AMD Ryzen 9 5950X And 5900X CPU Review: Zen 3 Dominates

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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X And 5900X Review: Audio, Video, Rendering And Clock For Clock

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding benchmark, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular use case for many end users, to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. LAME is an open-source MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Conversion and Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT tool in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

lame mt amd ryzen 5000

This test will only hammer on one or two threads simultaneously, and hence favor the higher-clocked, Intel processors. The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X, however, put up the best scores for AMD, and finish just behind the Core i9-10980XE.

X265 Benchmark
Video Encoding Test

The multi-threaded HWBOT x265 Benchmark is based on the open source x265 encoder that leverages modern CPU instructions to speed video encoding. We tested the CPUs represented here with the 64-bit encoder using the default 1080p workload.

x265 amd ryzen 5000

The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X performed extremely well in the x265 video encoding test. AMD's latest flagships for socket AM4 outpace everything except a high-end Threadripper. Even then the 3960X's lead over the Ryzen 9 5950X is small, especially considering the former's additional 6 cores and increase memory bandwidth.

Cinebench R20
3D Rendering Benchmark

Cinebench rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and can utilize any number of threads, which make is an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graphs below.

cinebench amd ryzen 5000

The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X continued their winning ways in Cinebench. In this test, not only do they offer the best single-threaded performance, but multithread scaling is excellent. Once again we see the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X clearly outpacing Intel's 18-core Core i9-10980XE and the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X isn't too far behind. Looking at the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X vs. 3900XT and 3950X shows massive performance improvements from AMD gen-over-gen.

POV-Ray Performance
Ray Tracing Benchmark

POV-Ray, or the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer, is an open source tool for creating realistically lit images. We tested with POV-Ray's standard 'one-CPU' and 'all-CPU' benchmarking tools on all of our test machines and recorded the scores reported for each. Results are measured in pixels-per-second throughput; higher scores equate to better performance.

pov ray amd ryzen 5000

The performance trend in POV-Ray is virtually unchanged from Cinebench. Once again we see the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X offering up some of the best single-threaded numbers, and their strong multithreaded scaling puts them up at the top, outpacing competing processors with more cores (10980XE) or higher clocks (10900K).

3D Rendering Benchmark

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. It has a built-in benchmarking tool that will track the time it takes to complete rendering a particular model. We used a CPU-focused BMW model for these tests here...

blender amd ryzen 5000

We saw more of the same in the Blender benchmark. Here, the Ryzen 9 5950X leads the pack of mainstream processors, trailing only the Threadripper 3960X. It takes an 18-core Intel HEDT processor to eek out a win over AMD's mainstream 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X. Gen-vs-gen, however, the Ryzen 5000 series shows only minor improvements over the Ryzen 3000 series here.

Clock For Clock Comparisons: Ryzen 3000 vs. Ryzen 5000
Zen 3 vs. Zen 2

We ran some clock-for-clock comparisons between the Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 3950X in an attempt to clearly demonstrate the IPC performance benefits of Zen 3 versus Zen 2. Everything in our test bed was identical for these tests, from the peak CPU voltage to the memory clock (3200MHz), only the CPU was swapped between runs. Ryzen Master was used to set a 4GHz all-core frequency with a peak core voltage of 1.25v...

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AMD’s claims of an average 19% IPC uplift are in-line with our findings. In this particular set of workloads, we saw improvements ranging from 7.3% to 24.6%, with the largest gain coming in the Shadow Of War gaming test.

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