Update: The price has dropped further on the 5900X, with the chip now costing £453 at Amazon. Original article continues below...
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the company's latest high-end consumer processor, offering 12 cores and 24 threads using the incredibly fast Zen 3 design. AMD's latest generation CPUs have made incredible strides against Intel*, and are now often the best choice for both gaming and content creation - an unthinkable situation just five years ago when Ryzen first launched.
The 5900X has been the hardest Ryzen 5000 model to find at a good price, thanks to low supply and incredible demand, but today you can pick one up for a significant discount - £43 below RRP, or £466.92. That's a great price for a CPU of this quality, especially in the middle of a silicon shortage.
Note that this model comes from Amazon's EU arm, but the cost of import duty and shipping is included in the price - and you may even be partially refunded if the duty ends up being lower than expected. Either way, I've ordered plenty of items through Amazon EU, including Ryzen processors, and I've never had any problems.
I've had the privilege of runing the 5900X's baby brother, the 5800X, in my work PC over the past few months. It has fewer cores, eight verus twelve, but uses the same Zen 3 design as the 5900X featured here today. AMD made several clever changes to improve performance, such as expanding L3 cache dramatically and moving more cores into a given core complex, and this has improved performance pretty much across the board. Specifically, the difference in single-core performance from Ryzen 3000 to Ryzen 5000 is around 20 percent, and you definitely notice that when it comes to game frame-rates and video transcode times.
So why would you consider the 5900X? Well, it sits opposite the Core i9 10900K and 11900K, so if you are lucky enough to have a big budget for your gaming or work PC build, then it's natural to consider both high-end options. Its higher core count is fine for games, some of which are able to put all those cores and threads to work, but really shines in content creation. Tasks like rendering a 3D scene or transcoding video is easily parallelisable - you can split it easily into as many chunks as you want and then combine the results later - so there's a pretty linear relationship between more cores and higher performance.
So if you're lucky enough to be considering the 5900X, this is a great price and I'm sure you'll be happy with the performance from one of the best CPUs for gaming! It has been cheaper before, but not by much - and with silicon shortages continuing, there's no guarantee that it'll stay in stock for very long.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, and I'll catch you on the next deals post!