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AMD Ryzen 5 3500 and 3500X leaks indicate powerful budget CPUs which could make Intel sweat

(Image credit: Future)

Some fresh online leakage details a pair of allegedly incoming budget Ryzen 3rd-gen processors that AMD has in the wings, the Ryzen 5 3500X and Ryzen 5 3500 (the latter of which has been previously rumored).

As Wccftech reports, specs and some pricing details of the chips were uncovered by Extreme IT (a Thai tech site), and they line up with what we’ve previously heard.

Namely that the Ryzen 5 3500 has six-cores and six-threads (meaning there’s no simultaneous multi-threading here), with a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and boost to 4.1GHz, and a TDP of 65W.

Interestingly, the Ryzen 5 3500X has an identical spec, the only difference being that it has twice as much cache with 32MB on-board (obviously the plain 3500 runs with 16MB – which will put a small dent in its performance level in comparison).

The price for the Ryzen 5 3500 is listed at 4,190 Thai Baht which works out at around $137 (about £109, AU$202), although there is no price given for the 3500X, save for the fact that it will be in the 4,000 Baht range somewhere.

These budget processers are aimed at tackling Intel’s strong-selling and affordable Core i5-9400F, a version of the Core i5-9400 that’s slightly cheaper because it ditches integrated graphics to sell at around $150 (about £120, AU$221) – although it’s available for $140 (about £112, AU$206) at the time of writing.

So it makes sense that the Ryzen 5 3500 will be positioned to undercut that price, perhaps at $130 or $135 (about £108, AU$199), with the 3500X costing a bit more, and maybe reaching up to $150 (about £120, AU$221).

Spec shootout

On paper, the purported Ryzen 5 3500 and Core i5-9400F mostly stack up pretty closely spec-wise, with Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh part also offering six-cores and six-threads, and Turbo to 4.1GHz, plus a TDP of 65W.

However, there are some telling differences in that Intel’s budget Core i5 has a considerably slower base clock of 2.9 GHz, and only 9MB cache compared to the 16MB or 32MB apparently on offer with these new Ryzen chips.

And of course the Ryzen 3000 newcomers will benefit from Zen 2 architecture, which boosts instructions per clock (and therefore overall performance) considerably compared to AMD’s last-gen CPUs, and there are other bonuses which need to be factored in like Ryzen’s PCIe 4.0 support.

In short, by all accounts Intel has a fight on its hands at the lower-end of the processor market, and to underline that, some presentation slides were spilled on Twitter by BullsLab showing how the 3500X compares with the 9400F in some gaming benchmarks (run with a GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card).

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Performance between the two chips is pretty even in these game benchmarks (which include Apex Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2 and PUBG among others). Intel has a slight lead in some, AMD in others (although the Ryzen chip pulls away a bit more in the Counter-Strike benchmark).

Interesting times indeed, but obviously a lot will depend on exactly where AMD pitches the price of these two new processors, which are surely close on the horizon now (unless all these slides and leaked info are faked, which seems highly unlikely).

AMD is already very much killing it of late, at least in the desktop CPU market figures we’ve seen recently, with the Ryzen 5 3600 being a particularly strong performer – and now that chip is set to get some serious backup, at least if this rumor pans out.

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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).