Deciding between constructing a mainstream PC and a high-end desktop has traditionally been very clear minimize: if price range is a priority, and also you’re curious about gaming, then sometimes a person appears to the mainstream. In any other case, if a person is seeking to do extra skilled high-compute work, then they take a look at the high-end desktop. Over the course of AMD’s latest run of high-core depend Ryzen processors that line has blurred. This 12 months, that line has disappeared. Even in 2016, mainstream CPUs used to prime out at 4 cores: immediately they now prime out at sixteen.

Does anybody want sixteen cores? Sure.

Does everybody want sixteen cores? No.

There are two basic drivers for many PC builders: value and efficiency. Customers who desire a gaming machine are going to place their {dollars} in what provides them the very best gaming efficiency. Customers that wish to edit video are going to have a look at content material creation targeted {hardware}. For these within the enterprise world, the added incentive of additional efficiency is having the ability to offset or amortize these prices with an improved work charge. For the video editor needing every week per video, if they’ll spend +40% to scale back the render time by half then it may repay over a brief time frame.

As we transfer by means of 2019, customers are doing extra with their methods. Even on the low finish, customers might need double screens the place they sport and watch their favorite streamer on the identical time. Excessive finish customers would possibly reserve sure cores for various duties, guaranteeing that there’s at all times some horsepower for the high-throughput duties or digital machines. Despite the fact that processors turned ‘multi-core’ over a decade in the past, all of us as customers are solely not too long ago adjusting how we do issues to be extra parallel, and the {hardware} is coming as much as match our calls for.

To that finish, AMD’s Ryzen processors have been well timed. The first era mainstream Ryzen {hardware} in 2017 was a breath of recent air in a market that had grow to be sufficiently stale to be unexciting. With the colour drained, AMD’s Ryzen enabled as much as eight cores on a single CPU, and on the time aimed to throw its weight towards Intel’s {hardware} within the class above. The new structure didn’t push forward on day one clock for clock, however it enabled a distinct paradigm at an obscenely cheap worth level.

Enter spherical 2, and Zen 2. Earlier this 12 months AMD pushed once more, this time placing 12 cores available in the market for a similar worth as 8, or what had been the 4-core worth level solely three years prior. In three years we had triple the cores for a similar worth, and these cores even have extra uncooked efficiency. The frequency wasn’t as excessive because the competitors, however this was offset by that uncooked clock-for-clock throughput and finally the place the competitors now supplied eight cores, AMD supplied 12 at a a lot decrease energy consumption besides.

In the present day is spherical 2 half 2: taking that very same 12-core processor, and including 4 extra cores (for a 50% improve in worth), and never solely going after the very best client processor Intel has to supply, however even the very best high-end desktop processor. That is AMD squeezing Intel’s product portfolio like by no means earlier than. What precisely is mainstream, anyway?

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Overview: 16 Cores on 7nm with PCIe 4.0

AMD’s new Ryzen 9 3950X has a instructed retail worth of $749. For that AMD is promoting sixteen of its newest Zen 2 cores constructed on TSMC’s 7nm course of, working at a 3.5 GHz base frequency and a 4.7 GHz single-core turbo frequency. The TDP of the chip is rated at 105 watts and it has 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes in addition to twin reminiscence channels that assist as much as 128 GB of DDR4-3200.

AMD ‘Matisse’ Ryzen 3000 Sequence CPUs
AnandTech Cores







TDP Value

Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 Eight MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 105W $499
Ryzen 9 3900 12C 24T 3.1 4.3 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 1+2 65W OEM
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 Three MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 Three MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6C 6T 3.6 4.1 Three MB 32 MB 16+4+4 1+1 65W OEM

It wasn’t too way back that this worth vary was the realm of AMD’s high-end desktop Threadripper processors, which began at Eight cores and we as much as 32 cores. AMD is now shifting that paradigm as properly, with this 16-core chip being at $749, and AMD’s subsequent era Threadripper 3000 processors beginning at 24-cores at $1399. When AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su was requested earlier this 12 months what would occur given the drive to extra cores for the mainstream processors, her response was ‘as Ryzen goes up, Threadripper goes up-up’. That is the conclusion of that.

It’s price noting that the value is prone to be larger at retail initially, as demand is anticipated to be excessive and inventory ranges haven’t been outlined – given the recognition of the 12-core chip, it might appear that customers wanting the mainstream platform at all times need the very best.

Going AM4: The Battle with Motherboards

When the AM4 platform was first launched, technically with pre-Zen {hardware}, it supported 4 cores. The identical platform now goes all the way in which as much as sixteen cores, which isn’t any small job. The flip aspect of this comes right down to motherboard assist: some AM4 motherboards weren’t designed with high-power sixteen core processors in thoughts. Some motherboards constructed on the AM4 socket had been for the price range market, and can battle relating to this 16-core half.

AMD has tried to not less than section its AM4 market a bit of. Solely the newest AM4 chipset, the X570 chipset, has official assist for the Ryzen 3000-series PCIe 4.0 connections. So as to allow the PCIe 4.0 lanes on the processor as certified by AMD, customers should buy an X570 motherboard, in any other case these lanes will run at half velocity (PCIe 3.0) in non-X570 motherboards.

The high quality of the motherboard is prone to have an effect on turbo frequencies as properly. AMD’s turbo algorithms are influenced partially by the flexibility of the facility supply to push present by means of from the facility provide. We’re seeing X570 motherboards vary from $170 all the way in which as much as $999. This isn’t saying that doubling the price of the motherboard will double the flexibility to turbo, however as seen with the earlier Ryzen 3000 sequence chips, the motherboard alternative (in addition to the cooling it makes use of) will matter.

All of the X570 motherboards we’ve examined not too long ago are as much as the duty of taming the Ryzen 9 3950X. Right here’s a listing of what we’ve examined:

Customers motherboards have to search out the correct mix of capability, value, and options. We did a visible inspection of all 35+ launch fashions.

Toe-to-Toe: Intel Core i9-9900KS / Core i9-9980XE / Core i9-10980XE

With the mainstream and high-end desktop market now seemingly merging, there are a lot of angles to contemplate totally different aggressive elements between Intel and AMD. If we compete purely on PCIe lanes, then we would put the Core i9-9900KS (8-cores) up towards the 3950X (16-cores), though there’s a huge worth distinction ($513 vs. $749). If we evaluate on pricing, the closest processor to the 3950X could be both the 9900KS (mainstream) or the Core i9-10940X ($729), nevertheless whereas 3950X has extra cores than both, however doesn’t have as many PCIe lanes/reminiscence lanes because the 10940X. If we go for core depend, then Intel’s sixteen Core i9-9960X could be the apparent candidate, though this CPU is much more costly (till Intel reduces the value) and is technically an X299 processor, so has extra PCIe lanes and reminiscence channels.

Unlocked CPU Pricing

and Choose Others

(MSRP Pricing)
Cores AnandTech Cores Intel*

(OEM Pricing)
    $900-$999 18/36 Core i9-10980XE ($979)
Ryzen 9 3950X ($749) 16/32 $700-$799 14/28 Core i9-10940X ($784)
    $600-$699 12/24 Core i9-10920X ($689)
    $500-$599 10/20

Core i9-10900X ($590)

Core i9-9900KS ($513)
Ryzen 9 3900X ($499) 12/24 $400-$499 8/16 Core i9-9900Ok/F ($488)
Ryzen 7 3800X ($399) 8/16 $350-$399 8/8 Core i7-9700Ok/F ($374)
Ryzen 7 3700X ($329) 8/16 $300-$349    
    $250-$299 6/6 Core i5-9600Ok ($262)
Ryzen 5 3600X ($249) 6/12 $200-$249    
Ryzen 5 3600 ($199) 6/12 Under $200 4/4 Core i3-9350Ok ($173)
*Intel quotes OEM/tray pricing. Retail pricing will typically be $20-$50 larger.

There is no such thing as a simple comparability between any of the processors. AMD is pushing the boundaries of the mainstream twin channel reminiscence processor regime, and Intel would not have an equal in that area. Intel can match it within the high-end desktop area, however therein lays different points with PCIe lane counts and reminiscence channel assist disparity between the 2, in addition to Intel’s present retail choices being high-priced variants. Intel’s revealed subsequent era {hardware} is about to be launched someday in November, and with it a variety of worth cuts, nevertheless given the recognized variations between Intel’s present and Intel’s subsequent era processor line, the efficiency achieve shouldn’t be anticipated to be notably huge.



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