Update June 29, 2017: AMD have just announced their Ryzen PRO lineup of super-serious business CPUs. They've got pinstriped suits and all ship with black brollies too. They've also given us our first taste of the upcoming Ryzen 3 budget chips.
Ryzen 3 looks like it’s aimed at PC gamers who are strapped for cash, but is it the best budget gaming CPU? Find out this and more in our round-up of the best gaming CPUs.
As part of the all-business Ryzen PRO range AMD have announced the Ryzen 3 PRO 1300 and Ryzen 3 PRO 1200 CPUs. We can be pretty confident that these will be the exact specs for the gaming-focused budget chips they're set to launch very soon.
The Ryzen 3 1300 then will be a resolutely quad-core processor, with simultaneous multithreading (SMT) turned off, and runs at a base clock of 3.5GHz with a boost clock set at 3.7GHz. The Ryzen 3 1200 chip will have the same four core, four thread design but runs slower at 3.1GHz with a 3.4GHz boost clockspeed.
It's worth remembering that both chips will let you overclock, so if we can get these chips up to 4GHz and they come in at less than $100 we'll be able to build some pretty sexy little budget gaming rigs. And with all the super high-end, ultra-enthusiast shizzle going down right now, with AMD's Threadripper CPUs, Vega GPUs and Intel's X-series platform, I'm looking forward to getting some bargain gaming going on.
AMD says further information will be had on August 29, so that looks like a good bet for when the PRO series actually becomes available and potentially when we might actually get hands-on silicon for the Ryzen 3 pairing.
Original story May 15, 2017: AMD’s Ryzen 3 budget gaming CPU lineup is on the way soon, and now it looks like Asus have unintentionally confirmed the specs of the first chip.
Someone in the Asus camp might be getting a smack right about now as a product sheet for their RoG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard confirms previously leaked specs for AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 3 1200 CPU. The specs detail a 3.1GHz clock speed, an L3 cache of 8MB and a 65W TDP, placing the chip’s potential performance just below the pulling power of the Ryzen 5 1400. The product sheet also confirms the Ryzen 3 1200 will be a quad-core processor, but unlike its bigger Ryzen 5 brothers it’s unlikely to be using SMT (AMD’s version of HyperThreading).
The traditionally successful Ryzen chips are ones that have packed in several cores, so limiting these chips to four cores and turning off multithreading would suggest these CPUs instead intend to compete on a price level against the already well-established Intel i3 chips.
The Intel i3s, the most powerful of which is the Core i3 7350K), have opted instead to use only two cores and HyperThread them to run with four threads. Given Intel’s offering also clocks in at 4.2 GHz, and retails at around $115 at the time of writing, AMD will need to try and beat the blue team on price.
It’s also worth mentioning these specs are for a single SKU in the Ryzen 3 lineup, with the rest of the variations yet to be announced. With the specs on the 1200 being so close to matching the low end of the Ryzen 5 lineup though we’re probably not going to see a more powerful Ryzen 3 chip than the one that’s already been leaked.
Seeing as budget gaming is the target market here, boasting the best specs may be less important than being competitively priced, and AMD will no doubt be hoping to poach some of Intel’s low-end market share in the months to come.