AMD Ryzen 3 – the best budget gaming CPUs on the market


The AMD Ryzen 3 launch has given us the finest budget gaming CPU around, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X. It’s an overclockable quad-core chip for dual-core cash.


Check out the full AMD Ryzen 3 1300X review.

The $129 (£125) R3 1300X processor is the first AMD Ryzen 3 chip to launch, and comes alongside a lower-spec $109 (£105) R3 1200 CPU. They’re both resolutely quad-core processors, eschewing the simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) tech in favour of a lower price tag.

The Ryzen 3 1300X has a 3.5GHz base clock with a 3.7GHz Turbo. Realistically though you’re more likely to see its 3.6GHz all-core frequency when you’re gaming. It does, however, wear its extended frequency range (XFR) colour when you’re running multi-threaded apps, with individual cores boosting up to a tasty 3.9GHz.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is a little more parsimonious with its clockspeeds. It’s sporting a 3.1GHz base and 3.4GHz Turbo clockspeed.

The 1300X is following AMD’s current drive to bring more cores down into the mainstream CPU market and, as such, we’ve got four full processor cores for less than rivals, Intel, charge for a dual-core chip.

AMD Ryzen 3 performance

And, when you pack in the improved memory compatibility of the new AGESA AM4 update, that all adds up to a package with improved processing performance and either gaming performance that’s on par with Intel’s budget chips, or outstrips it.

As a platform the Ryzen 3 package is mighty tempting. If you compare a full PC build with an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X against one with a non-overclockable Intel Core i5, you end up with enough spare cash in the AMD build to get yourself a tasty GPU upgrade. You’re looking at being able to get a GTX 1060 instead of a GTX 1050 Ti, and that’s going to wipe out any potential performance difference you might get from the speedier Intel chip. In fact, you’ll actually get way better gaming frame rates from the AMD machine in this situation.

That’s a budget win right there. Bit of handy consumer advice for you there.