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

AMD announced a bunch of new features Yesterday, the company first introduced 3D V-Cache technology in the form of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor. This chip is designed to take on Intel’s top-end Core i9 12900K, and Intel looks set to take on the 12900KS. However, there are plenty of other more affordable chips on the way: three Zen 3 chips are coming along with three Zen 2 chips. Good times.

Of the Zen 3-based chips,

This is the most Ryzen 5 5500 this will attract the attention of many budget builders. Here’s a six-core, 12-thread processor at a bargain price of $159. It even comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler. Pair this with the budget B550 motherboard and you have access to all the latest technology and some serious performance architecture to boot.

At least that’s the theory.

In practice, the Ryzen 5 5500 specification is unfortunately missing one technology: PCIe 4.0 support. That’s right, the Ryzen 5 5500 has maximum PCIe 3.0 speeds. This is a real shame for anyone looking to build a long-running gaming rig, especially since we now know that the Microsoft DirectStorage API has just been made available to developers.

The argument could be made that PCIe 4.0 SSDs still command a small premium over their predecessors (though it’s getting smaller) and that you’re still overpaying for a semi-decent B550 motherboard. And while it’s true, the move to Cezanne’s design over Vermeer’s while retaining the Ryzen 5 5000 naming scheme leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

It leaves Ryzen 5 5600 as the best budget option for those looking to build a durable gaming PC.

This chip has an MSRP of $199, so it still represents a savings over the previous most affordable Zen 3 chip, the Ryzen 5 5600X. Although, given that the chip has seen its price dropped to $229 recently it’s certainly worth seeing how the new chip’s performance shakes before planning such a build.

It’s great to see AMD finally catering to budget builders

But it may not be the success many were hoping for. At least its lineup now starts at a very tempting $99 Ryzen 3 4100, plus there’s a $154 Ryzen 5 4600G which is an interesting APU to build a machine, though it still holds on to its Vega-level graphics. for dear life. Graphics card prices may be returning to normal, but there’s still room for improvement, and in these times of silicon scarcity, more APUs can’t hurt.

The new AMD chips should arrive on April 4th, with the exception of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is slated for release on April 20th.

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