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AMD Ryzen 9 3950X unveiled - 16 cores and 32 threads for gamers

by Tarinder Sandhu on 11 June 2019, 00:19

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaealu

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It was curious to see AMD introduce five Ryzen 3000-series processors at Computex 2019 - from the 6C12T Ryzen 5 3600 through to the 12C24T Ryzen 9 3900X - based on the all-new Zen 2 architecture, but leave its champion product unannounced. We are, of course, talking of the 16-core, 32-thread part conspicuous by its absence.

Said CPU's inevitable introduction makes implicit sense if you appreciated how AMD builds these chips. Ryzen 3000-series processors use either one or two core complex designs (CCDs) and an attendant I/O (cIOD) die, and each CCX is home to up to eight cores. In that respect, CCXs haven't changed over generations. Now, simple maths tells us that a fully-core-enabled dual-CCX chip ought to have that 16C32T topology. Those who follow rumour sites have undoubtedly seen the leaks, right?

The only sensible reason to hold such a chip back is to see if the competition, Intel, has anything up its silicon sleeve to combat such a mainstream monster. It doesn't, so preamble over, let's introduce the Ryzen 9 3950X.

Turning on the performance tap

AMD and Intel usually resort to two strategies when building massive-core chips. They either increase the power budget over incumbents, to serve the greater number of cores well, or reduce the frequencies, oftentimes by a decent margin, to accommodate increased core parallelism.

AMD, however, in the knowledge that supporting motherboards aren't all rated for >105W processors, keeps the Ryzen 9 3950X's power budget at that 105W. So, it would seem that frequencies ought to drop quite handsomely over the already-announced Ryzen 9 3900X?

AMD Ryzen product range

Model
Cores / Threads
TDP
L3 Cache
Base Clock
Turbo Clock
Process
PCIe
DDR4 Support
Package
Price
AMD Ryzen 9
Ryzen 9 3950X
16 / 32
105W
64MB
3.5GHz
4.7GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$749
Ryzen 9 3900X
12 / 24
105W
64MB
3.8GHz
4.6GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$499
AMD Ryzen 7
Ryzen 7 3800X
8 / 16
105W
32MB
3.9GHz
4.5GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$399
Ryzen 7 3700X
8 / 16
65W
32MB
3.6GHz
4.4GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$329
Ryzen 7 2700X
8 / 16
105W
16MB
3.7GHz
4.3GHz
12nm
24
Dual 2933
AM4
$329
Ryzen 7 2700
8 / 16
65W
16MB
3.2GHz
4.1GHz
12nm
24
Dual 2933
AM4
$299
Ryzen 7 1800X
8 / 16
95W
16MB
3.6GHz
4.0GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$349
Ryzen 7 1700X
8 / 16
95W
16MB
3.4GHz
3.8GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$309
Ryzen 7 1700
8 / 16
65W
16MB
3.0GHz
3.7GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$299
AMD Ryzen 5
Ryzen 5 3600X
6 / 12
95W
32MB
3.8GHz
4.4GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$249
Ryzen 5 3600
6 / 12
65W
32MB
3.6GHz
4.2GHz
7nm
24
Dual 3200
AM4
$199
Ryzen 5 2600X
6 / 12
95W
16MB
3.6GHz
4.2GHz
12nm
24
Dual 2933
AM4
$229
Ryzen 5 2600
6 / 12
65W
16MB
3.4GHz
3.9GHz
12nm
24
Dual 2933
AM4
$199
Ryzen 5 1600X
6 / 12
95W
16MB
3.6GHz
4.0GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$219
Ryzen 5 1600
6 / 12
65W
16MB
3.2GHz
3.6GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$189
Ryzen 5 2400G
4 / 8
65W
4MB
3.6GHz
3.9GHz
14nm
16
Dual 2933
AM4
$169
Ryzen 5 1500X
4 / 8
65W
16MB
3.5GHz
3.7GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$174
Ryzen 5 1400
4 / 8
65W
8MB
3.2GHz
3.4GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$169
AMD Ryzen 3
Ryzen 3 2200G
4 / 4
65W
4MB
3.5GHz
3.7GHz
14nm
16
Dual 2933
AM4
$99
Ryzen 3 1300X
4 / 4
65W
8MB
3.5GHz
3.7GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$129
Ryzen 3 1200
4 / 4
65W
8MB
3.1GHz
3.4GHz
14nm
24
Dual 2666
AM4
$109

This rather lengthy complete table shows that AMD does indeed reduce the base frequency, down to 3.5GHz, though claims a low-core boost speed of 4.7GHz, all the while driving more power-hungry cache. Impressive.

Having a 16C32T part on the established, mainstream AM4 platform does a few things. It questions the need for genuine content creators to look at either the Intel X299 (Core-X) or AMD TR4 (Threadripper) platforms; it enables users with older Ryzen-compatible boards to upgrade to monster performance without changing the platform, and it brings per-core value into focus.

AMD is set to introduce the Ryzen 9 3950X in September for $749. We'll have it on the HEXUS test bench as soon as possible. Stay tuned.



HEXUS Forums :: 38 Comments

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It questions the need for genuine content creators to look at either the Intel X299 (Core-X) or AMD TR4 (Threadripper) platforms;

I imagine it leaves them itching for a 3000 series threadripper, for enough PCIe lanes to plug in all their GPUs and NVMe cards.
For gamers.. at $750??

Looks like a genuinely impressive chip though - binned to get nice silicon no doubt for those thermals. I just hope it doesn't have too much of a negative effect on (perceived) 3800X silicon because at first glance it looks horribly like all the bad chips are going to the 3800X and all the good ones to the 3950X.

And silicon binning is something you can't account for in reviews, especially if the manufacturer supplies the chips for review directly. Frustrating as it is, looks like we should wait for community reviews.
Got to be honest here, at $750 (that's £800 by todays exchange rates) I might as well wait and see if there's an update to threadripper with all the other benefits of extra pcie lanes… I kind of feel it's about $100, maybe even $150 too much.

While I know it's far better bang per buck than intel and I know I could make use of all the cores it just seems a little off in it's pricing and positioning imo.
kalniel
For gamers.. at $750??

When people will pay £1400 for a graphics card, I'm sure there is a decent sized market. Specially if it is drop in on someone's existing X370/X470 motherboard so no other costs involved.
Priced fairly I feel all things considered.