The AMD Ryzen 5000 series, based on the Zen 3 architecture, were announced in October 2020. Successors to the illustrious 3000 series, AMD overhauled the core design and increased the performance and efficiencies, with superior TDP (Thermal Design Power) specifications.
AMDs pedigree in developing processors for enthusiasts, creators and gamers is nothing short of inspired. Their knowledge of the marketplace has earned them a cult following that will rarely even look at Team Blue's offerings, and for good reason. We'll look at the evolution of AMD's 5000 series and the type of PC user they are designed for.
AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Specifications
The range of processors in the 5000 series is dominated by the high core and thread count we've come to expect from AMD. With base clock speeds as high as 3.9GHz, and overclocking as standard, each CPU is built to push the boundary on performance.
|Processor ||Graphics (APU) ||CPU Cores ||Threads ||MAX Boost Clock ||Base Clock ||Cooling Fan ||Default TDP |
|AMD Ryzen™ 9 5950X ||None ||16 ||32 ||Up to 4.9GHz ||3.4GHz ||None ||105W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X ||None ||12 ||24 ||Up to 4.8GHz ||3.7GHz ||None ||105W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800X ||None ||8 ||16 ||Up to 4.7GHz ||3.8GHz ||None ||105W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5600X ||None ||6 ||12 ||Up to 4.6GHz ||3.7GHz ||AMD Wraith Stealth ||65W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 7 5700X ||None ||8 ||16 ||Up to 4.6GHz ||3.4GHz ||None ||65W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5600 ||None ||6 ||12 ||Up to 4.4GHz ||3.5GHz ||AMD Wraith Stealth ||65W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5500 ||None ||6 ||12 ||Up to 4.2GHz ||3.6GHz ||AMD Wraith Stealth ||65W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 7 5700G ||Radeon 8 Graphics ||8 ||16 ||Up to 4.6GHz ||3.8GHz ||Wraith Stealth ||65W |
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5600G ||Radeon 7 Graphics ||6 ||12 ||Up to 4.4GHz ||3.9GHz ||Wraith Stealth ||65W |
The Ryzen 5000 desktop processors above are purely technical specifications, and though some of the features can be directly compared to Intel's range of CPUs, the tale of the tape does not give the full story. The long-debated and often fanatical opinion of Intel versus AMD means it is difficult to get an unbiased opinion in the media. What really separates the two manufacturers is the preference of the consumer coupled with the very polarised suitability to certain tasks.
The argument is no longer AMD vs Intel, but rather - what do you need the processor for? Creators, gamers, enthusiasts and engineers all have a very different set of requirements from a processor, and this is where the comparison gets very interesting.
AMD 5000 Series Strengths
Both AMD and Intel have the same game plan in mind, yet both still have strengths in certain areas. One only has to look at AMD's stranglehold on integrated graphics with Radeon APUs, which saved just about everyone's bacon during the graphics card crisis over a period of two years. Without these affordable, readily available processors, the industry would have been struggling even more than it did.
Great News For Gamers
In Q2 2021, the entire gaming industry was awash with articles that condemned graphics card scalping, and predicted a less than appetising release schedule of new GPUs for even the low-end gamer. AMD, meanwhile, were high-fiving around the office with the release of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G in Q2 ready to save the day.
This processor alone gave rise to a whole new, worldwide appreciation for APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit), considering consumers could not only play a raft of games without a dedicated graphics card, but overclocking was also on the table.
On the overclocking front, AMD supply their solid Wraith Stealth cooling fan, which is ample for moderate overclocking. Saving money again for the consumer, and opening up doors in a time when gaming PCs were priced to stay on the shelf.
In August 5, 2021, AMD launched the Ryzen 7 5700G, another excellent processor with integrated graphics, 8 cores and 16 threads. This was an improvement over the Ryzen 5 5600G (6 cores, 12 threads), and having a 5% higher clock speed of 4.6GHz.
The 5700G also presented a higher quad-core and octa-core performance over the Ryzen 5, with significant gains in the overclocked/standard octa-core department. This was music to the ears of gamers, who were already praying that things would get easier in Q3 2021. Further, creative professionals had a new idol, with significant gains in workstation tasks, and huge gains in benchmarks like Cinebench and Geekbench over the Ryzen 5.
Even the fanfare that preceded the Alder Lake release could not take the shine from AMD's success in late 2021, and they were heralded as saviours in many market segments. With the release of the Radeon RX 6600 XT, delivering affordable, mid-tier 1080p and 1440p performance, AMD were in a great position overall. Not only could people buy an affordable APU gaming system that would enable them to play modern games (albeit with toned down graphics), but also producing a sub-£300 graphics card for 1080p gaming at max settings. Though the RX 6600 was met with a less than favourable response from the gaming elite, it served its purpose in a market that was being choked on pricing.
AMD Ryzen 5000 Series vs Alder Lake
The only fair way to talk about the Ryzen 5000 series in 2022 is to include the Alder Lake-S processors in the comparison. AMD met Intel's release with a price drop on their processors, which did nothing to help Intel's high ticket Socket 1700 motherboards sell. AMD retained a significant market share even after the 12th-Gen Intel processors released because they still presented consumers with value for money. This is something we'll talk about further on. Enthusiasts who wanted to increase their budget spend in other areas (such as dedicated graphics cards) still could do so with an AMD build.
Even with the 30% drop in GPU pricing, for a long time, Intel systems could not compete on price with AMD gaming PCs. Most notably (on the gaming front), Intel's 12th-Gen chips did little to improve the framerates or graphics quality in real world tests for all games. Some titles preferred the architecture of AMD 5000 series over the new hybrid P-Core and E-Core ensemble, whether that be in Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Across the gamut of gaming genres, there is no clear winner on performance. The battle still goes on, and will get even bloodier with the release of AMD's 3D V-Cache CPUs. As it stands, the brand of CPU you buy will be directly related to the type of games you play, and you'll need to check the benchmarks of your favourite titles before you purchase. Both AMD and Intel perform differently depending on the game.
AMD's foothold still remains solid in mid-2022, with some gamers that use creator tools favouring Team Red over 12th-Gen CPUs. This is down to AMD's ever-popular attention to workstation performance.
In the real world, our PCs have to wear a lot of hats, and be able to multi-task on the fly. We expect a lot, and so we should if we're spending over £1000 on a PC. For those that need workstation performance, handling tasks such as video encoding, video editing, 3D design and truly CPU-intensive workloads, AMD still remains the champion in many respects.
In a direct comparison between the latest Intel technology and AMD's 5000 series, real world workstation duties and productivity is not a one horse race.
As an example, the Blender Open Data platform, which compares real world benchmarks in the 3D application, shows the Core i5-12600K vs. Ryzen 7 5800X being a close run race. When you talk about pedigree, it's worth remembering that the 5800X was released in November 2020.
Incredible to think, then, that a gaming PC and extremely capable workstation such as the Horizon 7 AMD RTX 3070 has the ability to perform at the same standard as a "next-gen" PC, with a processor that was launched almost two years ago.
AMD has incredible presence in the workstation market, with photo editing, video editing and 3D editing still being their lane for consumers. With most gamers now looking to stream or produce content on YouTube and Twitch, this strength is more apparent.
AMD 5000 Series Pricing and Value
All of the AMD 5000 series are still priced extremely well, thanks to the discounts the chip manufacturer applied in the last six months. Couple this with the 30% or more reduction in GPU pricing, and you are seeing amazing value for mid-tier and high end gaming.
As of June 2022, there are savings of over £1200 on AMD gaming PCs, and any Ryzen 5000 series could be considered a workstation PC, too. This means you are covered for gaming, creativity and productivity, with the highest possible performance at all budget tiers.