AMD Ryzen 5 7500F review: a great value gaming CPU if you can get it

AMD’s current-generation Ryzen 7000 processors have proven to be some of the fastest gaming CPUs on the planet, but even the entry-level Ryzen 5 7600 and Ryzen 5 7600X CPUs are still a fairly big investment at $225/~£220 and $245/£240. Happily, there’s now an even cheaper model – the Ryzen 5 7500F – which cuts frequencies by a fairly insignificant 100MHz and drops the integrated graphics in exchange for a lower purchase price: $200 in the US or £255 in the UK with an A620 motherboard worth £80, working out to around £175 for the CPU itself.

British system builder AWD-IT is one of only a handful of retailers offering the chip – in a range of Ryzen 5 7500F plus motherboard bundles and pre-built systems – and they’ve graciously sent it over with its bundled AMD Wraith CPU cooler for us to test. We’ve now run it through our battery of game benchmarks and content creation workloads to see how it compares to a wide range of competitors, from the similarly-affordable Ryzen 5 7600X and Core i5 13400F to the high-end Ryzen 9 7950X3D, Ryzen 7 7800X3D and Core i9 14900K.

The question we want to answer here is simple: is there any convincing reason to choose the Ryzen 5 7600X or 7600 over the 7500F beyond broader retail availability? In previous Ryzen generations, the cheapest CPU at a given core count was often the best value option, but it’s sensible to test that assumption with these new Zen 4 parts.

ryzen 5 7500f setup pic
The Ryzen 5 7500F sitting in our ASRock X670E Taichi motherboard. | Image credit: Digital Foundry
CPU design Boost Base L3 cache TDP RRP
Ryzen 9 7950X3D Zen 4 16C/32T 5.7GHz 4.2GHz 128MB 120W $699/£699
Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 16C/32T 5.7GHz 4.5GHz 64MB 170W $699/£739
Ryzen 9 7900X3D Zen 4 12C/24T 5.6GHz 4.4GHz 128MB 120W $599/£599
Ryzen 9 7900X Zen 4 12C/24T 5.6GHz 4.7GHz 64MB 170W $549/£579
Ryzen 9 7900 Zen 4 12C/24T 5.4GHz 3.7GHz 64MB 65W $429/£519
Ryzen 7 7800X3D Zen 4 8C/16T 5.0GHz 4.2GHz 96MB 120W $449/£375
Ryzen 7 7700X Zen 4 8C/16T 5.4GHz 4.5GHz 32MB 105W $399/£419
Ryzen 7 7700 Zen 4 8C/16T 5.3GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 65W $329/£349
Ryzen 5 7600X Zen 4 6C/12T 5.3GHz 4.7GHz 32MB 105W $299/£319
Ryzen 5 7600 Zen 4 6C/12T 5.1GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 65W $229/£249
Ryzen 5 7500F Zen 4 6C/12T 5.0GHz 3.7GHz 32MB 65W $200/£255*

*Includes A620 motherboard

As you can see from the table above, there’s very little separating the Ryzen 5 7500F and 7600, with a relatively modest step up to the 7600X from there. All told, the difference in quoted boost frequencies from the cheapest to most expensive six-core Ryzen CPU accounts for just 300MHz or just over five percent.

The cache configuration is also the same, and all three six-core Zen 4 CPUs support the same PCIe 5.0 devices (something not always a given, eg the Ryzen 5600G not supporting PCIe 4.0 due to its providence from laptop processors).

The 7600X also has a higher rated TDP, but can be set to the same 65W ‘eco’ setting as the 7500F if desired – while the 7500F can have its power limits maximised to match the 7600X. The 7500F also lacks integrated graphics, though this feature tends to remain unused on gaming-focused systems with discrete graphics cards.

For our testing, we’re using the same basic setup as our Ryzen 7800X3D review. That means G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 RAM and Asus’ RTX 3090 Strix OC. Cooling is provided by an Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO. Our motherboard for AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs is the ASRock X670E Taichi, while the Gigabyte Aorus Z790 Master takes care of our Intel CPUs.

For storage, we’re using a 4TB Lexar NM790 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD – benchmarking has certainly been improved by the recent drop in NVMe SSD prices. Our rig is completed with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x power supply. Testing was performed with the latest Windows updates (22H2) and BIOS revisions (F11) installed.

Before we get into the gaming benchmarks that make up pages two to four, let’s quickly run through some quick content creation benchmarks: a Cinebench R20 3D render and a Handbrake video transcode. These results are useful even in a gaming context as they set expectations for both single-core and multi-core performance in various scenarios.

Cinebench’s R20 single-thread benchmark shows results a touch over what we’d expect to see from frequency alone, with a six percent advantage for the 7600 over the 7500F and a 13 percent advantage for the 7600X over the 7500F.

Things are much closer in the multi-core stakes, with just a one percent lead for the 7600 over the 7500F while the 7600X leads the 7500F by just nine percent. Of course, we’d expect to see a much smaller gap than that in gaming, where not every CPU core and thread is utilised in a given moment – and particularly as resolutions climb and GPU load increases.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC Power Use
Ryzen 9 7950X3D 788 13807 95.73fps 40.70fps 232W
Ryzen 9 7950X 798 14837 105.15fps 45.10fps 368W
Ryzen 9 7900X 791 11324 79.38fps 33.77fps 288W
Ryzen 7 7800X3D 706 7108 52.99fps 23.14fps 190W
Ryzen 7 7700X 768 7894 56.69fps 25.95fps 266W
Ryzen 5 7600X 750 6063 44.35fps 20.28fps 236W
Ryzen 5 7600 706 5632 41.09fps 18.72fps 196W
Ryzen 5 7500F 665 5574 40.78fps 18.57fps 193W
Ryzen 9 5950X 637 10165 70.28fps 30.14fps 237W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 546 5746 42.71fps 19.10fps 221W
Ryzen 7 5800X 596 6118 44.18fps 19.50fps 229W
Ryzen 5 5600X 601 4502 31.75fps 14.43fps 160W
Core i9 14900K 896 15962 103.12fps 41.20fps 433W
Core i5 14600K 800 9349 62.68fps 27.29fps 288W
Core i9 13900K 873 15570 104.67fps 41.20fps 473W
Core i5 13600K 767 9267 62.37fps 26.44fps 254W
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82fps 29.26fps 373W
Core i7 12700K 729 8683 57.64fps 25.67fps 318W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27fps 19.99fps 223W
Core i5 12400F 652 4736 31.77fps 14.70fps 190W
Core i9 11900K 588 5902 41.01fps 18.46fps 321W
Core i5 11600K 541 4086 29.00fps 13.12fps 250W

It’s a similar story in the Handbrake video transcode test, where our sample file is converted again nine percent faster on the 7600X than the 7500F in both H.264 and H.265 encodes, with the 7500F and 7600 within margin of error of each other. The increase in frequency is reflected in slightly higher power consumption on the higher-tier parts, with total system power peaking at 193W with the 7500F, 196W with the 7600 and 236W with the 7600X.

Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of our testing – a range of games and scenes that test your CPU in different ways. Pick out your favourite titles from the links below or just hit the next page button to continue.

AMD Ryzen 5 7500F analysis

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