AMD made quite the impression when it launched its third-generation Ryzen desktop processors over the summer. Available in up to 12-core/24-thread configurations with excellent single- and multi-core performance, relatively low TDPs, and attractive pricing, AMD definitely has a winner on its hands. However, the “true” flagship of the family has been relatively elusive to us... that is until today.
AMD is in essence reintroducing us to the Ryzen 9 3950X, which sits above the Ryzen 9 3900X as the new flagship of the family. The processor was originally supposed to ship at the end of September, but was delayed until now. The specs for the processor are nothing short of incredible at this price point with a total of 16 cores, 32 threads, a base clock of 3.5GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.7GHz.
AMD has also managed to include a total of 72MB of cache (L2+L3) all while operating within a 105W TDP thanks to its 7nm Zen 2 architecture. With that said, AMD makes it a point to say that the processor is "optimized" for liquid cooling, and it recommends 280mm or larger solutions.
Not surprisingly, AMD is touting its multi-core advantage over Intel -- specifically compared to the 8-core/16-thread Core i9-9900K and the 12-core/24-thread Core i9-9920X -- in a wide variety of benchmarks including Cinebench R20, POV-Ray 3.7 and Adobe Premiere. AMD quotes a 79 percent uplift in performance over the Core i9-9900K in Cinebench and a 69 percent improvement in V-Ray.
The Core i9-9900K comparison is a bit specious as that processor is "only" priced at around $500 compared to the $749 MSRP of the Ryzen 9 3950X. However, we have no qualms about its performance relative to the Core i9-9920X which retails for around $1,200.
AMD is also touting its 7nm process efficiency compared to Intel, which is still clinging to its 14nm++ processor while it makes the transition to 10nm (and beyond). The company calls out Intel specifically in performance-per-watt and absolute power draw in Cinebench R20, although we know how Intel feels about these synthetic benchmarks...
The Ryzen 9 3950X is priced at $749 and will ship on November 25th. Hopefully AMD won't have the tight supply issues that it encountered with the Ryzen 9 3900X, but we aren't going to hold our breath on that one...