The fast new 5800X3D is AMD’s first non-overclockable Ryzen processor

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AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D promises to be one of the company’s fastest gaming CPUs, and it’s one of the last high-end chips to grace the AM4 socket before Ryzen 7000 CPUs come out later this year. However, the company’s experimental new 3D V-Cache stacking technology has a negative side effect: This will be the first Ryzen CPU that cannot be overclocked.

According to PCWorld, AMD Director of Technical Marketing Robert Hallock says this change is due to the processor’s voltage limit being set at 1.35 volts, slightly lower than other Ryzen 5000 chips. Lower voltage for the CPU cores means they generate less heat, which presumably gives a little more thermal headroom for the 64MB of additional L3 cache memory that the 5800X3D uses. Lower voltage would also explain why the 5800X3D’s clock speeds are a hair’s breadth lower than the standard Ryzen 7 5800X.

Hallock said that habit applies to future 3D V-Cache CPUs. So if we see this technology being reused in Ryzen 7000 chips, those chips should still be overclockable like most other Ryzen processors were. You can also try to squeeze some speed out of the 5800X3D with memory and Infinity Fabric overclocking.

Overclocking isn’t exactly a common use case for processors these days, and the extra gains you can get from most chips aren’t nearly as impressive as they were a decade or two ago. Still, AMD’s Zen CPUs stand out by supporting unlocked multipliers and overclocking on every single desktop CPU model and motherboard chipset (so far, anyway). Overclocking Intel CPUs still requires an expensive K-series processor and a high-end Z-series motherboard, although you can still squeeze extra performance out of some Intel CPUs by pushing their performance limits.

The 5800X3D will launch on April 20 for $449, and AMD promises up to 15 percent more gaming performance compared to a Ryzen 5900X. The chip is accompanied by AMD’s first major new budget processors in two years, a lineup of Ryzen 4000 and Ryzen 5000 series CPUs priced between $99 and $299.


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