Difference Between 2nd and 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen Processors

When the second-generation Ryzen CPUs were launched, they still offered decent performance gains over the first generation Ryzen CPUs.  But the Ryzen 3rd generation processors bring a whole lot of improvements. Ryzen jumped from 12nm to 7 nm with IPC improvement almost 4 times greater. In the power and performance requirements sector, the new 3rd generation chip has improved overall gaming and video editing performance.

Comparing 2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors

AMD already started making the 8-core processors a mainstream before Intel. As the 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs have been rolled out, AMD has even upped its game with both 10 and 12-core CPUs.

Ryzen 3rd generation has now introduced its new Ryzen 9 tier processor with 12 cores and 24 threads. The latest is the 16-core and 32-thread CPU, which is considered the most advanced desktop processor ever produced. That’s a massive amount of computational power on the mainstream desktop. But today we are Comparing 2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors, and we are picking two prominent CPUs for this comparison –  Ryzen 9 3900X   and  Ryzen 7 2700X.

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2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors – Features

We are going to look at the features of the 2nd and 3rd generation Ryzen processors to see how the new models have improved over its predecessors. To do justice to our comparison, we will be looking mostly at Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 2700X since they are the flagship products of both generations.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is the 3rd generation flagship product with 12 cores and 24 processing threads. It has a 4.6GHz maximum boost, with DDR 3200 support, 70 MB of game Cache, and unlocked for overclocking.

Also, it delivers ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance in most of the most common games in the world. It also comes with AMD Wraith Prison cooler with LED support. The cooler keeps the CPU in optimal performance for highly demanding computing tasks like gaming and video editing.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is AMD’s first Ryzen 9 processor as it offers support for TDP of 105W and DDR4 memory system.

The 3000 memory controller has significantly improved over the second-generation Ryzen processors that used older 12 nm architecture, showing many improvements than the lower spec 3000 models.

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is also compatible with the new PCIe 4.0 enabled X570 motherboards through the AM4 socket, as well as the 300 and 400 series like the second-generation processors.

On the other hand, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X comes with lesser cores and threads. It has 8 cores and 16 threads, with a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4.3 GHz.

It supports AM4 motherboards and Windows 10 operating systems. Unlike its 3rd generation counterpart, Ryzen 7 2700X has 20 MB of combined Cache. From their features above, it’s obvious that the 3rd generation Ryzen processor will perform faster and better than its second-generation counterpart due to the increased cores, threads, and better clock speeds.

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2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors – performance

We want to look at the performance of the Ryzen 3rd generation processors compared to their second-generation counterpart.

To find out the actual difference between the 2nd and 3rd generation AMD processors, we will look at the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X   and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X  processors

The first Ryzen 7 product followed the Ryzen 1800X series, as it continues to provide excellent multi-core performance for a fraction of the price. However, it still features the 12 nm Zen+ architecture while its third-generation counterpart has gone over to the 7nm architecture.

The 2700X can work well with both the 400 and 300 motherboard series. Although the 2700X is ahead of its 1800X siblings, third-generation 9 3900X is still ahead with better manufacturing architecture.

However, one thing both the third and second-gen AMD processors have in common is the inclusion of Wraith Prism cooler. This means there is no need to get an aftermarket cooler for the CPU.

If you are using this for video production and gaming, the cores and threads will serve you well. However, you may consider having the third-gen processor with extra cores and threads if you want an improvement in your gaming performance.

And like the first-generation processors, AMD’s second-generation processors lack some things. They are not perfect, which prompted the introduction of better and more powerful third-generation CPUs from the brand.

2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors – Speed

It is true that the second-gen Ryzen CPUs, built on the refined Zen+ architecture, improved upon the first-gen processors. But they were still lacking in several areas. But AMD third-generation improved both in performance and efficiency, taking the lead in the race of supremacy between AMD and Intel for the first time.

AMD improved latency, tweaked memory cache, boosted clock speeds, extended frequency range, and introduced algorithms such as Precision Boost to hit higher clock speeds. These are the differences between the second-generation AMD processors and the third-generation models, and they boil down on improved speed.

2nd vs 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors – Benchmarks

We also looked into various benchmarks to see how both generations of processors perform, taking Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 2700X  as the primary benchmarked CPUs for both generations.

First, we saw their performance in the popular game Battlefield using 1080p. We saw some interesting results, as Ryzen 9 3900X showed a 14% improvement in the average frame rate compared to the 2700X CPU.

When we used the HD quality setting, the performance difference even increased to 21% for the third-generation processor. This shows how AMD has improved on its Zen 2 architecture.

The 1440p results are a bit more positive for the second-generation CPU, as the third-gen CPU was able to gain only 9% in speed when considering the average frame rate.

We carried out another benchmark test using Fortnite

In Fortnite, the performance wasn’t as glaring as Battlefield V. But Ryzen 9 3900X still made headway by toping 2700X with 12% improvement. It recorded an average frame rate of 300    fps as against 265 fps by 2700X.

This is clear evidence that AMD has done well to cover a lot of gap from one generation to the next. Despite having lower cores and threads, the 2700X was able to stay ahead of 200 fps throughout the Fortnite benchmark. So, although it’s a bit slower than the 9 3900X in terms of speed, it still gets good results for games. But if you’re serious about getting the best performance possible, it would make a lot of sense buying the third-gen processor instead.

We moved to 1440P and measured their performance levels. The Ryzen 9 3900X still gave its 2700X predecessor a beating as it was 22% faster.

With this level of performance, if it were between Ryzen 9 3900X  and a 10th-gen Intel processor, the performance gap would have been bigger.

2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors – CounterStrike

We carried out a third benchmark with Counterstrike to measure real gameplay performance. We found out that the 3900X is about 8% faster than its 2700X sibling when comparing the average frame rate, and 20% faster when comparing the 1% low data. The margins were almost the same when we tested on 1440p resolution.

We also tested both CPUs on the World of Tank. We used this game to determine how the CPU will react quickly to allow gamers to position for a strike, as the game is more of quick positioning than flick shots. The second-generation processor did great for World of Tanks game with an impressive 170 fps. 9 3 900X recorded a higher fps with 182, which is not too far from the second-gen CPU result.

But when we upped the test to HD quality, the superiority of the 3rd-gen processor showed with a 22% improvement in speed. So, if you’re planning to play your game using 1440p, a second-generation processor will do a good job for you. However, if you want HD games with higher resolutions, you will need a higher CPU. In this case, a third-generation CPU like Ryzen 9 3900X will be far better.

2nd vs 3rd generation AMD RYZEN processors – value for money

We know that money plays an important role in determining your final buying decision. So when it’s time to take a pick between the 2nd and 3rd generation processor, you need to consider the financial implications. It’s obvious that the 3rd generation processor is more expensive than its 2nd generation model. But what’s the actual price difference and which one offers better value for money?

Again, we looked at the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X   and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X  to find out which has better value for money.  The 3rd generation processor is 10% more expensive than its 2nd generation counterpart. So, that means you should be getting 10% fewer features and performance when you go for 7 2700X rather than 9 3900X. But that isn’t the case from our performance and benchmark comparison.

The performance difference between both CPUs is about 16-18% apart. For the extra cores, extra threads, and improved speed, you have to add just 10% on the cost of the 2nd generation model. In this case, you should gladly go for the 3rd generation processor, except when you don’t intend using the CPU for highly-intensive computing tasks.

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