AMD Ryzen 7 3700X review: gaming performance tests

Crysis 3, Metro Exodus, Kingdom Come Deliverance, The Witcher 3.

Our game testing continues with another demanding quartet of demanding titles. Whether it's CPU or GPU analysis, Crysis 3 is our go-to game to get an initial overview of the kind of performance we can expect - generally speaking, if the first two levels of this title play out at the frame-rate you want, you're good to go for the vast majority of action games out there. Five years on, Crysis' final entry continues to play havoc with all manner of PC hardware, but its varying in-game workloads can favour either Ryzen or Core, depending on context.

Our CPU test suite also benefits from the inclusion of the incredibly demanding Kingdom Come Deliverance, built on a much more modern iteration of the CryEngine. The game includes an 'ultra high' setting that incurs a remarkable CPU load that even gives the Core i9 9900K some issues, and plays havoc with Ryzen - will the new 3700X improve? You'll find out here. The Witcher 3's gallop through Novigrad at ultra settings returns, once again testing memory bandwidth and CPU power. It's a phenomenal example of an engine that manages to scale across hardware well, but can the 3700X improve over the 2700X's disappointing showing.

We've also found another CPU stress point worth examining in the recently released Metro Exodus - an interesting test case that pushes both CPU and GPU hardware to its limits simultaneously, leading to some intriguing results. But let's kick off this phase of our analysis with a return to the jungle.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3's grass and vegetations systems are a marvel of jobs-based multi-core processing and even five years on, our CPU stress test continues to scale effectively over many core processors with six and eight-core CPUs seemingly the sweet spot - remarkably, it's one of the most Ryzen-friendly game benchmarks we can come up with. On the game's very high quality preset, the game shows no quarter, soaking all of our test processors.

This bench is also a good, repeatable example of how multiple workloads operating in parallel can sometimes cause big - if momentary - frame-rate drops, and has historically seen Ryzen chips struggle to keep the performance level at that point comfortably north of 60fps. The 3700X does it though, even though Core i7's overhead at this point is far higher. That is an outlier though. While the i7 9700K has a small lead at 1080p and 1440p resolution when expressed as an average, Ryzen 7 3700X is actually ahead by up to 10fps in this bench's heaviest workloads.

Crysis 3: Very High, SMAA T2X

  • 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

Metro Exodus

The bar charts here demonstrate another game engine where Intel is dominant, especially so at 1080p resolution, as you would expect. That same test though also demonstrates how far AMD has come though, with the 3700X delivering close to 19 per cent better performance. Watching performance in context though, Intel starts out pretty much on par with the 3700X before gradually extending its lead.

This benchmark can actually dip below 60fps momentarily on all three processors, with the dip most pronounced with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Its successor has the same issue at the same point, but does recover much more quickly, while the Core i7 9700K is easily the most stable, high performance experience of the lot. At a glance though, this benchmark sums up the Ryzen 7 3700X's story - a huge improvement over the last generation, but with work still to do in challenging the incumbent champ.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, DX12

  • 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

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Run Kingdom Come Deliverance on ultra high and any kind of dash through the game's settlements sees frame-rates collapse. The frame-time graph is also extremely spikey - a tell-tale sign that we're badly CPU-bound. There are throughput advantages to 1080p over 1440p - though they are minimal - but owing to the omni-present stutter, you can't really tell the difference. On all processors, only running at 4K produces any kind of consistent experience, as this is where GPU takes over as primary bottleneck. However, even at 4K, the 2700X has some issues - as you'll note from the lowest one per cent and five per cent scores.

What's clear though is that AMD offers a clear performance boost between its second and third generation processors. During the benchmark segment, the new Ryzen can ping-pong between 2700X and 9700K performance but overall, the numbers indicate frame-rates closer to Intel's latest i7 flagship. This is more of an academic test than one likely to have much bearing in actual gameplay - ultra high is insanely expensive and it is possible to run this game smoothly at lower settings - but it's still an interesting example of how AMD is closing the gap in a super-taxing gaming workload.

Kingdom Come Deliverance: Ultra High, SMAA

  • 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

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is generally an easy game to run, with plenty of scalability built into the engine, but at ultra settings, our classic gallop through Novigrad tends to illustrate issues in graphics hardware, processors and even memory bandwidth. It's a fine workout, and it throws up interesting results on our latest tests. Firstly, it's another title to highlight just how much ground AMD had to make up against Intel, and secondly, it illustrates how much of an improvement the third-gen Ryzen is.

Firstly, the old 2700X had one of the biggest performance deltas I've seen up against the Core i7 9700K in a gaming scenario - over 39 per cent. Secondly, the entire experience on the older Ryzen was plagued with stutter, even manifesting at 4K resolution, where most of the performance limit is defined by the RTX 2080 Ti. The stutter basically vanishes when moving to the 3700X, and while performance is still off the pace, the top-end 17 per cent improvement is impressive.

Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, No Hairworks

  • 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

You may also enjoy...

Comments (53)

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

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading