AMD’s 3D V Cache Technology

February 21, 2023
2 min read

AMD 3D V-Cache is a packaging technology that stacks additional layers of cache on top of a CPU. It sounds complex, and from an engineering perspective, it is, but it’s not hard to understand what AMD’s tech is doing. Instead of laying the cache next to the processor, as has been traditionally done, AMD is stacking the cache on top to squeeze more on the chip.

It’s a different way to lay out a processor, and thanks to advancements in how CPU makers put components on a chip, AMD is able to squeeze on more cache without making a massive CPU. Originally, 3D V-Cache was restricted to an eight core CPU in the 5800X3D, however, with the Ryzen 7000 generation, AMD introduced the eight core 7800X3D, the 12-core 7900X3D, and the 16-core 7950X3D.

How does 3D V-Cache work?

Your processor has three levels of cache, with the lowest being L3, or level 3, cache. Each cache level is smaller in size, but faster in speed, acting as a memory chain to your processor that can serve up instructions as they’re needed.

Think about cache like a supply chain. Your RAM is like a national warehouse, the L3 cache is a regional distribution center, and so on through the L2 and L1 caches. For 3D V-Cache, we’re talking about additional L3 cache, the slowest level on your CPU. That’s only relatively slow, though — each cache layer is still significantly faster than your hard drive or RAM.

More L3 cache allows the processor to stream and store more instructions, decreasing the number of times it needs to pull instructions from RAM. With the 5800X3D running at lower clock speeds because of limitations of the 3D V-Cache voltage and temperature thresholds. it was great in gaming, but some tasks suffered.

With the Ryzen 7000 3D V-Cache CPUs that offer both high clock speeds on some cores and V-Cache on the others, AMD hopes to have solved that problem.

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