AMD might make a last-minute change to save a Ryzen 9000 CPU

AMD announcing specs for Ryzen 9000 CPUs at Computex 2024.

AMD has already said that its upcoming Ryzen 9000 CPUs based on the Zen 5 architecture are the fastest consumer PC processors, but a new report suggests Team Red could juice the CPUs even more. A report from Wccftech claims that AMD is considering changing the TDP rating of the Ryzen 7 9700X from 65 watts — which is the power draw the chip was announced with — to 120W.

It’s not just more power for the sake of it. According to the report, AMD is considering this change due to how the Ryzen 7 9700X stacks up against the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is easily the best gaming CPU you can buy, and that’s mainly due to its use of AMD’s 3D V-Cache tech. Without 3D V-Cache, AMD is reportedly worried the Ryzen 7 9700X will fall short.

AMD is on the record claiming as much, too. Shortly after revealing Ryzen 9000 CPUs, AMD’s Donny Woligroski said that the new CPUs won’t be able to match the gaming prowess of last-gen chips using 3D V-Cache. AMD has already confirmed that it’s working on 3D V-Cache versions of Ryzen 9000 CPUs, though they won’t be due out for several months at least.

Although more power would certainly help close the gap between the Ryzen 7 9700X and Ryzen 7 7800X3D, it’s important to handle this report with some skepticism. It’s possible for AMD to make some minor last-minute changes to its hardware, but this report claims that AMD will nearly double the power of the Ryzen 7 9700X. That’s a tall order considering this CPU, along with the rest of the Ryzen 9000 range, is set to release in July.

One point in favor of increasing the power draw is the base clock speed of the Ryzen 7 9700X. At 3.8GHz, it has the lowest base clock speed out of any of the Ryzen 9000 parts. It’s possible AMD could close the gap between the base clock speed and boost clock speed — though it’s hard to imagine that would get the chip to 120W. It’s also possible AMD could introduce some automatic overclocking mode that unlocks a power budget up to 120W — assuming the silicon can handle it.

The more reasonable inference is that AMD is working on a variant of the Ryzen 7 9700X. AMD, like Intel, likes to poke and prod its lineup of CPUs with slight changes to power, clock speed, and core configuration and release new models, so it’s possible a higher TDP could come in the form of something like a Ryzen 7 9800X or Ryzen 7 9700 XT.

We’ve reached out to AMD, and we’ll update this story when we hear back.