AMD announced the Ryzen 5000 series of processors based on the Zen 3 architecture. This new family of desktop-class CPUs is the successor to the current 3000 series, offering additional performance with a core redesign and yet more efficiencies to really ramp up the pressure on Intel.

These processors are promised to be fast. Real fast. They’re also incredibly efficient with the leading Ryzen 9 5950X rocking 16 cores and 32 threads only sporting a thermal design power (TDP) rating of just 105W. We’re talking nearly three times as efficient as an Intel Core i9-10900K. That’s largely down to Intel being stuck on a 14nm process.

Meet the new AMD Ryzen 5000 processors

But which processor is right for you? We’ve rounded up the announced SKUs in this handy specifications table. Interestingly, AMD has decided not to include coolers with the 105W processors and instead only bundle one with the 65W Ryzen 5 5600X.

Category Ryzen 5 5600X Ryzen 7 5800X Ryzen 9 5900X Ryzen 9 5950X
Architecture Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3
Socket AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4
Cores 6 8 12 16
Threads 12 16 24 32
TDP 65W 105W 105W 105W
Base Speed 3.7GHz 3.8GHz 3.7GHz 3.4GHz
Boost Speed 4.6GHz 4.7GHz 4.8GHz 4.9GHz
Cache 32MB 32MB 32MB 32MB
Cooler Wraith
Stealth
Price $299 $449 $549 $799

The Ryzen 5000 series starts from just $299 for a six-core processor with 12 threads. It’s clocked at 3.7GHz but can boost up to 4.6GHz, and 32MB of cache ensures you’ll find it difficult to find issues with this budget-friendly CPU. There was a time when six-core processors were the best of the bunch and now it’s an affordable entry for AMD Ryzen 5000.

Leading the pack is the behemoth Ryzen 9 5950X, which is in a class of its own. Threadrippers used to be where you needed to go for enthusiast performance, but now AMD offers similar levels of computing without requiring specific coolers and motherboard chipsets and sockets. This CPU houses 16 cores and 32 threads with a TDP of just 105W. Yes, it’s as insane as it sounds.

Which motherboards work with AMD Ryzen 5000 processors?

AMD promised current X570 and B550 motherboards would work fine with the new 5000 series Ryzen processors, so if you have either board from a vendor you’ll be ready for the next generation of CPUs. All that’s required is a BIOS update, which should be applied before installing the new processor.

Older 400 series motherboards may get support for the newer CPUs in the form of a BIOS update, but which boards will be supported and when these updates will be released is yet to be seen. The best bet is to upgrade to a 500-series motherboard, allowing you full access to PCIe 4.0 and other notable improvements the latest chipsets offer.

When can you buy a Ryzen 5000 processor?

AMD plans to launch the new Ryzen 5000 series on November 5, 2020. On that date, you should be able to purchase all four announced CPUs.