AMD Ryzen 5000 is here, powered by the new "Zen 3" architecture! We bring you this review of the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X processor. But wait, where's Ryzen 4000, you ask? AMD cluttered its 4000-series processor model numbers with APU parts based on the "Renoir" silicon powered by "Zen 2" and felt "Zen 3" deserved a new number series. The new "Zen 3" architecture promises an impressive 19 percent IPC uplift over "Zen 2," which had similar double-digit gains over its predecessor.
For AMD to repeat such huge generational IPC improvements with each successive generation is stunning, given its main rival Intel has been using the same "Skylake" architecture for many years, paired only with higher core/thread counts and better boost algorithms. Still, Intel has managed to hold on to one thing that eluded AMD even after its return to competitiveness—gaming performance leadership. AMD claims that the new Ryzen 9 5900X beats the Core i9-10900K at gaming owing to its single-threaded performance gains and should naturally beat it at productivity by virtue of its higher core count.
The Ryzen 9 5900X is a 12-core/24-thread processor AMD is pricing at $549, about the same as the current Core i9-10900K street price (it originally launched at around $500). Ryzen 9 5900X's CPU cores are built on the same 7 nm silicon fabrication process as the Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" processor, but with several refinements to the microarchitecture. The biggest change with "Zen 3" has to be the company doing away with the 4-core CCX and unifying all cores of the CPU chiplet into a single 8-core CCX. Even within the CPU core, AMD has worked to reduce latencies, improved branch-prediction, optimized the execution engine, fattened the front-end and load/store units, and deployed faster caches, which has a direct impact on IPC, or single-thread performance. IPC is the single biggest contributor to gaming performance, and the 19% claimed IPC gain over "Zen 2" should mean AMD has taken the gaming crown since the "Zen 2" architecture wasn't too far behind "Comet Lake" at gaming to begin with.
Unlike the competition, AMD isn't launching a new chipset with Zen 3. Existing motherboards based on AMD 500-series or 400-series chipsets will work with the new Ryzen 5000 Series processors after a BIOS update. AMD also ensured that the increased IPC on the same 7 nm process doesn't translate into a higher power draw, with the Ryzen 9 5900X shipping with the same 105 W TDP as its predecessor, the 3900X. In this review, we put AMD's biggest claim for "Zen 3"—gaming performance leadership—to the test, along with our vast suite of CPU benchmarks to investigate whether AMD has wholly and comprehensively defeated Intel.
|Price||Cores / |
|Ryzen 7 1800X||$250||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-8700K||$380||6 / 12||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-9700K||$380||8 / 8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-10700K||$380||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$325||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||$340||8 / 16||3.9 GHz||4.5 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 3800XT||$380||8 / 16||3.9 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||$450||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-10900||$500||10 / 20||2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||20 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$460||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 3900XT||$470||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.7 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 5900X||$550||12 / 24||3.7 GHz||4.8 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-9900K||$390||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-9900KS||$800||8 / 16||4.0 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||127 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-10900K||$550||10 / 20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||20 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||$720||16 / 32||3.5 GHz||4.7 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||$800||16 / 32||3.4 GHz||4.9 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|