AMD Ryzen 9 7950X "Zen 4" CPU Review

Can AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X processor deliver on the promises of Zen 4? Join us as we run the top-dog new CPU through its paces and find out.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
Published Oct 4, 2022 9:10 AM CDT
Manufacturer: AMD
5 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 94%
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The Bottom Line

While the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X processor isn't going to be the chip of choice for gamers on a budget, for creators, it offers a huge increase over previous Zen 3 chips with the downside of an entirely new platform.

Pros

  • + Platform upgrade
  • + Performance
  • + Efficiency (performance per watt)
  • + Cores and threads

Cons

  • - IPC
  • - CPU runs hot
  • - Price ($100 more than 13900K)

Should you buy it?

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Introduction and Pricing

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 01

Admittedly, we are a bit late to the party with our AMD Ryzen 9 7950X processor review, but I didn't want to rush my testing, and we didn't receive this chip until launch day. At any rate, we were able to spend a few days testing and tuning with the 7950X, populating our charts with some impressive numbers. That said, up to this point, I'm not hugely impressed with Zen 4; though it does offer a significant boost over Zen 3, it doesn't give enough headroom to AMD for Intel's 13th Gen launch, which is coming up quickly.

Can the 7950X change this? Let's find out!

Specifications and Pricing

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We have gone over this in each of the four Zen 4 reviews we have now published; the product stack for Zen 4, seen above, includes four SKUs hitting shelves for launch day, which was the 26th of Sept. Starting from the bottom, the 7600X is the six core 12 thread part, 105W TDP and 38MB cache with a 4.7GHz base and 5.3GHz boost clock. The 7700X is next with its full single CCD design, eight cores, 16 threads, a 4.5GHz base, and a 5.4GHz boost. It has the same 105W TDP but slightly more cache at 40M.

The 7900X, which we covered on launch day, is a 12-core 24-thread design at the higher 170W TDP; it has a larger cache at 76M and a higher base clock at 4.7GHz and boosts at 5.6GHz. The top-end SKU and our focus for this review is the Ryzen 9 7950X; it is the full enchilada, 16 core 32 thread, 170W TDP with 80M caches. Its base clock is 4.5GHz, with the highest boost of all Zen 4 parts at 5.7GHz.

Pricing has the 7600X coming in at $299, with the 7700X right behind at $399. The 7900X and 7950X are listed at $549 and $699, respectively.

Buy at Amazon

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$666.66$573.99$699.00
* Prices last scanned on 11/26/2022 at 10:22 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Ryzen 9 7950X and Test System

For those wanting information on the AMD Zen 4 Architecture, you can read that here.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 03

Zen 4 uses much of the design AMD launched with Zen 3, including the eight-core complex and cache topology. That said, there have been significant improvements in the design, allowing for higher boost clocks, up to 5.7GHz on the 7950X, a larger L2 cache, and finally, Integrated graphics from the RDNA2 family.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 04

AMD has really put much of its hype on the 7950X, the above slide showing both Gaming and Creator performance uplifts over the 5950X.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 06

AMD Zen 4 offers a good boost to IPC, as seen in its chart above, vs. Zen 3.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 10

Packaging includes the new box art seen above; branding includes the Ryzen 9 logo and a window to the CPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 11

Unboxing, the 7950X is secured in its plastic retainer with a Ryzen 9 sticker for your chassis and reading materials underneath.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 12

As with past Zen 4 articles, the 7950X has the same HIS design, shielding the SMD caps.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 10

On the bottom, we have a smooth surface with the 1718 pads for AM5.

Test System

  • Motherboard: X670E AORUS Master BIOS 813b
  • GPU: Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator RGB DDR5 6000 CL30
  • Cooler: 3x140mm Custom Water
  • OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB
  • Power Supply: AORUS GP AP1200PM
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11

Cinebench, Crossmark and AIDA64

Cinebench, Crossmark, and AIDA64

Cinebench R23

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 30

In single thread, the 7950X creeps closer to the 12900KS with a score of 2069.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 31

Over in multi-thread, the 7950X goes to work, landing a huge score of 38470.

For those wanting information on Zen 4 IPC, you can read here.

Crossmark

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 32

CrossMark landed the 7950X with an overall score of 2442, right behind the 7900X and just in from of the 12900K.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 33

Above, we have a quick look at the workload breakdown.

AIDA64

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 34

Tasks using AES certainly benefit from Zen 4. As seen above, the 7950X has no competition here as it pulls a huge 386K!

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 35

SHA3 is very similar, the 7950X taking a score of 10528; nothing really comes close to it.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 36

Adding in memory throughput, the 7950X offered 76K across the board with our Dominator EXPO kit.

UL Benchmarks

Procyon and 3DMark

UL Procyon Suite

The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.

The Photo Editing benchmark uses Adobe® Lightroom® to import, process, and modify a selection of images. In the second part of the test, multiple edits and layer effects are applied to a photograph in Adobe® Photoshop®.

The Video editing benchmark uses Adobe® Premiere® Pro to export video project files to common formats. Each video project includes various edits, adjustments, and effects. The benchmark score is based on the time taken to export the videos.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 37

7950X did well in UL Procyon, the best Zen 4 at this point, excelling in Photo and Office.

3DMark

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 38

CPU Profile showed the 12900KS was better in a single thread, but as threads climbed, the 7950X did better and better, reaching a sixteen thread score of 14192.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 39

Our first "gaming" scenario is Timespy, landing us a score of 18901 overall.

Gaming and Power Consumption

Gaming Performance

Diving into gaming, we added a few new games to our list, including Ac Valhalla and Far Cry 6. We kept CyberPunk as we have been using it with our 12900KS on motherboard reviews, so we have a decent comparison.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 40

Starting things off with Valhalla, the 7950X, surprisingly did the best at 1080p with its higher boost clock allowing for 171 FPS. At 4K, all four samples perform about the same.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 41

FarCry 6 offered 176 FPS at 1080p; again, 4K was more on the GPU than CPU, with all four performing the same.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 42

Cyberpunk pushes the 7950X to 205FPS at 1080p, a few frames quicker than the 77 and 7600X.

Power Consumption and Thermals

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 43

Power consumption is measured directly from the dual eight-pin connections. The peak power draw was 260W with the 7950X, while idle was just 24w.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 44

I know I mentioned it in the 7700X review, but our cooling setup is massive overkill for any CPU, so our results won't necessarily reflect what you would see on an AIO. That said, the 7950X peaked at 73c during gaming and 67c during Procyon testing.

Value and Final Thoughts

Value

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 47

Looking at Performance per Watt, the 7950X offers the best performance per watt, with the 7900X right behind. After that, a huge fall off for the remaining CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 45

Adding cost to the equation using current market pricing as of this writing, the 7950X lands at the bottom as the worst CPU in bang for your buck.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Zen 4 CPU Review 46

Switching the performance metric to gaming, the 7950X still isn't the best value, but it's not far behind, with all CPUs landing within a few % of each other.

Final Thoughts

The 7950X is no doubt a very strong CPU; it performed at the top of every workload, single thread because of its high boost clocks and multi-thread showed what all those cores could do. It was a bit mixed with some workloads like CrossMark, where it was under both the 7900X and 12900KS, a CPU most have seemingly forgotten about. In Procyon, the 7950X again did well, towards the top with the 12900KS.

Gaming scenarios were hit and miss; Timespy had it in the middle while testing a few games. The 7950X was at or near the top every time, including CyberPunk which showed an impressive 205FPS at 1080p. Zen 4 has excelled in power draw, which has kind of become AMD's thing now; the 7950X delivered here, too, uses just 30 watts more than the 7900X and exactly double the 7600X. CPU Thermals were fine, but again our cooling loop is overkill; a 73c peak for the 7950X probably isn't realistic for anyone on an AIO or Air.

Looking at value, Per per watt was amazing, Top of our charts at 100%, the 7900X followed just behind and switching to performance v price, using both productivity workloads along with gaming, the 7950X was near the bottom in both scenarios, really because it is overkill for gaming and its higher price tag.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

99%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

85%

Overall

94%

The Bottom Line

While the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X processor isn't going to be the chip of choice for gamers on a budget, for creators, it offers a huge increase over previous Zen 3 chips with the downside of an entirely new platform.

TweakTown award
94%

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 16-Core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$666.66$573.99$699.00
* Prices last scanned on 11/26/2022 at 10:22 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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