The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is so good at gaming, AMD might give more juice to the Ryzen 7 9700X in order to beat it

Promotional image of an AMD Ryzen 9000 series processor
(Image credit: AMD)

When AMD announced the Ryzen 9000-series CPUs at Computex, one particular little nugget caught my attention. The 8-core Ryzen 7 9700X was given a very respectable 65W TDP. That's well below the 105W and 120W TDPs of the Ryzen 7 7700X and Ryzen 7 7800X3D respectively. 

A new rumor suggests AMD might have jumped the gun on that, at least when it comes to gaming performance. AMD's Senior Technical Marketing Manager of Consumer Processors Donny Woligroski confirmed the 9700X won't have the grunt to beat out the 7800X3D in gaming, even if it's stronger in non-gaming workloads.

According to information given to Wccftech, AMD is considering a very late 9700X spec change by giving it a 120W TDP instead of the previously announced 65W. That's not exactly a welcome change, but if the gaming performance differences between it and the 7800X3D are close, then a power boost will allow the 9700X to reach higher base and boost clocks, which should give it enough performance to push it over the line.

Unless this change has been in the works for a while, my guess is it is too late to make a change this dramatic. Even if the higher core count 9000-series CPUs have higher TDPs, this kind of change takes time to test and validate, and if chips are already shipping as expected, then I'd lean more towards AMD board partners introducing something like a 120W gaming mode, with it being enabled via the BIOS or AMD's Ryzen Master app. 

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We won't have long to wait, as AMD confirmed the CPUs will be launching in July, likely towards the end of it.

Why would AMD go down this path so close to the launch? It's all marketing. AMD will want to claim that 9000-series chips are the best gaming CPUs. It won't want to step up to the podium and imply gamers should stick with a last-generation processor. 

The 7800X3D has also been on the receiving end of some substantial discounts in recent times. A cheaper and faster 7800X3D is not the best advertisement for the 9000-series chips, even if gaming is only one of many measures of performance.

Of course, we know that AMD will eventually release 9000-series X3D chips, and if the 5800X3D and 7800X3D are anything to go by, we know they'll be very strong gaming options thanks to their voluminous cache. AMD will be keeping them up its sleeve for when Intel launches its competing Arrow Lake desktop CPU family in the coming months.

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.