The Ryzen 9 7950X has been AMD’s best processor for a while, but it now faces some serious competition. We don’t just mean AMD’s long-standing rival, Intel. AMD itself has created a CPU that might be even better than the flagship: the Ryzen 9 7950X3D.
Equipped with a massive 3D V-Cache, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D just might be the world’s fastest gaming processor right now. Let’s compare these two AMD flagships and see which one will be crowned as the winner.
Pricing and availability
AMD first ushered in its Ryzen 7000 processors on September 27, 2022. The Ryzen 9 7950X is the crowning jewel of that lineup, and it arrived priced at $700. Aside from the Ryzen 9 7950X, AMD also released three more processors on that same day, including the Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and the Ryzen 5 7600X.
While the initial Zen 4 lineup was great to see, many people were eagerly awaiting the return of AMD’s 3D V-Cache — but that didn’t come until later. Announced at CES 2023, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D was released alongside the Ryzen 9 7900X3D on February 28, 2023. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D will have to wait until April 6.
The Ryzen 9 7950X3D comes with a $700 price tag, which is the same price as the Ryzen 9 7950X had before it was adjusted. You can usually find the CPU for around $600 these days, which makes the 3D V-Cache chip pricier by $100.
|Ryzen 9 7950X||Ryzen 9 7950X3D|
|Cache (L2 + L3)||80MB||144MB|
Both the Ryzen 9 7950X and the Ryzen 9 7950X3D are based on AMD’s Zen 4 architecture — but the latter comes with AMD’s 3D V-Cache. This means that AMD has stacked the cache on top of the processor, which results in a much larger cache, and that’s the main difference between the two processors. The 3D part comes with 144MB of combined cache, while the regular CPU only comes with 80MB.
There are a couple more changes. While both the processors boost to 5.7GHz, the 3D chip only has a base clock speed of 4.2GHz versus the 7950X with 4.5GHz. On the other hand, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is a lot more power-conservative, with a TDP of 120 watts as opposed to the 170W Ryzen 9 7950X.
We’ve had the chance to get up-close and personal with both processors, and that gives us a unique insight into how they perform. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Ryzen 9 7950X and the Ryzen 9 7950X3D to learn more. We’ve tested both chips in a setup that also included Nvidia’s RTX 4080 and 32GB of DDR5-6000 memory. We didn’t just match them up against each other, but also against Intel’s Core i9-13900K, the current-gen flagship for Team Blue.
The Ryzen 9 7950X3D is a supercharged version of the last-gen Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Equipped with even more cache, it was almost destined to become a gaming beast — but AMD clearly wanted it to be more than that, targeting productivity alongside gaming. Our test results show that AMD was successful in trying to prevent the CPU from being pigeonholed as a chip strictly for gamers, as well as that there is still has its place in the lineup for the Ryzen 9 7950X.
|AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D||AMD Ryzen 9 7950X|
|Cinebench R23 multi-core||36,335||38,116|
|Cinebench R23 single core||2,045||2,030|
|7-Zip||224,446 MIPs||224,581 MIPS|
|Handbrake (seconds, lower is better)||38||38|
|PugetBench for Photoshop||1,590||1,574|
|Y-Cruncher multi-core (seconds, lower is better)||8.87||9.26|
|Y-Cruncher single core (seconds, lower is better)||77.19||77.11|
AMD claimed that the Ryzen 9 7950X3D would show an improvement ranging from 4% to 52% in terms of productivity, but in our benchmarks, the CPU wasn’t hitting those amazing heights. Still, it held its ground against the non-3D chip, but both are defeated by Intel’s Core i9-13900K in almost every test.
If you only compare the 7950X3D to the 7950X, you’ll find that the CPUs are nearly equal in terms of productivity benchmarks. There are some tasks where the extra large cache is helpful, but the lead is nothing to write home about in the long run. Still, it’s safe to say AMD succeeded in making it more versatile than the 5800X3D.
|AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D||AMD Ryzen 9 7950X|
|F1 2022||379.8 fps||363.7 fps|
|Far Cry 6||196.1 fps||156.8 fps|
|Gears Tactics||273.5 fps||244.9 fps|
|Hitman 3 (Dartmoor)||234.6 fps||197.4 fps|
|Read Dead Redemption 2||164.8 fps||163.5 fps|
|Time Spy CPU||16,116||15,831|
Things get interesting when we look at gaming, which was always going to be the primary use case for the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. The verdict is clear — the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is the best gaming CPU right now, and will likely stay that way for a long time.
The new chip manages to snatch the crown away from Intel in quite a few titles. In Gears Tactics and Hitman 3, Intel was able to beat the base Ryzen 9 7950X, but the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is now here to defeat both processors. It leads in every game versus Intel and AMD, sometimes showing an improvement of up to 25% against the base version. However, Intel remains victorious in synthetic benchmarks and AI workloads.
In raw performance, there isn’t a single title where the 3D V-Cache doesn’t beat its non-3D predecessor. Some wins are larger than others, but it shows an improvement in every test.
Which CPU is the best of them all?
As far as a short summary goes, we’ll say one thing — both chips are excellent and their performance is worthy of a current-gen flagship. Right now, both are easily among the best processors on the market, and only high-end chips like the Intel Core i9-13900K can hope to beat either of the two Ryzens.
Still, making the switch to AMD’s AM5 platform isn’t cheap, and that knocks a few points off for these processors. You’ll need a fancy motherboard, and when you’re shopping for RAM, you’ll have to pick from the high-end DDR5 shelf as opposed to choosing any of the best RAM kits available.
The aforementioned expenses are true for both the Ryzen 9 7950X and the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, but the latter costs an extra $100. Seeing as it will mostly make its way into high-end rigs, it’s possible that this will be a nonissue for many shoppers — but it still adds up. At the time of writing, you can often find the non-3D processor discounted, and at , it’s a good deal.
However, the 3D chip is absolutely the fastest gaming CPU right now, and it beats its predecessor by a decent amount. If you’re willing to spend extra and don’t need a productivity workhorse, you’re bound to love the gaming prowess provided by the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. However, if you want a more balanced CPU, the Ryzen 9 7950X is not all that far behind.
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