If one were critiquing AMD’s current line of Zen 2 processors, one of the things to note is that the cheapest option is $199, for the six-core Ryzen 5 3600. This puts the latest hardware from AMD out of reach for anyone building a gaming $900 system or below. In order to redress this balance, AMD is set to launch two new quad core designs in May, starting at $99. The new Ryzen 3 hardware will each feature one Zen 2 core chiplet, run at up to 4.3 GHz, and offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity.

A few years ago, the quad core processor was at the top of the market, and you would need $500 for one. When AMD started launching its quad core parts for as little as $99, the market became interested in what would become the new normal. These new Ryzen 3 parts from AMD, the new low-end quad cores, are helping define that normal, especially with high frequencies and taking advantage of the latest features such as high-speed DDR4, Zen 2 levels of IPC at high frequencies, and PCIe 4.0.

AMD 'Matisse' Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs
AnandTech Cores
TDP Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 8 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $499
Ryzen 9 3900 12C 24T 3.1 4.3 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 65W OEM
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6C 6T 3.6 4.1 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W OEM
Ryzen 3 3300X 4C 8T 3.8 4.3 2 MB 16 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $120
Ryzen 3 3100 4C 8T 3.6 3.9 2 MB 16 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $99

This is all well and good, and AMD has plenty of options at these price points to compete against Intel, however AMD’s biggest competition is going to be with itself. At these prices, $105 and $120, there are a number of AMD processors from the previous generations on offer that might be more appealing. For example, the 12nm+ version of the Ryzen 5 1600, called the ‘AF’ because the processor descriptor ends in AF, has slightly lower frequencies and IPC but has six cores and is only $85. Users will have to decide between more cores for throughput with the 1600AF, or more frequency/IPC with the 3100 for $15.

Not only this, but we are also awaiting the launch of AMD’s new APUs, called Renoir, for the desktop space. The performance of these parts at 15 W, a quad-core Zen 2 up to 4.3 GHz with Vega8 graphics (and no extra latency due to the chiplet) is going to be a compelling option when it moves to 65 W on the desktop. As a result, we might see the Renoir processors priced above the Ryzen 3, in that $125-$190 area that AMD currently doesn’t have any Zen 2 processors in.

For the rest of the year it seems there’s going to be some interesting competition in this low cost space. Intel also has Comet Lake-S on the horizon we believe, taking another crack at 14nm, and these new Ryzen 3 products might result in some interesting line-ups due to price.

We're expecting to get these CPUs in for testing sometime soon. They are set to be launched in May.

B550 Launch Coming Soon

One of the often talked topics, since January, is when AMD is going to launch its more mid-range B550 motherboards for the Ryzen 3000 processors. Today AMD is announcing that B550 is coming on June 16th this year, with all the main motherboard manufacturers coming out with a variety of models, up to 60 for launch. AMD is also confirming that B550 will offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity. More details to come at a later date.

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  • bill.rookard - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    I just picked up a R5-1600 and realized it was one of the AF steppings - and got it at that $85 price. It is a STUPIDLY good processor at twice the price, let alone at what I picked it up for. I'm not crazy about the stock cooler, it does the job but would not be sufficient for any overclocking whatsoever.

    Even a slightly larger vapor chamber design would be a vast improvement. However, at stock speeds the processor is damn good.
  • patel21 - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    Are these really bad bins ? How does a 12C 3900 and 4C 3100 have same power envelope of 65W.
    Couldn't they release these low end chips at 35-45W ?
  • PixyMisa - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    They probably could, but if they're like the existing Ryzen 3000 parts they have configurable TDP so you can do that yourself.
  • Braincruser - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    These will be strictly better than the 1600AF.
    Its the Ryzen 3600 vs 2700X all over again. For most stuff the 3600 is simply better. The edge the 2700X has is only for 8 core workloads that don't use AVX. If they use AVX, the 3600 is just better.
  • RadIsotope - Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - link

    This is the correct answer. And of course a ~$160 3600 is a good deal for just a bit more, but that's how it works at these price points.
  • standard_user - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    Would the 3300/3300x require a BIOS update on existing be x570 motherboards? I have a board, just no cpu to update it...
  • jospoortvliet - Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - link

    You can check the docs of your motherboard but my guess would be yes, they do require an update.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    Hopefully the B550 will not require a chipset fan. If it doesn't, it might be paired up nicely with one of these new R3 processors and a lower end GPU to make for a reliable system you can pass off to relatives. I'd hate to give someone with pets and not so much computer knowledge a chipset that needs a dinky little cooling fan on it. Two years ingesting pet hair is probably too much for one of those performance motherboards to cope with.
  • rrinker - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    Well, I'll be finding out how much is sucks in, I just built a 'server' with an X570 and a new desktop with X570, both sit on the floor (raised up slightly on a board) next to my desk (hardwood floor, not carpet). We have 3 pups and a cat, weekly sweepings of the hall yield enough fur to built a new cat or small pup. Two different cases, but both have mesh filters on the bottom for the PSU, and unfiltered front intakes for a fan (2 in the case of the server) which blow almost right into the X570 chipset.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    I hope it endures and causes no problems for you. As for me, I'm happy to wait to see if the B550 or subsequent chipset iterations do away with active cooling again. AMD has some nice processors and if I ever put together another desktop, they are my first choice unless something drastic changes at Intel, but active chipset cooling is a concern.

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