For many PC upgraders, here’s how the last cycle of hardware announcements has gone. When AMD launched Zen 4, the refrain was, “wait for Raptor Lake.” After Intel launched Raptor Lake a few weeks later, it was “wait for Zen 4 V-Cache.” A few months after that, AMD did a paper launch for Zen 4 V-Cache, but didn’t include pricing, a launch date, or benchmarks. Therefore, people looking to upgrade thought, “let’s wait for pricing.”
Today, AMD finally announced pricing and availability, so the new line is “wait for benchmarks.” We’ll hopefully get those soon, but at least we now have a roadmap for when these CPUs will arrive and what they will cost. As expected, they are pricey, but they should really deliver in gaming performance.
AMD made the announcement via a short video on YouTube. It’ll be delivering its two high-end V-Cache CPUs to market first. The third and least expensive CPU will follow in April. This will theoretically spur sales as early adopters don’t like to wait for anything. Its flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D shockingly costs the same as the regular version when it launched at $699. AMD has since lowered the price to $599, seemingly due to poor sales. This is the flagship 16-core, 32-thread CPU with 144MB of L2 and L3 cache.
The Ryzen 9 7900X3D at $599 is only a $50 increase from the original CPU. However, AMD slashed that CPU’s price to $449. This is the 12-core, 24-thread CPU with 140MB of L2 and L3 cache. Both of the Ryzen 9 CPUs will go on sale on Feb. 28. That means you’ll need to fork over $150 extra to get the L3-laden version.
The Ryzen 7 version, dubbed 7800X3D, doesn’t have a predecessor, so we can’t compare prices. However, the 7700X is also an eight-core, 16-thread CPU that launched at $399. It only received a mild price cut and is now down to $349 on AMD’s web store. It will include 104MB of L2 and L3 cache. This CPU will arrive on April 6, which is a surprising delay. We figured all three would be available at the same time.
The flagship V-Cache CPU is the same price as Intel’s 6GHz Core i9-13900KS. However, AMD’s CPU is a 120W TDP part compared with Intel’s power-hungry CPU. Both companies are taking drastically different approaches to improving performance here. AMD is lowering power consumption and clocks while adding cache. Intel is boosting clocks and power across the board. The 13900KS has a 150W base power limit and a 253W max limit. But it also supports an Extreme Power Delivery (EPD) profile that goes all the way up to 320W.
AMD is allowing overclocking (Ed: Scratch that, it will only allow overclocking for memory and infinity fabric, not multiplier) on its V-Cache CPUs, though, so it is uncertain if it’ll allow for anything more than 120W. As a recap, its 7950X is rated for 170W but can consume 230W for brief periods of time. Oddly, although AMD previously included a text field on its V-Cache CPUs’ spec sheets saying they allow overclocking, that box is gone now. AMD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on this. Even without overclocking, the table is set for an epic showdown between these two CPUs.
As a final note, these CPUs are expected to run hot. We only say that because, in the announcement video, AMD recommends a 280mm AIO as a baseline cooling solution. That’s a step up from an air cooler and even from a 240mm configuration. Tjmax is listed as 89C for all three CPUs, so it’ll be interesting to see if they hit that temperature immediately when stressed like their predecessors.
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