Micro Center Launches Exclusive AMD Ryzen 5 5600X3D 3D V-Cache CPU For Budget Gamers

ryzen 5 5600x3d
For folks building PCs on an extremely tight budget, the current-generation platforms from both AMD and Intel are still pretty expensive. Socket AM4 systems can be had for half the price or less, and they still offer great performance in games and productivity applications. Of course, the fan favorite AM4 CPU for gaming systems is the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, but even at its current street price of $289, it's still pretty pricey for a budget-focused build.

"If only AMD would launch a six-core version of that CPU," we've heard before. Well, as was rumored this time last year and leaked just a couple of weeks ago, someone is in fact launching a six-core 3D V-Cache CPU, but it's not AMD—it's Micro Center. Yes, the American retailer is AMD's exclusive launch partner for this release, and it is handling all press and PR for the new product.

ryzen5600x3d chart

The Ryzen 5 5600X3D is exactly what it sounds like: a Ryzen 5 5600X with 3D V-Cache. Okay, it's not quite that simple, of course. Just like with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D as well as the Zen 4-based 3D V-Cache processors, you do lose a bit of clock rate. Likewise, the TDP goes up to 105W, the same as the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

That's probably because these chips are actually just harvested Ryzen 7 5800X3D processors that didn't quite pass muster as their intended product. The solution is simple: disable a couple of cores and sell it as a Ryzen 5. Frankly, we're surprised that it took this long for this CPU to show up.

microcenter houston store

Micro Center says that these CPUs will be $229 when they release on July 7th. If that sounds like an incredible value for what is probably an extremely competent gaming processor and leaves you wondering what the catch is, well, the catch is twofold.

First off, these CPUs are truly exclusive to Micro Center. You won't be able to buy them anywhere else—at least, not first-hand—and the store says it only has "three to six months" of stock. That's fine for folks who live near one of the hallowed retail stores, but for most of the rest of the US (to say nothing of the rest of the world), it's a bummer.

metro exodus ryzen 5 7600
The 5800X3D kicks butt, yet the Ryzen 5 7600 is nearly as fast. From our 65W Zen 4 review.

The other "catch" is that $229 isn't exactly "cheap" for what is frankly a last-generation CPU. That's more expensive than a Ryzen 7 7600 or a ten-core Core i5-12600K (currently about $200 at Amazon). It's true that this chip benefits from cheap Socket AM4 motherboards and even cheaper DDR4 memory, but you're still putting money into an older platform with no upgrade path and which lacks the latest features, like PCIe 5.0.

Of course, we haven't tested one yet. It's possible that it will have world-beating gaming performance at the $230 price point. After all, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D can still hang with Intel and AMD's latest and greatest in some titles. It's possible that the Ryzen 5 5600X3D will in fact be a remarkable value.

tuf gaming b550 plus
The ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS normally runs around $150 on its own.

In fact, it's fairly likely, because Micro Center is going to be offering the CPU in a bundle with an ASUS B550-PLUS motherboard and 16GB of G.SKILL RAM for just $329.99—that's only $100 for the board and memory. As long as the 5600X3D doesn't turn out to be a dud in games, this might be the deal to beat this summer.