AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Review

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Thanks to more-than-powerful processors like the outstanding 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X ($749), AMD is blurring the distinction between standard desktop CPUs and so-called high-end desktop (HEDT) ones. The bargain competition isn’t even close when compared to Intel’s closest alternatives, such as the Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition and others in the unmistakably expensive, unquestionably HEDT Core X-Series.

By the end of 2020, AMD will unquestionably be the leader in the core wars. Look no further if you need a workhorse CPU to tackle the rigors of heavy-load, highly multithreaded productivity activities day in and day out or if you deal with demanding content-creation programs.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, AMD’s newest and finest top-of-the-stack Zen 3 CPU, outperforms an Intel chip designed to compete with AMD’s own “true HEDT” platform, Ryzen Threadripper, in terms of core-crushing power. Most people don’t require the Ryzen 9 5950X’s full power, but few wouldn’t desire it.

The top-of-the-line processor in AMD’s Zen 3-based portfolio, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is made for high-end desktop customers and professionals that want excellent performance. This processor strives to provide unmatched power and efficiency with its remarkable specs and cutting-edge architecture. We will examine the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X’s features, functionality, and overall user experience in great detail in this review.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Specifications & Overview

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Let’s start by delving into the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X specifications and seeing how it compares to the Ryzen 9 3950X, a chip from the Zen 2 generation, and the $979 (RCP) Intel Core i9-10980XE, the HEDT option from Intel.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X has 16 cores and 32 threads, which puts it on the edge of AMD’s HEDT possibilities but still falls short of other of the company’s even threadier components, including the 24-core/48-thread Ryzen Threadripper 3960X.

However, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is compatible with the well-known Socket AM4, unlike Threadripper CPUs, which need their own unique TRX40 chipset and oversized motherboard socket. That indicates that it will function with a variety of specific motherboards, ranging from the B350 chipset up to the X570. (You’ll still need to supply a cooler; the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X doesn’t come with one in the package.)

Because of this, it is a better option for inexperienced content producers who want a lot of processing power for their productivity duties but may not want to take the more financial risk required of Threadripper owners. (Motherboards for Threadrippers are expensive, and they essentially require liquid cooling.) With the same 7-nanometer lithography and 105-watt TDP as the Ryzen 9 3950X, there aren’t many differences to discuss. The base and boost clocks are where the specifications have changed the most.

AMD increased the top boost clock speed from 4.7GHz (Ryzen 9 3950X) to 4.9GHz (Ryzen 9 5950X), but the base clock drops from 3.5GHz in the Ryzen 9 3950X to 3.4GHz in the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. But like the other Zen 3 CPUs we’ve examined, AMD increased the cost by $50 above the same model from the previous generation.

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The Intel faithful will find it difficult to compare the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with the Intel Core i9-10980XE (on the Core X platform). In addition to costing around $250 less, the AMD CPU consumes a lot less power (105 watts as opposed to 165 watts). The Core i9-10980XE’s two more processor cores (18 vs 16) would give you reason to believe that its greater price is justified, but once we conducted our performance test, those dreams were all but destroyed.

A 16-core, 32-thread CPU, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X has a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz and a maximum boost clock speed of 4.9 GHz. It supports PCIe 4.0 and has a sizable 64 MB L3 cache, giving it enough of bandwidth for fast data transfers. The 7nm manufacturing technique used to create the CPU ensures efficiency and enhanced thermal performance.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Overclocking & Thermals

Thermal Performance and Power economy: The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X maintains exceptional thermal performance and power economy despite its remarkable performance. Precision Boost technology from AMD and the 7nm architecture enable effective power management, leading in lower power use and less heat emission. However, to maintain ideal temperatures, particularly during periods of intense workloads, it’s crucial to combine this CPU with a top-notch cooling system.

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The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X has a lot of room for overclocking, which is fantastic for enthusiasts who want to push the CPU to its absolute limits. Users may attain higher clock speeds, further boosting performance, with the right cooling and tinkering. Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), an AMD innovation, enables automatic overclocking by dynamically altering frequencies in response to workload and environmental factors. It offers a practical method to boost performance without calling for a lot of human tinkering.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X General Information

PlatformBoxed Processor
# of CPU Cores16
Base Clock3.4GHz
Default TDP105W
CPU SocketAM4
Launch Date11/5/2020
Product FamilyAMD Ryzen™ Processors
# of Threads32
L2 Cache8MB
Processor Technology for CPU CoresTSMC 7nm FinFET
Thermal Solution (PIB)Not included
*OS SupportWindows 10 – 64-Bit EditionRHEL x86 64-BitUbuntu x86 64-Bit
Product LineAMD Ryzen™ 9 Desktop Processors
Max. Boost ClockUp to 4.9GHz
L3 Cache64MB
Unlocked for OverclockingYes
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)90°C

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Conclusion

If you currently have a Ryzen 9 3950X, there is no reason to upgrade to the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. With a high-end GPU, you’ll probably be GPU-bound most of the time if you’re playing games at a high resolution. For instance, there won’t be much of a difference between the 3950X and 5950X with an RTX 3090 at 1440p, and there won’t be much difference at 4K either. The advantages also don’t justify the expense when it comes to productivity performance.

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However, if you’re upgrading from a 2nd-gen Ryzen processor, you’ll see a significant improvement in both productivity and gaming. If you don’t mind spending $800, the 5950X will be a terrific alternative for genuinely good productivity performance. In light of this, it will be fascinating to observe how the 3950X’s price develops over the coming months since it may wind up being the best bargain for high-end CPU performance. is an affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X