On November 5, 2020, the 7nm Zen 3 AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop CPUs actually went on sale. There are four SKUs in the initial release. The review embargo for these processors also expired on November 5, so there are a LOT of written and video reviews available now. This post will be an AMD Ryzen 5000 Series review recap.
I was able to get a Ryzen 5 5600X at the Denver Micro Center just by getting in a fairly long line about 15 minutes before they opened. If I had gotten there perhaps 10-15 minutes earlier, I would have been able to get a Ryzen 7 5800X if I had wanted.
I was not too upset about that, since I think the 5800X is the least interesting SKU of the four. This is just because of the pricing/core compared to the other three SKUs. There is nothing wrong with the performance of the 5800X.
The high-level specifications for these four initial SKUs are shown below. I wrote a post that had some more information when these were announced on October 8th.
Here are some of the better, written reviews of these processors. As you can probably tell from the titles, the reviews are very positive.
- AnandTech – Dr. Ian Cutress & Andrei Frumusanu
- Tom’s Hardware – Paul Alcorn
- PCWorld – Gordon Mah Ung
- HotHardware – Marco Chiappetta
- LegitReviews – Nathan Kirsch
Here are some of the better video reviews of these processors on YouTube. The general consensus is that these new AMD Ryzen 5000 processors pretty much beat anything Intel has to offer, in nearly every workload.
- Hardware Unboxed – Steve Walton
- Gamer’s Nexus – Steve Burke
- RIP Intel: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU Review & Benchmarks (Workstation, Gaming, Overclocking)
- Multikill: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU Review & Benchmarks – Gaming, Workstation, Overclocking
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU Review & Benchmarks – New Gaming Best, & Workstation, Power
- Friendly Fire: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU Review & Benchmarks vs. 5600X & 5900X
- Level One Techs – Wendell Wilson
- Linus Tech Tips – Linus Sebastian
Personally, I think two of these SKUs really stand out for different use cases. If gaming is your primary focus, then the 6C/12T Ryzen 5 5600X seems like the best choice. It is relatively affordable at $299, so you can spend more of your budget on your GPU. Very few current games actually use more than 4-6 CPU cores, and you are more likely to be GPU limited at higher resolutions.
If productivity is your main focus, then the 12C/24T Ryzen 9 5900X seems like the best choice. It gives you twelve physical cores for only $100 more than the 8C/16T Ryzen 7 5800X. This SKU is also a bargain compared to the 16C/32T Ryzen 9 5950X, which costs $250 more for those four extra cores.
There is certainly nothing wrong with any of these four SKUs. It really just comes down to your budget and what you plan on doing with your system.
I have Amazon Affiliate links for the entire Ryzen 5000 series here. I can’t promise they are all in stock though…
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 9 5950X on Amazon
I have already bought a Ryzen 5 5600X for gaming (which will replace a 3600XT) and I am planning on getting a Ryzen 9 5950X for my main workstation (when I can find one). The 5950X will replace a 3950X.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!
6 thoughts on “AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Review Recap”
Hi Glenn – any thoughts on how these processors will perform in a SQL Server setup? Would you rule them out as they are desktop processors?
They run SQL Server just fine, with very good performance. They would be ok to run in Dev or Test, but you probably would not want to run SQL Server on them in Production. This is because they don’t have ECC RAM, and because a desktop system is not going to have redundant, hot swappable components.
Ok, good points, and thanks for your answer!
Just for info, I was asking because I looked at a server that Hetzner (a cloud provider) offers (AX101), and it actually has 128 GB ECC ram and the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-Core processor. Given this is a rented server paid monthly it might be feasible, since Hetzner will be responsible for correcting hardware issues. The other server they offer is an Intel Xeon W-2295 18 core based server (PX93) that also allows for more ram, so I was trying to decide which one to choose. They both allow 8 local NVME disks so they should be good for doing heavy ETL on a standard edition, we hope 🙂