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AMD X3D 3D V-Cache What is it Why is it important

We delve into the latest tech from AMD and ask if and why you should be considering these incredible new stacked processors.

 

AMD X3D 3D V-Cache What is it Why is it important

 

AMD X3D 3D V-Cache is one of the cutting-edge new technologies inside AMD’s newest 7000X3D generation of Ryzen CPUs. This new technology is looking to help AMD pull far ahead of its Intel competitor CPUs for high-power and professional computing applications. With pedigree assured, and the future of AMD sockets well and truly cemented, Intel could have a real fight on their hands.

So, what actually is 3D V-Cache? And how does it benefit your system? Let’s take a detailed look at the new X3D AMD processors, and go over how you can tap into this new Team Red tech to get the most out of your gaming PC, creative work and productivity.

What is the AMD X3D 3D V-Cache?

The AMD X3D 3D V-Cache is a new technology that stacks additional layers of cache on top of the CPU, meaning far higher performance levels due to essentially doubling the L3 cache. This high performance means they are perfect for powerhouses like our Chillblast custom gaming PCs, and our in-house experts were keen as mustard to start building with AMD's new Kaiju chips.

The L3 (Level 3) cache is the third level of cache within your CPU — out of three total levels — and works as a chain with the other two levels of cache. L3 cache is the slowest out of the three caches within your CPU but has the highest capacity, and is still far faster than your RAM.

Instructions from the L3 cache are distributed to the other levels, which means that this level is incredibly important.

Essentially giving you another L3 cache, 3D V-Cache allows your processor to distribute and store more instructions, meaning that it doesn’t have to take them from RAM as often.

This has obvious performance and technical benefits, but the great thing about the newest iteration of 3D V-Cache is that — unlike the previous 5800X3D having a far lower clock speed due to the limitations of the initial 3D V-Cache — the 7000X3D series can fully take advantage of this technology while also enabling higher clock speeds.

Why does 3D V-Cache exist?

While manufacturers usually just increase the cache within the CPU to give more cache space, 3D V-Cache is an entirely new methodology and process for increasing the cache. So, why have AMD taken this approach?

3D V-Cache makes manufacturing CPUs far easier, first and foremost. As CPUs get smaller due to newer nodes allowing for physically smaller transistors, shrinking the cache is much more difficult than other components. With this, it’s simply just easier in the long run to stack a new L3 cache on top of the existing cache.

Plus, 3D V-Cache is far more customizable and can be added optionally to processors that benefit from it, rather than having to be a part of every CPU manufactured by AMD.

Which 7000 Series CPUs have 3D V-Cache?

 

Ryzen X3D processors line up

 

In the newest generation of Ryzen 3D CPUs, three CPUs have 3D V-Cache.

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These CPUs are all more powerful than their 7000 series counterparts due to their 3D V-Cache capabilities.

It may seem like a large undertaking to have V-Cache on all 16 cores of the 7950X3D, for example. But, only half of the cores within the CPU have this technology.

This gives the CPU added flexibility, as it can use those cores when V-Cache is required — for gaming and other applications where V-Cache is beneficial — but also allows the other cores to be used when higher clock speeds are required and the use of V-Cache isn’t beneficial to performance.

With this, the 7000X3D series of CPUs is much stronger than the original 5800X3D from 2022, which was severely stunted due to the limited power available with the limitations of V-Cache.

The 7000X3D series also has some measure of overclocking enabled, unlike the 5800X3D. By enabling Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) and Curve Optimizer, overclocking enthusiasts can try their hand at gaining clock speed and lower voltages — whereas this feature wasn’t available in the 5800X3D at all.

AMD X3D V-Cache Performance

All of these technical facts still beg the question — ‘Can AMD get ahead of Intel?’. While Intel has pulled ahead of AMD with their latest series of mainline CPUs, this new V-Cache technology is looking to severely give AMD an upper hand in the everlasting CPU battle.

 

Ryzen 9 7950X3D performance

 

According to AMD, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has up to 25% better performance than the Intel Core i9-13900K. This is a huge performance boost and could be the thing to push AMD ahead in this war, especially considering the absolute monster X-series AM5 motherboards they are compatible with, with a raft of features that bring out the best in the new silicon.

However, early benchmarks are still showing that the two are neck-and-neck in this race for performance. While the i9-13900KS is a powerhouse that put Intel in the lead for performance recently, this innovation by AMD is looking to help them keep up and fight for the lead here.

 

3DMark Timespy results for Ryzen 9 X3D

 

Overall, this new technology does look promising and is seeming to help AMD potentially finally pull ahead of Intel in the overall CPU war.

About Content Creation Benchmarks

When it comes to evaluating content creation performance, there are a few essential factors to consider, particularly when it comes to benchmarking with Cinebench R20 3D renders and Handbrake video transcode.

Lower Performance for Cinebench and Handbrake Tests

It's essential to note that Cinebench and Handbrake do not benefit from extra cache, which is why we see lower results in these tests when compared to the higher-frequency 7950X3D. The 7950X performs approximately 10% faster in terms of Handbrake export and around 7.5% faster in Cinebench's multi-core test.

 

X3D for content creators

Data Source: Eurogamer.net

Single-Core Performance

The 7950X3D can use its higher-frequency cores in single-core tests, and as such, we would expect closer results. Indeed, there is only a 1% deficit to the 7950X in this test.

Comparison with the 13900K

While the 7950X3D falls behind the 13900K in multi-core workloads, it's important to note that the top Intel CPU is only about 10% better in Handbrake and approximately 13% better in Cinebench. Therefore, the margin is not significant.

Significantly Faster than Previous-Generation Competitors

Despite falling behind the 13900K in multi-core workloads, the 7950X3D remains considerably faster than any previous-generation competitors. For instance, it outperforms the 5950X by 36% and the 12900K by 32% in Cinebench.

Content creators must take into account the above-discussed factors when benchmarking their systems' performance. While the 7950X3D may not perform as well as the 13900K in multi-core workloads, it remains an impressive processor that surpasses any previous-generation competitor by a considerable margin.

Why is this important for the future?

While also providing immediate benefits for AMD’s CPUs, the 3D V-Cache method implemented by AMD is a massive innovation for the future of CPUs as a whole.

The stacking technology means that the possibilities are now limitless for AMD to make smaller CPUs without sacrificing cache size, meaning that this is revolutionary for the CPU industry going forward.

Of course, the big plus for AMD is the entry level / mid-tier market share recoup for those who don't want a dedicated GPU eating their budget. The utilisation of 3D V-Cache technology appears to offer substantial benefits in gaming with an integrated RDNA GPU. Benchmarks and future estimations suggest that it can lead to 4x performance gains in both 720p and 1080p resolutions.

The testers from PCMag conducted testing on four games: F1 22, Total War: Three Kingdoms, Bioshock Infinite, and Tomb Raider. The Ultra-Low preset was applied in the case of the graphically demanding F1 22, where the average FPS of the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU was an impressive 62 FPS at 720p, whereas the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X yielded a meagre 19 FPS. Furthermore, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D delivered 33 FPS at 1080p, rendering its performance slightly superior or equivalent to the integrated graphics of the Intel Core i9-13900K. These frame rates are pretty much viable for most gamers.

 

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D integrated graphics testing, Credit: PCMag

 

Time will tell if Intel seeks to take advantage of similar innovation, sliding away from P-Core and E-Core to a stacked chip - but for now, AMD seems to be the company pushing the envelope while looking to undoubtedly take the throne in the back-and-forth battle of the two CPU giants.

Last Word

AMD’s revolutionary innovation in 3D V-Cache is proving to help them pull ahead in the constant battle against Intel.

The performance benefits of the 7000X3D series of CPUs have already helped them catch up to the stellar performance of the Core i9-13900KS from Team Blue, and the sky is now the limit for the future of AMD’s CPU innovation.

Are you looking for a new CPU, but don’t know where to start? Check out our buyer’s guide to see which CPU is best for your system.