Thursday, June 13, 2024

4 CPUs you should buy instead of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D

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AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D sitting on a motherboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is one of the best gaming processors you can buy, and it’s easy to see why. It’s easily the fastest gaming CPU on the market, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s available on a platform that AMD says it will support for several years. But it’s not the right chip for everyone.

Contents

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • Intel Core i9-13900KF
  • AMD Ryzen 7 7700
  • AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Although the Ryzen 7 7800X3D ticks all the right boxes, there are several alternatives available. Some are cheaper while still offering great performance, while others are more powerful in applications outside of gaming. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a great CPU, but if you want to do a little more shopping, these are the other processors you should consider.

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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Make no mistake — the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still a monster gaming CPU in 2024. It’s the older version of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, and it comes in anywhere from $70 to $110 cheaper depending on sales. On top of that, it uses AMD’s mature AM4 platform. If you’re making a full platform upgrade, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D can end up between $200 and $250 cheaper than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D between the CPU, motherboard, and RAM.

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Based on our testing, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is about 16% slower than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D at 1080p. The same isn’t true at higher resolutions, however. At 1440p, the difference is often less than 10%, while at 4K, that drops down to single digits. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is faster, but you can get most of the way there with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D if you’re playing at higher resolutions and graphics settings.

Although the overall platform upgrade is cheaper with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, another reason to consider it is if you already have an AM4 motherboard. Most AMD motherboards released over the last five or so years support the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, so you can drop the chip in without a full platform upgrade. Of course, you should consult your motherboard’s supported CPU list before picking up the processor.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D was a watershed moment for AMD, and although newer chips sporting AMD’s 3D V-Cache are faster, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still a potent, affordable option in 2024.

Intel Core i9-13900KF

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Intel Core i9-13900KF is a class above the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, and it comes with a price to match. It’s anywhere from $40 to $90 more expensive depending on sales, and it’s slightly slower than AMD’s chip when it comes to gaming. However, the Core i9-13900KF is significantly faster when it comes to non-gaming applications.

The 24-core CPU unsurprisingly rips apart the Ryzen 7 7800X3D in multi-core performance. In Cinebench R23, for example, we f0und that it’s a massive 121% faster than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. That translates into real applications, too. The Core i9-13900KF was able to complete a transcode in Handbrake 37% faster, and it was more than twice as fast at CPU rendering in Blender.

In games, we found that the Core i9-13900KF was around 10% slower than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D at 1080p. Once again, however, that performance gap fades away at higher resolutions. There are even some titles where the Core i9-13900KF is a bit ahead.

This is the CPU to buy if you value productivity prowess as much or more than raw gaming grunt. Being a last-gen CPU, it’s usually available on sale, and going with the KF version saves you a bit of money by shaving the integrated graphics.

AMD Ryzen 7 7700

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There are some games that love AMD’s 3D V-Cache, but in others, it does very little. That’s especially true at resolutions above 1080p. If you don’t need the extra cache, you can save quite a bit of money with the Ryzen 7 7700. It’s between $100 and $120 cheaper than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D depending on sales, and it still gives you access to eight Zen 4 CPU cores.

The Ryzen 7 7700 is essentially a weaker version of the more expensive Ryzen 7 7700X. At least, it’s supposed to be weaker with a power limit of 65W (the X-series part goes up to 105W). In reality, the Ryzen 7 7700 is able to get most of the performance of the X-series chip because of the architecture’s excellent efficiency. On top of that, it’s unlocked for overclocking, allowing you to close the gap with AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO).

In addition, the Ryzen 7 7700 comes with an included Wraith Spire cooler, saving you some money if you don’t have a CPU cooler. Gaming performance is weaker, with a drop of between 10% and 15% depending on the title. As usual, however, higher resolutions negate the performance gap, and titles that don’t favor 3D V-Cache only show minor differences.

The Ryzen 7 7700 is a CPU that can easily fly under the radar. It isn’t flashy like the 3D V-Cache chips, and its lower power budget would lead you to believe it can’t reach the heights of the Ryzen 7 7700X. In practice, it’s one of the best value CPUs you can buy right now, balancing performance and price in equal strides.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

What if budget is no concern to you? If you have all the cash to spare, consider picking up the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. It offers basically identical performance to the Ryzen 7 7800X3D in games, but the CPU also sports 16 Zen 4 cores. That gives you a lot more muscle to power through productivity tasks where the Ryzen 7 7800X3D can struggle.

It’s within a few points of the base Ryzen 9 7950X, which itself matches Intel’s high-end Core i9-13900K. Here, you’re getting the best of both worlds. Overall, gaming performance is on par and sometimes slightly better than the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, and productivity performance is sometimes twice as fast.

All of that performance comes at a cost. At $600 and sometimes even more, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is one of the most expensive desktop CPUs currently on the market. You’ll also need some hefty cooling to keep it running at full clip. With 16 cores and a massive amount of cache, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D can put out some heat.

Even with that, there’s no CPU on the market right now that can do exactly what the Ryzen 9 7950X3D does. It tops the charts in both gaming and productivity performance, and if you have the cash to spare, there isn’t a better option.

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