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The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D Evaluation: AMD’s Quickest Gaming Processor

Final 12 months, AMD released its Ryzen 7 5800X3D to the market with 96 MB of L3 V-Cache. The patron implementation of AMD’s then-new 3D stacked V-Cache know-how, which allowed for tremendously increasing the overall L3 cache accessible on a CPU, the 5800X3D was primarily aimed on the gaming market, the place the extra 64MB of L3 cache may very well be uniquely helpful to bettering efficiency in CPU-bound gaming workloads. Whereas hit-and-miss relying on the particular sport at hand, in the fitting video games and the fitting situations, the extra cache may present a efficiency increase that even the highest-clocked CPUs could not match.

AMD’s preliminary implementations of V-Cache within the 5800X3D and its server counterpart, Milan-X, had been simply the tip of the iceberg for the corporate. Although the advantages of this stacked cache manufacturing technique had been restricted with the preliminary technology of merchandise, AMD’s eye has been on the lengthy sport: V-Cache is forward-looking design that may repay with greater dividends for AMD over time, as they’re going to ultimately be capable to produce the V-Cache dies utilizing older and cheaper manufacturing processes, optimizing their manufacturing prices whereas nonetheless with the ability to provide what’s by CPU requirements an absurd quantity of L3 cache. In the end, this multi-generational technique for V-Cache was specified by larger element in AMD’s 2023-2024 desktop CPU roadmap, which outlined their intention to carry it to AMD’s not too long ago launched Ryzen 7000 collection chips.

That brings us to at this time, and the upcoming launch of AMD’s second technology of V-Cache outfitted shopper chips, the Ryzen 7000X3D household. Tomorrow morning AMD shall be releasing a pair of their latest-generation Ryzen 7000 chips with the additional cache stacked on, together with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D (16C/32T) and the Ryzen 7 7900X3D (12C/24T). Each chips construct upon their X-series predecessors by including an additional 64MB of L3 cache, bringing them to a formidable complete of 128 MB of L3 cache.

In the meantime, a 3rd SKU, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D, is within the works for April sixth. That half will provide 8 CPU cores and 96 MB of L3 cache, making it probably the most direct successor to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

In the end, all three chips will serve to replace AMD’s product stack by combining the strengths of the Zen 4 CPU structure with the efficiency advantages of the additional L3 cache, which throughout the overlapping interval of the final a number of months, has been break up between the Ryzen 5000 and Ryzen 7000 households. Briefly, PC players will lastly be capable to have their cake and eat it too, having access to AMD’s Zen 4 microarchitecture and its myriad of advantages (greater IPC, greater clockspeeds, DDR5, PCIe 5) with a pleasant serving to of further L3 cache slathered on high.

From that stack, at this time we’re reviewing the brand new flagship Ryzen 9 7950X3D. The 7950X3D presents 16 Zen 4 cores unfold over two CCDs (8C/16T per CCD). AMD needed to elect one of many CCDs to stack the extra L3 cache onto, leading to a new-to-AMD heterogeneous CPU design, however they do have some particular sauce as a garnish to make it work. We purpose to find out if the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is the chip players have been craving for and the way it stacks up towards different Ryzen 7000 chips (and Intel’s thirteenth Gen) in our check suite.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D: 128 MB of L3 Cache, 16-Cores, Designed For Avid gamers

Up till now, we have had a wave of Ryzen 7000 collection SKUs launch, together with the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X and different X-series SKUs such because the Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and Ryzen 5 7600X, in addition to their 65 W SKUs which have crammed out the product stack properly. Providing completely different configurations of core counts, frequencies, and finally worth, the Ryzen 7000 stack is loaded with chips for customers of all ranges.

AMD’s 3D V-Cache packaging slide (Zen 3): AMD makes use of the identical methodology for Zen 4

These latest chips from AMD, in flip, develop the Ryzen 7000 stack additional by including a trio of elements incorporating AMD’s 3D V-Cache know-how. The essential concept behind 3D V-Cache is to stack further cache reminiscence on high of the present processor die. The cache reminiscence is then related to the die utilizing through-silicon vias (TSVs), that are vertical interconnects that move by the silicon substrate. This enables for a a lot bigger quantity of L3 cache reminiscence to be added to the processor with out requiring that AMD mint a separate, bigger CCD.

The 3D V-Cache packaging course of labored effectively with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and we did see good points in body charges throughout among the video games we examined; some video games are reminiscence/cache-bound, and thus could make good use of the extra L3 cache for a efficiency increase, whereas different video games are unfazed by the extra cache as they’re extra outright compute-bound. In the end, the advantages of the extra cache don’t make for a one-size-fits-all scenario, because it varies from title to title, typically considerably so. As issues stand, there sadly is not something fairly like a whitelist of video games that may profit from the extra cache, which suggests the most effective steering we are able to provide is that players will need to take the time to do some further analysis to see if the particular video games they care about are any sooner on these X3D chips.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Sequence Line-Up (as of 02/27)
   AnandTech     Cores
Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16C / 32T 4.2 GHz 5.7 GHz DDR5-5200 128 MB 120W 162W $699
Ryzen 9 7950X 16C / 32T 4.5 GHz 5.7 GHz DDR5-5200 64 MB 170W 230W $589
Ryzen 9 7900X3D 12C / 24T 4.4 GHz 5.6 GHz DDR5-5200 128 MB 120W 162W $599
Ryzen 9 7900X 12C / 24T 4.7 GHz 5.6 GHz DDR5-5200 64 MB 170W 230W $448
Ryzen 9 7900 12C / 24T 3.6 GHz 5.4 GHz DDR5-5200 64 MB 65W 88W $460
Ryzen 7 7800X3D 8C / 16T 4.2 GHz 5.0 GHz DDR5-5200 96 MB 120W 162W $449
Ryzen 7 7700X 8C / 16T 4.5 GHz 5.4 GHz DDR5-5200 32 MB 105W 142W $341
Ryzen 7 7700 8C / 16T 3.6 GHz 5.3 GHz DDR5-5200 32 MB 65W 88W $329
Ryzen 5 7600X 6C / 12T 4.7 GHz 5.3 GHz DDR5-5200 32 MB 105W 142W $241
Ryzen 5 7600 6C / 12T 3.8 GHz 5.1 GHz DDR5-5200 32 MB 65W 88W $230

Trying on the predominant specs of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, it has 16 Zen 4 CPUs cores and operates at a TDP ranking of 120 W; that is some 50 W decrease than the common Ryzen 9 7950X. In accordance with AMD, the extra related Bundle Energy Monitoring (PPT) ranking is 1.35x the TDP, which places the socket energy output at as much as 162 W. The Ryzen 9 7950X3D additionally shares the identical turbo frequency because the Ryzen 9 7950X, which is 5.7 GHz, however AMD has lowered the bottom frequency by 300 MHz, making it 4.2 GHz on the 7950X3D. Reminiscence help stays unchanged from the remainder of the Ryzen 7000 household, with JEDEC-compliant speeds topping out at DDR5-5200, whereas overclocking (AMD EXPO, and so forth) can take it over DDR5-6000.

Though we’re solely reviewing the Ryzen 9 7950X3D at this time, the 2 different Ryzen 7000 X3D SKUs are price mentioning. The opposite SKU launching at this time is the Ryzen 9 7900X3D, a 12-core/24-thread half with the identical 128 MB of 3D stacked L3 V-Cache. It additionally incorporates a 120 W TDP/162 W PPT, and has the identical 5.6 GHz turbo clock pace because the Ryzen 9 7900X. Just like the variations between the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and 7950X, the bottom core frequency is decrease on the Ryzen 9 7900X3D than its counterpart, with a base frequency of 4.4 GHz, a 200 MHz drop over the Ryzen 9 7900X.

The third SKU with 3D V-Cache is the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, which is not accessible till the sixth of April, but it surely’s nonetheless a really attention-grabbing half. Not solely is it the one chip to make use of the 7800 mannequin quantity, but it surely’s very related in specs to the unique Ryzen 7 5800X3D, a really profitable SKU that’s at the moment (nonetheless) the quantity 5 best-selling CPU on Amazon on the time of writing. Just like the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, the soon-to-be-released Ryzen 7 7800X3D shares a turbo frequency of 5 GHz. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D has a 4.2 GHz base frequency, but it surely advantages from AMD’s newest Zen 4 structure, constructed upon TSMC’s N5 5 nm manufacturing course of. As we noticed in our Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X evaluation, AMD has boosted efficiency per watt effectivity and improved IPC efficiency properly.

A Story of Two CCDs: One with 3D V-Cache, One With out

The Ryzen 7000 and 5000 households are constructed upon a chiplet-based design, with top-end chips such because the Ryzen 9 7950X that includes two core complicated dies (CCD) in addition to a singular I/O die (IOD)  Chips within the household with decrease core counts, such because the Ryzen 7 and 5 households, usually carry this down to 1 energetic CCD (and doubtlessly one fused-off CCD if the chip was salvaged).

With their first-generation Ryzen 7 5800X3D, AMD averted any complexities involving mixing V-Cache with their multi-CCD designs by solely ever producing X3D elements with a single CCD. Nevertheless for this technology, AMD is taking the following step by making multi-CCD X3D elements accessible – and so they aren’t placing V-Cache on each CCDs.

This quandary over utilizing two CCDs with V-Cache has raised many questions with customers since AMD initially revealed their new Ryzen 7000X3D elements. The lengthy and in need of issues is that for this technology, AMD has taken steps to have the most effective of each worlds – to have a V-Cache-equipped CCD whereas additionally having one other, unencumbered CCD with a purpose to provide the best compute efficiency.

Referring to the design of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, AMD is using an uneven chiplet design, the place one of many CCDs is a vanilla Zen 4 CCD, and the opposite is a Zen 4 CCD with 64 MB of V-Cache stacked on. Which means the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has one CCD with 96 MB of L3 cache, whereas the second “vanilla” CCD nonetheless has the standard 32 MB accessible. AMD’s Infinity Cloth Interconnect retains the whole lot flowing, which connects each CCDs to the centralized IOD in a die-to-die join circulate.

Notably, simply as the 2 CCDs are unequal in cache, they’re additionally unequal in peak clockspeeds. Attaching a V-Cache die to a CCD limits the best clockspeeds it could attain, capping it at round 5.25GHz. Thus, in comparison with the 5.7GHz max clockspeed of a plain Zen 4 CCD (as used on the 7950X/7950X3D), this represents a roughly 8% frequency handicap for including V-Cache. Which is why AMD is together with each kinds of CCDs on their Ryzen 9 7000X3D elements, making certain that functions have entry to no matter sort of CCD higher suits their processing wants.

In the end, AMD states that having one CCD with V-Cache and one customary CCD supplies the most effective steadiness for maximizing efficiency in each gaming workloads and basic heavy workload compute duties. Functions and video games that may profit from the bigger pool of L3 cache may be loaded up on to the V-Cache CCD, whereas the whole lot else is loaded up on the usual CCD (and rising out to the second CCD as wanted).

Drivers & OS Scheduling: PPM Provisioning & V-Cache Efficiency Optimizer

This extra layer of complexity signifies that, for the primary time on a shopper AMD platform, AMD’s CPUs are actually heterogeneous. Relying on which CCD they’re on, the CPU cores inside a 7950X3D are dissimilar, and that is one thing that must be taken under consideration when scheduling which CPU core/CCD a thread will go on. To that finish, AMD has developed a pair of Home windows drivers for the 7000X3D collection to assist the Home windows scheduler extra intelligently place threads on the most effective CCD for the duty.

Below the hood, AMD is basically hooking into Home windows’ Sport Mode (and Combined Actuality Mode) to let the OS decide when a sport is energetic, after which use that trace to alter how Home windows thread scheduling works. The ensuing layers of BIOS options, Xbox Sport Bar software program (which controls Sport Mode), and AMD’s drivers add up to an entire management mechanism for allocating work on the 7950X3D and 7900X3D.

Diving into AMD’s software program stack, the primary of AMD’s drivers is the AMD PPM Provisioning Driver. This comes included throughout the model (or newer) of AMD’s chipset driver. This driver steers threads by parking what AMD determines is the least performant CCD, leaving solely the extra performant CCD initially energetic. This retains the entire threads for a sport on the identical CCD, lowering (if not eliminating) the necessity to attain throughout the IOD to entry the L3 cache on the opposite CCD, and thus bettering the cache hit price and ensuing efficiency.

Technically, the PPM driver can park both CCD. However in follow it is going to nearly all the time be the vanilla CCD, pushing video games on to the V-Cache CCD. Although ought to a sport ask for extra CPU cores (and technically, threads) than a single CCD can present, then the PPM will permit the opposite CCD to go energetic. Parking the CCD would not stop its use – so all 16 CPU cores can be found  – it simply discourages utilizing greater than 1 CCD (8 cores) when in any respect potential.

In the meantime, customers can manually override this function of their motherboard’s firmware underneath the AMD CBS part of the Ryzen overclocking settings. Whereas every motherboard vendor’s firmware is completely different in design, options, and styling, altering the setting to auto may be switched to both ‘cache’ for workloads or video games benefiting from the 3D V-Cache, or set it to ‘frequency’ through which it’ll permit the sooner CCD to do the heavy lifting.

Transferring on, the second of AMD’s new X3D drivers is the AMD 3D V-Cache Efficiency Optimizer Driver. Once more, this comes bundled into the chipset driver, and it operates because the counterpart to the PPM driver, altering how Home windows ranks the efficiency of the varied CPU cores.

Sometimes, Home windows will rank CPU cores by clockspeeds, which is often the right approach to go for bodily homogenous CPU cores. Particularly within the case of issues like favored/most well-liked cores and “prime” CPU cores (e.g. Home windows on Arm), placing heavy workloads on the quickest CPU core will web you the most effective efficiency. Nevertheless having heterogeneous cores with completely different quantities of L3 cache modifications this calculus – it is potential (and even seemingly) for a slower CPU core to be sooner due to its entry to a bigger native L3 cache pool.

The AMD 3D V-Cache Efficiency Optimizer Driver working within the background

The web end result, then, is that the 3D V-Cache Efficiency Optimizer Driver will change Home windows’ efficiency rankings when Sport Mode is energetic in order that Home windows will attempt to use the CPU cores on the V-Cache CCD first. Coupled with the PPM driver, these two methods are how AMD will strive to make sure that video games and their threads are despatched to the V-Cache CCD first, whereas the whole lot else continues to favor the standard, higher-clocked CCD.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D robotically detecting Whole Warfare: Warhammer 3 as a sport in Xbox Sport Bar

Lastly it is price highlighting that Sport Mode inside Home windows 11/10 should be enabled for the AMD PPM and Efficiency Optimizer drivers to work seamlessly. AMD states that the Ryzen 7000X3D chips and their related software program stack will work underneath each Home windows 10 (1903 or later) and Home windows 11 (21H2 or later). However AMD fairly strongly recommends customers go along with Home windows 11, as if nothing else, there are some potential beauty reporting bugs that stay on Home windows 10 when Virtualization Primarily based Safety (VBS) is enabled. In the meantime VBS is an outright requirement on Home windows 11.

Ryzen 9 7950X3D: No Unlocked Multiplier, However Helps Curve Optimizer, Precision Increase Overdrive, and AMD EXPO Reminiscence

AMD, with its Ryzen 7000 65 W processors, confirmed spectacular power-to-performance effectivity in contrast with its present Ryzen 7000 chips. AMD is trying to showcase its capabilities additional whereas drawing much less energy. After all,

Not like AMD’s common X-series SKUs, The Ryzen 9 7950X3D does not have an unlocked multiplier; that means manually overclocking the cores is disabled. However the chip does nonetheless profit from a few of AMD’s overclocking know-how. Whereas the Ryzen 7 5800X3D was restricted to reminiscence overclocking, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has AMD’s Curve Optimizer and Precision Increase Overdrive enabled. The Curve Optimizer permits customers a straightforward one-click choice to a minimum of, in principle, ship a lift to core efficiency. This may be enabled in AMD’s Ryzen Grasp overclocking utility, whereas AMD’s Precision Increase Overdrive will also be enabled equally.

Reminiscence overclocking can also be nonetheless accessible on these X3D SKUs. This goes for each handbook overclocking, and utilizing EXPO reminiscence profiles on reminiscence kits that include these overclocking profiles. There are quite a few EXPO-enabled kits in the marketplace proper now, particularly from Corsair and G.Talent. And even XMP kits work to an extent, although their timings is probably not preferrred for AMD’s Ryzen 7000 collection processors.

For a extra detailed evaluation of our AMD Ryzen 7000 (Zen 4) protection, listed below are a couple of hyperlinks with a extra in-depth have a look at the Zen 4 core structure, in addition to AMD’s AM5 platform:

From a advertising and marketing standpoint, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is primarily geared toward players, notably those that play video games that may make good use of the extra L3 cache. After we reviewed the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, we discovered it missing a little bit in compute duties when straight in comparison with the common Ryzen 7 5800X as a result of decrease core frequencies and a lock on turbo frequencies. The flip aspect is that we noticed among the advantages of AMD’s 3D V-Cache stacking know-how in gaming, making it a purchase order higher suited to players particularly, relatively than the broader efficiency fanatic market.

AMD is trying to change that notion considerably with its Ryzen 7000X3D SKUs, due to greater general clockspeeds and using heterogeneous (asymmetrical) CPU cores. Thus we anticipate much less of successful on compute efficiency with these as a result of nonetheless combining first rate ranges of frequencies, and specs, albeit, at a decrease PPT energy ranking of 162 W.


From a pricing standpoint, AMD has priced the Ryzen 9 7950X3D at what was the unique MSRP of the Ryzen 9 7950X: $699. This makes the flagship X3D chip round $110 dearer than the 7950X, which lately may be snagged for $589. For the opposite chips, the Ryzen 9 7900X3D ($599) is $150 dearer than the Ryzen 9 7900X (at the moment $449), whereas the Ryzen 7 7800X3D will value $449 when it releases in April.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D in retail packaging: Able to cook dinner up

Lastly, looking on the aggressive panorama, AMD is aiming the Ryzen 9 7950X3D extra on the Core i9-13900K in gaming than its Ryzen 9 7950X counterpart. So it is time to put it on our check bench, put it by its paces in our check suite, and see how effectively the Ryzen 9 7950X3D fares towards the competitors. Compute efficiency lovers will seemingly discover that the Ryzen 9 7950X remains to be an general higher chip; whereas the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is trying to leverage its 128 MB of L3 cache in video games to make it the most effective gaming chip in the marketplace. Let’s examine what we’re coping with.

The Present CPU Check Suite

For our AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D testing, we’re utilizing the next check system:

AMD Ryzen 7000 Sequence System (DDR5)
CPU Ryzen 9 7950X3D ($699)
16 Cores, 32 Threads
120 W TDP
Motherboard GIGABYTE X670E Aorus Grasp (BIOS 813b)
Reminiscence G.Talent Trident Z5 Neo
2×16 GB
DDR5-5200 CL44
Cooling EK-AIO Elite 360 D-RGB 360 mm AIO
Storage SK Hynix 2TB Platinum P41 PCIe 4.0 x4 NMve
Energy Provide Corsair HX1000
GPUs AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT, Driver 31.0.12019
Working Techniques Home windows 11 22H2

Our up to date CPU suite for 2023 consists of varied benchmarks, assessments, and workloads designed to indicate variance in efficiency between completely different processors and architectures. These embody UL’s newest Procyon suite with each workplace and picture modifying workloads simulated to measure efficiency in these duties, CineBench R23, Dwarf Fortress, Blender 3.3, and C-Ray 1.1.  

In the meantime, we have additionally carried over some older (however nonetheless related/enlightening) benchmarks from our CPU 2021 suite. This consists of benchmarks equivalent to Dwarf Fortress, Factorio, and Dr. Ian Cutress’s 3DPMv2 benchmark.

Now we have additionally up to date our pool of video games going ahead into 2023 and past, together with the most recent F1 2022 racing sport, the CPU-intensive RTS Whole Warfare: Warhammer 3, and the favored Hitman 3.

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