AMD’s flagship 16-core $699 Ryzen 9 7950X and entry-level six-core $299 Ryzen 5 7600X are the bookend models in the new Ryzen 7000 “Raphael” lineup, and they take leading spots on our list of Best CPUs and our CPU Benchmark hierarchy with Intel-beating performance in nearly every category, including gaming and applications.
Intel’s hybrid Alder Lake processors caught AMD flatfooted, taking the lead in both performance and value at every price point. The Ryzen 7000 processors fire back with the new Zen 4 architecture, which AMD claims increases IPC by 13%, etched on the TSMC 5nm process. That combo delivers incredible peak clocks of 5.7 GHz — an increase of 800 MHz that marks a record for AMD’s Ryzen family. It’s also surprisingly a higher clock speed than we see with even Intel’s fastest chips, at least until the company’s 6 GHz Raptor Lake chips come to market.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Price||Cores / Threads (P+E)||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2+L3)||TDP / Max||Memory|
|Ryzen 9 7950X||$699||16 / 32||4.5 / 5.7||80MB||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 9 7900X||$549||12 / 24||4.7 / 5.6||76MB||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 7700X||$399||8 / 16||4.5 / 5.4||40MB||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 5 7600X||$299||6 / 12||4.7 / 5.3||38MB||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
Paired with vastly improved power delivery, which comes courtesy of a new platform, AMD’s process and architecture advances deliver truly explosive performance gains. AMD’s new chips drop into the new AM5 socket, which the company has committed to supporting until 2025, on 600-series motherboards. In addition, the new platform comes replete with support for the latest interfaces, like DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, largely matching Intel’s connectivity options. AMD has even developed its own EXPO DDR5 memory profiles for overclocking, rivaling Intel’s XMP standard. The Ryzen 7000 chips also come loaded with other new tech, like a new Radeon RDNA 2 iGPU for basic display output and support for AVX-512 and AI instructions.
As a quick preview of our extensive tests on the following pages, the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X makes incredible gains — it’s up to 15% faster at gaming, 21% faster in single-threaded work, and 45% faster in threaded work than its predecessor, setting a new bar for the highest-end mainstream chips. In fact, the $3,299 Threadripper Pro 5975WX is only 17% faster than the 7950X in threaded work, but it costs almost six times more. That’s not to mention that the 7950X beats the Core i9-12900K across the board.
The Ryzen 5 7600X is equally impressive, delivering up to 18% faster gaming performance than its predecessor in tandem with 25% and 34% gains in single- and multi-threaded work, respectively, ushering in a new unmatched level of performance at the $300 price point.
Both chips beat Intel’s flagship in gaming. However, as impressive as they are, they aren’t perfect: The Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series has a high $300 entry-level price point and only supports pricey DDR5 memory instead of including less-expensive DDR4 options like Intel. That muddies the value proposition due to the expensive overall platform costs. AMD also dialed up power consumption drastically to boost performance, inevitably resulting in more heat and a more power-hungry system. You do end up with more performance-per-watt, though.
Ryzen 7000 takes the lead in convincing fashion, but its real competitor, Raptor Lake, doesn’t come until next month. Nevertheless, Intel claims its own impressive performance gains of 15% faster single-threaded, 41% faster threaded, and a 40% ‘overall’ performance gain, meaning we’ll see a close battle for desktop PC leadership. In the meantime, here’s how the current chips stack up. (Be sure to check out our full boost, thermals, power, and IPC testing, too.)
Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X Specifications and Pricing
As a reminder, the Ryzen 7000 processors come with the N5 TSMC 5nm process node for the core compute die (CCD) and the TSMC 6nm process for the I/O Die (IOD). You can see learn about this design in our Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 all we know article.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Price||Cores / Threads (P+E)||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (L2/L3)||TDP / PBP / MTP||Memory|
|Ryzen 9 7950X||$699||16 / 32||4.5 / 5.7||80MB (16+64)||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 9 5950X||$546 ($799 debut)||16 / 32||3.4 / 4.9||74MB (8+64)||105W||DDR4-3200|
|Core i9-13900K / KF||?||24 / 32 (8+16)||3.0 / 5.8||64MB (32+36)||125W / 253W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600|
|Core i9-12900K / KF||$589 (K) - $564 (KF)||16 / 24 (8+8)||3.2 / 5.2||44MB (14+30)||125W / 241W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800|
|Ryzen 9 7900X||$549||12 / 24||4.7 / 5.6||76MB (12+64)||170W / 230W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 7700X||$399||8 / 16||4.5 / 5.4||40MB (8+32)||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 5 7600X||$299||6 / 12||4.7 / 5.3||38MB (6+32)||105W / 142W||DDR5-5200|
|Ryzen 7 5600X||$199 ($299 debut)||6 / 12||3.7 / 4.6||35MB (3+32)||65W||DDR4-3200|
|Core i5-13600K / KF||?||14 / 20 (6+8)||3.5 / 5.1||44MB (20+24)||125W / 181W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-5600|
|Core i5-12600K / KF||$289 (K) - $264 (KF)||10 / 16 (6+4)||3.7 / 4.9||29.5MB (9.5+20)||125W / 150W||DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800|
This is how Ryzen 7000 stacks up against Intel’s existing Alder Lake chips, along with information we’ve collected about Intel’s yet-to-be-fully-announced Raptor Lake. Be aware that the Raptor Lake specifications in the above table are not yet official.
The 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 7950X is $100 less than the original launch pricing of the Ryzen 9 5950X. AMD also kept the entry-level pricing at the same $299 with the Ryzen 5 7600X, which is a high bar for entry to the Ryzen 7000 family. Conversely, Intel has said it will increase its chip pricing due to economic factors, so we’ll have to wait to see its official pricing to judge the 7600X’s positioning.
AMD didn’t increase core counts with the Ryzen 7000 family — instead, it focused on architectural and process node enhancements that deliver more performance per core. The company also worked on improving its power delivery to unleash more performance, which we’ll dive into a bit later.
The $699 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X comes with a 4.5 GHz base and 5.7 GHz boost, with the latter being the highest boost frequency of the four initial Ryzen 7000 processors. The chip comes with 16 MB of L2 cache, a doubling over the prior-gen models, and 64MB of L3 cache. This chip has a 170W TDP rating and a max power draw of 230W, the highest power consumption of any Ryzen chip yet. The 7950X vies with Intel’s Core i9-12900K for now, but it will eventually face the Core i9-13900K that will come with eight additional efficiency cores for a total of 24 cores.
The $399 6-core Ryzen 5 7600X has a 4.7 GHz base and 5.3 GHz boost clock. This chip has 6MB of L2 cache, double that of its predecessor, and 32MB of L3. The Ryzen 5 7600X has a 125W TDP rating and a peak power draw of 181W, marking a new high for Ryzen 5. The 7600X will compete with the Core i5-12600K for now, but the Core i9-13600K should arrive next month with an additional four e-cores, for a total of 14 cores. We also have a review of the 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen 9 7900X here.
The Raphael processors drop into a new AM5 socket that supports the PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 interfaces, matching Alder Lake on the connectivity front. The Socket AM5 motherboards can expose up to 24 lanes of PCIe 5.0 to the user.
Ryzen 7000 supports DDR5-5200 if you install one DIMM per channel (1DPC), but that drops to DDR5-3600 for 2DPC. AMD also introduced its own new memory overclocking spec to compete with Intel’s XMP. The new EXPO profiles are very similar to the existing XMP profiles we're accustomed to. Still, they are designed specifically for AMD processors, allowing one-click memory overclocking to predefined speeds. AMD has partnered with the major memory vendors to create EXPO kits, and the company expects 15 or more to be available at launch with speeds reaching up to DDR5-6400. As before, AMD also supports ECC memory by default, but implementation is up to the motherboard vendor.
The Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X don’t come with bundled coolers. Instead, AMD recommends a 240-280mm liquid cooler or equivalent for Ryzen 9 processors. Meanwhile, you’ll need a mid-frame tower cooler (or equivalent) for the Ryzen 7 and 5 models. You should expect loaded temperatures to regularly reach 90C to 95C, which is within spec and won’t damage the chip.
|Year / Processor||Peak Frequency||Frequency Gain||Process, Architecture|
|2017 - Ryzen 7 1800X||4.1 GHz||-||14nm Zen 1|
|2018 - Ryzen 7 2700X||4.3 GHz||+200 MHz / +5%||12nm Zen+|
|2019 - Ryzen 9 3950X||4.7 GHz||+400 MHz / +9%||7nm Zen 2|
|2020 - Ryzen 9 5950X||4.9 GHz||+200 MHz / +4%||7nm Zen 3|
|2022 - Ryzen 9 7950X||5.7 GHz||+800 MHz / +16%||5nm Zen 4|
Here we can see AMD’s progression in clock rates over the Ryzen era. As you can see, the 800 MHz increase in clock speeds with the 7000 series processors marks the largest single gain in Ryzen’s history. For now, AMD has the highest official clock speed on the market, but Intel says that Raptor Lake will have a peak 6 GHz clock rate. That will likely arrive on a pricey KS special edition model, but Intel hasn’t said when it would come to market.
This generation of chips finds the chipmakers again embroiled in a frequency war, with both chipmakers pushing their consumer chips to the highest clocks we've seen with their modern offerings. That also brings higher power consumption, so we also see higher TDP figures from both chipmakers as they increase frequencies.
Naturally, we have to view the increased power consumption through the prism of how much performance-per-watt the processor provides. Here, AMD has made big strides courtesy of the architecture and process node enhancements. We’ll provide more detail in the power consumption section.
- MORE: Best CPUs for Gaming
- MORE: CPU Benchmark Hierarchy
- MORE: AMD vs Intel
- MORE: Raptor Lake All We Know