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AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X will launch on the same day as their 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs

The final member of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 CPU family, the ultra powerful Ryzen 9 3950X, finally has a release date – as do AMD’s freshly-announced 3rd Gen Threadrippers. So far, AMD have only teased two Threadripper/Dataduke™/Bitbasher™/Loadmother™ CPUs, but these will be launching on November 25th together with their Ryzen 3950X sibling. If you like a CPU with more cores than your can shake a stick, step this way. We’ve got all the core (sorry not sorry) information right here.

Starting with the Ryzen 9 3950X, this 16-core, 32-thread CPU is set to cost a whopping $749 when it launches later this month, which is another $250 on top of the already core-tastic Ryzen 9 3900X. That’s quite the price hike considering it has a slower base clock speed of just 3.5GHz compared to the 3.8GHz start line of its cheaper sibling, but provided you apply adequate cooling, the 9350X will be able to boost up to a faster 4.7GHz as opposed to err… 4.6GHz.

So what exactly does the Ryzen 9 3950X do to justify such an extortionate price? It’s definitely not gaming performance, which AMD says is comparable to the $500-odd Intel Core i9-9900K, and you’re not going to get substantially better single core performance from it either. According to AMD’s own figures, it’s pretty much on par with the 3900X.

Instead, it’s almost certainly going to be in multi-core performance – although helpfully AMD have only provided me with figures on how it compares to Intel’s chips so far, rather than any of their own. Indeed, AMD reckon the 3950X will offer up to 79% better multi-core performance in the Cinebench R20 benchmark compared with the i9-9900K, and up to 42% more performance in Adobe Premiere. They also say you’re getting more performance per watt, too – up to 2.34x compared to Intel’s i9-9920K, according to AMD’s test figures, potentially making it a better fit for more energy conscious overclockers.

However, unlike every other Ryzen 3000 CPU AMD have released so far, this one won’t be coming with a cooler bundled in the box. According to AMD, that’s because it’s been specifically optimised for 280mm or more liquid coolers this time as opposed to traditional tower-style fans. They’ll be publishing a list of recommended cooling solutions on their website come launch day to help you make sure you get the right cooler, too, if you don’t already have one.

That said, AMD will also be introducing a new Eco Mode feature to their Ryzen Master overclocking software when the Ryzen 9 3950X launches that will let you configure your CPU down to the next TDP level with a simple click. That means you’ll theoretically be able to run the 105W TDP 3950X at just 65W if you fancy it, although naturally you’ll get less performance from it as a result. However, AMD are confident you’ll still be able to get up to 77% of the CPU’s full performance running in this mode, which will also allow it to run up to 7 degrees Celsius cooler (47 degrees as opposed to 54, by their reckoning) while consuming up to 44% less power.

The feature will be available on all 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs as well, which is pretty darn neat if you’ve already got, say, a 65W Ryzen 5 3600 and want to run it at an even lower wattage.

Sadly, AMD’s Eco feature won’t be available on their 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, but then again these beastly 7nm processors were never intended for being energy efficient. As I mentioned above, AMD have only announced two of these so far, but judging from their initial specs, they’re going to be quite the power munchers.

The TR 3960X, for example, is going to have 24 cores and 48 threads, with a base and boost clock speed of 3.8GHz and 4.5GHz respectively. Set to cost a massive $1399, it will have an identical 280W TDP as its even more expensive $1999 sibling, the TR 3970X. This processor will have a humongous 32 cores and 64 threads, as well as a base and boost clock speed of 3.7GHz and 4.5GHz.

Alas, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard to take advantage of these mega CPUs, as AMD are introducing a new sTRX4 socket for their 3rd Gen Threadripper proecssors, which isn’t backward compatible with the current TR4 one. That’s mostly because they’ve been primed and ready to take advantage of the super fast PCIe 4.0 standard, and the sTRX4 platform will support a massive 72 PCIe 4.0 lanes in total.

Really, though, Threadrippers aren’t really made for gaming. They’re for super duper creative applications like proper professional video editing and CG animation. Plus, did you see those ludicrous prices? They are not for the likes of us, let me tell you.

Still, I told you I’ve give you all the core information (still not sorry), so there you go. Duty fulfilled.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

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