Early Friday morning Australian time, AMD unveiled their first of their two-shot salvo for the holiday season. The first was the long-awaited (and leaked) Ryzen 5000 CPU desktop processors, which included this interesting nugget: the fact that AMD thinks they have the world’s fastest gaming CPU now.
The big headline was the comparison against the Ryzen 9 3900XT to the Ryzen 9 5900X. AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su claimed the new 5900X — which still uses the same 105W of power and has the same 12 cores/24 thread count — has a 19 percent improvement in instructions per cycle/clock (IPC).
In layman’s terms, that means the 5900X should be 19 percent faster than the 3900XT at the same speeds — but the 5900X can hit higher boost frequencies now as well. It’s topping out at 4.8GHz this time, compared to the Ryzen 3900XT’s maximum boost of 4.7GHz.
A large amount of the improvements, then, are coming from architectural and structural changes. The Zen 3 layout has changed to put the L3 cache on a single chiplet, reducing the amount of lag from previous generations. There’s also more gains from cache prefetching, a faster execution engine, branch predictors, and more.
In practical terms, it means AMD CPUs should be able to deliver more performance in games. A canned slide from the AMD presentation showed upticks of 5 percent to 50 percent improvement at 1080p in various games (on the ‘High’ preset), with the most graphically intensive games getting single digit gains.
It’s worth noting, however, that games like F1 2019 — which have historically been good for testing CPUs due to their capacity for scaling — are supposedly 24 percent faster on the 5900X compared to the 3900XT, which is certainly worth bragging about.
In a single-core Cinebench R20 run, AMD showed the 5900X smashing the Core i9-10900K by almost 100 points (631 to the 10900K’s 544). That’s enormous, and an enormous problem for Intel if it proves to be true in the wild, because Intel’s response won’t arrive until 2021.
In gaming, the 5900X was supposedly marginally faster than Intel’s 10900K at the same 1080p, High preset tests, save for Battlefield 5 where Intel still maintains a lead, and Total War: Three Kingdoms where the difference is basically nil:
The League of Legends and CS:GO performance is super interesting, too, since that gives AMD a very valuable argument when targeting the esports segment — traditionally Intel’s home battleground.
AMD, however, acknowledged that people are going to wait for third-party benchmarks to validate all of this. And that makes sense — it hasn’t been since the Athlon days that AMD has talked about having the world’s best gaming CPUs. Even in the most recent Ryzen launches AMD hasn’t made claims that strong, indicating just how much confidence they have this time around.
The chips are set to launch internationally on November 5:
|MODEL||CORES/ THREADS||TDP (Watts)||BOOST9/ BASE FREQ. (GHz)||TOTAL CACHE||COOLER||SEP (USD)||EXPECTED AVAILABILITY|
|AMD Ryzen™ 9 5950X||16C/32T||105W||Up to 4.9 / 3.4||72MB||N/A||$799||Nov 5, 2020|
|AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X||12C/24T||105W||Up to 4.8 / 3.7||70MB||N/A||$549||Nov 5, 2020|
|AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800X||8C/16T||105W||Up to 4.7 / 3.8||36MB||N/A||$449||Nov 5, 2020|
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5600X||6C/12T||65W||Up to 4.6 / 3.7||35MB||Wraith Stealth||$299||Nov 5, 2020|
The pricing is a little bit higher internationally, so that should flow through to the Australian market as well. Australian pricing isn’t available yet, but I’ll keep you all posted when I know more.
Also, as one added treat: here’s the first look at AMD’s Radeon 6000 series GPUs, or “Big Navi”, which Dr Lisa Su said became the company’s official nickname after … the internet just kept calling it Big Navi.
Notably, it wasn’t pitched as the world’s fastest gaming GPU — just the fastest AMD has ever made. They they showed a few slides pairing the RX 6000 series (presumably with the Ryzen 5900X) running at 4K in various games:
Now, obviously, all of this needs to be taken with an enormous grain of salt until independent reviewers can verify all of these claims. It’s good to see AMD at least sharing a marketing slide that doesn’t always show the 5900X in the best possible light.
Also, it’s worth noting that AMD’s figures were all done using tests running with an RTX 2080 Ti — not an RTX 3000 series, or their own Radeon 5000 series — in both their Intel and AMD systems.
You can watch the entire announcement for yourself below. Reviews and third-party benchmarks should start coming out around November 5, as is customary for how AMD’s handled previous announcements. Given how good the 3700X and 3900X chips have been, I’m excited to see what the 5800X and 5900X especially is capable of.