AMD Reckons They Have The World’s Fastest Gaming CPU Now

AMD Reckons They Have The World’s Fastest Gaming CPU Now
Image: AMD

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.

AMD Reckons They Have The World’s Fastest Gaming CPU Now
Image: AMD


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:

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.


  • The price jump on 8 cores is a bit hard to swallow, paying roughly $250 more for 2 more cores, then only $150 more for another 4. Its all a bit out of whack.

    But this is the opposite side of when a company innovates ahead of the competition – they get to start controlling pricing.

    Not that it matters much for me, I’m surprised at how cheap the 3950X is, but thats somewhat on account of our dollar being a bit stronger against USD atm.

    • There’s the 3700X/3800X in between, though, so you could get the extra cores sans architectural improvements for a decent price in between that (about $100 or $150, from memory).

      • I meant to say 5950X above (not 3950X…), and yeah, I assume there is a 5700X lurking somewhere to help remove that current jump.

  • I’m currently building (slowly) a PC and had settled on getting a 3700x. Don’t know whether to get one cheap after the new processors drop or fork out extra for a 5800x.

    • Wait until we see the Aussie RRP on the 5800x.

      But with the architectural changes, I’d lean towards the 5800X unless the saving is going to make a massive difference on the GPU side.

      • Will do.

        USD449 for the 5800x is currently AUD625, which is $26 more than a 3800x and $106 more than a 3700x (prices via PCCG). However, both “older” CPUs come bundled with a wraith prism cooler while the newer one doesn’t, so that’s something else to consider.

        *sigh* As you said, the only thing to do is wait and see.

    • I think it will depend on whether you were going to use the stock cooler on the 3700x. The 5800x doesn’t come bundled with a cooler so not only will you be paying more for the CPU but you’ll also have to buy a cooler. The 5600x is the only one that comes bundled with a cooler.

      • Interesting, didn’t know that.

        Looking at AMD’s website I see the 5600x is bundled with a wraith stealth whereas the 3600x was bundled with a wraith spire. Puzzling.

        Ahh. Forget that, I looked again and saw that the 5600x’s TDP is lower at 65W vs 95W. Makes sense now why AMD opted for the wraith stealth.

        The 5800x and 3800x both have the same TDP so I don’t know why AMD didn’t throw in a wraith prism. Cost, perhaps. It’s no slouch of a cooler.

  • Interesting, but I will never buy an AMD again. The first PC I builr was an AMD and it was only because of the lack of money at the time. But I had nothing but problems with that unit. Every Intel/nVidia based unit I’ve built since has been great.

    • Thats up to you, but having run everything from a 1950X\2700X\3950X and a datacenter full of Gen1 & Gen2 Epyc parts, outside of first gen Ryzen, I haven’t noticed any higher prevalence of issues with AMD than with Intel solutions over the time period.

    • I could somewhat understand if you were talking GPU only, as a very large part of that is drivers and both companies have had many issues on that front (AMD just with a bit more historically).
      But CPUs, for the most part what you see in benchmarks is what you get, not too much worry on actual issues other than if performance is good enough for your needs/wants.

      Plus anyway, I can say the opposite from my experience, the few AMD GPUs i’ve used had less issues than i have had with Nvidia and the couple early AMD Ryzen based PCs i built for friends have had less issues than the 1 I built on intel for my friend (now, none of those issues ‘really’ come from the CPU, but its likely neither did any of yours for your story).

    • I know nothing about PCs. But since you said you went AMD because of money, I’m also going to assume you got lower tier stuff and that could’ve been the problem. This isn’t that

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