AMD needs to release a Ryzen 5 5600X3D

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D render
(Image credit: AMD)

Is AMD preparing more X3D processors? The answer is very likely yes, according to prolific leaker Greymon55 (via Techpowerup). The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is, so far, the only V-Cache equipped CPU. It's proven to be an excellent gaming CPU, even beating out Intel’s mighty 12900KS 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 all.

The best option would be a 5600X3D. A 6-core/12-thread CPU is perfectly viable in current titles, and the addition of 64MB of L3 cache on top of the 32MB of the base 5600X would deliver 96MB of L3 cache. The same as that of the 5800X3D.

But the 5800X3D was flawed due to the fact that its clocks were lower than those of the 5800X. Its lower clocks impacted its performance in non-gaming applications, meaning it was a poor choice as a general-purpose CPU compared to the 5800X. There are two primary reasons why AMD chose to lower the 5800X3D's clocks. The first is that the technology is new. A combination of higher power, heat and current can potentially damage the delicate through-silicon vias used to connect the chiplet and cache, and AMD was simply being conservative. That was a strong reason for disabling overclocking too. The second reason is the probability that a 5800X3D—if it were clocked the same as a 5800X—would run into the default 142W package power limitation of the platform. 

The 5600X skips the second reason. It’s a 65W CPU with a package power limit of 88W. That means AMD shouldn’t have any problem clocking a 5600X3D as high as a 5600X. It could set the TDP at 95W and still have total package power come in well under the maximum 142W. That means you’ll get all of the general-purpose performance of a 5600X, while maximizing its cache-packed gaming performance.  A 5600X3D at 5600X clocks would boost up 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 until Zen 4 and 13th Gen CPUs are launched.

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Why would AMD do this? Rumors point towards Zen 4 supporting DDR5 only. Depending on how fast Zen 4 is, a 5600X3D would give AM4 gamers an attractive upgrade path. It means there’d be no need to buy a new motherboard and DDR5 memory. 

Imagine if you’re using something like a B450 motherboard with a Zen 2 (or even Zen 1) CPU. Updating your BIOS, dropping in a 5600X3D and a next gen GPU would deliver a heck of a performance jump, while remaining cost effective.

All of this depends on how Zen 4 performs. You can be sure that AMD wouldn’t even entertain the release of a 5600X3D if Zen 4 couldn’t outperform all Zen 3 models by a healthy margin. On the flip side, Intel's 12th Gen CPUs are already competitive, and 13th Gen and Zen 4 CPUs should be free to have their own blockbuster fight.

I’ve focused on a hypothetical 5600X3D. There’s no reason that AMD couldn’t deliver a 5900X3D or 5950X3D. Or is there? I come back to the total package power consumption limit, which is 142W. That’s not the TDP of the CPUs, which top out at 105W, but the total short duration package power that a Ryzen 5000 CPU can pull. These limits are in place for motherboard manufacturers and system integrators so that VRM systems and cooling apparatus are built to support everything up to a 5950X. It is possible to go higher than 142W with overclocking, but I’d assume AMD won’t entertain moving beyond 142W under stock operation.

CPU package with an overview of AMD's 3D-V-cache technology

(Image credit: AMD)

I come back to my point that a 5600X3D would be a gem of a CPU. It would appeal to budget oriented 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 as logical multitasking and productivity options. Importantly for AMD, It would deliver another another round of ‘fastest gaming CPU’ PR if it were to launch ahead of Zen 4.

But will AMD do it? If Zen 4 is a good deal faster at gaming than a 5600X3D then there’s no particular reason why it wouldn’t. What about a 5950X3D with 256MB of L3 cache? It sounds great, but AMD would surely have to downclock a 5950X3D too much, negating the advantage of having all of those high performing cores in the first place. And the 5950X has never really been promoted as a gaming CPU anyway.

Come on AMD, give us a 5600X3D. It’ll be fast, power efficient and offer a very compelling upgrade for AM4 gamers. The years' old platform could have a few tricks up its sleeve yet. How about Zen 4 AM4 CPUs?

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.