AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | 8 cores, 16 threads | 5.0GHz max boost | 96MB L3 cache | 120W TDP |
$449.99 $349.99 at Newegg (save $100 with promo code FTTCX9248)
This CPU isn't just the best gaming processor you can get for your money, it's simply the best there is. It's just as fast as anything Intel has to offer and consumes far less power to boot. Of course, this isn't the best CPU at everything, as it's designed to be brilliant at gaming (check out our review here). For content creation and productivity tasks, you'll want a CPU with more cores and threads. Normally, the biggest downside to choosing the Ryzen 7 7800X3D was its price, but this deal counters that problem immediately.
When AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D dipped under $400 last week we were only too happy to recommend it as a good deal, and now it's seen another price cut thanks to Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days sales it's an even more tempting slice of silicon to build your gaming PC around. It's not actually Amazon with the best deal, though, as an extra $50 promo code means the 7800X3D is now just $350 at Newegg.
It's not the most powerful of AMD's latest Zen 4 processors to sport the gaming panacea of 3D V-cache, but it's the most relevant for PC gamers. Slapping a huge extra chunk of L3 cache directly on top of the 7800X3D's compute chiplet makes a big difference in terms of gaming frame rates, and because it's only sporting a single compute die Windows doesn't have any tricky choices to make as to what silicon to play games on.
That's where the Ryzen 9 7950X3D can struggle because it has one high clock speed chiplet and one 3D V-cache chiplet, and Windows has to figure out whether each application it's tasked with will prefer speed or cache. And it can sometimes get it wrong.
For the 7800X3D, however, there is no choice, just one chiplet that will nail high gaming performance without breaking a sweat. And that makes it the best gaming CPU for pure gaming prowess right now.
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The relatively small number of cores and threads, and low clock speed owing to that L3 cache hat atop the compute die, means there are better choices if you're going to be doing productivity work alongside your hobby, or just need something that provides a good balance between gaming and content creation.
For those scenarios, AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Intel's Core i9-13900K are more suitable, but you'll need to hand over a lot more cash for these, and they both use more power (and therefore generate more heat) than the 7800X3D.
If you already have a PC using the AM5 platform, it's arguably not worth upgrading the CPU to this one, unless you're using something like a lowly Ryzen 5 7600. However, if you're looking to move up from an older setup that uses DDR4 system RAM, and you want to do nothing but build yourself a gaming PC to last for years, then the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the only choice worth considering.