AMD Ryzen 5 3500X and 3500 leaks highlight speed differences between the CPUs

(Image credit: Future)

AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500X and 3500 processors have popped up online once more, although this time the listings appear to show that these CPUs will run with different base clocks (which wasn’t the case going by previous speculation).

The new leaks (spotted by Anandtech) about the allegedly very-soon-to-arrive budget CPUs come from two separate sources, the first of which is MSI, which has added the Ryzen 5 3500X to the list of supported chips for its MEG X570 motherboard (but not the 3500).

The info about the 3500X in MSI’s support database reveals a base clock speed of 3.6GHz along with a 65W TDP and 32MB of L3 cache. All of which is exactly in line with what was previously rumored – and the presence of the processor in the official support documentation of a major motherboard manufacturer surely shows that this CPU is indeed really coming (if any doubt was left given the weight of rumors of late).

Where this gets even more interesting, though, is in the second leak from Amazon which is a product listing for an HP Pavilion gaming desktop PC.

The details of that gaming rig show that it’s built around a Ryzen 5 3500 processor, which is listed with a base clock of 3.4GHz (no other info is imparted except for the fact that this is a six-core chip – both of these chips are reportedly six-core, six-thread, going by previous rumors).

So, whereas previous word from the graphics grapevine had both of these CPUs running at a base clock of 3.6GHz, this would appear to indicate that only the 3500X is pegged at that speed, with the 3500 dropping to 3.4GHz, which would make sense to us.

Cache cow

Previous rumors hinted that the only difference between the two chips would simply be the amount of cache (32MB for the 3500X, and 16MB for its cheaper sibling – which may well still be the case, too, as the former is certainly true according to MSI).

Of course, this assumes that Amazon hasn’t made a mistake with its listing here and simply published the wrong clock speed. At any rate, this is all speculation, naturally, although the obvious takeaway is that these chips are indeed coming, and likely coming very soon – the shipping date of that HP gaming PC is pegged as October 20.

Going by leaks of alleged marketing slides which have emerged recently, these chips are set to challenge Intel’s popular Core i5 9400F, and we’ve already seen various reports of comparative benchmarks that show the 3500X outdoing Intel's CPU.

Naturally, a lot will depend on exactly how AMD pitches these new Ryzen 3rd-gen chips in comparison to the asking price of the 9400F, and we can only guess at that until an official announcement.

It’s likely that the 3500X might be priced at a little more than the Core i5-9400F – which costs about $140 (around £112, AU$206) at the time of writing – whereas the Ryzen 5 3500 may well undercut that.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).