At just $345, the best gaming CPU is as cheap as it's ever been

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D retail box against a teal background with a white border
(Image credit: AMD)
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | 8 cores | 16 threads | 5.0 GHz boost | 96MB L3 cache | 120W TDP | $449 $344.99 at Amazon (save $104.01)

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | 8 cores | 16 threads | 5.0 GHz boost | 96MB L3 cache | 120W TDP | $449 $344.99 at Amazon (save $104.01)
Thanks to its mountain of low-latency L3 cache, the 7800X3D is the perfect CPU for gaming. That it's so cheap right now is just an extra cherry on top of the cake.

Price check: Best Buy $369 | Newegg $368.99

Do I really need to sing the praises of AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D? I mean, it's not just us who think it's the best gaming CPU you can buy, as it regularly tops the charts in other reviews and 'Best of' lists.

You might, though, be wondering just what makes it so special. After all, it's just a regular Ryzen 7 7700X processor with an extra slice of L3 cache bonded to the core chiplet. Well, first of all, the 7700X is a fine CPU in its own right, but the additional 64MB of 3D V-cache elevates it into a gaming god.

Underneath that cache, you've got eight cores, 16 threads, running with a base clock of 4.2 GHz and a boost of 5.0 GHz. That's a little bit slower than the regular 7700X but the addition of the V-cache increases the chiplet's thermal resistance a bit, so AMD lowered the base and boost clocks to counter this.

It also increases the chip's energy consumption, which is why it has a 120 W thermal design power (TPD), compared to 105 W for the Ryzen 7 7700X. Admittedly, 15 W isn't very much but that's still a bit more heat going into your gaming den, every second.

But none of that matters when you give the Ryzen 7 7800X3D the right game to show what it's really capable of.

In games that are very memory sensitive, the 7800X3D's extra cache can really help and in anything with lots of simulation/path-finding routines, such as Factorio, the 3D V-cache acts like a veritable turbo button on performance.

And at just $345 at Amazon, it's an absolute steal. If you've got an AM5-based gaming PC and you've been wondering whether it's worth getting a 3D V-cache chip, then now is as good a time as any to take the plunge. Unlike Intel's chips, where the peak power consumption is way higher than the standard TDP, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D will barely run much above 120 W, making it far easier to keep cool.

In fact, there's only one thing that spoils the V-cache party. Well, two, if you count the fact that Intel's Core i7 14700K is a better chip for serious productivity tasks (thanks to having more threads and a higher boost clock).

We're not far off seeing AMD launch its Zen 5 architecture and even if that's only a little bit faster than Zen 4, it's still quicker. However, AMD traditionally takes a good while to launch 3D V-cache versions of its best chips, so I don't think we'll see a Ryzen 7 9800X3D for a good while.

So get a 7800X3D, and enjoy fabulous gaming chops for years.

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?