Ryzen 7 3800X vs Ryzen 9 3900X: Which is best for gaming?

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With AMD’s Zen 2 release of processors jut around the corner, many AMD builders who are looking to build a gaming rig will be asking the same question – is the Ryzen 7 3800X or Ryzen 9 3900X better for my next gaming rig?

In this guide, we will try to weigh up the reasons to build a gaming PC with the Ryzen 7 3800X over the Ryzen 9 3900X, and vice versa. We will also present our advice on what to do to make sure you pick the right Zen 2 processor for your next gaming build in 2020.

Ryzen 7 3800X vs Ryzen 9 3900X Spec Comparison for Gaming

Ryzen 9 3900XRyzen 7 3800X
Cores / Threads12 / 248 / 16
Base Clock / Boost Clock3.8 GHz / 4.6 GHz3.9 GHz / 3.5 GHz
Memory SupportDDR4 3200MHzDDR4 3200MHz
PCIePCIe 4.0 x16PCIe 4.0 x16

Looking at the specs, the Ryzen 9 3900X is clearly likely to perform better than the 3800X with a higher clock count, a more number of cores, a higher L3 cache and works with the same latencies as the 3800X. We could see the 3900X perform far better in multi-threaded performance over the 3800X.

With that said, the Ryzen 7 3800X is being marketed as the top gaming chip in the Zen 2 lineup, so it can be argued that AMD know that the 12 core performs worse in games than the octa-core design of the Ryzen 7 3800X.

To really know which one performs better rather than my speculation based on specifications, it is best to wait for benchmarks – and that leads me on to my next section on whether the Ryzen 7 3800X or Ryzen 9 3900X is better for gaming.

2. Real-world Benchmark Comparisons

The main thing we will have to do to see a definitive answer on whether the Ryzen 7 3800X or Ryzen 9 3900X is better for gaming is waiting for independent reviews and see benchmark results of the two processors on comparable test setups.

One thing for certain is that the Ryzen 9 3900X will perform better than the Ryzen 7 3800X, but the question is by how much it performs better during gaming, and whether opting for the Ryzen 9 3900X is worth the extra cost.

3. Looking at currently available benchmarks between the 3800X and 3900X.

The only data we have currently available comparing the Ryzen 7 3800X and Ryzen 9 3900X in a gaming setup is from AMD’s official benchmark slides during the Zen 2 announcement – of which I have summarised below (the 3600X is also included in the comparison):

Looking at the results in many games such as Black OPS III and Civ VI, the 3800X and 3900X perform identically in FPS, but in some games such as GTA V, Overwatch and CS:GO, the Ryzen 9 3900X far outperforms the Ryzen 7 3800X for gaming. What really impresses us is how well the Ryzen 5 3600X holds up against the 3800x and 3900X, representing a real value for money given the 3600X costs half of the 3900X. The Ryzen 5 3600X still has a impressive FPS on par with the 3800x on some games such as Rocket League.

Related: Ryzen Zen 2 Appears on Amazon.com

Related: Best X570 Motherboards for Zen 2

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