AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is the latest addition to AMD’s lineup of high-performance processors. It’s designed for gamers, content creators, and professionals who need the fastest and most powerful CPU for their work. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and its features.

Ryzen 7000X3D with 3D V-Cache: Zen 4 for gamers

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D was a complete success in spring 2022. With the 3D V-Cache used for the first time, AMD was able to significantly improve the gaming performance of the Zen 3 compared to the processor without an additional cache. The CPU caught up with more expensive flagships from Intel. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D breathed new life into the AM4 platform at the end of its multi-year term and many gamers knew: AMD Ryzen will only be an X3D variant in the future.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D Review

But Ryzen 7000 was launched in autumn 2022 without X3D variants for the time being. Although the Ryzen 7000 based on Zen 4 has also increased significantly compared to the previous generation, even the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X did not achieve higher gaming performance than the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in most tests. This means that Ryzen 7000 at the upper performance end has been “at a disadvantage” in games compared to Intel’s Raptor Lake generation, which comes in the form of Core i9-13900(K(S)/F), Core i7-13700(K/F) and Core 5-13600K made a big leap thanks to significantly increased clock speeds.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D, 7900X3D and Ryzen 7 7800X3D in detail

That should change now, because AMD is now also letting the 3D V-Cache into the wild for Zen 4 and, in contrast to the last generation, three correspondingly equipped products are appearing.

Two Ryzen 9 with X3D today, one Ryzen 7 in April

Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D and Ryzen 9 7950X3D should all three improve significantly in games compared to the well-known Ryzen 7000 and also leave Intel’s Core 13000 line-up behind. However, the smallest model and thus the quasi-successor of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still a long time coming, because AMD is first only sending the 789-euro flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D (699 US dollars before taxes) into the test and at the same time the 679 euros expensive Ryzen 9 7900X3D ($599 before taxes): both will be released on February 28, 2023.

cores/threadsClock Base/TurboTDPMSRP (Start)market price
Ryzen 9 7950X3D16 (8+8)/324.2/5.7GHz120W789 eurosprice comparison
Ryzen 9 7950X16/324.5/5.7GHz170W849 eurosfrom 595 dollars
Ryzen 9 7900X3D12 (6+6)/244.4/5.6GHz120W679 eurosfrom 645 dollars
Ryzen 9 7900X12/244.7/5.6GHz170W669 eurosfrom 444 dollars
Ryzen 7 7800X3D8 (8+0)/164.2/5.0GHz120W$449From April 6, 2023
Ryzen 7 7700X8/164.5/5.4GHz105W479 eurosfrom 328 dollars
Ryzen 7 5800X3D8/163.4/4.5GHz105W489 eurosfrom 319 dollars
Intel Core i9-13900KS24 (8P + 16E) / 323.2/6.0GHz150 watts$699from 750 dollars
Intel Core i9-13900K24 (8P + 16E) / 323.0/5.8GHz125 watts$589from 623 dollars
Intel Core i7-13700K16 (8P + 8E) / 243.4/5.4GHz125 watts$409from 446 dollars
Intel Core i5-13600K14 (6P + 8E) / 203.5/5.1GHz125 watts$319from dollars
Data Table

On paper, the X3D variants and the respective non-X3D sister models are priced very similarly. Since some of the regular Ryzen 7000(X) are now listed well below the RRP, there will be a significant surcharge in retail at the start. How long the price differences will last in the market will depend on the response from the players.

Known approach, new challenge

The technical approach that AMD takes with the X3D variants is known from the Ryzen 7 5800X3D launch model: The 3D V-Cache placed on the chiplet is again 64 MB in size, as in the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and the latency is also the same. “The chiplet” is to be taken literally in this generation, however, because even with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Ryzen 9 7900X3D, which, in contrast to the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, have two chiplets, the additional L3 cache die is only located on one of the two CCDs.

But the two Ryzen 9 also differ in a possibly relevant point: While the Ryzen 9 7950X3D comes with 8+8 cores, the Ryzen 9 7900X3D uses a 6+6 core configuration – and is therefore the only X3D CPU to offer the 2nd generation only six cores with 3D V-Cache. It remains to be seen whether that makes a difference in view of the six additional cores, as is now definitely the case with pure 6-core versus pure 8-core CPUs.

CPUCores with 3D V-CacheCores without 3D V-Cache
Ryzen 9 7950X3D8th8th
Ryzen 9 7900X3D66
Ryzen 7 7800X3D8th0
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D chipset design
AMD promises the best of both worlds (Picture: AMD)

Even after the announcement for CES 2023, it was clear among enthusiasts: The real challenge in this generation will be the interaction of the two different CCDs on the Ryzen 9, one of which carries the cache and therefore clocks slower, the other the same clock rates as the respective one X base model can drive.

AMD had kept the maximum clock of the 3D V-Cache dies of the Ryzen 9 under wraps until recently. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D was already known to be 400 MHz below the 5.4 GHz of the Ryzen 7 7700X, and the assumption was correct suggests that this clock applies to all 3D V-Cache dies in the series. But that’s not the case. The sample of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D was able to achieve up to 5,275 MHz in games in the editorial test, i.e. clocked at almost 5.3 GHz, which also means a reduction of 400 MHz compared to the 5.7 GHz of the regular die of the same CPU. The editors do not yet have their own findings for the Ryzen 9 7900X3D.

CPUmax. turbo clock
CCD0 (3D V-Cache)CCD1
Ryzen 9 7950X3D5.275GHz*5.7GHz
Ryzen 9 7950X5.7GHz
Ryzen 9 7900X3Dstill open5.6GHz
Ryzen 9 7900X5.6GHz
Ryzen 7 7800X3D5.0GHzunavailable
Ryzen 7 7700Xunavailable5.4GHz
* measured in the test in games

So if a thread that benefits little or not at all from the 3D V-cache ends up on the cache CCD, it would be faced with a clock disadvantage of around 400 MHz or 7 percent on the Ryzen 9 7950X3D.

Clock history in blender
Clock History

If, on the other hand, all 16 cores and 32 threads are used under full load in parallel applications, both CCDs clock more or less the same and “thanks” to the TDP of 120 watts and the associated PPT of 162 watts, the 7950X3D clocks at less than 5.0 GHz, what also beats the maximum 3D cache clock. In this case, it makes no difference which thread runs on which CCD – the minimal differences in clock rates documented below also show the regular X and non-X CPUs.

AMD’s solution to ensure that threads do not end up on the wrong CCD when the CPU is not fully loaded is an adapted chipset driver including the AMD 3D V-Cache Performance Optimizer Driver in version and new BIOS versions. In addition, Windows 10 or Windows 11 and the Xbox Game Bar app should be up to date. How exactly it is then decided in the background which load clocks on which core, the manufacturer still did not want to go into detail. The first CPU die with an additional cache, but with less clock speed, is used for games. Regular applications start at thread 16, which is the second CCD with a higher clock.

One finding from the tests with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D over the past few days in terms of so-called “scheduling” is definitely: it works! Fears expressed in advance that a suboptimal allocation could be the order of the day with the Ryzen 9 have not come true. More on that later in the test.

Gaming benchmarks on two high-end GPUs

The editors then tested how much the Ryzen 9 7950X3D can benefit from the 3D V-Cache CCD and how well the thread assignment works with a completely new course and test approach.

Specifically, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D had to compete in a total of 14 games, including brand new titles such as Dead Space and Forspoken, against the variants without a 3D cache, against the Ryzen 7 5800X3D and of course against Intel’s Raptor Lake generation from the Core i5-13600K to the Core i9 -13900KS compete. It was tested not only on the lightning-fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, but also on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX.

All gaming benchmarks have been recreated

In order to evaluate gaming performance as accurately as possible, all gaming benchmarks have been recreated for this article. A total of 14 current games from Dead Space to Forspoken, The Callisto Protocol and The Witcher 3 to multiplayer titles such as Dota 2 or Fortnite are in the benchmark. Ray tracing was sometimes used when this additionally increased the CPU load.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 9 7950X, Ryzen 7 5800X3D and Ryzen 7 5800X as well as Intel Core i5-13600K, Core i7-13700K, Core i9-13900K and Core i9-13900KS had to deal with both the Radeon RX 7900 XTX as well as with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 against the new AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D.

Game selection, test system and drivers

Since Technoeager worked with several editors and test systems on the Ryzen 7000X3D tests, the settings and test procedures differ in detail. In the gaming benchmarks, all CPUs work according to the factory specifications from AMD and Intel, unless explicitly stated otherwise. The memory expansion was always 32 GB, while the memory configuration differed. Ryzen 7000, whether with 3D cache or without, were driven with DDR5-5200 32-32-32-61, Intel Core 13000 on the other hand with DDR5-5600 32-32-32-61. RAM OC benchmarks were also performed.

As the mainboard for the Ryzen 7000, the editors chose the Asus Crosshair X670E Hero with BIOS version 0805 for the normal Zen 4 CPUs and BIOS 9922 for the X3D offshoots, while the Ryzen 7 5800X and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero with BIOS 4304 and Intel processors tested on Asus ROG Z790 Maximus Hero with BIOS version 0813.

For the test, Windows 11 was used in the current version 22H2 with all updates, all drivers including those for the chipset are up to date. As is usual with Windows 11 on modern systems with current BIOS versions, the core isolation (VBS) plus memory integrity (HVCI) enabled automatically.

The game selection

A total of 14 different games took part in the test, some of which support ray tracing. Ray tracing was used when the rays create a higher CPU load in the game. Otherwise the feature remained switched off.

In order to shift the load from the graphics card to the processor as much as possible, all benchmarks were carried out in 1,280 × 720. In addition, upsampling was used whenever possible (be it through AMD FSR or in-game variants) to further reduce GPU load. Although this is not realistic, further resolutions would increase the workload too much without glaring differences – the editors preferred to invest the additional time in detailed analyses. An AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX as a reference design with Adrenalin driver 23.1.2 and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition with GeForce driver 528.24 were used as graphics cards.

The exact graphics settings of the games can be found in the table below. 

The games used and the graphics details

Graphic Details
Age of Empires IVMaximum graphic details, 25% resolution
Call of Duty Warzone 2.0Ultra Preset, Full Tessellation, FSR 1 “Performance”
Cyberpunk 2077Ray-tracing low preset, FSR 2 set to “Ultra Performance”
DeadSpaceUltra Preset, VRS “On”, RT AO “On”, Motion Blur/Film Grain “Off”, FSR 2 Ultra “Performance”
Diablo II: ResurrectedMaximum graphics quality, 50% resolution
dota 2Best Appearance preset, 40% resolution
ForspokenUltra Preset, 33% Resolution, VRS On
FortniteEpic preset, hardware RT, 37% resolution
Ghostwire: TokyoMaximum graphics details, no RT, FSR 2 “Ultra Performance”
Resident Evil VillageMaximum Preset, FSR “Performance”
Spider-Man RemasteredVery High Preset, No AF, Shadow + Detail “Very High”, FSR 2 “Performance”,
RT Resolution “High”, RT Geometry “Very High”, RT Visibility “10”
The Callisto ProtocolUltra Preset, FSR 2 “Performance”
The Witcher 3Maximum Graphic Details (“Highest+”), HairWorks “Off”, No RT, FSR 2 “Ultra Performance”
Uncharted: Legacy of ThievesUltra Preset, FSR 2 “Ultra Performance”

Even if the games are mostly used in graphics card tests or there are individual technical tests, this does not necessarily mean that the same test sequences are used. Because with these, Technoeager usually selects sequences with low frame rates that put a maximum load on the graphics card. But that doesn’t make sense for this article, we were looking for test sequences with a high CPU load. This was the case in Forspoken, Spider-Man Remastered and The Witcher 3. A direct comparison is therefore not always possible.

Gaming benchmarks in 720p on the GeForce RTX 4090

AMD did it: The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D delivers an average of 4 percent more average FPS than the Core i9-13900K and 3 percent more FPS than the Core i9-13900KS on a GeForce RTX 4090 in games – there is a faster gaming CPU currently not in this course . AMD’s new flagship is also ahead in the percentile FPS, here the lead is slightly smaller.

Compared to the Ryzen 9 7950X with the same architecture but without the cache chiplet, the new CPU delivers 19 percent more FPS. This means that the plus is smaller than that of the Ryzen 7 5800X on the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in the same course, which is 26 percent. However, it is quite possible that the limitations have shifted due to the generally higher performance of the new Ryzen 9, because the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is at least 25 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. In addition, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D was only 15 percent more powerful than the “cache brother” when it was launched in April 2022 in a different course with a different graphics card. With time and other games, the difference will probably increase even in the new generation.

Up to 42 percent more FPS through the V-Cache

As with its predecessor, the usefulness of the cache depends heavily on the game. Some titles benefit only slightly, while others show huge advantages. For example, Diablo II: Resurrected does not react at all to the 3D cache, here Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 9 7950X3D are absolutely equally fast.

On the other hand, there are games like Dota 2, which delivers 42 percent more FPS on the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, allowing the CPU to outperform all competition by miles. Ghostwire: Tokyo and Resident Evil Village are also titles where the performance increase is more than 30 percent. Most of the time, the truth lies somewhere between the extremes. For example, Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 is up 21 percent, Cyberpunk 2077 is up 15 percent, and Forspoken is up 7 percent.

Gaming benchmarks in 720p on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX

Not only do AMD and Nvidia graphics cards generally behave differently, processors can also react differently in individual games depending on the graphics card. And that is also the case in the new gaming course. If there is no Nvidia graphics card in the computer, but an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, the results are not great, but slightly different.

Because in connection with the AMD GPU, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D can set itself apart a little further from the Core i9-13900K: Instead of 4 percent, the lead is 7 percent, which also applies to the distance to the KS. Interestingly, the distance to the Ryzen 9 7950X without 3D V-Cache shrinks minimally: instead of 19 percent more FPS, there is 17 percent more FPS in the second series of measurements. Accordingly, the X3D does not suddenly increase, but the general relationship between AMD and Intel changes. Whether Intel CPUs work too slowly with a Radeon or Ryzen processors too slowly with an Nvidia GPU is a matter of speculation.

The big differences in performance between the individual games also exist on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX. Diablo II is still the weak point of the new CPU, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is only 1 percent faster than the Ryzen 9 7950X. Dota 2 is again the absolute highlight of the processor, the additional cache brings a whopping 44 percent more FPS. Ghostwire: Tokyo and Resident Evil Village take another giant leap. All three games benefit by at least 40 percent on the Radeon, on the GeForce the 40 mark was only broken in one game. In other games (such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Dead Space), however, the GeForce RTX 4090 can squeeze a little more performance out of the new processor.

Performance increase Ryzen 9 7950X3D (RTX 4090, AVG FPS, 720p)

vs 7950Xvs 5800X3Dvs 13900Kvs 13900KS
Age of Empires IV18 percent28 percent-7 percent-8 percent
CoD Warzone 2.021 percent32 percent8 percent8 percent
Cyberpunk 207715 percent27 percent5 percent5 percent
DeadSpace14 percent28 percent0 percent0 percent
Diablo II: Resurrected0 percent21 percent-10 percent-12 percent
dota 242 percent30 percent45 percent44 percent
Forspoken7 percent32 percent-17 percent-18 percent
Fortnite19 percent31 percent5 percent5 percent
Ghostwire: Tokyo31 percent29 percent6 percent5 percent
Resident Evil Village37 percent27 percent31 percent31 percent
Spider-Man Remastered13 percent31 percent-9 percent-9 percent
The Callisto Protocol23 percent29 percent4 percent4 percent
The Witcher 314 percent4 percent3 percent3 percent
Uncharted13 percent9 percent4 percent3 percent
Average+19 percent+25 percent+4 percent+3 percent

Power consumption in games (RTX 4090)

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D was not only able to convince with a clearly better gaming performance compared to the normal Ryzen 7 5800X, but also with a surprisingly low power consumption. And the Ryzen 9 7950X3D also manages to do that, clearly even. This is again due to the fact that less data has to be sent back and forth due to the additional cache. The lower clock is also helpful.

In all 14 games, the package power of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is an average of 72 watts, the maximum value was an average of 78 watts. In individual cases, the package power can increase to an average of up to 85 watts in Forspoken when playing, the maximum in the title is then 89 watts. However, the processor never reached the 100 watt mark.

The normal, much slower Ryzen 9 7950X, on the other hand, has 105 or 111 watts. The Ryzen 9 7950X3D achieves 19 percent more FPS with 31 percent less power consumption. The energy efficiency has increased significantly due to the 3D V-Cache. Interestingly, even the Ryzen 7 5800X3D with 76 watts requires 4 watts more than the new flagship, although it is an 8-core instead of 16-core processor – it was, however, still manufactured in 7 instead of 5 nm.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D
Package Power (AVG/Max)
Ryzen 9 7950X
Package Power (AVG/Max)
Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Package Power (AVG/Max)
Core i9-13900K
Package Power (AVG/Max)
Core i9-13900KS
Package Power (AVG/Max)
Age of Empires IV53/71 watts68/72 watts49/50 watts70/73 watts72/75 watts
CoD Warzone 2.078/83 watts112/115 watts82/85 watts153/158 watts158/166 watts
Cyberpunk 207775/83 watts108/115 watts77/82 watts165/174 watts171/181 watts
DeadSpace81/85 watts117/125 watts92/97 watts163/180 watts177/191 watts
Diablo II: Resurrected63/66 watts91/95 watts65/70 watts106/112 watts107/113 watts
dota 272/76 watts101/106 watts75/79 watts129/140 watts133/145 watts
Forspoken85/89 watts123/130 watts84/87 watts181/186 watts191/196 watts
Fortnite73/84 watts116/120 watts75/81 watts152/157 watts161/164 watts
Ghostwire: Tokyo69/73 watts111/121 watts76/81 watts148/156 watts155/163 watts
Resident Evil Village74/76 watts95/101 watts77/80 watts120/127 watts123/131 watts
Spider-Man Remastered82/86 watts127/130 watts82/85 watts182/187 watts194/200 watts
The Callisto Protocol66/74 watts91/94 watts69/73 watts114/128 watts119/131 watts
The Witcher 371/75 watts110/126 watts79/81 watts143/149 watts156/172 watts
Uncharted69/71 watts106/110 watts84/88 watts145/150 watts147/152 watts
Average72/78 watts105/111 watts76/80 watts141/148 watts147/156 watts

Completely defeated in this discipline are Intel’s fast Raptor Lake processors, which didn’t look good compared to the normal Ryzen 9 7950X. Compared to the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, the difference is gigantic: 72 watts of average package power for the AMD CPU compared to 141 watts for the Core i9-13900K and 147 watts for the Core i9-13900KS. Accordingly, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D delivers more than twice as many FPS per watt as Intel’s flagship Core i9-13900KS. Also compared to the Core i9-13900K, the efficiency is twice as high.

Clock speeds in games (RTX 4090)

As expected and already discussed above, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D clocks quite a bit lower than the Ryzen 9 7950X in games that all ran on the 3D V-Cache in the test. The latter runs at an average of 5,429 MHz in the 14 games, while the new flagship runs at a lower 5,088 MHz. That’s 341 MHz or 6 percent less clock speed, which the 3D cache has to compensate for in order to even be on par. So the performance benefit from the 3D V-Cache is actually greater than the measured 19 percent.

5,275 MHz is the highest clock that could be measured on the Ryzen 9 7950X3D during the gaming benchmarks. This is probably the highest clock that the cache CCD can clock up, while the CCD without the cache can still handle it. A series of tests on the next page will show how high the processor can clock when games are not running on the cache CCD. This also shows that a maximum of 5,300 MHz should be aimed at to check whether the game was actually running on the correct CCD. On the cache CCD it can also happen that the clock rate slips below the 5.0 GHz mark. 4,833 MHz is the lowest average clock that the editors measured during testing.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D
Ryzen 9 7950X
Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Core i9-13900K
Core i9-13900KS
Age of Empires IV5190/5250MHz5500/5500MHz4450/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
CoD Warzone 2.05179/5225MHz5418/5450MHz4389/4425MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
Cyberpunk 20775077/5225MHz5409/5450MHz4430/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
Diablo II: Resurrected5138/5275MHz5462/5500MHz4448/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
dota 25055/5200MHz5461/5500MHz4445/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
Ghostwire: Tokyo5029/5200MHz5449/5475MHz4441/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
Resident Evil Village5105/5200MHz5463/5475MHz4449/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
Spider-Man Remastered5165/5225MHz5398/5425MHz4411/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
The Callisto Protocol5086/5175MHz5487/5500MHz4450/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz
The Witcher 35130/5225MHz5436/5450MHz4423/4450MHz5500/5500MHz5600/5600MHz

The clock loss has remained the same as the 5800X3D

Before the launch of the new cache CPUs, there was hope that the new offshoots would lose less clock speed than the normal variants compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X. But this is not the case. The Ryzen 7 5800X lost 303 MHz in the test back then (4,753 MHz to 4,450 MHz), which, like the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, is 7 percent. There seems to have been no improvement here.

However, the direct comparison with the Intel offshoots is still interesting. The Core i9-13900K and Core i9-13900KS clock significantly faster in games than AMD’s latest development, 5.5 and 5.6 GHz respectively. That’s 8 or 10 percent more clocks than AMD, but that automatically means that Zen 4 3D offers double-digit percentage performance per clock in games than Intel’s Raptor Lake.

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