AMD’s flagship 16-core $699 Ryzen 9 7950X and entry-level six-core $299 Ryzen 5 7600X are the bookend models in the new Ryzen 7000 “Raphel” lineup, and they take leading spots on our list of Best CPUs and our CPU Benchmark hierarchy with Intel-beating performance in nearly every category, including gaming and applications.
Intel’s hybrid Alder Lake processors caught AMD flatfooted, taking the lead in both performance and value at every price point. The Ryzen 7000 processors fire back with the new Zen 4 architecture, which AMD claims increases IPC by 13%, etched on the TSMC 5nm process. That combo delivers incredible peak clocks of 5.7 GHz — an increase of 800 MHz that marks a record for AMD’s Ryzen family. It’s also surprisingly a higher clock speed than we see with even Intel’s fastest chips, at least until the company’s 6 GHz Raptor Lake chips come to market.
|Price||Cores / Threads (P+E)||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2+L3)||TDP / Max||Memory|
|Ryzen 9 7950X||$699||16 / 32||4.5 / 5.7||80MB||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 9 7900X||$549||12 / 24||4.7 / 5.6||76MB||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 7700X||$399||8 / 16||4.5 / 5.4||40MB||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 5 7600X||$299||6 / 12||4.7 / 5.3||38MB||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
Paired with vastly improved power delivery, which comes courtesy of a new platform, AMD’s process and architecture advances deliver truly explosive performance gains. AMD’s new chips drop into the new AM5 socket, which the company has committed to supporting until 2025, on 600-series motherboards. The new platform comes replete with support for the latest interfaces, like DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, largely matching Intel’s connectivity options. AMD has even come up with its own EXPO DDR5 memory profiles for overclocking, rivaling Intel’s XMP standard. The Ryzen 7000 chips also come loaded with other new tech, like a new Radeon RDNA 2 iGPU for basic display output, and support for AVX-512 and AI instructions.
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As a quick preview of our extensive tests below, the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X makes incredible gains — it’s up to 15% faster at gaming, 21% faster in single-threaded work, and 45% faster in threaded work than its predecessor, setting a new bar for the highest-end mainstream chips. In fact, the $3,299 Threadripper Pro 5975WX is only 17% faster than the 7950X in threaded work, but it costs almost six times more. That’s not to mention that the 7950X beats the Core i9-12900K across the board.
The Ryzen 5 7600X is equally impressive, delivering up to 18% faster gaming performance than its predecessor in tandem with 25% and 34% gains in single- and multi-threaded work, respectively, ushering in a new unmatched level of performance at the $300 price point.
Both chips beat Intel’s flagship in gaming. However, as impressive as they are, they aren’t perfect: The Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series has a high $300 entry-level price point and only supports pricey DDR5 memory instead of including less-expensive DDR4 options like Intel. That muddies the value proposition due to the expensive overall platform costs. AMD also dialed up power consumption drastically to boost performance, inevitably resulting in more heat and a more power-hungry system. You do end up with more performance-per-watt, though.
Ryzen 7000 takes the lead in convincing fashion, but its real competitor, Raptor Lake, doesn’t come until next month. Intel claims its own impressive performance gains of 15% faster single-threaded, 41% faster threaded, and a 40% ‘overall’ performance gain, meaning we’ll see a close battle for desktop PC leadership. In the meantime, here’s how the current chips stack up.
Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X Specifications and Pricing
As a reminder, the Ryzen 7000 processors come with the N5 TSMC 5nm process node for the core compute die (CCD) and the TSMC 6nm process for the I/O Die (IOD).
|Price||Cores / Threads (P+E)||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2/L3)||TDP / PBP / MTP||Memory|
|Ryzen 9 7950X||$699||16 / 32||4.5 / 5.7||80MB (16+64)||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||$546 ($799 debut)||16 / 32||3.4 / 4.9||74MB (8+64)||105W||DDR4-3200|
|Core i9-13900K / KF||?||24 / 32 (8+16)||3.0 / 5.8||64MB (32+36)||125W / 253W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600|
|Core i9-12900K / KF||$589 (K) – $564 (KF)||16 / 24 (8+8)||3.2 / 5.2||44MB (14+30)||125W / 241W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800|
|Ryzen 9 7900X||$549||12 / 24||4.7 / 5.6||76MB (12+64)||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 7700X||$399||8 / 16||4.5 / 5.4||40MB (8+32)||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 5 7600X||$299||6 / 12||4.7 / 5.3||38MB (6+32)||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 5600X||$199 ($299 debut)||6 / 12||3.7 / 4.6||35MB (3+32)||65W||DDR4-3200|
|Core i5-13600K / KF||?||14 / 20 (6+8)||3.5 / 5.1||44MB (20+24)||125W / 181W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600|
|Core i5-12600K / KF||$289 (K) – $264 (KF)||10 / 16 (6+4)||3.7 / 4.9||29.5MB (9.5+20)||125W / 150W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800|
This is how Ryzen 7000 stacks up against Intel’s existing Alder Lake chips, along with information that we’ve collected about Intel’s yet-to-be-fully-announced Raptor Lake. Be aware that the Raptor Lake specifications in the above table are not yet official.
The 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 7950X is $100 less than the original launch pricing of the Ryzen 9 5950X. AMD also kept the entry-level pricing at the same $299 with the Ryzen 5 7600X, which is a high bar for entry to the Ryzen 7000 family. Conversely, Intel has said that it will increase its chip pricing due to economic factors, so we’ll have to wait to see its official pricing to judge the 7600X’s positioning.
AMD didn’t increase core counts with the Ryzen 7000 family — instead, it focused on architectural and process node enhancements that deliver more performance per core. The company also worked on improving its power delivery to unleash more performance, which we’ll dive into a bit later.
The $699 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X comes with a 4.5 GHz base and 5.7 GHz boost, with the latter being the highest boost frequency of the four initial Ryzen 7000 processors. The chip comes with 16 MB of L2 cache, a doubling over the prior-gen models, and 64MB of L3 cache. This chip has a 170W TDP rating and a max power draw of 230W, the highest power consumption of any Ryzen chip yet. The 7950X vies with Intel’s Core i9-12900K for now, but it will eventually face the Core i9-13900K that will come with eight additional efficiency cores for a total of 24 cores.
The $399 6-core Ryzen 5 7600X has a 4.7 GHz base and 5.3 GHz boost clock. This chip has 6MB of L2 cache, double that of its predecessor, and 32MB of L3. The Ryzen 5 7600X has a 125W TDP rating and a peak power draw of 181W, marking a new high for Ryzen 5. The 7600X will compete with the Core i5-12600K for now, but the Core i9-13600K should arrive next month with an additional four e-cores, for a total of 14 cores.
The Raphael processors drop into a new AM5 socket that supports the PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 interfaces, matching Alder Lake on the connectivity front. The Socket AM5 motherboards can expose up to 24 lanes of PCIe 5.0 to the user.
Ryzen 7000 supports DDR5-5200 if you install one DIMM per channel (1DPC), but that drops to DDR5-3600 for 2DPC. AMD also introduced its own new memory overclocking spec to compete with Intel’s XMP. The new EXPO profiles are very similar to the existing XMP profiles that we’re accustomed to, but they are designed specifically for AMD processors, allowing one-click memory overclocking to predefined speeds. AMD has partnered with the major memory vendors to create EXPO kits, and the company expects 15 or more to be available at launch with speeds reaching up to DDR5-6400. As before, AMD also supports ECC memory by default, but implementation is up to the motherboard vendor.
The Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7600X don’t come with bundled coolers. AMD recommends a 240-280mm liquid cooler or equivalent for Ryzne 9 processors. Meanwhile, you’ll need a mid-frame tower cooler (or equivalent) for the Ryzen 7 and 5 models. You should expect loaded temperatures to regularly reach 90C, which is within spec and won’t damage the chip.
|Year / Processor||Peak Frequency||Frequency Gain||Process, Architecture|
|2017 – Ryzen 7 1800X||4.1 GHz||–||14nm Zen 1|
|2018 – Ryzen 7 2700X||4.3 GHz||+200 MHz / +5%||12nm Zen+|
|2019 – Ryzen 9 3950X||4.7 GHz||+400 MHz / +9%||7nm Zen 2|
|2020 – Ryzen 9 5950X||4.9 GHz||+200 MHz / +4%||7nm Zen 3|
|2022 – Ryzen 9 7950X||5.7 GHz||+800 MHz / +16%||5nm Zen 4|
Here we can see AMD’s progression in clock rates over the Ryzen era. As you can see, the 800 MHz increase in clock speeds with the 7000 series processors marks the largest single gain in Ryzen’s history. For now, AMD has the highest official clock speed on the market, but Intel says that Raptor Lake will have a peak 6 GHz clock rate. That will likely arrive on a pricey KS special edition model, but Intel hasn’t said when it will come to market.
This generation of chips finds the chipmakers again embroiled in a frequency war, with both chipmakers pushing their consumer chips to the highest clocks we’ve seen with their modern offerings. That also brings higher power consumption, so we also see higher TDP figures from both chipmakers as they increase frequencies.
Naturally, we have to view the increased power consumption through the prism of how much performance-per-watt the processor provides, and here AMD has made big strides courtesy of the architecture and process node enhancements. We’ll provide more detail in the power consumption section.
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As before, the Ryzen 9 processors come with two Core Compute Die (CCD) while the Ryzen 5 processors come with one. Each 5nm die houses eight cores, measures 70mm^2, and has 6.5 billion transistors.
AMD’s new 6nm I/O Die (IOD) ties it all together. The 122mm^2 die houses 3.4 billion transistors and comes armed with a newcomer to Ryzen — an integrated graphics engine.
The RDNA 2 iGPU is designed to provide basic display output capabilities, and AMD says you shouldn’t expect it to support any meaningful gaming. The RDNA 2 iGPU comes with two compute units, 4 ACE, and 1 HWS, so that should be pretty apparent. We tried a few games anyway, which you can see if you flip through the album above, and the results weren’t pretty. We couldn’t get Far Cry 6 to load, for instance, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider could render the benchmark at 1280×720 but wouldn’t run at 1080p. Much like Intel’s graphics, we were treated to a slideshow in the few games that did run.
The integrated graphics do have appeal for troubleshooting and OEM systems, though, and it has a few other redeeming qualities. The iGPU supports AV1 and VP9 decode, H.264 and HVEC encode and decode, USB Type-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode, DisplayPort 2.0 (adaptive sync, DSC, UHBR10, HDR), and HDMI 2.1 (HFR, 48Gbps FRL, DSC, HDR10+, and VRR). You also get support for 4K60 and hybrid graphics.
Socket AM5 and 600-series Motherboards
AMD’s socket AM4 has served for five years across five CPU generations, four architectures, four process nodes, 125+ processors, and 500+ motherboard designs. Now it’s time for a new socket, AM5, which AMD has committed to supporting through ‘2025+.’
AMD’s AM5 moves from its long-lived Pin Grid Array (PGA) AM4 sockets to a Land Grid Array (LGA) layout. Despite the entirely different LGA1718 socket interface (1718 pins), the AM5 socket will still support AM4 coolers. The AM5 socket measures 40x40mm, and the Ryzen 7000 chips adhere to the same length, width, Z-height, package size, and socket keep-out pattern as the previous-gen models, enabling backward support for AM4 coolers. AMD says all but 5% of existing coolers will work without new brackets (which cooler makers typically provide free).
The X670 and X670E chipsets will be available at launch, while B650E and the B650 will arrive in October. AMD says that motherboard pricing will drop as low as $125, but hasn’t clarified if that constitutes pricing for X- or B-series boards. We have an extensive roundup of 20 600-series motherboards and a breakdown of the chipset connectivity options here.
Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X Benchmark Test Setup
We tested the Ryzen 7000 processors with an ASRock X670E Taichi motherboard. We tested all Intel configurations with DDR5 memory, but you can find performance data for DDR4 configurations in our CPU Benchmark hierarchy. We also tested with secure boot, virtualization support, and fTPM/PTT active to reflect a properly configured Windows 11 install.
Our overclocks were rather straightforward — we enabled the auto-overclocking Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) feature with ‘advanced motherboard’ settings and adjusted the scalar setting to 10X. For our overclocked configurations, we enabled the DDR4-6000 EXPO profile for the memory kit. This also automatically enables the AMD-recommended Auto setting for the fabric and a 1:1 ratio for the memory frequency and memory controller (Auto:1:1 is the recommended setting for memory overclocking with Ryzen 7000). You can find further details in the table at the end of the article.
Gaming Performance on Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X — The TLDR
We’re jumping to game testing results here, but be sure to check out our IPC and power testing after the application benchmarks.
Below you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart. Be aware that a different mix of game titles could yield somewhat different results (particularly with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D), but this serves as a solid overall indicator of gaming performance. As usual, we’re testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions. You’ll find further game-by-game breakdowns below.
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The $699 Ryzen 9 7950X takes second place in its stock configuration with a 5% lead over Intel’s fastest gaming chip, the Core i9-12900K. The 7950X is another ~2% faster after overclocking the cores and memory, essentially tying the overclocked 12900K. This marks a big generational improvement — the Ryzen 9 7950X is 17% faster than its prior-gen counterpart, the Zen 3-powered Ryzen 9 5950X, which also comes with 16 cores. However, Intel only needs to gain ~5% with Raptor Lake to match the 7950X in gaming, setting the stage for quite the competition next month.
The $299 Ryzen 5 7600X is 12% faster than the $289 Core i5-12600K, with the lead narrowing to 6% after overclocking both chips. More impressively, the stock 7600X is 4% faster than Intel’s flagship Core i9-12900K, bringing a new level of value to the $300 price point — with the caveat that you’ll have to deal with higher platform costs.
Notably, the 12900K is ~7% faster than the 7600X in our 1080p 99th percentile measurements, a good indicator of smoothness. The 7600X’s lead over the 12600K also drops to ~4%. However, we don’t see any egregious outliers in the 99th percentile measurements that would significantly alter our overall impressions of the rankings you see in the average fps chart.
The Ryzen 5 7600X also sports a big generational uplift of 18% over the Ryzen 5 5600X, which was once the darling of mid-range gaming builds. Raptor Lake looks enticing in the mid- and low-end price ranges from afar, but the 7600X will go a long way to shoring up AMD’s defenses. You can also tune the 7600X and eke out an extra ~3% of performance, but as always, gains will vary by title and by the quality of your chip.
The $300 Ryzen 5 7600X represents the entry-level for Zen 4, at least for now, but the Ryzen 9 7950X costs more than twice as much and is only 2% faster in gaming. That means the 76000X is an exceptional value for gaming, and as per usual with Ryzen 9 chips, the 7950X is really for those who need prosumer-class performance in applications.
AMD’s own $430 Ryzen 7 5800X3D remains the fastest gaming chip on the market by a fair margin, but this highly-specialized chip comes with caveats — its 3D V-Cache doesn’t boost performance in all games. Additionally, the 5800X3D is optimized specifically for gaming, but it can’t keep pace with similarly-priced chips in productivity applications. AMD will bring at least one Zen 4-powered Ryzen 7000 processor with 3D V-cache to market this year, so you might want to consider waiting a few more months if you’re after a specialized gaming chip of this ilk.
Naturally, the differences between the chips shrink when we switch over to 1440p and bring a GPU bottleneck into play, but the story remains largely similar, with scant differences between the chips at the top of the leaderboard. The competition between Intel and AMD is even closer now, so it’s best to make an informed decision based on the types of titles you play frequently.
3D Mark DX11, DX12, and Chess Engines on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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Synthetic benchmarks don’t tend to translate well to real-world gaming, but they do show us the raw amount of compute power exposed to game engines. It’s too bad most games don’t fully exploit it.
The Ryzen 9 7950X is ~25% faster than the Core i9-12900K and the previous-gen 5950X in the DX11 CPU tests. The Ryzen 5 7600X is ~19% faster than the 5600X, slightly beating the Core i5-12600K while bringing a new level of performance to Ryzen 5.
The DX12 tests are also impressive for Ryzen 7000 — the Ryzen 9 7950X leads the 5950X by 27% while the 7600X notches a 20% improvement over the 5600X — but Intel’s price-comparable chips still hold the lead. The Core i9-12900K is 14% faster than the 7950X, while the 12600K is 32% faster than the 7600X.
The heavily-threaded chess engine benchmarks also profit from Ryzen 7000’s improved multi-threaded performance. The 7950X easily beats the 12900K by large margins in both tests, while the 7600X improves Ryzen 5’s standing against Core i5.
Far Cry 6 on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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The Ryzen 7 5800X3D takes the overall lead, which we’ll see a lot as we flip through these titles, but remember that this chip can be finicky — some titles see little to no uplift.
The Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 9 7950X are impressive in this series of tests with a ~21% lead over their prior-gen counterparts. They also stack up well against Alder Lake, with the 7600X being 15% faster than the 12600K, and the 7950X taking a 6% lead over the 12900K.
We see roughly the expected uptick from overclocking the Ryzen 7000 models, but you’ll notice the Alder Lake chips suffer from lower 99th percentile measurements after tuning. That’s an interesting and repeatable condition, but it seems to be confined to this title in our suite.
F1 2021 on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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The Ryzen 7000 chips take the top of the chart in overall framerates, but like their prior-gen counterparts, they have proportionally lower 99th percentile framerates than the Alder Lake processors. We didn’t notice any outwardly visible rough play and we are looking at framerates in excess of 300 fps, so this is more of an interesting tendency than something that manifests as noticeably poor performance.
The Zen 4 chips take a big lead over the stock Intel comparables, with the 7950X being 16% faster than the 12900K and the 7600X taking a 20% lead over the 12600K. The Intel chips profit more from overclocking in this title than the Ryzen 7000 models, gaining roughly 10% while the new Ryzen chips gain around 5%. Again, this doesn’t matter much when peaks hit 300+ fps.
Hitman 3 on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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Intel used to enjoy a sizeable lead over Ryzen in Hitman 3 because the game is specifically tuned to leverage the E-cores effectively by offloading low-priority tasks like physics to the small cores. That changes with Ryzen 7000 as it takes the lead over Intel again, but the deltas between the price-comparable chips aren’t as pronounced as we see against the previous-gen Ryzen chips. For instance, the 7950X is 25% faster than the 5950X and the 7600X is 37% faster than the 5600X.
Horizon Zero Dawn on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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Horizon Zero Dawn doesn’t scale exceptionally well with more host processing power, so like many of the titles you’ll see in the real world, the delta between the highest-end chips can be slight.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021 on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is simply outstanding in this title, highlighting that the chip can provide huge speedups in some titles. However, that can skew overall rankings. This is why the chip is, on average, the fastest gaming chip in the world, but be aware that can change drastically based on the game you’re playing.
The stock 7950X and 7600X lead the 12900K and 12600K by ~14%. The Intel 12900K and 12600K profit heavily from overclocking, gaining 19% and 16%, respectively, while the Ryzen 7000 chips gain roughly 5% from tuning. Despite Alder’s big overclocking gains, the tuned Ryzen chips land within a few percent of their price-comparable competitors.
Red Dead Redemption 2 on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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The 7950X leads the 12900K by 8%, while the 7600X continues to impress with very similar performance to its much more expensive counterpart. It’s also 14% faster than the 12600K.
Watch Dogs Legion on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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Watch Dogs Legion brings a much-needed win for the 12900K as we close out our gaming benchmarks. However, the 12900K’s 2% lead over the 7950X is slim. Meanwhile, the 7600X is 6% faster than the 12600K.
Desktop PC Application Benchmarks on Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X — The TLDR:
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It should come as no surprise that the Ryzen 9 7950X absolutely dominates our cumulative measurement of multi-threaded performance, but the delta is impressive nonetheless. The 7950X is a whopping 44% faster than the Core i9-12900K, and overclocking does little to close the gulf between the chips. The 7950X is also 45% faster than the 5950X, living up to AMD’s performance claims.
For perspective, the beastly $3,299 Threadripper Pro 32-core Ryzen 9 5975WX is only 17% faster than the 7950X in this same cumulative measurement. However, it costs 5 times more, highlighting just how exceptional this amount of threaded horsepower is on a mainstream PC platform. This probably has something to do with AMD’s decision not to bring a Zen 3-powered HEDT platform to market.
That’s a tough act for the 7600X to follow, especially given that the Core i5-12600K is a few percentage points faster in threaded work. That comes on the strength of the 12600K’s e-cores, and overclocking extends the 12600K’s lead to 10%. In either case, the Ryzen 5 7600X still marks a solid generational improvement for Ryzen, as it is 34% faster than the prior-gen Ryzen 5 5600X.
Intel’s Alder Lake took a pronounced lead in single-threaded performance over the prior-gen Ryzen 5000 processors, but the Zen 4 architecture takes a big step forward, slightly edging out the price-comparable Alder Lake chips. In our cumulative measurement of single-threaded performance, the Ryzen 9 7950X and 7600X effectively tie the Core i9-12900K and 12600K, respectively, leveling the playing field.
You’ll notice that the overclocked configurations offer little to no benefit for the Ryzen processors, as expected, while both Intel processors actually lose some performance in this metric. It isn’t surprising to see the 12900K lose a tad — the all-core 5.1 GHz overclock is lower than its peak 5.2 GHz boosts on a single core — but the 12600K’s decline is a bit unexpected because the overclock matches its peak clock rate. After quite a bit of analysis and repeated testing, it appears that thread targeting isn’t working as effectively with the overclocked Intel configurations, resulting in quite a bit of thread migration during single-threaded tasks. We’re still troubleshooting this issue, but the results are repeatable so we’re including them.
Rendering Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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It was initially surprising to see Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture largely beat Ryzen in threaded workloads after AMD had dominated these types of benchmarks for years, but the Ryzen 9 7950X quashes that uprising — at least until Raptor Lake arrives.
For instance, the 7950X is 40% and 21% faster than the 12900K in the multi-threaded Cinebench and POV-Ray benchmarks, showing that Ryzen 9’s advantage isn’t small. We see an even bigger difference in the Blender renders, where the 7950X is from 55% to 63% faster than the 12900K, and overclocking the Intel chip isn’t enough to change the picture.
The 12900K fares better in single-threaded Cinebench but it still trails the 7950X slightly. The Zen 4 architecture shows great gains over the Zen 3 chips in the single-threaded POV-Ray benchmark, but Alder Lake maintains the lead — the 12900K is 14% faster than the 7950X.
Turning to the Core i5-12600K vs Ryzen 5 7600X battle, we see that Core i5 either matches or exceeds the 7600X in nearly every rendering benchmark, be it single- or multi-threaded. Aside from the LuxMark and POV-Ray benchmarks, most of the deltas between the two chips in threaded workloads aren’t overly large.
Encoding Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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Most encoders tend to be either heavily threaded or almost exclusively single-threaded, but Ryzen 7000 takes the lead in both types of applications.
The Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X take meaningful leads in the single-threaded LAME, WebP, and FLAC encoders. The 7950X also dominates the threaded HandBrake and SVT-AV1 benchmarks, but here we see the 7600X and the 12600K again locked in a tight battle that can go either way depending upon the benchmark.
Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Lightroom on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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We’ve integrated the UL Benchmarks Procyon tests into our suite to replace the aging PCMark 10. This new benchmark runs complex Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom workflows with the actual software, making for a great real-world test suite.
The Ryzen 7000 chips beat Alder Lake handily in Premiere Pro and the entire Lightroom and Photoshop benchmark, though the Ryzen 5 and Core i5 chips are more closely matched in the Lightroom batch processing sub-test.
Web Browsing, Office and Productivity on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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The ubiquitous web browser is one of the most frequently used applications. These latency-sensitive tests tend to be lightly threaded, so a fast response time is critical. Intel typically dominates these benchmarks, but Ryzen 7000 flips the tables and takes the lead in every browser test. The Application Start-up benchmark compares how long it takes to open various applications, thus serving as a great measure of system snappiness. Ryzen 7000 goes a long way to improving AMD’s performance here.
Compilation, Compression, AVX-512 Performance on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
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This selection of tests runs the gamut from the exceedingly branchy code in the LLVM compilation workload to the massively parallel molecular dynamics simulation code in NAMD to encryption and compression/decompression performance.
Y-cruncher computes Pi with the AVX instruction set, making for an exceedingly demanding benchmark. We employed the latest version of y-cruncher that has added support for Zen 4, and here we can see the benefits of AVX-512 become apparent in the single-threaded benchmark. Spreading the workload out among the cores in the threaded portion of the y-cruncher test reduces the magnitude of the lead over Intel (per-core memory throughput and/or fabric throughput are likely barriers here), but both Ryzen 7000 chips take a tangible lead over Alder Lake. Even more importantly, we see that this represents a massive generational increase over the Zen 3-equipped Ryzen 5000 chips.
We’re accustomed to Ryzen displaying bipolar performance in compression/decompression workloads, with decompression being a strength while compression suffered compared to other chips. The Zen 4 architecture makes big strides here, delivering incredible performance in both workloads with the Ryzen 9 7950X. Understandably, the gains aren’t as large with the 7600X, but we still see a much more balanced performance profile than we’ve seen with prior-gen Ryzen chips.
The Ryzen 9 7950X takes a pronounced lead over the Core i9-12900K in the NAMD benchmark, but the Ryzen 5 7600X can’t keep pace with the 12600K. We see that same trend play out in the LLVM Compilation benchmark, which bodes well for the 7950X as we head into our suite of professional benchmarks.
Workstation CPU and GPU Benchmarks Test Notes
Some of these applications also make an appearance in our standard test suite, but those test configurations and benchmarks are focused on a typical desktop-class environment. In contrast, the following tests are configured to stress the systems with workstation-class workloads. Because these are more oriented to prosumer/professional use cases, we limited our test pool to the Ryzen 9/Core i9 and Ryzen 7/Core i7 processors.
We loaded down our test platforms with 64GB of DDR4 memory spread across four modules to accommodate the expanded memory capacity required for several of these workstation-focused tasks. We used the officially supported stock memory speeds for 2DPC configurations. Notably, the Ryzen 7000 chips support ECC memory by default, though motherboard vendors have to certify their own implementations. Intel’s Alder Lake also supports ECC memory, but only on its workstation-focused W-series motherboards.
Adobe Premiere Pro and Lightroom and Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
Puget Systems is a boutique systems vendor that caters to professional users with custom-designed systems targeted at specific workloads. The company has developed a series of acclaimed benchmarks for Adobe software, which you can find here.
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The Photoshop benchmark gauges performance in a diverse range of tasks, measuring the time taken to complete general tasks and apply filters. This test leans heavily on GPU acceleration, and it’s clear that high clock rates benefit performance tremendously. The 7950X is 5% faster than the 12900K at stock settings, and 15% faster after tuning. It’s also 22% faster than the prior-gen 5950X.
The Ryzen 9 7950X is even more impressive in Puget’s Adobe After Effects benchmark, taking an 8% lead over the 12900K at stock settings and expanding to a 13% lead after overclocking. The 7950X is also 29% faster than the 5950X. Once again, we see the Core i9-12900K take a step backward after overclocking.
SPECworkstation 3 Benchmarks on AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
The SPECworkstation 3 benchmark suite is designed to measure workstation performance in professional applications. The full suite consists of more than 30 applications split among seven categories, but we’ve winnowed down the list to tests that largely focus specifically on CPU performance. We haven’t submitted these benchmarks to the SPEC organization, so these are not official benchmarks.
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The Calculix workload is based on the finite element method for three-dimensional structural computations, and it typically responds well to both higher core counts and clocks. The 7950X leads here where Ryzen 9 trailed before, exhibiting yet another impressive speed up.
SPECworkstation 3’s Rodinia LifeSciences benchmark steps through four tests that include medical imaging, particle movements in a 3D space, a thermal simulation, and image-enhancing programs. The 5950X dominates these heavily-threaded workloads,
The earth’s subsurface structure can be determined via seismic processing. One of the four basic steps in this process is the Kirchhoff Migration, which generates an image based on the available data using mathematical operations. Threaded horsepower comes into play, and once again, we see the 7950X take the lead.
Zen 4 Microarchitecture and IPC Measurements
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AMD says the Zen 4 architecture is an iterative advance over Zen 3, but Zen 5, which arrives in 2024, will be a ground-up redesign. Zen 4 has plenty of advancements, though. As you can see throughout the album above, AMD made several advances, but widening the front end to better feed the execution units and improving branch prediction account for 60% of the IPC gain. AMD also increased the op-cache by 1.5x, moved to a two-branch-per-cycle prediction, improved the load/store units, and doubled the L2 cache capacity. The increased L2 cache capacity results in an additional 2 cycles of L2 latency and adds 4 cycles to L3 latency. AMD says this increased latency isn’t too detrimental because the increased cache capacity provides higher hit rates that largely offset the penalty.
AMD has enabled support for AVX-512 instructions, giving it a curious advantage over Intel, which pioneered the SIMD instructions but ended up disabling them with Alder Lake. AMD describes its AVX-512 implementation as a ‘double-pumped’ execution of 256-bit wide instructions. This means that it actually takes two clock cycles to execute an AVX-512 instruction. However, this provides compatibility with AVX-512 and still boosts performance. This approach also saves die area and defrays the frequency and thermal penalties typically associated with Intel’s processors when they execute AVX-512 workloads. AMD’s implementation results in lower throughput per clock than Intel’s method, but the higher clocks obviously offset at least some of the penalty. AMD says AVX-512 provides a 30% increase in multi-core FP32 workloads over Zen 3 and a 2.5X speedup for multi-core int8 operations. As we saw in our own benchmarks, the approach provides significant performance uplift.
AMD says the net effect of its Zen 4 architectural enhancements is a 13% increase in IPC over Zen 3. AMD also claims to deliver better power efficiency in a much smaller package than Intel’s Alder Lake processors. The company compared its Zen 4 core to Intel’s Golden Cove to highlight that it is half the size at 3.84mm2, yet wrings out 47% more power efficiency.
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Measuring IPC is tricky, largely because it varies based on the workload. AMD calculated its 13% IPC improvement from 22 different workloads, including gaming, which seems a curious addition due to possible graphics-imposed bottlenecks. AMD also included some multi-threaded workloads. AMD’s results show that the IPC improvements vary, with improvements spanning from 39% in wPrime to a 1% improvement in the CPU-z benchmark.
We tested a limited subset of single-threaded workloads to see the clock-for-clock improvements, locking all chips to a static 3.8 GHz all-core clock with the memory dialed into the officially supported transfer rate. As you can see, Zen 4 does deliver solid IPC improvements in a multitude of workloads. The y-cruncher and Geekbench 5 crypto scores experience rather disproportionate gains, but that comes as a result of Zen 4’s support for AVX-512. However, as we saw in the single- and multi-threaded y-cruncher benchmarks, this performance doesn’t scale linearly to higher core loadings.
Power Consumption and Efficiency Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X
AMD worked with TSMC to tune the 5nm process for its design goals, resulting in a specialized 15-layer N5 process node. Unfortunately, we don’t know the specifics of the custom node. However, TSMC’s N5 generally provides 15% more performance at a given power level, or 20% lower power consumption at any given clock rate compared to the 7nm process that AMD used for its previous-gen Ryzen 5000 chips. Paired with the Zen 4 architectural advances and SoC improvements, AMD says Ryzen 7000 delivers up to 40% more performance-per-watt at its standard TDP levels.
|65W TDP||105W TDP||170W TDP|
|Socket Power (PPT) Watts||88W||142W||230W|
|Peak Current (EDC) Amps||150A||170A||225A|
|Sustained Current (TDC) Amps||75A||110A||160A|
AMD has defined a new 170W TDP range, a new high for the mainstream Ryzen family. AMD has also increased the base TDP for the Ryzen 9 models by 65W and increased Ryzen 5 by 45W. Additionally, the peak power consumption (PPT) for the AM5 socket is now 230W. That’s a significant increase over the previous-gen Ryzen 5000’s 142W limit.
AMD also increased the TDC and EDC amperage significantly, raising EDC by 60A and 30A for the 65W and 105W TDP ranges, respectively. We see smaller 15A increases to the EDC for both the 65W and 105W TDP tiers.
AMD says that it improved the platform power interface from SVI2 to SVI3, allowing it to move from two variable power rails to three, thus enabling better control of the power delivery to the socket. The SVI3 interface provides continuous and more accurate telemetry for voltage, current, power, and temperature for multiple onboard voltage regulators, while SVI2 didn’t allow monitoring of power and temperature. SVI3 also enables enhanced power states that help save power, like phase shifting (shutting off phases when not needed).
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The culmination of these power delivery improvements is that AMD can unlock higher levels of performance that stretch beyond IPC gains. Above we plotted the clock speed for the Ryzen 9 7950X and previous-gen 5950X on the left-hand side of the chart as we slowly loaded the cores with a Prime95 SSE workload (this draws more peak power than the AVX tests). As you can see, the 7950X maintained 5 GHz with all cores loaded, but the 5950X dropped to 3.4 GHz.
We also plotted the power on the right-hand side of the chart. As you can see, the Ryzen 9 5950X reached its peak power consumption with six cores loaded, after which power plateaued until we loaded ten cores. It then began to decline as we worked our way up to loading all 16 cores. This is a known tendency for the 5950X – socket power limitations apparently resulted in uneven power/voltage delivery at higher power levels, thus requiring the chip to dial back its frequency after reaching a certain threshold.
In contrast, the Ryzen 9 7950X continues to consume increasing amounts of power until 12 cores are loaded. Power consumption only declines slightly after that, and the clock reductions are far less severe. The end result is higher clock frequencies during nearly all loading conditions, which helps enable the massive performance boosts we saw in our test suite.
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As expected, our power measurements find the Ryzen 7000 chips drawing significantly more power than the previous-gen Ryzen 5000 models, and that’s by design. Despite Ryzen’s gen-on-gen increase in power consumption, Intel’s Alder Lake processors still consume more power while delivering less performance.
The renders-per-day-per-watt charts show that the Ryzen 5 7600X is far more power efficient than the Ryzen 5 5600X in the x264 HandBrake workload, but the stock Ryzen 9 7950X basically matches the prior-gen Ryen 9 5950X. However, as we know from our benchmarks, the 7950X is much faster than the 5950X in this specific workload, which we can see below.
Here we take a slightly different look at power consumption by calculating the cumulative energy required to perform x264 and x265 HandBrake workloads, respectively. We plot this ‘task energy’ value in Kilojoules on the left side of the chart.
These workloads are comprised of a fixed amount of work, so we can plot the task energy against the time required to finish the job (bottom axis), thus generating a really useful power chart.
Remember that faster compute times, and lower task energy requirements, are ideal. That means processors that fall the closest to the bottom left corner of the chart are the best. It’s clear that the Ryzen 7000 processors take another big step forward in power efficiency.
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Boost Frequencies, Power, and Thermals
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As part of our normal test regimen, we tested performance in lightly-threaded work to record the peak boost speeds and thermals. We ran through our standard series of lightly-threaded tests (LAME, PCMark10, Geekbench, VRMark, and single-threaded Cinebench).
As with the previous-gen chips, some Ryzen 7000 chips can boost above their rated speeds if they have sufficient cooling and power. As always, the silicon lottery could apply. The Ryzen 9 7950X regularly peaked at 5.85 GHz, above the rated 5.7 GHz, showing that AMD is again being conservative with its peak boost clock estimates.
We also ran through a spate of standard heavily threaded applications (Cinebench, HandBrake, POV-Ray, Blender, AVX-heavy y-cruncher) to measure power and thermals. We used a Corsair H115i 280mm AIO with the fans cranked to 100% to keep the chip as cool as possible during this test run.
The 7950X hovered around 5.2 GHz through some workloads but dropped to 5.0 GHz when all cores were fully loaded. Peak power consumption reached 231W, which naturally generates quite a bit of heat. The 7950X regularly hit 95C during the test run, which AMD assures us is expected behavior – the chip is designed to consume all available thermal headroom to provide faster performance. The 95C thermal threshold is within safe operating limits, so it won’t result in degradation.
It’s often forgotten, but the Ryzen 5000 processors also operate in a similar fashion. By design, Intel’s latest chips also often run at 100C for extended periods. Both vendors are locked in an intense competition for performance leadership, so we can expect this trend to continue.
As a result of these aggressive tactics, more powerful coolers can often extract even more performance. We conducted an experiment to see if the 280mm AIO cooler resulted in constrained performance by employing our 720mm custom loop to test the Ryzen 9 7950X at both stock and PBO settings. As you can see in the final slide, we received the same performance with the custom loop in our multi-threaded test suite as we did with our 280mm AIO, so its safe to say a 280mm is sufficient – at least if you’re willing to live with the fans running at 100% during heavy work.
AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X deliver impressive performance gains that beat Alder Lake in most types of workloads, including gaming. The Ryzen 9 7950X stands out as the fastest productivity chip for mainstream systems on the market, while the Ryzen 5 7600X sets a new bar for gaming chips at the $300 price point.
Below, we have the geometric mean of our gaming test suite at 1080p and 1440p and a cumulative measure of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. We conducted our gaming tests with an RTX 3090, so performance deltas will shrink with lesser cards and higher resolution and fidelity settings.
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The $699 Ryzen 9 7950X is 5% faster in gaming than Intel’s Core i9-12900K, but this chip is really designed for the productivity-minded. The 7950X was 44% faster than the Core i9-12900K in our multi-threaded tests, making it the most powerful desktop PC chip currently available. The Zen 4 architecture also closes the gap with Alder Lake in single-threaded applications, addressing a particularly glaring deficiency against Alder Lake.
The Ryzen 7 7600X was 12% faster than the Core i5-12600K in our gaming tests, but even more impressively, it beat the Intel Core i9-12900K by 4%. That makes it an exceptional gaming chip at the $300 price point. The Core i5-12600K maintains a slight lead in multi-threaded work, but the deltas aren’t large enough to overlook the 7600X’s faster performance in gaming and lightly-threaded work.
AMD’s 600-series motherboards offer modern connectivity options, like DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, and also bring other additives, like USB4, to bear. The Ryzen chips also now feature an iGPU that’s sufficient for a basic display out, which is an important step forward.
The Ryzen 7000 chips do have a few hang-ups, though. The Ryzen 7000 chips consume quite a bit more power than their predecessors, but AMD turns that into extra performance that cuts through work quicker. Intel’s high-end chips are also designed to run at higher levels of power consumption, and thus heat, so this tactic is becoming common.
AMD’s decision to fully commit to DDR5 could be a liability if pricing remains higher than DDR4. In contrast, Intel’s Alder Lake platform supports either DDR4 or DDR5, providing a less expensive path that’s particularly attractive in the $300 and under price range. Currently, you’ll pay roughly $50 to $70 more for 16GB of DDR5 than you would for DDR4, and that premium increases in lockstep with capacity, meaning you’ll pay even more for 32GB kits. However, be aware that DRAM pricing is volatile, so you’ll need to check current pricing. AMD says it expects DDR5 pricing to improve as we enter the last part of the year, but this market can be unpredictable – particularly if the Ryzen 7000 launch causes a sudden spike in DDR5 sales.
The DDR5 uncertainty looms large, but not as large as the uncertainty around Raptor Lake. Intel has made confident performance claims of a 15% improvement in single-threaded, 41% improvement in threaded, and a 40% ‘overall’ performance gain, which means that Raptor Lake and Ryzen 7000 could be closely matched. Raptor Lake is rumored to come to market in mid- to late-October, so it might be best to wait and see what Intel has to offer, especially on the pricing front, before pulling the trigger.
If you’re dead set on buying a chip now, the Ryzen 7 7600X is unquestionably the fastest gaming chip on the market for $300. It offers basically the same gaming performance as the 7950X that’s now the fastest ‘standard’ gaming chip on the market, but at less than half the cost. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 9 7950X is the reigning overall performance champ for mainstream PCs, delivering unprecedented levels of performance on a mainstream platform.
|AMD Socket AM5 (X670E)||Ryzen 9 7950X, Ryzen 5 7600X|
|ASRock X670E Taichi|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 – Stock: DDR5-5200 | OC/PBO: DDR5-6000|
|Intel Socket 1700 DDR4 (Z690)||Core i9-12900K, i7-12700K, 15-12600K, i5-12400|
|MSI MEG Z690 Ace|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-6400 – Stock: DDR4-4400 | OC DDR4-6000|
|AMD Socket AM4 (X570)||Ryzen 9 5950X, 5900X, 5700X, 5600X, 5800X3D|
|MSI MEG X570 Godlike|
|2x 8GB Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 – Stock: DDR4-3200 | OC/PBO: DDR4-3800|
|All Systems||Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle – Gaming and ProViz applications|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE – Application tests|
|2TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, Silverstone ST1100-TI, Open Benchtable, Arctic MX-4 TIM, Windows 11 Pro|
|Cooling||Corsair H115i, Custom loop|
|Overclocking note||All configurations with overclocked memory also have tuned core frequencies and/or lifted power limits.|