AMD Processors Buyers Guide

What is an AMD CPU / Processor ?

Serving as the brain of any PC, the Central Processing Unit, or the CPU, is one of the most important components to consider when buying or building a new DESKTOP COMPUTER. Proving that Intel isn’t the only option for desktop users, AMD has brought stern competition to the marketplace with the launch of its award-winning Ryzen processors. Based on the cutting-edge Zen architecture and designed to usher in an era of many-core computing, Ryzen CPUs offer a tempting blend of multi-tasking capabilities at attractive price points. Another thing to consider when choosing the right CPU is making sure you choose a compatible MOTHERBOARD and we’ll indicate this for each processor family as we go through them. AMD is constantly updating their product range which could make it confusing to know if you’re buying the latest and greatest version.

The easiest way to tell is to look at what architecture the processor is, this essentially refers to the generation of that product which you’ll always find in the product description and in this buyers guide we’ll highlight which is the latest architecture for each processor family.

AMD Desktop Processors

To help consumers pick an AMD processor, their chips are split into unique families whose characteristics best represent.

Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9

High End
Ryzen 5

Mid Range
Ryzen 3

Entry-level
Athlon

Entry-level
Ryzen Threadripper PRO and Ryzen Threadripper
Workstation
Key Key Key

AMD Ryzen 9 Processors

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors

The latest edition to the Ryzen family is a new range of Ryzen 9 processors. Compared to the 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7s, the new Ryzen 9s have up to 16-cores/32-threads making them monstrously fast for gaming, content creation or simply multitasking lots of applications at once.

Gaming 10
Streaming 10
Content Creation 9
Multitasking 9
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen 5000-series, Zen 3 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD X570, AMD B550, B450, A520

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen 9 5900X

View Latest Ryzen 9 Processors

AMD Ryzen 7 Processors

AMD Ryzen 7 Processors

Want to experience 4K video, virtual reality and the latest games without breaking a sweat? The eight-core Ryzen 7’s multitasking prowess makes it an ideal fit for content creators and PC enthusiasts seeking high-end performance without breaking the bank.

Look out for Ryzen 7’s with a G on the end of the name as these have integrated graphics, which means for a casual gaming PC you don’t need to invest in a separate graphics card, saving you money.

Gaming 8
Streaming 8
Content Creation 7
Multitasking 7
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen 5000-series, Zen 3 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD X570, AMD B550, B450, A520

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen 7 5800X

View latest Ryzen 7 Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 Processors

Ryzen is all about more cores, thus more performance, at minimal cost, and to that end Ryzen 5 opens the door to faster PCs. Armed with up to six cores Ryzen 5 is a stellar choice for gamers and content creators alike, Ryzen 5’s many-core approach is ideally suited to demanding multi-threaded workloads such as video editing, virtual reality and juggling multiple apps at any one time.

Look out for Ryzen 5’s with a G on the end of the name as these have integrated graphics, which means for a casual gaming PC you don’t need to invest in a separate graphics card, saving you money.

Gaming 6
Streaming 6
Content Creation 5
Multitasking 5
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen 5000-series, Zen 3 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD X570, AMD B550, B450, A520

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen 5 5600X

View latest Ryzen 5 Processors

AMD Ryzen 3 Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 Processors

Ryzen 3 is AMD’s range of entry-level processors, and are a great choice for a cost-effective gaming PC and are also ideal for basic photo editing and everyday office applications.

Gaming 4
Streaming 4
Content Creation 2
Multitasking 2
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen 4000-series, Zen 2 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD X570, AMD B550, B450, A520

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen 3 4100

VIEW LATEST RYZEN 3 PROCESSORS

AMD Athlon Processors

AMD Ryzen 5 Processors

AMD Athlon processors are entry-level dual-core CPUs with integrated graphics. They are ideally suited for basic home and office applications, but have insufficient horsepower for more demanding tasks such as high-resolution gaming and content creation applications.

Gaming 2
Streaming 1
Content Creation 1
Multitasking 1
0 5 10

Latest generationAthlon 3000-series, Zen architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD X570, AMD B550, B450, A520

3XS recommendsAMD Athlon 3000G

VIEW latest ATHLON PROCESSORS
Key Key Key

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO Processors

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors

Want the very best that AMD has to offer? Then look no further than Ryzen Threadripper PRO. Designed as a showcase of today’s many-core computing experience, Threadripper offers up to 64 physical cores from a single chip.

Threadripper Pro supports more PCIe lanes, more memory and ECC Registered RAM, making it the ultimate workstation for creative professionals.

Gaming 8
Streaming 8
Content Creation 10
Multitasking 10
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen Threadripper PRO 3000-series, Zen 2 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD WRX80

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3975WX

VIEW latest RYZEN THREADRIPPER PRO PROCESSORS

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors

Ryzen Threadripper offers even more cores than Ryzen 9, up to 64, providing outstanding performance in more demanding content creation applications.

Want to render, compile, stream, encode and play? Ryzen 9 is perfectly capable. Want to render, compile, stream, encode and play at the same time? Then Ryzen Threadripper is where it’s at.

Gaming 8
Streaming 8
Content Creation 10
Multitasking 10
0 5 10

Latest generationRyzen Threadripper 3000-series, Zen 2 architecture

Compatible motherboard chipsetsAMD TRX40

3XS recommendsAMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

View latest Ryzen Threadripper Processors

Summary

Still not sure which AMD CPU is right for you? This table shows the key characteristics, rated out of10, of the main processor families.

Ryzen Threadripper PRO Ryzen Threadripper Ryzen 9 Ryzen 7 Ryzen 5 Ryzen 3 ATHLON
Gaming 8 8 9 8 6 4 2
Streaming 8 8 10 8 6 4 1
Content Creation 10 10 9 8 5 2 1
Multitasking 10 10 9 8 5 2 1

We hope you've found this buyers guide helpful. Don't hesitate to speak to one of our friendly advisors for more advice if you still have questions on how to select the perfect CPU for your needs.

How to understand the names of AMD CPUs

In addition, to the named ranges of CPU, i.e. Ryzen 9, 7 etc, AMD uses a string of numbers and letters to differentiate individual CPUs. This illustration will help you to decipher this alphabet soup.

For reference, here are the full specifications of all the latest AMD desktop CPUs.

Series
Model
Architecture
Socket
Cores / Threads
Base Frequency
Turbo Frequency
Cache
Memory
Controller
Maximum Memory
Memory Frequency
PCIe 4.0 / 3.0 Lanes
Integrated GPU
TDP
Ryzen Threadripper PRO Ryzen 9 Ryzen 7 Ryzen 5 Ryzen 3 ATHLON
3995WX 3975WX 3975WX 5950X 5900X 5800X3D 5800X 5700X 5700G 5600X 5600 5600G 5500 4600G 4500 4100 3000G
Zen 2 Zen 2 Zen 2 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 2 Zen 2 Zen 2 Zen
sWRX8 sWRX8 sWRX8 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4
64 / 128 32 / 64 16 / 32 16 / 32 12 / 24 8 / 16 8 / 16 8 / 16 8 / 16 6 / 12 6 / 12 6 / 12 6 / 12 6 / 12 6 / 12 4 / 8 2 / 4
2.7GHz 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 3.4GHz 3.7GHz 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 3.9GHz 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 3.6GHz 3.7GHz 3.6GHz 3.8GHz 3.5GHz
4.2GHz 4.2GHz 4.3GHz 4.9GHz 4.8GHz 4.5GHz 4.7GHz 4.6GHz 4.6GHz 4.7GHz 4.4GHz 4.4GHz 4.4GHz 4.2GHz 4.1GHz 4.0GHz
288MB 144MB 72MB 72MB 70MB 96MB 36MB 36MB 20MB 35MB 35MB 20MB 19MB 11MB 11MB 6MB 4MB
Eight-channel
ECC Registered
Eight-channel
ECC Registered
Eight-channel
ECC Registered
Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel Dual-channel
2TB 2TB 2TB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 128GB 64GB 64GB 64GB 64GB
3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 3200MHz 2666MHz 2666MHz 2666MHz 2666MHz
128 / 0 128 / 0 128 / 0 20 / 0 20 / 0 20 / 0 20 / 0 20 / 0 0 / 20 20 / 0 20 / 0 0 / 20 20 / 0 0 / 16 0 / 16 0 / 16 0 / 16
280W 280W 280W 105W 105W 105W 105W 65W 65W 65W 65W 65W 65W 65W 65W 65W 35W