Something to look forward to: AMD's 3D V-Cache has proven to be an impressive and cost-effective solution to boost CPU performance for gaming. Users long speculated that AMD could bring the feature to its mainstream Zen 3 processor, but the company is doing so with a big catch.
Micro Center has announced an exclusive partnership with AMD to sell a limited-edition version of the Ryzen 5 5600X that adds 3D V-Cache technology starting July 7. The $229 offer will probably be the best-value mid-range processor for AM4 socket owners who can reach a Micro Center in time.
The 5600X3D won't receive new shipments after the initial stock sells out, and the store page indicates the company will only sell it at physical stores. Micro Center only has a couple of dozen locations in the US – a new one opens in Charlotte, North Carolina early next year.
A $339 bundle packages the chip with an Asus B550-Plus TUF motherboard and 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 RAM. The CPU will also come in the PowerSpec G516 prebuilt system, which includes a Radeon RX 6650 XT, 16 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB NVMe SSD.
When AMD debuted 3D V-Cache with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D last year, review outlets, including TechSpot, quickly declared it one of the best processors for your money, particularly for playing modern games. Its enormous 96 MB L3 cache has a visible effect on performance easily worth its modest price, and the 5600X3D will have the same amount.
Team Red has since brought the feature to its latest 7000 series, but those CPUs require an AM5 socket motherboard. The 5600X3D provides a cheaper six-core alternative to the 5800X3D for those still looking to upgrade from an older Ryzen 3000 or 4000 system without buying a new motherboard (and thus likely building a new system).
However, the limited-run deal probably indicates that AMD wants to close the book on AM4 once and for all. Sales of Ryzen 7000 CPUs started slowly, partially due to their requirement for still-expensive DDR5 RAM, so an indefinitely available 5600X3D could keep some customers on AM4 a bit longer than the company would like.
A leaker with a good track record tweeted details on the new model in mid-June, but the post contained no information about the retailer exclusivity or limited inventory. However, the projected specs were spot-on – a minor downclock compared to the original 5600X. The base and boost clocks decrease from 3.7GHz and 4.6GHz to 3.3GHz and 4.4GHz, respectively.