AMD’s new 65W processors fix Ryzen 7000’s biggest problems

There’s no doubt that AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X is an impressive processor, but AMD’s most recent generation hasn’t been off to the best start. Like it or not, AMD’s latest chips are expensive, require a lot of power, and run hot. At CES, AMD is looking to correct course.

The company introduced three non-X CPUs to go alongside its big, beefy Ryzen 7000 processors, and they address the problems with the latest generation point-for-point. They’re more efficient with a 65-watt power limit, but more importantly, they’re far cheaper than their X-branded counterparts.

Ryzen 9 7900 Ryzen 7 7700 Ryzen 5 7600
Cores/threads 12/14 8/16 6/12
Boost clock 5.4GHz 5.3GHz 5.1GHz
Cache 76MB 40MB 38MB
Power draw 65W 65W 65W
List price $430 $330 $230

Although the new processors are cheaper and more efficient, they still come with all the trimmings of AMD’s next-gen platform. That includes the AM5 socket, which AMD has promised support for through 2025, DDR5 memory, and PCIe 5.0 support. These processors use the same Zen 4 architecture, too — there aren’t any wild naming schemes afoot.

AMD is also bringing back its Wraith CPU coolers with these processors. The Ryzen 9 and Ryzen 7 will come with a Wraith Prism cooler in the box, while the Ryzen 5 comes with a Wraith stealth cooler. Although we always recommend a third-party CPU cooler, AMD’s bundled coolers are a decent option for budget builders.

Performance for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 processor.

For performance, AMD says the Ryzen 7 7900 is up to 31% faster than last-gen’s Ryzen 9 5900X in games, as well as up to 48% faster in creative apps. The Ryzen 7 7700 shows similar gains over last-gen’s Ryzen 7 5800X, as does the Ryzen 5 7600 over the Ryzen 5 5600X.

Those are impressive numbers, but it’s no surprise that AMD is able to beat its previous generation. Compared to the Core i5-13600K, AMD says the Ryzen 5 7600 mostly matches Intel in gaming performance while consuming around half the power. In some games, such as F1 2021, AMD even claims a lead of up to 8%.

AMD says that these processors have a lot of additional power under the hood, though. They’re still unlocked for overclocking, and AMD showed that the Ryzen 7 7900 can have performance improvements of up to 34% simply by turning on the one-click Precision Boost Overdrive feature in AMD’s Ryzen Master software.

Overclocking with AMD's Ryzen 7000 non-X processors.

It’ll be interesting to see how the processors stack up to AMD’s current slate, especially since AMD is claiming up to 47% better efficiency for the non-X parts. Although AMD’s numbers are impressive, it’s important to wait for third-party benchmarks before buying a new CPU.

Thankfully, we should have those benchmarks soon. AMD says that non-X Ryzen 7000 CPUs will launch on January 10, just a few days after CES wraps up.

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