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AMD Might Be Prepping A Cheaper Ryzen 5 3500 CPU But It Comes At A Cost

At present, AMD is sitting pretty on half a dozen different third-generation Ryzen processors, split evenly between Ryzen 9, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 5 models (two in each tier). It's a no-brainer that more will be added to the mix. One new addition could be a Ryzen 5 3500 model, and if the leaked specs are true, it will not have simultaneous multi-threading (SMT).

SMT is AMD's version of hyper-threading (HT), or vice versa. Every third-gen Ryzen processor so far features SMT. Here's a breakdown of all six CPUs...

  • Ryzen 9 3950X: 16 cores / 32 threads, 3.5GHz to 4.7GHz, 64MB L3 cache, 105W TDP
  • Ryzen 9 3900X: 12 cores / 32 threads, 3.8GHz to 4.6GHz, 64MB L3 cache, 105W TDP
  • Ryzen 7 3800X: 8 cores / 16 threads, 3.9GHz to 4.5GHz, 32MB L3 cache, 105W TDP
  • Ryzen 7 3700X: 8 cores / 16 threads, 3.6GHz to 4.4GHz, 32MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
  • Ryzen 5 3600X: 6 cores / 12 threads, 3.8GHz to 4.4GHz, 32MB L3 cache, 95W TDP
  • Ryzen 5 3600: 6 cores, 12 threads, 3.6GHz to 4.2GHz, 32MB L3 cache, 65W TDP

Now here's where things get interesting. Prominent leaker APISAK posted to Twitter what are supposedly leaked specs of a Ryzen 5 3500 CPU. According to APISAK, it is a 6-core/6-thread processor with a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.1GHz boost clock.

If true, the lack of SMT support would hurt performance in some scenarios, though we're still looking at a chip with 6 physical cores to throw at workloads, with relatively healthy clocks (same base clock as the Ryzen 5 3600 and just 100MHz slower on the boost clock).

In a followup tweet, APISAK posted a claimed "Physics score" of 12,8XX for the Ryzen 5 3500. Assuming he is referring to the 3DMark Fire Strike test, a score in the 12,800s comes out ahead of Intel's Core i5-9400F, which is a Coffee Lake part with 6 cores and 6 threads clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz.
Pricing here will be key, though. The Core i5-9400F sells for $149. If the Ryzen 5 3500 does indeed perform better in many/most scenarios, AMD could get away with charging a higher price. For reference, the Ryzen 5 3600 sells for $199. Likewise, the Ryzen 5 3400G APU based on AMD's previous generation Zen+ architecture and with onboard graphics sells for $149.

We would expect the Ryzen 5 3500 to be sandwiched somewhere in between those parts, perhaps in the $169 to $179 range. Any higher and it wouldn't make much sense to pick the Ryzen 5 3500 over the Ryzen 5 3600.

Of course, the new SKU and accompanying specs and performance have not been confirmed. APISAK has been pretty reliable in the past, but as things stand, this is still an unconfirmed leak.

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