AMD Ryzen 5 3500X to Go After Core i5-9400F In Sub-$200 Gaming
AMD’s Ryzen 3000 lineup is about to expand, adding even further competition for Intel in the sub-$200 price range. Last month, prolific leaker TUM_APISAK revealed basic specifications for a 6-core/6-thread Ryzen 5 3500 clocked at 3.6GHz with a 4.1GHz boost. But now, based on a listing at Chinese retailer Jingdong, it seems AMD will also introduce a Ryzen 5 3500X that shares the same core/thread count and clocks as the 3500, but bumps the L3 cache from 16MB to 32MB and likely includes AMD’s popular Wraith Stealth cooler in the box.
With the existing Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 lineup currently starting with the $199 Ryzen 5 3600, these two new 3500-series processors will take clear aim at Intel’s Core i5-9400F, a 6-core/6-thread processor that is aimed at mid-range gaming builds.
The Ryzen 3500-series and i5-9400F share the same core counts and TDP, but the Ryzen parts enjoy a 700MHz advantage in base clock, more than triple the cache, support for DDR4-3200 memory, and of course support for PCIe 4.0 on compatible motherboards.
The AMD marketing slides included in the Ryzen 5 3500X listing claim that these differences in specifications allow the processor to offer similar gaming performance to the 9400F when paired with a discrete GPU, which in the case of AMD’s example is a GTX 1660. That’s important because, as presumably gaming-focused processors, the 3500 and 3500X won’t have the core advantage over Intel that AMD enjoys at other price points.
And speaking of price, there’s no clear answer. The Jingdong listing for the 3500X shows a price of 1,099 Chinese Yuan, which currently equates to about $155 USD. The i5-9400F has a list price of $182, but a common street price of about $140. The absence of a listing for the 3500 suggests that it may be a part limited to OEMs, or possibly that it may be targeting a price at or below the street price of the 9400F. However, AMD also has another existing processor in this range, the $150 Ryzen 5 3400G, which is a 4-core/8-thread APU based on last-generation’s Zen+ architecture paired with Vega 11 graphics.
Regardless, we won’t need to wait long to see just how competitively AMD prices these new chips. The Ryzen 5 3500X should hit North American retailers by the end of the month.