AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X lands are bringing the last threaded activity to the main desktop with a trade-main and single 16 cores and 32 threads, paired with the bandwidth PCIe 4.0 interface for around $749. The CPU upsets Intel’s positioning in mainstream desktops and disrupts it is a vaunted high-end desktop (HEDT) lineup in the process.
Except for the deep dive on the CPU that we’re tackling here, we have also tested and reviewed the Ryzen 9 3950X in Alienware’s redesigned Aurora R10 gaming desktop. That system trounced competing excessive-finish gaming rigs in lots of productiveness assessments. However, Dell did an incredible job on the cooling front, including a single intake fan and a small radiator with the AIO liquid cooler.
AMD’s Ryzen family has wholly redefined our expectations for desktop processors, and Intel has struggled to respond. The company has slowly dialed up the frequency of its aging 14nm process and added more cores. However, these tweaks cannot offset the truth that AMD has moved onto a denser and extra efficient 7nm course that allows greater core counts. Process technology would not clear up all of the challenges of fielding an aggressive chip. However, that advantage is hard to beat when paired with a solid microarchitecture like AMD’s Zen 2.
A few months ago, AMD moved the industry once more with the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X but left us with the promise of one thing even more powerful: The Ryzen 9 3950X that completely upsets the paradigm with 16 cores and 32 threads, encroaching on each Intel’s Skylake-X Refresh HEDT lineup and AMD’s personal Threadripper platform. To say this chip blurs the traces between the mainstream desktop and HEDT is an understatement: In reality, it brings HEDT-class performance to the friendlier pricing of mainstream motherboards, putting it in a class of its own.