The Ryzen 9 3950X Zen 2 flagship desktop processor was supposed to launch last month, but at the last minute, AMD said that it was delaying its release until November. Hardcore enthusiasts that were waiting on the $749 chip were no doubt a little disappointed, but we're getting an early look at what the processor can do courtesy of Gigabyte.
Gigabyte understandably has access to the unreleased processor and paired it up with one of its own X570 Aorus Master motherboards and 16GB of Aorus DDR4-3200 memory. The Ryzen 9 3950X has a base clock of 3.3GHz, but Gigabyte managed to push their chip to a heady 4.3GHz across all 16 cores. The company was able to obtain this result with a 1.4GHz Vcore and an EKWB EK-KIT P360 water cooling system.
We should mention that Gigabyte indicates that the base frequency of the Ryzen 9 3950X is 3.3GHz, however, AMD originally announced that the processor would have a base frequency of 3.5GHz. We don't know the reason for discrepancy, but we just thought that we'd point it out. With that being said, Gigabyte was able to achieve a Cinebench R15 result of 3932 with the stock Ryzen 9 3950X, which is impressive in its own right.
However, cranking the frequency up to 4.3GHz across all 16 cores boosted that score to 4384. Gigabyte was able to push the clocks even further to 4.4GHz, but it could not complete repeated runs at that frequency. However, Gigabyte noted that it was able to obtain a Cinebench R15 score of 4475 at that speed.
All of the steps to obtain the above results are found in Gigabyte's X570 Overclocking Guide, which you can view here [PDF]. In the guide, the company of course warns that overclocking your processor “technically” voids the warranty and continues:
Although 4.3 GHz might be the limit for many parts, there are parts that can be overclocked even higher. Not on all occasions are these results going to assure you the prime95 stability but at least the parts might be able to be stable through Cinebench R15. We recommend using reliable dual-radiator water cooling or even better, a triple-radiator solution for the best results.
Needless to say, with sufficient cooling, enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to with the Ryzen 9 3950X. And we'll of course be providing our own in-depth review of the processor once we get it in our hands.