AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 5 3500X

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We recently took the then-unannounced Ryzen 9 3900 on a record-breaking spin, but now the chip is officially launched...kind of. AMD announced the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 5 3500X with little fanfare today, but for OEM and system integrator (SI) customers only. The 3900 is available globally, while the 3500X is only available in China.

Ryzen 9 3900 Specifications and Availability

AMD designed the Ryzen 9 3900 to offer most of the 12-core, 24-threaded horsepower of the impressive Ryzen 9 3900X, but within a much lower 65W TDP range than its bigger brother, which sucks down 105W.

The 3900's reduced power consumption manifests as a lower 3.1 GHz base clock than the 3.8 GHz on the 3900X. AMD also pared back the boost clock to 4.3 GHz. Aside from those alterations, the Ryzen 9 3900 is identical to the 3900X, and both support overclocking.

That means the Ryzen 9 3900 could theoretically offer similar performance to the chronically-understocked Ryzen 9 3900X. AMD also recently announced the PRO variant of the 3900, which sports the same specifications.

With AMD already selling every 3900X it can punch out at premium pricing, there's little impetus to bring the Ryzen 9 3900 to market at a lower price point. It's really a shame this processor isn't coming to the retail market as it would present a great value option for budget builders, particularly for small form factor builds. It was plenty impressive in our testing, but as it stands now, this chip will only come in pre-built systems.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 SEP (USD)Cores / ThreadsTDPBase Frequency Boost Frequency Total CachePCIe 4.0 Lanes (Processor / Chipset)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X$49912 / 24105W3.8 GHz4.6 GHz70MB24 / 16
AMD Ryzen 9 3900N/A12 / 2465W3.1 GHz4.3 GHz70MB24 / 16 
AMD Ryzen 9 PRO 3900N/A12 / 2465W3.1 GHz4.3 GHz70MB24 / 16
Ryzen 7 3700X$3298 / 1665W3.6 GHz4.4 GHz36MB24 / 16
Ryzen 5 3600$1996 / 1265W3.6 GHz4.2 GHz35MB24 / 16
Ryzen 5 3500XN/A6 / 665W3.6 GHz4.1 GHz35MB24 / 16

Ryzen 5 3500X Specifications and Availability

Meanwhile, the Ryzen 5 3500X slots in as a six-core model but comes without simultaneous multi-threading (SMT), meaning it only has six threads of performance on offer. AMD tends to avoid de-featuring its retail processors, so the lack of SMT stands out among the Ryzen 3000 product stack.

Surprisingly, the 3500X will only be made available to OEM/SI customers in China. This chip is meant to tackle Intel's Core i5-9400F in the OEM market, but there are also rumblings of a Ryzen 5 3500 (non-X model) coming to market soon. It might also be destined for the OEM/SI markets, but only time will tell.

Both processors come bearing all the expected goods of the Ryzen 3000 series, like the 7nm process, Zen 2 microarchitecture, and support for PCIe 4.0.

Here's AMD's announcement on the matter:

"The Ryzen 9 3900, now available globally, and Ryzen 5 3500X, available in China only, enjoy the features of current Ryzen 3000 series processors, letting OEM and SI partners take full advantage of AMD’s most advanced CPU platform. Both Ryzen processors offer powerful gaming and high-speed productivity performance, support industry leading PCIe 4.0, AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive and Ryzen Master Utility, and, like all Ryzen 3000 processors, are fully unlocked for performance tuning."

AMD isn't sharing pricing for these chips. As OEM models, they are largely bought in volume purchases only. As such, we don't expect the company to share pricing information any time soon. Both chips are available to OEMs now.

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • NightHawkRMX
    So, let's just hope the 3500 comes to retail with similar specs.
  • eye4bear
    This is an article about a processor we can not buy directly and another processor that will only be sold in one market. I seriously doubt anyone in China reads this newsletter. So really, did we need to know this information?
  • cryoburner
    eye4bear said:
    So really, did we need to know this information?
    Information has already been out there about the existence of these processors for some time, and Tom's was reporting about them last month, so it's worth updating people about just what sort of availability they will have.

    I'm not surprised that the 3500X is an OEM part, seeing as the similarly pared-down 2500X was as well. Though in that case, they cut the chip down to 4-cores with 8-threads rather than 6-cores with 6-threads. Overall performance probably wouldn't be too different either way, but it's likely more marketable as a 6-core processor.
  • joeblowsmynose
    eye4bear said:
    This is an article about a processor we can not buy directly and another processor that will only be sold in one market. I seriously doubt anyone in China reads this newsletter. So really, did we need to know this information?

    Many people already knew that a 3900 existed, because someone broke a bunch of extreme OC records with one. But there was no indication that this chip would be OEM only. So yes, we did need that info. I for one was holding off on buying a 3900x to see about what this 3900 non-z that I knew existed, was all about.

    Pretty much the same thing for the 3500x. Many people were wondering if these would just be OEM parts - this article gave that answer.

    Ooops, I see Cryoburner responded already with the same sentiment.
  • sonic.millenium
    Oh don't sweat it people! Coming soon to a QuietPC near you :D (no affiliation, they seriously have almost everything, like the 2700E)