AMD’s new low-level CPU, Ryzen 3, is finally here. It’s an affordable option, which may leave many PC builders wondering: how well does it pair with a GPU for gaming?

Credit: AMD
(Image credit: AMD)

Our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware and Anandtech tested the $129 Ryzen 3 1300 X paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU to see how well it handles gaming. They paired it against Intel’s Core i3 CPUs as well as AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors to see how how big the differences are.
For more in-depth, technical breakdowns of Ryzen 3, check out Tom’s Hardware and Anandtech’s reviews.

The Ryzen 3 1300 X and GTX 1080 ran the Hitman benchmark at 1080p and ultra settings at 70.2 frames per second. At 3.9-GHz, the 1300X stepped up to 76.6 fps and overcame both the Core i3-7100 (71.4 fps) and Intel Core i3-7300 (74.9fps), though the base clock was a few frames less than both of Intel’s offerings. The Ryzen 5 1500X was king at 92.2 fps.

Surprisingly, the Ryzen 3 outperformed the  Ryzen 5 on the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1920 x 1080, very high settings). The 1300X and GTX 1080 ran the game at 130.3 fps (134.2 fps when clocked at 3.9GHz). The Core i3-7300 came out on top (135.5 fps), while the Ryzen 5 1500X ran at 129 fps.

The GTX 1080 and Ryzen 3 ran The Witcher 3 (1920 x 1080, ultra settings) at 85.4 frames per second (85.5 fps at 3.9 GHz). The Pentium G4560 (88.2 fps) and Pentium G4620 (88.8 fps) were both faster, as were the Core i3-7300 (89.8 fps) and Core i3-7100 (89.2 fps).

When running Grand Theft Auto V at 1080p at very high settings, the Ryzen 3 1300X produced 75.1 fps when paired with the GTX 1080. The Ryzen 5 1500X reached a smoother 80.7 fps while Intel's Core i3 CPUs fell below Ryzen's scores.

The Ryzen 3 1300X CPU was the second strongest performer on the Ashes of the Singularity test at 1080p and extreme settings, rendering the game at 46.8 fps (the lesser Ryzen 3 1200 saw a drop to 42.63 fps). Intel's Core i3 CPUs were middling performers on this test, while the Ryzen 5 1500X (58.2 fps) came out on top.
Whether or not Ryzen 3 CPUs are solid gaming CPUs will depend heavily on the GPU you pair it with. These benchmarks with GTX 1080s ensure the CPUs were the only bottlenecks, and the Ryzen 3 1300X performed fairly well for a low-cost chip (the Ryzen 3 1200, less so). For most games, a $60 jump to to Ryzen 5 1500X will squeeze out a bit more performance, but if you're on a very strict budget, the better Ryzen 3 should handle most tasks well enough to get to gaming.

  • AMD Ryzen: What Gamers Need to Know
  • The Best Gaming Desktops You Can Buy
  • AMD Ryzen 7 vs Intel Core i7: Benchmark Battle

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