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AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X: The best gaming processors are here

By Aaron Yip - 22 Nov 2020

Conclusion

All hail the new kings

AMD’s ascendancy in PC gaming truly began when they launch the first generation of Zen-based Ryzen processors a couple of years back. With the Zen 3-based Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X processors, AMD can now claim to finally have processors that can beat Intel when it comes to gaming performance – and in such a short period of time too. Intel’s missteps, which have already been well documented, certainly have helped its cause too.

While some games still run better on Intel processors, the differences are minute enough that I’ll be happy to recommend the Ryzen 9 5900X for most gamers. It’s really difficult to now consider Intel the same default choice as it once was. Even its upcoming 11th-Gen Rocket Lake gaming processor felt more like a knee-jerk reaction to AMD’s announcement of their Ryzen 9 5000 Series.

And then there’s the Ryzen 5950X. Taking into consideration its base clock, core count and performance in our benchmarks, the Ryzen 9 5950X is an unusual beast. I think AMD has created a CPU which is a true double threat to Intel, and the unquestionably high price does reflect this capability. Similar to the overpowered NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, for those interested purely in gaming, there seems little justification for the S$400 difference in price compared to the 5900X.

However, if your needs do extend to gaming and heavy content creation workloads then the 5950X is unparalleled. Many YouTube and streamers today use two separate computers to get their work done – one for gaming and the other to record and stream – and there’s now a CPU that allows them to do both in one machine.

So, in summary, if you’re looking to upgrade or build a powerful gaming rig then the 5900X is without a question the best CPU to go for at the moment. Couple it with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and you will have a formidable PC that can handle 4K without a sweat. Or you could even wait for the upcoming RX 6000 Series GPUs, which looks like it could give NVIDIA’s RTX 30 Series a run for its money. If you’re looking to build a machine does gaming and everything else well, then the 5950X could be the one for you.

It’s really a new era for PC gaming now.

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9.5
  • Performance 9.5
  • Features 9
  • Value 9
The Good
Great single-core and multi-core performance
Excellent options for gamers and content creators
Low TDP
Compatible with B400, B500, X400 and X500-series motherboards
Smart Memory Access feature allows for performance boost with upcoming Radeon 6000-series cards
The Bad
Most expensive AMD chips yet
Stock availability might be a challenge at launch
No bundled cooler
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