AMD’s 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X may have hit a small snag on its way to market, but the enthusiast world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new record-setting core count for the mainstream desktop. And according to Gigabyte, overclockers may have even more reason to be excited than “just” a generous helping of cores and threads.
Gigabyte has released a Ryzen 9 3950X overclocking guide where the motherboard manufacturer was able to push its sample to an impressive 4.3 GHz on all 16 cores while using an AIO liquid cooler, and at a mere ~1.4V. The company accomplished this feat with a beefy watercooling setup.
Credit: Tom’s Hardware
*Ryzen 9 3950X benchmarks from Gigabyte, other results from Tom’s Hardware labs
Gigabyte paired its Ryzen 9 3950X with the brand’s own X570 Aorus Master motherboard, Aorus 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 memory kit and EKWB’s EK-KIT P360 liquid cooling kit. The motherboard manufacturer used Cinebench R15 to evaluate the 16-core chip’s stock and overclocked performance, which allows us to compare those results to ours.
At stock, the Ryzen 9 3950X scored 3,932 points in Cinebench R15, which is 92.4% faster than a stock Core i9-9900K and 81% faster than the Core i9-9900K overclocked to 5 GHz on all cores (which would be similar to a stock Core i9-9900KS). For now, the Core i9 series from Intel stands as its most powerful competing chip on a mainstream platform, and that isn’t likely to change soon.
At stock settings, AMD’s upcoming flagship also delivers up to 25.5% more performance than the existing Ryzen 9 3900X. As you can see above, the results are even more impressive once Gigabyte pushed the chip to 4.3 GHz.
The fact that the Ryzen 9 3950X could hit 4.3 GHz on all its cores is a great achievement, especially when Ryzen 3000-series processors are famous for not having much manual overclocking headroom. For comparison, our Ryzen 9 3900X sample, which has four fewer cores, maxes out at 4.1 GHz. That implies that AMD is setting aside the absolute best 7nm dies for its 16-core, 32-thread chip, especially given that Gigabyte hit a Prime95-stable (one hour run) 4.3 GHz with only 1.4 vCore. Gigabyte’s Ryzen 9 3950X sample could even hit a devastating 4.4 GHz, but the company insinuated that it was only stable enough to pass a Cinebench R15 run.
Credit: Tom’s Hardware
There are also a few other interesting takeways from Gigabyte’s Ryzen 9 3950X overclocking guide. For starters, Gigabyte states that 1.45V is the maximum safe voltage. The value might be too high for everyone’s taste, and keeping it around 1.4V sounds more reasonable. In terms of thermals, Gigabyte noted that the Ryzen 9 3950X’s operating temperatures are right in the same ballpark as last year’s Ryzen 7 2700X.
That’s pretty remarkable, so we’ll say it again: According to Gigabyte, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X is as easy to cool as an 8-core part.
||Cores / Threads
||Base Frequency (GHz)
||Boost Frequency (GHz)
||Total Cache (MB)
||PCIe 4.0 Lanes (Processor / Chipset)
|Ryzen 9 3950X
||16 / 32
||24 / 16
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$499||12 / 24||105W||3.8||4.6||70||24 / 16||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||$399||8 / 16||105W||3.9||4.5||36||24 / 16||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$329||8 / 16||65W||3.6||4.4||36||24 / 16||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||$249||6 / 12||95W||3.8||4.4||35||24 / 16||July 7, 2019|
|Ryzen 5 3600||$199||6 / 12||65W||3.6||4.2||35||24 / 16||July 7, 2019|
The $749 Ryzen 9 3950X, which originally was scheduled to launch last month, has been pushed to November. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that AMD doesn’t have any more setbacks.