AMD’s limited-edition $229 Ryzen 5 5600X3D comes with all the goodness of the company’s game-boosting 3D V-Cache technology, propelling it to the highest gaming performance in the mid-range price class. Overall, the 5600X3D is ~20% faster in gaming than the Intel Core i5-13400 that currently tops our list of the best CPUs for gaming. However, in a move that defies convention, the Ryzen 5 5600X3D comes to market as a Micro Center exclusive and will only be available while supplies last.
The six-core 12-thread Ryzen 5 5600X3D is a smaller version of the immensely popular eight-core $289 Ryzen 7 5800X3D that remains a top pick for gamers. However, the 5600X3D delivers 95% of the 5800X3D’s gaming performance for 20% less cash. As you can see in our CPU benchmarks hierarchy, at stock settings, the 5600X3D is also faster in gaming than the entire standard Ryzen 7000 lineup — including the $599 Ryzen 9 7950X. That’s because even though the Ryzen 5 5600X3D comes with two fewer cores and slightly lower clock speeds than its pricier 5800X3D counterpart, it still wields the same 96MB of game-boosting L3 cache.
|Price||Cores / Threads (P+E)||Arch.||P-Core Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2/L3)||TDP / PBP / MTP|
|Ryzen 9 7950X3D||$669||16 / 32||Zen 4||4.2 / 5.7||144MB (16+128)||120W / 162W|
|Ryzen 9 7900X3D||$535||12 / 24||Zen 4||4.4 / 5.6||140MB (12+128)||120W / 162W|
|Ryzen 7 7800X3D||$438||8 /16||Zen 4||4.2 / 5.0||104MB (8+96)||120W / 162W|
|Ryzen 7 5800X3D||$289||8 /16||Zen 3||3.4 / 4.5||100MB (4+96)||105W|
|Ryzen 5 5600X3D||$229||6 / 12||Zen 3||3.3 / 4.4||99MB (3+96)||105W|
The Ryzen 5 5600X3D rounds out AMD’s portfolio of gaming-specific X3D processors, which now spans from $229 up to $669. The chip excels at gaming, but all the usual caveats of 3D V-Cache technology apply — this tech results in lower clock speeds that ultimately reduce performance in some productivity apps, and the tech doesn’t accelerate all games.
The 5600X3D is a new entry in the older Ryzen 5000 series, so it comes with the Zen 3 architecture, 7nm process node, and drops into last-gen AM4 motherboards. In contrast, AMD's newest Ryzen 7000 chips come with the faster Zen 4 architecture etched on the 5nm process and drop into newer AM5 motherboards. However, those chips carry a premium and require more expensive DDR5 memory, while the 5600X3D supports more economical DDR4, giving it an easy win in terms of total system cost.
Micro Center will also sell a $329 bundle with the Ryzen 5 56003XD, an ASUS B550-Plus TUF motherboard, and 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 memory, a nearly unbeatable value. The retailer will also offer a pre-built $849 PowerSpec G516 system with a Radeon 6650XT, 16GB of memory, and a 500GB NVMe SSD.
Micro Center will only sell the Ryzen 5 5600X3D processors in its stores while supply lasts, beginning July 7. AMD and Micro Center haven’t confirmed the number of processors that will be available, but the retailer expects to have stock for a few months. Micro Center currently has 25 outlets in 18 states, so the chip will be US-only. Let’s dive into the details.
The Ryzen 5 5600X3D Backstory
The full story of the Ryzen 5 5600X3D will likely remain shrouded in secrecy for some time, but we’ve pieced together information from multiple sources. AMD hasn’t provided an official comment, but sources close to the matter tell us these chips were “purpose-built” to be launched as Ryzen 5 5600X3D parts. As such, they aren’t made of defective Ryzen 7 5800X3D processors.
Typically, we would expect the 5600X3D chips to be constructed from eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X3D processors that suffered defects in manufacturing and were then harvested as six-core models. However, the 3D V-Cache manufacturing process is more expensive than AMD’s standard packaging technique, so AMD only earmarks its fully validated silicon (Known Good Die – KGD) for the expensive 3D chip-stacking treatment. For Ryzen 7 5800X3D models, that means a fully working eight-core KGD.
AMD sends these KGD to a separate hybrid bonding stage that employs TSMC’s SoIC packaging process to link the base die to the 3D-stacked L3 chiplet. This connection occurs through two rows of TSVs (Through Silicon Vias) embedded in the cache portion of the underlying die, not the cores, and the stacked chiplet does not overlap the core area (deep dive into the process here). In addition to a slew of advantages that we cover in the linked material, this approach also minimizes or eliminates the chances of core-specific damage during bonding.
We’re told that AMD purposefully created the 5600X3D chips by either mounting a cache chiplet atop a standard down-binned six-core KGD die (like the one found in a 5600X), or intentionally disabling cores on some fully-working 5800X3D models. We're told that a misunderstanding of the description of the former process, which does use a down-binned standard die, probably resulted in erroneous reports that the 5600X3D are merely down-binned 5800X3D processors due to defects in the cores. (You can read more about the Second-Gen 3D V-Cache packaging tech used in the newer Ryzen 7000X3D models here.)
According to the batch number, our sample was built in week 48 (Nov/Dec) of 2022, but the design was copyrighted in 2021. Motherboard vendors tell us that the Ryzen 5 5600X3D was enabled in the same AGESA revision (underlying BIOS code) that enabled the Ryzen 7 5800X3D when it launched back in April 2022. Therefore, any AM4 motherboard with an AGESA 188.8.131.52b (or newer) BIOS will work with the 5600X3D. Motherboard vendors haven't tuned specifically for the 5600X3D because it was effectively a canceled processor. Instead, it only has a basic level of enablement.
During its exploration process into the new X3D tech, AMD game-planned and tested several Ryzen 5000X3D models, including the prototype Ryzen 9 5900X3D that Lisa Su teased at Computex 2021. However, like the 5900X3D, we’re told that the Ryzen 5 5600X3D ultimately wasn’t launched due to unspecified “business factors.” Considering the 5600X3D's exceptional performance-per-dollar ratio, it’s logical to think the 5600X3D threatened to severely cannibalize AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D sales, not to mention sales of the then-forthcoming AM5 platform. Why buy the flagship gaming models when a less-expensive variant offers the lion’s share of the performance for less cash?
AMD has said repeatedly that the AM4 platform will serve as a value platform for the near future, but the 5600X3D chips are only available for a limited time, and AMD will not produce more. Combined with the fact that AMD now has newer-generation Ryzen 7000X3D chips, perhaps cannibalization isn’t as much of a concern. Pricing has also dropped quite a bit on the 5800X3D since it launched, and while $60 still separates the new 5600X3D from its sibling, in terms of total system cost, that's not a huge hurdle — if you don't pick up a 5600X3D in the next few months and they sell out, you can still opt for the slightly more expensive chip with two extra cores.
Both Intel and AMD have offered limited edition chips in the past, but it is unprecedented in recent memory to give a single retailer the full allotment of supply. The 5600X3D is available in the US only, but both Intel and AMD have also offered other region-specific chips in the past, particularly for the China market.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X3D Pricing and Specifications
|Street/MSRP||Cores / Threads (P+E)||P-Core Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||E-Core Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2/L3)||TDP / PBP / MTP||Memory|
|Ryzen 7 7800X3D||$440||8 / 16||4.2 / 5.0||104MB (8+96)||120W / 162W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 5800X3D||$289 ($449)||8 /16||3.4 / 4.5||100MB (4+96)||105W||DDR4-3200|
|Ryzen 5 7600||$219||6 / 12||3.8 / 5.1||38MB (6+32)||65W / 88W||DDR5-5200|
|Core i5-13400 / 13400F||$228 - $205 (F)||10 / 16 (6+4)||2.5 / 4.6||1.8 / 3.3||29.5MB (9.5+20)||65W /148W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800|
|Ryzen 7 5700X||$200||8 / 16||3.4 / 4.6||32MB||65W||DDR4-3200|
|Ryzen 5 5600X3D||$229||6 / 12||3.3 / 4.4||99MB (3+96)||105W||DDR4-3200|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||$145||6 / 12||3.7 / 4.6||35MB (3+32)||65W||DDR4-3200|
|Ryzen 5 5600||$129||6 / 12||3.5 / 4.4||35MB (3+32)||65W||DDR4-3200|
Intel’s Core i5-13400/F has dominated the ~$200 price point for new system builders, and AMD’s new Zen 4 offerings struggle to compete due to the premiums for DDR5 and AM5 motherboards. If gaming is all you care about, the Ryzen 5 5600X3D addresses that shortcoming with cheap and plentiful AM4 motherboards paired with inexpensive DDR4 memory.
The Ryzen 5 5600X3D operates at a 3.3 GHz base and 4.4 GHz boost clock and is built on the same underlying die configuration as the Ryzen 5 5600X/5600. As we’ve seen with AMD’s other X3D processors, the company has dialed back the peak frequency by a few hundred MHz compared to the X-equivalent (5600X), but the 5600X3D’s peak frequency is the same as the Ryzen 5 5600. The reduced frequencies are designed to keep voltages, and thus thermals, in check (the 3D-stacked chiplet traps some heat). Surprisingly, the Ryzen 5 5600X3D has a 105W TDP rating, 40W higher than its similar counterparts.
The 5600X3D supports DDR4-3200 memory and PCIe 4.0. It comes with nearly all the standard features of other Ryzen 5000 processors, except it doesn’t support direct CPU overclocking or the auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive. As a slight consolation, the 5600X3D does support memory overclocking, though we found in our testing that memory overclocking has a very small impact. Some motherboard makers do have unofficial workarounds to enable various levels of overclocking for the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and the same unofficial (and warranty-voiding) options will also be available for the 5600X3D.
As with all of AMD’s other X3D models, the Ryzen 5 5600X3D doesn’t have an iGPU or bundled cooler. We haven’t been told of any specific cooler recommendations, but given the TDP rating, it likely requires a 240mm liquid cooler (or air equivalent) like the 105W Ryzen 7 5800X3D.
Now, on to the benchmarks.