AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series is about to land on retail shelves (November 5), which means two things—better performance is right around the bend, and inevitable bargains on the Ryzen 3000 series as vendors look to clear out inventory. If the latter piques your interest, check out current pricing on the Ryzen 9 3900XT.
It is very much a high-end chip, and it is marked down to $454.99 on Amazon, which is about a $25 drop (you can snag it at Newegg for that price too, after using promo code 93XPW75 at checkout). That’s also $94 (and a penny) less than the incoming Ryzen 9 5900X.
How do the two compare? Well, both wield 12 cores and 24 threads of computing muscle, both offer 64MB of L3 cache, both support PCIe 4.0, and both are 105W TDP parts.
The Ryzen 9 3900X has a 3.8GHz base clock and 4.6GHz max boost clock, whereas the Ryzen 9 5900X sports a 3.7GHz base clock (100MHz slower) and 4.8GHz max boost clock (200MHz faster). Clock for clock, AMD claims its Zen 3 architecture (Ryzen 5000 series) is 19 percent faster than Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000 series). And that matters a lot for gaming performance, of which AMD is brandishing a big improvement with Zen 3.
At regular pricing, I’d say the 5900X is the better buy. But with a $94 price difference in play, the 3900X, which currently ranks as one of the best CPUs for gaming, is still a very attractive processor. Plus it qualifies for AMD’s Far Cry 6 promotion, further adding to the value proposition.
One other thing to keep in mind is that a Ryzen 3000 series gives you a short term upgrade path. I’d suggest pairing this with an X570 motherboard, or B550 if wanting to save a few bucks. Then if you wanted to upgrade to a Ryzen 5000 series down the line (AMD’s Zen processors have traditionally fallen in price a bit rather quickly), the option would be there.
Side note: If you wanted to going in the opposite direction and pick up a lower priced chip at a discount, you can snag a Ryzen 5 3600XT bundled with an MSI gaming mouse for $229.99 on eBay (via Antonline). Same motherboard/upgrade path proposition applies.