AMD "Zen 3" is here, and we have with us the Ryzen 9 5950X, the absolute king of the series. This 16-core/32-thread processor is designed to bring the HEDT (high-end desktop) segment down to the mainstream desktop platform; that is, for those who don't care much about a quad-channel memory interface or tons of PCIe lanes. The fact that HEDT chips don't dominate mainstream chips at gaming goes to show that quad-channel isn't all that relevant to the client desktop segment. With the 5950X, you could get yourself HEDT-kind multi-core muscle, higher memory clock headroom to make up the bandwidth deficit, and a more affordable platform since the 5950X is compatible with even mainstream chipsets, such as the AMD B550.
The "Zen 3" microarchitecture introduces a massive 19% IPC uplift over "Zen 2," which already changed the desktop processor market in a big way. Higher IPC means higher single-threaded performance, which conversely means improved gaming performance, with AMD claiming the Ryzen 9 5000-series as having beaten the fastest Intel Core i9 "Comet Lake" part at gaming. Productivity performance should naturally be higher since you have 60% more of these faster cores than the i9-10900K.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5950X in this review uses the "Zen 3" architecture, which is a combination of micro and macro changes to the "Zen" architecture. At a macro level, we see AMD practically doing away with the 4-core CCX design, resulting in each of the two 7 nm "Zen 3" chiplets having a monolithic group of eight cores sharing a large 32 MB L3 cache. At a micro-level, AMD has invested heavily in improving the various components inside the core, resulting in that sweet 19% IPC gain. Together, the higher IPC cores and improved multi-core topology should put the 5950X on firmer ground against not just Intel's LGA1200 "Comet Lake" parts, but also its Core X "Cascade Lake-X" parts that go up to 18 cores.
AMD is launching the Ryzen 9 5950X at $799, making it the priciest mainstream desktop processor, which is right up there with HEDT parts. Since this is a Socket AM4 part that doesn't temper down its clock speeds to afford such a large core count, AMD claims that the 5950X will give you the best of both worlds: leadership AAA gaming performance and productivity that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars compared to an HEDT. In this review, we test the Ryzen 9 5950X against a large selection of processors.
|Price||Cores / |
|Ryzen 7 1800X||$250||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Zen||14 nm||AM4|
|Core i7-8700K||$380||6 / 12||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-9700K||$380||8 / 8||3.6 GHz||4.9 GHz||12 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i7-10700K||$380||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||5.1 GHz||16 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$325||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||32 MB||65 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||$340||8 / 16||3.9 GHz||4.5 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 3800XT||$380||8 / 16||3.9 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 7 5800X||$450||8 / 16||3.8 GHz||4.7 GHz||32 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-10900||$500||10 / 20||2.8 GHz||5.2 GHz||20 MB||65 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$460||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 3900XT||$470||12 / 24||3.8 GHz||4.7 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 5900X||$550||12 / 24||3.7 GHz||4.8 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|
|Core i9-9900K||$390||8 / 16||3.6 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||95 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-9900KS||$800||8 / 16||4.0 GHz||5.0 GHz||16 MB||127 W||Coffee Lake||14 nm||LGA 1151|
|Core i9-10900K||$550||10 / 20||3.7 GHz||5.3 GHz||20 MB||125 W||Comet Lake||14 nm||LGA 1200|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||$720||16 / 32||3.5 GHz||4.7 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 2||7 nm||AM4|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||$800||16 / 32||3.4 GHz||4.9 GHz||64 MB||105 W||Zen 3||7 nm||AM4|