There’s an annoying catch with AMD’s cheapest Zen 3 CPU

  • Home
  • News
  • There’s an annoying catch with AMD’s cheapest Zen 3 CPU
AMD's cheapest Zen 3 CPU

There’s a nagging caveat with AMD’s cheapest Zen 3 processor. The Ryzen 5 5500 has the potential to be a fantastic budget processor, but it is severely constrained.

AMD launched a slew of new processors yesterday, capped off by the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which represents the company’s first implementation of its 3D V-Cache technology. That chip is intended to compete with Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i9 12900K processor, and Intel appears to be preparing a counter-offer with the Core i9 12900KS. There are a number of other more cheap chips on the road, including a triad of Zen 3 chips, which will be released alongside three Zen 2 chips in the near future. It was a good time.

The Ryzen 5 5500 is the most affordable of the Zen 3-powered processors, and it is likely to attract the attention of many budget system builders. For for $159, you can have a CPU with six cores and twelve threads. It even includes the Wraith Stealth cooler, which is a nice touch. If you combine this with a low-cost B550 motherboard, you should have access to all of the latest technology as well as a highly performant architecture.

That is, at the very least, the theory. In actuality, there is one piece of technology that is conspicuously absent from the Ryzen 5 5500’s spec sheet: PCIe 4.0 capability. That’s right, the Ryzen 5 5500 is capable of up to PCIe 3.0 speeds. For anyone trying to construct a long-lasting gaming system, this is a major disappointment. This is especially true given the fact that we now know that Microsoft’s DirectStorage API has recently been released to developers.

(Image credit: AMD)

It is possible to argue that PCIe 4.0 SSDs still command a slight premium over their predecessors (although the difference is becoming smaller), and that you are still paying too much for a semi-decent B550 motherboard, despite recent price reductions. While this is true, the decision to use the Cezanne design rather than the Vermeer design while maintaining the Ryzen 5 5000 naming scheme leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

As a result, the Ryzen 5 5600 is the best value for money option for anyone trying to build a gaming PC that will last for years. Despite the fact that the chip has an RRP of $199, it provides a savings over the previous most-affordable Zen 3 processor, the Ryzen 5 5600X. Although, given that the chip’s price has recently dropped to $229, it’s definitely worth waiting to see how the performance of the new chip shakes out before committing to such a construction in the future.

Even though it’s fantastic to see AMD finally catering to budget builders, it’s possible that this isn’t the home run that many had hoped for. As a result of this, AMD’s Ryzen 3 4100 now starts at a very attractive $99, and the Ryzen 5 4600G, which costs $154, is an interesting APU around which to construct a computer, though one that is still clinging to its Vega-level graphics capabilities for dear life. However, even though graphics card prices have begun to return to normal, there is still a long way to go, and the addition of more APUs can’t harm in these silicon-starved times.

AMD’s new processors, with the exception of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, will be available on April 4, according to the company.


Scroll to Top