AMD's budget Ryzen 3300X can outperform an old $350 Intel i7

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD's $120 Ryzen 3 3300X has defeated the Intel Core i7 7700K in Geekbench 4. While Intel's Core i7 had long stood as the pinnacle of client CPU technology, and was priced to match at $339 MSRP, AMD's budget processor is giving it a lesson in what Zen 2 can do on a budget.

The Intel Core i7 7700K was the best of the lot back during the Kaby Lake architecture's heyday—around 2017. At least for our mere non-HEDT rigs. Coming in with four cores and eight threads of processing power, at 4.2GHz base clock and 4.5GHz boost clock, this chip was the de facto standard for high-end gaming machines.

But a lot has changed in the three years since. AMD's Ryzen 3 3300X will offer a familiar four cores and eight threads, at 3.8GHz base and 4.3GHz boost, and will be available for a mere $120. It will reportedly eke out a touch greater performance if the latest benchmarks are to be believed, too.

What's changed? I think some in the biz call that the 'Ryzen effect'.

Geekbench 4 scores turned up by TUM_APISAK on Twitter show the Ryzen 3 3300X hitting a single-core score of 5,874 and a multi-core score of 20,948. 

Intel's Core i7 7700K manages a single-core score of 5,818 and a multi-core score of 20,329 in a comparable run.

The Intel Z270 rig was running with slower DDR4 at 3,200MT/s to the AMD system's 3,600MT/s. We'll likely see a bit of back and forth in scores depending on the overall system configuration.

Officially announced earlier this week, the latest Ryzen 3 lineup will be available from May. Both the Ryzen 3 3300X and slightly slower Ryzen 3 3100 incorporate the Zen 2 architecture used throughout the Ryzen 3000 processor stack— all the way up to the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

But we're also expecting Intel's lineup to change by the summer, too. The Intel Core i3 10100 is the Core i7 7700K's spiritual successor, and is just as much a sign of the times as the budget Ryzen processors.

The Core i3 10100 is rated to a slightly slower 3.6GHz base and 4.4GHz boost across its 4/8 configuration, and little has changed with the architecture over the years, but perhaps it will offer some defence to AMD's budget Ryzen 3 processors later this year. But that really depends on whether Intel is prepared to match AMD on price.

Reports claim Intel will announce its Comet Lake 10th Gen lineup—including the alluring Core i3 10100—for an early summer release.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.