AMD extends 3.5-year-old Ryzen 5000 CPU family with two new-but-old Zen 3 chips

AMD Ryzen render with orange glow under the chip
(Image credit: AMD)

Along with all the more unambiguous newness announced by AMD at the Computex show including the all-new Ryzen 9000 desktop CPUs and Ryzen AI 300 laptops APUs, both of which sport AMD's latest Zen 5 architecture, AMD has something more familiar to offer. Two new variants of the Ryzen 5000 Series, originally launched in October 2020, have been announced.

The Ryzen 9 5900XT is a 16-core chip that sits in between the existing Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X models, while the Ryzen 7 5800XT closely mirrors the eight-core Ryzen 7 5800X. In theory, an eight-core CPU is the more interesting option for gamers, so let's start there.

The new 5800XT sports eight Zen 3-spec cores on a single CCD, which hooks into AMD's I/O and memory controller die. In nearly every way, the new 5800 XT is almost identical to the old 5800X. So, that's eight cores, 16 threads, 105 W TDP, 36MB of cache, the works.

The only difference is that the new 5800 XT gets a 4.8 GHz maximum boost clock, whereas the plain old 5800X made do with 4.7 GHz. Obviously things have moved on since the Ryzen 5000 Series and Zen 3 were announced back in 2020. But the 5800X remains a pretty effective gaming chip, so the 5800XT should be every bit as good.

If there is a snag, it's pricing. Officially, AMD originally pegged the new Ryzen 7 5800XT at $249, before claiming this was an error. So, as yet there is no official price, but while $249 wouldn't be a terrible price—especially when you consider that the 5800X launched at $449—though right now on Newegg, you can grab a 5800X for just $198.98. We'll see what the new chip actually sells for, but if it is $249, it's not exactly moving the needle.

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New AMD Ryzen 5000 Series
Header Cell - Column 0 AMD Ryzen 9 5900XTAMD Ryzen 7 5800XT
Cores / threads16 (Zen 3) / 32 threads8 (Zen 3) / 16 threads
Maximum boost clock4.8 GHz4.8 GHz
Total L2+L3 cache72MB36MB
TDP105 W105 W

While 16-core CPUs aren't necessarily natural gaming chips, the Ryzen 9 5900XT is actually the more interesting of the two new CPUs. That's because the old 5900X only offered 12 cores, you had to grab the megabucks Ryzen 9 5950X to get 16 cores.

Again, we don't have a final price for the new 5900XT, but the originally, erroneously listed price would give you 16 cores for a list price of just $359. Back in November 2020, the 5950XT would have cost you $799. Again, the snag is that you can get the 5950X today for $359 (using a promo code to release the final $10) from Newegg today.

The old 5950X also has the very, very slightly higher maximum boost clock at 4.9 GHz versus 4.8 GHz. The Newegg numbers are sale prices and they may well reflect insider information that the new AMD chips were coming, necessitating an adjustment to keep the older models relevant.

So, the two new CPUs are hopefully going to set lower MSRP pricing because at the originally listed prices they aren't immediate bargains in terms of real-world retail compared to what's already available. Give it a different launch price and a few months, however, and that 5900XT in particular could make for a spectacular 16-core drop-in upgrade for AM4 motherboard owners.


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Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.