AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Review: A 16-Core Zen 2 Powerhouse

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AMD Ryzen 9 3950X - Our Summary And The Verdict

Performance Summary: AMD's new 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X is an absolute beast. Throughout all of our testing the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X consistently finished at or very near the top of the charts in every heavily threaded workload we ran, despite the inclusion of Intel’s much more expensive HEDT 18-core Core i9-9980XE in the charts. Single-threaded performance was also strong on the Ryzen 9 3950X, thanks in part to its somewhat higher max boost clock versus the 3900X. Power consumption also looked very good with the 3950X, which used only slightly more power than the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X under full load. Run the Ryzen 9 3950X in its 65W ECO mode and total power drops considerably (and is only somewhat higher than an 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X), but performance is still strong. ECO mode resulted in performance decreases in the neighborhood of 10% – 15%.


It may not have arrived at the exact time AMD originally promised it, but the company's many-core Ryzen 9 3950X was absolutely worth the wait. This is a killer processor, no matter which way you slice it. At $750, the Ryzen 9 3950X is not cheap, especially since it doesn’t include a quality cooler like some of the other members of the Ryzen 3000 series. That $750 is only a fraction of the cost of competing Intel processors though, at least until the dust settles after Cascade Lake-X’s impending launch. Intel is significantly re-jiggering its pricing with its upcoming 10th Gen HEDT processors, due to arrive in a couple of weeks.

Regardless of the competitive landscape, AMD has once again raised the performance bar for its mainstream platform and mainstream PCs as a whole. As of this moment, an argument can be made that AMD’s mainstream socket and platform have surpassed the performance and capabilities of Intel’s HEDT platform. That’s a big deal and AMD isn’t done just yet. Don’t forget, 3rd Gen Threadrippers are coming too, and those bad-boys won’t suffer from many of the performance quirks of the previous-gen.

AMD continues to bring excitement and new-found levels of performance and value to the PC. The Ryzen 9 3950X is an attractive processor from any angle and we wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone considering a flagship PC at this time. If you're a mega-tasker or regularly run applications that will benefit from its 16-cores and 32 threads, this is the processor to own right now.

Be sure to join us for our Two And A Half Geeks Podcast with AMD's Robert Hallock, today at 5:30 ET. We'll be fielding your questions, talking all things many-core Ryzen and kicking back for a leisurely fireside chat.


 hot  not
  • Great MT Performance
  • Power Friendly ECO Mode
  • Strong Single-Thread Performance
  • Works In Mainstream Socket
  • Good Value Relative To Competition
  • Not Cheap
  • Doesn't Always Catch Coffee Lake In ST Workloads

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