AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: Which CPU should you buy?

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X are both excellent processors. The former is better suited to PCs where you don't need to take advantage of 12 cores for maximum performance, saving money in the process. If all you need to do is do some web browsing and gaming on the side, this processor would be more than capable of handling the load. The 3900X is for those who want much more from their PC.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Ryzen 7 3700XRyzen 9 3900X
ArchitectureZen 2Zen 2
Cores8
16
12
24
Clock speed3.6GHz
4.4GHz
3.8GHz
4.6GHz
Cache36MB70MB
TDP65W105W
Launch Price$329 (opens in new tab)$499 (opens in new tab)

Amazing 3rd-gen Ryzen performance

Whichever Ryzen 3000 processor you choose to buy, you're going to have a capable PC ready for action. Even Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 processors are more than happy to keep up with some serious workloads, though they do come with fewer cores and lower clock speeds. All of the 300 series processors, including the two in this guide, run on the AM4 platform and support the same AMD chipsets.

The Ryzen 7 3700X is the sweet spot for AMD's series of processors. This CPU offers incredible value. For just $329 at launch (can be found now for around $220), you get a six-core processor with 12 threads and a boost clock speed of 4.4GHz. 36MB of cache joins the specification list, alongside a thermal design power (TDP) of just 65W. That's how much heat this CPU is rated to produce, and 65W worth of cooling is more than possible for the included cooler.

This processor is perfect for mid-tier PCs, one being used for both work and play. Pair this CPU up with a capable GPU, and you've got one awesome gaming rig. The six cores and countless threads also help out with intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop and video editing suites.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

But if you need something a little more, the Ryzen 9 3900X comes with a whopping 12 cores and 24 threads. The boost clock speed is a little higher at 4.6GHz, and you've got almost double the amount of cache with 70MB available. You would need a slightly more powerful cooler to keep up with the 105W TDP rating, but it would be worth it.

This 12-core processor is an excellent choice for gamers who want to run the latest titles with al settings turned up to the maximum with a super-fast GPU. It's also perfect for intensive applications like video editing with an additional four cores compared to the Ryzen 7 3700X. Whether you can justify the price hike depends mainly on whether you require the additional performance.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is ideal for most PC builds

Whether you play games or simply use the PC for specific software, the Ryzen 7 3700X is well-equipped to handled most tasks. It has plenty of cores and threads, as well as a reasonably low TDP rating to make this an excellent all-round CPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X offers impressive performance for the price

The Ryzen 9 3900X is a whole different kind of beast. The 12-core performance available is amazing, especially for the price. This level of computing used to be restricted to Threadripper processors, but now everyone can have a go with Ryzen 9.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.