Tuesday, January 4th 2022

ICYMI, AMD Claims to have Caught Up with Core i9-12900K Gaming Performance Even Before Zen 4

The Ryzen 3000XT line of processors were the kind of stop-gap products that make people wary of stop-gap products, and AMD plans to remedy this. The new Ryzen 7 5800X3D is an upcoming Socket AM4 processor designed with the singular purpose of matching the Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake" processor at gaming performance, so Intel doesn't have free reign until much later in the year, when AMD debuts "Zen 4" and AM5. It's also a means for AMD to signal consumers as well as investors to the sheer engineering depth the company enjoys these days.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D isn't a a 5800X with an insane CPU overclock that throws efficiency out of the window. In fact, it has lower clocks! Instead, it leverages a new feature addition AMD did to its existing "Zen 3" microarchitecture, called 3D Vertical Cache. This is basically 64 MB of fast SRAM physically stacked on top of the CPU core die (CCD), giving it 96 MB of last-level cache. The company has already debuted this with its EPYC "Milan-X" enterprise processors, and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D would be the first client-segment product with this CCD.
With 3D Vertical Cache tech in place, "Zen 3" enjoys a gaming performance boost akin to a generational update, with AMD claiming anywhere between 10 to 40 percent gaming performance gains over the Ryzen 9 5900X despite four fewer cores; which helps it sneak behind the Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S," currently Intel's flagship desktop processor.

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su was specific about who the 5800X3D was for—those who use their PCs for one thing only, gaming. The chip has 8 CPU cores, with SMT enabling 16 logical processors. Each of these has 512 KB of L2 cache, and share 96 MB of L3 cache. The processor ships with lower clock speeds than the 5800X, with a base frequency of 3.40 GHz (compared to 3.80 GHz of the 5800X); and boost frequency of 4.50 GHz (vs. 4.70 GHz of the 5800X). The processor's TDP is the same as the 5800X, at 105 W. As we mentioned, this isn't a case of the designers running the chip at eleventy GHz and several hundred Watts of TDP.

The 5800X3D, as a Socket AM4 part, is drop-in compatible with AMD 500-series and 400-series chipset motherboards, with a BIOS update. Since its TDP is unchanged at 105 W, it doesn't come with any special VRM requirements (at least nothing different from what the 5800X needs).

Intel has already reacted to this development, by announcing the Core i9-12900KS, a variant of the i9-12900K with a massive 5.50 GHz boost frequency for the P-cores, which it hopes will ward off the 5800X3D. Intel is missing the point here. The 5800X is a $400-something part, priced rivaling the i7-12700K, and while the pricing of the 5800X3D is unknown, it's highly likely to end up with an enormous gaming price-performance advantage over Intel. The 5800X3D releases this Spring.
Add your own comment

46 Comments on ICYMI, AMD Claims to have Caught Up with Core i9-12900K Gaming Performance Even Before Zen 4

#1
silentbogo
Well, it looks like sAM4 will live at least another year, which makes it 2 years past EoL :D
Posted on Reply
#2
ir_cow
I'm ready! Lower clocks and higher perf?!? Count me in.
Posted on Reply
#3
Bomby569
what about 5600X3D? don't tell me you are going to do this AMD?
Posted on Reply
#4
MrDweezil
Seems telling that they're only doing this with a single model. Maybe its an acknowledgement that this isn't a cost-effective path forward and they're mainly doing it so there's higher "AMD" bar on the benchmark charts between now and Zen 4.
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
Proof of concept and them throwing down the gauntlet to Intel. TDP is the only metric they stopped for, and it’s more of a line in the sand that some crazy people will push hard on with LN or good cooling loops. They are counting on the community to push the tweaking of this CPU to extreme levels to show they aren’t just back in the game, they are turning the asylum over to the inmates.

If I didn’t have teens, a house and family I would throw a few grand at it to see what -28F nights would allow it to do, or some good old fashioned dry ice and alcohol.
Posted on Reply
#6
Jism
Cache requires to be "powered on" all the time, hence why the lower clocks, to compensate for the extra power consumption.

But since the 5800X was already a OK overclocker, imagine that thing running at 5GHz.
Posted on Reply
#7
londiste
The 5800X is a $400-something part, priced rivaling the i7-12700K, and while the pricing of the 5800X3D is unknown, it's highly likely to end up with an enormous gaming price-performance advantage over Intel.
AMD is comparing 5800X3D on slides to 12900K - a $599 CPU - and 5900X - a $549 CPU.
Posted on Reply
#8
mama
MrDweezilSeems telling that they're only doing this with a single model. Maybe its an acknowledgement that this isn't a cost-effective path forward and they're mainly doing it so there's higher "AMD" bar on the benchmark charts between now and Zen 4.
Yes, that is what they say they are doing. It is a chip for games and gamers only. Hence the need for only one chip.
Posted on Reply
#9
weekendgeek
...to the sheer engineering depth the company enjoys these days
Engineering maybe, production not so much.
...this isn't a case of the designers running the chip at eleventy GHz and several hundred Watts of TDP
High quality journalism.
while the pricing of the 5800X3D is unknown, it's highly likely to end up with an enormous gaming price-performance advantage over Intel.
AMD will price this no less than $499.

There's never a price-performance advantage at the top end. The winner in that section will be the 12400F on B660.
Posted on Reply
#10
docnorth
Lower clocks were expected, in order to keep consumption and thermals under control.
MrDweezilSeems telling that they're only doing this with a single model. Maybe its an acknowledgement that this isn't a cost-effective path forward and they're mainly doing it so there's higher "AMD" bar on the benchmark charts between now and Zen 4.
Yeah let’s hope it doesn’t end up as a halo product with minimal profit margins, like some 6900xtx GPU.
Posted on Reply
#11
Airisom
Didn't they first announce Zen3D with a 5900X with 3DVC? The 5800X3D probably performs better in gaming than the 12/16 core counterparts due to less TDP constraints and increased latency with the second CCX. PBO should open these up some more if my hunch is correct that power limits are holding this processor back.

But I see Zen 3D as a home run for AMD, even with Zen 4 coming out in Q3-4 this year. DDR4 is in its prime, boards and agesa updates are mature, lots of 3rd party support and guides are available, and it seems to trade blows with the 12900K in single thread which is more than I was expecting. Zen 4+ would be the upgrade from this product imo. By 2023/4, DDR5 should be more stable, faster and cheaper, PCIe 5.0 ssds will be more available and pretty much all the stuff that applies to Zen 3 right now.

Hopefully these processors can attain a higher fclk. Being able to run 4000cl14 without winning the lottery would be nice.
Posted on Reply
#12
Tigger
I'm the only one
"claims" means nothing until someone legit gets their hands on one to test. I claim i can jump 12 feet straight up.
Posted on Reply
#13
mechtech
lol CS:GO, because 525fps over 500 fps makes a difference.

I wonder why they didn't do Borderlands 3, from TPUs own testing that games seems to love cash, errr cache.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Freshwater Moderator
This is what i was looking forward to - higher performance with lower wattages, not blowing the TDP out (like the 5800x does at stock anyway)
Another leak showed all-core boost of 5GHz, but that may have been incorrect


Decent chance i'll get one of these, leaving my 5800x for my server or VR system...
Posted on Reply
#15
Fluffmeister
Up to TIE! Lol. Not the silver bullet many were hoping for it seems.
Posted on Reply
#16
TheoneandonlyMrK
Tigger"claims" means nothing until someone legit gets their hands on one to test. I claim i can jump 12 feet straight up.
Ida thought that your super power:p

But I agree, until a few third party legitimate people test the two new top dogs who knows who's nipped it, damn interesting time's though.

I'm torn 3Dcache good, 32 core's better in crunching aghh,. And skint ,da f#@£.
Posted on Reply
#17
Manoa
whare 16 cores model ?
Posted on Reply
#18
Ja.KooLit
ill wait for tpu benchmark once it is out. If multi core performance is higher than my 3900xt then maybe ill change. else. ill just grab 5950x instead once new cpu is out if I decide to upgrade
Posted on Reply
#19
TechLurker
FluffmeisterUp to TIE! Lol. Not the silver bullet many were hoping for it seems.
It's pretty honest while also being a painful jab at Intel, showing that even if it's an updated older process, it competes with one of Intel's newest, on older hardware.

That said, I want to see a high performance 5950X3D made, if only for massive gains on their best binned parts (that aren't going into EPYC).
Posted on Reply
#20
watzupken
The elephant in the room is price. In my opinion, the performance of Zen 3 is generally lower than an equivalent Intel ADL processor, but if the price is right, it is still an attractive product. In this case, the increase in cache size will benefit applications and games that are very sensitive to latency. But if the prices are higher, it will not be able to fend off the heat from ADL. And this being a stop gap solution will be replaced in the later part of the year, so it is probably similar story to Intel's Rocket Lake.
Posted on Reply
#21
Mussels
Freshwater Moderator
FluffmeisterUp to TIE! Lol. Not the silver bullet many were hoping for it seems.
It's a tie or better at half the wattage with less cores, cheaper motherboards, and less cooling requirements.


One good last hurrah for AM4 (58003DX and then a 59003DX later) to keep those AM4 mobo sales pumping while AM5 production ramps up...


Hell, i imagine a 56003DX with the full cache would do amazing things for gaming, with better power efficiency.


Edit: 3DX, X3D, 3DFX... i'll get it right one day.
Posted on Reply
#22
Naito
watzupkenBut if the prices are higher, it will not be able to fend off the heat from ADL.
This is more targeted at people with existing AM4 setups, I believe. Even if the price is a bit on the premium side, it is much cheaper than switching platform. I've got a Zen 2 and I am holding out for this chip to get a good performance boost without dropping more cash on a new system. Besides, my core system is still very capable and it gives time for DDR5 and PCIe5 products to mature.
Posted on Reply
#23
R0H1T
watzupkenAnd this being a stop gap solution will be replaced in the later part of the year, so it is probably similar story to Intel's Rocket Lake.
It's just a last hurray for this still on AM4 & holding out on hopes of 3d performance, basically most people on zen2 or lower, like me.

I'll also take price in to the account when going for this & it needs to be close to zen2 in terms of perf/$ for it to make sense for me, otherwise I'll just get vanilla zen3 instead.
Posted on Reply
#24
Melvis
Just amazing to see this sort of performance while still been on the same old socket, just fantastic!
Posted on Reply
#25
londiste
MusselsIt's a tie or better at half the wattage with less cores, cheaper motherboards, and less cooling requirements.
AMD was saying this is pretty exclusively for gaming. Less cores probably means nothing for gaming at 8c/16t. As you said, 5600X3D would probably be awesome. For productivity there will be some benchmarks that do benefit from cache but couple of hundred Mhz short in frequency compared to 5800X and less cores compared to 5900X and 12900K will still be significant there.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment