As we just saw, Ryzen 5000 smokes firstgeneration Zen. It posts a decent boost over Zen 2 as well. But the 5800X3D doesn’t settle the question of whether or not to upgrade on AM4. In fact, it actually complicates things a little more.
The Ryzen 7 1800X may seem pathetic based on some of the benchmark results above, but it still faithfully serves in a number of PCS, including the one still used by Pcworld’s very own Brad Chacos. Most owners have only been curious about an upgrade—not desperate. They’ve wondered about switching to Intel, waiting for Ryzen 7000, and if they have a compatible motherboard, going with a Ryzen 5000 chip.
The 5800X3D and its $450 price tag adds one more fork to the Ryzen 5000 decision tree, rather than being a solution that overwrites the existing 5600X, 5800X, and 5900X. You have to really think about your budget and how you use your PC. Performance isn’t the issue. Rather, if the point of dropping in a new AM4 CPU into your system is to boost performance while saving cash, another Ryzen 5000 chip could offer you more bang for your buck. A 5600X ($200 street price) could make more sense for a 4K gamer, while a 5900X ($390 street price) offers considerably more firepower for content creators.
That said, choosing the 5800X3D is still
more cost-effective than replacing your processor, motherboard, and possibly also memory—as you’d have to do with an upgrade involving an Intel processor or Ryzen 7000. Moreover, the fact that you even have these granular choices is incredible. AM4 has lasted four CPU generations with full backward compatibility. Meanwhile, the competition can’t always be relied upon to last two generations. To go from a Ryzen 7 1800X and its early democratization of core count to a Ryzen 7 5800X3D and its face-melting performance in
games is a simple CPU replacement. That’s it. You don’t have to swap anything immediately, either—you’ll probably be able to snag the 5800X3D for less once Ryzen 7000 launches later this year. PC building has never been like this before.
Speaking of Ryzen 7000, AM5 will be around for a while, too. During a CES 2022 interview, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su said that as with AM4, we should expect AM5 to be a long-lived platform as well. No exact number of years were given, but with the precedent set, here’s to hoping for a continued legacy of generous support.