AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X Review: Retaking The High-End

Back at CES 2022, AMD announced that its new Zen 4 core would be coming sometime in the second half of the year. During AMD’s ‘together we advance_PCs’ live streamed event at the end of August, AMD unveiled its Ryzen 7000 series of desktop processors, with four SKUs aimed at different product segments. Today AMD has officially launched Ryzen 7000 with the Ryzen 9 7950X sitting as the brand’s representative of performance leadership in an x86 processor for desktops.

On paper, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a 16C/32T behemoth to take overall performance leadership in desktop computing. Their entry point into the market is the Ryzen 5 7600X, which has 6C/12T and harnesses all the benefits of the flagship in a more svelte and affordable chiplet-based package. AMD pins its hopes on bringing that all-important performance crown back to its side with Zen 4 with its new architecture based on TSMC’s 5 nm process; prepare for battle. We’ve detailed what Zen 4 brings to the table regarding the new microarchitecture and tests the new Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X through our CPU suite.

New Zen 4 Core on TSMC 5nm, Boost Up to 5.7 GHz!!

The latest Ryzen 7000 series of processors are direct replacements to the Ryzen 5000 series, with a new chipset as well as a newly designed microarchitecture both on the front and back end of the silicon’s design.

As it stands at the time of writing, AMD is launching four processors based on its 5nm Zen 4 core, ranging from a 6C/12T part all the way up to 16C/32T; just like with the previous Ryzen 5000 (Zen 3) and Ryzen 3000 series (Zen 2) launches.

The Ryzen 9 7950X: 16 Cores, 32 Threads, New 170W TDP: $699

Looking at the specifications of the four AMD Ryzen 7000 processors, the top SKU is the Ryzen 9 7950X, with sixteen Zen 4 cores (two threads per core, 32T) two eight-core core 5nm CCDs. The Ryzen 9 7950X has a base frequency of 4.5 GHz, with a turbo frequency on one core of 5.7 GHz, which as it stands, is the fastest CPU core in the world for the desktop space today.

AMD has also given the Ryzen 9 7950X a larger 170 W TDP, which when compared to its Ryzen 5000 counterpart, the 5950X, is an increase of 65 W (170W versus 105W) This increase in overall power has allowed AMD to improve on its frequencies , as well as giving its Precision Boost Overdrive overclocking technology more room to breathe; more power typically means more performance.

The Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and Ryzen 5 7600X

Moving one down the stack is the Ryzen 9 7900X, which is a 12C/24T and 170W TDP part; it has a higher base frequency than the 7950X of 4.7 GHz, but with a slightly lower boost frequency of up to 5.6 GHz. AMD has launched one Ryzen 7 part designed for mid-range desktop computing, through the Ryzen 7 7700X, which is an 8C/16T SKU, with a boost frequency on a single core of up to 5.4 GHz, with a base frequency of 4.5 GHz .

Focusing on the entry-level segment, its Ryzen 5 7600X looks to capitalize on offering 6C/12T with its previous series maximum TDP o 105W, at a reasonable price point. The Ryzen 5 7600X includes a base frequency of 4.7 GHz, with a modest (compared to Ryzen 9) boost frequency on a single core of 5.3 GHz.

AMD Ryzen 7000 versus Ryzen 5000
AnandTech Cores
Threads
Base
Freq
turbo
Freq
Memory
Support
L3
Hidden
PDT MSRP
Ryzen 9 7950X 16C/32T 4.5GHz 5.7GHz DDR5-5200 64MB 170W $699
Ryzen 9 5950X 16C/32T 3.4GHz 4.9GHz DDR4-3200 64MB 105W $799
Ryzen 9 7900X 12C/24T 4.7GHz 5.6GHz DDR5-5200 64MB 170W $549
Ryzen 9 5900X 12C / 24T 3.7GHz 4.8GHz DDR4-3200 64MB 105W $549
Ryzen 7 7700X 8C/16T 4.5GHz 5.4GHz DDR5-5200 32MB 105W $399
Ryzen 7 5800X 8C/16T 3.8GHz 4.7GHz DDR4-3200 32MB 105W $449
Ryzen5 7600X 6C/12T 4.7GHz 5.3GHz DDR5-5200 32MB 105W $299
Ryzen 5 5600X 6C/12T 3.7GHz 4.6GHz DDR4-3200 32MB 65W $299

Comparing apples to apples, so to speak, from the new Zen 4 generation to the previous Zen 3 generations with like-for-like products, Ryzen 7000 has made some big overall improvements to the chips’ capabilities. Starting at the top tier, the Ryzen 9 7950X has an enormous improvement in base and boost frequencies, which makes Zen 4’s efficiency better than any previous Ryzen generation.

This has been possible in part through superior power efficiency, as the Zen 4 article is largely a Zen 3 refinement, but produced on TSMC’s 5 nm process node (from TSMC 7 nm). This efficiency has allowed AMD to boost clockspeeds without breaking the power bank, with the 105W TDP 7700X seeing a 700MHz improvement for no change in TDP. Coupled with a 13% TDP improvement, and the Ryzen 7000 series chips can deliver some significant single-threaded performance gains. And multi-threaded performance is not left out in the cold, either; by increasing their top TDP to 170W, AMD is able to keep the CPU cores on their 12C and 16C parts at higher sustained turbo clocks, delivering much better performance there as well.

Of course one of the key arguments here is that more power equals more which is true on the part of Ryzen 7000 series. Ryzen 7000’s TJ Max for its Precision Boost Overdrive technology stands at 95°C, which means that the CPU will use all of the available thermal headroom to maximize performance.

Although this can be overridden when manually overclocking, this opens up the maximum TJ Max to 115°C. It’s key to note that users will need to use more premium and aggressive cooling types to squeeze every last drop of performance from Zen 4. The fact that Ryzen 7000 runs hot is accounted for by AMD through their design choices and implementations. As such, they have opted not to bundle their own CPU coolers with the retail packages, instead directing buyers to fairly powerful third-party coolers.

New AM5 Socket: AM4 Coolers will Support AM5 Too

AMD has also transitioned to a new chipset for Ryzen 7000, named AM5. Along with AM5 also comes a new socket, the LGA1718. Now what’s interesting is AMD has specified that most AM4 socketed coolers will support the new LGA1718 socket on AM5; this is great for keeping with compatibility from the previous generation.

This also means that AM4 is now a thing of the past, although it does offer some incredible right now, as well as support with the cheaper DDR4 too. AMD has of course switched to support for DDR5 memory, with JEDEC settings across all four CPUs set at DDR5-5200; an improvement in Intel’s 12th Gen Core series support for DDR5-4800.

AMD has unveiled four new chipsets, two Extreme variants named X670E and B650E, with two regular chipsets, aptly named X670 and B650, original and simple. The top tier X670E series will feature both PCIe 5.0 lanes to the top PEG slot, with support for PCIe 5.0 storage devices which are expected in November 2022. As for its regular X670 chipset, PCIe 5.0 to the PEG slot is optional, not mandatory, like on X670E.

The B650 chipsets are designed to be more affordable and, as such only feature PCIe 4.0 lanes to the PEG slot. They do, however feature at least one PCIe 5.0 x4 storage slot. The B650E is reserved for those lower-end boards that want to include PCIe 5.0 to the graphics card, although users looking to utilize PCIe 5.0 support should opt for,X670E; better boards, better controllers, and better specifications.

New I/O Die: TSMC 6nm For Ryzen 7000

As we’ve seen previously from the Ryzen 5000 series, AMD uses chiplet packaging, with two core complex dies (CCD) on its top SKU, with an I/O die hosting all of the PCIe 5.0, the integrated memory controller (IMC) , and new for Ryzen 7000, two CU’s of AMD’s rDNA 2 integrated graphics. Some key advantages of AMD’s new 6 nm TSMC I/O die means more transistors, better efficiency at the manufacturing stage, and ultimately most importantly of all, from an efficiency point of view, lower overall power draw.

It’s time to dive deep into all of AMD’s new improvements and changes for its Zen 4 microarchitecture. Over the following pages we’ll, be going over the following:

  1. Ryzen 7000 Overview: Comparing Ryzen 7000 to Ryzen 5000 specifications
  2. Socket AM5: The New Platform For Consumer AMD
  3. More I/O For AM5: PCIe 5, Additional PCIe Lanes, & More Displays
  4. AM5 Chipsets: X670 and B650, Built by ASMedia
  5. DDR5 & AMD EXPO Memory: Memory Overclocking, AMD’s Way
  6. Ryzen 7000 I/O Die: TSMC & Integrated Graphics at Last
  7. Zen 4 Architecture: Power Efficiency, Performance, & New Instructions
  8. Zen 4 Execution Pipeline: Familiar Pipes With More Caching
  9. Test Bed and Setup
  10. Core-to-Core Latency
  11. SPEC2017 Single-Threaded Results
  12. SPEC2017 Multi-Threaded Results
  13. CPU Performance Benchmark: Power, Web, & Science
  14. CPU Benchmark Performance: Simulation and Encoding
  15. CPU Benchmark Performance: Rendering
  16. CPU Benchmark Performance: Legacy Tests
  17. Gaming Performance: 720p and Lower
  18. Gaming Performance: 1080p
  19. Gaming Performance: 4K
  20. Conclusion

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