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You can overclock AMD’s new X3D Ryzen CPUs, unlike 7800X3D, says leak

AMD Ryzen 9000X3D CPUs, which use a big stack of 3D V-cache to boost gaming performance, will reportedly support manual overclocking.

AMD Ryzen 7 9000X3D CPUs will reportedly allow overclocking: Ryzen 7 7800X3D CPU with lightning effect

More details about AMD’s new Ryzen 9000X3D CPUs are leaking out of the rumor mill right now, and the latest nugget is that you’ll reportedly be able to overclock AMD Ryzen 9000X3D CPUs when they come out later this year. If the rumor is correct, we’re not just talking about the ability to enable an automatic overclock tool, but being allowed to apply a full manual overclock to the processor.

A manual overclock is when you set a processor to run beyond its rated clock speed, enabling you to get a faster CPU for no extra cost. Most of the best gaming CPU options support manual overclocking in some form, but the AMD X3D lineup has been a notable outlier. That’s because overclocking usually increases a CPU’s heat output, and there’s not much thermal headroom when the CPU cores already have a big stack of 3D V-cache on top of them.

Historically, AMD has avoided enabling overclocking on its X3D CPUs. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D, for example, can only run at its stock frequencies, unlike most of the other CPUs in AMD’s Ryzen 5000 lineup. You can get a bit more performance out of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D by enabling AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) tech, but that still doesn’t enable you to run the CPU cores at your choice of clock speed.

However, a report by tech site Wccftech states that AMD’s new Ryzen 9000X3D Zen 5 CPUs will feature full support for manual overclocking. If you have a powerful enough CPU cooler on your chip, that means you could not only reap the benefits of AMD’s 3D V-cache in games, but also get higher clock speeds as well.

That said, if this rumor is true, we don’t expect there to be a massive amount of thermal headroom for manual overclocking these CPUs to stratospheric heights. While it’s possible (and worthwhile) to overclock all the cores on a CPU such as the Core i5 14600K or Ryzen 5 7600X, it gets much harder to hit high clock speeds on all cores once you have more than eight hot-running AMD cores under the heatspreader.

Manual overclocking any CPU with more than six cores has limited benefits in our tests of the latest chips too, as you lose the benefits of the high stock boost clocks on just one or two cores. That’s fine if you want to boost your CPU’s performance in heavily multi-threaded software, but it can make your CPU slower in games, as the stock clock speed boosts on one or two cores are often higher than what you can achieve on all cores with a manual overclock.

No named sources are cited in the report, and AMD hasn’t officially confirmed the above news, so take it with a pinch of salt for the moment. If it’s true, though, I’m hoping AMD’s advances in this area would also result in higher stock speed boost clocks, as well as support for manual overclocking.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a great gaming CPU, thanks to all that cache, but its 5GHz peak clock speed is slow compared to the 5.4GHz on the Ryzen 7 7700X. If the AMD Ryzen 7 9800X3D not only has eight Zen 5 cores with 3D V-cache but also a much higher boost clock speed, then AMD is going to have a fantastic gaming CPU on its hands, whether you can manually overclock it or not.

If you’re thinking about putting together a new Ryzen 9000X3D rig when the CPUs finally come out, check out the latest news on the AMD X870 motherboards, and read our full guide on how to build a gaming PC, where we run you through the whole process step by step.