As always with a new product launch there is a selection of slides that try and explain what is going on. With the Ryzen 7 5800X3D that is all about how the 3D V-Cache has been designed and implemented. We’re not going to try and pretend we understand the intricacies of chip design, but that’s not really our job. We’re all about the end results. Chances are, you’re not massively interested either. It’s a black art. What we do know is that the new 3D V-Cache is now on top of the CPU die itself, but that die has been thinned to ensure that the physical size is the same as before and thus all your AM4 mounting options will still work just fine.
What makes us prick up our ears is the fact the Ryzen 7 5800X3D continues AMDs trend of supplying drop-in solutions, so as long as you’ve got an AM4 motherboard and the manufacturer has provided a BIOS update, you’ll be able to run this if you choose. At $449 MSRP it certainly seems attractive enough, even though AMD have taken away our overclocking and tweaking tools.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
ASUS X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme
G.Skill Trident Z Royal 4000 MHz
Corsair MP500 M.2 – OS Drive
Aorus PCIE4 NVME – Storage Speed Tests
Nvidia RTX 2080Ti
Corsair ML Fans
As we mentioned before the immediate downside to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, even when compared to the vanilla 5800X, is that AMD have taken away any multiplier or voltage overclocking, there is no regular Precision Boost Overdrive either, just PBO2, and the Infinity Fabric is tied to the DDR4 speed, so bring your fastest kit. It’s not a processor aimed at anything but gaming, but we’ll stick rush through our main CPU tests first before finding out if the Ryzen 7 5800X3D does what is claimed.
Since its early days as Everest, AIDA64 has provided an excellent way to benchmark your system without requiring you to take a week off work whilst the tests run. From the memory bandwidth benchmarks which test your throughput, to the CPU benchmarks which vary in scope to test everything from raw calculation – CPU Queen – through compression algorithms – zLib – and the all important encryption – AES256.
Blender is a free rendering program that is supremely powerful. If you ever find yourself wondering why 3D elements take so long to create in films or games, a moment with Blender will show how much raw horsepower you need to perform even the simplest tasks. We have our own custom blend render available in both 1080P and 4K. The 4K one will bring even the hardiest setup to its knees.
Cinebench has been a staple of the OC3D benchmark suite since we began and it is very good at testing both the single threaded performance as well as the overall thread count of your setup, regardless of which version you choose to run. Watching it on high core count CPUs is spectacular.
The R20 version of Maxon’s rendering engine tests both single core performance as well as the multi-threaded option. We have graphs sorted by both the full multithreaded score as well as single threaded result.
Although we never saw R21 or R22 in benchmark form, Cinebench R23 is the newest edition available to us. It uses the same scene as the R20 benchmark – an office – but tests it slightly differently behind the scenes.
One only needs to glance at the amount of content available on the internet from simple cat videos through to incredibly complicated films and gaming footage to realise how important fast video encoding is and the x.265 benchmark does a good job of testing that. If you prefer your encoder to be of the H variety then the HEVC benchmark does a similar thing to the x.265 benchmark but instead of running with the x265 encoder it utilises the popular H.265 format which is rapidly becoming the standard for video encoding.
3DMARK CPU Benchmark
As part of a recent update 3DMARK can now test your CPU in a number of core configurations, much like Cinebench can check out multi and single core use, although 3DMARK tests a whole raft of core counts.
3DMARK: Time Spy Extreme
Time Spy is another part of the 3D Mark suite but here in its Extreme guise it’s as taxing as you could wish for. We’re also including the CPU Score here as it’s a better representation of the systems capabilities which is what our Z690 reviews are attempting to show.
Gaming – Average FPS
Our gaming benchmarks are the real world application of the results we’ve seen on the preceding page. Civilization VI is all about how long it takes to calculate a complex turn. Far Cry 5 is a good all-rounder and Far Cry 6 has more modern technology pushing the pixels. Shadow of the Tomb Raider stretches every facet of your setup. Total Warhammer II has a complex battle scene for stern tests of the CPU as well as the GPU.
This is, of course, the USP of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D design. Two of our tests are quite CPU dependant (Total War and Civilization), two of them are Ubisoft games (say no more) and the oldest one – Shadow of the Tomb Raider – is the one that actually gives us a glimpse of the potential of the new 3D V-Cache potential.
20/04/22 – Clearly a retest has seen a big improvement in the results here, and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D now really shows the gaming focus we were expecting to find.
Civilization VI – Turn Time
You want your turns to be as swift as possible in Civilization. After all, how else will you out-tech the competition before dawn? With the Ryzen 7 5800X3D stopping any overclocking fun and games, and the game itself not being too demanding, it’s no shock that the Ryzen doesn’t perform well here. Civ is a game happiest on a couple of blisteringly fast cores, rather than plenty of not-too-quick ones.
20/04/22 – With the processor now boosting properly the reduction in turn time is obvious. Hooray.
Far Cry 5 – Minimum FPS
A title which felt like the end of the Far Cry run of games considering that there is no good ending possible and America got nuked, but it wasn’t.
20/04/22 – With the system now running as it should it’s clear that the AMD efforts have born fruit.
Far Cry 6 – Minimum FPS
The newest addition to the Far Cry stable just keeps adding stuff for the sake of adding things and is, in our opinion, getting stale. It’s still an excellent test of your system with high quality graphics to tempt you. This is also one of the titles that AMD say should have the biggest showing on the new hardware, but .. nope. Not here, not today anyway.
20/04/22 – Thankfully today it did. Amazing what a little extra time without the pressure of deadlines can do. Or, in our case, what a system running properly without quietly declocking the CPU can do.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Minimum FPS
Still the most recent entry into the adventures of Lara Croft, SOTTR was one of the first titles to offer all the graphical trickery available on modern hardware. If this is a glimpse of what the new AMD idea will actually bring to the table, then count us in.
20/04/22 – This was the result that made us question if something had gone wrong during testing, and so it’s ironic that it’s the one test that actually suffers now the system is running properly. Let’s be clear, it’s still very good though.
Total Warhammer II – Minimum FPS
Total Warhammer II tests your CPU as hard as your GPU and is perfect for our needs here. Like Civilization this is a game that relies more on your processor speed than you might imagine from the graphics, and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D shows what it can bring to the table, particularly when compared to other Ryzen 5000 series processors.
20/04/22 – With the system now working smoothly the Ryzen 7 5800X3D now not only looks better than other 5000 series, but everything except the latest Intel flagship i9-12900KS. Impressive barely covers it.
Temperatures and Power Draw
If there is a benefit to AMD restriction the clock speeds and boost potential of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D so heavily, it’s that it’s super cool under harshest loadings and barely makes a dent in your energy usage.
20/04/22 – Like SOTTR this was a test that made us scratch our heads. We know how warm the regular 5800X is, so to see this one was so cool made us puzzled. Now it’s running at the speeds it should you can see the temperatures and power demands have increased, albeit still way below the needs of a the Intel rivals.
20/04/22 – As we said at the beginning we discovered that our test setup wasn’t running properly in certain circumstances. It was very annoying because so many of the results look exactly where they should have been that we took the numbers for granted. Discovering that the motherboard had arbitrarily decided to declock everything midway through the testing came as a surprise, so we have retested those results which we do from the half way point of our testing cycle. As you can see from our updated graphs the Cinebench results remain the same, but Blender has seen a massive decrease in the render time. Most importantly the gaming benefits of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D design improvements now can be seen in all of our gaming benchmarks, with both minimum and average frame rates heading northwards.
We are leaving our original conclusion as it was written for transparencies sake, but any confused disappointment at how the processor performed in particular tests can be ignored as a flaw in our motherboards BIOS, rather than indicative of the Ryzen 5800X3D itself, which is everything AMD said it would be and gets, if you’re not planning to overclock and just want high gaming results, our firm, non-caveat, recommendation. We can’t wait to see where AMD takes this idea with their forthcoming 6000 series.
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is something of a curiosity. If we had to describe it in a pithy manner we’d probably call it a proof of concept more than anything. The thing that needs to remain uppermost in your mind at all times is that this is a change in CPU design, and that change in design has placed onerous limitations on what we normally want from our processor, so if you plan on doing anything but gaming then this isn’t the solution for you. Unless of course you own an early generation, or lower in the scale, Ryzen processor and want to take full advantage of the last of the DDR4 options before AMD moves to DDR5 with Zen 4.
We’ll get the bad out of the way first. By thinning the die and attaching the new 3D V-Cache directly to the processor, AMD have also had to remove the ability to overclock either by voltage or multiplier tweaks. There is no Precision Boost Overdrive to play with. You can’t adjust your memory speeds as the Infinity Fabric runs at the speed of the DDR4 you’re using. Additionally to keep things under control the processor itself is also slightly slower than the regular Ryzen 7 5800X. That isn’t to say that it isn’t perfectly fine. It’s an 8 Core 16 Thread, 4.3 GHz CPU after all. Even keeping things locked down doesn’t stop it being able to munch through benchmarks at a reasonable rate, particularly if you’re taking the step up from a 1st Gen Ryzen CPU and dropping the 5800X3D in to a X370 motherboard or similar.
The good comes with a caveat too. The whole point of this new design is to speed up the response time, and thus FPS, of your games. It is expressly made to be best for random read requests which are the exact sort of things that games demand. Players, after all, aren’t reliable things and so pre-caching doesn’t really work in games. You’ve no idea where the player will go next, or what they’ll shoot, or anything of that nature. In those situations the fewer nanoseconds you can take supplying the required data then the faster things will flow, and that is a place that the Ryzen 7 5800X3D has been designed to be at its most comfortable. Looking at the results, we’re not sure it’s an unqualified success. It’s certainly got whiffs of success, just not snootfuls. A quick glance at the results in Shadow of the Tomb Raider show the Ryzen 7 5800X3D makes a mockery of its medium ‘on paper’ specs to top the graph. Total Warhammer II shows it’s the fastest of the 5000 series Ryzen CPUs, which is no small feat. Both of the Far Cry games are ones that should also show similar gains but, in our testing at least, it wasn’t headline worthy.
All of which means that we’re not entirely sure what to make of the latest, and likely last, addition to the famous 5000 series of Ryzen CPUs. The lack of overclocking and tweakability mean it’s not as useful to all-rounders as the regular 5800X, and whilst the gaming performance is better than other Ryzen processors if you’re solely in the world of gaming then Intel still have the upper hand. Where this probably fits best is for people who brought in to the AM4 ecosystem early and want a processor that will be a last hurrah for the DDR4 based AMD platform, in which case we think you’ll love what the Ryzen 7 5800X3D brings to the party. For everyone else, especially with the Zen 4 architecture growing closer every day, it’s probably worth waiting to see what the 6000 series offers before committing.
Like many products that revolutionise how things are designed it has glimpses of huge potential. Certainly if AMD can utilise the low latency that this design solution brings, without having to take away our boost clock and memory overclocking tools, then this could be a watershed moment in future CPU design, and for that it wins our Innovation Award.