So after many moons, I’m planning on building a new system. However I am torn on which CPU I should opt for.
My usage is basically “normal” computing with almost no AAA gaming (as they’re not available on Linux). I’m not really a content producer or do anything serious with my home computer (which makes me wonder if I should bother with the additional cores of the 2700x)
To that end, what would you guys recommend? I can get the 2700x for $50 cheaper than a 3600x (so that’s a plus), but I’m wondering if the IPC and low power improvements (and other stuff) give the advantage to the 3600x.
I’d be interested in hearing people’s opinions of what they recommend. Is there something fundamentally better about the 3600x that means I should completely ignore the 2700x?
My question would be do you really need an unlocked processor? That’s what the X suffix means, you can overclock it.
Other then that, I have a 2700, and have yet to run into any problems or performance issues, and I do play many AAA games (on Linux only). I also dabble in audio and video editing, but mainly I’m a DevOps sysadmin.
I’d recommend the 3600 myself, as the next gen goodness is a factor for me personally, but the 2700 still performs extremely well.
I recently did a build with a Ryzen 3600. I say it’s worth it. Can’t remember if it had an X on the end. But what I can say it this: I got the CPU bundled together with an Asus Tuf Gaming mATX mobo, and when bundled together, this effectively brought the cost of the Ryzen 3600 down so much that it was a no-brainer for me to buy the bundle.
Then I used the so-called “AI” feature in the Asus mobo BIOS which just sort of gives you the most speed out of the CPU and RAM, in one easy step. This effectively set my RAM sticks to 3200MHz, which would by default have just run in a (default) power-saving 2133MHz speed. That was overclocking enough for me.
The Ryzen processors are not locked. You can overclock all of them.
The X models are simply higher clocked out of the box, have a better cooler and are hopefully binned better, but that is not confirmed afaik.
The 3000 series is a faster processor architecture (Zen 2) with more instructions per clock (IPC) and reduced latency.
So pick the 2700X if you have a heavily threaded workload that is not IPC sensitive (I.e. NOT gaming) and found a good deal on the processor.
Pick the 3600 (non X) and overclock it, if you want the most bang for your buck in gaming or the 3600X if you want the overall best CPU for the money out of the box.
i am running the 2700x and i love it. Well supported across all distros (Ryzen 3000 series had a bumpy launch, mostly fixed by now i assume) and i have yet to find a workload to tax it. Either one is a solid choice.
I would however recommend if you dont own a nvme m.2 ssd to take the 50$ and put them towards that instead and go with the 2700x. I would go that route personally.
This is exactly how I made my decision to go with a 2700x. There’s always that desire to have the latest and best but I saved money and also got a known entity with tons of other people already having done the hard work of optimizing builds, fixing issues and so on. The secondary decision for me was between a B450 or X470 motherboard and in that case I opted for the X470 to future-proof the build a bit. In real world terms, I doubt there’s much difference in my use case but the cost difference was negligible so why not.
BTW, welcome @kobberholm and thanks for the concise post.
That is good advice, but from my point of view (and where my confusion stems from), I don’t upgrade often. My current system is over a decade old.
So going to a 2700x or a 3600x is going to result in a “similar” upgrade.
Also, since if you look at windows benchmarks for current titles, they can all get easily above 100 fps (assuming a strong enough GPU) with a 2700x. In that scenario does the faster IPC of the 3600x really matter?
I’m inclined to lean towards the 2700x for two reasons. $50 that I can allocate towards other areas. But more so that I am coming from such an old machine that going to either CPU is going to feel like a new experience.
Will it matter that on a certain title (that doesn’t run on Linux) I can get 172 fps on a 3600x while only 150 fps on a 2700x (assuming a super powerful gpu, which I’m not going to buy), all the while running on a 60 hz monitor?
I largely play indie games, and again due to display limiations, 60 hz is the target I’m shooting for. Which I’m assuming the 2700x should be able to meet easily (provided a sufficient gpu).
On the flip side, almost everyone besides you seems to be saying 3600x
Well, I may not be the right person to listen to but here’s my stance on building my own PCs. I always buy last-gen hardware for many reasons. First, you save money and, as you mentioned, depending on what you are upgrading from, the difference between last-gen and current hardware will be negligible and vastly superior to whatever you have now. I had a 3rd gen i5 so the 2700x is an incredible upgrade. Are the gen 3 chips objectively better? Of course but that increase in performance given the extra cost is meaningless to me.
Another reason is less issues with the build and stability. Motherboard manufacturers have had a chance to get solid firmware out and any issues you run into when building the system are almost guaranteed to have been figured out by others. I watched a few build videos so I knew what to expect, got the parts and had a quick, enjoyable assembly.
Lastly, I am not a gamer. I don’t care about getting the best FPS on the latest AAA title. I need a solid system to get work done. I also tend to buy used with things like cars, appliances, phones on Swappa…whatever. I don’t like paying the premium for new when I can avoid it. It just doesn’t matter enough to me to spend the extra money.
I was actually in your exact situation 3 weeks ago, when I needed to buy a new work PC.
Ryzen 2700X, 3600 and 3600X were the CPUs I looked at.
The prices of the 3600 and the 2700X are identical where I live and the 3600 is faster in the workloads I have, so I ended up choosing the 3600 with a B450 motherboard.
I can overclock the CPU if I need the performance of the 3600X and the only reason to get a 500 series motherboard is for PCIe 4.0, which is only necessary for some extremely expensive NVMe drives.
Notice that the 2700X wins on the heavily threaded workloads of blender and Adobe Premiere, but not really anything else.
If you replace your hardware fairly often, but need good performance, I would generally recommend getting the high-end models of the previous gen (as with smart phones), but if you hold on to your hardware for a long time, I would generally recommend getting the newest generation, since that extra cost needs to be divided by the number of years you keep the hardware and if it buys you 1 or 2 more years before replacement, it will be well worth it.
Just a heads up. I don’t know if this is a global thing or not, but at least in the Nordic countries, ASUS and AMD are having a cash-back deal where you can get 60-80 euros ($66-88) back when buying an ASUS motherboard with a 2700X processor. https://promotion.asus.com/en/nordics/amdcashback