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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Ryzen 9 5900X

We pit the two Ryzen 5000 series CPUs against each other, comparing specs, price and performance.

Updated: Mar 2, 2022 3:34 pm
5800x vs 5900x

It can be tricky comparing CPUs, especially when it’s AMD’s 5800x vs 5900x, two amazing CPUs.
AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have been around for a little while now and with the release of AMD’s 7000 series CPUs just around the corner, you can often find a great deal on either the 5800x or the 5900x. But which one is right for you? Finding a new or even your first CPU can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what a lot of the technicals are. We aim to make this process simple and answer as many of your questions as we can. here’s the Ryzen 7 5800X vs Ryzen 9 5900X

Both CPUs are incredibly powerful and will serve your system perfectly, but there are a few factors to take into consideration when selecting your next Ryzen powered beast. 

We’ll be attacking this from multiple angles, with more than just the avid gamer in mind. We will examine the use case of each CPU and where its strengths and weaknesses lie, giving you all the information you need to make an informed choice. 

Looking for the latest AM5 or Zen 4 news? We have articles for those.

5800x vs 5900x
Ryzen 5800x vs 5900x

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 1
Pros

Very good gaming performance

AM4 compatible

Excellent value for money

Unlocked overclocking

Cons

More expensive than Intel alternative

Requires CPU cooler

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AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 1
Pros

Rivals the Intel i9-10900K in gaming performance

High multicore performance

Unlocked overclocking

Cons

More expensive than the Intel alternative

Requires CPU cooler

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5800x vs 5900x: specifications

First of all, let’s outline specs. Specs” refer to specifications and are the attributes of the CPU that give us an indication of how good it is. Some examples of specs include core count, clock speed and cache size. We will compare the specifications of both the 5800x and the 5900x below. 

AMD Ryzen 7 5800x 

ryzen 7 5800x

The Ryzen 7 5800x is the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 CPU currently on the market. Released on November 5th 2020 this CPU demolished its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 3800x.

AMD promised that this Zen 3 based CPU would deliver and it wasn’t lying. 

The specs of the Ryzen 7 5800x are as follows: 

  • 8 cores
  • 16 threads
  • Boost clock 4.5GHz
  • Base clock 3.9GHz
  • L1 cache 512KB
  • L2 cache 4MB
  • L3 cache 32MB
  • Default TDP 105W
  • Socket AM4

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 

ryzen 9 5900x

The Ryzen 9 5900x belongs to the Ryzen 9 family of AMD CPUs, and are among the most powerful desktop processors AMD has to offer (besides the Threadripper line of CPUs which is a different beast entirely). The 5900x blew away its predecessor, the 3900x in many ways, including clock speed, cache and support. 

The specs of the Ryzen 9 5900x are as follows:

  • 12 cores
  • 24 threads
  • Boost clock 4.8GHz
  • Base clock 3.7GHz
  • L1 cache 768KB
  • L2 cache 6MB
  • L3 cache 64MB
  • Default TDP 105W
  • Socket AM4

5800x vs 5900x: Specs comparison

Here we will compare the two CPUs head to head and analyse the paper specifications of the two CPUs. This should help you to make an informed decision as to what CPU might fit best into your use case. 

5800x vs 5900x

Core count 

The Ryzen 7 5800x possesses a core count of eight and the Ryzen 9 5900x features 12 cores. 

Higher core counts mean your CPU will be better at multitasking natively, but it all depends on whether the game or app you are using supports it. Just because it can doesn’t mean it will. However, for most of your day to day activities like web browsing and OS operation, multi-core utilisation is supported, meaning the more cores you have in your CPU the better. 

Thread count 

The Ryzen 7 5800x comes in with a thread count of 16 and the Ryzen 9 5900x with a thread count of 24. 

Both of the CPUs on our list support SMT or (simultaneous multithreading). This means one CPU core can process and execute two instructions at once. This creates a total thread (logical processor) count that is double the core count. Threads matter again for multitasking and performance-heavy applications that require a lot of muscle to sustain. 

SMT explained

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs Ryzen 9 5900X SMT explained

SMT (simultaneous multithreading) is a way to utilize parts of the CPU that would just be sat around doing nothing otherwise. How SMT works is complicated – put basically, the feature allows each core to perform an additional instruction whilst waiting for an instruction to finish in another thread. 

The CPU is now able to utilize parts of itself that would be otherwise doing nothing at that particular moment.

The use of SMT is situational, however, as the CPU is only likely to use one core to run more than one instruction at a time if all cores are already taxed. Physical cores have priority over resources and threads suffer as a result of being slightly slower than a physical core.  

SMT Multithreading

The operating system sees the processor as having double the cores, but in reality, all these extra threads only provide about a 50%-60% performance uplift in a best-case scenario, where an application can divide the load on the system up evenly and this is almost never the case. Some examples of applications that can benefit from SMT are applications that handle video encoding or rendering, where frames or portions of an image can all be rendered in their own thread.

Most older games aren’t designed with SMT in mind as this requires them to be coded explicitly to utilize SMT and add support to split tasks among cores and threads. 

However, a lot of games are moving towards SMT support as higher core and thread count processors become more commonplace. 

A game developer might split up various portions of a game to be handled by various threads, such as sound processing, AI and background loading, with the FPS being limited to whatever process takes the longest to complete. Graphics drivers and other software will be running in the background too, and a higher core and thread count can ensure the software and game you’re playing won’t have to fight for CPU cycles. 

The short answer to this is, CPUs with more cores and threads are better for multitasking and CPUs with higher single-core performance are favoured for things like games for now, but that is currently changing. 

Boost clock 

The Ryzen 7 5800x has a boost speed of 4.5GHz and the Ryzen 9 5900x has a boost speed of 4.8GHz 

On AMD Ryzen CPUs, the CPU boost clock is defined as the speed the processing cores can run with PBO enabled. This stands for precision boost overdrive,s a technology that was introduced with the 3000 series processors. This is AMD’s automatic overclocking software and is designed to be both efficient and easy to use. 

As suggested, a higher clock speed is better for both single and multicore performance as the processing core can make more cycles per second allowing it to perform more calculations per second. PBO works off efficiency and can sometimes not meet the stated boost speed, if the temperature is too high, for example. PBO, unlike manual overclocks, is smart and adaptive. 

Base clock

The Ryzen 7 5800x has a base speed of 3.9GHz and the Ryzen 9 5900x has a base speed of 3.7GHz 

The base clock of a CPU is the core cycles per second the processor can sustain with adequate cooling and without any artificial boosting or overclocking applied. This effectively gives you a base to compare the boost to and can sometimes be interpreted as a meaningless statistic.

We think it’s important, however, as it tells us a number of things. It tells us where to base our overclocking potential, the speed the processor will default to if it’s thermally challenged and gives us effective boost efficiencies compared to the boost speeds that can help us deduce CPU and power efficiencies. But those things are all a little too complex and unnecessary if just deciding what CPU to get next. 

Cache

The Ryzen 7 3800x has a much lower L1, L2 and L3 cache compared to the Ryzen 9 5900x, which is expected due to the Ryzen 9’s higher core and thread count. 

CPU cache is storage hardware located closer to CPU cores than the main memory as it’s built into the CPU on some levels, allowing more efficient access (in terms of speed and power) of data from the main memory. Cache stores copies of data from main memory locations within to help boost the access speed. 

Level one cache is the cache located closest to the CPU cores and has the fastest access speeds but also the lowest capacity. This is reserved for vital data that is accessed frequently. 

Level two cache is a middle ground, with median capacity and the median speed, reserved for less vital data, but it is still integral and ideal that the CPU has snappy access to it. 

Level three cache is where most of your frequently accessed data is stored such as programs and file paths. This has a very large capacity in comparison to the other levels but is also magnitudes slower. 

A higher core and thread count would require more cache to support those extra cores if you wanted to maintain or improve the efficiency of CPUs from older generations. 

TDP

Both of the CPUs have the same TDP of 105W 

TDP or thermal design power is the maximum thermal energy or heat a CPU is going to generate. This is the amount of thermal energy your cooling solution will need to dissipate. You need to maintain a good temperature to get the most out of our CPU. 

TDP is not a constant measure and the TDP doesn’t necessarily indicate how much power the CPU dissipates at any given time. Additionally, this TDP measurement does not take into account user overclocks outside of the factory specifications. Making the CPU work harder by increasing its clock speed and voltage will result in a higher TDP.

Socket 

Both our CPUs fit into the same AM4 socket.

AM4 is the current CPU socket of choice featuring the PGA (Pin grid array). AMD has managed to keep this socket in action for over five years but with the up and coming AM5 socket that is about to change. 

A socket type can be thought of as simply a shape – only a CPU matching the socket type will fit that socket motherboard. 
All of the factors above when looking at Ryzen 7 5800x vs Ryzen 9 5900x are vitally important.

5800x vs 5900x: Results

The Ryzen 9 5900x takes the win here and beats the 5800x in every aspect. With better specifications across the board with the exception of base clock speeds. 

Your best bet is the Ryzen 9 5900X. Beating out the 5800x in both clock speeds, core count and thread count, the 5900x is your ideal choice for both gaming and multi-threaded performance, but how much are you expected to shell out for a near top dog Ryzen 9 processor? 

5800x vs 5900x: Price 

5800x vs 5900x
Ryzen 5800x vs 5900x

These processors have aged a little as they’re more than a year old and deals can be found on these CPUs in the right place, but we’re going to base the price on launch MSRP. If you find a deal, all the better! 

The Ryzen 7 5800x comes in at a respectable price of $449 and the Ryzen 9 at $549, it’s a substantial sum no matter what option you choose but is the extra $100 worth the performance and technical benefits the Ryzen 9 brings over the Ryzen 7? 

In short, we think so. The Ryzen 9 is a far superior CPU superseded only by the 5950X. 

It’s far more efficient than the Ryzen 5, packing in an extra four cores and eight threads in the same size die with the same TDP. 

The power that comes from having an extra four cores and eight threads is incredibly substantial. You can still find processors manufactured today that are less powerful than the extra four cores and eight threads that the Ryzen 9 has over the Ryzen 7. 

If you do the maths on these processors, the cost per core is as follows: 

Cost per core

  • Ryzen 7 5800x – $56.12
  • Ryzen 9 5900x – $45.75

This means that fundamentally, you are getting more for your money if you opt for the pricier 5900x as each core is both faster and cheaper than those of the 5800x. 

Conclusion

when it comes to Ryzen 7 5800x vs Ryzen 9 5900x We favour the more powerful, efficient and more cost-effective Ryzen 9 5900x. Its cost per core is lower and it contains 50% more cores than that of the 5800X. The higher cache amount means more storage for frequently accessed data and a greater core boost speed means faster processing and better single-core performance for the applications that require fewer cores and more speed. 

The 5900x is a great choice for gaming and multithreaded workloads. The 12 super fast cores all support SMT totalling an impressive 24 logical processors. Although we recommend the 5900x, there’s nothing wrong with choosing the 5800x either. Also the 5800X is an amazing CPU and one of the best in the industry for gaming exclusively. It just will fall behind in that regard to the 5900x as it has lower effective boost speeds.  

Both are great options but for bang-for-the-buck performance, we recommend the Ryzen 9 5900X as your next CPU of choice. 

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