The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is one of Team Red’s latest desktop processors, proving to be one of the most affordable Zen 3 chips currently on offer.
While most desktop processors generally try to excel at one specific workload – whether that’s content creation, gaming or even productivity – the Ryzen 7 5800X looks to be a jack-of-all trades chip that can do it all at a competitive standard.
With 8 cores, 16 threads and max clock speeds of up to 4.6GHz, this Ryzen processor looks to have all of the spec credentials to challenge Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs, even if it’s a little bit behind the pace for gaming performance.
But if you want a processor that performs well at both content creation and gaming, then this may well be the best value option currently available.
Price and availability
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X launched back in November 2020, and so is available to buy right now.
The new Ryzen chip can be found in various retailers, including Amazon, Currys and Overclockers. Prices typically float around the £420/$449 mark, depending on where you’re shopping.
Specs – Zen 3 provides a big performance boost
- Zen 3 architecture offers a sizeable performance boost
- CPU specs are very competitive with Intel
- Shares same class-leading features as Ryzen 3000 series
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X desktop processor is built upon Zen 3 architecture with a 7nm process.
AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture is mighty impressive, delivering a 19% boost to the instructions per cycle (aka IPC) which essentially results in a more powerful and efficient performance.
AMD has also emphasised that Zen 3 processors will benefit from lower latency, with a new “unified complex” design reducing the communication time between cores. AMD suggests such modifications will boost the gaming performance, as Team Red looks to close the gap between itself and Intel.
AMD claims that the 7nm process has allowed the company to produce the most energy efficient Ryzen processors yet, with an apparent 24% improvement compared to the preceding generation.
But that’s enough about the Zen 3 architecture. How does the Ryzen 7 5800X compare to the competition?
|Base clock speed||Max clock speed||Cores / Threads||Thermal Design Power|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||3.8 GHz||Up to 4.7 GHz||8 / 16||105W|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||3.9 GHz||Up to 4.5 GHz||8 / 16||105W|
|Ryzen 9 5900X||3.7 GHz||Up to 4.8 GHz||12 / 24||105W|
|Ryzen 5 5600X||3.7 GHz||Up to 4.6 GHz||6 / 12||65W|
|Intel Core i9-11900K||3.5 GHz||Up to 5.3 GHz||8 / 16||125W|
|Intel Core i7-11700K||3.6 GHz||Up to 5.0 GHz||8 / 16||125W|
|Intel Core i5-600K||3.9 GHz||Up to 4.9 GHz||6 / 12||125W|
The Ryzen 7 5800X’s closest competitor is the Intel Core i7-11900K. While the former costs around £420, the i7 Intel Rocket Lake chip can be purchased at a more affordable £390.
Looking solely at the specs sheet, it doesn’t seem like there’s much between the two chips, with an identical core and thread count at 8 and 16 respectively, while the Intel can reach slightly higher max clock speeds.
But a specs sheet only tells you half of the story, with the Zen 3 doing most of the heavy lifting in the background. Continuing from the strong foundations of the Ryzen 3000 series, the new Ryzen 5000 chips are particularly strong in multi-threaded performance, crushing Intel in content creation workloads without breaking a sweat.
It is, however, worth pointing out that the Ryzen 7 5800X does not feature integrated graphics, which means a discrete graphics card is required to get your PC up and running. I personally don’t think this is an issue, as such a high-end processor should be paired with a graphics card to get your money’s worth. But it’s still nonetheless an area that Intel has the upper hand.
Other than performance boosts and improved power efficiency, there aren’t really any game-changing Zen 3 features to talk about. Smart Access Memory is a fantastic new technology that increases the amount of graphics card memory the processor can tap into, but it’s now available for Ryzen 3000 chips which reduces the incentive to upgrade.
AMD processors also already offer support for PCIe 4.0, which raises the performance ceiling for compatible next-gen SSDs. Intel took a long time to catch up with the particular feature, but now does so with the Rocket Lake family.
The lack of exciting new Zen 3 features isn’t really a problem in my mind, as Zen 2 was so ahead of the curve that AMD’s already providing the most advanced CPU technologies currently available.
One aspect that should not be undervalued is that Ryzen 5000 processors don’t require a new motherboard chipset. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X will work with any 500-series motherboard following a BIOS update, which means you probably won’t have to purchase a new ‘board when upgrading from Ryzen 3000.
The one disappointment here is that AMD isn’t bundling a Wraith Stealth with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, which is a big change from previous generations. I can understand the logic here, as you probably already own a cooler if you plan on upgrading an existing system, but it’s still a kick in the teeth for those looking to build their very first gaming PC.
Test setup – How we benchmarked the processor
It’s always important to ensure a fair testing methodology when reviewing processors, so I made sure to keep all of the components consistent (other than the motherboard when swapping between AMD and Intel) when comparing the various processors.
You can see the PC build I used for testing below:
- Intel Motherboard: ROG Maximus XIII Hero
- AMD Motherboard: TUF Gaming X570-Plus Wi-Fi
- RAM: 16GB (2x 8GB)
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800
- Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black (single fan)
- SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB M.2 Gaming SSD
- OS: Windows 10 Home
I chose a selection of both Intel Rocket Lake and Ryzen 3000 processors to compare against the Ryzen 7 5800X. I, unfortunately, don’t have access to other Ryzen 5000 chips right now, but I’m looking to call more in very soon.
I also selected a wide variety of benchmark tests to ensure I was pushing each processor to the limit for different workloads: PCMark 10 and Geekbench 5 for general performance, Cinebench R23 for content creation and 3DMark Time Spy for gaming.
For an even deeper look into gaming, I also used various in-game benchmarks to get a good idea of the real-world performance of the CPUs. I don’t have access to a 4K monitor due to Covid restrictions, but will update this review with the 4K results when possible.
It’s also worth remembering that the performance can be affected by future driver updates, so it may not be possible to replicate these results for yourself. With all of the technical stuff over and done with, let’s get to the benchmark results!
Performance – A jack-of-all-trades processor
- Ryzen 7 5800X offers a high performance across the board
- Intel still has the edge when it comes to gaming
- Multi-threaded performance is AMD’s greatest strength
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X doesn’t really excel at any specific workload, but offers a very competitive performance across the board.
Gaming performance is solid, but the Intel Core i5-11600K offers slightly better