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Ryzen 5 5500 is the logical drop-in upgrade for those on 300 and 400 series motherboards


damric
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A few months ago I tested out a Ryzen 5600G on my main X470 test bench. It was a pretty quick CPU with some interesting overclocking potential, especially on the memory controller and graphics side, but the core frequency moved some too, which was nice considering many Ryzens have zero overclocking headroom at all. The only drawback I saw with the 5600G was that it was priced kind of high, over $230 at the time, close to the the Ryzen 5600X which was going for $240-250ish. Compared to the Ryzen 5 3600 I tested, it was much faster, and light years faster than any of the Ryzen 1000 series or 2000 series I tested. Heck, it was often scoring better in benchmarks than the Ryzen 3700x when I tuned it up to full tilt. But again, that price was kind of high for what was the entry level Ryzen 5000 series processor.

 

But then AMD announced more entry level processors were coming to fill out the Ryzen 5000 product stack, with Ryzen 5 5500, 5600, and 5700x at descent price points. Ok well they waited long enough? After testing the Ryzen 5 5500, I see indeed why they waited this long to release these. They wanted everyone to buy the high margin 5600x, 5800x, and such to make a killing of profit. I've already seen plenty of reviews for the Ryzen 5600 and 5700x, and they nearly match the 5600x and 5800x in performance. Thus it was a no brainer to release these late in the product cycle or they would have cannibalized more lucrative products. But what about the Ryzen 5 5500? I've only seen some moaning pre-release youtube videos, and 1 actual review from Tomshardware, and they crapped all over it because it is based on Cezanne and not Vermeer, thus limited to PCIE 3.0 and half of the L3 cache. After testing another Cezanne, I knew there would be more to this story if a reviewer could actually be bothered to properly tune-up this budget processor and give it the proper attention they only seem to give the expensive products.

 

I'm a hardware enthusiast, but my passion has always been the low budget tweaker products. I've tested some seriously low-budget CPUs (not to mention graphics cards) that when tuned up could unlock so much performance that they punched well above where they should be aiming in the product stack. From the last decade there was the $99 Phenom II x2 550 which could unlock into a quadcore and overclock to 4GHz, the sub $100 Athlon II x3s which could unlock not only another core, but sometimes L3 cache and overclock like nuts even with a locked multiplier, The Phenom II 960T which could not only overclock past 4GHz, but could unlock to a hexacore, the Skylake non-K skus like the $35 Celeron G3900 which could nearly double in clock speed, and the more interesting gamer tweaker the $100 i3-6100 which could easily get tuned to 4.5GHz with base clock adjustments, and the last CPU in recent memory with very much headroom was the $85 Ryzen 5 1600AF which all of my samples could clock over 4GHz with ease, and a couple to 4.4GHz. Now that the Ryzen 5 5500 is priced at less than $140, I consider this to be the next great budget tweaker processor.

 

Now if I was building an all-new rig, I'd go with Intel Alder Lake, but if for some reason I was getting a good deal on an AM4 500 series motherboard, I would not choose the Ryzen 5 5500 because it does not have the PCIE 4.0 features, plain and simple.

 

But, there are so many AM4 users with older B350, B450, X370, and X470 motherboards that do not care about PCIE 4.0 because they do not have the latest RTX or Radeon, and have slightly older NVMe drives that are still plenty fast. These people could be rocking a very nice X370/X470 motherboard like a Crosshair or Taichi and want to hang onto it but still get some good performance uplift from the old Ryzen 7 1700X, or if they were smart they bought the $85 Ryzen 5 1600 AF 😄 But as we'll see, the Ryzen 5 5500 even blows away the Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 5 3600XT, and even trades blows with the mighty 3700X in multithreading. Also astonishing is that if you really crank the clocks, the Ryzen 5 5500 can beat the Ryzen 5600X and even some of the Alder Lake i5s. The last testing I did this morning was running a couple things on my wife's 4K gaming rig that I built and tuned for her. That baby has a Ryzen 7 5800X, which is truly a mighty processor, but it doesn't have really any free headroom past what is available with the PBO boosting, and it always seems to run into power limits when running any benchmarks at all despite having excellent cooling and a superior motherboard.

 

So, why is the Ryzen 5 5500 a better choice for upgrading those older AM4 systems?

 

#1 Price.

image.thumb.jpeg.49abf7a82a0fc376acf9fe6fe38fb208.jpeg

While we can certainly justify the 5600G APU for certain builds, can we justify spending 32% more for the 5600, or 44% more for the 5600X? Do they give 32% or 44% more stock performance? (They don't). Do they overclock better? (Certainly not).

 

#2 Cezanne is not hampered by the legacy Global Foundries 12nm IO die.

This IO die is the same from the Ryzen 3000 series, and thus causes latency and mediocre DDR4 memory overclocking. In many workloads, the Cezanne with faster memory overclocking can overcome the L3 cache deficit because of this. Most users won't notice the smaller L3 cache at all except that the CPU runs cooler than Vermeer because it's not carrying around the 12nm albatross. I've tested the same cheap Hynix and Micron DDR4-3600CL16 kits I've used with testing past Ryzens and have been able to push them well over DDR4-4400 with Infinity Fabric Synched. I'm not finished my Samsung B-die testing yet, but I have some Viper 4400s when I get a chance.

 

#3 Price!!! Don't pay for features you won't use. 

If you're hanging onto your X370/X470 board, you are using PCIE 3.0 and you are perhaps waiting for PCIE 5.0 which is seemingly around the corner. So don't pay extra for those PCIE 4.0 processors. If you REALLY need something with lots of L3 cache and PCIE 4.0 right now, they make that and it's called the Ryzen 7 5800X3D and really you should be putting that on at least a new B550 board, but that's going to cost exponentially more than just $140 for the huge performance uplift of going from one of the older Ryzens like a 1600AF to the 5500. Also, if you are building from scratch, consider Intel Alder Lake. It's pretty good!

 

#4 This Ryzen can actually be overclocked quite a bit.

Yeah we're not used to hearing overclocking headroom and Ryzen in the same sentence. Quite simply not many of them can do much more than a few MHz more than the stock boosting is capable of. The notable exception is the Ryzen 1600AF, but that was a special SKU based on newer silicon backported to older specs. The Ryzen 5 5500 normally boosts up to 4250MHz, and it will have no problem staying at that frequency while well under the 65W threshold. But it can boost easily to 4633MHz by going into the BIOS and changing PBO to advanced to enable +200MHz override, then locking the base clock in at 104MHz. If that is still not fast enough for you, there is manual headroom to spare. 4750MHz was stable for everything I threw at it except that darned Y-cruncher. I had a few benches that could run over 4800MHz, and validating 4900MHz was not too difficult. This processor stayed very cool compared to Ryzen 1000, 2000, and 3000 series when pushing them hard. I was always on the verge of thermal throttle when pushing 2700X and 3600 especially, and you can forget about pushing those 5800X with a manual overclock unless it's under chilled water.

 

Check out where my 5500 is trading blows with 5600X

 

 

 

 

Of course it's meaningless but my favorite is the CPU-Z bench where it shows my 5500X beating the 5800X and some of the Alder Lake i5s in Multithread 😄

 

 

VALID.X86.FR

[8ndzjz] Validated Dump by Luke (damric) (2022-05-07 16:25:27) - MB: ASRock X470 Taichi - RAM: 32768 MB

 

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