AMD Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 5 3500X quietly launched but availability is limited

AMD has quietly launched a pair of new AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen processors. Originally leaked via BioStar’s motherboard documentation, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz is very much the real deal. It’s also joined by the lower-end Ryzen AMD Ryzen 5 3500X 6-Core 3.6GHz.

If you’re hoping to run out and buy one of these though then you may want to hold your horses for a moment. Both the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 5 3500X are being made available to OEMs only. You can’t pick up one of these solus, it’s pre-build or nothing at all. Just to make it even trickier, the Ryzen 5 3500X is only being distributed in China. Which puts it out of bounds for pretty much all of you, we should imagine, except for that one naughty user who’s busted through the Great Firewall. 

“The Ryzen 9 3900, now available globally, and Ryzen 5 3500X, available in China only, enjoy the features of current Ryzen 3000 series processors, letting OEM and SI partners take full advantage of AMD’s most advanced CPU platform”, writes AMD in a brief statement. “Both Ryzen processors offer powerful gaming and high-speed productivity performance, support industry leading PCIe 4.0, AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive and Ryzen Master Utility, and, like all Ryzen 3000 processors, are fully unlocked for performance tuning.”

We’re unsure just why there’s such limited available for these latest Ryzen 3000 processors but if you’re in the market for one, you’re best off looking elsewhere in the Ryzen 3rd Gen family. 

Specs-wise, the Ryzen 9 3900 is very similar to the Ryzen 9 3900X. It’s still 12C/ 24T with 70MB cache. The only notable difference is the clock speeds have been toned down, offering 3.1 GHz base clock and 4.3 GHz boost clock, versus 3.8 GHz base clock and 4.6 GHz boost clock on the 3900X. This makes the Ryzen 9 3900 more power efficiency, sporting a TDP of just 65W.

The Ryzen 5 3500X, meanwhile, doesn’t look all that tempting at all. It’s similar to the Ryzen 5 3600 with its six cores. However, it does not feature multi-threading. The Ryzen 5 3500X has a 3.6 GHz base clock speed and 4.1 GHz boost frequency, along with a 65W TDP.

AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen Desktop Processors Full List

  Ryzen 5 3500X Ryzen 5 3600 Ryzen 5 3600X Ryzen 7 3700X Ryzen 7 3800X Ryzen 9 3900 Ryzen 9 3900X Ryzen 9 3950X
Cores/Threads 6/6 6/12 6/12 8/16 8/16 12/24 12/24 16/32
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.1 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock 4.1 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.6 GHz 4.7 GHz
Cache 35MB 35MB 35MB 36MB 36MB 70MB 70MB 72MB
TDP 65W 65W 95W 65W 105W 65W 105W 105W
Price N/A $199 $249 $329 $399 N/A $499 $749
Release Date October 9 July 7 July 7 July 7 July 7 October 9 July 7 November

To our minds, the Ryzen 5 3500X doesn’t look like a biggest loss. The Ryzen 5 3600’s got it beat and it’s already available for a very reasonable price. The Ryzen 9 3900 is a little more interesting though, and could’ve been a welcome low-energy 12C/24T processor when compared to the Ryzen 9 3900X. AMD has opted out of a global release though, at least for now, so those craving a dodeca-core CPU will have to look upward, to the $499 Ryzen 9 3900X.