We’re sure that Intel is having plenty of sleepless nights thanks to AMDs amazing comeback from more than a decade of underdog status in the CPU market. Offer similar IPC numbers, more cores and lower prices to both mainstream and enthusiast user, AMD’s main problem these days is making enough CPUs to satisfy demand. That doesn’t mean Team Red has been sitting on its laurels. With the announcement of three new Ryzen 3000 “XT” CPUs, it’s clear there’s more performance to be tapped from these superlative chips.
What Are Ryzen XT CPUs?
Long-time fans of AMD are familiar with the “XT” nomenclature. For a long time it was the sign that a GPU model was the enthusiast, performance variant. AMD have even brought it back with their recent Radeon 5700 XT cards. So XT Ryzen chips are largely a sensible exercise in brand alignment. So what about the actual chips? Are these three new processors something to get excited about?
Meet the XT Family
There’s one XT processor for each tier of the current Ryzen 3000 lineup:
Ryzen 9 3900XT
Ryzen 7 3800XT
The 3900XT offers 12 cores and 24 threads. The base clock is 3.8Ghz, with a boost of 4.7. The 3800XT offers 8 cores and 15 threads, with a 3.9/4.7 Ghz base/boost configuration. Finally, the 3600XT offers 6 cores and 12 threads, with a 3.8/4.5 Ghz base/boost configuration. Pricing in the real world is always hard to predict, but the MSRPs for the three CPUs are $499, $399 and $249 respectively.
Old Prices, Old Boards
As is tradition with AMD, these are drop-in upgrades for current Ryzen 3000 compatible BIOS, which includes all 500-series motherboards. In terms of pricing these three new processors are releasing at the same MSRPs as the non-XT processors they are replacing.
Much Ado About Nothing?
These CPUs are, in reality, minor refreshes to existing products. So if, for example, you’re already running a 3900, there’s no sense in replacing it with a 3900XT. However, if you are in the market for a new AMD CPU, it’s best to go for the XT version and benefit from the refinements the refresh brings. While there are no hard numbers yet, we expect these new chips will clock better and generally round off any rough edges that may have been present.
Alternatively, we also expect AMD and resellers holding old stock to offer the non-XT models at lower prices. So you’re either buying the newer chips and benefitting from the refresh or getting the (still awesome) older chips at a better price. It’s a win-win for consumers.
Where is Zen 3?
The big question is of course when we’ll get the true successor to current Zen 2 chips that put Intel on notice. Well, at the time of writing these chips are still due sometime during Q3 2020. So the best advice we can give any AMD prospective users right now is to hold out until then if you can, Ryzen 3000 is a great deal today no matter what, but we expect Zen 3 to do more than simply equal Intel at a lower price point.