Ryzen 7 5800X Gaming Performance — The TLDR
Here you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart. We tested with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce the impact of graphics-imposed bottlenecks. Be aware that these deltas will shrink with either higher resolutions or lesser GPUs.
The Ryzen 7 5800X and the Ryzen 5 5600X essentially tie in our overall measure of 1080p gaming performance at both stock and overclocked settings. Although the 5800X does post slightly better 99th percentile framerates, the deltas aren't significant enough to alter the purchasing decision. We see a similar trend in our 1440p results, making the decision easy if you're only interested in gaming - the Ryzen 5 5600X, our current top pick in our list of Best CPUs for Gaming, is the chip to get. In a nutshell, there's no meaningful difference between these two chips in gaming.
Turning to Intel, the $375 Core i7-10700K is $75 (20%) cheaper than the 5800X and trails in 1080p gaming by 15%, and 7% at 1440p. The 5800X also offers better 99th percentile frame rates. Given the Ryzen 5 5600X's low price point, that doesn't really leave the 10700K much room to operate for gaming-focused rigs. Go with the Ryzen 5 5600X if you're looking for a cheaper chip than the 5800X for gaming, specifically.
The Core i9-10900K is $40 more expensive than the 5800X, but it also trails in average frame rates in gaming, even after tuning both processors. The overclocked 10900K does squeeze out 3% and 5% higher 99th percentile frame rates in 1080p and 1440p gaming, respectively. Still, it's important to note that overclocking raises platform costs in the form of beefier cooling requirements, and for most enthusiasts, these small gains in 99th percentile frame rates aren't worth the extra cost. Given the price delta associated with the 10900K, it isn't a better value for gaming than the Ryzen 7 5800X.
However, the Core i9-10850K offers nearly the same performance as the 10900K in gaming, and is $10 cheaper than the 5800X. The 10850K is compelling due to its overclockability. Once tuned, we've found that it offers the same performance as the 10900K at 5.1 GHz, which we use as a stand-in for the overclocked 10850K because gaming performance is virtually identical. At stock settings, the 10850K isn't quite as competitive against the Ryzen 7 5800X as the 10900K. The 10850K lags the 5800X by 11% in 1080p gaming and 5% at 1440p, which doesn't make a compelling case for choosing it over the 5800X, either, unless you're dead set on building an Intel-powered gaming rig or need integrated graphics, of course.
You'll see a few differences between the Ryzen 7 5800X and 5600X in the titles below, largely where games prize either core counts or other factors. However, those deltas rarely exceed 3%. Given the similarities between the two processors, we're going to skip the blow-by-blow commentary for the individual benchmarks below. We'll dive in a bit deeper during the synthetic gaming tests and the application testing results, both of which have larger performance deltas due to the Ryzen 7 5800X's more generous core counts.
Do pay attention to the previous-gen Ryzen models (Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 3800X, and Ryzen 7 3800XT) as you flip through the gaming charts - they tell quite the story of how far AMD has come in just a few short years of refinements to its Zen architecture and manufacturing process.
3D Mark, VRMark, Stockfish Chess Engine
We run these synthetic gaming tests as part of our main application test script. We use an RTX 2080 Ti for these tests to facilitate faster testing, but we use an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 for all other gaming benchmarks (we don't include these tests in the preceding cumulative measurements).
AMD's core-heavy processors tend to dominate in threaded synthetic tests, like the Stockfish chess engine and 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU benchmarks, but Intel's Core i9 models come with ten cores and twenty threads compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X's eight-core 16-thread design. As such, the Intel i9 processors carve out significant wins at stock settings in Stockfish, which scales nearly linearly with core count, and overclocking doesn't help the 5800X.
The DX11 tests don't scale nearly as well with additional core counts, allowing the Ryzen 7 5800X and its large unified cache to take the lead over the competing chips. The DX12 test scales better than the DX11 variant, so here the Intel processors carve out a win at stock settings, and overclocking grants the 10900K a 17% lead over the tuned Ryzen 7 5800X.
VRMark again proves to be a bright spot for the Zen 3-powered chips. This benchmark leans heavily on per-core performance (a mixture of IPC and frequency). As you can see from the previous-gen Ryzen processors, AMD has traditionally trailed in this benchmark, but the Ryzen 7 5800X takes the uncontested lead, at least over the Intel processors. That reverses the long-held trend of Intel domination in this benchmark, and the 5800X's win is quite convincing - the stock 5800X, by virtue of its higher IPC and unified cache, beats the overclocked Core i9-10900K by a comparatively large margin.
Borderlands 3 on Ryzen 7 5800X
Far Cry 5 on Ryzen 7 5800X
Hitman 2 on Ryzen 7 5800X
Hitman 2 doesn't seem to scale well from 1080p to 1440p, at least not at the heightened fidelity settings we use for the benchmark. We stuck with the 1080p test for this title because the same trends carry over to 1440p.
Microsoft Flight Simulator on Ryzen 7 5800X
We're just as excited as anyone else about Microsoft's long long-overdue release of Flight Simulator, and we're sure that serious flight sim fans will want to crank up the resolution on this title. Hence our tests at 1440p, which typically bring graphics bottlenecks into play. Expect these deltas to widen with 1080p testing.
Project CARS 3 on Ryzen 7 5800X
Red Dead Redemption 2 on Ryzen 7 5800X
Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Ryzen 7 5800X
The Division 2 on Ryzen 7 5800X
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