Tech

Ryzen 3 1200: AMD sells 12-nm quad-core for 50 euros

AMD has reissued the Ryzen 3 1200 (test), 12 nm technology is used instead of 14 nm and the architecture has also been slightly revised. With a price of 50 euros for four cores, the updated Ryzen 3 1200 is an extremely attractive offer for DIY PCs with a dedicated graphics card.

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AMD already had the idea itself, since the Ryzen 5 1600 was already implemented as an improved version – now the Ryzen 3 1200 follows. The new model can be recognized by the OPNB (Ordering Part Number Boxed) YD1200BBAFBOX instead of YD1200BBAEBOX. By changing from 14 nm to 12 nm and from Zen to Zen + while maintaining compatibility with the AM4 socket, the quad-core chip can be used to build cheap and fast systems.

Zen + is AMD's revised architecture based on the original Zen technology, in addition the chips are manufactured with Globalfoundries' 12LP instead of 14LPP. This means higher frequencies or the same cycle with less voltage are possible. In the case of the new Ryzen 3 1200, this means better boost behavior: With Zen, fixed turbo levels are still set based on the number of cores used, with Zen +, however, the boost is based on chip utilization, the current level and the temperature of the cores.

In addition, the transistors used are optimized to accelerate the SRAM cells of the caches. The L1 and L3 buffers react about 15 percent faster to accesses, the L2 cache became even a third faster and the memory controller latency drops by around 10 percent – as our measurements with Aida64 showed. In games in particular, Zen + showed that the higher-clocking turbo and the lower-latency caches provided surprisingly more performance in some cases.

If you buy the chip, you should pay attention to the mainboard firmware: Because it is a Pinnacle Ridge instead of a Summit Ridge, old X370 / B350 boards must first be updated. Otherwise it could happen with cheap or used boards that they do not boot.

And while we're at Quadcores: In May 2020 AMD will release the Ryzen 3 3100 and the Ryzen 3 3300X for socket AM4. The CPUs have four cores with SMT for eight threads, and they also use the current Zen 2 architecture and the 7 nm DUV manufacturing process from TSMC. Intel, in turn, will also be launching the Comet Lake S in a few weeks, they will need the new LGA 1200 version. Here too, four cores with SMT are planned, so the duel will be exciting.

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