AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Review. 3950x where to buy

Compared to Intel’s advanced processors, the 3950X is much better in terms of multi-threaded performance. On average, the 3950X’s performance is 40% higher than the 9900KS and 9900K.

Building an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X System

I recently decided to build a new workstation for everyday use based on the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor. This system will replace my current AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X system. In this post, I will tell you about the thought process behind building the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X.

I usually build a new “master” workstation system for myself every two years. Sometimes I update components for an existing current system between completely new systems.

Going back to history, these were the base specs for my main workstation systems:

  • 2012: Intel Core i7-3770K on Z77 motherboard with 32 GB of RAM
  • 2015: Intel Core i7-6700K on Z170 motherboard with 64GB RAM
  • 2017: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X on X399 motherboard with 96 GB RAM
  • 2018: Upgraded the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X to the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
  • 2020: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X on X570 motherboard with 64GB RAM

When I build a new workstation system and start using it, the old system drops down in the basement lab. I will also have a dedicated gaming system present, which will be replaced with a new system approximately every two years. Old game systems are also sent to the laboratory in the basement. Sometimes I sell different old systems to my friends or give them to my family.

Required Components

A modern desktop computer must have eight basic components. They include:

  • Processor (processor)
  • Motherboard
  • CPU cooler
  • Memory (DRAM)
  • Graphics Card
  • Thing
  • Charger
  • Storage

Depending on the type of system being built and the components selected, some of these components may be related to each other. For example, many desktop CPUs come with an included CPU cooler, which may work well enough for your needs. Some desktop processors include integrated graphics (which may be all you need for certain types of usage).

Your budget and the type of workload you plan to run will have a big impact on what components you choose. Other factors, such as how much you care about system noise, whether you care about things like RGB lighting, and whether you care about the physical size of your system, will also influence your choices.

When I build a new workstation system and start using it, the old system drops down in the basement lab. I will also have a dedicated gaming system present, which will be replaced with a new system approximately every two years. Old game systems are also sent to the laboratory in the basement. Sometimes I sell different old systems to my friends or give them to my family.

Improving on Near-Perfection

When we reviewed the Ryzen 9 3900X in July, with the launch of the then new AMD Zen 2 processors, we tried to find a lot of bugs in what was essentially one of the most cost-effective gaming and content processors we’ve seen so far. While this processor slightly outperformed the Intel Core competition in single-core tasks and scored slightly below excellent in 1080p gaming tests, apart from these marginal complaints it represented the Ryzen 9 3900X (and the entire Ryzen 3000 line) a return to prime for a company that over the last ten she lived in the shadow of Intel for years.

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AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

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The Ryzen 9 3950X is more of what we loved, with a little extra serving on top. Where the Ryzen 9 3900X “only” has 12 cores and supports up to 24 simultaneous processing threads, the Ryzen 9 3950X kills up to 16 cores and 32 possible threads. Another difference: while the Ryzen 9 3900X has a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz (as the maximum for a single core), the Ryzen 9 3950X lowers the base clock to 3.5 GHz, but the boost clock is ticking slightly up, up to 4.7 GHz.

Finally, while the Ryzen 9 3900X has a total L2 / L3 cache allocation of 70MB, the Ryzen 9 3950X has 72MB L2 / L3 cache (8MB L2 and 64MB L3). In addition, both processors have the same TDP: 105 watts each, which is the same as the weird duck of the Ryzen 3000 series, the Ryzen 7 3800X.

The Blue Elephant in the Room

The Ryzen 9 3950X is an interesting layout as it overlaps the number of cores and threads with the meat and potato model in the second generation Ryzen Threadripper line, Threadripper 2950X. The new core is counting on third-generation Threadrippers due later this month to reflect this. But even more interesting is how Intel’s desktop processor lineup compares.

Since there is no Intel Ryzen 9 3950X counterpart that can compare exactly the number of cores and threads, the closest analogy we can make to the Intel processors we’ve tested is Intel’s 18-core Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition.

Also included are the specifications of the 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, which is the most suitable chip in the Ryzen 9 3950X with a different size in terms of number of cores.

As seen above, the Intel Core i9-9980XE doesn’t compete directly: it has two more cores and four more threads, and at the time of writing this article costs around 400-250 more than the Ryzen 9 3950X. But as you’ll see shortly in the benchmarking section below, that doesn’t stop the Ryzen 9 3950X from completely beating the CPU, which is 166% more expensive than it. (Rumor has it that Intel could significantly lower the price of this generation of “Skylake-X” chips, and the chip giant has confirmed that it will be bringing its 10th-generation X Core X series processors to the market at significantly discounted prices.)

That said, the upcoming 18-core Intel Core i9-10980XE processor, replacing the Core i9-9980XE, will still be worth considering, especially as the expected processor price will be “only” $ 250 higher than the Ryzen 9 3950X while featuring two additional cores and four additional threads. Rumor has it that the NDA for this processor is due on November 25, so we can’t share any comparative data yet, but let’s know that for these two tech titans it will be a very interesting couple of months over the next few product cycles in the high-end desktop market. (HEDT.

How has Intel Core i9-9980XE coped with the best non-Threadripper Ryzens so far? To find out, let’s move on to our tests.

Also included are the specifications of the 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, which is the most suitable chip in the Ryzen 9 3950X with a different size in terms of number of cores.

Performance

The Ryzen 3900X was the flagship chip of the third generation Ryzen (that is, before the 3900XT). The 3950X overcomes both. These are both extremely efficient, high-end processors. These are possibly HEDT chips, despite their focus on the more popular sector and their specifications reflect this. Each was also found faster than Intel’s most powerful HEDT processors.

Processor Cores Threads L3 cache Base clock Boost clock (single core) TDP
AMD Ryzen 3900X 12 24 64 MB 3.8 GHz 4.6 GHz 105w
AMD Ryzen 3950X 16 32 64 MB 3.5 GHz 4.7 GHz 105w

The biggest differences between the two processors are the number of cores and threads. With an additional four cores and eight threads, the Ryzen 3950X is a more powerful multi-thread processor. However, finding jobs that can use so many cores and threads is another matter. Unless you do heavy video editing or video transcoding, it is unlikely that you will really benefit from these extra threads. They would definitely be hanging around in games.

Indeed, the 3900X is arguably an overkill for gaming only, but if you’re gaming and streaming at the same time, both are excellent. Surprisingly, considering the additional cores, the 3950X is also slightly faster than the 3900X in games, but only slightly.

Benchmarks put 3950X a few frames ahead of 3900X at 1080p. However, as the resolution increases, the gap becomes smaller. At 1440p and above, you won’t notice the difference in games between 3950X and 3900X. Your GPU becomes a bottleneck at higher resolutions, so you’re effectively wasting money with the 3950X if you focus mostly on gaming.

The differences relate to CPU-intensive tasks such as video transcoding and 3D modeling. In Blender, the 3950X surpasses the 3900X by almost 30%. However, the 3950X does not work for all applications. There is little difference between it and the 3900X in Adobe Premiere Pro, and their multi-thread compression performance is identical.

3900X offers far more bang for your buck, but …

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