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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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Workstation CPU Benchmarks Test Notes

Some of these applications also make an appearance in our standard test suite, but those test configurations and benchmarks are focused on a typical desktop-class environment. In contrast, the following tests are configured to stress the systems with workstation-class workloads, which is a particular strength for the Ryzen 9 processors given their hefty core counts. 

We loaded down our test platforms with 64GB of DDR4 memory spread across four modules to accommodate the expanded memory capacity required for several of these workstation-focused tasks. We also outfitted the test systems with PCIe 4.0 SSDs to factor in the platform-level advantage of AMD's support for the faster interface.

Puget Systems Adobe Benchmarks on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

Puget Systems is a boutique vendor that caters to professional users with custom-designed systems targeted at specific workloads. The company has developed a series of acclaimed benchmarks for Adobe software, which you can find here.

Adobe After Effects CC Render Node Benchmark on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

Adobe After Effects CC Ryzen 9 5900X

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The After Effects render node benchmark leverages the in-built aerender application that splits the render engine across multiple threads to maximize CPU and GPU performance. This test is memory-intensive, so RAM capacity and throughput are important and can be a limiting factor.

The Ryzen 5000 chips take a step forward in this benchmark over the previous-gen counterparts, but Intel's processors are impressive in light of their lesser core counts. Much of this could boil down to having more available memory bandwidth per core. 

Adobe Premier Pro CC Benchmark on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Primier Pro CC Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Primier Pro CC Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Primier Pro CC Ryzen 9 5900X

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This benchmark measures live playback and export performance with several codecs at 4K and 8K resolutions. It also incorporates 'Heavy GPU' and 'Heavy CPU' effects that stress the system beyond a typical workload. Storage throughput also heavily impacts the score. As such, it isn't surprising to see the Ryzen 5950X and 5900X outstrip the Intel processors in the overall score, but again, the 5950X's gain over the 3950X is relatively slim.

Adobe Photoshop CC Benchmark on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Photoshop Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Photoshop Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Photoshop Ryzen 9 5900X

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Adobe Photoshop Ryzen 9 5900X

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The Photoshop benchmark measures performance in a diverse range of tasks, measuring the amount of time taken to complete general tasks and apply filters. This test leans heavily on GPU acceleration, and the Ryzen 5000 processors offer stellar performance in the GPU subtest. Here they outstrip their previous-gen counterparts by large margins and leave Intel's chips by the wayside, too.  

SPECworkstation 3 Benchmarks on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

The SPECworkstation 3 benchmark suite is designed to measure workstation performance in professional applications. The full suite consists of more than 30 applications split among seven categories, but we've winnowed down the list to tests that largely focus specifically on CPU performance. We haven't submitted these benchmarks to the SPEC organization, so be aware these are not official benchmarks. We've upgraded to the new 3.0.4 revision that supports spanning the tests across processor groups and sockets, unlocking the utmost parallelism. 

Product Development and Energy, NAMD on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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Prod Dev & Energy Ryzen 9 5900X

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The earth’s subsurface structure can be determined via seismic processing. One of the four basic steps in this process is the Kirchhoff Migration, which is used to generate an image based on the available data using mathematical operations. The Ryzen 5000 series processors take the lead in this benchmark over the Intel comparables, but the 24-core Threadripper 3960X unsurprisingly takes a commanding lead due to its hefty core counts. 

Flipping over to the Calculix workload tells a different story, though. This test is based on the finite element method for three-dimensional structural computations, and it typically responds well to higher core counts. However, as we've seen often with the Threadripper processors, they can offer overwhelming performance in some workloads, but suffer in others. Here we can see the Ryzen 5000 chips take an easy lead over the rest of the test pool, and it's exciting to think of how the Zen 3 architecture will perform in Threadripper processors. 

NAMD is a parallel molecular dynamics code designed to scale well with additional compute resources and is one of the premier benchmarks used to quantify performance with simulation code. The Ryzen 9 5950X puts up a strong showing in this test, but again, we see relatively muted performance scaling over the previous-gen 3950X. However, we have to keep this in context: both chips have to adhere to the same 142W power limit, so the additional performance is impressive in its own right. 

Other workloads, like the Fast Fourier Transforms, tell a much more impressive story for the Ryzen 5000 processors, though.  

Rodinia LifeSciences on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Spec Rodinia Ryzen 9 5900X

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Spec Rodinia Ryzen 9 5900X

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Spec Rodinia Ryzen 9 5900X

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Spec Rodinia Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECworkstation 3's Rodinia LifeSciences benchmark steps through four tests that include medical imaging, particle movements in a 3D space, a thermal simulation, and image-enhancing programs. These workloads respond well to increased core counts, and as you might've guessed, that bodes well for Ryzen 5000. We even see the Zen 3 chips pull off a few wins against the Threadripper 3960X here, too. 

Financial and General on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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Spec Financial and General Ryzen 95900X

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The Python benchmark conducts a series of math operations, including numpy and scipy math libraries, with Python 3.6. This test also includes multithreaded matrix tests that obviously benefit from more cores. These benchmarks have long been a sore spot for AMD's processors, but the Ryzen 5000 chips rectify that issue. 

SPECviewperf 2020 on Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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SPECviewperf Ryzen 9 5900X

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The SPECviewperf 2020 benchmarks are hot off the press from the SPEC committee, so we decided to give it a spin with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to see how well the Ryzen 5000 processors can push along a GPU in professional rendering applications, which has long been a weakness of previous-gen Ryzen processors.

The Intel processors took the lead in many of the workloads, but it is important to note that AMD has shrunk the performance deltas tremendously. 

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Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • 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