Report: AMD’s Zen 2 Ryzen CPUs rock in DAWBench VI

Let’s not mince words: Zak absolutely killed it in our Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 7 3900X review. If you missed it, I don’t know how; it’s a huge feature at the top of the site. However, some commenters noted that they missed seeing scores from DAWBench. While it wasn’t feasible for us to get that testing in, the folks at Scan Pro Audio put AMD’s Zen 2 CPUs through the ringer and found that Zen 2 provides amazing performance for the dollar.

If you’re not aware, Scan builds and sells custom audio-production machines in the UK. For that reason, they seem to be somewhat uniquely qualified to run these tests. However, their comparisons are not comparable to our own tests. While the default projects for DAWBench use a mix of Shattered Glass Audio’s SGA1566 VST2 tube preamp simulator and ReaFX’s free ReaXComp multi-band compressor, Scan Pro Audio’s Pete tested with only the SGA1566. He also overclocked all the tested CPUs. The site did tests at several buffer size stops between 64 and 512 samples.

Aren’t they pretty? 

Anyway, on to the results. In DAWBench, Scan found that at every turn, a $200 Ryzen 5 3600 overclocked to 4.2 GHz thumped Intel’s $250 Core i5-9600K cranked up to 4.9 GHz. In the Native Instruments Kontakt-based virutal instrument test, the overclocked Ryzen 5 3600 even beat out the $350 Core i7-9700K. That’s some impressive performance for the dollar.

At the higher end, AMD’s $500 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X not only topped the Core i9-9900K, but also the more expensive 14-core $1,350 Skylake-X based i9-9940X that requires a much pricier platform and only gets the best performance out of quad-channel memory. Only the Core i9-9960X could pull out an unqualified win, and that sucker will run you a cool $1700 these days. Every one of Scan’s souped-up AMD CPUs was at a clock speed disadvantage against the cranked Intel CPUs. Unfortunately, the retailer didn’t have AMD’s range-topping Ryzen 9 3950X. That 16-core, 32-thread behemoth will retail for $750 this fall.

Ben Funk

Sega nerd and guitar lover

16 Comments
    • MOSFET
    • 1 month ago

    This is one heck of a news post, Funk. Great stuff and much appreciated.

    Reply
    • cygnus1
    • 1 month ago

    dang… why is adulting so expensive. I really want to upgrade the old 4790k now. Maybe Christmas… but probably not… Le Sigh

    Reply
    • Convert
    • 1 month ago

    Is the i9-9940X getting a price cut? I thought it was like $1300?

    Reply
      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 month ago

      No, I was looking at the sheet wrong. 🙁

      Reply
        • Convert
        • 1 month ago

        Hah, no worries! I Just got really excited for a cheap 14 core CPU.

        Thanks for all your contributions to the site derFunk!

        Reply
      • Pij
      • 1 month ago

      The 3900x beating the 9940x is a bit misleading ; yes it did in the DSP DAWBench tests, but was nowhere near the intel chip in the Virtual instruments results, from 64 samples and above.

      Still an impressive result, but a lot of us music producers tend to want more performance from Virtual instruments when running large templates.

      Definitely an improvement on the 2000 Ryzen series, and look forward to seeing how the 3950x performances in the VI bench’s when Scan or yourselves get your hands on it.

      Reply
    • chuckula
    • 1 month ago

    We’re canceling comet lake over here!

    Reply
      • Krogoth
      • 1 month ago

      I heard it is going to get cratered like Tunguska.

      Reply
    • willmore
    • 1 month ago

    ReaFX’s free ReaXComp multi-brand compressor

    I’m not familiar with the product, but I’m guessing that’s “multi-band”, no?

    Reply
      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 month ago

      Derp, yes. Fixed.

      Reply
        • willmore
        • 1 month ago

        No worries, I had to think about it for a bit as there seemed to be the chance that it simulated the behavior of many brands of compressors, but having written code for multi-band encoders, I assumed it was that instead.

        Reply
          • derFunkenstein
          • 1 month ago

          Multi-band compression is great as a mastering tool. I’m not sure that running dozens of them on individual tracks really tells us anything meaningful, but they’re relatively CPU intensive and they’re good for giving a workout.

          Reply
            • Cyber
            • 1 month ago

            Please fix the site. I can’t read this reply. It’s very narrow and truncated. I’m getting about 3.5 characters per line and it’s not even wrapping the text. It’s literally being chopped off mid letter!

            Great news for AMD, their fans and their customers though!

    • Sweatshopking
    • 1 month ago

    I want a ryzen two build but I don’t NEED it. I don’t do audio work, but dang these look good

    Reply
      • Mr Bill
      • 1 month ago

      My thoughts; EXACTLY.

      Reply
      • willmore
      • 1 month ago

      I think I might be closer to the ‘need’ side of things as I’m currently rocking an i5-3570K at 4.2GHz which Newegg tells me I bought 5 years ago.

      And I am *definately* looking hard at the 3700X. GPU here is ‘only’ an RX580, but I mostly play older games and they tend to get CPU bound before they get GPU bound. That 32MiB of cache looks awesome for such uses. Side note: I love how gaming reviews are always new games that few people play when most of actual gaming is older games. We know that from looking at the Steam survey data after all. I’m glad TR did 1080p gaming coverage for CPUs as that’s at least somewhat helpful for older games.

      Reply

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