AMD Ryzen 9 3950X CPU Review

AMD’s New Flagship Desktop Processor

The Ryzen 9 3950X is the new bad boy on the block. It’s like the rest of the Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s. In fact, it’s the second Ryzen to include three CCD’s including its I/O die. Instead of only having 3 cores per CCX, it includes 4 for a total of 16 cores and 32 threads. This is a core and thread count that required stepping up to HEDT just a few months ago. Intel has nothing on the desktop with that many cores and prior to the launch of the 3000 series, neither did AMD. This CPU does the same thing that the 3900X did before it, and that’s push the envelope and set a new standard for mainstream desktop performance.

Higher Boost Clock

As I said, the Ryzen 9 3950X is largely the same as the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. The differences in cache sizes on the spec sheets come from one additional core per CCX, the Ryzen 9 3950X does, however, boast a slightly higher boost clock for single-threaded workloads. It’s now rated at 4.7GHz instead of 4.6GHz. Therefore, it should be the fastest processor in AMD’s mainstream arsenal. As you’ll soon see that generally holds true. It also competes well with Intel’s HEDT offerings. A fact that is either super impressive or super pathetic depending on how you want to look at the situation. I think its both impressive and sad. Impressive for AMD and sad that Intel is in such a bad position right now. Indeed, you’ll see that it takes a substantial overclock on the 10980XE or two extra cores to compete here. That comes at a price, but we’ll get into that later.

You may have also noticed from the chart that the base clock of the 3950X is lower as well. This gives the 3950X a broader clock speed operating range than the 3900X at both ends of the spectrum. In practice, the lower base clocks don’t really come into play. Indeed, boost clock behavior in our testing indicates you’ll rarely be at these values as all core and single-threaded boost clocks will be close to that of the 3900X. Where they aren’t, the differences aren’t huge, and the performance gained by the extra cores offsets it. In other words, the 3950X is generally, if not always just as fast as the 3900X and faster where the extra cores or slightly higher boost clock counts.

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