AMD Scores As The Top CPU For Emulating PS3 Games According To RPCS3

sony playstation 3 console hero
A popular community-maintained chart, ranking performance in Sony PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3, has beckoned a new flagship CPU to the throne. AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X has elbowed past the incumbent Intel Core i9-12900K to become number one in the ‘S Tier’ class of processors for fast-paced PS3 fun.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors have been making a name for themselves in a wide range of computing tasks ever since they came down from orbit in late September. You can learn about AMD Raphael’s potency in our detailed review of the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X. But one of the lesser broadcast advantages of processors like the Ryzen 9 7950X and its Zen 4 architecture brethren is AVX-512 support – something depreciated by Intel a couple of generations back. It just so happens that AVX-512 SIMD extensions can provide quite a meaty boost in RPCS3.

RCPS3 works with or without AVX-512, of course, but with the support now turned on in up-to-date builds of the emulator, those with Zen 4 architecture processors can reasonably expect a 35% performance boost. This is something not to be sniffed at, but surprisingly it doesn’t really lift the AMD flagship Ryzen 9 7950X processor head and shoulders above its Intel Alder Lake rival, it is only about 5% faster. This is because RCPS3 is one of those applications that traditionally seems better optimized for Intel CPUs, as we noted in a previous article about this emulator.

playstation 3 emulator performance chart

Above is a screenshot of the RPCS3 [desktop] CPU Tier List, as maintained by community members Yahfz and Loweys Litsman. Other users might see slightly different performance characteristics, depending on the wide range of PC configurations and variety of components available, so just use the chart as a good indicative guide.

If you don’t have an ‘S Tier’ processor for playing around with RPCS3, don’t forget that several much more accessibly priced processors can still “beat the [original] PS3 framerates in most titles.” Even an affordable i3 12100 fits in this category, and for general playability at PS3-like refresh rates, you can use even lower-tier or older gen CPUs.

Will the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X enjoy a long reign as king of RPCS3? It looks pretty certain that Intel’s 13th Gen Core Raptor Lake processors are going to be more than 5% faster than Alder Lake architecture predecessors—so that should wipe out the AMD Raphael chip’s current winning margin. The first Intel Raptor Lake chips are expected to be released on Oct 20, with pre-orders open a week earlier.