AMD Ryzen is great value for money considering what you get for the amount you are paying even the entry level $130 Ryzen 3 CPUs feature 4 cores and 4 threads. Which is way more than what you get with an Intel i3 CPU. AMD has the upper hand when it comes to core count and cost.
AMD Ryzen is a new platform and even experienced enthusiasts can have trouble tweaking their AMD Ryzen setup in order to get the most performance out of it. If you are a budget user then this guide will help you get the most out of your money.
At the high-end, we have AMD Ryzen 7 which is great for content creators and if you are looking for more than 8 cores and 16 threads then you can look into AMD Ryzen Threadripper. AMD Ryzen 5 features 6 cores and 12 threads and is great for gaming as well as light content creation. It is a great all-rounder if you do not want to spend too much.
Last but not the least we have the AMD Ryzen 3 CPUs, the AM Ryzen 3 1300X as well as 1200. Both of these have 4 cores and 4 threads but do not have SMT. You can click here to find out more about these CPUs and what they have to offer. If you are looking for a mainstream CPu then the $190 Ryzen 5 1500X is a great option to consider.
Now that you have got your CPU figured out, you need a motherboard to install that CPU. Now all the Ryzen motherboards use the AM4 socket but there are different chipsets that offer different features. You should know what the motherboard has to offer in terms of features and buy one that meets your requirements.
Support for USB 3.0 ports and NVMe drives will depend on the chipset that you go for. The image below will help narrow down things and will explain the features of each chipset effectively.
It is important to note that all AMD Ryzen CPUs come with unlocked multiplier, this means that they can be overclocked but you will need to pay extra for a motherboard that supports CPU overclocking. Also check out our overclocking guide if you want the best performance out of your Ryzen CPU.
If you are going for Ryzen 5 or 7 then this might come in handy but if you are going for Ryzen 3 and are on a tight budget then any motherboard in your budget will have to do.
AMD Ryzen had some issues in the past concerning memory, but that has been resolved through BIOS updates. Be sure to update your BIOS in order to get the most out of your system. Updated BIOS will allow you to get better performance out of your AMD Ryzen CPU even without overclocking.
Overclocking is fairly easy these days and getting a motherboard that supports overclocking could help you in the long run. You need not overclock your CPU for the get go but it is a good option to have for the future.
AMD Ryzen CPUs like fast RAM. It would be wise to invest in fast RAM like the 3,000MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory. This will make your system faster overall. Faster memory will help in some games and application. Check out the graph below for details on performance.
AMD claims that a fresh installation of Windows will also help increase performance as compared to Windows that was previously installed on an Intel based system. It would also be wise to choose Windows 10 rather than previous versions of Windows as you will not get proper driver support and updates for Windows 7 or 8.
On the software side of things, we recommend using the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan as this is recommended by AMD and will work better than the default Windows power plan. According to AMD, this will give you 21.6% better performance when running Crysis 3. So you should see an impact in other games and applications as well.
Windows High Precision Event Timer should also be disabled. This increases performance in games, according to AMD. This can be done in the BIOS settings. You can also go into the command shell and execute command “bcdedit /deletevalue useplatformclock”.
Set aside overclocking and these tweaks do not do wonders on their own but add them all up and you should see a significant performance boost.
Let us know what you think about these AMD Ryzen tweaks and how well they worked for you.