AMD Surprise Launches Ryzen 9 3900 And Ryzen 5 3500X CPUs For System Builders

AMD third gen Ryzen
Two processors that we've been hearing whispers about for the past few weeks have finally been made official. AMD today confirmed the release of both the Ryzen 9 3900 and the Ryzen 5 3500X. Both processors are aimed at AMD's OEM partners and will only be made available in pre-built systems, so don't expect to easily find them from your favorite retailer – at least not initially.

As we previously covered when the Ryzen 9 3900 originally leaked, it is still a 7nm Zen 2-based processor with the same 12-core/24-thread configuration as the Ryzen 9 3900X. However, whereas the Ryzen 9 3900X has base and boost clocks of 3.8GHz and 4.6GHz respectively, the Ryzen 9 3900 is scaled back dramatically to frequencies of 3.1GHz and 4.3GHz respectively. In exchange for those lower clocks, the Ryzen 9 3900 has a TDP of just 65 watts compared to 105 watts for its X-rated sibling.

AMD Ryzen

As for the Ryzen 5 3500X, it compares very favorably to the Ryzen 5 3600 with regards to clock speeds: both have base clocks of 3.6GHz, while the Ryzen 5 3500X has a maximum boost clock of 4.1GHz (just 100MHz shy of the Ryzen 5 3600's top-end). The big difference comes in the lack of simultaneous multithreading (SMT) for the Ryzen 5 3500X, which means that while it has 6 cores like the Ryzen 5 3600, it misses out on being able to execute 12 threads. Early benchmarks have shown the processor outpacing Intel’s competing Core i5-9400F.

Even though these chips are "cut down" in one way or another compared to similar Ryzen 3000 processors, they still enjoy all the architectural benefits of Zen 2 including support for PCIe 4.0.

As for availability, the Ryzen 9 3900 will be sold globally via AMD's OEM/SI partners, while the Ryzen 5 3500X will only be sold in the Chinese market. However, there’s a good chance that as the months go on and the inevitable oversupply of unsold chips floods the market, you might be able to find some deals on the chips from retailers like Amazon. At the time, there's no word on pricing although we'd expect them to be a bit cheaper than the $499 Ryzen 9 3900X and $199 Ryzen 5 3600.