AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D review: cache money

$ 449 / £ 429 The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a little different from AMD, a processor that exists to demonstrate the power of the company’s 3D V-Cache design for its upcoming Ryzen CPUs and battle Intel’s 12900KS for the title of ‘fastest gaming processor’. It’s also one of the latest cheers for the surprisingly long-lived AM4 platform, which debuted back in 2017 and surpassed half a dozen Intel generations as Ryzen processors were improved by leaps and bounds.

So what exactly is a 3D V-Cache? Let’s start with the basics. You can think of a processor’s cache as a place to store data it’s working on – a bit like RAM, but because it’s inside the CPU it’s an order of magnitude faster to access and an order of magnitude smaller in terms of the amount of data it can store. Modern processors typically use three levels of cache – L1, L2, L3 – with L1 cache being the fastest to access, but the smallest, L2 is slower but larger, and L3 is slower and larger again. It is this third level of cache that AMD has changed, moving from a traditional 2D design to a 3D design, a stack of caches that take up more vertical space. This means that much more data can be stored inside the CPU at once, thus increasing the chances that the data needed is already inside and speeding up any subsequent processing.

AMD is supposed to use this technology for its future Zen 4 processors, but here and now it’s just this particular 5800X3D, an upgraded version of the Ryzen 7 5800X that was launched back in 2020. Compared to the 5800X, the 5800X3D trades a bit of frequency and some overclocking controls for a significantly larger 96MB L3 cache – tripled the size of the 5800Xs.

CPU design Increase Base L3 cache TDP Indicative price
Ryzen 5950X Zen 3 16C / 32T 4.9 GHz 3.4 GHz 64 MB 105W $ 799
Ryzen 5900X Zen 3 12C / 24T 4.8 GHz 3.7 GHz 64 MB 105W $ 549
Ryzen 5800X3D Zen 3 8C / 16T 4.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 96 MB 105W $ 449
Ryzen 5800X Zen 3 8C / 16T 4.7 GHz 3.8 GHz 32 MB 105W $ 449
Ryzen 5700G Zen 3 8C / 16T 4.6 GHz 3.8 GHz 16 MB 65W $ 359
Ryzen 5600X Zen 3 6C / 12T 4.6 GHz 3.7 GHz 32 MB 65W $ 299
Ryzen 5600G Zen 3 6C / 12T 4.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 16 MB 65W $ 259

Before we get into the first test results, let’s briefly cover the rig we use. For the AMD side, we use an Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero, while the 11th generation Intel gets an Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero and the 12th generation gets an Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero – all high-end boards for their respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards used G.Skill 3600MT / s CL16 memory, while 12th generation Intel took advantage of faster but higher latency Corsair 5200MT / s CL38 RAM.

AMD and 11th generation Intel CPUs were cooled with an Eisbaer Aurora 240 mm AiO, while 12th generation testing was performed with an Asus ROG Ryujin 2 360 mm AiO. (And to answer the obvious question: 240 mm and 360 mm AiO tend to give similar performance based on our testing – especially for an outdoor test bench in cool (21C) ambient conditions. The only difference tends to be the fan speed, which is higher at 240 mm than 360 mm.) Our rig was supplemented with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x power supply from Infinite Computing.

To reduce driving to drive and ensure that we are CPU limited as much as possible, we use the Asus ROG Strix 3090 OC Edition. This is a massive design with three slots, triple fan that keeps the card surprisingly cool and quiet.

One of the biggest questions regarding the 5800X3D is exactly where the upgraded cache will come in handy – because if a game or other application does not fit a specific performance profile, it may not see any performance benefits running on the 5800X3D – and in fact, it may even go worse because of the clock speed that AMD has sacrificed to make the design work.

To find out, we’ve tested the 5800X3D in a variety of content-creating and gaming scenarios – against the original 5800X and a host of other newer AMD and Intel processors. We hope to see some big performance gains, especially in video games, but we’re starting with a couple of quick benchmarks for content creation: a Cinebench R20 3D rendering and a handbrake video transcoding.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC power consumption
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82 fps 29.26 fps 373W
Core i7 12700K 729 8683 57.64 fps 25.67 fps 318W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27 fps 19.99 fps 223W
Core i5 12400F 652 4736 31.77 fps 14.70 fps 190W
Core i9 11900K 588 5902 41.01 fps 18.46 fps 321W
Core i5 11600K 541 4086 29.00fps 13.12 fps 250W
Ryzen 9 5950X 637 10165 70.28 fps 30.14 fps 237W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 546 5746 42.71 fps 19.10 fps 221W
Ryzen 7 5800X 596 6118 44.18 fps 19.50 fps 229W
Ryzen 5 5600X 601 4502 31.75 fps 14.43 fps 160W

None of the content creation results are particularly impressive for the 5800X3D, which surpasses the 5600X and Intel 12400F, but falls behind its previous competitors such as the 12900K, 12700K and 5800X (the latter by between two to six percent). This is not a massive surprise – none of the tasks would logically benefit from having a larger cache, so you only see the effect of the new CPU’s lowered core clocks compared to the standard 5800X. But the results are not catastrophic either; This is still a perfectly capable CPU for these tasks that surpasses previous generations, just not a class leader.

With those out of the way, let’s move on to the fun stuff: checking out how the 5800X3D performs in a variety of games. Click on the quick links below to go to the titles you are most interested in, or press the “next page” button to take it all in!

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D analysis