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.