AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Review

Another month, another Ryzen to screw with Intel.

Ryzen 3 is the latest and most affordable subset of the AMD Ryzen family. Coming in two different guises, the Ryzen 3 1300X is the faster offering, packing support for XFR and a slightly faster clock speed over the Ryzen 3 1200, and it’s completely unlocked.

It is also more expensive than the 1200, although rolling in, it’s still very much a budget offering.

The big news — when compared to Ryzen 5 and 7 — is that Ryzen 3 doesn’t offer SMT support. Which means you get four cores to play with, but that’s it.

No extra cleverness to make the chip handle eight threads at once. Much like an Intel Core i5, then, albeit one that is closer in pricing to a Core i3. For this reason, we’ve compared it to the Core i5-7600K in our benchmarks.

A quad-core chip with a base clock of 3.5GHz, turboing up to 3.7GHz.

AMD’s XFR (eXtend Frequency Range) will see this boost up to 3.9GHz, provided there is sufficient cooling. The Ryzen 3 1300X has a TDP of 65w, and ships with AMD’s Wraith cooler, which keeps the chip in check quite comfortably and quietly. For our main testing, we swapped to the NZXT X62 Kraken, which we use for all of our CPU benchmarks.

There are no real surprises with the rest of the specifications, with the same 384KB of L1 cache and 2MB of L2 cache that you’ll find on the other chips in the Ryzen family. Where it does deviate is in the amount of L3 cache — matching the 8MB of the Ryzen 5 1400, as opposed to the 16MB you’ll find in the other chips. Again, this may lead you to think that the core configuration is a single Ryzen core complex, but as with the 1400, this isn’t the case; it’s a similar 2 + 2 configuration that we’re used to, just with some of the cache turned off, and SMT disabled.

As for performance, there’s a lot to like from such an affordable little package, especially when you consider that you’ll be able to slot this into a bargainous B350 motherboard and have a decent base for around $300. We’ll admit that it’s odd seeing only four little boxes complete the Cinebench test, especially as we’ve quickly got used to seeing eight, 16 or even 32 of them, but the score is still solid enough. Single­threaded performance is still off the pace of Intel’s, but compared to a Core i3, this is a strong win for AMD.

Games continue to favor Intel’s chips, although the difference isn’t as profound as it was when Ryzen first hit our test benches. Intel’s slightly higher base clock helps here as well. Even so, there are only a few frames per second in it, with Total

War: Attila managing 36fps to the Core i5’s 40fps, and Far Cry Primal recording 73fps to Intel’s 77fps.

Overall, it’s hard to argue against the Ryzen 3 1300X. It’s a decent performer at a competitive price. Not a halo chip, like Threadripper, but it should still find its way into plenty of systems, and rightly so.

If you’re in the market for a budget machine, this is a strong starting point.

The only thing it doesn’t offer the budget buyer is integrated graphics, so until AMD releases its Ryzen APUs, there’s life in Intel’s Core i3s and i5s yet.

Alan Dexter


Great value for money, with a decent cooler, four real cores and completely unlocked.

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