Since its release in 2017, AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and its accompanying Zen architecture have inarguably given the company some serious firepower against its direct rival, Intel. Fast forward to today, the Ryzen CPU is now in its third iteration and its architecture in its 2nd generation, and as evidenced by both its Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3700X, neither processor are pushovers.
Now, almost a year after the launch of those CPUs, AMD is releasing its Ryzen XT series processors that are essentially follow-ups to the original trio. In this review, I’ll be looking into the performance of the Ryzen 9 3900XT.
By comparison, the 3900XT is basically a 3900X that’s been slightly bumped up. On paper and like all it’s 3rd generation cousins, it’s still based on the AMD’s current Zen 2 architecture, which in turn is built on a 7nm die lithography. It’s core count remains unchanged at 12-cores and 24-threads, as does its L3 Cache at 64MB, and even has access to the new PCIe 4.0 interface. Oh, and its TDP power dynamic is also the same at 105W.
In fact, the only difference between this CPU and the original 3900X is the boost clock; whereby the 3900XT has a maximum boost clock of 4.6GHz, the 3900XT’s is 100MHz higher at 4.7GHz. Not that I managed to attain those speeds anyway, but more on that later.
To test the Ryzen 9 3900XT, I am reusing the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE motherboard, which I have been using as my de facto testbed. To keep the CPU cool, I am also using a Thermaltake’s 360 ARGB Sync Premium Edition AiO. For the GPU, I used the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition.
As you’ll also see in the benchmark charts below, I first tested the 3900XT out of the box without any tweaking. Followed by a subsequent test that involves overclocking the CPU to 4.4GHz. Further, I overclocked the processor via AMD’s Ryzen Master UI.
While I would like to tell you that the Ryzen 9 3900XT offers a significant improvement over its predecessor, that unfortunately isn’t the case. No doubt, there is an improvement in performance, but put side by side with the 3900X, the difference between the two processors are negligible. With the latter sometimes outpacing the new CPU ever so slightly in one or two performance benchmarks.
Of course, where the 3900XT really begins to shine is when I began overclocking it, but even that was limited and it’s a tale similar to when I was pushing the 3900X as hard as I could.
On paper, AMD says the 3900XT can achieve a maximum boost clock of 4.7GHz. Unfortunately, the best I was able to get this CPU to churn out was 4.4GHz with the CPU voltage set to 1.425V. Any attempts to raise the boost clock any higher – I managed to get it to hold at 4.5GHz for a moment – led to the system automatically turning itself off and on again.
At its default setting, the 3900XT’s power consumption peaks at an average of 145W whenever I run CPU-intensive programs with it, while gaming in general only consumes about half that. Between 70W and 78W. At 4.4GHz, the CPU naturally consumes more power and at its peak, it was consuming nearly 200W of power alone on CPU-focused programs.
On that note, running the CPU in an overclocked state saw its temperature reaching peaks of nearly 100°C while testing it out of the box shows considerably cooler temperatures of 76°C.
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, AMD’s newest and second most powerful CPU. Having said that, it’s a title the processor earns simply by being just a little faster than its predecessor, so even if you do decide on getting the 3900X, you’re both honestly and genuinely not missing out on much.
In any case, if you’re new to the DIY PC building circuit and planning to make your first build focused around an AMD theme, you’ll be happy to know that the Ryzen 9 3900XT is available starting today and retails at an SRP of RM2299.