Ryzen 3 CPUs hit store shelves July 27

We came away very impressed with the performance of AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 5 1600X CPUs in productivity applications, bestowing the coveted Editor's Choice Award upon them. The Ryzen 5 chips have gaming chops, as well, especially for gamers with high-resolution displays. System builders on a budget that don't need all those threads can now circle July 27 on their calendars. AMD has finally given us a release date and clock speeds for the first Ryzen 3 chips, both of which sport four cores without simultaneous multi-threading.

The Ryzen 3 1200 will hum along near its 3.1 GHz base clock under most circumstances, boosting up to 3.4 GHz when called upon. The somewhat heartier Ryzen 3 1300X has a faster 3.5 GHz base clock and boosts all the way up to 3.7 GHz. AMD didn't say whether either of the chips will have the company's Extended Frequency Range functionality, though we expect to see it in action on both parts. The company also didn't mention the cache sizes for these lesser Ryzens. We would bet on the same 2 MB of L2 cache and 8 MB of L3 cache the company promised when it announced the Ryzen 3 Pro chips at the end of June. We also expect the chips to share the same 65W TDP specification as the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 Pro processors.

For those without AMD product table tattoos, the most affordable Ryzen 5 chip, the four-core, eight-thread Ryzen 5 1400, is clocked at 3.2 GHz base and 3.4 GHz Turbo speeds. The R5 1400 is priced at $165 with the Wraith Stealth cooler in the box. The six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 1600 costs $215, and jumping up to the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1700 runs $270.

Gamers on a budget might want to pay especially close attention to the Ryzen 3 1300X. The chip could potentially offer XFR-boosted clock speeds near 4 GHz. Games that aren't coded to capitalize on more than four hardware threads could work out very well on a hot-clocked four-core chip. As always, the key factor will be price. AMD didn't give away that bit of information, but we imagine that both chips will play in the middle ground between the competing $117 dual-core, four-thread Intel Core i3-7100 and the aforementioned $165 AMD Ryzen 5 1400.

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