Friday, June 21, 2024

AMD on the Ryzen 7 9800X3D: ‘We have a lot to say’


A delidded Ryzen 7000 CPU.AMD

AMD just revealed its Ryzen 9000 chips at Computex 2024, but the company is already working on its versions of these processors with 3D V-Cache. These X3D variants, as they’re called, have been a mainstay of AMD’s lineup since the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and they consistently rank among the best gaming processors. AMD’s Donny Woligroski says the company is “not just resting on laurels,” and that it has some big plans for the next version of X3D chips.

The news comes from PC Gamer, which shared various quotes from an interview with Woligroski. Although we’ve known for a while that 3D V-Cache would come to Ryzen 9000 eventually, Woligroski says that AMD is pushing the tech forward. “It’s not like, ‘hey, we’ve also added X3D to a chip.’ We are working actively on really cool differentiators to make it even better. We’re working on X3D, we’re improving it,” Woligroski told PC Gamer.


AMD’s technical marketing manager stopped short of saying how the company is improving 3D V-Cache, but there are a ton of possibilities. Woligroski says that AMD has “a lot to say” on 3D V-Cache with Ryzen 9000, so it’s hard to imagine this is just some backend fluff that won’t amount to any meaningful improvements.

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One of the big points of potential improvement comes down to AMD’s chiplet approach. Each AMD die can support up to eight cores, so 16-core processors like the Ryzen 9 7950X3D include two dies. However, only one of those dies includes the extra cache. That’s led to some strange situations, where the cheaper Ryzen 7 7800X3D with only a single die can outperform the more expensive Ryzen 9 7950X3D with its two dies.


There’s also the possibility of simply stacking more cache. With AMD pushing for AI in laptops and including integrated graphics on its desktop CPUs, additional cache would certainly help. Both graphics and AI workloads are hungry for memory, so if AMD is able to accelerate these workloads with additional cache close to the CPU, it could speed things up. Of course, AMD would need a way to actually leverage this additional cache, as up to this point, we haven’t seen 3D V-Cache scale with a larger pool in games.

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The improvement I most want to see, however, is efficiency. In every case so far, X3D chips run at lower clock speeds than their X-series counterparts, despite drawing the same power. You also have little to no room for overclocking, with overclocking even being disabled on the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. If AMD is able to improve the thermal situation with the memory, or produce a more efficient core overall, that could mean we’ll see Ryzen 9000 X3D chips go further.

Although we know Ryzen 9000 X3D chips are coming, AMD hasn’t shared what models we’ll see. If AMD follows the previous generation, we should see the Ryzen 7 9800X3D, Ryzen 9 9900X3D, and Ryzen 9 9950X3D toward the end of the year. It’s possible that AMD will extend the 3D V-Cache tech to more CPU models, however, which would certainly lengthen the rollout.

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