AMD adds the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 5 3500X to its growing Zen 2 garden

(Image credit: AMD)

As expected, AMD followed up the recent launch of its Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 CPU for businesses with a non-Pro variant for consumers, the Ryzen 9 3900. It also further fleshed out its latest generation of Zen processors with new Ryzen 5 3500X processor.

We have been anticipating the 3900 part since Biostar tipped its pending launch on its CPU support list a couple of weeks ago. It's essentially a lower power version of the 3900X, one of the best CPUs for gaming, with slower clocks. It has 12 cores and 24 threads, a 3.1GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost clock, and 64MB of L3 cache. It also has a 65W TDP.

Here's how the specs compare between the two:

  • Ryzen 9 3900X—12 cores / 24 threads, 3.8GHz to 4.6GHz, 64MB L3 cache, 105W TDP
  • Ryzen 9 3900—12 cores / 24 threads, 3.1GHz to 4.3GHz, 64MB L3 cache, 65W TDP

What intrigued us about the 3900 was the prospect of buying a cheaper version of the 3900X and then overclocking to make up the difference, assuming a willingness to blow past the stock power envelope.

Unfortunately, AMD is not releasing the 3900 as a standalone processor—it's only being made available to OEM and system integrator (SI) customers. That means it's bound for prebuilt configurations, and not DIY builds (unless a retailer gets its hands on some units to sell individually, which will probably happen though you would need to supply your own cooler).

AMD also unveiled a Ryzen 5 3500X. This one is also shipping to OEM and SI customers, and is only slated for release in China (the 3900 is available globally). This one is a 6-core/6-thread chip with a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.1GHz boost clock, 32MB of cache, and 65W TDP. Compared to the 3600X, the specs are the same, except the 3900 has a 100MHz higher boost frequency and also has SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading).

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).