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AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler (YD1200BBAEBOX)
- 3.4 GHz Precision Boost (up to 3.45 GHz with XFR)
- True quad core, unlocked CPU architecture
- A future proof, VR Ready platform. Includes AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
- Supported technologies are zen core architecture, amd sensemi technology, avx2, fma3
- Maximum system memory speed is 2667mhz. Large 10MB total cache
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- A 4 core, 4 thread for ~ $100
- Excellent bundled heatsink-fan
- Unlocked processor with great chances in the "silicon lottery"; *everyone* should easily reach 3.7 or 3.8 ghz on the bundled cooler, & some will pull off 3.9 - 4.1 ghz through a combo of luck/fine tuning/aftermarket cooling
- For the price conscious, excellent upgrade path with AM4 chipset and the B350 boards
- IPC performance is edged out by similar Intel offerings
CONCLUSION: From a price-to-performance perspective, these procs are unassailable, especially when Amazon and others have recently marked as low as $99. With Zen+/Zen2 around the corner, expect prices on these Summit Ridge procs to come down even further in 2018. We now have 4C/4T truly at entry level!
DETAILS: The packaging is typical for what you'd expect. Install instruction manual is spartan, but sufficient. Thermal paste comes pre-applied. You need to be careful about removing the plastic mould case for the heatsink-fan from the box, as small particles of cardboard from the box may end up in the thermal paste. If this happens, a fine point tweezer will suffice to remove such particles.
Others recommend to remove the pre-applied paste and apply your own, but I think this is unnecessary. I have been using the proc with the pre-applied paste for just under a month, and thermals are excellent: 26-28 at complete idle; 30-32 when at desktop doing minor tasks or in a warm room; 45-47 during sustained gaming; never went beyond ~ 60 during 45 min. CPU stress testing; conductivity is excellent as temps return from max back to idle levels after only a couple minutes from ceasing such applications. Be aware, if you are building a system for the first time, that there is a "burn in" period after first installing a cpu: initially, when you first run your machine, idle temps will look quite high, like in the 40s, but that is simply because the paste is "setting in." After a couple of hours and running some apps, idle temps will stabilize to normal levels of high 20s or 30, and it will idle at those temps from then on.
The bundled heatsink-fan, Wraith Stealth, is excellent for a stock part, and will definitely allow overclocking. I have been running at 1.3 volts and 3.80 clockspeed for just under a month with the aforesaid temps. The Wraith Stealth keeps the Ryzen3 cool enough to allow additional "boost" clockspeed as temps permit: during heavy gaming, my Ryzen 3 automatically overclocked itself further from 3799 to 3834, as recorded by CPUID's "Hardware Monitor" app.
All Ryzen procs are unlocked, so overclocking is easily done via the BIOS by simply typing in a new multiplier, for example, typing in "38" will yield 3800 mhz. Voltage can be easily adjusted as well. Be aware that you will need the B350 or higher range of motherboards to overclock.
There really is no need for anyone to purchase a Ryzen 3 1300X when the Ryzen 3 1200 overclocks so well. Currently, all of the Ryzen procs tend to top out at around 4.0 ghz, so spending an extra $20 on the 1300x in the hopes of getting "better bin" is just not the case. The bottom line, is that both the 1200 and 1300X will top out at ~ 3.9 - 4.0 on the Wraith Stealth, so you can save yourself $20 and get the 1200, and put the savings towards an aftermarket heatsink-fan, if you are so inclined. Or, just keep the stock Wraith Stealth and set the proc to 3.8 with no fuss whatsoever and be on your way ;)
A note about chipsets: earlier in 2017, there was a lot of gnashing of teeth because Ryzen was not playing nice with certain RAM, not working with Windows 7, not properly addressing its cores in various apps, not accurately reporting temps, etc. These issues have been resolved as far as my testing has seen. I have had zero problems running the latest BIOS/chipset from MSI (September 20 ver.) on a B350 PC Mate in Win 7 64 bit. So the take home for newbie system builders: please, make sure your chipset drivers are properly updated! The mainstay motherboard makes, MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, etc., all have Win 7 hotfixes, USB drivers, etc. to get your Ryzen board running properly with Win 7, if this is something you have been concerned about.
Numerous, trusted benchmarkers on YouTube and such will show that IPC performance is generally inferior to Intel offerings. However, you don't buy these types of procs to have "bleeding edge" performance with something like a 1080 Ti. Performance testing across the enthusiast space has shown conclusively that the Ryzen 3 will handle up to and including a GTX 1060 6 gig without bottlenecking the card: that is absolutely great news for budget builders. If you are planning on using a higher vid card than that tier, then yes, you will be better served by an i7 or something.
But if you are planning on running games at 1080p resolution, at typical refresh rates, you are probably going to be utilizing a vid card in the GTX 1060 range or below, and for that, these Ryzen 3 procs are an excellent option if price-to-performance is highly important to you. In real-world benches, an overclocked Ryzen 3 1200 at 3.9 is only a few percentage points behind an earlier gen i5, such as an i5 2500K, so that must be taken into account.
Do not, in other words, get stuck on the idea that these Ryzen 3 are simply an "i3" equivalent: no, really what you are getting is a competitive, pre-CoffeeLake i5 equivalent for about $100 price point. That is just awesome, anyway you choose to slice it.
This brings us to another point: upgrade path. The Pentium G4560-4620 are still touted as the "budget kings," for $80-$97, but while those Kaby Lake Pentiums are indeed excellent performers (especially as IPC is concerned), they are, in the end, dual-core chips with SMT. The Ryzen 3 is a true 4 core, 4 thread. Further, the Kaby Lake chipsets are a dead end, in terms of upgrade path. Sure, you might be able to swap in an older Kaby Lake i5 or i7 down the road in 2018 to replace your Pentium...but those procs will also be more rare at that point, and competition to get them on places such as eBay will drive prices up to the diminishing-returns-territory.
Moving towards 2020, games are going to be going multi threaded and multi core. In past years, single threaded and IPC remained dominant largely because if the Intel i5. But now, with Intel going 4 core on their i3 lineup, not to mention DX12, the market will truly bear multi core and multi thread design for games and apps. This is a very big reason to not saddle yourself with Sky Lake or Kaby Lake at this point.
By contrast, AMD's AM4 platform is slated to be supported through 2020, and we have confirmation now that Zen+/Zen 2 will indeed utilize this platform, requiring only a simple BIOS flash. What this means, is that in 2018 or 2019, you will easily be able to swap out your Ryzen 3 with AMD's latest offering, on your existing motherboard/rig, if you find you beed more cores and/or threads for future titles and apps.
What this also means, is you can easily go with future, retail, in-the-box parts versus having to do the eBay or Amazaon Marketplace hunt for pre-used parts from say the Kaby Lake lineup.
Perhaps most exciting, the market competition will see some great choices for 2018-2020. As Zen+/Zen2 procs start appearing, the original Summit Ridge AMD parts will drop in price. Ryzen 5 1600 can, at the time of writing, already be had for about $190; in 2018, expect prices to drop further as Zen+/Zen2 make their appearance. This is excellent for the budget conscious. You can build a Ryzen 3 rig now, and then down the road swap in something like an R5 1600, new in the box, probably for as little as $130, on the same motherboard.
To sum up: if you are looking at Ryzen 3 as a potential choice, it is most likely because you are on a strict budget, or are very budget conscious and like to get the best return for your dollar in price-to-performance. In those cases, the Ryzen 3, and the AM4 platform more generally, are excellent, especially if you take the modicum of effort to overclock your Ryzen 3.
The large, established review sites (ex: Tom's Hardware) are, at the time of writing, recommending the lower tier Coffee Lake parts for budget or mid range builds, and this, in my opinion, is just simply ludicrous, if for no other reason than you simply can't even find Coffee Lake procs for purchase. This is to say nothing of the very inane way Intel chose to go with its motherboard lineup.
What's more, sites such as Tom's continue to advocate for the Kaby Lake Pentiums as the preferred budget rig: again, this seems completely ludicrous to me. Why someone would decide to go with a dual core and a totally dead motherboard/chipset line, when they could go with a new chipset line set to last through 2020 with a baseline proc that is a true 4C/4T, just for the sake of saving (maybe) about $15 and getting 5-10% higher frames in older, single-threaded games from 2014-2016, is completely beyond me.
As one of the absolute best, budget centered options we have seen in a decade, a good B350 board and a Ryzen 3 1200 are very, very hard to beat, especially in light of Coffe Lake's scarcity issues.
If you are in the market for a budget rig, and are on the fence between going with budget Kaby or Sky Lake parts versus Ryzen, Ryzen is simply the more efficient and future proof choice.
With that said, if you are then on another fence as to if you should go Ryzen 3 1200, 1300X or 1400, the 1200 is the clear winner for price-to-performance, especially if you take a few minutes to go into BIOS and overclock.
If you are willing to spend more money for a 1400, you'd be better served going all the way and spending the extra for a 1500X or better yet, a Ryzen 5 1600.
For around the $100 - $140 price point, however, you will want to go with the Ryzen 3 1200.
First off let me say I am a intel guy (first time ryzen / AMD product buyer here). So I am used to intel HD integrated graphics in everything, and being able to do basic web browsing, watching youtube/ netflix without needing a graphics card(GPU).
Anyway found the best deal on a ryzen 3 1200. I bought one NOT realizing that this CPU REQUIRES a separate GPU. So since a ryzen 3 1200 wont even show bios without a GPU installed. I either have to go spend $50+ on a crusty old ebay graphics card. While simultaneously upgrading the brand new 450 watt power supply I just bought to support an old power hungry GPU. Or return the 1200 for a 2200G for a difference of $21. I will be returning this POS 1200 tomorrow. I highly recommend you buy the ryzen 3 2200G unless you plan on running a separate GPU.
To be honest I really dont get the point of the ryzen 3 1200's existence. If you want to game and have or plan to buy a nice GPU, your going to want something better then this budget processor. And anybody looking to build a budget PC like me is going to buy the 2200G instead of buying the ryzen 3 1200 and a GPU.