Why the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors for the AM5 socket are currently not a good deal
Posted by Stefan on 2022-10-11, Last updated:
At the end of September 2022, the time had come: AMD presented its latest desktop processors called AMD Ryzen 7000. Initially, 4 processors with 6 to 16 CPU cores were released.
The new socket AM5 (LGA 1718) is used for the first time, which is intended to replace the very durable socket AM4 introduced in 2017 as AMDs mainstream platform. This includes (depending on the chipset) PCIe 5.0 support as well as the exclusive use of DDR5 memory on all AM5 mainboards.
Officially, DDR5-5200 is the maximum, but with AMDs EXPO Technology which is similar to Intel's XMP 3.0, AMD now also has a solution for easy overclocking of the main memory. AMD itself names DDR5-6000 as the sweet spot for the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors.
IPC and clock increase result in a decent performance increase
The new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors use the latest Zen 4 cores from AMD, which are manufactured in 5 nm. These are clock-adjusted 13 percent faster than their predecessors. In addition, AMD has increased the clock speeds of the new processors by an average of 15 to 24 percent. Both together ensure a decent increase in performance, e.g. in Cinebench R23 of 20 to 25 percent if you compare the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X vs. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X.
In Geekbench 5 the comparison is even more in favor of the new AMD Ryzen 9 7950X: it is 22 to 31 percent faster than its predecessor. This is due to the fact that the built-in RAM has a fairly large influence on the result in Geekbench. The predecessor could officially only use DDR4-3200 memory here, while the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors support DDR5-5200 memory, as mentioned.
The dark side of the new Ryzen 7000 processors
But why are the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors in socket AM5 currently not worth it? On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the new AM5 socket now of course requires a new mainboard. AMD has presented 4 mainboard chipsets for socket AM5 so far:
AMD has decided to initially only make the high-end chipsets available for socket AM 5. In October 2022, a mainboard with the B650E chipset cost from 300 USD. This is the first or cheapest AMD chipset that supports PCIe 5.0. Mainboards with the currently cheapest chipset B650 (only PCIe 4.0) start at 200 USD. For comparison: AM4 mainboards with a B550 chipset (also PCIe 4.0) are currently available from around 80 USD.
Even if you choose a mainboard with the smallest B650 chipset (only PCIe 4.0), you still pay around 150 percent more than with a comparable socket AM4 mainboard. This difference is currently still too big and only with falling prices of the mainboards, the AM5 platform will become interesting for most of the people.
DDR5 memory is still significantly more expensive than DDR4
Although the DDR5 memory is a bit faster than its predecessor DDR4, in practice only very few users will notice that the main memory speed is mainly noticeable in the CPU limit and this is only very rarely the case with modern computers. 32 GB DDR4-3200 memory currently costs around 90 USD, while 32 GB DDR5-4800 currently costs 140 USD. That's a 55 percent premium over DDR4 memory.
AMD Ryzen 7000 is getting hot
Another disadvantage that we noticed in the first benchmarks: the new processors gets extremely hot under load. We now know the reason for that: to ensure the compatibility of the new socket with old AM4 CPU coolers, the new processor had to be the same height as its predecessor. AMD had to do a bit of tricking for this and installed a fairly thick headspreader. The headspreader is the visible part of the processor that is supposed to protect the inside.
In benchmarks, the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors quickly reach temperatures of 90 to 95°C (194 to 203°F), even with good coolers. According to AMD, this is not a problem, but it may be for the user. Because overclocking now requires much stronger cooling solutions than before and the computer also gets warmer overall. This is also due to the power consumption of the new AMD processors, which can be up to 40 percent higher than the AMD Ryzen 5000 processors. AMD had increased the TDP (PL2) from 142 to a whopping 230 watts.
Overclockers removed the headspreader by force and were able to achieve up to 20°C (68°F) lower temperatures under load. But you shouldn't do this for warranty reasons.
AM4 cooler only partially compatible
In addition, AM4 coolers are only supported if they have the normal AM4 backplate. This is due to the fact that the backplate can no longer be removed from new mainboards with an AM5 socket. However, many coolers replace the original AM4 backplate. These coolers no longer work on AM5 motherboards or require a new mount or adapter.
The price of the AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs is not attractive yet
In addition to the AM5 mainboards, which are far too expensive, the prices for the processors themselves are still too high. If you compare the performance in Cinebench R23 (multi-core) with the current price, the new processors are about 20 percent too expensive. There is currently no improvement at all compared to the predecessor. Although the new AMD Ryzen 9 7900X (12C 24T) is even 4 percent faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (16C 32T), the latter currently costs 15 percent less.
RecIf you now add the mainboard (at least +120 USD) and 32 GB DDR5 RAM (at least +50 USD for 32 GB), the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X with mainboard and memory is a total of 260 USD more expensive than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, which is almost as fast .
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