AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D review: a processor made exclusively for gaming

Last year, AMD came up with a “surprise” launch in the processor market, releasing, at the end of the life of the AM4 platform, one of the best gaming processors. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D promised to outperform all processors in video games, despite not having a very different configuration from the non-3D 5800X. This “bet” on memory installed directly on the processor core proved to be a success, and shortly after the debut of the Ryzen 7000 series of processors on AM5, AMD launched a whole series of “gaming” processors with 3D memory.

The 7900X3D and 7950X3D models are already on the market, but they come at high prices and are aimed at those who want to use their PCs for productivity as well, so only the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the one promised exclusively for gaming. Whether it manages to deliver the top performance promised, I invite you to find out below.

What is Ryzen 7 7800X3D

The new Ryzen 7 7800X3D is significantly different from the other two models released a few weeks ago. First, it is equipped with a single 8-core chiplet (CCX). Thus, 3D V-Cache memory is installed directly on this single core, without the possibility of having a core without memory available for productivity tasks, where the number of cores and frequencies matter more.

Ryzen 7 7800X3D box

Incidentally, this model doesn’t have amazing frequencies. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D starts at a base frequency of 4.2 GHz and boosts to 5 GHz for short periods via Precision Boost Overdrive, AMD’s automated overclocking system. Both X3D models released in the 7000 series exceed 5 GHz in boost, but they also do so on memoryless cores, which may not bring the desired gaming benefits.

Thus, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a “sequel” to last year’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, with 8 cores and 16 threads of execution, and 96 MB L3 Cache memory, important for many video games. As a Ryzen 7000 series processor, it also benefits from all the advantages of the Ryzen 7000 series. We’re talking about a 5nm manufacturing process, an iGPU, and generational instruction per cycle (IPC) improvements due to the new Zen 4 cores. Even without the higher frequencies, this processor should deliver between 10 and 20% more performance than the previous generation.

Ryzen 7 7800X3D handheld

Test Platform

For testing this model we chose a high-end test platform built around a gaming motherboard with high overclocking capabilities. Not that the Ryzen 7 7800X3D would support manual overclocking, but to ensure there are no power limits in any department. The board was a Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master, one of the best on the market and among the four models recommended by AMD for ensuring optimal performance on this processor (the others are the ASUS X670E Crosshair Hero, MSI X670E MEG ACE and AsRock X670E Taichi).

For RAM, we chose a pair of Kingston Fury Beast sticks, 32GB of DDR5 memory at 6,000MHz, the optimal frequency AMD recommends for top performance on Ryzen 7000 processors.

Ryzen 7 7800X3D in socket

Cooling was provided by a Corsair H110i AIO cooler, a 140mm twin-fan model, larger than the usual two-fan model. From this point of view, however, cooling proved to be a bit on the edge, so perhaps a cooler from a newer generation, or even a larger one would be recommended.

Because we were mainly doing gaming tests (we are talking about a processor made almost exclusively for gaming though), we used a GeForce RTX 4090 video card in the Inno3D implementation. While it is not an overclocked video card, as it is limited to a power consumption of 450W and cannot exceed this value, being powered only by 3 PCI-Express 8-pin rails, the card is still an RTX 4090, which offers a high level of performance. Incidentally, in some titles, previous generations of processors even limit this model of card in certain games.

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Ryzen 7 7800X3D back

Last but not least, I used an XPG Blade S70 PCI-Express 4.0 SSD for the system partition, on which I installed Windows 11 Pro with the latest updates. Incidentally, power was provided by a somewhat old source, but still capable of holding its own in any gaming setup: the FPS AURUM 1000W with 80Plus Platinum certification.

Performance: Ryzen 7 7800X3D vs Ryzen 7 5800X3D

The gaming tests used were from the same list I use to test all gaming PCs or laptops lately. Includes a selection of AAA games and a few multiplayer titles, many with ray-tracing support. I ran the tests on the highest performance profiles available, either Ultra or Very High, depending on the game. Because it’s not necessarily a video card test, I chose not to also run the tests with DLSS or FSR, the upscaling methods from NVIDIA and AMD. And for comparison, to see if we are indeed getting a major generational upgrade, I even used the Ryzen 7 5800X3D on the AM4 platform as a comparison, tested with the same video card. That system still used 32GB RAM, but DDR4 at 3600MHz.

In 1080p, in most tests, the 7800X3D manages to beat the 5800X3D, but the victory is not impressively large in only a few of the tests. If in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla we only gain 3 frames per second, and in Cyberpunk with Ray Tracing only 13, in other titles, such as Far Cry 6, which seems to be CPU limited mainly, we have a difference of 46 frames per second in the non RT test, from 150 FPS on the 5800X3D to 196 on the 7800X3D. The only differences are DDR5 vs DDR4 memory and CPU.

Gaming 1080p

The biggest performance boost, however, can be seen in Rainbow Six Siege, where you can gain over 300 frames per second on Ultra. So next-gen eSports monitors, which are rumored to use even 1,000 Hz refresh rate, don’t seem so unnecessary when we already have hardware that allows competitive games to run at such framerates.

Even in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division, or Watch Dogs Legion we noticed high performance input on this processor model, with the caveat that in Ray Tracing tests, the differences were smaller as the limits of the graphics card’s capabilities appear again.

Gaming 1440p

When we switch to 1440p, the performance differences are smaller, but still occur in titles that have received a “boost” in 1080p. Those that already had a small difference, pretty much even out in 1440p. Assassin’s Creed, Cyberpunk, Red Dead Redemption or Returnal get almost no extra performance boost on the new processor. In Rainbow Six however, it still exceeds 800 FPS with an input of over 250 frames per second.

gaming 1440p

Ultimately, the 4K chart shows, however, that an upgrade for those already gaming in this resolution on a high-end video card isn’t exactly necessary. When you turn on Ray Tracing, the limitation in 4K is clearly the GPU, so there only DLSS can significantly improve performance. In the few cases where there is a performance boost, it is quite small. The only titles where you can feel noticeable differences are Rainbow Six and Shadow of the Tomb Raider without ray tracing.

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Gaming 2160p

gaming 2160p

And synthetic tests tell a similar story: the performance difference in tests using 1440p and 4K resolutions is minimal. In fact, in some tests the 7800X3D scored slightly lower, but within the margin of error.

3DMark

3dmark

However, you can say that for productivity, the 7800X3D, even with a similar configuration and not very high frequencies, can deliver better performance than the 5800X3D. In Cinebench we see quite a big difference in score, while PCMark recommends it for digital creations like video or photo editing. Of course the differences probably don’t feel so strong in everyday use.

PCMark

pcmark

Cinebench R23

Cinebench

When it comes to temperatures and frequencies, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D performs quite interestingly. It seems to generally consume around 80W, a lower value than the stated consumption of 120W. It only reaches higher values for short periods in boost. When stressed to the max, it gets very close to AMD’s 89 degree limit (around 86 degrees) with the cooler I used for testing (Corsair H110i). However, it never reached the limit, and the frequency stayed constant at 4.8 GHz during Cinebench testing. In other tests, the processor did not reach such high temperatures.

Even in Prime95 I couldn’t get it above 60 degrees, which I found odd considering it’s a stress test. The frequency in the Prime95 stays around 4.6 GHz, though.

The tests were done only with PBO enabled from BIOS, no tweaks from Ryzen Master. I tried a curve optimization from the AMD app for all cores, and got a 30mV drop for undervolting, which resulted in a sustained 4.9 GHz in Cinebench, with similar power consumption and temperatures. I chose not to run the tests this way to ensure we have data on the core performance of the processor as shipped standard.

Conclusions

At 2,459 lei, what Ryzen 7 7800X3D costs in Romania, choosing it is quite complicated. On the one hand, there is the 7900X3D, also with 3D memory but with more cores and higher frequencies in productivity, at around 3.000 lei. On the other hand, the 7900 without 3D memory is around the same price, at around 2,500 lei, but with slightly poorer performance in some games but better productivity.

Incidentally, upgrading to the AM5 platform comes at extra cost, as motherboards are still quite expensive (and you want at least an upper mid-range model for a gaming processor), and compatible memory is DDR5-only. It would be worth upgrading from an older generation Ryzen, like the 2000 or 3000 series, because whatever else you choose, you’d be changing platforms anyway, but from the 5000 series, it’s not that big of an upgrade. Especially if you already have a 5800X3D, which looks like it can still keep up with the 7800X3D in high resolutions and with ray tracing effects enabled. Basically, the 5800X3D was such a “gift” to AMD fans that even the next model in the series fails to dethrone it in too many use cases (gaming in particular).

Of course, it also matters a lot what kind of games you play and what monitor you have, at what frequency, etc. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is great for those who want as many frames per second in 1080p as possible, but also for those who want a “high refresh rate” experience in 1440p. For 4K, however, we’ll have to wait for the release of even better video cards to see the benefits of this processor. However, the 7800X3D could thus become a future choice, being able to keep the processor even after the launch of the next video cards from AMD and NVIDIA, which will provide better 4K and Ray Tracing performance.

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