The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, what the red team calls the “world’s fastest gaming CPU”, now has a price and release date: it’ll cost $449 and hit shelves on the 20th of April. A quick check of Intel’s current top chip, the Core i9-12900K, has it at $614 – so that’s potentially a big saving, if the Ryzen 7 5800X3D really can outpace it. UK pricing is still TBD.
If the Ryzen 7 5800X3D can challenge the mighty Core i9, one of the best gaming CPUs Intel has ever made, it would also be on the back of a relatively unusual approach to performance boosting. While it has the same eight cores and 16 thread count of the original Ryzen 7 5800X, with boost clock speeds up to 4.5GHz, it’s the first gaming-focused AMD processor with their 3D V-Cache tech. This allows 64MB of additional L3 cache to literally sit on top of the existing 32GB L3 cache, for 92MB total; by comparison, the Ryzen 9 5900X has 64MB, and the Core i9-12900K has 30MB.
The latter shows that cache size isn’t the be all and end all of performance, but on paper, having more could indeed produce a few more frames per second in games. If the CPU tries to read data that isn’t already stored in its own cache, it will then have to check the slower system RAM instead, so having more room in the faster L3 cache (and thus more data to read from, or space to write to) should speed things up at least a little. AMD’s director of technical marketing Robert Hallock says this change makes the Ryzen 7 5800X3D “15% faster” than the Ryzen 9 5900X, which would make it faster than the Core i9-12900K as well. Maybe. I’ve requested a 5800X3D to see how well that stands up in benchmarks.
Hallock announced the CPU deets as part of an Ryzen Spring Update video, in which he also confirmed that upcoming (but undated) launch of six other CPUs. These are generally more budget-minded chips for more affordable PC builds, to the point that only half of them use the current Zen 3 core architecture. The others bring back the old Zen 2 design, and are named according with 4000 series titles.
Here are the Zen 2 chips, with US pricing…
- AMD Ryzen 3 4100 (4C/8T) - $99
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500 (6C/12T) - $129
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600G (6C/12T) - $154
…and here are the Zen 3 chips:
- AMD Ryzen 5 5500 (6C/12T) - $159
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600 (6C/12T) - $199
- AMD Ryzen 7 5700X (8C/16T) - $299
Of the six, I’m most intrigued by the Ryzen 5 5600. The Ryzen 5 5600X was perhaps the best single CPU for gaming builds before the Intel Core i5-12600K came along, so it’ll be interesting to see if a slightly downclocked but even cheaper version can provide another alternative.
The final news nugget is that aging AMD 300 series motherboards are getting a surprise compatibility upgrade to work with Zen 3 CPUs, which they never have until now. AMD is providing a new version of AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture), version 1207, to motherboard manufacturers; this should in turn allow them to release BIOS updates that enable the newer chips on the older mobos.
That’s handy if you’re picking up a Ryzen 5000 series chip and want to save some cash on the motherboard (by buying, say, an X370 model instead of a newer X570 one). Though remember that AMD is launching its Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000 chips later this year, and could very well include even better gaming chips than the Ryzen 5 5800X3D.