AMD Ryzen 3000 is officially here, bringing to consumers more cores, higher clocks, a new platform and most importantly, the first processor lineup to utilize the much anticipated 7nm process node. Unlike the Zen+ refresh which did offer some good reasons to get onboard the Ryzen family, the Zen 2 based lineup is a much bigger upgrade. It comes with a new architecture, a new I/O system and an entirely new design which offers up to 16 cores on a mainstream platform. Best of all, you don't even need to update your motherboards, just plug in a Ryzen 3000 CPU in an existing system based on the AM4 socket (X370/X470) and you're ready to go.

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With the Ryzen 3000, AMD isn't just competing on price anymore. They have come in guns blazing and hitting Intel at every corner. Yes, the prices are as disruptive as one should expect with a 12 core Ryzen 9 3900X going for around the same price as an 8 core i9-9900K, an 8 core Ryzen 7 3700X for less than i7-9700K (non-multi-threaded) and a Ryzen 5 3600 offering multi-threading for about the same price as a i5-9400 (locked SKU).

In addition to that, Intel doesn't offer more than 8 cores on their mainstream socket right now, so AMD retains the core leadership on the mainstream segment. But then, we have other features to talk about, the higher clock speeds which put them in the same ballpark as Intel. Offering up to 4.7 GHz on a 16 core and 4.6 GHz on a 12 core is surprising, even for AMD who were barely hitting 4.5 GHz a generation earlier. This is where TSMC's advanced manufacturing comes into play. The higher frequencies along with the 7nm efficiency deliver a very power efficient chip compared to Intel's several 14nm refreshes over the years. There are also I/O leadership features such as PCIe 4.0 & more USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports which make the new X570 series look more feature rich than Intel's own Z390 platform.

For our review, I will be testing the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X processors which were launched last week. The Ryzen 7 3700X offers 8 cores, 16 threads for a price of $329 US while the Ryzen 5 3600X offers 6 cores, 12 threads for a price of $249 US. Both processors will be tested on the X570 AORUS Pro WiFi motherboard which retails for $269.99 US.

AMD X570 Chipset For Enthusiast and High-End Motherboards - The First Mainstream Platform To Support PCIe Gen 4, Feature Rich and Ready For Ryzen 3000 CPUs

As we saw with X470, there were a few features of the Ryzen 2000 series processors which were only supported by new motherboards such as Precision Boost Overdrive and XFR 2.0. There’s no doubt that AMD’s Zen 2 based Ryzen mainstream processor family has some amazing new features, but the main highlight would be support for PCIe Gen4. The X570 platform will be an all PCIe Gen4 solution, which means this would most probably be the first consumer platform to feature support for the new PCIe standard.

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In terms of IO details, the CPU will once again be offering a total of 24 PCIe Gen 4 lanes while the PCH will be providing a total of 16 PCIe Gen 4 lanes. There will be one direct link heading out to the first PCI Express x16 and PCI Express x4 slot from the CPU, while the rest of the IO will be handled by the X570 PCH which will be linked to the CPU through an x4 link.

We have already rounded up all the X570 motherboards that were announced during Computex 2019 including the flagship X570 boards from all major manufacturers.


That, however, doesn’t mean that AMD Ryzen 3000 series would only be compatible on X570 boards since just like last time, the new CPUs will be backward compatible with X470 & X370 boards too. Following are links to the respective motherboard manufacturers BIOS release for existing motherboards to support 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs:

They certainly won’t display the same features that will be available on the newly launched X570 lineup but will feature fully stable functionality for users who just want to drop in a new CPU and continue using their PCs without the hassle of upgrading the motherboard and everything from scratch.

While we are on the topic of discussing Ryzen 3000 processors, Robert Hallock, AMD's Senior Techincal Marketing Manager, has posted an informative video on the latest updates added to PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) on Ryzen 3000 processors. In the video, Robert explains that all AM4 motherboards (X570, X470, B450, X370, B350) meet the specifications for AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors but the X570 platform, in particular, will allow the CPU to communicate with the motherboard to determine how many VRMs are available and use them to further boost the frequencies over the suggested boost clocks.

This is a very welcome feature on some of the high-end motherboards that do come out with a lot of VRMs and power phases. The feature will allow the under-utilized power delivery of the X570 motherboard to be fully realized and be used to boost up the Ryzen 3000 chips in terms of clocks. Of course, there are several other factors to consider such as cooling and the TDP of the chip itself but overall, it's an interesting addition to the expanding feature set of Ryzen 3000 processors.

AMD AM4/TR4 Chipset Features and Specifications:

WccftechX670E/X670X570X399 RefreshX399X470X370B450B350A320X300A300
CrossfireX/SLITriple CFX/2-Way SLITriple CFX/2-Way SLIQuad SLI/CFX
(Max 6 GPU Support)
(Max 6 GPU Support)
Triple CFX/2-Way SLITriple CFX/2-Way SLIN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
PCIe Gen 5 Lanes24 (with Ryzen 7000 CPUs & above)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
PCIe Gen 3/4 LanesTBD30 +16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)60 (With Threadripper CPU)
4 Lanes Reserved for PCH
60 (With Threadripper CPU)
4 Lanes Reserved for PCH
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
PCIe Gen 2 LanesN/AN/A8 PCIe Lanes (reserved)8 PCIe Lanes (reserved)8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)
USB 3.1/3,2 Gen2TBD8222222100
USB 3.1/3.2 Gen1TBD12 (PCH + CPU)13 (PCH+CPU)13 (PCH+CPU)101066644
USB 2.0TBDN/A666666600
SATA 6Gb/s88886644422
SATA ExpressTBD2222222211
DDR4 DIMMsN/A4884444222
XFR2 EnhancedYesYesYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Precision Boost OverdriveYesYesYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
NVMeYes (Gen 5.0)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

AMD AM4 Socket - Extending The Ryzen Compatibility Beyond 8 Cores

Just like the AMD 300 and 400 series motherboards, the 500 series motherboards would retain the same AM4 socket. Nothing has changed with the design or pin layout which means that all existing AM4 CPUs and APUs will be compatible with the new motherboards.

The AM4 socket has a total of 1331 contact points for interfacing with Ryzen processors. There was a need to develop a new socket for Ryzen processors since the latter comes with support for DDR4 memory and PCIe Gen 3.0 interface directly from the Ryzen chip. The AM4 socket is featured on the AMD 500 series boards and will extend support to all future AM4 compatible processors.

Cooler Compatibility With the AM4 Socket

Since we are looking at a slightly bigger socket that measures 90mm x 54mm, the previous cooler mounting brackets from AM3+ will be non-compatible with AM4. This would require new brackets. Manufacturers in the cooling industry are now offering proper mounting brackets for Ryzen CPUs. Desktop builders who currently have an older AM3+ cooler can also grab the mounting kit for free.

While cooler manufacturers are offering their side of the support, AMD has developed a family of new Wraith coolers that are available with the Ryzen processors. AMD has three new coolers that are optimized for a range of 95W and 65W Ryzen processors. These include the Wraith Prism (95W), Wraith Max (95W), Wraith Spire (65W), Wraith Stealth (65W) coolers. All coolers operate with less noise while delivering good cooling potential. The fans also come with RGB lighting which looks gorgeous for a reference design cooler.

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