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A look at the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

11949 Views 21 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Unkzilla
Since it was first discovered the latest product line of AMD mainstream desktop processors would be configured with up to two CCD (Core Complex Dies) there has been anticipation for a 16-core model. With the release of the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, the highest available core count in this segment has doubled in the past six months. In this piece we’ll take a brief look at how it does in terms of performance, power, temperature and boost clocks.

Processor specifications

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is not a revolutionary processor by any means. What I mean by that is the changes are very much incremental compared to the already released Ryzen 9 3900X. It’s still the same two CCD configuration, but with all available cores enabled. The advertised peak boost clock is increased from 4.6 GHz to 4.7 GHz. It can be argued that this is impressive by itself while keeping the 105W TDP spec. Realistically this is achieved by lower frequencies when all cores are used, possibly with the help of binned dies for better power efficiency.

Effective Clock

In this test I’ll be using a new method for measuring boost frequencies, added in HWInfo 6.14 as “Effective Clock”. It better measures boost frequencies through a per-thread CPU counter (APERF MSR). This counter increases with each clock cycle the CPU core is executing, meaning it does not increment when the clock is gated (turned off) and the core is idling in lower power states (C-states). If the CPU core clock is 4.0 GHz and is constantly executing the counter will measure 4.0 GHz. When executing half of the time, it will measure 2.0 GHz. If the core is clocked at 4.0 GHz half the time and 2.0 GHz the other half, it will measure 3.0 GHz. This allows for measuring a precise average frequency over a period of time to see how close to the advertised speeds you are in your specific workload.



Test Setup


  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
  • ROG Crosshair VIII Formula (BIOS 1005)
  • 2x8GB Gskill FlareX 3200 CL14 @ 3200 CL14
  • Generic 120 mm tower air cooler
  • Windows 10 1903 + AMD Chipset Driver 1.9.27.1033

Method

The benchmark was repeated three times and the presented values are the calculated average. In the single threaded tests, the thread affinity for the benchmark was manually set to the highest ranked core. HWInfo 6.14 was used to record the monitoring information during the run. The average frequency was measured using the “Effective Clock” item. The max frequency reading was measured using the “Core Clock” item. The average power was measured directly from the VRM controller and reports the CPU Core power only (excluding CPU SOC). The tests were repeated first at default settings and then overclocked to 4.35 GHz. Note that these are synthetic tests primarily to investigate clock frequencies, power consumption and temperatures.

Results and Discussion

Cinebench R15 – Single Thread



The single threaded score is just as expected from the modest frequency bump, the results are just in line with 3900X or slightly above. By looking at the max and average frequencies we see that the average core frequency during this test is 4571 MHz and the max clock is recorded as 4625 MHz. Note that while temperatures seemed “fine” at just above 60 °C, this is using a tower air cooler and not high-end air or water cooling. As expected when overclocking using a fixed core frequency, single threaded performance suffers, though not by a significant amount. I’d speculate parts of why the difference is not larger is due to removed power limits and possibly disabled C-states.

Cinebench R15 – Multi Thread



Moving over to multi threaded tests shows that performance scales very well in this benchmark with the added cores. Over 3900 points is just insane on a stock mainstream desktop platform. It’s even more impressive when considering the average CPU core power consumption is only 103 W and 3.8 GHz during an all core load with 16 cores is very respectable. The benefits of a CCD design and TSMC’s 7nm process is really showing here. However when overclocking the CPU, the power consumption starts to rapidly increase. A 13% increase in the benchmark score requires a 76% increase in power consumption and temperatures start to get toasty.

Cinebench R20 – Multi Thread



Re-running the multi-threaded tests on the latest version of the benchmark tells very much the same story. Due to the heavier benchmark the average all core frequency drops slightly to 3762 MHz at default settings and the highest recorded temperature raises by 6 °C. The average power consumption stays the same which just means the stock power limit works as expected. When looking at the overclocked numbers we see even higher power consumption and temperatures. At 208 W the air tower cooler is really struggling to keep up and temperature reaches up to 94 °C.


Original article: https://www.elmorlabs.com/index.php/2019-11-15/a-look-at-the-amd-ryzen-9-3950x/
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I wonder how long AMD will bin the best cores to 3950X?

I suspect they do it for initial batch for publicity, like they always do. Then throw the rest into TR3.
You have to wait for 6 months for 7nm to mature before you can get a 3950X at 4.4Ghz allcores at 1.2v.
So better buy 3950X on preorder now.
 

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I wonder how long AMD will bin the best cores to 3950X?

I suspect they do it for initial batch for publicity, like they always do. Then throw the rest into TR3.
You have to wait for 6 months for 7nm to mature before you can get a 3950X at 4.4Ghz allcores at 1.2v.
So better buy 3950X on preorder now.
Next stepping? After 6 months we will start to wait Zen3 😉
 

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I wonder how long AMD will bin the best cores to 3950X?

I suspect they do it for initial batch for publicity, like they always do. Then throw the rest into TR3.
You have to wait for 6 months for 7nm to mature before you can get a 3950X at 4.4Ghz allcores at 1.2v.
So better buy 3950X on preorder now.
That's what I'm thinking. I have a 3900X but really want to get the new 3950X on release. I've watched a lot of the reviews on YouTube and it looks like a real winner:) Only thing, no one is preordering that I can see.:(
 

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Not bad, but
1800x $500 in 2017 -> $100 in 2019
2700x $320 in 2018 -> $130 in 2019
3950X $750 in 2019 -> $250 in 2020 ?/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
Best deal in that bunch is definitely the 2700x for $130. I think I'm going to pick one up as a backup CPU.:) I think your being a little optimistic on the 3950x dropping that much in one year Grin.;)
 

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Not bad, but
1800x $500 in 2017 -> $100 in 2019
2700x $320 in 2018 -> $130 in 2019
3950X $750 in 2019 -> $250 in 2020 ?;)
the problem with this logic is that intel doesn't have anything to counter it for the next year (10c/20t @14nm @500$ won't do anything), in order for amd to lower the prices. Amd is also capacity constrained at tsmc and they will be for the whole 2020 , 7nm is much more expensive than globalfoundries 14/12nm and 3950x is made of 3 dies (2compute and 1 i/o)

I don't think we will ever find it below 350$
 

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AMD did this drop of all prices not Intel or you thought 2700x dropped to $130 because of 9900ks was released? 🙂
I think that AMD now has a one year cycle and after one year all zen2 prices will be reduced dramatically. Prices on zen3 may last longer 2-3 years. But zen2 is very shortliving because TSMC will move to the next N7 tech process soon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Thank you @elmor for the detailed analysis :)

Per Guru3d review on TR2 2950X some time ago (before TR3 was a thing) 'AMD is using the top 5% of binned ASICs' for Threadripper out of their pool of chiplets [referring to TR2]. It should be interesting how they allocate the top bins for the 3950X and TR3 (and wherever Epyc fits in this). With TSMC running OT on 7nm, this could be entertaining...

My own :2cents: is either get a 3950X (2x binned 8core chiplets) or a 3970x (4x binned 8core chiplets), the latter if productivity plays a bigger role in your apps
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you @elmor for the detailed analysis :)

Per Guru3d review on TR2 2950X some time ago (before TR3 was a thing) 'AMD is using the top 5% of binned ASICs' for Threadripper out of their pool of chiplets [referring to TR2]. It should be interesting how they allocate the top bins for the 3950X and TR3 (and wherever Epyc fits in this). With TSMC running OT on 7nm, this could be entertaining...

My own :2cents: is either get a 3950X (2x binned 8core chiplets) or a 3970x (4x binned 8core chiplets), the latter if productivity plays a bigger role in your apps
Glad there's interest for my ramblings. Will have content with TR3 and comparisons to TR2 on Monday.
 

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Glad there's interest for my ramblings. Will have content with TR3 and comparisons to TR2 on Monday.
Any chance you'll be testing the 3950x on x370? :p
 

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The chip I borrowed has been returned now, what would you want to see tested? Memory compatibility? VRM temps?
Yes sir, pretty much. I believe my C6H has good enough VRMs & cooling, its memory compatibility that worries me.

Also if the x370 chipset hinders performance in any major way?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes sir, pretty much. I believe my C6H has good enough VRMs & cooling, its memory compatibility that worries me.

Also if the x370 chipset hinders performance in any major way?.
Yes the VRM should be up to the task even with an overclocked 3950X, at least as long as there's some sort of airflow in your case. Memory compatibility should be identical to any other Ryzen 3000 series processor, which was a bit of an issue at launch on X370. It has hopefully improved at this point.
 

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Yes the VRM should be up to the task even with an overclocked 3950X, at least as long as there's some sort of airflow in your case. Memory compatibility should be identical to any other Ryzen 3000 series processor, which was a bit of an issue at launch on X370. It has hopefully improved at this point.
Thanks. I'll probably get the 3950x, hopefully it runs flawlessly on my X370 C6H. :)
 
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