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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X Review: Zen 3 Breaks the 5 GHz Barrier

AMD's Magnum Opus

Ryzen 9 5950X
Editor's Choice
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Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X Gaming Performance — The TLDR 

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Ryzen 5000 Gaming Performance

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Ryzen 5000 Gaming Performance

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Ryzen 5000 Gaming Performance

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Ryzen 5000 Gaming Performance

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Here you can see the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart (overclocked results are shaded in grey). 

For those accustomed to seeing Intel lead the gaming charts, these cumulative measurements might be a shock to your system: AMD's stock Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X lead Intel's heavily-overclocked Core i9-10900K and Core i7-10700K in our 1080p gaming suite, at least in terms of average frame rates (Intel's overclocked chips hold a slight lead in 99th-percentile measurements). We also see solid uplift with the Ryzen 9 5900X from overclocking (PBO and memory). 

To put things in perspective, take a glance at the delta in 1080p gaming between the previous-gen Ryzen 9 3900XT, which basically runs overclocked right out of the box, compared to the Ryzen 9 5950X. That's a massive generational leap. 

Flipping over to the 1440p chart brightens things up a bit for Intel, but only slightly — the overclocked Core i9-10900K returns to its normal spot at the top of the chart, and it still enjoys better 99th percentile frame rates after overclocking. However, AMD still beats Intel in both average and 99th-percentiles at stock settings, cementing the company's commanding lead.       

3D Mark, VRMark, Stockfish Chess Engine on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Games Synthetic Ryzen 9

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Games Synthetic Ryzen 9

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Games Synthetic Ryzen 9

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Games Synthetic Ryzen 9

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We run these synthetic gaming tests as part of our main application test script. We use an RTX 2080 Ti for these tests to facilitate faster testing, but we use the RTX 3090 for all other gaming benchmarks (we don't include these tests in the geometric mean listed above). 

As we've come to expect, AMD's core-heavy processors dominate in threaded synthetic tests, like the Stockfish chess engine and 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests, but perhaps Ryzen 5000 is most impressive in VRMark. This benchmark leans heavily on per-core performance (a mixture of IPC and frequency), and as you can see from the previous-gen Ryzen processors, AMD has traditionally trailed in this benchmark. Zen 3 rectifies that issue. 

Borderlands 3 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Borderlands Ryzen 9 5900X

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Borderlands Ryzen 9 5900X

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Borderlands Ryzen 9 5900X

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Borderlands Ryzen 9 5900X

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AMD says that the Ryzen 5000 processors offer leading performance in a large number of titles, but there will likely still be a period of time before we see targeted game updates to expose the best of Ryzen 5000, just like we saw with previous-gen Zen chips. Here Intel takes a clear lead in the 1440p benchmarks, with the Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X trailing, albeit not by large margins. AMD's latest chips are much more competitive in the 1080p series of tests.  

Far Cry 5 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Far Cry 5 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Far Cry 5 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Far Cry 5 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Far Cry 5 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Far Cry 5 finds the overclocked Ryzen 9 5900X trading blows with the tuned Core i9-10900K running at 5.1 GHz at 1080p, which is quite the feat in itself. At stock settings, both Ryzen 5000 chips run neck-and-neck with the 10900K. We see similar trends with the 1440p benchmarks, but the Core i7-10700K reminds us that it has plenty of chops after overclocking, too. 

Hitman 2 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Hitman 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Hitman 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Hitman 2 doesn't seem to scale well from 1080p to 1440p, at least not at the heightened fidelity settings we use for the benchmark, so we stuck with the 1080p test for this title because the same trends carry over to 1440p. Here we see the Ryzen 5000 processors take big strides, while the Ryzen 7 1800X reminds us just how far AMD has come in three short years. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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MSFS 2020 Ryzen 9 5900X

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MSFS 2020 Ryzen 9 5900X

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We're just as excited as anyone else about Microsoft's long long-overdue release of Flight Simulator, and we're sure that serious flight sim fans will want to crank up the resolution on this title. Here we can see that Intel holds a relatively slim lead after overclocking, but the stock Ryzen 5950X beats the 10900K while the 5900X pulls off a tie.  

Project CARS 3 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Project Cars 3 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Project Cars 3 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Project Cars 3 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Project Cars 3 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Project CARS 3 scales well with additional host compute, and the title obviously responds well to the Zen 3 architecture. Here we see the 5950X take a step back when we engage the auto-overclocking PBO feature, but that isn't entirely uncommon with AMD's auto-overclocking software. In either case, both Ryzen 5000 processors take a healthy lead over the stock 10900K and 10700K. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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RDR2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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RDR2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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RDR2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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RDR2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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A glance at the bottom of these charts shows the clear progression of AMD's architectures as it iterated on the Zen design, but in most of the titles we tested, the Ryzen 5000 series represents AMD's biggest generational leap by far. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ryzen 9 5900X

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ryzen 9 5900X

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ryzen 9 5900X

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ryzen 9 5900X

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AMD's chips take a sizeable lead at 1080p, but Intel's overclocked chips deliver better 99th-percentile measurements. Flipping over to 1440p, Intel's 10900K reaches the top of the chart, but it took quite a bit of voltage for it to surpass the stock Ryzen 5000 chips. 

The Division 2 on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Division 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Division 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Division 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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Division 2 Ryzen 9 5900X

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The Division 2 ends up looking mostly GPU limited, even with the RTX 3090 — at least on the fastest processors. Intel remains competitive when overclocked, but at stock the Ryzen 5000 chips lead by a decent margin at 1080p. Not that anyone is likely to notice the difference between 180 and 195 fps in practice.

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  • everettfsargent
    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/amd-ryzen-9-5950x-and-5900x-review-zen-3-breaks-the-5-ghz-barrier.3659689/
    Reposting a three week old review?
    Reply
  • everettfsargent
    Oh and Core i9-10980XE $815 (retail) "You can find the 18-core 36-thread Core i9-10980XE for $815 at several retailers ... " is still a bald-faced lie three weeks later! :(
    Reply
  • VTXcnME
    Humorous the 'cons' that list price increases of $50. For the last decade, Intels flagship processor has been half again as much as the current Ryzen5000 and so few tech sites batted an eye about it. And it's been a bit since I shopped intel chips, but last I checked, Intel hasn't been bundling coolers with their chips for a while? Someone who follows intel might be able to provide me some guidance there.

    As a home building enthusiast (for the last decade or so) this is a very exciting time having legit competition between team red and team blue. Even AMD and Nvidia is getting interesting! A fantastic time to be a home builder. I can't wait to see how intel counter punches here. Should be an interesting decade ahead.
    Reply
  • veldrane2
    mmmmkay ........

    But can it break the "be actually in stock" barrier ?

    Which benchmark tools give us those results ?

    I mean ... It does look cute somewhere in the fluffy land of benchmarks and future upcoming products even though "technically" its not a future product.
    Reply
  • JordonB
    veldrane2 said:
    mmmmkay ........

    But can it break the "be actually in stock" barrier ?

    Which benchmark tools give us those results ?

    I mean ... It does look cute somewhere in the fluffy land of benchmarks and future upcoming products even though "technically" its not a future product.
    AMD 5950 selling at $695 on Amazon. It was there last night for sale 1 per person. I was happily surprised. I would have purchased it but had purchased a 3900X 4 months ago.
    Reply
  • VTXcnME
    JordonB said:
    AMD 5950 selling at $695 on Amazon. It was there last night for sale 1 per person. I was happily surprised. I would have purchased it but had purchased a 3900X 4 months ago.

    aaannnnd it's gone again. LOL
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    These will sell at the premium prices they are asking for. I don't see why they shouldn't. Past AMD chips sold below msrp because they had to be "value" chips but these are performance leaders.

    They also probably have limited ability to greatly increase production since TSMC is booked up so they aren't going to increase the volume sold by lowering prices.
    Reply
  • Trustdesa
    VTXcnME said:
    Humorous the 'cons' that list price increases of $50. For the last decade, Intels flagship processor has been half again as much as the current Ryzen5000 and so few tech sites batted an eye about it. And it's been a bit since I shopped intel chips, but last I checked, Intel hasn't been bundling coolers with their chips for a while? Someone who follows intel might be able to provide me some guidance there.

    As a home building enthusiast (for the last decade or so) this is a very exciting time having legit competition between team red and team blue. Even AMD and Nvidia is getting interesting! A fantastic time to be a home builder. I can't wait to see how intel counter punches here. Should be an interesting decade ahead.

    It also humorous how fanboys cried at Intel "robbing" "price gauging" but now that their master AMD is showing to be as anti consumer, even more so with GPU fanboys defend what they were crying about before. They are both corporates, sorry I hope it won't come as a shook to you :)

    It must be sad being a fanboys of a brand making silicon chip...like really sad. Consumer excited by their masters charging more, imagine if Intel or Nvidia or ATI, or S3 or any tech company charged £50 more each generation, a CPU or GPU or Monitor would cost you ehmmm £50k circa if we start from 8086 onwards... I mean guys if you have no economics basis and your jobs do not involve finance perhaps you should not comment :)
    Reply
  • VTXcnME
    Trustdesa said:
    It also humorous how fanboys cried at Intel "robbing" "price gauging" but now that their master AMD is showing to be as anti consumer, even more so with GPU fanboys defend what they were crying about before. They are both corporates, sorry I hope it won't come as a shook to you :)

    It must be sad being a fanboys of a brand making silicon chip...like really sad. Consumer excited by their masters charging more, imagine if Intel or Nvidia or ATI, or S3 or any tech company charged £50 more each generation, a CPU or GPU or Monitor would cost you ehmmm £50k circa if we start from 8086 onwards... I mean guys if you have no economics basis and your jobs do not involve finance perhaps you should not comment :)

    Remember the time Intel's flagship chip was like $1,400/USD? And intel fanboys cried and fawned in the glory of it's brilliance.

    Now AMD has a chip that's more powerful that that, that's still listed for about half of what that intel chip was and it's "price gouging" :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    Fanboys of any brand are obnoxious. As an end point consumer, I'm just happy to see actual legit competition between the major CPU and GPU communities.
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Trustdesa said:
    It also humorous how fanboys cried at Intel "robbing" "price gauging" but now that their master AMD is showing to be as anti consumer, even more so with GPU fanboys defend what they were crying about before. They are both corporates, sorry I hope it won't come as a shook to you :)

    It must be sad being a fanboys of a brand making silicon chip...like really sad. Consumer excited by their masters charging more, imagine if Intel or Nvidia or ATI, or S3 or any tech company charged £50 more each generation, a CPU or GPU or Monitor would cost you ehmmm £50k circa if we start from 8086 onwards... I mean guys if you have no economics basis and your jobs do not involve finance perhaps you should not comment :)
    Not sure if joking or.........
    Reply