AMD Ryzen 7 3800X review

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Ryzen 3000 processor family

Unlocked with a soldered heat spreader

As per tradition, all Ryzen 5, 7 and 9 processors are unlocked. So you can tweak and overclock them at your own peril. AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors will feature a soldered integrated heat spreader (IHS). This comes as no surprise as the previous AMD Ryzen processors also featured a soldered IHS. A soldered IHS, for the heat dissipation of the processor, overall is better than using paste. Intel only uses soldered IHS for overclockable -K processors. The benefits of a soldered on IHS are much lower overall temperatures. AMD’s latest offering of “Matisse” processors, or Ryzen 3000 series, are running normal temperature levels. 

DDR4 memory support

AMD’s DDR4 support is good these days, and with Ryzen 3000 it's expected to become great - pretty much all brands are supported, with an increase in frequency support as well as a drop in latency. For Ryzen 3000 the memory is set up in a dual-channel configuration. All processors support standard DDR4 memory with clock speeds of 3200MT/s (JEDEC).

Please note this: As soon as you go higher than DDR4-3733, a 2:1 multiplier will kick in and Infinity Fabric starts working at half the memory clock frequency. The 2:1 multiplier switches on at DDR4-3733 so do keep in mind that it will have an effect on the speed at which the various core complexes within the CPU can communicate with each other. For the best overall system performance, AMD, therefore, recommends DDR4-3600 speed. If you're an overclocker then the result is that you can tweak the memory much further than you're used too. We heard AMD mentioning that DDR4-4200 is very doable. We’ve seen announcements with support for up-to 5100 MHz (OC). Memory latency has been further reduced by 33ns, and that can drive up game performance. Obviously, always check with your mainboard manufacturer if the DDR4 modules are supported, they often offer a QVL list. 


It just works... we've seen that somewhere else before ;)

Precision Boost 2 and (XFR)

Some Ryzen processor models end with an X, others do not. It remains simple; the X models are a little more special in the sense that they will have a higher base and boost clock frequency, as well as extended frequency range (XFR). Basically, you have Precision Boost, your standard Turbos that each of the cores can handle. However, on top of that is XFR; if the processor is under optimal conditions like (for example) liquid cooling, it may clock a bit higher than your maximum Turbo clock frequency. Ryzen 3000 CPUs feature Precision Boost 2 and XFR 2, both are improved to offer better performance, specifically in tasks that have several light threads, games for example. Precision Boost 2 should help Ryzen processors to perform better in tasks that have several light threads. 


The above slide, I want to add, is showing Precision Boost 2, depending on your cooling performance it could potentially add 200 MHz. The fastest processor with its 16 cores runs default with a 4700 MHz Turbo bin on one or two selected cores, so a couple of extra threads 200 MHz higher would be pretty awesome.

Backward compatibility

A topic of discussion has been chipset compatibility. Basically, in short, if you have a Series 300 or 400 chipset AMD motherboard, you should seek a BIOS/firmware update from your motherboard's manufacturer. Ryzen 3000 processors will (read: should) work fine, with one distinction, you have reverted back to PCIe Gen 3.0, and that also goes for the x4 PCIe based interlink between the CPU and chipset. When we reverse the situation (use a Ryzen Series 1000 or 2000 on X570) we see a similar condition, most of the older Ryzen processors will work fine on X570, just not at PCIe 4.0.

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