AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D in the test: cache money

The $449/£429 Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a little different than AMD, a processor that exists to showcase the power of the company’s 3D V-Cache design for its upcoming Ryzen CPUs and Intel’s 12900KS for the title of “Fastest.” gaming processor ‘fight’. It’s also something of a last hooray for the surprisingly long-lived AM4 platform, which debuted way back in 2017 and has endured for half a dozen Intel generations as Ryzen CPUs improved by leaps and bounds.

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 in the CPU, accessing it is an order of magnitude faster 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 the L1 cache being the fastest accessible but smallest, L2 being slower but larger, and L3 being 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 cache stack that occupies more vertical space. This allows much more data to be stored in the CPU at once, increasing the likelihood that the data you need is already in it and speeding up subsequent processing.

AMD is said to be using this tech for its future Zen 4 processors, but in the here and now it’s just this one special 5800X3D, an upgraded version of the Ryzen 7 5800X that launched back in 2020. Compared to the 5800X, the 5800X3D trades in some frequency and some overclocking controls for a significantly larger 96MB L3 cache – three times the size of the 5800X.

CPU design thrust base L3 cache TDP RRP
Ryzen 5950X Zen3 16C/32T 4.9GHz 3.4GHz 64MB 105W $799
Ryzen 5900X Zen3 12C/24T 4.8GHz 3.7GHz 64MB 105W $549
Ryzen 5800X3D Zen3 8C/16T 4.5GHz 3.4GHz 96MB 105W $449
Ryzen 5800X Zen3 8C/16T 4.7GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 105W $449
Ryzen 5700G Zen3 8C/16T 4.6GHz 3.8GHz 16MB 65W $359
Ryzen 5600X Zen3 6C/12T 4.6GHz 3.7GHz 32MB 65W $299
Ryzen 5600G Zen3 6C/12T 4.4GHz 3.9GHz 16MB 65W $259

Before we get to the first test results, let’s take a quick look at the rig we’re using. For the AMD side, we’re using an Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero, while 11th gen Intel gets an Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero and 12th gen gets the Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero – all high-end boards for their respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards used G.Skill 3600MT/s CL16 memory, while 12th Gen Intel took advantage of the faster, higher-latency Corsair 5200MT/s CL38 RAM.

The 11th Gen AMD and Intel CPUs were cooled with an Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO, while the 12th Gen’s testing was done with an Asus ROG Ryujin 2 360mm AiO. (And to answer the obvious question: 240mm and 360mm AiOs tend to offer the same performance based on our testing – especially for an open-air dyno in cool ambient conditions (21C). The only difference is usually in the fan speed, which is higher on the 240mm than the 360mm.) Our rig was completed with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x power supply from Infinite Computing.

To reduce run-to-run variability and ensure we’re CPU limited as much as possible, we use the Asus ROG Strix 3090 OC Edition. This is a massive three-slot, three-fan design that keeps the card surprisingly cool and quiet.

One of the biggest questions with the 5800X3D is where exactly this updated cache will come in handy – because if a game or other application doesn’t fit a certain performance profile, it might not see any performance advantage on the 5800X3D at all – namely, it can, due to the clock speed , which AMD sacrificed to make the design work, run even worse.

To find out, we tested the 5800X3D in a range of content creation and gaming scenarios – versus the original 5800X and a range of other recent AMD and Intel processors. We’re hoping for some big performance gains, particularly in video games, but we’ll start with a couple of quick content creation benchmarks: 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 29.00 fps 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 outperforms the 5600X and Intel 12400F but falls short of its former competitors like the 12900K, 12700K and 5800X (the latter by two to six percent). That’s not much of a surprise – no task would logically benefit from a larger cache, so you’re just seeing the effect of the new CPU’s lower core clock compared to the standard 5800X. However, the results aren’t catastrophic either; This is still a perfectly capable CPU for these tasks, easily outperforming previous generations, just not best in class.

Now let’s move on to the fun stuff: see how the 5800X3D performs in a range of games. Click the quick links below to jump to the titles that interest you most, or click the next page button to read it all!

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Analysis