When building a gaming PC, the processor is going to be probably the second-most expensive component you choose, behind your graphics card.
And the Ryzen 7 3700X, despite not being the newest generation or the most powerful, still packs a great punch whilst offering better value than some more recent models.
But in order to get the most out of your Ryzen 7 processor, you’re going to need to make sure it’s powered sufficiently.
Understanding just how much power the 3700X uses will help you to select a suitable power supply for your rig, so that everything works as it should without overpaying for a supply that you don’t need.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at just how much power a Ryzen 3700X uses, so you know what to expect.
How Many Watts Does A Ryzen 7 3700X Use?
A Ryzen 7 3700X will typically use around 65 watts when performing basic tasks (single-threaded), and 140 watts when multiple threads are required. This can jump up to around 200 watts in a gaming rig.
The amount of power used by a processor is never a static value, because the more stress you put it under, the harder it’ll try to work (and the more power it’ll draw). This is why we see such variances in the tests compared to single-thread use and gaming (source).
You don’t really see a large dip in the ‘idle’ time for processors because they’re always doing something, but if you left your PC on without any tasks running, a Ryzen 7 3700X would drop a little to around 45 watts. Unlike graphics cards, which will drop significantly when not being used, a processor always has something to process!
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Mid-tier processor perfect for gaming
- 8 cores and 16 threads for demanding tasks
- High-quality Wraith cooler included
Realistically, while that 200-watt level of power draw has been recorded in tests, this is going to be an outlier. You shouldn’t expect your processor to always draw that amount of power, but you should be prepared for it to do it during a spike, which may impact your choice of power supply.
How Many Watts Does A Ryzen 7 3700X Use Per Hour?
For basic tasks, a Ryzen 7 3700X will use 65 watt-hours of electricity per hour, although that rises to 140 watt-hours per hour for complex tasks and can go as high as 200 watt-hours per hour when gaming on high settings. For demanding games, that’s a weekly average of almost 2 kilowatt-hours per week.
That’s based on the average weekly game time of 8.5 hours, and is a considerable amount of power to factor into your bills.
The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, so your processor is costing you $0.28 a week at that rate.
Of course, it depends on your entire setup, as a graphics card will require a lot more power again, and every other component has its own power draw too.
Read more: How many watts does a Gaming PC use?
You can also overclock your processor, which means pushing it past its limits to get more performance. It’s risky, as it can cause your processor to overheat, but if you manage it carefully you can get your PC performing better at the cost of a larger power draw.
Realistically though, the tested figures for the Ryzen 7 3700X, with the 200-watt power draw for gaming, are unlikely to be exceeded with overclocking. That’s already high, and most games will use less power than this.
Plus you shouldn’t need to overclock the Ryzen 7 3700X for most modern games, with only marginal performance gains likely. It’s already got plenty of power.
Best Power Supply For A Ryzen 7 3700X
There’s no simple answer on the best power supply for a Ryzen 7 3700X processor since it depends on the rest of your setup, especially your GPU. As it’s typically a gaming processor, aim high – look for a supply offering at least 600 watts of capacity.
That might still not be enough if you’re choosing the most powerful graphics card to pair with your Ryzen 7 3700X. If you’ve got the processor drawing 200 watts, and a high-end graphics card drawing 250-300 watts, then your PC is already drawing around 500 watts without adding in any buffer.
If a PC tries to draw more power than the supply is capable of, then it’ll just shut down/restart, but it could also damage your components. So getting a high-capacity supply is best.
But remember that the processor drawing 200 watts is not going to be consistent, and if you’re pairing it with a lower-power graphics card, 600 watts would be plenty. But ideally, a 700-watt power supply would give you more than enough for a high-end gaming rig with a 3700X included.
Thermaltake 700W ATX Power Supply
- High-capacity power supply
- Fully modular – use only the cables you need
- Efficient Gold-rated model – less wasted energy
How To Reduce Power Consumption For A Ryzen 7 3700X
The easiest way to keep your power consumption for your Ryzen 7 3700X as low as possible is to make sure you look after your PC as a whole, both from a hardware and software perspective.
In terms of hardware, make sure you use a new processor where possible, with a new cooler – one that you know will work efficiently. Make sure you dust your PC regularly, including the inside, otherwise dust layers can increase the heat of your machine and cause it to draw more watts than needed.
In terms of software, always keep tabs on what programs you have open. Be wary of downloading background software that could be constantly running, and do regular checks to shut down anything not in use – as your processor will be working on anything open.
What PSU do I need for Ryzen 7 3700X and RTX 3070?
An RTX 3070 graphics card typically consumes between 220 and 250 watts when in use, so when paired with a Ryzen 7 3700X you should be looking for a power supply that can provide at least 600 watts, to cover all components and 20% extra power in case of spikes.
An RTX 3070 is a powerful graphics card but it still falls short of the power draw of the very best GPUs, so a 600-watt power supply should be enough – though if you can afford it, stretch your budget to a 700-watt or 750-watt unit instead.
Read more: RTX 3070 Power Consumption Guide
What power supply do I need for RTX 3060 Ti and Ryzen 7 3700X?
Typically an RTX 3060 Ti will use in the region of 200 watts of power during gaming, so aim for a power supply with 600 watts or more. You may be fine with a 550-watt power supply, but if you get a significant spike in your machine then it could overload.
A 700-watt PSU gives you a little more scope to upgrade in the future too, before swapping out your power supply, so if possible aim for that.
Read more: RTX 3060 Ti Power Consumption Guide
In most cases, a Ryzen 7 3700X is going to average 150-200 watt-hours per hour during gaming, but you should make sure you’re covered for those spikes if you’re trying some intensive gaming.
A 600-watt power supply is likely fine, but upgrading to a 700-watt one won’t cost much extra and can mean you don’t need to upgrade it again when you next improve your rig.