AMD Ryzen 3: A quad-core overlockable processor at a bargain price

Looking for an overclockable, quad-core processor for under $150? AMD's new Ryzen 3 is the silicon for you.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
AMD Ryzen 3

AMD Ryzen 3

AMD's new Ryzen 3 chips represent a major threat to Intel's dominance in the mainstream and budget PC markets.

See also: A dozen things Steve Jobs would hate about Apple today

Like the other chips in AMD's Ryzen line, the Ryzen 3 is based on the Zen architecture, and like all other Ryzen chips, these new chips are supplied with their multipliers unlocked, which allows for easy and convenient overclocking.

Two Ryzen 3 chips have been announced today:

  • Ryzen 3 1300X: 4-core, 4-thread, 3.5 GHz / 3.7 GHz, 8MB L2 cache, RRP $129
  • Ryzen 3 1200: 4-core, 4-threads, 3.1 GHz / 3.4 GHz, 8MB L2 cache, RRP $109

Both these processors require a Socket AM4 motherboard.

In testing carried out by AMD, both the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1300X beat the corresponding Intel chip (the i3-7300 and i3-7100 respectively).

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

Those prices are incredibly competitive, especially when you consider that an Intel i3-7100 or i3-7300 are both dual-core chips, and retail for around $120 and $160 respectively.

It's hard to look at the Ryzen 3 chips and not go "wow."

Both chips when bought as a consumer package come with a quiet, low-profile, AMD Wraith Stealth cooler as standard, with the Wraith MAX cooler offered as an optional extra.

AMD Wraith Stealth cooler

AMD Wraith Stealth cooler

At the core (pardon the pun) of AMD's Ryzen silicon is AMD's SenseMI technology, a set of sensing, adapting, and learning technologies built into Ryzen chips. This allows a 40+ percent increase in instructions per clock.

SenseMI is comprised of five components:

  • Pure Power: More than 100 embedded sensors with accuracy to the millivolt, milliwatt, and single degree level of temperature enable optimal voltage, clock frequency, and operating mode with minimal energy consumption;
  • Precision Boost: Smart logic that monitors integrated sensors and optimizes clock speeds, in increments as small as 25MHz, at up to a thousand times a second;
  • Extended Frequency Range (XFR): When the system senses added cooling capability, XFR raises the Precision Boost frequency to enhance performance;
  • Neural Net Prediction: An artificial intelligence neural network that learns to predict what future pathway an application will take based on past runs;
  • Smart Prefetch: Sophisticated learning algorithms that track software behavior to anticipate the needs of an application and prepare the data in advance.

Ryzen chips that have the X moniker (the 1800X and 1700X from the Ryzen 7 range, the 1600X from the Ryzen 5 range, and the 1300X in the Ryzen 3 line) not only have a higher base and boost clock speeds, but also double the XFR boost overhead.

All of AMD's Ryzen chips across all ranges are rated as VR-ready.

​Ryzen motherboard chipset lineup

Ryzen motherboard chipset lineup

See also:

Editorial standards