Cache-Rich: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Workstation Performance Review

AMD Zen 3D V-Cache CPU (Thumb)
by Rob Williams on May 20, 2022 in Processors

First seen in its server-bound Milan-X EPYC, AMD’s brought its 3D V-Cache technology to consumers with the new Ryzen 7 5800XD. With triple the L3 cache vs. the original 5800X, the right workloads could exhibit a notable performance-boost. For our first look at the 5800X3D, we’re tackling our usual assortment of workstation performance scenarios.

Page 1 – AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Workstation Performance Review

Ahead of AMD’s Zen launch in early 2017, enthusiasts were clamoring for exciting progress in the desktop CPU market. While we saw GPUs gain tremendously from one generation to the next, every CPU release seemed truly modest in comparison, with 5~10% per-core performance boosts, and most features catering more to the server market than the desktop one.

With that original Zen launch, AMD gave people a reason to pay close attention to desktop processors again, and while it took a couple of years to deliver a proper strike back, Intel’s definitely a force to be reckoned with nowadays, with its 12th-gen Core series delivering extremely competitive performance.

AMD and Intel have clearly been enjoying the challenges of figuring out where to take our CPUs next. Intel’s Alder Lake architecture introduced efficient cores to sit alongside performance ones, and ultimately, it’s a design that’s paid-off well for the company. On the AMD side, with its Zen 4 architecture still a little ways off, the company couldn’t bear to wait longer before unveiling its latest technology: 3D V-Cache.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Desktop Processor

Put simply, 3D V-Cache is vertically-stacked cache that allows AMD to improve densities without expanding the CPU’s resulting die size. Stacking used in chip design isn’t a new concept, but AMD claims to deliver the best take on it yet, with many more interconnects sitting between each stacked chip, ensuring ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency.

When we first learned of 3D V-Cache, it wasn’t immediately clear just how quickly it’d find itself in a desktop processor. The feature first debuted in the server-bound EPYC “Milan-X” series, and in appropriate workloads, the speed boosts can be truly notable. What about on desktop? Anticipating gains will prove to be a bit trickier.

For reasons that are obvious to us now, AMD’s primary marketing for the Ryzen 7 5800X is gaming, as the additional cache delivers improvements across many games and game engines. While most of the obvious benefit will be seen at lower resolutions, even higher resolutions can show a bit of a performance bump.

Because our primary focus at Techgage is on workstation performance, we felt compelled to begin our 5800X3D testing there. Unfortunately, as the performance results ahead will attest, we probably should have started with a gaming or Linux angle, because you need specific creator workloads to tap into the additional cache – something future software updates will hopefully make more common.

Nonetheless, we can follow-up with additional testing later. For now, let’s review AMD’s current-gen Ryzen lineup, as it stands after the introduction of the 5800X3D:

AMD’s Ryzen & Ryzen Threadripper Lineup
Cores Clock (Turbo) L3 Cache Memory IGP TDP Price
Ryzen Threadripper
3990X 64 (128T) 2.9 GHz (4.3) 288MB Quad No 280W $3990
3970X 32 (64T) 3.7 GHz (4.5) 144MB Quad No 280W $1999
3960X 24 (48T) 3.8 GHz (4.5) 140MB Quad No 280W $1399
Ryzen 9
R9 5950X 16 (32T) 3.4 GHz (4.9) 64MB Dual No 105W $799
R9 5900X 12 (24T) 3.7 GHz (4.8) 64MB Dual No 105W $549
Ryzen 7
R7 5800X3D 8 (16T) 3.4 GHz (4.5) 96MB Dual No 105W $449
R7 5800X 8 (16T) 3.8 GHz (4.7) 32MB Dual No 105W $449
R7 5700X 8 (16T) 3.4 GHz (4.6) 32MB Dual No 65W $299
Ryzen 5
R5 5600X 6 (12T) 3.7 GHz (4.6) 32MB Dual No 65W $299
R5 5600 6 (12T) 3.5 GHz (4.4) 32MB Dual No 65W $199
R5 5500 6 (12T) 3.6 GHz (4.2) 16MB Dual No 65W $159
R5 4500 6 (12T) 3.6 GHz (4.1) 11MB Dual No 65W $129
Ryzen 3
R3 4100 4 (8T) 3.8 GHz (4.0) 6MB Dual No 65W $99
R3 3300X 4 (8T) 3.8 GHz (4.3) 18MB Dual No 65W $120
R3 3100 4 (8T) 3.6 GHz (3.9) 18MB Dual No 65W $99
Ryzen w/ Radeon Vega Graphics
R7 5700G 8 (16T) 3.8 GHz (4.6) 16MB Dual Yes 65W $359
R5 5600G 6 (12T) 3.9 GHz (4.4) 16MB Dual Yes 65W $259
R5 4600G 6 (12T) 3.7 GHz (4.2) 11MB Dual Yes 65W $154

Note that the Threadripper chips listed here are Zen 2, not the Zen 3-based Threadripper PRO, simply because it’s a series that’s more aligned with the other desktop parts. Threadripper PRO, as its name suggests, breaks out of the enthusiast market, and sits on top of the Ryzen PRO series, targeted at business. We have no idea whether AMD will even continue to update regular Threadripper, but it’s a series that hasn’t seen an update since early 2020.

AMD’s current-gen 3D V-Cache technology triples the amount of available L3 cache. This represents a bump from 32MB to 96MB with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and a staggering jump from 256MB to 768MB on the server-bound Milan-X EPYCs.

As lightly touched on above, tripling the amount of cache isn’t going to automatically improve workloads across-the-board. The reason AMD touts this CPU as the world’s best gaming chip highlights that. If you do use workloads that can take advantage of a lot of cache, the performance uplift will be notable. On the creator side, you will have to try hard to find benefit, as our results in this article will also help highlight. This is why we’re really eager to get gaming and Linux testing done soon.

This article is going to be tackling creator workloads like image manipulation, video encoding, and rendering, and will also tackle detailed synthetics with the help of SiSoftware’s Sandra. On the following page, you can get up to speed with test system configurations and our methodologies; if you don’t care about that, simply head on over to page 3.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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