Key Points

  • The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X are very similar processors, but the 5950X adds to the power offered by the 5900X in several ways.
  • The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X are both fully unlocked and overclockable. This is great news if you are an enthusiast gamer trying to squeeze as much power as possible out of your processor.
  • For most gamers, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the best choice unless you need the extra power for 4K video editing or 3D rendering, then you should spend the extra $250 on the 5950X.

Today we’re looking at two of AMD’s best processors currently on the market: The Ryzen 9 5900X vs. 5950X. Ever since the release of the Ryzen series of processors back in 2017, AMD has been showing us improvements with each new generation. If you have been wondering which processor to go with, both the 5900X and 5950X are tempting options.

Where do the Ryzen 9 series of processors rank in comparison to other CPUs on the market? On the lower end, you have the Ryzen 3 CPUs, competing with the Core i3 series from Intel. In the mid-range price point, you have the Ryzen 5 CPUs, going head to head with the Core i5 series from Intel. On the higher end is the Ryzen 7 CPU, battling it out with the Intel Core i7 series. At the highest end of the spectrum is the Ryzen 9 series, an extremely powerful line of processors designed to compete with the Intel Core i9 for the title of the most powerful processor.

When talking about two processors like the Ryzen 9 5900X vs. 5950X, it is important to understand we are talking about two very similar CPUs. Even though they are very close in performance, the minor differences can add to some noticeable improvements when pushed to the limit. 

The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X compare very similarly when it comes to gaming.

Ryzen 9 5900X vs 5950X: Side-By-Side Comparison

When looking at the Ryzen 9 5900X vs. 5950X, we can see that the 5950X is better in some key areas. For most users, this difference in performance won’t mean much, but for the discerning gamer or power user, this small difference in specs can spell a big difference in gameplay and usability. First, we’re going to check out the specs. Then we’re going to figure out if the difference in specs translates to one of these being better for gaming and other tasks.

CategoryRyzen 9 5900XRyzen 9 5950X
Number of Cores:1216
Number of Threads:2432
Base Clock Speed:3.80GHz3.40GHz
Boost Clock Speed:4.80GHz4.90GHz
L2 Cache Size:6MB8MB
L3 Cache Size:64MB64MB
Unlocked?:YesYes
TDP Rating105 Watts105 Watts
Memory Type:DDR4DDR4
PCI Version:PCI-E 4.0PCI-E 4.0
CPU Socket:AM4AM4
CPU Architecture:7NM Zen 37NM Zen 3

As we can see from the comparison, the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X are very similar processors, but the 5950X adds to the power offered by the 5900X in several ways. Does the increased core and thread count really make a big difference for gaming and other uses?

Ryzen 9 5900X vs 5950X: What’s the Difference?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The best processor for gamers meets the best processor for creators, with 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, liquid cooler recommended
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

AMD released both the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X on November 5, 2020. Both CPUs were a massive upgrade from the previous generation, the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X, which came out about a year earlier. The new Ryzen 9 series brought with it some tremendous advantages. But between the 5900X and 5950X, the differences were not so apparent.

The Ryzen 9 5900X was designed as a replacement for the previous generation: The Ryzen 9 3900X. The Ryzen 9 3900X had been released with enthusiast-grade performance in mind, and the latest release was no different. AMD already had the Ryzen 7 series to compete with the Intel Core i7, but they had nothing to compete with the Intel Core i9 until the release of the Ryzen 9 series processors. When AMD released the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X on the same date, it was a game-changer.

While the Ryzen 9 5900X came packing 12 cores and 24 threads, the Ryzen 5950X came with a whopping 16 cores and 32 threads. Both processors provided clear competition for Intel, but the Ryzen 5950X was the ultimate enthusiast-grade processor. The Ryzen 5950X came with a larger L2 cache and a higher boost clock speed, making it better on paper. But unless you are planning to run 32 threads at 100% load, it isn’t readily apparent that the Ryzen 9 5950X is really worth the price for the average gamer.

When the Ryzen 9 5900X launched, it came in at an MSRP of $499. The Ryzen 9 5950X, on the other hand, came in substantially higher at $749. What exactly did you get for the extra cost and is it really worth it?  Even though most games could not effectively leverage the massive core count provided by the Ryzen 9 5950X, performance was still amazing. But did this mean that most gamers would not notice a difference in the more expensive processor?

Ryzen 9 5900X vs 5950X: What Are the Similarities?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The world's best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

When talking about two processors at this level, it is important to recognize that there are a ton of similarities. Both the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X belong to the 5000 series Ryzen CPUs, and they even belong to the same generation and CPU architecture.

If you already have an AMD Ryzen processor and you are considering an upgrade, then you’re in luck. Both the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X support the AM4 socket type. If you already have a Ryzen CPU, your motherboard should be fully compatible since all Ryzen CPUs use the same socket type. This is welcome news since the price of these processors makes saving money an attractive option.

The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X are also extremely similar in a handful of other ways. They are both fully unlocked and overclockable. This is great news if you are an enthusiast gamer trying to squeeze as much power as possible out of your processor. If you want to add a ton of RAM to your PC build, either one of these processors makes it easy, supporting a maximum of up to 64GB of DDR4. With support for up to 3200MHz of dual-channel RAM, your upgrade options are pretty good with both of these CPUs.

At this point, it is a well-known fact that Ryzen CPUs are more power-efficient and use less energy than their Intel counterparts. The Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X are no exception. Both processors are rated at a max of 105 watts. Compared to the Intel Core i9 series processors, which come in at over 125 watts, the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X, are much more energy-efficient. 

Processors that use less power also tend to run cooler. This is great news if you want to push the limits of your processor by overclocking. Whereas an Intel CPU may reach its maximum temperature sooner and start to slow down, the Ryzen 9 will continue reaching higher limits. Both the Ryen 5900X and 5950X have a safe maximum operating temperature of about 95 degrees Celsius. If you are planning to overclock your CPU, just make sure you buy a decent aftermarket cooler, as neither the 5900X nor 5950X come with a stock cooler.

Ryzen 9 5900X vs 5950X: Which One Is Better For Gaming?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The best processor for gamers meets the best processor for creators, with 16 cores and 32 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100 plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, liquid cooler recommended
  • 4.9 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 72 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

Comparing two high-end processors like the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X really comes down to deciding which one is better at gaming. Although the Ryzen 5950X comes with substantial upgrades over the 5900X, both of them are shockingly similar in gaming performance.

We compiled some benchmarks from across the Internet to see if we could find any differences. Even with a higher core and thread count and higher boost clock speeds, is the Ryzen 9 5950X much better than the 5900X? The performance ratings in the table below paint the real story:

PerformanceRyzen 9 5900XRyzen 9 5950X
Memory Latency:87.6 points86.9 points
Single-core:162 points162 points
Dual-core:321 points322 points
Quad-core:619 points624 points
Octa-core:1184 points1210 points

When tested with games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V, the Ryzen 5950X scored only about 3% better than the Ryzen 5900X. Most players also agreed that the effective processing power was the same, noting no difference in performance. According to several thousand user benchmarks, most gamers rank the 5950X only one spot above the 5900X.

If you are looking for a CPU to use for gaming, there is no reason to pick the 5950X over the 5900X. Both processors score about the same across all benchmarks, and even the most discerning gamers are going to have a hard time noticing a difference between them during actual gameplay.

Which One Should You Choose?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The world's best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

Even though the Ryzen 9 5950X seems to have better specs on paper, the Ryzen 9 5900X is still an excellent value. In fact, most gamers agree that the Ryzen 9 5900X is identical when put to the test in some of the most popular games. 

If that’s the case, who would want to spend an extra $250 on the Ryzen 9 5950X? The higher-end processor is still useful to some, particularly those who are looking to do 4k video editing or 3D rendering. The higher core count and boost speeds offered by the 5950X mean that these niche users will notice a benefit in the more expensive CPU.

For most gamers out there, however, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the best choice. You get an enthusiast-grade processor at an attractive price that can easily handle all games on max settings. Even though the Ryzen 9 5950X has higher specs, this does not mean it is better at gaming. Overall, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the ideal processor for a gamer.

NEXT UP…

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ryzen 9 5900X vs 5950X: Full Review with Specs, Price, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is the Ryzen 9 5950X worth it over the 5900X?

For the average gamer, it is not worth it to pick the Ryzen 9 5950X over the 5900X. However, if you are a more advanced user working with 4K video projects, then the extra power offered by the 5950X could be worth it.

Which is better Ryzen 9 5950X or 5900X?

Thanks to higher clock speeds and more cores, the Ryzen 9 5950X is a slight improvement over the 5900X.

How much should I pay for Ryzen 9 5900X?

With an MSRP of $499, anything less than this price is currently a great deal.

What's the difference between Ryzen 9 5900x and 5950x?

The Ryzen 9 5950X has a higher boost clock speed than the 5900X, as well as a higher core count and thread count. The 5950X also has a larger L2 cache.

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