With AMD now several months post release of their current AM5 platform, I figured that the sun was setting on AMD’s previous-generation AM4 platform. But, it would seem, AM4 is going to get one last hurrah, as AMD is preparing to release a new chip for the platform: a V-cache equipped, hex-core Ryzen 5 5600X. And while the chip itself is notable in a couple of ways, what’s likely going to end up better remembered is the unusual launch of the chip, with it being released as a limited edition Micro Center exclusive on July 7th.

First things first, let’s start with the chip itself. The Ryzen 5 5600X3D is a 6 core Zen 3 processor with AMD’s 64MB V-cache die stacked on top, giving the Zen 3-era chip a total of 96MB of L3 cache. Architecturally, it’s a lower-bin SKU of the same silicon AMD uses to make their existing 5800X3D, just running at marginally lower clockspeeds and with two CPU cores fused off. In practice, this is a salvage part to make use of Zen 3 CCDs with minor defects, just like the regular Ryzen 5 5600X.

AMD Ryzen 7000/5000 X3D Chips
AnandTech Cores
Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16C / 32T 4.2 GHz 5.7 GHz DDR5-5200 128 MB 120W 162W $628
Ryzen 9 7900X3D 12C / 24T 4.4 GHz 5.6 GHz DDR5-5200 128 MB 120W 162W $520
Ryzen 7 7800X3D 8C / 16T 4.2 GHz 5.0 GHz DDR5-5200 96 MB 120W 162W $420
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 8C / 16T 3.4 GHz 4.5 GHz DDR4-3200 96 MB 105W 142W $280
Ryzen 5 5600X3D 6C /12T 3.3 GHz 4.4 GHz DDR4-3200 96 MB 105W 142W $230
Ryzen 5 5600X 6C /12T 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz DDR4-3200 32 MB 65W 88W $148

With regards to the processor’s specifications, it looks pretty much exactly like what you’d expect for a Ryzen 5 X3D part. The base clockspeed of 3.3GHz and boost clockspeed of 4.4GHz are a step below the full Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and along with the loss of 2 CPUs cores, the chip is taking a modest hit to CPU throughput. However, because disabling two CPU cores doesn’t disable any of the L3 cache within AMD’s Zen 3 CCD, the chip still has all of its 96MB of L3 cache available – making this the lowest-end AMD part to get a supersized L3 cache pool.

Otherwise, the rest of the official specs are the same as the 5800X3D that this lesser chip is cut from. That means power consumption is rated for a TDP of 105W (142W PPT), which is in-line with most of the rest of the Ryzen 5000X family, though it is a tier higher than the 65W TDP of the 5600X that it will be sitting next to within AMD’s product stack. And, lest anyone has forgotten following the Ryzen 7000 launch, as this is a Zen 3 desktop CPU only DDR4 memory is supported, and there isn’t an integrated GPU of any kind.

While there’s nothing particularly unusual about AMD releasing a salvage part to fill in a spot in their product lineup, AMD’s decision to release this so late into AM4’s lifecycle – after the Ryzen 5000X3D family’s successors are already released – does stand out. Although AMD is taking an unusually distant approach to this launch (more on that in a second), all signs point to AMD opting to offload the relatively small number of defective chips that they have amassed over the past year as part of 5800X3D production.  

Because AMD does not have any current Ryzen 5000X3D chip SKUs with 6 CPU cores, and the 5800X3D requires a “perfect” Zen 3 + V-cache die, AMD hasn’t had an outlet for chips that fail to make the grade. On larger run products like the regular Ryzen 5000 family, this would be accounted for from the start with parts like the 5600X, but the V-cache Ryzen 5000X3D family is produced in relatively small numbers to begin with, so there aren’t a lot of defective-but-salvageable chips sitting around (most of the duds would be a bad connection between the CCD and v-cache die, we reckon). Still, if you produce something like the 5800X3D for long enough, those defective chips do start stacking up. So AMD’s options are to either dispose of them, or to make a profit out of them – and thus we get the Ryzen 5 5600X3D.

Hardware-wise, I’m a bit surprised to see that AMD has enough of these harvested chips to even bother with a salvage run. The intricate die stacking required to place a V-cache die on a CCD means that there’s no reason AMD should be placing the cache on anything less than a perfect, 8 core Zen 3 CCD. Still, it would seem that either the CCD validation process or the stacking process is imprecise enough that a few less-than-perfect parts still make it through the cracks. And hey, it makes for some good conversational hardware.

In any case, the low volume of the Ryzen 5 5600X3D means that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a competitive chip over the long haul of the market; it only needs to sell out once. And with a price tag of $229.99, it shouldn’t have too much trouble doing so. At this price it’s $50 below the 5800X3D and some $82 more expensive than the vanilla 5600X, which is similar to the premium for the 5800X3D over its regular counterpart.

As with the 5800X3D, what will make or break the chip are those workloads that can make use of the chip’s expansive 96MB of L3 cache. Which for the consumer market has primarily been games. For those games that benefit from the large L3 cache size – and have been the reason du jure to get the 5800X3D up until now – the 96MB of L3 cache in the even cheaper 5600X3D makes for an interesting and potentially performative alternative – at least so long as that workload won’t greatly miss the two disabled CPU cores.

Otherwise, the second most convincing use case for the short stocked chip will be as an upgrade for existing AM4 systems. It won’t be a halo upgrade part like the 5800X3D, but if your workloads benefit enough to justify getting an X3D chip over a cheaper vanilla processor, it’s another option to consider.

Ryzen 5 5600X3D: A Limited Volume, Micro Center Exclusive

But what’s perhaps most interesting about this launch is not what’s being launched, but whom it’s being launched with. As noted earlier, this is a low volume part – so low that a traditional global launch is seemingly out of the question. So rather than releasing the part worldwide with hundreds of partner retailers, AMD is partnering with just a single company to release it in a single region: Micro Center.

The beloved brick and mortar PC parts retailer will be the only store receiving the Ryzen 5 5600X3D. And indeed, while this is an AMD chip, it’s very much Micro Center’s launch. AMD isn’t promoting the processor or even issuing any press releases; all of that is being handled by Micro Center. It’s about as exclusive as a processor launch can get, short of a retailer requisitioning their own chip SKU.

The exclusive launch with Micro Center means that, among other things, this is a de facto US-only part. Regional rarities are not unheard of (AMD and Intel have been known to launch China-only parts now and then), but it’s less common to get something that’s US-only. Meanwhile, even if you’re in the US, you’ll need access to a Micro Center store to get the chip. The company’s retail footprint is limited, with just 25 stores, primarily in the mid-west and east. So even in AMD’s own backyard of Austin, Texas, the 5600X3D technically isn’t available.

Above all else, the exclusivity of the launch underscores the limited number of chips that will be available. While neither Micro Center nor AMD are disclosing the total number of chips being made available, if a mid-sized retailer like Micro Center can move enough chips to use up whatever AMD is supplying, then we’re looking at a very small number compared to the typically massive global launch. Still, our colleagues over at Tom's Hardware report that Micro Center has told them that they expect to have "several months of availability," so it's also not necessarily a product that will sell out forever on its first day.

In any case, Micro Center will be selling the chip alone, as well as part of a couple of different bundles. The solo chip will be $230, and like its 5800X3D counterpart, is sold chip-only, without a bundled cooler. Meanwhile, Micro Center will also be offering a $330 bundle that pairs the chip with ASUS’s B550-PLUS TUF Gaming Motherboard and 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 memory. Finally, the store will be offering a full-on prebuilt system as well, the PowerSpec G516, which will round out the collection with a Radeon RX 6650 XT and a 500GB SSD for $850. All three options will go on sale on July 7th.

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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, July 4, 2023 - link

    While I love the huge L3, the power consumption (and consequential heat) situation is dreadful. I could quite literally turn on every light in my home and still operate my phone and laptop on just the max draw of the CPU alone. That also fails to account for summertime cooling of said home on our burning, mass extinction doomed planet. I would dread the utility bill a modern desktop PC requires and have difficulty understanding the mindless drones that tally ho their way into an expense like this.
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, July 4, 2023 - link

    If you own a home a computer power draw is peanuts compared to a fridge, a washer and dryer etc. So what is your actually complaint here?
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - link

    Oh I get it! It's okay to waste power because other things performing a useful function like food storage or clothing maintenance require electrical energy. Whelp, have fun on the burning planet with that false equivalency you're using as a proverbial foundation for your flawed logic.

    Heh, also sure, 600W for four to six hours a day (not including power for compensation in cooling if someone happens to use air conditioning) is a lot less power than the 2400W of one hour a week running a dryer. Very much "peanuts" in comparison. But hey, who's doing the math? Certainly not you.
  • nandnandnand - Friday, July 7, 2023 - link


    5600X3D doesn't even consume 90 Watts, and you could configure it to use less.
  • Thunder 57 - Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - link

    You're talking out of your ass. The VCahce models use less power because they clock lower. If you really want to make an argument about power and waste heat, why not bring up Intel?

    ANd we could go back to the stone age and still have a "burning planet". But facts are too inconveneient for you?

  • PeachNCream - Saturday, July 22, 2023 - link

    Yeah, Intel sucks at that too, but who's buying those chips? It takes mindless drones by the millions lusting after products they don't need to move multi-billion dollar corporations to develop products that have stupid levels of power consumption. PC enthusiasts are VERY quick to point at companies as being at fault, but certainly cower from looking in the mirror at themselves. Sad how little responsibility people are willing to accept for the situation they put themselves in. Everything about your reply, dear "Thunder" demonstrates that sort of thinking.
  • charlesg - Tuesday, July 25, 2023 - link

    Wow. You must live on a different planet than I do? My planet is doing just fine, certainly not burning, and certainly not doomed.
    Or maybe it's the ideology you subscribe to?
  • Bruzzone - Tuesday, July 4, 2023 - link

    5800X3D from TSMC to AMD was $205 and I suspect 5600X3D is no different. Microcenter makes $24 (unless AMD gave MC 56X3D at n/c) either way suspect to make up for R7K and especially 7900XT margin loss on 1st degree consumer downward price adjustments. I would have preferred to see 5800X3D refresh at 4.5% of R5K WW channel available new and used that is 48.5% of 7800X3D WW available. The reason is 41.5% of R5K WW inventory remaining is 5600_ and why sit on 5600_ clearing with 56X3D. I comprehend the performance difference w/56X3D limited to certain games and large sim models and also believe it makes sense if to off slack, getting rid of 56X3D through limited sales outlets. In the overall 5600X3D is something for AMD to trade for channel concessions and in this case MC, where AMD often gets rid of its desktop slack through Dell. mb
  • Bruzzone - Thursday, July 6, 2023 - link

    AMD CPU sales trend over the US domestic July 4th holiday sales events;

    R7K is selling just like RDNA lll and Ada are selling all the daunting reports in PC media barking for affiliate sales commissions.

    The price drops are known as 1st degree 'consumer discriminatory pricing' and that is because cadence on current drops unlike 7900XT and 4080 initial adjustments are now administered beyond the 30 day retail price difference return guarantee subsequently 'consumer discriminatory' buyers should wait to q1 2024 for lower price. In q1 2024 missing price adjustments end buyers don't get worked for retail's gain on every last price in relation next price. From a systems view, as in general systems 'game theory' retail is also trying to create a buyer herd effect searching for 'what price' gets prospects to rush to the purchase think snowball effect.

    Let's look at R7K WW channel sales before and after July 4th so called retail sales event and before this latest price drop.

    AMD loaded the channel with peak volume week ending June 4, 2023.

    By grade SKU WW channel available

    7950X3D = 4.37% on 6.4 and last week cleared down < 12% and today is 5.96% of full run inventory so 7950X3D did sell down in the last month.

    7950X = 15.27% on 6.4 and by last week cleared down < 38% not bad and today is 11.32% of full run WW channel available

    7900X3D = 15.75% < 79% and today 6.42% OF WW AVAILABLE see these products are selling.

    7900X = 26.4% < 24% and today 28.97% of WW available I can add doing this exercise every week on WW channel data that 7900X sometimes sits on the shelf and that is because there are so many of them around 29% of full line supply. Subsequently if you want a 7900X the seller; retail or broker will be the most negotiable of 7900X for example bundled into a kit sale.

    Note R7K on average price to volume retail is $256 and you get what you negotiate cost : price averaging other components in a PC kit sale; board, ram, PSU, case, CPU, dGPU etc. Say what is my sales close incentive and then ask for at least half the difference off for the CPU between retail price and wholesale price.

    7900 = 1% but in the last month gained + 57.5% in WW channel available and today represents 2.76% of full line available so there was restocking of 7900 non X and that can also be had for a deal u get what u negotiate. R7K 12 cores seems to be the odd part out this generation.

    7800X3D = 5.46% < only 4.9% so it's a slow mover over the USA domestic 4th sales events and today = 7.72% of full line.

    7700X = 12.33% < 13.3% and today = 16% of WW available on that inventory wait (that must be cleared) likely some end buyer negotiating room on 7700X with broker or retail sales channels.

    7700 = 1.31% + 77.33% channel inventory gain in the prior month and today is 2.92% of all R7K in WW channel. Overstocking makes for better end buyer negotiating leverage.

    7600X = 11% < 1.6% and today 16.32% of full line available.

    7600 = 0.93% < 36% and today inventory available at 1%

    So R7K is selling and in the last month since 6.4.23 cleared down < 33%

    Looking at Vermeer R5K in the last month wholesale trade deals have slowed, there is some secondary trade-in adding to WW R5K supply and I would say full line sales are currently stalled SO good deals on R5K through brokers and retail you have to ask for your discount and that is best accomplished through a kit bundle purchase or know the average full line procurement price to volume retail for R5K is $236.

    Intel Raptor desktop over the last month sold down 4% and Alder desktop gained + 8.4% and the reason Intel appears to be selling more slowing in this last month is because Intel is still stuffing more product into the WW channels then sells off which is Intel flooding channel for back to school into Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events and of course into year-end holiday sales. Second half sales for AMD and Intel is termed supply elastic, channel will be stuffed and prices plugs will be pulled PC parts price only get better, CPU and dGPU, throughout the second half into q1 2024.

    Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing

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