AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D: your next gaming CPU

AMD already closed the Intel gap for gaming with its Ryzen 9 7950X3D, and now it’s ready to go a step further. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D has been the chip everyone has been waiting to see the benchmarks for after the previous Ryzen 7 5800X3D dominated gaming CPUs for a long time. While the 7800X3D arrives more than a month after the 7950X3D, I can confidently say it was well worth the wait.

The new Ryzen 7 7800X3D is priced at $449, with eight cores, 16 threads, and a boost clock up to 5GHz. It’s designed to compete with Intel’s flagship Core i9-13900K (around $589), AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D ($699), and even Intel’s $699 Core i9-13900KS processor that runs at up to 6GHz out of the box.

AMD’s 7800X3D has impressed me a lot. At $449, it offers some of the best PC gaming performance you can find right now, while delivering it in a package that consumes a lot less power than Intel’s equivalents. It’s so impressive that I think it should be most people’s next gaming PC CPU.

I’ve been testing out AMD’s 7800X3D with MSI’s Meg X670E Ace motherboard, 32GB of G.Skill DDR5 6000 RAM, and Nvidia’s RTX 4090. This is one of the latest AM5 motherboards, so it has a single PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot and three PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for plenty of storage options for PC games.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a 5800X3D in our labs at the moment, but I’ve tested a variety of workloads, synthetic benchmarks, and games across AMD’s Ryzen 7 7800X3D, the 7950X3D, Intel’s Core i9-13900K, and the 13900KS. All tests were run on the latest Windows 11 2022 Update with VBS security disabled on all systems. Resizable BAR has been enabled, and tests were run primarily at 1080p resolution to help avoid any potential GPU bottlenecks and to analyze the raw CPU performance.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 7800X3D blows past Intel’s Core i9-13900K in all of the seven games I tested at 1080p and max or ultra settings. Both F1 22 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider run more than 15 percent faster on the 7800X3D, and Watch Dogs: Legion is 9 percent faster on this latest AMD CPU.

I was surprised to see Nvidia’s RTX 4090 pushing 366fps at 1080p in Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the 7800X3D, which edges past the top performance I saw on the 7950X3D. Even Metro Exodus sees some solid performance gains for the 7800X3D over both the 13900K and 7950X3D.

All of these results are impressive for AMD at 1080p, but since I typically run a smaller selection of games for our CPU tests, I wanted to test some of the games I typically use for GPU reviews, too. In fact, this CPU has impressed me so much that it will be the primary rig for testing future GPUs here at The Verge.

So I really wanted to put the 7800X3D more head-to-head with Intel’s Core i9-13900KS in an expanded gaming test at 1080p. The 13900KS is a souped-up version of the 13900K, with a 6GHz top boost speed and tweaked base clocks that are designed to boost PC gaming performance. It’s the best Intel has to offer for PC gaming right now, but it’s also $699 compared to the $449 pricing of the 7800X3D.

In the 16 game tests at 1080p, the 7800X3D came out on top 10 times. Most of the losses are super close, with the exception of CS:GO, where Intel’s 13900KS manages to beat the 7800X3D by nearly 8 percent. All the other times the 7800X3D loses out, it’s less than a 3 percent lead for Intel here. It’s a similar story at 1440p, where the 7800X3D is able to beat the 13900KS in most tests or lose on a small margin.

AMD’s latest X3D CPU only really loses out on the productivity side.

Where AMD doesn’t win is on the productivity side. The 7800X3D falls well behind Intel here. Both of AMD’s top X3D chips lose out to Intel on PugetBench’s Photoshop test, Geekbench 5, and Cinebench R23. The 7800X3D isn’t really designed to take on productivity tasks, so this isn’t surprising, and for that, you’d really want the 7950X3D instead or Intel’s Core i9-13900K.

But if you only care about gaming, the 7800X3D is the obvious choice given the combination of performance improvements, price, and power usage. It’s genuinely impressive how efficient AMD’s 7800X3D is here. I tested the 7800X3D running Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with maxed-out ray-tracing settings, and the CPU package power hit a peak of 67 watts. Intel’s 13900KS hit a maximum of 275 watts for the same task.

I also saw the 13900KS hit 329 watts during a Cinebench run, whereas the 7800X3D only hit a peak power draw of 86 watts. While the 13900KS delivers far better Cinebench performance and a small bump to frame rates in games like Cyberpunk 2077, it’s delivering better performance in most games without the extra power draw.

The 7800X3D also maxed out at 84 degrees Celsius during a Cinebench run, compared to 101 degrees Celsius max on the 13900KS. Much like the 7950X3D, the 7800X3D has a TDP of 120 watts, down from the 170-watt TDP found on the original Zen 4 7950 chip. Intel uses a base power of 125 watts on the Core i9-13900K, and it has pushed this to 150 watts on the 13900KS. At max turbo power, both of Intel’s latest chips go above 250 watts and can go even further if a motherboard allows it.

The efficiency of AMD’s latest X3D chips is thanks to its latest Zen 4 architecture and a combination of its impressive 3D V-Cache technology. 3D V-Cache works so well in games because they don’t need a high amount of CPU cores and power. Instead, they favor CPUs that can process data quickly with large amounts of cache. Productivity apps don’t typically favor huge amounts of cache, so we don’t see the same performance gains in those tasks.

The 7800X3D, much like the 7950X3D, requires a new AM5 motherboard. These boards have support for DDR5 memory and up to 24 PCIe 5.0 lanes. The first PCIe 5.0 consumer SSDs are set to launch soon, but most will still use PCIe 4.0 SSDs for now. The PCIe 5.0 support on AM5 boards is great for futureproofing, but you won’t need it for GPUs anytime soon. Nvidia’s latest RTX 40-series cards don’t support this latest standard, and we haven’t hit the limits of PCIe 4.0 for GPUs yet.

Existing AM4 coolers should also work just fine with AM5 boards. I’ve been able to use Corsair’s H150 Elite LCD without any changes required on the 7800X3D, 7950X3D, and regular 7950. It’s worth checking with your cooler manufacturer to make sure that existing AM4 models can easily be used with these new AM5 motherboards, though.

You’ll also need to make sure you configure a new BIOS option to ensure boot times are reasonable. I noticed some early issues with the DDR5 memory training process during my Ryzen 9 7900X review, with an additional boot time of around 30 seconds. AM5 motherboards ship with a “memory context restore” BIOS option that you need to have enabled to reduce boot times.

While I’ve enabled this on MSI’s Meg X670E Ace motherboard and it dramatically reduced boot times, my system started shutting down with Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) memory-related errors. I quickly changed the setting back to get some stability back and reported the issues to both AMD and MSI. I’m sure these early issues will be addressed with a BIOS update, as I’ve already seen improvements since my initial 7900X review.

The 7800X3D is a great gaming PC choice.

AMD’s 7800X3D is a truly impressive gaming CPU. AMD closed the gap with the 7950X3D, and now it’s going beyond that and flexing its efficiency at the same time. If I were building a gaming PC right now, I would pick the 7800X3D without a doubt.

If you use your PC for both gaming and productivity apps like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or something similar, then the 7950X3D is a better option for those who need performance in both. Both of AMD’s top options pack some great PC gaming performance in processors that won’t cost as much to run. That’s important in many markets that are still feeling the effects of rising energy bills or for anyone who wants their PC gaming to impact the environment less.

The 5800X3D became the popular option for PC gamers, and I think the 7800X3D is here to shine for 2023 and beyond.