Ryzen 7950X3D review: An expensive but incredibly efficient 16-core CPU

raising / AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D.

Andrew Cunningham

At the end of the Ryzen 5000 run, AMD released the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, a special version of the eight-core 5800X with 64MB of additional L3 cache stacked on top of it.

The result is an interesting but niche experiment. The added “3D V-Cache” helps the CPU perform better in games, but the lower clock speed (plus higher power consumption and heat generation) hurts overall app performance. The additional cost was (and remains) disproportionate to the speed gained with the 5700X or 5800X. And the 5800X3D is the end of the line for the old socket AM4 platform, making it an interesting upgrade option if you have an older Ryzen PC but a poor choice to build one new PC around.

Now AMD is back with an expanded range of Zen 4 based Ryzen 7000X3D processors. The $599 12-core Ryzen 9 7900X3D and $699 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X3D are available now, while the 8-core Ryzen 7 7800X3D arrives on April 6.

The expanded range of the lineup suggests that AMD has become more comfortable with the creation of the end of the equation – 3D V-Cache is not present in every Ryzen CPU, but it is also not limited to a product released at a unique point in the Ryzen 7000 life cycle. AMD has addressed some of the 5800X3D’s biggest shortcomings by boosting clock speeds, though not always in pretty ways. CPUs still feel like experiments in some ways, and most people buying or building a PC will be well served by one of the cheaper, non-X3D CPUs (or something from Intel ). But the performance—and especially the power efficiency—of the 7950X3D makes it worth a look for anyone building a gaming PC that also doubles as a video editing rig or a workstation. .

Pricing and comparison

The Ryzen 7000 CPU lineup is currently divided into three sub-categories: the X-series CPUs available at launch, non-X-series CPUs for mainstream PCs with lower default power settings and more low price, and now the expensive, gamer- focused X3D models. Compared to the X series, you’re paying between $100 and $150 more for CPUs that usually promise improved gaming performance.

Current pricing Cores/threads Clocks (Base/Boost) Total cache (L2+L3) TDP
Ryzen 9 7950X3D $699 16c/32t 4.2/5.7 GHz 144MB (16+128) 120 W (162 W PPT)
Ryzen 9 7900X3D $599 12c/24t 4.4/5.6 GHz 140MB (12+128) 120 W (162 W PPT)
Ryzen 9 7950X $589 16c/32t 4.5/5.7 GHz 80MB (16+64) 170 W (230 W PPT)
Ryzen 9 7900X $448 12c/24t 4.7/5.6 GHz 76MB (12+64) 170 W (230 W PPT)
Core i9-13900K $580 8P/16E/32t 3.0/5.7 GHz (P-cores) 68MB (32+36) 125 W PL1/253 W PL2
Core i7-13700K $418 8P/8E/24t 3.4/5.3 GHz (P-cores) 54MB (24+30) 125 W PL1/253 W PL2

Prices for AMD’s other Zen 4 processors have stabilized somewhat since the chips were launched back in September, in part because Intel’s 12th and 13th generation CPUs are priced very competitively and a partly because sales of CPUs and desktop PCs are significantly lower compared to the beginning of the pandemic (although they are still higher than before the pandemic). If you’ve read our past coverage, you may have noticed that the 7950X3D launched at the same price that the regular 7950X launched at less than six months ago; this is probably not the competitive position AMD wants to be in early in the Ryzen 7000 lifecycle.

Looking over Intel’s 13th-generation lineup, the i9-13900K goes for $600 or less these days (usually, the KF or non-K version of the 13900 will save you more money, but as of this writing , all three hovering in the same price range). Its main drawback is that you have to allow it to eat a many of power to get the most out of it, especially compared to the 7950X3D, but in terms of upfront costs, you can still put a top-end Intel system together for less money than an AM5 system.

As we wrote before, the AMD platform also commands a new motherboard with a new socket and chipset and DDR5 memory, while Intel CPUs work on a wider range of cheaper motherboards, and you can even use DDR4 RAM to save money if you want. But if you’re seriously considering a 7950X for your PC, you can also consider a DDR5-compatible Z690 or Z790 motherboard for an Intel CPU, which closes the price gap a bit. Putting an i9-13900K on a cheap motherboard with an H610 chipset is technically possible workbut it is likely that the power delivery system of that motherboard will limit its performance.

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