AMD's Ryzen 3900X and 3950X are two extremely powerful processors that were unimaginable just a few years ago. With enormous core numbers, high clock rates, and excellent overall performance, they put the mainstream and HEDT chips from Intel to shame.
But which one should you buy? There is a huge price gap between them. So when you pit the Ryzen 3950X against the 3900X, you may be able to figure out which of the two is the best. If you don't want to spend more than $ 500 on a CPU, check out AMD's other great processors.
Prices and availability
Ryzen 3000 CPUs Dan Baker / Digital Trends
The AMD Ryzen 3900X was launched in July 2019 along with the rest of the Ryzen 3000 range for $ 499. However, in mid-2020, it sells for $ 430 more commonly.
The AMD Ryzen 3950X was originally scheduled for release in September 2019, but has been postponed to November due to alleged problems with the nominal clock. It was finally revealed and released for $ 750 in November 2019. Similar to the 3900X, you can often find the 3950X for $ 750, with many retailers dropping it down to around $ 710.
Availability is not a problem for both processors. As AMD's top Ryzen chips, you can find the 3900X and 3950X models at most retailers.
The Ryzen 3900X was the flagship of this Ryzen generation (i.e. before the 3900XT). The 3950X beats both. These are both extremely powerful high-end CPUs. They are arguably HEDT chips despite targeting the mainstream sector and their specs reflect that. They are each faster than the most powerful HEDT CPUs from Intel.
|Central processor||Cores||subjects||L3 cache||Base clock||Boost clock (single core)||TDP|
|AMD Ryzen 3900X||12||24||64 MB||3.8 GHz||4.6 GHz||105w|
|AMD Ryzen 3950X||16||32||64 MB||3.5 GHz||4.7 GHz||105w|
The biggest differences between these two CPUs are their core and thread counts. With an additional four cores and eight threads, the Ryzen 3950X is the more powerful multithreaded CPU. Another thing is to find tasks that can consume so many cores and threads. Unless you do extensive video editing or video transcoding, it is unlikely that you are really taking advantage of those extra threads. They would surely spin their wheels while playing.
In fact, the 3900X is arguably an overkill CPU for gaming only, but when you're playing and streaming at the same time, both CPUs excel. Amazingly, given its additional cores, the 3950X is also a bit faster than the 3900X when gaming, but only slightly.
When it comes to the raw performance of these high-end chips, the real question is whether you can take advantage of the extra cores and whether those few seconds (or maybe minutes on heavy workloads) are worth saving a lot. The 3950X is not twice as powerful and is showing the effects of falling returns.
TDP is the same for both chips, but note the 3950X's lower base clock. You should ensure that there is strong cooling for each of these processors, but especially the 3950X, to ensure that it is maintaining a high boost clock speed.
The 3900X is much more for your money, but …
If we only look at these two chips in the microcosm of this head-to-head, we can make two final statements. The 3950X is the better of the two chips, but the 3900X is far better value for money. There is little comparison on a dollar-to-performance basis. The 3950X gives you a few extra frames per second while gaming and reduces the runtime of certain productivity tasks by between 10% and 30%, depending on how heavily multi-threaded the application is.
If you're a pure gamer, none of these chips should be on your radar. The 3700X and 3800X are very close to both and cost a fraction of what the 3900X and 3950X do. However, if you can take advantage of all of these cores, the 3900X is getting the most bang for your buck, with one major caveat: if your software can consume 24 threads, there's a good chance it can consume 32 threads.
This is not a given, but it is likely – and in this case the 3950X is the right chip if you are looking for the fastest possible multithreaded chip and save precious seconds on rendering and transcoding.
However, if budget is not an issue, consider a Theadripper 3000 CPU. They have up to 64 cores and 128 threads, which is in a whole different area of multithreaded performance.