The rumor mill has previously insisted that AMD has a Ryzen 5 3500 (as well as other chips) waiting in the wings, and now a prolific hardware leaker has spilled the apparent specs of the CPU – which, if correct, make the processor look like a worrying prospect for Intel.
This comes from TUM_APISAK (the source of plenty of CPU leakage) who aired the details on Twitter.
So we are apparently looking at a six-core (six-thread – meaning there is no simultaneous multi-threading here) processor, with a base clock of 3.6GHz and boost to 4.1GHz. Previous speculation has indicated a TDP of 65W, which would make sense based on AMD’s existing models.
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When AMD first announced the Ryzen 3000 line-up, we thought it was a bit odd that there was no budget offering, so presumably this will be exactly that, sitting below the existing AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (currently the lowest spec Zen 2-based processor, which has six cores but 12-threads, and the same TDP and base speed, but it boosts to 4.2GHz).
That existing chip is priced at $199 (around £162, AU$295), so this fresh 3500 product would obviously have to undercut that by a decent amount.
AMD might be looking at a relatively affordable $150 (around £122, AU$220) or so, which would pitch the alleged Ryzen 5 3500 up against Intel’s popular Core i5-9400, also a six-core (six-thread) CPU with boost to 4.1GHz, but a slower base clock of 2.9GHz. That Intel part is priced around $180 (around £147, AU$265) – although you can get the non-integrated graphics version, the 9400F, for more like $150 or so, looking at online prices at the time of writing.
Pre-built PCs only?
So, the theory is that AMD would be looking at competitively pricing this chip against Intel’s Core i5-9400, and the very similar i5-9500 (although that offers boost to 4.4GHz).
However, as Tom’s Hardware notes (and has argued previously), there is a chance that this Ryzen 5 3500 may be a successor to the Ryzen 5 2500X, and thus supplied to OEMs only. In other words, you will only get it in pre-built PCs, rather than being able to buy it off the shelf on its own.
Hopefully that won’t be the case though, because it would be nice – and it would make sense – for the Ryzen 3000 range to get a budget option as a standalone product.
If it is indeed incoming, AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500 would likely be more than competitive with rival Intel offerings, because the performance battle is not just fought on pure clock speeds. The chip reportedly has much more cache than Intel’s i5s, AMD’s Zen 2 architecture offers a considerable IPC (instructions per clock) boost, and there are other features like Ryzen’s PCIe 4.0 support to consider.
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