We’ve heard the news since March of 2017. AMD is back in the game with their new lineup of Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 3 is the last in the series to be announced, with the Ryzen 3 1200 being the cheapest among the entire family. Priced at only RM519, how well does the Ryzen 3 1200 actually perform?


There’s really nothing much to see in terms of unboxing here. The box houses the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler and also the processor itself, together with a case sticker. Nothing out of the ordinary here, actually.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

One thing I did realize from the get go is that the Wraith Stealth cooler actually has a familiar fan blade design. It’s actually using Cooler Master’s Silencio series of fans’ blade design. Though, there are users that got a different fan instead of Cooler Master’s Silencio fans.

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

My minor gripe here is that the fan isn’t rotated by 90°, and hence the stock cooler will be on its sides when mounted.

Test bench setup

The hardware used here is provided to us with a mix of some other hardware that we have. We also used a personal Intel-based rig with comparable specs to get an idea of how well the Ryzen 3 1200 actually performs.

Test hardware configuration

CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 1200
GPU ASUS GeForce GTX 750
Motherboard MSI B350 Tomahawk
Memory GeIL EVO X DDR4 16GB 3200MHz
Primary Hard Drive PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD
Power Supply AcBel iPower 90m 600W
Fans Noctua NF-F12


Let’s take a look at the benchmarks of the Ryzen 3 1200 compared to the Intel Core i5-6400. Both are quad-core processors which can tell if it’s worth it to migrate to the AMD’s cheapest Ryzen processor at all.

Single-threaded performance

When it comes to single-core performance, the Ryzen 3 1200 is pretty disappointing. Core for clock, the Ryzen 3 1200 is definitely not up to par compared with the Intel Core i5-6400. Even with a 3.1GHz base clock and a 3.4GHz boost clock, the Ryzen 3 1200’s instructions per clock is not up to par.

We also put in the overclocked Ryzen 3 1200 benchmark results into the mix as a comparison. From what we can see here, the overclocked Ryzen 3 1200 is definitely ahead of the Intel i5-6400, but falls behind if not overclocked.

Take a look at these graphs comparing the single-threaded performance of both the processors.

Ryzen 3 1200 Cinebench R11.5 Single Core
Higher is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 Cinebench R15 Single Core
Higher is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 SuperPi
Lower is better.

Multi-threaded performance

When it comes to multi-core performance tests, the Ryzen 3 1200 is trading blows with the Intel i5-6400. This is because the IPC of the Ryzen series is still inferior compared to the Intel counterparts. Intel’s architecture is actually performing exceptionally well when it comes to pi calculations.

The results below show the differences between the AMD Ryzen 3 1200 and the Intel i5-6400. We threw in the overclocked benchmark results to see how far we can actually push the Ryzen 3 1200.

Ryzen 3 1200 Cinebench R11.5 Multi Core
Higher is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 Cinebench R15 Multi Core
Higher is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 PiFast
Lower is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 wPrime
Lower is better.

Other benchmarks

As for other benchmarks, the Ryzen 3 1200 is actually pretty disappointing in this region. We did 2 benchmarks – HWBOT x265 and Handbrake for encoding. As a content creator myself, I regard this as a pretty important parameter for me while choosing a CPU.

The two graphs below pretty much sum up the disappointment in Ryzen 3 1200’s performance. The FPS count in HWBOT x265 is low, even when overclocked is barely reaching the Intel i5-6400’s performance. However, when it comes to Handbrake, the Ryzen 3 1200 manages to step ahead of the Intel i5-6400 – but not by much. Remember, there’s something called SkyOC which you can actually push it 4.0GHz to 4.2GHz with a beefy cooler. We used a Noctua NH-D15, by the way.

Review - AMD Ryzen 3 1200: Value For Money? 1
Higher is better.
Ryzen 3 1200 Handbrake
1080p 1GB MOV file to 1080p30 MKV high quality. Lower is better.


I find it quite unrewarding when it comes to overclocking. Pairing up with the MSI B350 Tomahawk, the overclocking is pretty much capped at 3.80GHz at 1.38V. Increasing the voltage to 1.4V while boosting it up to 3.85GHz is unbootable, and yet the DRAM frequency is kept at 2133MHz.

Again, it might be due to the MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard’s limitations. However, the memory overclocking is pretty good as the GeIL EVO X that we’ve used here actually has an XMP profile to boost it up to 3200MHz at 1T command rate. Though, the SOC voltage will have to be boosted up to 1.15V and the DRAM voltage is boosted up to 1.4V to have a successful boot.

Wrapping up the Ryzen 3 1200 review

To be honest, I’m pretty disappointed with the overclocking potential with the setup we have here. Even overclocking the CPU alone, it can’t match the performance of an Intel i5-6400 in stock clocks. Even when it’s overclocked, it still trades blows with their Intel counterpart. Both are true quad-cores, too.

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

Priced at only RM519, is the Ryzen 3 1200 a good upgrade for you? It depends, really. A brand new Intel i5-8400 costs about RM800 – and Intel’s motherboards aren’t exactly cheap as well.

AMD has a clear offering for their customers – you get a quad-core on the cheap, and motherboards are cheap too. They’re made to overclock, as B350 chipset of boards are capable of doing so, and costs lower than Intel’s motherboards in general, too. However, B350 boards are limited options to tweak the BIOS. Also, RAM compatibility and overclocking is still an issue. And again, silicon lottery is at play, too.

  • Pros
    • Great price
    • Cheaper motherboards
  • Cons
    • Overclocking is underwhelming
    • RAM compatibility issues

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