High-End Desktop? What’s That?

The Ryzen 9 3950X Comes Into View

As teased at E3 and seemingly every show that AMD has been to since, we’re now ready to get our hands on AMD’s top-tier consumer-grade processor. The Ryzen 9 3950X is the bigger cousin to the Ryzen 9 3900X, this time using two 8-core chiplets built on TSMC’s 7nm process with the Zen 2 microarchitecture. This is paired with the same I/O die, and overall this Ryzen 9 3950X will offer four more cores and +100 MHz on the turbo frequency over the 3900X, all at a $749 recommended retail price point.

AMD 'Matisse' Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs
AnandTech Cores
Threads
Base
Freq
Boost
Freq
L2
Cache
L3
Cache
PCIe
4.0
Chiplets
IO+CPU
TDP Price
(SEP)
Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 8 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $499
Ryzen 9 3900 12C 24T 3.1 4.3 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 65W OEM
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6C 6T 3.6 4.1 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W OEM

The Ryzen 9 3950X will be compatible in the majority of AM4 motherboards, although in order to take advantage of the 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes on the CPU, an X570 motherboard is recommended. The 16 cores offer a 3.5 GHz base frequency and a 4.7 GHz single core boost frequency; the overall all-core turbo frequency will be dependent on the motherboard used, the quality of the silicon, and the turbo in play.

The 105W TDP matches that of the 12-core part, and it should be noted that the 3950X will not come with an in-the-box cooler. Instead, AMD argues that customers looking at this price range of CPU typically go out and purchase their own, something better than the 125 W Wraith Prism that AMD might have put in the box. To that end AMD is going to publish a list of recommended cooling solutions that are pre-validated by AMD on the website, which should be live on today (the 7th).

Regarding BIOS and AGESA versions on motherboards: AMD has stated that AGESA 1.0.0.4B (also known as 1.0.0.4 Patch B) is going to be required in order to enable full performance on the Ryzen 9 3950X. AMD stated that this AGESA version actually unites several different groups of Ryzen CPUs under the same numbering scheme, to make it easier to manage. It is worth noting that when quizzed, AMD acknowledged that some motherboard manufacturers were putting out ‘beta’ versions of 1.0.0.4B, rather than the full release, and they recommend that users should wait for a full 1.0.0.4B version for their motherboard (even though some motherboard manufacturers aren’t exactly being clear).

In terms of performance, AMD claims a +22% single thread performance jump for the 3950X over the 2700X, in 1080p gaming the company claims it goes toe-to-toe against the Core i9-9900K and trounces the Core i9-9920X (a $1200 CPU), and in content creation it surpasses both the 9900K and 9920X by 18-79% in selected tests. The company also states that a 16-core 3950X uses less wall power than an 8-core 9900K system.

Unlocked CPU Pricing
and Select Others
AMD
(MSRP Pricing)
Cores AnandTech Cores Intel*
(OEM Pricing)
    $900-$999 18/36 Core i9-10980XE ($979)
    $800-$899    
Ryzen 9 3950X ($749) 16/32 $700-$799 14/28 Core i9-10940X ($784)
    $600-$699 12/24 Core i9-10920X ($689)
    $500-$599 10/20
8/16
Core i9-10900X ($590)
Core i9-9900KS ($513)
Ryzen 9 3900X ($499) 12/24 $400-$499 8/16 Core i9-9900K/F ($488)
Ryzen 7 3800X ($399) 8/16 $350-$399 8/8 Core i7-9700K/F ($374)
Ryzen 7 3700X ($329) 8/16 $300-$349    
    $250-$299 6/6 Core i5-9600K ($262)
Ryzen 5 3600X ($249) 6/12 $200-$249    
Ryzen 5 3600 ($199) 6/12 Below $200 4/4 Core i3-9350K ($173)
*Intel quotes OEM/tray pricing. Retail pricing will sometimes be $20-$50 higher.

With Intel cutting its upcoming Cascade Lake-X HEDT processor line in half (and conveniently not releasing a 16-core part), the field does get a little more competitive for anyone looking at building a holiday system. What is important to note here is that AMD is shifting the line between consumer and high-end desktop higher: users spending $749 on a CPU get a ton of cores, but if they need more PCIe lanes, they have to go even higher to get the latest and greatest (see 3rd Gen Threadripper below). On a different note, AMD did state that Intel’s recent price adjustments had no effect on its product plans.

One side announcement from AMD, regarding all of the Ryzen 3000 hardware, is that every CPU now supports a cTDP down mode through the Ryzen Master software. With the tool, users can select the next power range down from the TDP of the processor. This means that 95W/105W CPUs can be set to run at 65W, then the 65W CPUs can be set to run at 45W, and the 45W CPUs can run at 35W.

AMD is doing this because they have seen a number of customers request high-core count processors at lower TDP values. Rather than releasing a wide array of X and non-X parts to satisfy all different areas of the market, AMD is offering this ‘cTDP down-like’ option for system builders that do want to focus on something like a 65W 16-core processor for their system. This isn’t to say that AMD will not release non-X CPUs in the future (they’re typically cheaper than the X CPUs), but rather than have customers wait for those parts to enter the market, AMD is giving this option to speed up adoption.

AMD 2019 Fall Update 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, Up to 32 Cores
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  • Korguz - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    airdrifting looks like you still need to be told, intels TDP is at BASE clock, WITH OUT turbo, and WILL use more power even with " runs turbo out of the box by default " Reply
  • airdrifting - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    What's the point of TDP at a "base clock" that the processor never runs at? Please allow me to put this in a language even you can understand: You brag you can last 30 minutes when in fact you only last 20 seconds, when girls call out you bs you claim "oh my 30 minute record was done when I was given superman power." Now here comes the question: Do you last 20 seconds or 30 minutes in reality? Reply
  • Korguz - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    " What's the point of TDP at a "base clock" that the processor never runs at " cause thats where intel gets its TDP spec from, which IS from the BASE clock, Anandtech even did an article on this here : https://www.anandtech.com/show/13544/why-intel-pro... i would suggest you read this. then maybe you would actually understand.

    2nd GROW UP. the fact you now resort to insults, further shows you know you are wrong, and you have to resort to a VERY childish analogy.
    Reply
  • Korguz - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    and i quote from the above link to the Anandtech article :
    " For any given processor, Intel will guarantee both a rated frequency to run at (known as the base frequency) for a given power, which is the rated TDP. This means that a processor like the 65W Core i7-8700, which has a base frequency of 3.2 GHz and a turbo of 4.7 GHz, is only guaranteed to be at or below 65W when the processor is running at 3.2 GHz. Intel does not guarantee any level of performance above this 3.2 GHz / 65W value. "
    Reply
  • airdrifting - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Yeah, I see you are not capable of reading. Done. Reply
  • Korguz - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    more like you are not capable of reading... and proves you are wrong.. your pride to high to admit it ?? the quote from the article, alone, proves you are wrong.. nuff said.. Reply
  • Irata - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    The point is simply to be able to have "95W" shown next to the CPU in a benchmark slide while the performance result is based on "far beyond 95W" clock speeds.

    This was not the case with Intel's pre Ryzen CPU like the 7700k btw. Go figure why this has changed.
    Reply
  • eddman - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    And? They never claimed the processors could do turbo within the TDP. It's based on the base clock and obviously any turbo will use more power. That's how they've always rated TDP. It's been known for years. Turbo have always been a "bonus". If the board can supply enough power and the temps are low enough, then it'd clock higher. Simple as that. Reply
  • eddman - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    @Ian Will the website ever upgrade to a better commenting system?

    I was replying to airdrifting.
    Reply
  • Father Time - Sunday, November 24, 2019 - link

    So based on this, AMD could claim their processors are all 1 Watt - based on course on a 200mhz super-low C-State - but still true that they consume 1 Watt at this speed.

    The fact it will never run at this power or speed is irrelevant, they could use the Intel system to the extreme to claim the performance crown with a 1 Watt processor - everything above 200mhz is just a bonus!
    Reply

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