AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Review – A Gaming and Performance Beast

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Review – A Gaming and Performance Beast

AMD released its new line-up of the Ryzen 7000X series CPUs in September 2022. The company showcased the processors officially in India in November 2022, as they became available for purchase in the country. Since the release, the company has launched and announced multiple product lines to bring its latest tech to the market. It started with the launch of AMD Radeon RX 7000 series of desktop GPUs in December 2022 with RDNA 2.

The company also shared the details around the non-X series and X3D versions of Ryzen 7000 series processors for desktop at CES 2023. The list of other products announced at CES includes Ryzen 7000 series mobile and RDNA 3 Mobile for laptops.

Coming back to the Ryzen 7000X series of desktop CPUs, as they are powered by the new Zen 4 architecture, the CPUs bring a host of the latest technologies. These include support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe Gen 5.0. The processor lineup also comes with some significant changes, such as a new AM5 socket and an all-new 6nm I/O die. The company claims that the I/O die allows for hardware-accelerated video encoding and decoding. It can also handle light-duty graphics work and support multiple displays.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is the flagship from the Ryzen 7000 line of desktop processors. The processor features 16 cores and 32 threads, with a boost clock of up to 5.7GHz. It has a TDP of 170W with an 80MB cache. AMD also says that the Ryzen 9 7950X can offer up to 47 percent more efficiency than its counterparts. The company attributes this increase in power efficiency to the 5nm process node. Ryzen 9 7950X costs somewhere around the Rs. 70,000 range.

Let’s look at how the processor performs when it comes to gaming and productivity.

Specs

AMD India sent us a pre-built rig to test and review their latest Ryzen 9 7950X CPU with the follow specifications:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 16-core processor
  • Motherboard: ROG Crosshair X670E Hero
  • RAM: Kingston Fury Beast 32GB DDR5 SDRAM
  • SSD: Renegade 2TB NVMe
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
  • PSU: ROG Strix Thor 1200W Platinum
  • Cooler: ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB AiO cooler

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X – Performance

Gaming performance

For checking the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X’s gaming performance, we ran the in-game benchmark modes wherever available. As for Doom Eternal and Gears 5, which do not have in-built benchmark modes, we played the games for a select section of the campaign mode and recorded the average FPS and the CPU’s temperature. All tests run at 1080p at highest settings without V Sync.

Starting with Cyberpunk 2077, we saw an average frame rate of 74 FPS, with every setting bumped up to the max. Using the extreme graphics preset on Forza Horizon 5, we got an average of 64 FPS from the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X processor. Hitman 3 saw 159 FPS on average. On Shadow of the Tomb Raider, with the highest settings enabled, we saw an average FPS of 150. With a demanding game like Red Dead Redemption 2, the average FPS was 56, with everything in the graphics settings turned up.

Benchmarks

With Cinebench R23, the Ryzen 9 7950X scored 37599 points on the CPU (Multi Core) test and 1977 points on the CPU (Single Core) test. We also tested the processor on 3DMark, and it achieved a score of 9985 on the Time Spy Extreme benchmark.

The 3DMark CPU Profile benchmark on the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X.

The PCMark 10 CPU profile shows a result of 8,919. Check out the performance data below:

1673523784 157 AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Review – A Gaming and Performance
The PCMark 10 CPU profile.

Thermals

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X capably handled everything we threw at it. With the new AM5 socket and higher TDP than before, AMD processors using the Zen 4 architecture can run at up to 95 degrees Celsius. The company says that its processors can run at this temperature 24×7 without any effect on their life cycle.

In our tests using the ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB AiO cooler, the processor didn’t even reach 80 degrees Celsius. The processor was sitting at the mid-70 range for most times when running demanding games and programs. This leaves enough headroom for the processor to run at its maximum clock speeds for an extended period for the most intensive of tasks. AMD has also tried to remedy this situation by releasing the Ryzen 7000 series Non-X CPU lineup with 65W TDP after user feedback.

Pre-built: Build quality, Thermals and Value for Money

The build quality of the pre-built PC that the processor came with is impressive. The Asus TUF GT501 gaming case was sturdy and well-constructed, with a sleek and modern design. It has plenty of ventilation to keep the components cool, as well as for upgrades and expansion.

The ROG Crosshair X670E Hero motherboard is a top-of-the-line motherboard that is optimized for the AMD Ryzen platform. It is well-made, with a clean and easy-to-use layout. It has plenty of connectivity options, including USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and plenty of SATA and M.2 slots for storage.

The 32GB of Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 SDRAM provides plenty of memory for even the most demanding tasks, and the Renegade 2 TB NVMe SSD ensures that the PC has a lot of fast storage for games, applications, and files.

In terms of performance, the pre-built PC that AMD sent us for the review is an absolute beast. The combination of the AMD Ryzen processor and the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card allows the PC to handle most demanding games and applications with ease. And the ROG Strix Thor 1200W Platinum power supply ensures that the PC has plenty of power to handle it all.

The ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB AiO cooler kept the processor running cool, but we did notice that it can be a bit loud when the PC is under heavy load. This is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a PC that is as quiet as possible. However, the performance benefits of the cooler are worth it, especially if you’re planning on using the PC for gaming or tasks such as heavy video editing.

Competition and the way forward

Like any other product evaluation, we can’t talk about the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X desktop processor in isolation. Considering that the 7950X is the top-of-the-line offering from AMD, it competes against the Intel Core i9-13900KS from the Intel Raptor Lake family in the market. Though we have not evaluated the Core i9-13900KS, but looking at reviews from other publications, the competition is tight.

Intel has tried to sweeten the pot by making the total upgrade cost affordable. These aspects include a slightly cheaper lineup of motherboards, support for more affordable DDR4 RAM and healthy availability. However, some of these bits like the cheaper motherboard may not stand for long, as Intel does not have a great track record with extended motherboard chipset support. Historically, the company is known for supporting two lineups of desktop processors for every chipset.

On the other hand, AMD has exhibited commitment to its chipset platform with AM4. For AM5, the company is quoting “2025+” in terms of support, outlining at least 3 years of support. This means that while AMD buyers can upgrade to newer Ryzen processors powered by Zen 4c, Zen 5, Zen 5 with V-Cache or Zen 5c while Intel buyers will need to invest in a newer motherboard. AMD has already announced its CPU core roadmap, outlining Zen 5 lineup launch before 2024. Though we will need to wait and see about the exact launch timeline for upcoming Zen architectures, AMD has followed up with its promises unlike Intel.

X3D lineup with V-Cache and gaming

Though most AMD or Intel product comparisons usually look at the competition from the other company, things are a bit different this time. With the launch of AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, the company managed to cement its position as the best gaming CPU in the market. Unlike the Ryzen 5000X3D lineup that only included just one CPU, the Ryzen 7000X3D lineup has already announced three processors. This means the upcoming X3D lineup can and will compete against other AMD CPUs. We will need to wait for the actual launch and review of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, but if we take the past performance into consideration, things are going to change. The Ryzen 9 7950X will likely focus on different market segments than what it aimed at during the launch in 2022.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is one of the best desktop CPUs that the company has launched in the market. It is the ideal processor for anyone looking to both game and work with heavy, demanding workloads like content creation and more. Though the initial investment may be high in the platform, it is going to last buyers a long time with a good upgrade path to at least Zen 5-based processors. However, it is worth noting that a strong showing from Intel with its 13th-gen Core desktop processors (i9 13900KS in this case) has prompted AMD to announce its Zen 4 X3D desktop CPUs in coming months. So, if you are looking for a no-compromise CPU and can’t wait, Ryzen 9 7950X is an easy decision to purchase. It is also an ideal purchase if you are not concerned about the absolute best-of-the-best in terms of FPS while gaming. But if you want the best and can wait, then we would recommend looking out for the upcoming Ryzen 9 7950X3D desktop processor. If you are already invested in the Intel ecosystem with an existing Z600 chipset-based motherboard, then Intel Core i9 13900KS is the better choice. But this means giving up on any extended upgradability.

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