AMD Ryzen 7 3700X review: gaming performance tests

Ashes of the Singularity, AC Odyssey, Battlefield 5, Far Cry 5.

In assessing game performance, I went with a smaller range of titles designed to show a range of different CPU profiles, from games that favour single-core power to some of the best multi-threaded game engines we've worked with. There's also a prevailing feeling that 60fps gaming is a relatively easy target for most modern CPUs, something I would take issue with. While that is the case for most titles, there's a bunch I've played where this palpably isn't true. In essence then, buying a higher-end CPU is more about buying extra overhead for edge cases, as opposed to running the chip flat-out 100 per cent of the time.

In terms of those stress test edge cases, the truth is that Crysis 3's jungle levels can see Ryzen 7 2700X dip beneath 60fps (i7 is generally fine) and the original Crysis's Ascension level can tank an 8700K running at 5.0GHz to 40fps or lower. However, the point is equally proven with the much more modern Kingdom Come Deliverance on its ultra high setting - whether it's Ryzen or Core, you won't be running this one at this setting above 60fps any time soon. Real-time strategy titles can also dip beneath 60fps, whether it's the Total War series or our first test case, Ashes of the Singularity.

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity Escalation's CPU test takes graphics out of the equation completely and stress-tests the processor with a simulation that the developer tells us is very much representative of game performance - just what I want from a benchmark. "The CPU benchmark is four AI players playing each other in a large map," Oxide's Dan Baker tells us. "If you do a four-player game on a large map, it can eventually get to a battle that's this complex (I've seen larger and more complex battles). It's about as realistic as we could make it without putting a human in the mix. The only 'hack' we do is turn off unit deaths to keep the unit count more constant."

The benchmark is an outlier in that it stress-tests all CPU cores and threads to their limits, with the end result being a commanding lead overall for the new Ryzen 7 3700X against the 9700K. There's a 9.3 per cent lead overall for the AMD chip, while the advantage over the old 2700X extends to an impressive 14 per cent. Watching performance in context, the 9700K can vary its lead over the 2700X - sometimes there's nothing in it, sometimes it occupies a midpoint between 2700X and 3700X. Regardless, we kick off with an easy Ryzen 7 3700X win here. Regardless of the heaviness of the workload, it's always ahead of the Core i7 9700K.

Ashes of the Singularity: CPU Test

  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Running at its ultra high preset, Assassin's Creed Odyssey offers a fairly disastrous outlook when it's CPU-bound, with some highly obvious stutter that requires a firm balance between CPU and GPU to fully resolve. In short, we need to cap performance either with a frame-rate limiter or else at the GPU limit running unlocked in order to get anything like a consistent, stutter free experience. Intel provides higher performance and improved stability on this one.

Pay close attention to the lowest five per cent and one per cent scores here at 1080p and 1440p, as it's the Ryzen 7 chips that fare worse here compared to Core i7. However, what is clearly evident is that the 3700X has fewer dips, hitches and stutters than the 2700X, so there is a clear gen-on-gen improvement, but it's not the new processor's finest hour.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA

  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Battlefield 5

While adding this game to our GPU benchmark suite, I couldn't help but notice that even with an RTX 2060 Super, performance at 1080p with our standard Core i7 8700K wasn't great - clearly we were hitting CPU limits, making it a good candidate for inclusion in our next major CPU review.

At 1080p, there's a clear throughput advantage to the 9700K in terms of frame-rate, but the stutter is so, so bad. There's extra overhead here with Intel over both of our AMD offerings, no doubt, and transitioning out of the cutscene into gameplay shows smoother performance on the 9700K - a state of affairs that continues at 1440p. Only at 4K do we get any kind of uniform performance level in terms of consistency across all three chips. What is interesting to note is that 1080p aside, lowest one per cent and five per cent scores show a bigger advantage to Intel than mean average. Battlefield is an Intel win then, but the 3700X is still a great performer - and regardless of the CPU you have, ensuring you're on the GPU limit gives far smoother gameplay.

Battlefield 5: Ultra, RTX off

  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

Far Cry 5

Based on the ever-evolving Dunia engine, the Far Cry titles on PC seem to be built on fast single-core performance - something we've noted in Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal and even this latest numbered series entry. Overall core utilisation is wider this time around - it does benefit from hyper-threading - but the fact remains that there's still clearly one dominant thread seemingly running the others. The end result is that - again, similar to prior games in the series - Intel offers a commanding lead over Ryzen. We can assume that we're almost completely CPU-bound at 1080p here, so percentage comparisons are valid - it's a 26.5 per cent lead for the 8700K, rising to 40.5 per cent on the 9900K.

As expected, the differentials close at higher resolutions as the GPU becomes more of a limiting factor, but Intel remains dominant, with only 4K resolution seeing everything move into line. Curiously, the 9700K's lowest one per cent scores spike here - when you are CPU-bound, stutter can be unpredictable, and it can happen to any of the three processors tested here, but it seems that Intel runs this title smoother with hyper-threading, something the 9700K doesn't have.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA

  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Core i7 9700K
  • Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X analysis

Read the Eurogamer.net reviews policy

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (53)

About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

Related

Digital FoundryAMD Radeon RX 5500 XT vs GTX 1650 Super review: the big 1080p face-off

Can Team Red's new Navi-based 4GB and 8GB cards outgun Nvidia's 16-series?

The Game Awards 2019 live report

Geoff? Geoff! Live from 1.30am.

Fortnite annual battle pass with exclusive skins leaked

UPDATE: Will now no longer be released... but Bao Bros. will.

FeatureShenmue 3: the view from Guilin

Yu Suzuki's return offers a look at life in 80s China - but how accurate is it?

You may also enjoy...

Comments (53)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading