GuidesComparisonsRyzen 9 3900X vs Ryzen 9 5900X

Ryzen 9 3900X vs Ryzen 9 5900X

The 3900x vs 5900x battle has been going on since the dawn of the 5000 series processors. Both have similar specs but why does the latter win?

Expert Verified By

Ryzen 9 3900X

Rated: 4/10

Ryzen 9 5900X

Rated: 8/10

Pros And Cons

Graphics CardProsCons
Ryzen 9 5900X✅ Low price
✅ Better performance
❌Sparse architectural improvements
Ryzen 9 3900X✅ Lower price
✅ Slightly upgradeable platform
❌Much worse performance

Key Takeaways
  • Our performance testing showed a 16% difference between the two chips, with the 5900X running circles around the 3900X in some games.
  • There is a small difference in price between these two processors as of early March 2024.
  • For most people, the 3900X makes almost no sense to buy with the small difference between it and the much better-performing 5900X in price.

Comparison Table

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 5900XAMD Ryzen 9 3900X
ArchitectureZen 3Zen 2
Memory TypeDDR4DDR4
Max. Memory128GB128GB
Memory SpeedUp To 3200MHzUp To 3200MHz
Integrated GraphicsNoNo
Graphics Model--
Launch Date11/5/20207/6/2019
Best MotherboardBest Motherboards For Ryzen 9 5900XBest Motherboard For Ryzen 9 3900x
Best CPU CoolersBest CPU Coolers for Ryzen 9 5900XBest CPU Coolers for Ryzen 9 3900x
Best RAMBest RAM for Ryzen 9 5900X-

Architectural Differences

  1. Lithography: Both the 3900X and 5900X use a 7nm process, which also allows them to share the same AM4 socket.
  2. TDP: These processors also share the same TDP of 105 watts.
  3. Clock Speed: The Ryzen 9 3900X has a base clock of 3.8GHz, a bit higher than the 3.7GHz of the 5900X. The boost clock is higher, however, at 4.8GHz instead of 4.6GHz on the 3900X.
  4. Core Count: Both processors use 12 cores with AMD’s multithreading. This makes the thread count of both processors add up to 24 cores.
  5. L3 Cache: The cache buffer of both chips is also similar at 64 megabytes.

People tend to look at older things with rose-tinted glasses, attributing features to them that never existed. In our comparison of the Ryzen 9 3900X vs Ryzen 9 5900X we will give an objective view of both processors to help you make the best purchasing decision possible.

Gaming Performance – 1080p

To test the real-world performance of both chips, we have devised a test bench that leaves only the processors as the point of failure. The specifications of this test bench are written below:

Testing Rig

Battlefield V

Battlefield V
Battlefield V @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • We noticed a 6% difference between the two chips in this game, with the 5900X getting an average of 168 FPS, while the 3900X hovered closer to 158 FPS.
  • There was a bigger 19% difference in the 1% lows of Battlefield V, with the older chip getting a framerate of around 108 FPS, whereas the 5900X got 129 FPS.

Far Cry 5

 Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Averages were 11% apart in Far Cry 5, with the 3900X hovering around 140 FPS, while the 5900X got a faster, yet unnoticeable bump to 155 FPS.
  • The difference shrank to a modest 7% in the 1% lows, with the 3900X plateauing around 95 FPS, while the 5900X had lows of 102 FPS.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • The 5900X ran miles around the 3900X in Metro Exodus. It had an average framerate of 209 FPS, which was 44% higher than the 3900X’s 145 FPS.
  • The difference came down to 35% in the 1% lows. The 3900X had a framerate of 115 FPS, while the 5900X had a framerate of 155 FPS.

Tom Clancy’s Division 2

Tom Clancy's Division 2
Tom Clancy’s Division 2 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • There was a 5% difference in performance between the two chips in this game. The 5900X had a framerate of 176 FPS, while the 3900X had a framerate of 168 FPS.
  • Framerates were different by around 2% apart in the 1% lows, with the 3900X going to around 108 FPS, while the 5900X had lows of 110 FPS.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 The Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • In The Witcher 3, there was a performance difference of around 28%. The 3900X had a smooth framerate of 144 FPS, while the 5900X was smoother still at 185 FPS.
  • The minimum framerates had a difference of 14%, with the 5900X shooting down to 120 FPS, while the 3900X had a framerate of 105 FPS.

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 @1080p (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • The difference in framerates was the lowest we’ve seen in this final game. The 3900X had a framerate of 125 FPS, while the 5900X had a framerate of 129 FPS.
  • The 1% lows were nearly identical, with the 3900X dropping to 85 FPS, while the 5900X dropped to 86 FPS.

Overall Gaming Performance

FeaturedRyzen 9 5900XRyzen 9 3900X
Average FPS170 📈117 📈
%1 lows147 📉103 📉
Winner: AMD's Ryzen 9 5900X

On average, there was a difference of around 16% between the averages of the two chips. The 3900X was bottlenecking our test bench much more than the 5900X to a very noticeable extent. This difference was made apparent in the 1% lows of a handful of games.

Price And Value

CPULaunch MSRPCurrent Price (Used)
Ryzen 9 5900X💲549💲297
Ryzen 9 3900X💲499💲269

Both the 5900X and the 3900X have fallen in value since their release dates. Both chips have plateaued near a similar resting price, with the difference being only a measly $28 in early March 2024.

What We Recommend

Ryzen 9 5900X: This chip held up surprisingly well in our testing. It performed much better than the 3900X in our benchmarks by a long shot while costing marginally more. This makes it the obvious choice in this comparison, with no apparent catches.

Ryzen 9 3900X: In our brief revisit of this processor, it showed no promise, at least not against its brethren. The 3900X performed much worse in our testing while costing about the same. The lifespan of this processor is over.

To conclude the debate between the Ryzen 9 5900X vs Ryzen 9 3900X, the former is objectively better than the latter. It supports a higher threshold for performance while costing similarly to the older chip.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the Ryzen 9 5900X and 3900X?

The Ryzen 9 5900X, part of AMD’s Zen 3 Vermeer CPUs, is compared to the Zen 2 Matisse architecture-based Ryzen 9 3900X. The 5900X has a 100 MHz lower base clock (3.7 GHz) but increases turbo frequencies by 200 MHz (4.8 GHz).

Is there a significant performance disparity between the Ryzen 9 5900X and 3900X?

The Ryzen 9 5900X, with Zen 3 architecture, accesses the entire 64 MB L3 Cache for a single thread or core, leading to a gaming performance improvement of 10-50% on average at 1080p, depending on the game’s effective L3 Cache utilization.

Does AMD bundle proprietary CPU Coolers with the Ryzen 9 3900X?

AMD included the Wraith Prism RGB CPU Cooler with the Ryzen 9 3900X, suitable for casual gaming/medium workloads.

More From Ryzen 9 5900X

More From Ryzen 9 3900X

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