What is best for PC gaming?

Today marks the launch of AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Ryzen 9 7900X3D processors, which will be followed by the cheaper Ryzen 7 7800X3D in April. Despite recent leaks, the official benchmark numbers are what we have to worry about today, and below you can see gaming and content creation performance graphs for the Ryzen 9 7950X3D compared to the best of Intel and AMD’s previous flagship – the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Check out this YouTube video review below with more discussion on why this processor is potentially a game changer.

What is so special about 3D V-Cache?

If you’re new to AMD’s ‘X3D’ CPUs, the difference between them and the standard models is a whole extra cache – essentially the CPU’s own local memory – but stacked on top of the CPU die itself and not next to it. . The advantage here is that AMD is able to cram in a lot more cache and as a result cut latency and improve performance.

It’s a trade-off

Performance is not improved everywhere, however, and like the first-generation 3D V-Cache CPU – the Ryzen 7 5800X3D – the new generation suffers from lower frequencies. This means it may see reduced performance in multi-threaded workloads, which could be bad news for content creators looking for a decent gaming CPU to use as their main rig during the day to edit videos or render, and rack up those headshots about the evenings.

As you can see above, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has a similar peak boost frequency to the Ryzen 9 7950X, but it has a lower TDP and base frequency, which suggests lower frequencies when more cores are loaded. So we’re not only concerned with gaming performance, but also how much non-gaming performance you lose to the Ryzen 9 7950X, if at all.

Test system

I used Palit’s RTX 4090 GameRock graphics card to test all the CPUs in the graphs along with 6400MHz Kingston Fury Renegade DDR5 memory and a Kingston Fury PCIe 4.0 SSD. Both systems were running fresh installs of Windows 11 with the latest updates along with the latest Nvidia driver. AMD has also released a 3D V-cache optimized chipset driver, which was also used. This will be available to the public on launch day.


Below we can see Forza Horizon 5, and this game seemed to absolutely love 3D V-Cache, with a massive lead over the Core i9-13900K and Ryen 9 7950X at both 1080p and 1400p. Granted, you’ll see less of a difference with a cheaper graphics card, but it’s clear that the extra cache makes a huge impact here.

Watch Dogs: Legion saw less of a difference, but the Ryzen 9 7950X3D was still significantly faster than the Ryzen 9 7950X, although it didn’t beat the Core i9-13900K by a wide margin. That margin grew by 1440p in the bottom graph, but it’s still far from the gap we saw in Forza.

Far Cry 6 loves cores and threads, and there’s a reason why the Core i9-13900K has been so strong here. But while it managed a higher minimum 99th percentile frame rate, the Ryen 9 7950X3D was able to improve its average frame rate at both 1080p and 1440p, as well as offer huge advantages over the Ryzen 9 7950X. Overall, it’s a win for the 7950X3D in games with huge increases over the Ryzen 9 7950X, and while there were mixed results compared to the Core i9-13900K, it was faster overall.

With the games out of the way, it’s time for content creation, and here the Ryzen 9 7950X3D proved to be just as potent in image editing as the 5800X3D, with 3D V-Cache benefiting these types of applications.

However, the Core i9-13900K was king in Premiere Pro below, although it should be noted that the Ryzen 9 7950X3D wasn’t far behind the Ryzen 9 7950X here.

HandBrake sees more difference between the two AMD CPUs, but I’ve also included results for the Ryzen 9 7900X here, as HandBrake seems to have been largely unaffected by software updates since my last CPU reviews, so I’ve added a couple more into this graph. While the Ryzehn 9 7950X3D was slower than the Ryzen 9 7950X, it was just as much faster than the Ryzen 9 7900X.

With identical single boost frequencies, it wasn’t surprising to see single-thread Cinebench scores within a couple of points of each other, with the Core i9-13900K in the lead.

But in the multi-threaded test below, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D sits much closer to the Ryzen 9 7950X than the Ryzen 9 7900X, still offering a decent amount of multi-threaded performance. I observed an all-core boost of 4.8GHz compared to 5.1-5.2GHz for the Ryzen 9 7950X, so this seems to line up with these results.

Finally, the lower frequency and TDP made a big difference to power consumption too, with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D drawing just 255W – 120W less than the Ryzen 9 7950X and half as much as the Core i9-13900K.


It’s clear that the extra cache can and does make a difference in games, and with a high-end graphics card that removes any GPU-related bottleneck, these improvements can be significant, as we saw above with Forza Horizon 5. In other games, the advantage is small and in some situations Intel is faster. Overall, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is undoubtedly the fastest gaming CPU overall, looking at other benchmarks online today.

Whether you should buy it is another matter. It’s not going to be the fastest or even good value in every game, and it retails for $100 more than the Core i9-13900K. it’s also likely that the cheaper Ryzen 9 7900X3D can offer similar gaming performance for less money, and this could be a reason why AMD is also holding back the Ryzen 7 7800X3D – it can be just as good in games, but costs a lot less.

Ultimately, AMD has also answered the critics of this CPU, which has proven to be second only to the Ryzen 9 7950X and Core i9-13900K in terms of content creation and often not too far behind the former either (admittedly, I haven’t tested other CPUs such as the Core i7-13700K, but in previous tests it was slower than the Ryzen 9 7950X3D’s results in both Cinebench and HandBrake).

This means there’s a strong case to be made that if you’re an avid gamer and content creator, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has enough grunt in every department to be worth buying, giving you much better multi-threaded performance than the Ryzen 9 7900X and Core i7-13700K, but offers far better performance in games than the Ryzen 9 7950X and usually than the Core i9-13900K as well.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D may well come close or match the gaming performance, but if you want something with more grunt for content creation, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D makes a very compelling case for itself, if your wallet can take the hit of course.

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