Ryzen 7 3700X vs Ryzen 7 2700X: Which CPU is better value in 2020?


Two years ago, AMD released the Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X, and 1800X, bringing 8 cores and 16 threads to the consumer desktop platform in a major way. Now, in 2020, there are 8 core CPU’s from both team blue and team red, as well as offerings up to 12 core (soon to be 16 cores!) from AMD.

With this plethora of options, and AMD still producing and selling the second generation, Zen+ 12nm chip, you may be asking yourself: Which CPU do I buy? The 2700X for around $250, or the brand new, 7nm 3700X?  Normally in these circumstances, it is always a more nuanced answer depending on your budget and workload, but has AMD finally given us the no-brainer product upgraded that we have been dreaming of since Moore’s Law died?

1. Price

The 2700X can be had used on eBay for around $180, or new from retailers like NewEgg, or Amazon for around $250. The 3700X has an MSRP of $329, and as of the time of writing, a mere 3 days after launch, there are no sales on this CPU and don’t expect there to be any time soon. These processors are selling like hotcakes.

2. Features

Secondly, there are many new features with Zen 2 that are worth noting: PCIE 4.0 on X570 for new lightning-fast NVME drives, PBO 2.0 which essentially makes OC’ing a thing of the past, better-integrated memory controller so you can use RAM up to 5100Mhz, better latency overall with windows scheduler and chipset updates.

3. Performance and Efficiency Claims

Next, let’s look at Power Consumption/TDP as advertised by AMD (usually a pretty good indicator of power draw at stock, unlike Intel’s TDP).

Source: AMD

Here we see a massive improvement in power efficiency by moving to the 7nm node over the previous 12nm lithography, but can the performance claims really be true? Has AMD managed to eek out 15% more in single core and 18% more in multi-core on its latest iteration of 8 core, 16 thread $329 parts?

4. Performance Benchmarks

The only way to find out is to take a look at the benchmarks, and the good news is there are plenty to go around.

  Ryzen 7 3700X  VS Ryzen 7 2700X Gaming
LTT 16% Faster
HW Unboxed 7.4% Faster
Tech Spot 6.9 % Faster
Science Studios 10.5% Faster

There are plenty more out there, but you get the idea. Considering these were tested with different games, RAM configurations, coolers, etc., the bottom line is that while the 2700X was always a bit of a compromise compared to the i9-9900K in both gaming and productivity, the 3700X is now on par with the 9900K and gaming and actually comes out on top in productivity tasks! Ryzen is no longer simply best “for the price.” No, Ryzen is now simply, the best overall.

Decision Time

Ryzen 7 3700X

Is it worth it to you to save $80 to pick up the older 2700X or do you simply want the best? All I can tell you is that I have already sold my 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU to make way for Zen 2.

Ryzen 7 3700X all the way.

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