The $449/£429 Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a bit different from AMD, which exists to showcase the power of the company’s upcoming Ryzen CPU’s 3D V-Cache design and compete with Intel’s 12900KS for “fastest gaming processor” name’. It’s also one last hurrah for the surprisingly long-lived AM4 platform, which debuted in 2017 and has outlived six generations of Intel as Ryzen CPUs improved by leaps and bounds.
So what exactly is 3D V-Cache? Let’s start with the basics.You can think of the processor’s cache as where the data currently being processed is stored – kind of like RAM, but because it’s inside the CPU, it’s an order of magnitude faster to access and The amount of data it can store is an order of magnitude smaller. Modern processors typically use L3 caches – L1, L2, L3 – L1 caches are the fastest but smallest to access, L2 is slower but larger, and L3 is slower and larger. It is this third level of cache that AMD has changed, moving from a traditional 2D design to a 3D design, a cache stack that takes up more vertical space. This allows more data to be stored in the CPU at once, increasing the chances that the required data is already inside and speeding up any subsequent processing.
AMD plans to use this technology for its future Zen 4 processors, but here and now, it’s just a special 5800X3D that’s an upgrade from the Ryzen 7 5800X coming in 2020. Compared to the 5800X, the 5800X3D trades a little more frequency and some overclocking controls for a significantly larger 96MB L3 cache – three times the size of the 5800X.
|CPU Design||Promote||according to||L3 cache||TDP||Suggested retail price|
|Ryzen 5950X||Zen 3 16C/32T||4.9GHz||3.4GHz||64MB||105W||$799|
|Ryzen 5900X||Zen 3 12C/24T||4.8GHz||3.7GHz||64MB||105W||$549|
|Ryzen 5800X3D||Zen 3 8C/16T||4.5GHz||3.4GHz||96MB||105W||$449|
|Ryzen 5800X||Zen 3 8C/16T||4.7GHz||3.8GHz||32MB||105W||$449|
|Ryzen 5700G||Zen 3 8C/16T||4.6GHz||3.8GHz||16MB||65W||$359|
|Ryzen 5600X||Zen 3 6C/12T||4.6GHz||3.7GHz||32MB||65W||$299|
|Ryzen 5600G||Zen 3 6C/12T||4.4GHz||3.9GHz||16MB||65W||$259|
Before we get into the first test results, let’s briefly describe the gear we’re using. On the AMD side, we’re using the Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero, while the 11th Gen Intel is using the Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero, and the 12th Gen is using the Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero—both are high-end motherboards for their respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards use G.Skill 3600MT/s CL16 RAM, while 12th Gen Intel benefits from faster but higher latency Corsair 5200MT/s CL38 RAM.
AMD and 11th Gen Intel CPUs were cooled with an Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO, while 12th Gen tests were conducted with an Asus ROG Ryujin 2 360mm AiO. (And to answer the obvious question: Based on our testing, 240mm and 360mm all-in-ones tend to offer the same performance – especially for open-air test rigs in cool (21C) ambient conditions. The only difference tends to be fan speed , at 240mm vs 360mm.) Our rig was done using a 1000W Corsair RM1000x power supply from Infinite Computing.
To reduce run-to-run variance and ensure we were as CPU bound as possible, we used an Asus ROG Strix 3090 OC Edition. It’s a massive three-slot, three-fan design that keeps the graphics card cool and quiet.
One of the biggest questions about the 5800X3D is exactly where the upgraded cache will come in handy – because if a game or other application doesn’t fit a specific performance profile, it might not see a performance benefit running on the 5800X3D at all – in fact, due to AMD sacrificed clock speed to make the design work, and it might even run worse.
To find out, we tested the 5800X3D in a range of content creation and gaming scenarios – against the original 5800X and some other recent AMD and Intel processors. We’d like to see a big performance boost, especially in video games, but we’ll start with a couple of quick content creation benchmarks: Cinebench R20 3D rendering and Handbrake video transcoding.
|CB R20 1T||CB R20 metric tons||HB h.264||HB HEVC||HEVC power usage|
|Core i9 12900K||760||10416||70.82fps||29.26fps||373W|
|Core i7 12700K||729||8683||57.64fps||25.67 frames per second||318W|
|Core i5 12600K||716||6598||44.27fps||19.99 frames per second||223W|
|Core i5 12400F||652||4736||31.77fps||14.70fps||190W|
|Core i9 11900K||588||5902||41.01fps||18.46fps||321W|
|Core i5 11600K||541||4086||29.00 frames/sec||13.12fps||250W|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||637||10165||70.28fps||30.14fps||237W|
|Ryzen 7 5800X3D||546||5746||42.71fps||19.10fps||221W|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||596||6118||44.18fps||19.50fps||229W|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||601||4502||31.75fps||14.43fps||160W|
None of the 5800X3D’s content creation results were particularly impressive, outperforming the 5600X and Intel 12400F, but trailing previous competitors such as the 12900K, 12700K, and 5800X (the latter by between 2% and 6%). That’s not surprising – logically neither task would benefit from having a larger cache, so you’re only seeing the effect of the new CPU’s lower core clock compared to the standard 5800X. However, the results were not disastrous. For these tasks, this is still a perfectly functional CPU that easily outperforms previous generations, just not a top-notch CPU.
With that said, let’s get to the fun stuff: see how the 5800X3D performs in a range of games. Click the quick links below to move to the titles that interest you most, or click the Next Page button to read them all!