus Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 in the fight against the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F, which surely will be remembered as in advertising and in online discussions. And it’s true: the younger shestiyaderny Intel is certainly not dispersed, and all processors Ryzen, including today’s heroes, have a free multiplier, which gives a chance to further improve performance.

However, as shown, to a noticeable acceleration of the Junior shestiyaderny better not to hope. These processors can get quite “weak” semiconductor crystals capable of stable operation only in the neighborhood of the nominal clock frequency. So it was that we were able to sample Chinese Ryzen 5 3500X. It is with great difficulty mastered the frequency is increased to 4.05 GHz, which required to raise its voltage to 1.4 V – level, which is the case if acceleration is planned to be used constantly, is “on the verge”.

At higher frequencies the processor is not passed the stability check, which we traditionally hold in 29.8 Prime95 in Small FFT mode with enabled AVX instructions. But even at the relatively low frequency of 4.05 GHz heating during tests reached 86 degrees with that cooling system using a productive cooler Noctua NH-U14S.

But the second CPU, the Russian Ryzen 5 3500, by contrast, turned out to be overclocking very malleable. It easily managed to bring the frequency to 4.3 GHz, but this record acceleration for all tested until now, members of the family Ryzen 3000. Moreover, to ensure the stable operation of Ryzen 5 3500 at this frequency does not even require a particularly strong bully of his food. No stability issues have not arisen when choosing a voltage of 1.35 V.

Temperature Ryzen 5 3500 under load with the cooler Noctua NH-U14S reached 90 degrees, but we have long been accustomed that the 7-nm processors AMD hot chips. In addition, based on overclocking results, we can conclude that the inherited instance CPU has a fairly high leakage currents.

If you compile two fundamentally different result of dispersal Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, we can conclude that in these AMD processors can use much different in quality of semiconductor crystals. They can get as second grade who couldn’t find use processors with higher clock frequencies and very good in the sense of the frequency potential of the chip. Here could be as lucky, so that cheap shestiyadernik can significantly disperse, it is better not to rely on.

The point here is in the fact that all of the model series 3000 Ryzen in fact designed to work about the same clock frequency in the neighborhood of 4.0-4.2 GHz. For the differentiation of varieties of AMD relies on other features – the number of cores, TDP and now the SMT technology and the size of the cache memory. Therefore the usual principle that the younger the processors is almost always possible to disperse the frequency to the level of a senior in this case means almost nothing. Acceleration of any Ryzen 3000, especially one that is not using the function Precision Boost Override, and synchronous across all cores, can bring performance improvements at best only a few percent.


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Overview of ASRock X570 Steel Legend: elementary level X570

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Still, we were introduced exclusively with expensive boards representatives on the basis of a set of logic X570. They are definitely interesting, but the interest is more theoretical. In practice, the majority of consumers with a lot more emphasis on the platforms cheaper. Despite the fact that AMD considers itself a new Socket AM4-chipset X570 among the flagship options, manufacturers can offer not only expensive, but relatively affordable motherboard based on it. And if you delve into the comparison specification X570-boards with radically different price positioning, it suddenly turns out that the $ 700 fee like the recently reviewed ASUS Crosshair Formula VIII is not so much superior card at a price of about $200. And if so, whether it is worth to pay more for the flagship product of premium level?

To answer this question, we will help motherboard ASRock X570 Steel Legend. This popular 200-dollar platform for processors Ryzen 3000, which was in our lab. With its help we try to thoroughly analyze what you will lose customers on Board the chipset X570, if they decide not to spend money on expensive motherboard. Although we will further discuss about the specific offer of the company ASRock, in fact, the name of the manufacturer there is almost no role — similar to X570 Steel Legend at a price and generally similar in meaning X570 solution is from other manufacturers: ASUS TUF Gaming it will be X570-Plus, Gigabyte – Aorus X570 Elite, and MSI – MPG X570 Gaming Edge. All boards in this price range have a fairly predictable list of differences from products with a high cost: they are deprived of rich RGB-backlight, they use more simple power supply circuit, no detailed hardware diagnostics, connected to the processor only a single slot PCI Express x16 slot, network capability is restricted to a single Gigabit controller, as well as, most likely, there are some limits on the number of SATA ports and USB.

All this, of course, doesn’t look any catastrophic flaws, but the devil, as you know, is in the details. In this case, these parts are the design and layout. Not to distinguish the 200-dollar cost of the more expensive products it is impossible: it immediately raises many questions concerning ease of use. On the other hand, the layout is mostly subjective. While enthusiasts typically choose a Board aimed at conducting a variety of tests and experiments, the mass audience is far from such scenarios. Many actually pick out my own computer once and then close it in the case and don’t do any optimization or modernization. And in this case, inexpensive cards can be justified and rational.

In this review, we describe in more detail where complications can arise in active use $ 200 ASRock X570 Steel Legend as a platform for experiments and try to explain why for the ordinary lowly users, this is quite a decent option.

However, detailed familiarity with the next charge will not be the only storyline of this material. As if to confirm the thesis that the AM4 Socket is a platform for experimentation, AMD recently released a new version of AGESA library ABBA, which adjusted the frequency formula of processors Ryzen 3000. A new BIOS should improve their operating frequencies and, consequently, performance. At this point, we also pay special attention to the example of the ASRock X570 Steel Legend check to see if your when you update the firmware of the motherboard, the owners of AMD processors can increase the performance of their systems.


ASRock has traditionally produced a wide range of motherboards based on chipset X570. To the class of the mainstream decision among them can be referred ASRock X570 X570 Steel Legend and Extreme4. Furthermore, along with this pair there are cheaper fees for X570: Phantom Gaming X570 X570 4 and Pro4. However, ASRock X570 Steel Legend looks among all of these alternatives as the Golden mean. On the one hand, the price does not bite, and the other — in features no signs of obvious savings.

Moreover, the credibility X570 Steel Legend cause at least that uses the same PCB design that X570 Extreme4, which is 20% more expensive. The “steel” Board has all the necessary elements of the cooling system, including the two heatsink on the VRM and the heat-dissipating plate on the M. 2 slots. Also in its favor is the fact that the elemental base Board is composed of high-quality and well-established controllers: network Intel I211AT and sound Realtek ALC1220. In other words, if you look at the Datasheet, it seems that ASRock X570 Steel Legend is a very decent choice for a strong Ryzen-secondary level.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend
Supported processors AMD Ryzen 2nd and 3rd generations
Chipset AMD X570
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4, up to 128 Gbytes, up to DDR4-4666, two channels
Expansion slots 1 × PCI Express 3.0/4.0 x16;
1 × 4.0 PCI Express x16 (mode x4);
3 × PCI Express x1 4.0
The storage interface 8 × SATA 6GB/s;
1 × M. 2 (PCI-E 4.0/3.0 x4 devices format 2242/2260/2280);
1 × M. 2 (PCI-E 4.0/3.0 x4/SATA 6GB/s devices format 2242/2260/2280/22100)
USB ports 1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 on the rear panel;
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C rear panel;
6 × 3.2 Gen1 USB on the rear panel;
4 × USB Gen1 3.2 internal connectors;
4 × USB 2.0 internal connectors
Network controllers 1 x Intel I211AT (Ethernet 1 Gbps)
Audio 1 × Realtek ALC1220 S1220 (7.1)
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × HDMI;
1 × DisplayPort 1.2;
1 × USB Gen2 3.2 (Type-C);
1 × 3.2 Gen2 USB (Type-A);
6 × 3.2 Gen1 USB (Type-A);
1 × RJ-45;
5 x audio connector type mini-Jack;
1 × S/PDIF (optical, output);
1 × PS/2 for mouse or keyboard
Form factor ATX (305 × 244 mm)
Price $200 (recommended)

If we compare ASRock X570 X570 Steel Legend with cards in the same price category from other manufacturers, it appears that the product-ASRock, offers a greater number of SATA ports and USB, has a slot M. 2 Type E for Wi-Fi module, and uses high-quality Intel network controller. In other words, X570 Steel Legend likable from the first minute Dating.

#Packaging equipment

ASRock X570 Steel Legend comes in a disproportionately large box, the design of which is hardly strict.


The front side is given over to the name Board, information about the most strong sides of the product can be found on the reverse side. ASRock’s marketing Department wished to highlight the presence of on-Board RGB led lights, and two slots M. 2 with support for PCI Express 4.0. In addition, attention is paid to high power Converter processor power (which is true only in part), mechanically reinforced steel frame PCI Express x16 4.0 and preloaded plug rear panel (I/O Shield), which for boards this price category is not found always.

We rarely engage in detailed analysis of boxes, but about how packages its products ASRock, it’s still worth to say. The fact that the Board of this manufacturer come dressed in a special transport frame, which should ensure their safety even when meeting the most severe riggers.

The supplied ASRock X570 Steel Legend poor, which makes sense for a relatively inexpensive product. In the box, in addition to the cost and paper manual, found four SATA cables, as well as two struts and the three screws for fastening the M. 2 drives or other fees.

#Design and capabilities

As already noted, the ASRock X570 Steel Legend has a close relationship with ASRock Extreme4 X570, differing from it only in design. While the Extreme4 received a more traditional look, X570 Steel Legend painted in some variant of black-and-white urban camouflage.

Individual decoration are the elements of the cooling system, preserving the natural aluminum color and have received a led backlight. However, the colors are not overwhelming fees are highlighted on the radiators only lettering and logos, and of emphasizing their line. The result X570 Steel Legend looks at least original, although it can be assumed that this design will satisfy everyone.

To talk more about the artistic value of ASRock X570 Steel Legend we won’t, because this Board there are far more pressing problems for the layout. Significant difficulties experienced by the potential user when building and upgrading systems with this Board for two.

First, all the expansion slots are shifted up one position, which is clearly seen on the diagram.

Therefore, the bottom Board is formed useless free region and in a vicinity of Socket AM4, on the contrary, getting too crowded. For example, if you want to put the CPU tower cooler has 140 mm fans, be ready to that bracket, the fan will scrape on the rear surface of the card. Moreover, we can assume that the card with thick plates generally back can rest against the radiator of the CPU cooler.

The second problem is that the cover of the chipset and teplosetevaya plate slots M. 2 represent a single detail. It turns out that to install any M. 2 drive you need to remove the entire casing as a whole, what to do when installed in the PCIe x16 slot the video card is impossible, since the first M. 2 slot is exactly under it. Thus, if the user at some point want to install in their system, and collected on the basis of ASRock X570 Steel Legend, the second M. 2 drive, it will have to completely disassemble the entire computer. Access to both M. 2 slots to get without pulling out the video card and the video card to withdraw very difficult, if the processor has a large cooler, which most likely will block access to the latch of the PCIe x16 slot. In other words, ASRock X570 Steel Legend – this Board is not for those who frequently change the hardware configuration of the system.

Complaints about the location of the PCIe x16 slot, designed for the installation of the graphics card, arise not only due to the fact that it rests too close to the CPU socket. The developers of ASRock for some reason decided to place in a narrow strip around the slot and the first slot is for M. 2 drives, and the chipset X570. How effectively we will be able to cool all these components – the big question.

Indeed: under the graphics card will get not only the NVMe drive, but the air intake fan is the chipset, which operates on the centrifugal principle. Aggravates the situation and shape of the sink is a flat plate with four symbolic edges.

See the chipset temperature is around 70 degrees under load on the GPU is a snap.

Even if the chipset is not occupied by any serious operations, it will easily heat up the video card.

While cooling the chipset and M. 2 slots have caused us numerous nitpicking, to the cooling of the Converter of CPU power no major problems. For a cheap Board it is enough. For heating elements installed two not connected with each other aluminum radiator not the most primitive form pressed to him screw fixation.

Even despite the fact that on the reverse side of the Board no reinforcing and heat distribution plates are not provided, such cooling copes with maintaining an acceptable temperature of the power circuit.

For example, when tests ASRock X570 Legend Steel outdoor stand with a processor Ryzen 9 3900X with liquid cooling, that is, in the absence of air flow in the vicinity of the Socket AM4 heating the CPU VRM area does not exceed 90 degrees, according to its own sensor, as applied for in the scheme of the power stage allowed operating temperatures up to 150 degrees.

However, no problems with heating power supply for ASRock X570 Steel Legend is not so much a well thought out cooling as a large power reserve. ASRock says on their website about a 10-phase VRM design, and in its composition is actually used ten power stage Vishay Integrated SiC632A: two for power SoC and eight computational cores. Given the fact that these integrated circuits can long-term to give a current up to 50 A, it turns out that X570 Steel Legend can stably supply the power the CPU is consuming up to 500 A. In reality, even the older Ryzen 3000, collected on the basis of two CCD, the maximum achievable for them to disperse more than 300 And not consume.

However, regarding the number of “good” phases of the power supply ASRock potential users several dezinformare. In fact, their on-X570 Steel Legend six in all – four for the CPU, two for the SoC. Controls the Converter PWM controller Intersil ISL69147, to which is added four doubler Intersil ISL6617A CPU phases, creating four “virtual” phase.

Four fair-processor phase – this is the minimal configuration of the VRM on motherboards using the chipset X570. And even among low-cost Board can be found such, where the CPU wound up five or even six power phases. As example, Gigabyte: Aorus Elite or X570 X570 Gaming X. But four phases – it’s not a disaster, the design of the Converter power supply uses a huge fleet of Socket AM4-motherboard the average, and the problem will not arise. And X570 Steel Legend, unlike the many boards on previous chipsets, used more powerful items.

Expensive motherboards X570 normally support SLI technology, allowing you to distribute the processor PCI Express 4.0 on two slots. To X570 Steel Legend is not true, it CPU the PCIe x16 slot only one — and it’s always running at x16. In addition, the Board displayed a further three PCIe x1 slots and one PCIe x16 slot working at x4 speed. For these slots meets the chipset. The PCIe x16 slot intended for graphics cards, is additionally reinforced with a metal frame and has gold plating on the contacts.

Under the first and second PCIe x16 slots are two slots for M. 2 drives. As well as the PCIe slots, they can work in mode PCI Express 4.0 (assuming the installation cost of modern processor Ryzen third generation). The difference between them is that AM4 Socket closest to the slot meets the processor, but for the far – chipset, plus in the long slot can be set not only a standard 8-inch, but “long” M. 2 module form factor 22110. In addition, X570 Steel Legend can be detected, and another M. 2 slot is located at the center of the Board. It is specially designed for installation of Wi-Fi adapters and is connected to the chipset not four, but only one line of PCI Express.

Drives with SATA-interface for ASRock X570 Steel Legend can be connected through the eight SATA ports serviced by the chipset. Speaking about the internal ports, it is also worth mentioning that the Board includes two needle Gen1 3.2 USB connector (USB 3.0) and two connectors USB 2.0. They are all located on the edges of the Board.

For work audio section X570 Steel Legend meets eight-channel codec Realtek ALC1220, which is slightly higher than the characteristics usually used in cheap motherboards ALC1200 chip. No additional DAC, like the expensive boards, not here, but the conclusions on the front panel of the case uses discrete amplifier Texas Instruments NE5532, able to “pump” high-impedance headphones. Of course, have not gone away, and all the other trappings of a modern integrated sound cards. The scheme uses special capacitors Nichicon “Fine Gold”, the left and right channels separated on different layers of the Board, and the entire audio path is completely electrically separated from the rest of the Board.

Network interface ASRock X570 Steel Legend only one responsible for it Gigabit Intel I211AT. And this is another advantage of this motherboard, as such price platforms are often equipped with a cheaper Realtek NICs.

In addition to the five analogue audio, optical S/P-DIF-out and Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 connector on the rear panel Board placed a monitor outputs, DisplayPort and HDMI (with support for resolutions up to 4096 × 2160 @ 60 FPS and HDCP 2.2 with HDR, you can use them during the installation cost of APU), as well as eight USB ports. Six of them are standard USB 3.2 Gen1, the other two high-speed USB 3.2 Gen2, and one of them is executed in the form of a symmetric connector Type-C. Also on the rear panel has one PS/2 connector for mouse and keyboard. It is noteworthy that the plug on the rear panel, which on ASRock X570 Steel Legend preinstalled, and even covered, just like on the boards is a high level, there are two openings intended for output to the outside of Wi-Fi antennas. So when you install this module card wireless network one problem will be less.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend endowed with a minimum of diagnostic tools. On this Board there are no hardware buttons and indicator POST-codes, but to understand in General terms the cause of problems if the system does not start, is still possible. The answer to this question will give four led indicators, showing which stage gets the process of passing POST. However, technologies that enable emergency flash BIOS in Astatula the system is not provided.

But in terms of hardware monitoring, all done very soundly. The Board allows the connection of two CPU and six case fans. All connection points support rpm control, and may deliver current up to 2 A, which is enough including pumps for liquid cooling systems. In addition, some attention paid to the connectivity Board for more decorative lighting. To X570 Steel Legend, you can connect two RGB led strips and a single addressable strip, consuming up to 36 and 15 W, respectively. All lighting can be controlled via a proprietary app ASRock Polychrome Sync.


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