Is AMD preparing more X3D processors? The answer is most likely yes, according to prolific leaker Greymon55 (opens in new tab) (via Techpowerup (opens in new tab)† The Ryzen 7 5800X3D (opens in new tab) is the only V-Cache equipped CPU to date. Proven to be an excellent gaming CPU, even beating Intel’s mighty 12900KS (opens in new tab) in titles that are cache sensitive. The 5800X3D has some flaws, but if AMD chooses to release it, there’s one CPU that could rise above it all.
The best option would be a 5600X3D. A 6-core/12-thread CPU is perfectly achievable in current titles, and the addition of 64MB of L3 cache on top of the 32MB of the base 5600X (opens in new tab) would yield 96MB of L3 cache. Same as that of the 5800X3D.
But the 5800X3D was flawed due to the fact that its clocks were lower than the 5800X’s. The lower clock speeds affected performance in non-gaming applications, meaning it was a poor choice as a general purpose CPU compared to the 5800X. There are two main reasons why AMD chose to lower the clocks of the 5800X3D. The first is that the technology is new. A combination of higher power, heat and current could potentially damage the delicate through-silicon vias used to connect the chiplet and cache, and AMD was just being conservative. That was also a good reason to disable overclocking (opens in new tab)† The second reason is the likelihood that a 5800X3D — if clocked in the same way as a 5800X — would run into the platform’s standard 142W package power limitation.
The 5600X skips the second reason. It is a 65W CPU with a packet power limit of 88W. That means AMD should have no problem clocking a 5600X3D as high as a 5600X. It could set the TDP at 95W and still have the total packet power well below the maximum 142W. That means you get all the general performance of a 5600X, while maximizing cache-packed gaming performance. A 5600X3D clocked at 5600X would be boosted to 4.6GHz, which is 100MHz faster than the 5800X3D. Such a CPU, if priced right, would instantly become a budget gaming champion, but more than that, it would be the fastest of all CPUs at gaming, including the 5800X3D, at least up to Zen 4 (opens in new tab) and 13th Gen CPUs (opens in new tab) be launched.
Why would AMD do this? Rumors point to Zen 4 which only supports DDR5. Depending on how fast Zen 4 is, a 5600X3D AM4 would give gamers an attractive upgrade path. It means you don’t have to buy a new motherboard and DDR5 memory.
Imagine using something like a B450 motherboard with a Zen 2 (or even Zen 1) CPU. Updating your BIOS, using a 5600X3D and a next-generation GPU, would deliver a huge performance leap, while remaining cost-effective.
This all depends on how Zen 4 performs. You can bet AMD wouldn’t even enjoy the release of a 5600X3D if Zen 4 didn’t outperform all Zen 3 models by a healthy margin. On the other hand, Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs are already competitive, and 13th Gen and Zen 4 CPUs should be free to have their own blockbuster battle.
I focused on a hypothetical 5600X3D. There’s no reason AMD couldn’t provide a 5900X3D or 5950X3D. Or is there? I’ll come back to the package’s total power consumption limit, which is 142W. That’s not the TDP of the CPUs, which top out at 105W, but the total short-lived packet power a Ryzen 5000 CPU can pull. These limits apply to motherboard manufacturers and system integrators, so VRM systems and cooling equipment are built to support anything up to a 5950X. It’s possible to go above 142W with overclocking, but I assume AMD doesn’t like going above 142W when it’s in stock.
I’ll get back to my point that a 5600X3D would be a gem of a CPU. It would appeal to budget-minded users and gamers on the AM4 platform. It could clock higher than a 5800X3D, meaning it would become the fastest gaming CPU, leaving the 5900X and 5950X logical multitasking and productivity options. Importantly for AMD, it would deliver another round of “fastest gaming CPU” PR if it launched before Zen 4.
But will AMD do it? If the Zen 4 is a lot faster at gaming than a 5600X3D, then there’s no particular reason why it shouldn’t be. What about a 5950X3D with 256MB L3 cache? It sounds great, but AMD should definitely overclock a 5950X3D, negating the benefit of having all those high-performing cores in the first place. And the 5950X was never really promoted as a gaming CPU (opens in new tab) anyway.
Come on AMD, give us a 5600X3D. It is fast, energy efficient and offers a very attractive upgrade for AM4 gamers. The years old platform may still have a few tricks up its sleeve. What about Zen 4 AM4 CPUs?