In a surprising about-face, AMD will be offering its upcoming X3D Ryzen CPUs “unlocked” to allow for overclocking. This is a complete and welcome reversal from the situation with its previous X3D CPU, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. That chip didn’t allow for any overclocking whatsoever. Zen 4 with V-Cache will be the first AMD CPUs with additional 3D-stacked L3 cache to allow overclocking.
AMD has updated the product pages for all three of its Zen 4 V-Cache CPUs. Each listing has a new text field labeled “unlocked for overclocking” followed by the word “yes.” This applies to the 7950X3d, 7900X3D, and 7800X3D. Notably, all three CPUs have a 120W TDP, which is a significant drop from the 170W TDP on the non-X3D parts. Although, the 7800X3D does not come in a non-X3D version. Still, that lowered power consumption was a very conspicuous part of the paper launch and left many enthusiasts scratching their heads. The maximum operating temperature was also lowered slightly from 95C to 89C. It’s reasonable to assume AMD made these changes to offer a bit of headroom for overclocking.
The V-cache configuration will vary a bit on these chips, as Techpowerup notes. The models with dual chiplets — the 7950X3D and 7900X3D — will only feature 96MB of L3 that includes V-Cache on one chiplet. The other will have the standard 32MB of L3. This will allow for a total of all caches combined to be 144MB for the 7950X3D and 140MB for the 7900X3D. The 7800X3D gets 64MB of V-Cache stacked on top of its 32MB. That combines with its L1 and L2 for a total of 104MB.
Although this news comes as somewhat of a surprise, AMD’s own Robert Hallock mentioned it back in March of 2022. As we wrote at the time, he said the Ryzen 5800X3D was too new of a product to allow changing frequencies and voltages. Over time though, he said, they would figure out how to allow that. “The technology just doesn’t scale yet,” he said of the 5800X3D. “In time it will, and when it does, we’ll bring overclocking back.”At the time Zen 4 was still a glimmer of hope in the distance. And because AMD released the 5800X3D two years after the initial Zen 3 chips, it was assumed that was the cadence it would use again.
That’s not happening, as Zen 4 X3D is launching just months after the initial batch of CPUs hit store shelves. We still don’t know two things about these highly-anticipated CPUs, though: the launch date and pricing. AMD previously announced the CPUs would launch on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. It then had to walk that back, so all we know is it’s coming soon. Pricing is still TBD, but given the amount of power they’re packing, we doubt they’ll be cheap.
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