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AMD Ryzen 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X: performance analysis

Crysis 3, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Metro Exodus, The Witcher 3.

We continue our analysis of half of the new Ryzen 5000 processors with four more titles, none of which are canned benchmarks this time around. Metro Exodus and Kingdom Come Deliverance are good examples of modern games that aren't afraid to put processors through their paces, while Crysis 3 and The Witcher 3 are classic games that were surprisingly tough to run back and in the day and remain formidable even in a new decade. It's been a bit of a mixed bag for Ryzen 5000 so far, so will these games be the ones to make a stronger case?

Once again, we have opted for scenes that are repeatable run after run and aren't too difficult to reach, an important factor when you're retesting a troublesome processor for the tenth time in a day - or you're a reader wanting to perform a similar test on your own rig to see if an upgrade would be worthwhile!

Remember that you can mouse over the results in the tables below (as long as you're using a desktop browser rather than a phone) to get dynamically generated performance readouts for all processors we've tested. Meanwhile, clicking the graph swaps you into percentages, making it a bit easier to judge relative performance at a glance.

Crysis 3

We return yet again to Crysis 3, where the Welcome to the Jungle level remains surprisingly hard on CPU and GPU for a game from 2013. One of the reasons we like this test so much is that it's remarkably consistent, with relatively low run-to-run variance that can make comparing otherwise very similar processors a little easier. It's also the first game where Ryzen 5000's raw power allows it to run away with the show, beating out the 10900K for the first time.

At 1080p, it's actually the Ryzen 7 5800X that turned in the better result of around 210fps, perhaps as a result of having all of its cores within the same core complex instead of split amongst two. The 5900X still performs excellently, at 208fps, with the Core i9 10900K trailing at 207fps. So it's not a blowout, but taking an outright win is an important symbolic gesture for a processor lineup that historically has never done so against Intel opposition.

Again, looking back of past Ryzen processors, this is a significant evolution. The 5900X leads the 3900X and 3900XT by around 16 per cent - proving that higher clock speeds aren't really helping here, but the core layout is! - and the 5800X outdoes the 3700X and 3800XT by nearly 20 per cent.

Crysis 3: Very High, SMAA T2X

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance is next. It's another CryEngine game, but this time a more modern vintage having been released in 2018. The game is still plenty challenging two years on, thanks to the inclusion of an ultra high preset that the game warns you is intended only for 'future hardware'.

The 5900X takes a narrow win over the Core i9 10900K here, although both results are well within the margin of error with less than a 1fps difference. For its part, the Ryzen 7 5800X manages a five per cent win over the Core i5 10600K. Looking back from the 5900X and 5800X to the 3900XT and 3800XT, the new generation parts hold around a 20 per cent frame-rate advantage at 1080p, which falls to around 10 per cent at 1440p.

Kingdom Come Deliverance: Ultra High, SMAA

Metro Exodus

It's heartening to see that Metro Exodus continues to weirdly perform best on mid-range hardware, with the 5800X outperforming the 5900X and the Core i9 10900K. Its 194fps average ties the Core i7 9700K, our previous best performer, and sits four per cent ahead of the Core i5 10600K.

We said in this section of the Ryzen 3900XT review that AMD would have to do something special with its next generation to take the performance crown from Intel - and by gosh, they've done it. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 9 5900X is a little behind the curve, but it's still within a few frames per second of the best Intel CPUs on the market - so fair enough.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, DX12

The Witcher 3

We conclude with The Witcher 3. We saw a performance uplift across the board here, with the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X outperforming their closest competitors at every resolution - not something we'd normally expect to see. We double-checked our settings and did several re-runs, but for whatever reason Witcher 3 performance has jumped significantly here. Therefore, it's best to take these results with a pinch of salt, but we can at least say that Ryzen 5000 is in the same ballpark as the best 10th-generation Intel processors here.

Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, No Hairworks

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X analysis