AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Review: The Pricing Conundrum

Where's muh Ryzen 7 5700X?

Ryzen 7 5800X
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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The Ryzen 7 5800X is yet another compelling piece of AMD's Zen 3-powered 7nm silicon, delivering the types of generational performance gains that we've come to expect from Ryzen 5000 and easily outclassing Intel's price-comparable chips with a better balance of single-threaded and multi-threaded performance. 

However, AMD increased the price for its eight-core Ryzen 5000 chips by $50 over the previous-gen processors, leaving the Ryzen 7 5800X susceptible to competition from within AMD's own product stack. AMD's excessively-large $150 gap between the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 families also opens the door for the Core i7-10700K to slide in as a lower-priced and lower-performance alternative.

As we can see in the cumulative numbers above, the Ryzen 7 5800X offers the same level of gaming performance as the Ryzen 5 5600X. If gaming is your primary intention, the Ryzen 5 5600X is a much better value and remains our top pick for gaming. That said, as we've noted with previous AMD CPU reviews, many of those gains won’t be noticeable to users with lesser graphics cards. The tables have turned, and now Intel CPUs are the ones that are "basically just as fast as AMD" with anything short of the RTX 3080. But if you're looking for longevity, the Ryzen 5 5600X has plenty of horsepower to push future generations of graphics cards. As usual, if you need a powerful high-end chip with integrated graphics, Intel's Comet Lake is the only modern option. 

Turning to our single-threaded performance measurements, the Ryzen 7 5800X easily tops the field of Intel contenders and provides a slight gain over the Ryzen 5 5600X. The 5800X is plenty snappy but there is a point of diminishing returns here, so expect to 'feel' a similar level of performance compared to other Zen 3 chips. 

Obviously, Intel's Comet Lake processors can't match the Zen 3 chips in lightly-threaded work. Still, the Core i9-10900K and 10850K, which are very similar, are slightly faster in threaded applications, potentially making them a viable alternative for the productivity-minded. However, Core i9's deficiencies in single-threaded work take some of the shine off of the gains in multi-threaded performance. Given Core i9's price points, most users are better served with the Ryzen 7 5800X's better blend of performance, not to mention its more amenable power consumption. 

The Ryzen 9 5900X slots in as an attractive upgrade to the Ryzen 7 5800X, though. An extra $100 scores four more cores and ~37% more performance in threaded workloads, but for 22% more cash. That relatively slim $100 pricing delta blurs the lines for creativity-focused users that do a lot of threaded work. The 5900X is actually slightly faster in gaming than the 5800X, so you won't sacrifice if you go with the 5900X's heavier core counts. 

The Ryzen 7 5800X suffers from a precarious pricing position, and the $150 no-mans-land between Ryzen 7 and 5 series leaves the door open for the Core i7-10700K to slot in as a value alternative between the 5800X and 5600X. The $374 Core i7-10700K brings solid gaming performance, you probably won't notice the difference between it and the 5600X if you have anything short of an RTX 3080, but the 10700K also adds a bit more threaded horsepower. The 10700K isn't as potent in threaded applications as the 5800X, but the $75 savings makes it a compelling value alternative if you're interested in more than just gaming.

AMD has redefined the market's mainstream segment to chips with 6 or 8 cores, but it has left little wiggle room for enthusiasts to step up to eight cores without a much higher price tag. AMD really needs the 'missing' Ryzen 7 5700X to plug the big pricing gap in its product stack. Such a chip would likely remove the Core i7-10700K from the conversation, not to mention make it more palatable to step up from Ryzen 5 to Ryzen 7.

Overall, we're impressed with the Ryzen 7 5800X's performance, but its price tag leaves a lot to be desired. Given the ongoing shortages, AMD can continue to charge a premium and sell every chip nearly immediately. However, as supply improves, the Ryzen 7 5800X's pricing could prove to be the Achilles heel for an otherwise stellar processor. 


MORE: Intel and AMD CPU Benchmark Hierarchy Comparisons

MORE: All CPUs Content

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.

  • Co BIY
    "AMD's suggested selling prices rarely manifest at retail, and continuing shortages have found Ryzen 5000 chips selling far over recommended pricing. History indicates that, given sufficient supply, AMD's processors typically retail for far less than the official price points. That makes it hard to predict how pricing will shake out over the next months as supply normalizes. "

    Given current market conditions I would expect both AMD and Intel to be able to sell almost everything they make at the prices they want (plus some "obscene" profits for the retailers)

    Intel has been able to sell everything they make for the last few years and made tons of money despite their 10nm problems and lack of enthusiast excitement for their incremental gains.

    AMD is at parity or has a small lead in performance and can demand the same prices. They probably cannot easily increase production.

    AMD's history of below MSRP prices is when they were second tier products in low demand. No reason to think that will be the case going forward on either the supply or the demand side. I don't think I would try waiting for an AMD 5800XT to drop below MSRP.

    OTOH - Both AMD and Intel's mid-range chips should be the real competition for their high end products. Games are GPU bound and the mid-range offerings are more than adequate for even a high-end GPU if you can find one. This article clearly points to that sweet spot.
  • Phobos258
    The tests that put the 5800x PBO at the top of the list show why AMD feels like they can charge what they want for this chip.

    Price may suck but it's more available then the rest of the fleet right now.
  • purple_dragon
    The only problem here is the fact you can't acquire a 5000 series chip easily. Whereas, Intel chips are readily available and the I7-10700k is the most reasonable cpu at the moment unless your lucky enough to stumble upon an in stock AMD cpu. Hopefully production catches up with demand soon but it probably won't until March or April 2021.
  • clsmithj
    I'm not in a market for a CPU, my ZEN+ & ZEN2 family CPUs are enough. But if one can get AMD and NVIDIA to kick-start production again of their graphics cards. That would be great.
  • Friesiansam
    No bundled cooler
    No integrated graphics" I don't think most buyers, at this level, are going to be bothered about points 2 and 3. I certainly wouldn't be.
  • SysBuff
    If this is the best CPU for the price, then AMD priced it perfectly.
  • Remedailjoe
    Everyone who's commenting negatively obviously doesnt own this chip. My single scores are insane. Hands down destroys anything in intels line up. PBO uses voltage I dont like but it maybe my mobo. Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master.. Hits 1.5volts so i disabled it and set all core 4.85ghz at 1.375volt... Shattered-Dreams #8 CpuZ validation at 5.05ghz. On cell so no link. Over 690 single core.

    As for ram I can easily oc my ram 3600 gskill ripjaw 4x8gb to 4200 at 1.45v cl19. Ram oc is all in the motherboard.. And using realistic timings..
  • zodiacfml
    The 5800x is Amd's perfect silicon, only next to the 16 core. The price is justified being way ahead of its time unlike the 5600x which is perfext for current and existing games
  • mikie tim t
    With AMD constrained from TSMC, they need to get as much money as they can with the wafers they get. They will have no shortage of I/O dies as they are 12nm from Global Foundries, so it makes absolute business sense to get as much money right now as they can with the inputs they have available, which means that 5800X is going to be what they push out the doors until they have enough lower quality chiplets to boost production of 5600X and 5900X, respectively. I was able to get a 5800X from the Overland Park, KS MicroCenter at MSRP, and it has been a night and day difference in responsiveness on everything over the 3600X it replaced, which wasn't particularly slothful. I don't feel shortchanged at all, quite frankly. I hope AMD can pull as much market share as possible from Intel these next few quarters, because that's what it will take to move both companies to better execution, to the benefit of us all.
  • mrv_co
    I get the argument on paper that the 5800x is overpriced, but that argument has been strictly an intellectual one to date. I also don't doubt that once supply finally outpaces demand, the street price will adjust accordingly. Regardless, bring on the 5700x for my SFF upgrade!