The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D revisited Now a good deal?

What makes the 5800X3D special

In the summer of 2021, AMD announced the arrival of a 3D V-Cache. That is an extra L3 cache that is not in the processor chip itself as usual, but in an extra chip literally on top of the regular. AMD uses chip-on-wafer technology from chip maker TSMC for this. The 5800X3D, therefore, does not have a 32MB L3 cache, like the regular 5800X, but 96MB: three times as much. The L3 cache is the largest cache within the processor and if the necessary data for a calculation cannot be found in it, it must be used in the working memory, which is an order of magnitude slower.

In particular, tasks that work on a lot of data at the same time or for which the required data is difficult to predict generally benefit greatly from adding more L3 cache. Games are an excellent example of this. However, if the data required for a particular application already fit within the existing cache at any given time, adding more cache is pointless. In addition, cache is relatively ‘expensive’; the slice of 64MB of additional L3 cache is more than half the size of the 5800X’s entire original chip. So the amount of cache in a CPU is always a balancing act.

Due to a large amount of cache, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D performs particularly well in games, especially compared to other models of its generation, and it does so very efficiently. The extra cache is more economical than alternative ways to increase gaming performance, for example increasing the clock frequency.

Limitations of the 5800X3D

One downside to the 5800X3D is that it’s the first Ryzen desktop processor that you can’t overclock or undervolt. AMD has removed those settings because the new manufacturing technique limits the scalability of the clock speed in relation to the voltage. Because the characteristics of the cache and the processor cores themselves are linked in various ways, the CPU cores cannot be overclocked or underclocked manually either.

Users have since worked out a way to use Precision Boost Overdrive 2 on the 5800X3D, but it is not very user-friendly and is obviously not recommended by AMD.

Current price-performance ratio

The price is the most important thing that has changed on the 5800X3D since we discussed it on Tweakers at its introduction. At that time I thought it was way too expensive at 499 euros. What about now? Time to dig into our price-performance charts, starting with gaming performance. After all, that’s what the 5800X3D is all about.

The trend line indicates the average price-performance ratio in a segment and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D scores well above that for its new price. The difference with the regular 5800X, which is cheaper, but ends well below the trend line, is very significant here. The Ryzen 5 7600X scores identically to the 5800X3D for less money, but of course that requires a system based on the AM5 platform, which I’ll get into in more detail later.

However, if we look at the performance in all our tests, the 5800X3D comes off less rosy. Many applications other than games do not benefit or benefit to a much lesser extent from the extra L3 cache, while you do of course pay for it.

Purely based on the prices of the processors in relation to the performance offered, we can therefore conclude that the 5800X3D has indeed become an interesting option for gamers, but for non-gamers, it is still not a logical purchase.

In addition to the performance, the power consumption also makes the 5800X3D a special processor. Due to the slightly lower clock speeds, this is lower than with the normal 5800X, while the performance, especially in games, is therefore considerably higher. For example, when gaming in Metro Exodus, the 5800X3D is almost as economical as a Ryzen 7 5700G, while it is of course a lot faster.

This becomes very clear when we plot the number of watts that a processor needs per generated fps in a graph. The 5800X3D comes out at an efficiency of 0.50W per fps. That was already exceptionally good in its own generation, but compared to the Ryzen 7000 and 13th Gen Core chips, the difference is already big. For example, the i7 13700K is twice as inefficient.

The complete picture

Anyway, then we have only looked at the prices of the processors. In practice, it is much more relevant to look at the complete picture. After all, choosing a Ryzen 7000 processor by definition requires a socket AM5 motherboard and DDR5 memory, and those who do not yet own such a processor probably do not have it lying around. The 5800X3D, on the other hand, can be used with DDR4 memory and virtually any socket AM4 motherboard since 2017. Many tweakers will already have a Ryzen build, effectively limiting the cost to just the purchase price of the new processor. This quickly makes the price-performance ratio unbeatable.

The upgrade to a 5800X3D is perhaps the most fun if you still have a system with a Ryzen 1000 or 2000 processor, from the early days of the AM4 platform. It probably doesn’t have a super fast 3200MT/s or 3600MT/s memory yet, but according to our tests, you won’t have that much trouble with the 5800X3D. The extra large cache actually relieves the working memory, so the impact of fast memory is clearly less than with other Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

Are you building a completely new system or do you not yet have an AM4 board does an upgrade already include a new motherboard (and memory) for you? Then the 5800X3D is still not an obvious option. I have put together a complete upgrade kit for both the 5800X3D and the Core i5 13600K in the Pricewatch. The 13600K is slightly faster than the 5800X3D in games and much faster in almost all other applications. The set with the new i5 is only 15 euros (2 percent) more expensive than the kit with the 5800X3D and is therefore clearly the better choice. The AM4 system is certainly not helped by the fact that many B550 boards have risen in price in recent months.

Option #1 – i5 13600K Price Option #2 – 5800X3D Price
Processor Intel Core i5-13600K €376.12 AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D € 369,-
Motherboard MSI Pro B660M-A DDR4 €152.42 Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite V2 €144.63
Internal memory G.Skill Aegis F4-3200C16D-32GIS €94.90 G.Skill Aegis F4-3200C16D-32GIS €94.90
Total €623.44 €608.53

Conclusion

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D has only been on the market for a little over six months, but now that it has become 150 euros cheaper, it is certainly worth a second look. When it came out, I thought the innovative production technique was cool, but the price was way too high to recommend buying it.

For the current price of 369 euros, I think the 5800X3D is a great option as the ultimate upgrade for your existing AM4 build. If you update the bios beforehand, you can almost always continue to use your current motherboard and memory. In the case of the 5800X3D, it makes even less of a difference if you use some older, slower DDR4. The icing on the cake is the enormous efficiency in games. Compared to the latest AMD Ryzen 7000 and Intel 13th Gen Core processors, it delivers much more frames per watt. In addition, the processor is also much easier and quieter to cool due to its lower consumption.

If you look purely at the price-performance ratio, don’t forget that processors such as the 5800X, 5700X, and 5600(X) have also dropped in price recently. Compared to a Ryzen 5 5600, for example, the 5800X3D is 12 percent faster in games, but of course much more than 12 percent more expensive. That in itself is not surprising, because more expensive processors almost always have a worse price-performance ratio, but don’t be blinded by the 5800X3D without realizing that a cheaper Ryzen 5000 processor can also be a very nice upgrade for your AM4 system.

For a completely new system or a complete upgrade of CPU, motherboard, and memory, the 5800X3D is a less obvious choice. A new build based on one of the new generations of processors is then faster for almost the same money and of course also offers all the secondary benefits of a more modern platform.