On October 8, 2020, AMD formally announced their new 7nm Zen 3 desktop processor family. These are known as the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors. There will be four SKUs in the initial release. These will go on sale on November 5, 2020. The pricing for these four SKUs is $50 higher than the original MSRPs of the the equivalent Ryzen 3000 series SKUs.
All of these new processors will work on existing B550 and X570 motherboards with a BIOS update. They will also work on some B450 and X470 motherboards with a beta BIOS update that is supposed to be available in January 2021. There is no new chipset available, such as an “X590”.
AMD claims that none of these new processors use any more power than their equivalent Ryzen 3000 series predecessors, so you won’t need a power supply upgrade. We obviously don’t have any 3rd party testing yet, but it looks like we will see a roughly 20-25% improvement in ST performance compared to the previous generation.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
The entry-level SKU is the 6C/12T AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. This SKU has a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz, a boost speed of up to 4.6 GHz, 32MB of L3 cache, and a 65W TDP rating. The MSRP is $299, and it will include an in-box CPU cooler. This processor replaces the existing Ryzen 5 3600, Ryzen 5 3600X, and Ryzen 5 3600XT processors.
At MSRP, it comes in at $49.83/physical core, which is about the same as the top-end Ryzen 9 5950X. This SKU may cause some sticker shock for budget conscious buyers, especially compared to the current pricing for the Ryzen 5 3600.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
The next step up is the 8C/16T AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. This SKU has a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz, a boost speed of up to 4.7 GHz, 32MB of L3 cache, and a 105W TDP rating. The MSRP is $449, and it will not have an in-box CPU cooler. This processor replaces the existing Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 7 3800X, and Ryzen 7 3800XT processors.
At MSRP, it comes in at $56.13/physical core, so it gives you the least bang for the buck among these four SKUs. If possible, I would try to stretch your budget to get a Ryzen 9 5900X, especially if you are going to be doing lots of multi-threaded work.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
The next step up is the 12C/24T AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. This SKU has a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz, a boost speed of up to 4.8 GHz, 64MB of L3 cache, and a 105W TDP rating. The MSRP is $549, and it will not have an in-box CPU cooler. This processor replaces the existing Ryzen 9 3900X, and Ryzen 9 3900XT processors.
At MSRP, it comes in at $45.75/physical core, so it gives you the most bang for the buck among these four SKUs. It has 50% more cores and double the L3 cache of the Ryzen 7 5800X for only $100 more.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
The top model is the 16C/32T AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. This SKU has a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz, a boost speed of up to 4.9 GHz, 64MB of L3 cache, and a 105W TDP rating. The MSRP is $799, and it will not have an in-box CPU cooler. This processor replaces the existing Ryzen 9 3950X processor.
At MSRP, it comes in at $49.94/physical core, so it is about the same cost per core as the entry-level Ryzen 5 5600X. You are definitely paying a premium to get these four extra cores compared to the Ryzen 9 5900X.
AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors
Overall, I am pretty happy with what we now know about the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop processors. The initial pricing is $50 higher than the release pricing for the the Ryzen 3000 Series Desktop processors, but I predict that the street pricing will go below the MSRP in a quarter or so. It feels like a larger jump right now because of the current street pricing of the Ryzen 3000 series.
I have heard complaints about the lack of entry-level SKUs, but there is a good chance that AMD will release more budget SKUs in a quarter or two. They want to make more money with their available allotment from TSMC by selling higher-end SKUs at first.
I think that the 12C/24T AMD Ryzen 5900X is going to be a sweet spot for many people. It has the lowest price/core and it has 64MB of L3 cache for 12 cores.
If you are a bargain hunter, there will probably be pretty large discounts on remaining new Ryzen 3000 series processors, just like we saw for remaining new Ryzen 2000 series processors late last year. There should also be some great deals on used Ryzen 3000 processors. There should be lots of choices!
It looks like we are getting a significant performance increase at the same power consumption, pretty close to the leaked benchmarks from a couple of weeks ago. AMD may actually have the ST performance and gaming performance crown for a while. We’ll have to wait for 3rd party benchmark results to know that for sure.
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