B550 and Ryzen 3300x Match Made in Heaven

Updated: Feb 7

We recently unboxed and reviewed a mid tier board from ASUS, the TUF Gaming B550M-Plus. This board has a lot of the high end features we are used to seeing on premium boards. With the B550 launch – we get them without the astronomical price hike.

They are features like – support for PCIE Gen 4 for both graphics card and NVME SSD, Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5GB/s network. While most people cannot utilise them just yet, it is something everyone can grow into with time.

For this article we have matched the board with an entry level AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and a mid tier graphics card ROG Strix RTX 2060 OC. This card has an impressive cooler to push that performance.

Talking about cooling – unfortunately our review sample did not come with a stock cooler so we are using Wraith Prism RGB from 3900X. This is certainly an overkill for this chip but we want to overclock it. With that in mind – performance here is similar to low-end aftermarket coolers (something like Hyper 212 from Cooler Master). A thing to note – we are using an open bench so our thermals will be a little lower than an average closed case.

To have a baseline, we will be comparing this whole set-up to a two year old chip from Intel – the six core twelve thread i7 8700k which is overclocked to 4.9 GHz and has 240mm AIO cooler. The rest of the components are the same between the two systems.

For overclocking the 3300x we are setting the memory profile to D.O.C.P and also setting the CPU core ratio to 44. Then scroll down to the voltages and set VDDCR CPU Voltage to manual and 1.25V. This provides plenty of power for the chip to hit 4.4GHz and is low enough to stay under 95C threshold.

Jumping into Cinebench R15 we find that in a single core test both CPUs are actually rather comparable. There is only about 5% variation between them.

When it comes down to multicore, we see a 20% difference as compared to 8700k at stock and when overclocked that is an extra 14% improvement.

In Cinebench R20 we see similar results – single core performance is basically the same between all variants.

In multi core tests we gain 28% improvement by going up to 8700k stock and extra 10% when overclocking it.

Moving on to 7Zip benchmark. Here 3300x performs really well out of the box with 18% improvement from overclocking. This puts it just 3% below 8700k at stock and 19% behind 8700k while it is overclocked.

Next is Black Magic Raw benchmark and here we can see the test is bottlenecked by the CPU. Overclocking has 6% improvement on CPU, 30% improvement on GPU but more cores from 8700k provides an extra 60% performance on the CPU side and 40% improvement on the GPU. When we overclocked 3300x and ran the test, the GPU only reached 60% utilisation at its peak – leaving loads of potential performance wasted.

Now let’s check gaming benchmarks, and here we see some very interesting results.

For Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Total War Three Kingdoms at stock AMD Ryzen 3300x is lagging behind, but as soon as we overclocked it to 4.4 GHz we have basically the same result as 8700k, indicating the bottleneck is no longer with CPU but rather with the GPU.

Moving on to Formula 1 and Doom Eternal. Here we see even less of a need for overclock. If you look really closely though, you will see the 95 percentile for AMD frame rates is higher right out of the gate.

We tested it in CS:GO and here yet again we have 3300X taking the lead and overclocking improves the average by a whopping 90 FPS. This is really impressive from a 120 dollar chip.

Lastly we ran a real world test for transcoding one of our 4k videos. We did this test with CPU only and then CPU+NVENC encoder within RTX2060.

We started with 1080p and it is clear that having extra and faster cores makes a significant difference.

When moving on to 4k the margin between the two chips is massive but when you involve the graphics card the difference is not as drastic anymore. That is because 3300x is able to feed the GPU to do all the heavy lifting. Don’t get me wrong – I am in no way saying they are comparable. If you intend to do heavy work like rendering, then you should avoid 3300x and go with the higher core count CPU.

Which leads us to a good ending point. What does all of this mean? Well, the 3300x is an excellent chip which when paired with the B550 motherboard serves as a good jumping-off point for any build. It can certainly hold its own in gaming, providing you pair it with a nice GPU, and even do some light video editing. I would almost go as far as call 3300x a perfect chip to start with when building an AMD system, and spend the rest of your money on a good graphics card and then upgrade it in the future as the AM4 platform will allow you to do that really easily.

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