This was previously the buzz on the grapevine, but in an interview with Hot Hardware on YouTube, AMD’s Director of Technical Marketing, Robert Hallock, explained that traditional overclocking would not be possible with the 3D V-cache powered CPU.
Hallock noted that the voltage for this processor doesn’t go up past 1.35V (as in that’s the locked maximum), and that 3D V-cache chips require further optimization in order to be good for overclocking. Basically, given that this is the very first Ryzen silicon to run with this new cache configuration, the ins-and-outs of the way it works still need to be ironed out in order to facilitate being cranked up.
While it’s the case that a would-be overclocker can’t juice up this CPU in a normal way, it is still possible to glean better performance by overclocking the memory and Infinity Fabric.
Analysis: Slower boost and no overclocks, but that cache is king for gamers
So, the long and short of it is that the Ryzen 7 5800X3D boosts to 4.5GHz, and you won’t get any more out of the chip than this (the base clock is 3.4GHz, incidentally). As you may realize, that’s 200MHz slower than the boost of the existing 5800X itself (4.7GHz) – and there’s an even greater disparity of 400MHz in base speeds.
However, even though its 8-cores run somewhat slower, the 5800X3D’s fancy new 3D cache ramps up gaming performance considerably, to mean that the CPU is 15% faster than the 5900X, according to AMD’s own testing.
The theory then is that you don’t need overclocking, anyway, as getting a 5800X3D is going to be great for gamers, even with that slower maximum boost, and lack of overclocking, taken into account.
Indeed, we must also remember that the lack of overclocking won’t affect many buyers, as there are a lot of folks out there who aren’t interested in tweaking or playing around with their processor – overclocking is a PC enthusiast hobby, after all.
Of course, this doesn’t rule out 3D V-cache chips supporting overclocking in the future, and indeed that’s exactly what AMD intends to happen once it has solved all the gremlins in the works related to applying an overclock with this new CPU cache design.
Hallock was certainly keen to emphasize that this move with the 5800X3D does not reflect on AMD’s broader philosophy to have overclocking as a feature with Ryzen products, and doesn’t point to this as a road Team Red is looking at for the future – it’s just a limitation of this new cache tech right now.
- Intel vs AMD: which is best?
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
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).