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AMD Fires Back With 7 New Chips, Flagship $449 Ryzen 7 5800X3D Lands April 20

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

(Image credit: AMD)

Update: The flagship Ryzen 7 5800X3D is now available, you can see how it performs in our Ryzen 7 5800X3D review.

Original Article:

AMD fired back at Intel's Alder Lake today with seven new chips, with the $449 flagship Ryzen 7 5800X3D leading the way with V-Cache tech that brings a mind-boggling 96MB of L3 cache to boost gaming performance by 15% over the company’s current best CPU for gaming. AMD also bulked up its mid-range and low-end roster with six additional chips that span from a mere $99 up to $299, plugging key gaps in its product stack. The company will also finally support its Zen 3 processors on all 300-series motherboards, opening up a value option that’s a good fit for the new low-end Ryzen lineup.

The new 7nm Ryzen chips feel late, arriving a year and a half after the first wave of Ryzen 5000 chips, but they’re badly needed. Intel’s Alder Lake launch caught AMD uncharacteristically flat-footed, with its new hybrid processors wresting away AMD’s performance lead across nearly the entire Ryzen 5000 product stack and taking a clear lead in our CPU benchmarks hierarchy. Of course, we typically expect to pay a premium for leading performance, but Intel’s aggressive pricing also brought superior value in every price range while exploiting AMD’s glaring lack of any sub-$250 chips. In response to Intel’s bare-knuckle Alder Lake pricing, AMD finally responded by slashing prices on its existing 5000-series models earlier this month. Now its new Ryzen processors slot in to plug the remaining gaps. 

AMD Ryzen Spring 2022 Update
Price Street/MSRPDesign - Arch.E/P – Core|ThreadP-Core Base/Boost (GHz)TDP / PBP / MTPL3 Cache
Ryzen 7 5800X3D$449Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.4 / 4.5105W96MB
Ryzen 7 5700X$299Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.4 / 4.665W32MB
Ryzen 5 5600$199Zen 3 - Vermeer6P|12T3.5 / 4.465W32MB
Ryzen 5 5500$159Zen 3 - Cezanne6P | 12T3.6 / 4.265W16MB
Ryzen 5 4600G$154Zen 2 - Renoir6P | 12T3.7 / 4.265W8MB
Ryzen 5 4500$129Zen 2 - Renoir6P | 12T3.6 / 4.165W8MB
Ryzen 3 4100$99Zen 2 - Renoir4P | 8T3.8 / 4.065W4MB

AMD’s new Cezanne and Renoir chips take a new approach of using Zen 3 and Zen 2-powered APU silicon with disabled integrated graphics units to tackle the low-end, while the Ryzen 7 5800X3D aims to retake the gaming performance crown. AMD’s six new low- and mid-range chips arrive April 4, 2022, while the Ryzen 7 5800X3D will be available on April 20, 2022. Additionally, the new BIOS updates that enable Zen 3 support on 300-series motherboards arrive in the April-May timeframe.

Paired with the deep price cuts that began a few weeks ago, AMD now has a drastically different competitive positioning against Intel’s entire Alder Lake lineup. Here’s what that looks like.  

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Specifications, Pricing, Release Date

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the first consumer processor to feature the 3D-stacked SRAM tech that AMD calls V-Cache, but the company also uses the tech for its Milan-X processors for the data center. As a quick refresher, 3D V-Cache leverages a novel new technique that uses hybrid bonding to fuse an additional 64MB of 7nm SRAM cache vertically atop the Ryzen compute chiplet, thus tripling the amount of L3 cache per Ryzen die. You can read the deep dive details here and here. Unfortunately, AMD’s recommended pricing has little correlation to reality, so we’ve included both MSRPs and street pricing in the below tables.

AMD and Intel High End Specs and Pricing
Price Street/MSRPDesign - Arch.E/P – Core|ThreadP-Core Base/Boost (GHz)E-Core Base/Boost (GHz)TDP / PBP / MTPMemory SupportL3 Cache
Ryzen 9 5950X$600 ($799)Zen 3 - Vermeer16P | 32T3.4 / 4.9-105WDDR4-320064MB (2x32)
Core i9-12900K / KF$589 (K) - $564 (KF)Alder Lake8P+8E | 16C/24T3.2 / 5.22.4 / 3.9125W / 241WDDR4/5-3200/480030MB
Ryzen 9 5900X$450 ($549)Zen 3 - Vermeer12P | 24T3.7 / 4.8-105WDDR4-320032MB (1x32)
Ryzen 7 5800X3D$449Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.4 / 4.5-105WDDR4-320096MB
Core i7-12700K / KF$409 (K) - $384 (KF)Alder Lake8P+4E | 12C/20T3.6 / 5.02.7 / 3.8125W / 190WDDR4/5-3200/480025MB
Ryzen 7 5800X$350 ($449)Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.8 / 4.7-105WDDR4-320032MB

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D comes with the same eight Zen 3 cores and 16 threads as the standard Ryzen 7 5800X but has a lower 3.4 GHz base and 4.5 GHz boost frequency. That means AMD trimmed 400 MHz from the base clock and 200 MHz off the boost frequency. The chip will drop into existing 400- and 500-series motherboards, and AMD’s upcoming BIOS updates will also enable support on older 300-series platforms. That gives existing users an easy upgrade path while waiting for the Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 chips.

Naturally, the 3D V-Cache tech has tradeoffs, with the most obvious coming as a $449 price tag. That means you’ll pay an extra $100 for the same number of cores as you’d get in the vanilla Ryzen 7 5800X, but you get an extra 64MB of L3 cache along with slightly lower clock speeds. As you can see in the album below, the 5800X3D’s primary attraction is the average 15% gain in gaming performance over the existing Ryzen 9 5900X that also currently retails for $450. Unfortunately, the 3D V-Cache doesn’t impact other types of work, so you’ll sacrifice four cores and eight threads in exchange for the 5800X3D's extra cache, thus losing performance in some productivity applications.

On average, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is roughly seven percent faster than Intel’s $589 Core i9-12900K, but those gains will vary by title. However, the Core i7-12700K delivers effectively the same gaming performance as the 12900K, but for ~$400. That means the 5800X3D’s extra gaming performance comes at a premium, especially considering that the gains might not apply to a large number of titles. Additionally, the chip drops into aging AM4 motherboards. As a result, the $449 price tag doesn’t appear to be a clear slam dunk — we’ll have to wait for reviews to see how the chip stacks up.

The 3D V-Cache tech also has other implications — the 5800X3D’s lower clock speeds speak volumes. As you can see in the above album, AMD stacks the additional SRAM directly in the center of the compute die to isolate it from the heat-generating cores on the sides of the chiplet. However, AMD has to use silicon shims on top of the cores to create an even surface for the heat spreader that sits atop the chiplet. Silicon is an excellent thermal conductor, but the shims and extra SRAM die will inevitably trap some heat, thus resulting in less thermal headroom. The extra memory also consumes more power. Both of those factors contribute to the lower clock speeds.

These factors could also impact overclockability. AMD tells us the 5800X3D fully supports overclocking the memory and Infinity Fabric, but hasn’t confirmed that the CPU core frequencies are overclockable or that the chip supports the auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive feature. AMD says it will share more details about core overclocking as we get closer to launch on April 20, 2022.

At first glance, AMD’s reluctance here seems to confirm the rampant rumors that the chips aren’t overclockable — a theory plausibly backed up by AMD’s lack of an ‘overclockable’ bullet point on its 5800X3D spec sheet as it does with its other chips. However, the company could simply be weighing the benefits of overlocking versus the risks of enabling the feature. The jury is still out for now.

AMD Ryzen 7 5700X, Ryzen 5 5600 and 5000 Pricing, Specifications, Release Date

AMD’s new lineup consists of three Zen 3 parts and three Zen 2 parts, with both parts exhibiting all of the hallmarks of their predecessors, like socket AM4 support and the respective PCIe capabilities (PCIe 4.0 for Zen 3 Vermeer, PCIe 3.0 for Zen 3 Cezanne and Zen 2). These chips come to market on April 4, 2022. 

AMD and Intel Mid-Range Specs and Pricing
Price Street/MSRPDesign - Arch.E/P – Core|ThreadP-Core Base/Boost (GHz)E-Core Base/Boost (GHz)TDP / PBP / MTPMemory SupportL3 Cache
Core i7-12700K / KF$409 (K) - $384 (KF)Alder Lake8P+4E | 12C/20T3.6 / 5.02.7 / 3.8125W / 190WDDR4/5-3200/480025MB
Ryzen 7 5800X$350 ($449)Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.8 / 4.7-105WDDR4-320032MB
Ryzen 7 5700X$299Zen 3 - Vermeer8P | 16T3.4 / 4.6-65WDDR4-320032MB
Core i5-12600K / KF$289 (K) - $264 (KF)Alder Lake6P+4E | 10C/16T3.7 / 4.92.8 / 3.6125W / 150WDDR4/5-3200/480016MB
Ryzen 7 5700G (APU)$295 ($359)Zen 3 - Cezanne8P | 16T3.8 / 4.6-65WDDR4-320016MB
Ryzen 5 5600X$225 ($299)Zen 3 - Vermeer6P | 12T3.7 / 4.6-65WDDR4-320032MB
Ryzen 5 5600G (APU)$220 ($259 )Zen 3 - Cezanne6P | 12T3.9 / 4.4-65W DDR4-320016MB
Ryzen 5 5600$199Zen 3 - Vermeer6P|12T3.5 / 4.4-65WDDR4-320032MB
Core i5-12400 / F$192 - $167 (F)Alder Lake6P+0E | 6C/12T4.4 / 2.5-65W / 117WDDR4/5-3200/480018MB
Ryzen 5 3600X$250 ($240)Zen 26P | 12T3.8 / 4.4 -95WDDR4-320032MB
Ryzen 5 3600$229 ($200)Zen 26P | 12T3.6 / 4.2-65WDDR4-320032MB
Ryzen 5 5500$159Zen 3 - Cezanne6P | 12T3.6 / 4.2-65WDDR4-320016MB
Ryzen 5 4600G (APU)$154Zen 2 - Renoir6P | 12T3.7 / 4.2-65WDDR4-32008MB

The new Zen 3 silicon comes in three variants, with the $299 Ryzen 7 5700X slotting in as an eight-core 16-thread part with a 3.4 GHz base and 4.6 GHz boost clock. The 5700X will square off with Intel’s Core i5-12600K. This $299 chip is the highest-priced 65W part from AMD, filling in the gap between the powerful 105W Ryzen 7 5800X that retails for $350 and the $225 Ryzen 5 5600X that also comes with a 65W TDP. As you’d expect, the Ryzen 5700X uses the chiplet-equipped Vermeer design we see with other Ryzen 5000 models. Like the other new Vermeer model, it comes with one core complex die (CCD).

The other new Vermeer model comes in the form of the $199 Ryzen 5 5600 — the long-awaited and badly-needed ‘non-X’ version of the Ryzen 5 5600X. The 5600 clocks in with a 3.5 GHz base and 4.4 GHz boost, so it only sacrifices 200 MHz for both the base and boost clock rate compared to the 5600X. That makes what looks to be a well-rounded chip that will grapple with Intel’s popular Core i5-12400 that dominates most best CPU for gaming lists.

For its low-end Zen 3 chip, the $159 Ryzen 5 5500 finds AMD employing a new tactic of repurposing its monolithic (single-chip) Cezanne silicon that it typically uses for APUs. That means the six-core 12-thread Cezanne chip’s integrated Ryzen Vega graphics engine has been disabled. Naturally, that leads one to believe that AMD probably has quite the supply of Cezanne dies that have suffered manufacturing defects in the integrated GPU. Of course, it’s also possible that the company could simply disable fully-functioning graphics units on some chips if it needs more supply, but that seems unlikely.

Aside from the disabled iGPU, the 5500 shares many of the same characteristics as other Cezanne chips, including support for PCIe 3.0 instead of PCIe 4.0. That means this chip will make a great pairing for older, lower-end AM4 motherboards — you certainly wouldn’t want to pay for functionality you don’t need by pairing it with a PCIe 4.0-supporting motherboard.

The Ryzen 5 5500 also comes with 16MB of cache, half that of the Ryzen 5 5600 that has the same number of cores and threads. This will result in reduced performance in several workloads, but we’ll have to suss that out in the review. However, the 5500 should be very similar to the Ryzen 5 5600G that has the same architecture but comes with an active iGPU — there’s only a 200 MHz difference in CPU base/boost clock rates between the two chips. AMD’s new Zen 2-powered Ryzen 5 4600G also slots in with similar pricing, but we’ll cover that in the next section.

AMD Ryzen 5 4600G, Ryzen 5 4500 and 4100 Pricing, Specifications, Release Date

AMD’s new 4000-series chips all feature the monolithic (single-chip) 7nm Renoir design that comes with Zen 2 CPU cores and the Radeon RX Vega graphics engine. This design has shipped into OEM and SI markets since 2020, but it never came to retail like the Cezanne models. You can see an example of what the performance of these chips looks like in our Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G review. These three chips come with support for PCIe 3.0 and come to retail on April 4, 2022. 

AMD and Intel Low-End Specs and Pricing
Price Street/MSRPDesign - Arch.E/P – Core|ThreadP-Core Base/Boost (GHz)TDP / PBP / MTPMemory SupportL3 Cache
Ryzen 5 5500$199Zen 3 - Cezanne6P | 12T3.6 / 4.265WDDR4-320016MB
Ryzen 5 4600G (APU)$154Zen 2 - Renoir6P | 12T3.7 / 4.265WDDR4-32008MB
Core i3-12100 / F$122 - $97 (F)Alder Lake4P+0E | 4C/8T3.3 / 4.360W / 89WDDR4/5-3200/480012MB
Ryzen 5 4500$129Zen 2 - Renoir6P | 12T3.6 / 4.165WDDR4-32008MB
Ryzen 3 4100$99Zen 2 - Renoir4P | 8T3.8 / 4.065WDDR4-32004MB

The $154 Ryzen 5 4600G has been shipping to OEM and SI markets for some time, but now makes its way to retail. This chip comes with six Zen 2 cores and 12 threads that operate at a 3.7 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost clock. The Vega graphics engine comes armed with seven CUs that operate at up to 1.9 GHz. The 65W 4600G will slot in as a lower-tier APU to complement the Ryzen 5700G and 5600G, so it really doesn’t have a directly-comparable Intel competitor. Given the $159 Ryzen 5 5500’s similar price point, AMD basically offers you the choice of either an APU with Zen 2 or a standard CPU with Zen 3 at the $150-$160 price point.

The lowest-end Ryzen 4000 models come with the Renoir design. However, while they have a Vega graphics engine on the die, the iGPU has been disabled. As such, we end up with two of AMD’s lowest-end chips with Zen 2 cores to tackle the $122 Core i3-12100 and $97 Core i3-12100F. These chips are unofficially referred to as ‘Renoir-X’ in enthusiast circles, but AMD says this isn't the official codename.

The $129 Ryzen 5 4500 slots in with six cores and twelve threads, outweighing the 12100’s four cores and eight threads. The Zen 2 cores operate at 3.6 / 4.1 GHz base/boost clocks. The Ryzen 3 4100 slots in with four cores and eight threads that operate at 3.8 / 4.0 GHz base/boost clocks.

The 4500 and 4100 chips are a wild card – the Zen 2 architecture isn’t nearly as adept at gaming as Zen 3, and Intel’s Alder Lake is even faster still. We’ll have to wait for reviews to see if these chips make sense for the productivity-focused part of the retail market, though it is obvious they will find some success in OEM and SI markets. 

AMD Brings Ryzen 5000 Support to All 300-Series Motherboards

Ryzen 5000 Motherboard Support

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD told us earlier this year that it was working on a strategy to bring support for its Ryzen 5000 processors to all 300-series motherboards, and now it has delivered on those intentions.

AMD’s AGESA code serves as the codebase that motherboard makers use to develop new firmwares. As of AGESA version 1207, all 300-series motherboards will support Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 processors after a BIOS update (make sure the BIOS has AGESA 1207 or newer). AMD says that Ryzen 5000 support will vary by vendor, as will the timeline for new BIOS revisions. However, we should see them in the April-May timeframe. Notably, these BIOS revisions will also include the fix for AMD’s fTPM stuttering issues.

As a bit of history, AMD promised to support its AM4 ecosystem for five years, but motherboard limitations ultimately restricted its ability to continue supporting every Ryzen chip on every AM4 platform. That eventually led AMD to decide to limit its Ryzen 5000 processors to only new, pricey 500-series motherboards, igniting a firestorm of criticism from its vocal fanbase and casual users alike. The company eventually reversed course and compromised by supporting 400-series motherboards but left 300-series motherboards off the table, fomenting claims that AMD was engaging in unnecessary segmentation. The new BIOS versions rectify that long-simmering issue.

Thoughts

AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips fully eclipsed Intel's performance dominance in desktop PCs when they launched back in 2020, but to the dismay of enthusiasts, the company has long neglected to launch any sub-$250 chips with the potent Zen 3 architecture. That's kept the bar for entry unattainably high for value seekers.

The new Zen 3 models should go a long way to addressing those concerns, and paired with AMD's recent price cuts on other models, Ryzen 5000 is now far more accessible. However, AMD's new chips are somewhat late to market, given that Intel has already retaken the performance and value crown with its Alder Lake chips. Nevertheless, the Ryzen 5 5600, the long-awaited 'non-X' version of the popular 5600X, could be a winner — If the price is right, it could be a great alternative to Intel's Core i5-12400. The 5700X also appears impressive at its price point.

It's nice to see AMD add support for the Ryzen 5000 chips to older 300-series motherboards, and it makes perfect sense for the lower-end processors. However, that sign of goodwill is a bit late and signifies part of AMD's challenge: These new Ryzen chips all drop into what is now an aging AM4 platform with less sophisticated connectivity tech than Intel's PCIe 5.0 and DDR5-supporting Alder Lake platforms.

AMD also didn't release a Zen 3-equipped Ryzen 3 model — AMD's Ryzen 5000 stack bottoms out at $159. Instead, the company has turned to its older Zen 2 silicon to address the low end of the market with Ryzen 4000 models. This marks a new shift in the company's strategy to using a monolithic die for the low end, a necessity for these lower price points because chiplet-based designs are more costly to produce in terms of packaging and logistics.

However, this strategy could prove to be a liability: Even with heftier core counts, the Zen 2 chips with disabled iGPUs likely won't be too competitive in gaming with Intel's potent Core i3 and its Golden Cove architecture. AMD didn't release any benchmarks of its new chips against Intel's, which could be telling. We'll have to wait for reviews to see how the new Zen 2 chips compete, but regardless of how they fare in the retail market, they will surely find a home in OEM and SI systems.

AMD's new tactic of repurposing its monolithic Zen 3 and Zen 2 APU designs by disabling the graphics units doesn't seem like the best use of die area, but 7nm is mature and yields exceedingly well. It's also fair to assume the company has built up enough chips with defective iGPUs over years of production to meet the initial demand. However, given AMD's focus on prioritizing premium high-margin segments during the chip shortage, we doubt the company will defeature any new fully-functioning chips that come off the production line, at least not in great quantities. That means the supply of these de-featured APUs could dwindle rather quickly, much as we've seen with the company's other low-end models (like the Ryzen 3 3300X and 3100).

Finally, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D looks to be an incredibly interesting beast that could retake the overall gaming crown, if only by a slim margin. The proof is in the silicon, though. We'll have to wait for reviews to see how many titles benefit from the new design.  

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