Both Ryzen 7 2700X (2X) and Ryzen 7 3700X (3X) share several features: they have 8 cores and 16 threads and are excellent 64-bit processors for gaming. I took a close look at all design specifications of each AMD CPU as I prepared this article for the site. Here, I’ll tell you which is the better choice for your gaming budget.
All three generations of Ryzen CPUs have made headline news, but the third-generation Ryzen 7 3700X is my top choice. Its 7nm node provides low-latency computing with way fewer transistors. If you aren’t going to overclock your CPU in games, the 2X is the better choice with its faster base clock speed and similar price tag. Let’s look at some important distinctions between the Ryzen 7 2700X vs Ryzen 7 3700X.
Most gaming applications rarely use more than two cores and often only a thread. Thus, high individual core IPS is crucial. For benchmarks, the 2X scored 411 on the Cinebench R20 (Single-Core) benchmark. With the novel Zen 2 architecture, AMD improved the IPC of by more than 15% lifting the 3X’s performance to 501.
For streaming, video encoding, and other multi-threaded processes, multi-workload IPS is more important. In benchmarks, the 2X reached 3951 on the Cinebench R20 (Multi-Core) benchmark, while the 3X exceeded expectations with a 4834 score.
Power Boost Overdrive (PBO)
Overclocking a processor speeds up IPS rates for more intensive tasks, critical moments in games, and high scores in benchmarks. Fully unlocked, the voltage, clock speed, and cooling rate of AMD Ryzen CPUs are tuned for top IPS using Master Utility settings. With these settings on, the 2700X can turbo boost up to 4.3 GHz, while the 3700X reaches 4.4 GHz.
Here is a summary of CPU performance across speed categories.
|Base Clock||3.7 GHz||3.6 GHz||2700X|
|Turbo Boost||4.3 GHz||4.4 GHz||3700X|
Architectures and Nodes
AMD team together two quad-core complexes (CCXs) in all Ryzen 7 CPUs. Each core in the CCXs of the 2X are built on a 12nm lithography process node. The architecture has the name Zen+. This design reduces latency over both the 1700X and 1800X. With the name Zen 2, AMD team together both CCXs of the 3X on an even smaller 7mn node for one thing. This vastly reduces latency over older architectures, thereby enabling execution of way more IPS at lower wattages.
CPU caches are vital for reducing latency. They allow CPUs to store an intermediate value nearby, while limiting use of the slower RAM storage, memory controller, and chipset. Although the 2X has a larger L1 cache, the 3X L3 cache is twice the size of the 2X’s L3 cache and the same size L2 cache.
High internal temperatures can reduce CPU lifespan. Thermal conduction and air and liquid cooling remove heat from a source (e.g., transistors) to a heat sink. This maintains system stability and avoids thermal throttling.
With 4.8 billion transistors, the 2X has a large power consumption, a high thermal design power (TDP) of 105W and a maximum temperature rating of 85°C. The 3X has 25% fewer transistors, and, in this way, lowers TDP to 65W, while increasing the maximum temperature rating to 95°C, giving you lots of thermal headroom for overclocking.
2700X vs 3700X: The Winner
In the end, the 3700X is an improvement over the 2700X in most key features. However, if you don’t plan on overclocking, the 2X is a good choice with its 12nm node, larger L1 cache, and faster base clock speed. Neither provide an integrated GPU, so be sure to include the price of a graphics card in your gaming budget. Matched with a good GPU, though, the 3X is my CPU choice for your PC case. Buy the 3X while sales last.