AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Zen 3) CPU Review

Introduction and pricing

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Every CPU at AMD’s Zen 3 launch has its own target audience. For the 5950X, we are looking for consumers who typically have a professional who needs the ability to handle large multi-core workloads efficiently. These tasks typically include large video workloads or a large number of tasks running simultaneously.

Traditionally, this was a task that HEDT systems handled in the past, but since the launch of the Zen 2+ and 3950X, AMD has brought the capability to major platforms and has continued to do so with the Ryzen 9 5950X.

As many of you know, the Ryzen 9 5950X is a 2x CCD 1x IOD chiplet build, and the complete Zen 3. It offers 16 cores and 32 threads with SMT supporting a 3.4GHz base clock and 4.9GHz boost clock. 64MB of L3 cache is shared across all cores with 24 PCIe 4.0 slots to support.


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Above, we have the launch day product lineup for Zen 3. This includes the Ryzen 5 5600X 6C12T part at the $299 mainstream price point and the Ryzen 7 5800X 8C16T in the mid-range slot $449. The Ryzen 9 5900X leads the way behind only the Ryzen 9 5950X in the enthusiast’s slot; $549 and $799, respectively.

You can read more about the AMD Zen 3 architecture in our Ryzen 9 5900X review here, as it won’t be covered here.

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Packaging and testing system

Ryzen 9 5950X

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Like our latest processors, the 5950X package offers a Ryzen logo in the middle, a 9 on the bottom right, and a 5000 on the bottom.

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The back offers information about the processor in several languages.

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The CPU is enclosed in a sealed plastic casing, affixed to the side of your chassis.

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Taking a closer look at the 5950X, the model number is etched across the top while down below we have the US and Taiwan scattered for each Fab respectively.

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The bottom of the CPU provides a 1331-pin arrangement designed for the AM4 socket.

test system

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WPrime, Cinebench, RealBench, AIDA64

WPrime, Cinebench, RealBench, AIDA64


WPrime is a leading multi-threaded standard. In our setup, we will manually set the number of cores for the CPU under test.

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Starting our test with WPrime, we find the 5950X at the top of our charts with a time of 1.994 seconds in 32 metres.

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Moving to 1024 meters, we again find the 5950X at the top with a time of 36.29 seconds.


Cinebench is a long-standing rendering standard that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their latest platforms during unveiling. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that uses a single thread or 1 TB. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of the tested CPU

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Our 5950X’s single thread came in at 623, likely due to the heat keeping the boost clock low.

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nT or 32 subjects provided 5950X with a score of 10023.

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This is our test with the Zen 3 straight against Intel’s Comet Lake, both set at 4GHz. I was able to test our 3900X to add Matisse to the above chart as well.


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Heavy Multitasking runs both image and coding workloads side by side within Realbench. In this scenario, the 5950X narrowly beats the 5900X by three tenths of a second.


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Tasks using AES will see a boost of 5950X, the highest score of 147K on AIDA64.

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SHA3 ​​is still not as good as Intel’s 10900K, coming in at 4424.

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By adding both the FP32 and the FP64, the 5950X wins this scenario, scoring over 27K.

Unigine and UL . Standards

Unigene Overlay

Overlay from Unigine is a standard based on DX12. We’re testing with the 720p LOW preset because this removes all but the most basic of GPU loads, where every FPS comes from the CPU.

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With the overlay mode, the 5800X is the leader in our chart while the 5950X drops in third place behind the 5600X.

PCMark 10

PCMark is a UL standard and tests different types of workloads to represent typical computer workloads. Everything from video conferencing, image importing and editing to 3D rendering is tested.

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The overall score puts the 5950X at the top of the charts with PCMark, our first CPU to score over 8K.

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Looking at the workloads, you can get a better idea of ​​the meltdown – digital content is a big win for the 5950X.

3DMark Firestrike

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The overall score in 3DMark Firestrike is 5950X with a score of 36,197.

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If we isolate the Firestrike’s CPU score only, we’ll see a 37812 with the 5950X, roughly 10,000 more points than Intel’s fastest CPU.

Overclocking and gaming

gaming performance

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In our tests, 4K and 1440p resolution show almost no advantage with Tomb Raider. 1080p gestures and an extra 15fps to 5950X over Intel’s 10900K.

Far Cry New Dawn is quite similar as well, although we see the advantage of going to 10900K across all resolutions.

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AC: Origins shows 92-94 fps for 4K testing, 1440p has some contrast back towards 1900K, while 1080p has 5950X and 10900K showing identical frame rates.

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I decided to move away from Ubisoft games and move to a newer title with Flight Simulator. I used FRAPS to record frame rates over the course of a 4 minute flight from Portland Intl USA toward a local airport called Skyport. This 1080p standard ran on the high-end setup with autopilot running from start to finish.

Throwing the 5950X at the 10900K, we once again found an Intel chip to be the best gaming solution in this scenario with a 5-10FPS advantage during our testing.


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Heat is a huge issue with the 5950X, and even with the NZXT X73, when overclocked, we couldn’t tame that beast. However, we upgraded the cooling soon, but that will be another article. However, with our current setup, I was able to get the 4650 stable at 1.33V and pull in just over 12K in the R20.

Another thing to mention here, on several occasions, I’ve seen this CPU boost itself after 5GHz for a short while.

Strength, heat and final thoughts

Energy consumption

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Idle power consumption draws a touch over 300 watts for the 5950X. CPU load with Cinebench gives us just under 500 watts, and gaming peaks with Tomb Raider hit 780 watts.


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The heat with the NZXT X73 came to 35c IDLE and 81c LOAD.

Price vs. performance

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Taking all the results we’ve received over the past few weeks of testing the Zen 3, we’ve built a price-performance equation using the given MSRP.

We can see the 5900X take the lead with the 10850K right behind it with this information. The 5950X landed in the middle of the pack behind two more Zen 3s.

last thoughts

AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X is an absolute CPU beast and will be a powerful upgrade for creative professionals who need the extra horsepower in their IPC and multi-core workloads.

The biggest pointer here is Realbench Heavy Multitasking which takes Handbrake’s encoding functionality and runs it along with photo editing. The 5950X crushes that workload in about 26 seconds.

PCMark 10 also showed strong results from the 5950X being our first CPU to record over 8K, with digital content being a big part of that.

what we like

IPC gain: Power is strong with this, the 5950X delivers with impressive IPC gains.

In socket upgrade: This might be Zen 3’s biggest selling feature!

What could be better

the heat: Zen 3 is hot, and the 5950X is the worst, so make sure you invest in proper cooling unless you want to bounce off the thermal ceiling, leaving you with fewer hours and unwanted performance penalties.

price: Priced at $799 MSRP, the AMD 5950X bumped up another $50 on the Zen 2-based 3950X.


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