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.
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.