Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible.

It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
AMD 3000*1 R9 3900X
R7 3700X
MSI MEG X570
Ace
7C35v12

7C35v11*2
Wraith Prism G.Skill TridentZ
4x8 GB
DDR4-3200
CL16
16-16-16-36
AMD 2000 R7 2700X
R5 2600X
R5 2500X
ASRock X370
Gaming K4
P4.80 Wraith Max* G.Skill SniperX
2x8 GB
DDR4-2933
AMD 1000 R7 1800X ASRock X370
Gaming K4
P4.80 Wraith Max* G.Skill SniperX
2x8 GB
DDR4-2666
AMD TR4 TR 1920X ASUS ROG
X399 Zenith
0078 Enermax
Liqtech TR4
G.Skill FlareX
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
Intel 9th Gen i9-9900K
i7-9700K
i5-9600K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7**
P1.70 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
Intel 8th Gen i7-8086K
i7-8700K
i5-8600K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7
P1.70 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
Intel 7th Gen i7-7700K
i5-7600K
GIGABYTE X170
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone
AR10-115XS
G.Skill RipjawsV
2x16GB
DDR4-2400
Intel 6th Gen i7-6700K
i5-6600K
GIGABYTE X170
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone
AR10-115XS
G.Skill RipjawsV
2x16GB
DDR4-2133
Intel HEDT i9-7900X
i7-7820X
i7-7800X
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB

**Crucial MX300 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched


**Windows 10 x64 1903
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
*1 Ryzen 3000 series has been tested in a different environment.

*2 Initial Review BIOS - Graphs results are marked with **
 

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
DDR4
Silverstone
Coolers
Silverstone
Fans

Security Mitigrations

The systems have applied the latest Spectre and Meltdown mitigation patches where applicable. Meanwhile we should note that while the ZombieLoad exploit was announced earlier this year as well, the patches for that have not been released yet. We'll be looking at those later on once they hit.

Article Testing Methodology Update (July 8th):

We ran our original review numbers with the latest available firmware for the MSI MEG X570 ACE motherboard last week (Version  7C35v11). On Saturday the 6th MSI had shared with us a notice about a new version coming out, which became available to download to us on Sunday the 7th, the launch day and date of publication of the review.

We’ve had more time to investigate the new firmware, and have discovered extremely large changes in the behaviour of the frequency boosting algorithm. The new firmware (Version 7C35v12) for the motherboard contains AMD’s new ComboPI1.0.0.3.a (AGESA) firmware.

We discovered the following direct measurable effects between the two firmware versions:

(Note: This is a custom test that uses a fine-grained looping timed fixed instruction chain to derive frequency; it showcases single-core frequency)

We notice a significant change in the CPU’s boosting behaviour, now boosting to higher frequencies, and particularly at a faster rate from idle, more correctly matching AMD’s described intended boost behaviour and latency.

We’re currently in the process of re-running all our suite numbers and updating the article where necessary to reflect the new frequency behaviour.

Article Testing Methodology Update (July 9th):

We've updated the article benchmark numbers on the Ryzen 9 3900X. We've seen 3-9% improvements in exclusive ST workloads. MT workloads have remained unchanged, Gaming had both benefits and negatives. We continue to work on getting updated 3700X numbers and filling out the missing pieces.

Original BIOS results are as of first publication are marked with ** in the graphs.

Article Testing Methodology Update (July 10th):

We've also updated our Ryzen 7 3700X results now. Ultimately our conclusions haven't changed, but AMD does narrow the gap a bit more. For a full summary of our findings, please check out this article.

Benchmarking Setup: Windows 1903 SPEC2006 & 2017: Industry Standard - ST Performance & IPC
POST A COMMENT

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  • FireSnake - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    Awesome!
    I have been waiting for this one.
    Let us start reading.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    One thing I noticed before I return to the reading is the odd bit about chipsets and memory speeds. Pretty sure the memory controller is on the CPU itself as opposed to the chipset, and I've been running DDR4-3200 XMP CL16 on my Ryzen 1 on both x370 and x470 MSI motherboards with no problems--the same DDR4 2x8 config moved from one motherboard to the next. Reply
  • futrtrubl - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    Guaranteed supported memory speeds and what overclocked memory can generally be used are two very separate things. And yes, that 3200 memory is considered an overclock for the CPU. Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    Right--so why tie the memory controller to the chipset? QUote: "Some motherboard vendors are advertising speeds of up to DDR4-4400 which until X570, was unheard of. X570 also marks a jump up to DDR4-3200 up from DDR4-2933 on X470, and DDR4-2667 on X370." Almost every x370, x470 motherboard produced will run DDR-4 3200 XMP ROOB. There's an obvious difference between exceeding JEDEC standards with XMP configurations and overclocking the cpu--which I've also done, but that's beside the point. Pointing out present JEDEC limitations overcome with XMP configurations is a far cry from understanding that the chipset doesn't control the memory speeds--the memory controller on the cpu is either capable of XMP settings or it isn't. Ryzen 1 is up to the task. You can also take a gander at vendor-specific motherboard ram compatibility lists to see lots of XMP 3200MHz compatibility with Ryzen 1 (and of course 2k and 3k series). Reply
  • edzieba - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    The new chipset means new boards, to which can be applied more stringent requirements of trace routing for DDR. Same as with the more stringent requirements for PCIe routing for PCIe 4.0. Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    OK--understood--but improved trace, imo, is mainly for PCIe4.x support with x570-- really not for DDR 3200 support, however, which has already been supported well in x370/x470 motherboards--which I know from practical experience....;) In my case it was as simple as activating the XMP profile #2 in the bios, saving the setting and rebooting. Simply was surprised to see someone tying the mem controller to the chipset! I know that the Ryzen mem controller in the CPU has been improved for Ryzen 3k series, but that has more to do with attaining much higher clocks > 3200MHz for the ram, and is relative to the CPU R 3k series, as opposed to the x570 chipset, since the mem controller isn't in the x570 chipset. All I wanted to say initially is that both DDR 4 3000 & 3200MHz have been supported all the way back to x370 boards, not by the chipset, but by the Ryzen memory controller--indeed, AMD released several AGESA versions for motherboard vendors to implement in their bioses to improve compatibility with with many different brands of memory, too. Reply
  • BikeDude - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    You mentioned 2x8GB. Try with 2x16GB and you might not be as lucky or will have to work harder to get the timing right. Motherboards that only seat two DIMMs will be noticeably easier than four DIMM motherboards.

    If AMD did anything to help grease the wheels, I'm sure many users will appreciate that.

    FWIW, this overclocking guide has helped me a lot: https://www.techpowerup.com/review/amd-ryzen-memor...
    Reply
  • mat9v - Sunday, July 07, 2019 - link

    Does anyone know if 3900X has 3 cores for each CCX (as in 1 core in each CCX disabled) or does it have two CCX's of 4 cores and two CCX's of 2 cores? Reply
  • photonboy - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    3+3 Reply
  • rarson - Monday, July 08, 2019 - link

    WaltC, you're correct. The memory controller is part of the IO die, not the chipset. The chipset is connected to the IO die via 4 PCIe lanes.

    While the subsequent iterations of Ryzen have indeed improved memory support along with the new chipsets, the chipsets have nothing to do with that. I'm assuming the author is using the chipsets to delineate generations of memory improvement, but it could be just as easily (and more clearly) stated by referring to the generation of Ryzen processors.
    Reply

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