AMDs 7000 Series CPU launches brought along with it the new AM5 socket which now uses an LGA socket style as well as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 as well. For CPUs they have a variety of options and their performance has been impressive. The one exception to that is looking at gaming performance when compared to AMDs own Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU which was the first desktop processor to have a stacked 3D L3 cache. This was a late addition to the 5000 series of CPUs and offered staggering performance in cache-limited situations, especially gaming. Well for the 7000 series they have announced three 3D CPUs, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D. The two Ryzen 9 CPUs are launching tomorrow February 28th and they did send over the 7950X3D for testing so today I’m going to see how it performs.

Product Name: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Review Sample Provided by: AMD

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

3D What?

With the 7000 Series of CPUs, AMD brought along a lot of changes which I’ve gone over in past coverage. But the new Ryzen 9 7950X3D and the two other 3D CPUs that AMD has announced while being based on the same Zen 4 architecture have changed a few aspects of things. The specifications however really only show part of the picture. Below I put together the specifications for the new 7950X3D that they have sent over for testing and the original Ryzen 9 7950X that I covered last September. The 7950X3D does have the same 16 core count and 32 threads which puts it right at the top of the product stack alongside the 7950X. It also has the same 5.7 GHz boost clock speed but AMD did change the base clock from 4.5 GHz down to 4.2 GHz. The L2 cache is still 1MB per core but the 7950X3D now has 128MB of L3 Cache which is insane. It has the same 64MB of standard L3 cache like the 7950X but they have also added their 3D V-Cache which is stacked. The reason for the two different L3 caches is to help balance the 7950X3D better depending on what you are using it for. 3D V-Cache offers significant improvements in latency but is expensive. In short, AMD has two chiplets on the 7950X3D with 3D V-Cache paired up with one and then one standard CCX. This balances out the additional cost of 3D V-Cache where doubling up wouldn’t offer much of a performance benefit. This is their asymmetric chipet design.

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This does mean that AMD has to do a few unique things to optimize everything on the driver and software side of things that I did want to touch on. In the driver, they have the AMD 3D V-Cache performance optimizer which looks at performance in real-time and can change the preferred cores to move things from the 3D V-Cache cores over to the standard d die which is better for frequency-focused applications. Then on the software side of things, AMD is using their PPM provisioning file driver which will detect when you are in a game using Xbox Game Bar and lock the game to a specific CCX depending on what will benefit the game more. They do note that when a game uses more cores it can and will unlock and let all 16 get to work as well.

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Here is a look at the CPU without the heatspreader and the 3D V-Cache does have that cool rainbow effect on it.

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The other big change in the specifications beyond the base clock and L3 Cache can be found in the power draw specs. The 7950X3D has dropped the TDP down to 120 watts from 170 watts on the 7950X. Max current and the max socket power have all been dropped down to match as well and the new TjMax is lower meaning with precision boost it won’t be targeting as hot of a temperature as it boosts the clock speed. The rest of the specs are basically the same, the specs listed this time around list the cooling as a 280mm AIO, not the 240 or 280 AIO that they listed for the 7950X but everything else matches.

Specifications

Ryzen 9 7950X

Ryzen 9 7950X3D

Cores/Threads

16/32

Max Boost

5.7 GHz

Base Clock

4.5 GHz

4.2 GHz

L2 Cache

16 x 1MB

L3

64MB

128MB

TDP

170W

120W

Max Socket Power (PPT)

230W

162W

Max Current (EDC)

225A

180A

Max Current Thermally Limited (TDC)

160A

120A

TjMax

95c

89c

Boost Algorithm

Precision Boost 2

Recommended Cooler

240-280 Liquid (or equivalent)

280mm AIO Liquid Cooler

Max Memory Speed (Non-OC)

DDR5-5200 (2x16GB)

ECC Support

Enabled in-silicon, support varies by motherboard

CCD Die Size

70mm ²

CCD Transistor Count

6.5 Billion

IOD Die Size

122mm ²

IOD Transistor Count

3.4 billion

MSRP

$699

$699

 

As far as overclocking goes, AMD does have their new AMD Expo memory overclocking enabled. The 7950X3D also supports the curve optimizer and precision boost overdrive which can give you simple one-click overclocks. But precise and direct overclocking is not enabled which means you cant set specific clocks or multipliers. The 5800X3D was the same so this isn’t too big of a surprise, but keep it in mind.

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The Ryzen 9 7950X3D is launching at the same $699 MSRP that the Ryzen 9 7950X is priced. AMD is also launching the 7900X3D at the same time for $599 which is priced $50 higher than the original 7900X. The 7900X3D has the same 12 cores and 24 threads as the 7900X but like the 7950X3D it has a lower base clock speed and it has 140MB of Cache whereas the 7900X had 76MB and its TDP is dropped down to 120 watts as well. The third 3D CPU has been announced but doesn’t launch tomorrow like the other two. That is the Ryzen 7 7800X3D which is priced at $449, $50 more than the 7700X, AMD doesn’t have a 7800X model at all to pair up with it but it does match up close with the 7700X. It has 104MB of cache compared to the 40MB of the 7700X and 8 cores and 16 threads. Both its boost clock and base clocks are lower than the 7700X but it has the same 120 TDP that the two other 3D CPUs have when the 7700X is a 105-watt CPU. All three CPUs have built-in dedicated graphics which is a surprise given how much is already packed on the CPU and I will check out how that performs in our testing as well even though these aren’t the type of CPU that you would want to live with onboard graphics for very long. It is nice to have the option for short-term situations though.

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Where AMD often sends just the CPUs in their plastic clamshell for the 7950X3D they did send its full packaging for us to take a look at. The box has the Ryzen orange which I always love around the window on the front that shows the CPU. The packaging is held closed with the seal which when you cut you can roll three of the sides open. Inside the CPU is in its clamshell up on op sitting in a foam housing. While it is a normal-sized box, the 7950X3D doesn’t come with a cooler so a lot of that space isn’t used other than for the foam. You get a team red invitation card and installation and warranty information on a small piece of paper as well but that’s about it.

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If you haven’t seen any of the new AMD AM5 CPUs there will be a few big surprises here. For starters, the clunky heat spreader of past Ryzen CPUs isn’t there. They have replaced that with the unique design that they originally introduced on the 5800X3D. Below that, though you will see that the CPU doesn’t have any pins, it now has an LGA-style socket like Intel has run for years. This does mean that the CPU is a little less likely to be damaged which is nice but that risk has been transferred to the motherboard socket, so be careful there.

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Before getting into testing the Ryzen 9 7950X3D I did check on it with CPUz and also documented our test configuration as well including the test BIOS. You can see our full test configuration in the test bench and procedures section.

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