The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is the baddest cat in town when it comes to processors that don’t land in the HEDT (high-end desktop) category of processors. But, with the specs and performance it offers, it may break apart that classification system altogether.
The Ryzen 9 3950X is built on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture, and is the highest tier in the Ryzen 3000 series. That naturally makes it the most expensive, but it also shows just how well AMD is scaling performance to multiple cores and threads. And when it comes to the Ryzen 9 3950X, there are a whopping 16 cores and 32 threads.
Price and availability
The Ryzen 9 3950X is priced at $749 (£749, about AU$1,080), but availability since launch has been scarce. As a result, we’ve seen prices well above AMD’s suggested retail. Even at retail, that’s a sizable increase in price over most of our top picks for best processor.
The price is a 50% increase from the $499 Ryzen 9 3900X, which features 12 cores and 24 threads (and comes with its own cooler). Meanwhile, from Intel, the 18-core, 36-thread Core i9 9980XE is made to hurt a budget at its original retail $1,979 (about £1,520, AU$2,800). The newer Intel Core i9-10980XE brings the price down to $979 (£1,099, about AU$1,435), showing how Intel is acknowledging AMD’s competition.
Features and chipset
The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X’s leap onto the Zen 2 architecture, which has seen the processor node shrink from 12nm to 7nm. AMD also has packed on extra cache with 1MB of L1, 8MB of L2, and 64MB of L3 cache. The result is an impressive CPU that packs 16 cores and 32 threads into a unit that can still fit on the standard AM4 socket (the very same socket AMD has been using since the first generation of Ryzen processors) and only hits a TDP of 105 watts.
Along with the new architecture, the Ryzen 9 3950X brings with it support for the new PCIe 4.0 standard on an X570 chipset. The new PCIe standard can offer a dramatic…