AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Review

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD blurs the lines between regular desktop CPUs and high-end desktop (HEDT) CPUs with powerful chips like the $749 AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 cores. Compared to the Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition and other HEDT Core X-Series processors, such as the Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition, it’s not even close in value. At the end of 2020, AMD can’t be beaten in the core wars.

You don’t need to look any further if you use demanding content-creation programs or need a workhorse CPU that can handle heavy-load, highly multithreaded productivity jobs every day. The Ryzen 9 5950X is AMD’s newest and best top-of-the-line Zen 3 processor.

It has core-crushing power that beats an Intel chip made to fight with AMD’s “true HEDT” platform, Ryzen Threadripper. Most people don’t need as much power as the Ryzen 9 5950X has, but almost nobody wouldn’t want it.


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  • For the price, they are very productive.
  • A low TDP
  • Strong game scores for a number of games
  • beats the other Intel HEDT options
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  • Most people see price increases after 12 cores.
  • Games with few threads have average frame rates.
Core Count16
Thread Count32
Base Clock Frequency3.4 GHz
Maximum Boost Clock4.9 GHz
Unlocked Multiplier?Right
Socket CompatibilityAMD AM4
Lithography7 nm
L3 Cache Amount64 MB
Thermal Design Power (TDP) Rating105 watts
Integrated GraphicsNone
Bundled CoolerNone

AMD’s more-powerful-than-powerhouse chips, like the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X ($749), are blurring the lines between ordinary desktop CPUs and high-end desktop (HEDT) ones. It’s a no-brainer compared to Intel’s nearest possibilities, such as the Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition and others in the expensive HEDT Core X-Series.

Also, check out our separate post on Best AM4 CPU

AMD dominates 2020’s core warfare. Look no further if you use demanding content-creation programs or need a workhorse CPU to perform heavy-load, highly multithreaded productivity tasks daily.

The Ryzen 9 5950X, AMD’s latest top-of-the-stack Zen 3 CPU, crushes an Intel chip supposed to compete with AMD’s “true HEDT” platform, Ryzen Threadripper. Few people need the Ryzen 9 5950X’s power, but most desire it.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Specs: The Real Zen 3 Workhorse Has Arrived

First, let’s take a closer look at the specs of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and see how it compares to both the Ryzen 9 3950X, which it replaces, and the $979 (MSRP) Intel Core i9-10980XE, which is Intel’s HEDT choice.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: Specs Compared

AMD Ryzen 9 5950XAMD Ryzen 9 5900XAMD Ryzen 9 3950XAMD Ryzen 9 3900X
List Price$799$549$749$499
Threads Supported32243224
L3 Cache64MB64MB64MB64MB
Base Clock3.4GHz3.7GHz3.5GHz3.8GHz
Boost Clock4.9GHz4.8GHz4.7GHz4.6GHz
TDP Rating105 watts105 watts105 watts105 watts
AMD Ryzen 9 5950XAMD Ryzen 9 5900XIntel Core i9-10980XE Extreme EditionIntel Core i9-10900K
List Price$799$549$979(RCP)$488(RCP)
Threads Supported32243620
L3 Cache64MB64MB24.75MB20MB
Base Clock3.4GHz3.7GHz3.0GHz3.7GHz
Boost Clock4.9GHz4.8GHz4.6GHz5.3GHz
TDP Rating105 watts105 watts165
125 watts
SocketAM4AM4LGA 2066LGA 1200

With 16 cores and 32 threads, the Ryzen 9 5950X is one of AMD’s highest-end desktop processors (HEDT), but it’s not as powerful as the 24-core/48-thread Ryzen Threadripper 3960X.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Review

But unlike Threadripper CPUs, which need their TRX40 chipset and a larger socket on the motherboard, the Ryzen 9 5950X works with the well-known Socket AM4. This means it will work with a wide range of specific motherboards, from the B350 chipset to the X570 chipset. (You’ll still need to buy a cooler for the Ryzen 9 5950X since it doesn’t come with one.)

Go through our epic guide on AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

It’s a better option for amateur content creators who require a lot of power for productivity but want to spend less than Threadripper owners. Threadrippers need liquid cooling and expensive motherboards. Same 7-nanometer lithography and 105-watt TDP as Ryzen 9 3950X. Base and boost clocks changed the most.

AMD lowered the base frequency from 3.5GHz to 3.4GHz and boosted the peak boost clock from 4.7GHz to 4.9GHz. Like other Zen 3 processors we’ve evaluated, AMD raised the price by $50.

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Comparing the Ryzen 9 5950X to the Intel Core i9-10980XE (Core X platform) is a bitter pill for Intel fans. The AMD CPU costs $250 less and uses 105 watts instead of 165. After running our performance test, the Core i9-10980XE’s two extra processing cores (18 versus 16) couldn’t justify its increased price.

Testing the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: Move Over, Zen 2 Threadrippers (and Core X)

We placed the Ryzen 9 5950X into an MSI MEG X570 Godlike AM4 motherboard (our regular test platform for latest-generation Ryzens) and filled two DIMM slots with 16GB of 3,000MHz RAM. During CPU tests, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti output video.

Like earlier Ryzen desktop CPUs without “G,” these first four Zen 3 Ryzens lack on-chip graphics and require a video card. NZXT Kraken Z63.

280mm closed-loop liquid cooling solution to cool the CPU during all test runs, with fan profiles adjusted to Godlike’s BIOS defaults. We analyze CPUs using proprietary synthetic benchmarks, consumer software like 7-Zip, and 3D games like Far Cry 5. Intel and AMD processor results are shown below.

CPU-Centric Tests: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Productivity Performance

As is usual for a CPU that is focused on performance, let’s start by looking at productivity and content-creation jobs…

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The Ryzen 9 5950X excels in our productivity suite, setting class records in 7-Zip compression and topping third-generation Ryzen Threadrippers in Blender.

The Ryzen 9 5950X outperformed the 18-core/32-thread Intel Core i9-10980XE in raw scores and performance-per-core. Except for a virtual tie in the legacy/single-threaded iTunes test, the higher-core-count (and higher-cost) Intel Core X chip didn’t defeat the Ryzen 9 5950X, even in 7-Zip, a benchmark where “the more cores the better.”

Follow our guide to AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Unfortunately, the best Zen 3 “plain” Ryzen CPUs cannot outperform Zen 2-based Ryzen Threadrippers. Though the Ryzen 9 5950X’s value offer against Intel is apparent, Threadripper-level performance in tasks like Handbrake video transcoding is still superior with a CPU like the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X.

Gaming at the High End: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Frame Rates

Our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti gaming testing showed this. This high-end consumer graphics card determines 4K performance for all processors below. At 1080p, the GPU steps back and allows the CPU differences to shine.

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We didn’t anticipate the Ryzen 9 5950X to set gaming records as it’s aimed at content creators, not PC gamers. So imagine our astonishment when the processor not only kept pace with more gaming-centric chips like the lower-core, higher-boost-clock Ryzen 7 5800X but even tied a few Hitman: Absolution resolution records.

We didn’t find similar advantages in lightly threaded esports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. The Ryzen 9 5900X and Intel Core i9-10900K performed poorly compared to the Ryzen 9 5950X.

A Brief Look at Overclocking and Thermals

The Ryzen 9 5950X’s maximum temperature was 78 degrees C, which was higher than the 71 degrees C we recorded with the 9 5900X.

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Our stable overclock was 8%. As with other Zen 3 Ryzens we’ve evaluated, theoretical clock improvements didn’t always transfer into reliable performance.

We didn’t find more than a 5% performance improvement across many overclocked benchmarks, and if we ran tests back-to-back, those results dropped. Zen 3 chips appear to have been overclocked out of the box. Real-world advantages are just icing on the cake.

Verdict: Serious Content Creation Without the Serious Cost

Given its predecessor, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, the mega-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X performs as expected: It offers affordable elite multicore muscle.

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It’s the finest value-for-sheer-cores processor short of a Ryzen Threadripper chip at $799. It outperformed the $979 Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition in almost every test. If you want a top-end gaming engine, the Ryzen 7 5800X is cheaper and performs better.

Check out our separate post on AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Content makers and everyone seeking a productive AM4-compatible chip can stop here. The Ryzen 9 5950X is powerful and efficient. The 5950X is cheaper than the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X for significant content-creation activities if you have an AM4 motherboard.


In the symphony of technological innovation, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X emerges as the virtuoso, orchestrating a harmonious blend of power and precision. As we traverse the digital landscape, its prowess unfurls, akin to a painter revealing intricate brushstrokes on a canvas.

In retrospect, this journey has been a rendezvous with cutting-edge. The symposium of cores and threads propels the processor’s performance to ethereal heights, rendering the mundane computations into a mesmerizing ballet of speed. The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X navigates this ballet effortlessly, its intricate architecture akin to the gears of a cosmic clock.

As we draw the curtains on this discourse, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X remains the magnum opus of innovation. Its strides in processing supremacy, a testament to the ceaseless human quest for excellence. In the denouement of this technological tale, one can’t help but marvel at the evolution that has led us to this zenith.

The processor stands not just as a compendium of transistors, but as a beacon guiding us towards new computational horizons.


Is the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X good for gaming?

The Ryzen 9 5950X is still one of the best CPUs for gaming, and its strong multi-threaded performance makes it especially good at work chores.

Is Ryzen 9 5950 worth it?

The Ryzen 9 5950X isn’t worth it for gamers due to the aforesaid factors. The processor is powerful. Pricing and improved competition should make players reassess their choice.

Which is better AMD Ryzen 9 5900X or 5950X?

Ryzen 9 5950X features more cores, threads, and turbo clock speed than 5900X. The 5950X has more L2 cache.

Is Ryzen 5950X still good?

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and 5950X are high-end gaming CPUs. For more power, the 7950X is superior. For budget-conscious users, the 5950X is still a powerful CPU.

What is the failure rate of Ryzen 5950X?

Its Ryzen 5950X batch had a 16% dead-on-arrival rate. “The failure on the new AMD CPUs are still too high,” the business noted in the same tweet.


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