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Ryzen 3 3100/3300X: performance analysis

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

Our gaming analysis continues with four live gameplay sequences. Two of these from older titles - Crysis 3 and The Witcher 3 - while the other two are from recent releases, Metro Exodus and Kingdom Come Deliverance. In selecting these scenes, we aim for something that requires little player input (to ensure it's repeatable), puts more stress on the CPU than the GPU at lower resolutions and doesn't take too long to capture. After all, the most challenging scene in the world isn't worth much if it takes twenty minutes to get there from the nearest autosave!

The results here are intriguing, with the 3300X showing it can keep up with processors many times more expensive - and the 3100 not lagging too far behind.

As usual, remember that you can mouse over the results in the tables below (if you're using a desktop browser) to get dynamically generated performance differentials between all processors. Meanwhile, clicking the graph swaps you into percentages, which is arguably a worthier metric for judging relative performance.

Crysis 3

We begin with a stone-cold classic: Crysis 3. While our graphics benchmark showcases the explosive finale to the Welcome To The Jungle mission, our CPU test uses an earlier (and only slightly less explosive) scene from the same level, where Prophet and Psycho have a calm discussion about the best way to handle a tricky situation.

Looking first at the worst one per cent scores, we can see that there's little to separate each CPU; not even the 3100 sees any stutter or frame-time spikes that will affect playability. It's all about the averages then, with the 3100 recording the lowest score of only 141fps. The 3300X is 13 per cent to the better, at 160fps, but the rest of our Ryzen processors are able to use their higher core counts to attain scores in the 170s. Meanwhile, Intel's Core i7 and Core i9 models take the overall win at nearly 200fps.

The Ryzen 2600 is another interesting point of comparison, recording a score that's three per cent faster than the $100 Ryzen 3100 but ten per cent behind the $120 3300X. Given that the Ryzen 1600 AF should perform within a few percentage points of the 2600 and normally costs around $85, this is another instance where that little-advertised processor could be your best value option. Also interesting is that thanks to access to two more cores, the 2600 (and by extension, 1600 AF) has better lowest one per cent scores, while its average is not skewed as much by the highest one per cent. More cores can deliver smoother, more consistent performance in many games, even if the difference may be subtle in benchmarks.

Crysis 3: Very High, SMAA T2X

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance is a convincing technical showcase, and also happens to include an ultra high graphical preset intended for future hardware. Paired with the RTX 2080 Ti, you get a nice workout that hits both CPU and GPU, perfect for our test suite.

There's a bigger gap here between the 3300X and its higher-end Ryzen counterparts in this game, with the $249 Ryzen 3600X leading by around 10 per cent and the $329 Ryzen 3700X holding a 23 per cent advantage. However, the 3300X still manages 63fps on average, so we'd call this a respectable showing for a $120 part.

Looking back at our ongoing fight between the 3100 and the 2600, the six-core Zen+ 2600 is just one frame per second faster - a pretty close result. However, take a look at the lowest one per cent frame-rates and you get a different story, with the 2600 leading by 26 per cent. Again this makes the 1600 AF look like the better value pick at that $100 and below market segment. It's often said that budget processors aren't CPU limited at 4K resolution, where the GPU is so much more important. However, we found sections in this bench where the RTX 2080 Ti was held back by the 3300X. Remarkable.

Kingdom Come Deliverance: Ultra High, SMAA

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is another recent release that's proved to be a technical triumph, even with its most advanced ray tracing and deep learning features disabled. That's the case here, as we test our cadre of CPUs against the challenging opening sequence of the Volga, the first of several expansive zones featured in the game.

After a few games in a row where it took a back seat to the 2600, the 3100 manages to claw one back here with three per cent lead over its greatest rival. That's good for a 140fps average with no big dips or stutters, perfect for enjoying this game on a 144Hz monitor.

Meanwhile, the 3300X leads its little brother by 16 per cent, one of the biggest gaps we've seen between the two Ryzen 3 processors. The 3300X is very much in the same ballpark as the 3600X and 3700X here, with only a few percentage points separating the processors of different tiers. Intel remains the class leaders though, with even the Core i5 9600K managing to outperform the 3300X by a solid 13 per cent.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, DX12

The Witcher 3

We conclude our regular CPU testing section with The Witcher 3, a remarkable RPG that can somehow be ported over to the Switch but can also challenge even high-end CPUs when you're riding through a busy city centre with all settings at their highest values. That said, we're still expecting 1080p frame-rates in the hundreds, which are duly delivered by all involved.

The 3100 is our poorest performer this time around, setting the baseline at 119 fps on average - but it does suffer from noticeable stutter that re-occurred each time we tested. The 3300X performs much better, with smaller frame-time spikes and a healthier average fps of 136, once again 15 per cent faster than the 3100. This result is only a few percentage points behind the 3600X, our go-to mid-range Ryzen option, but the gap widens as we continue up the hierarchy. The 3900X is the best-performing chip we've tested, at 154fps, but that isn't enough to challenge even the Core i5 9600K at 162fps. Once again, we've found a title where Intel's processors retain a significant advantage.

Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, No Hairworks

AMD Ryzen 3 3100/3300X analysis

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.


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