Return to Level1Techs.com

Upgrading R7 1700 to Ryzen 3xxx

So with the release of Ryzen 3000 CPUs I’m starting to look at upgrading my 2 year old 1700. But I’m not sure it’s worth dropping $200 - $300 for the same or fewer cores.

My current system is a Ryzen 7 1700, MSI Tomahawk B450, 32GB DDR4-2400 (@2933) running on Fedora 29.

Originally I was going to use this system for running a few VMs, including one for Windows games, but thanks to Proton that’s proved unnecesary. So that opens up the possibility of upgrading to fewer, but faster cores (3600/3600X.)

Would I significant uplift in gaming performance if I go from a 1700 to a 3600/3600X? Or should I save my pennies and get a 3700X/3800X, or even a 3900X? Is there likely to be a plain 3700 (vs. 3700X?)

Id say gaming performance you might see a performance boost. Even in non gaming stuff you will see a performance boost.

1 Like

Make sure your mainboard properly supports a 3900X. You don’t want your VRM overheating :wink:

Edit: It’s a 4+2 phase, don’t put a 3900X in there

1 Like

If not upgrading your mobo, check compatibility. A good B450 should be able to handle an 8 core Ryzen 3000 no problem. Even good B350 and X370 boards are able to run Ryzen 3000. If your current CPU is not overclocked, 3700X or 3800X will be good upgrades (I would not get a 3600 if I was you). 3900X may be pushing it.

https://youtu.be/oRaZ2Txv13M

I would say it’s not worth it…
I have 1700X and really, 10-15% gaming boost is not really a thing I consider an upgrade to spend 200$ on a 3600… Multithreaded 3600 is roughly equal to the 1700, so it’s a basically just a side grade to get a few FPS in gaming.
In gaming 3700 won’t help more than 3600. It will however help in a multithreaded uses. But 300$ for overall about 20% boost roughly… It’s up to you really…

Stock 8 core eats roughly around 100W… Every motherboard can handle 100W power… Even the garbage b350 boards will have no issues running stock 3700X…

2 Likes

The answer really depends on your GPU. If you have a really fast GPU then your CPU could be the bottleneck. Otherwise, it’s unlikely to make a difference noticeable outside of benchmarks.

The problem these days is that with the 20-series and Navi, there hasn’t been a meaningful enthusiast-grade GPU upgrade for a couple of years outside of the ridiculously priced 2080ti, and the GPU is really what constrains gaming performance for most use-cases.

So many of us have money burning a hole in our pockets and nothing to really spend it on. I know I do.

Well, duh, I should’ve mentioned my GPU. It’s an MSI Vega 56.

Most of the benchmarks I’ve seen are with the aforementioned “ridiculously priced 2080ti”. They show an uplift from the R7 1700 -> R7 3600 of anywhere from 15% - 50% depending on the game. For example on this chart, you can see Shadow of the Tomb Raider going from ~75 fps with a 1700 to ~105fps with a 3600.


That seems like a pretty significant jump for $200. But of course I don’t know if that would translate to a Vega 56…
2 Likes

I’d put pennies away. Either for a 3700x, 3900x (for an actual considerable upgrade) or Ryzen 4000 series.

I don’t think going from 1700 to 3600 is a major upgrade, it’s more of a sideways 3 steps and 1 (small) step forward.

Whilst 75 -> 100 fps (as a “best case” kinda of upgrade - with a 2080ti) may sound good for 200 dollars - even in that case, is that worth it? Tomb Raider isn’t exactly a twitch shooter, and 75 FPS isn’t “bad”.

Do you think your machine is struggling to do what you want at the moment? If not… hold off, IMHO.

Hardware only gets cheaper over time - and once you “need” the upgrade, that $200 in your pocket will likely be $200 times X amount due to more savings time, and $200 will also buy more hardware for your money at that point.

Then again, my metric for “is it worth upgrading” is generally an improvement of 50-100% (i.e., double preferably) performance uplift. If i can’t get that… i tend to wait.

The only real reason i’m considering Ryzen 3000 myself is to shuffle my 2700x off to replace both an old haswell box i still have in the living room, and an ancient (circa 2011) ZFS NAS, and finally get rid of the last dirty intel box in my house :smiley:

2 Likes

I made this exact jump - 1700 to 3700X and so far I’m mightily impressed. Granted, I’m waiting for my 5700XT to arrive to be able to do any real gaming, but the change in responsiveness at desktop alone is palpable.

I have mucked about with Guild Wars 2 and Warframe since my placeholder RX560 can still play those easily enough and interestingly, they both scream now where they used to struggle a bit with the 1700. It’s more a matter of perceived latency than framerate as either are capable of high frame rates but both respond better now.

The efficiency is pretty unreal as well - the SoC + Package Power is sitting at just over 10W while I type this.

If you’re just looking for a gaming upgrade, you could do well with the 3600 I think. Of course it depends on the game in terms of framerate gains, but the latency improvements will be more universal I’d think.

If nothing else, it runs cooler and more quietly and sucks down less power from the wall (once you tame the voltage a bit).

2 Likes

This is what I’ve noticed too. I also have a low-end gaming laptop with a i5-7300hq and 1050 Ti, and the thing is it feels snappier than my desktop, even though the 1700 obliterates it in almost any benchmark. I don’t know how to explain this objectively, but I was hoping the 3600 (or 3700x) would increase the perceived responsiveness of my desktop.

Desktop effects and compositing are turned off? Cause that was my biggest problem.

I swapped my 1700 for the 3700x, and I noticed the same thing. Feels snappier. It’s not by a lot but the PC is more responsive now

Yeah don’t do that indeed.
If you want to get the highest end 12 core sku,
then make sure you also get a decent X570 board.

1 Like

Well… Maybe X470 and most X370 will do the job… But B350 or B450 are most definitely not made for the 12 cores…
I mean even my B350 can run the 12 core … but damn, it’s a torture for both the board and most likely the chip as well…

1 Like

Yes of course if you don’t really need pci-e 4.0, which most people likely not really need.
Unless you really use some highspeed nvme ssd’s.
But if not then you can also grab a decent X470 board for the 3900X.

Just wanted to post an update. I went ahead and got a 3700X for the low, low price of US$320, with a game I wanted anyway (The Outer Worlds.) It’s performance is quite a bit better than the 1700 it replaced, even though the 1700 was much better at overclocking (3.0 -> 3.8 GHz). In contrast, the 3700X can only minimally overclock.

As for the 3900X and 3950X, this guy ran a few tests:

…and the MSI B450 Tomahawk ran the 3950X like a champ. So it appears I have an upgrade path after all.

For how long? :wink:

1 Like

Well, with good ventilation the VRMs peaked at 66C under a sustained Blender load. That sounds good, but I’ll admit I’m not an expert.

1 Like

Well it uses less power than a 3900X so more than that. And this insistence need for motherboards to have power delivery in 300+ watts when if you measure it. Its a micro penis power user.
HELLO 2018-2019 AMD chips are not overclocking. Stock is as good as it gets with a little room for cooling.
Intlels 1.5 horsepower cooler needed for a 28 core 5GHZ “INTEL” chip lives on…Ryan Shout !! the massive intel Lier.

Not long likely, although those Onsemi 4C029N and 4C026N’s,
are a bit better then the usual rubbish 4C010N and 4C06N´s,
that Gigabyte used on some of theri B450 boards.
Atleast when it comes to RDS ON.
But the vrm is still rubbish.

I got my serious doubts with his test results there really.
Given the numbers from his previous tests with a 3900X and,
entry level x570 boards.
But yeah i don´t have a B450 Tomahawk board and a 3950X,
to test with.
I know that a 3950X could use less power then a 3900X.
But i kinda doubt that the difference would be that significant,
to see a 50°C temperature drop on a board that only features,
half the phases that the Msi X570 Gaming Edge has with the same mosfets.
And i also doubt that the difference in vrm heatsink could explain it either.

Not sure if @Heimdallr already looked into the estimate current draw figures of a 3950X.
Butr a 3900X can draw close a 180A - 200A ish i believe.

1 Like