A Price Cut in Disguise
The Ryzen 7 5700X is the chip that enthusiasts longed for back in 2020, but today it simply serves as a price cut for the 5800X, but it comes disguised as a new product. Intel's Alder Lake lineup caught AMD flat-footed as we wait for its 5nm Ryzen 7000 ‘Raphael’ Zen 4 CPUs, so the company's recent refresh serves as a way to lower the pricing on its Ryzen 5000 family without publicly ceding ground through official price cuts on existing products. The Ryzen 7 5700X, like the rest of AMD's recent additions, arrives too late to market to make any real meaningful impact, particularly in comparison to the faster, less expensive Alder Lake alternatives.
Below, we have the geometric mean of our gaming test suite at 1080p and 1440p and a cumulative measure of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. Remember that we conducted the gaming tests with an RTX 3090, so performance deltas will shrink with lesser cards and higher resolution and fidelity settings. We might see bigger performance deltas when new, more powerful GPUs arrive later this year.
The $299 Ryzen 7 5700X doesn't do much to separate itself from the pack in gaming — even the $199 Ryzen 5 5600 is competitive here, but at a much lower price point. After a bit of tuning, the Ryzen 7 5700X is the equivalent of the 5800X, but that doesn't matter much given that the 5800X's positioning never made sense anyway.
The faster and more affordable Alder Lake alternatives outweigh the 5700X in either performance or value, and sometimes both. For example, at stock settings, the Intel Core i5-12600K is 4.5% faster than the 5700X in 1080p gaming and 15% faster after overclocking, but for $30 (10%) less. On the other hand, if you're only interested in gaming and looking for an even better value, the $175 Core i5-12400 offers comparable gaming performance to the Ryzen 7 5700X at both stock and overclocked settings, but for $125 (42%) less.
The Ryzen 7 5700X isn't competitive with Intel's chips in single-threaded applications, and it doesn't offer a meaningful advance over the other Ryzen 5000 chips. The 5700X does pull ahead of the Core i5-12400 in threaded workloads, but it commands a significant premium for that advantage. In contrast, the Core i5-12600K's e-cores contribute to a 21% lead over the Ryzen 7 5700X in our suite's most demanding threaded workloads, underlining the fact that 12600K is the faster chip in all facets. Surprisingly, the Core i5-12600K is still $30 less than the Ryzen 7 5700X.
That lower chip pricing helps offset some of the upcharge associated with Alder Lake motherboards; they are more expensive than AMD's Socket AM4 ecosystem. However, Alder Lake's access to more modern connectivity options, including the PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 interfaces, provides a more forward-looking platform. Intel's Socket 1700 will also host at least one (and perhaps two) more generations of chips, while AMD's AM4 is headed for retirement and doesn't offer the latest connectivity options.
Despite AMD's previous assurances that it would provide a cooler with all 65W and below Zen 3 chips, the company chose to skip the bundled cooler with the 65W Ryzen 7 5700X, adding additional cost if you're building a new system. For gaming-only builds, that completely eliminates the Ryzen 7 5700X from the competition with the Core i5-12400 that comes with a cooler and a much more amenable price tag.
The Ryzen 5000 chips can now drop into existing socket AM4 motherboards dating back to the 300-series that debuted in 2017, making them an attractive drop-in upgrade for some Ryzen owners. That upgrade path is even more important given the recent shortages and price hikes we've seen, and it might keep some Ryzen owners from jumping ship to Intel while they wait for affordable Zen 4 processors. Let's hope they don't have to wait until 18 months after the initial launch.
If you're looking to upgrade an existing gaming-focused Ryzen build, the Ryzen 5 5600 or 5600X offers comparable gaming performance to the Ryzen 5 5700X. These chips are a much better value, but they aren't as fast in threaded workloads. As such, the Ryzen 7 5700X only makes sense if you're upgrading an older Ryzen build and need more performance in threaded workloads.
The Ryzen 7 5700X isn't a good investment for new builds — you should look to the Intel Core i5-12400 or Core i5-12600K instead — and it is hard to recommend for gaming-focus rigs, even for Ryzen upgraders. Like the Ryzen 7 5800X before it, the 5700X is only appealing to Ryzen upgraders that want more performance in heavily-threaded workloads but can't or don't need to step up to the Ryzen 9 5900X. If you need to upgrade an older Ryzen system and are interested in gaming specifically, you should stick to the Ryzen 5 5600/X or step up to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is currently the fastest CPU for gaming available.
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