Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU Review

ryzen 9 7950x3d cpu review 23022702
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Ryzen 9 7950X3D
Editors Choice

AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X has been the go-to choice for gamers who want the best performance, but it might have finally met its match in AMD’s latest offering: The Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU. Combining the impressive Ryzen 7000 series with the 3D V-Cache that made for one of the best AM4 chips you could buy only makes things more exciting for AMD buyers. Having taken the time to test out this new chip, I can safely say AMD has nailed it and managed to release the most powerful consumer gaming CPU you can buy. 

AMD debuted their Ryzen 7000 X3D line of processors at CES 2023, offering an optimal combination of single-threaded and multi-threaded for increased gaming and creative app performance. The CPUs feature a larger L3 cache size (+64MB) and 3D V-Cache on top of a CPU chiplet, along with the cache found in other Ryzen 7000 models. 

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The series comes with 8, 12, or 16 cores — perfect for gamers who want maximum levels of power. Plus, 3D V-Cache technology can provide even greater benefits when it comes to bandwidth and performance in games as well as certain production workloads, and if you have read our review of the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, you will know how well that CPU did in all our tests before this boost. 

“Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 9 7950x3D may look similar at first glance, but there’s a lot of hidden horsepower beneath the hood.”

Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 9 7950x3D may look similar at first glance, but there’s a lot of hidden horsepower beneath the hood. The 3D version is stacked with AMD’s advanced V-Cache technology, boasting 144MB of combined cache that dwarfs the regular processor’s 80MB capacity. On top of that, it has a much lower TDP rating at 120W versus the 170W Ryzen 9 7950X — so you’re getting better performance at less energy cost.

Also of note is even though both CPUs can boost to 5.7GHz clock speed, the 3D chip starts off with a baseline frequency of 4.2GHz compared to 4.5GHz for its non-3D counterpart.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is supercharged, thanks to its 3D V-Cache technology. This allows the CPU’s chiplet to stack an extra layer of cache, boosting its overall capacity. The processor itself has 16 cores and a plentiful 144 MBs of L2 + L3cache — that’s 64 MB of 3D V-Cache on top. Both the Dual-CCD 7900X3D and 7950X3D boast huge caches (140 MB and 144 MB, respectively), with one CCD sporting that additional 64MB as a bonus.

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AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPUs come with a TDP of 120W, resting them right between the impressive Ryzen 7 7700x at 105W and the power-hungry Ryzen 9 7950X at 170W. Even so, it can still surge up to 162W for short intervals before dropping back down to its PL1 TDP level of 120 Watts.

While this all sounds amazing, there are things to keep in mind to take advantage of the new power AMD allows with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. You’ll need to install both a chipset driver and Windows Xbox Game Bar in order to get the most out of this powerhouse processor that can place threads for different types of workloads on individual chiplet cores.

As the Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor comes equipped with two chiplets — one containing a X3D cache and one with faster cores — gamers may find that their gaming experience takes a bit of a hit due to the slower-speed chiplets. However, AMD has come up with an ingenious solution in partnership with Microsoft’s Windows features: allowing users to reroute their gaming experiences through both chiplet configurations for maximum performance. 

Cores / ThreadsBase FregTerbo FreqMemmory SupportL3 CacheTDPMSRP
Ryzen 9 7950X16C/32T4.5 GHz5.7 GHzDDR5-520064 MB170 W$599
Ryzen 9 7950X3D16C/32T4.2 GHz5.7 GHzDDR5-5200128 MB120 W$699
Ryzen 9 7900X12C / 24T4.7 GHz5.6 GHzDDR5-520064 MB170 W$449
Ryzen 9 7900X3D12C / 24T4.4 GHz5.6 GHzDDR5-5200128 MB120 W$599
Ryzen 7 5800X3D8C / 16T3.4 GHz4.5 GHzDDR4-320096 MB105 W$309

While testing, we did run into some issues getting everything working as it was supposed to. We ran into a few issues with older drivers causing a conflict with the new software, and this did result in system stability issues. For people installing the Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU into an existing system, this is important to take note of, as it could mean you either won’t get all the benefits of the X3D or even end up with a very unstable system. 

While not overly complex, you will need to ensure your motherboard is updated to the latest bios, that Game Mode is enabled, and that you have the latest Chipset Driver installed. Once everything is done, it is a good idea to make sure you have the software running and all the devices showing up in your device manager just to ensure the process ran correctly. Once done, it all felt cohesive, but the fact it needs that software solution does mean there are many points of failure, something that could upset some gamers.

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The Xbox Game Bar has a list of known games and ensures the best settings are available for games that can support it. The Windows driver communicates with game mode, so the OS thread scheduler can prioritize the right cores depending on what you’re doing: 3D V-cache enabled chiplet for gaming tasks where latency matters most or a regular chiplet when higher frequencies are preferred.

If that’s not enough, you can override these preferences via BIOS and adjust the CPPC core priority either to ‘frequency’ or ‘cache.’ It may sound complex, but the end result is better-performing games and the ability to take full advantage of all the new X3D CPU offers. 

To keep things in line with previous tests, we will be using our Ryzen 7000 test bench, first used in our Ryzen 7950X review. The system features an ASRock X670E Taichi main board and 32 GB G.SKILL EXPO DDR5 6000 RAM, with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 for our test GPU. The system is running on a Gigabyte NVMe m.2 SSD, and everything is updated to the latest bios, with Windows 11 running all the latest updates and all needed drivers updated to the latest versions either supplied by AMD or the hardware manufacturer. 

For this review, we put the Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU to the test with a variety of workloads, synthetic benchmarks, and games. All done on the most advanced Windows 11 2022 Update with VBS security off, Resizable BAR enabled 1080p resolution. As with all our CPU reviews, we wanted to use 1080P as our baseline since this ensures it avoids GPU bottlenecks that could hamper the tests and our overall impressions of the hardware. 

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3DAMD Ryzen 9 7950XIntel Core i9-13900K
Cinebench R20 Single Thread784795865
Cinebench R20 Multi-Thread141761458514755
Cinebench R23 Single Thread204521312202
Cinebench R23 Multi-Thread362183761537934
Handbrake (seconds, lower is better)383837
CPU-Z Single Core735785891
CPU-Z Multi Core152811566516678
Geekbench 6 – Single Core274229022925
Geekbench 6 – Multi-Core186181921419722

Starting things off with our Synthetic benchmarks, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU faired well, if not legged behind the Ryzen 9 7950X, along with Intels Core i7 13700K and the Core i9 13900K, in Cinebench R20 and R23, but saw it score an impressive 2742 single core and 18618 multicore scores in Geekbench 6, placing it as one of the best scores we have seen in that test to date, even if it did not beat out either the Core i9 13900K or the Ryzen 9 7950X.

We also ran it through our CPU-Z benchmark, which while not perfect for assessing a CPU, is good to test RAW performance, and we saw it do well, sitting just below the Ryzen 7 7700, along with most of the Intel 13th gen and AMD 7000 range. 

“…the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D managed to do incredibly well in most of our gaming tests.”

Moving over to more gaming-focused workloads, before diving into our full gaming suite of tests, we wanted to run the Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU through 3D Mark Time Spy. Time Spy may focus on a GPU workload, but it’s still one of the most accurate benchmarks if you’re looking for an indicator of your gaming PC’s ability. Here we saw the Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU score a relatively impressive 16595, doing better than even the Ryzen 9 7950X with its 16159, but did fall short of the Intel Core i9-13900 with its staggering 20020. But with all our synthetic tests out of the way, it is time to dive into some games and see just how impressive the Ryzen 9 7950X3D can be. 

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3DAMD Ryzen 9 7950XIntel Core i9-13900K
3DMark Time Spy CPU165951615920020
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla208 fps202 fps209 fps
Cyberpunk 2077209 fps198 fps210 fps
The Witcher III451 fps447 fps515 fps
Hitman III439 fps425 fps428 fps
F1 22378.7 fps361.7 fps 368.9 fps

In comparison to the synthetic and productivity benchmarks, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D managed to do incredibly well in most of our gaming tests. While it was not a staggering difference compared to the other CPUs in our tests, it did see around a 2-3 percent lead, delivering fantastic performance in all supported games. Games like Hitman III, F1 22, and Cyberpunk 2077 showed the most improvement over the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and narrowed any lead the Intel Core i9-13900K had over AMD in gaming, at least in games we tested.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D is a powerful processor on its own merits that offers excellent gaming performance, but the addition of a larger L3 cache allows it to inch ahead of its rivals in many games. As always, it’s important to remember that these differences will be much more difficult to spot if you’re using a slower GPU or gaming at lower resolutions. 

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The list of games that takes full advantage of the new power is also not as large as I would have liked, but hopefully, this grows as time goes on. With AMD promising support for the AM5 socket through 2025, that is a fair amount of time to see the Ryzen 9 7950X3D grow into its own. When it comes to the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D, there’s a slight trade-off between gaming and productivity performance.

It isn’t quite as powerful as its direct competition in productivity applications, but it offers the fastest gaming performance of any processor on the market. 

If you’re looking for one processor that provides a balanced mix of gaming and productivity performance, then this is your best option. The Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU may not be perfect at all tasks, but the increase in performance in gaming more than makes up for the slight dip compared to the competition in other tasks and considering how powerful all these CPUs truly are, that is saying something.

Final Thoughts

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