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AMD Ryzen 9 7950X & Ryzen 7 7700X ‘Zen 4’ Review

AMD launched its Ryzen 5000 – Zen 3 – desktop processors back in late 2020. Coupled with the venerable AM4 platform, the variety of 7nm-built chips have proven incredibly successful. But that AM4 platform has been around for six years. It’s time for an update. Enter the new AM5 platform, with the first chips for this new platform, the Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series, launching today.

We are examining the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X flagship and the 8-core Ryzen 7 7700X. The 12- and 6-core reviews will follow in the near future. With a new underlying – Zen 4 – architecture, DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5 support on the AM5 platform, and manufacturing using TSMC’s 5nm process node, let’s take a closer look at the £739.99 Ryzen 9 7950X and the £419.99 Ryzen 7 7700X.

AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X has 16 cores and 32 threads with 64MB of L3 cache and 16MB of L2. This 5nm, dual-CCD chip features a rated base clock of 4.5GHz and a maximum boost clock up to a lofty 5.7GHz. A 170W rated TDP means up to 230W of stock-clocked package power is allowed. That is a large uptick versus previous Ryzen chips which mandates no included CPU cooler, as is the case for all Ryzen 7000 series chips.

The $699 USD Ryzen 9 7950X will sell for £739.99 including VAT in the UK. That’s similar to the launch price of the Ryzen 9 5950X. Competition comes in the form of the incumbent Ryzen 9 5950X at £520 currently, as well as the £620-£700 Core i9-12900K or KS on the advanced, DDR5-capable Z690 platform. Until Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake launches shortly, that is.

AMD's Ryzen 7 7700X has 8 cores and 16 threads with 32MB of L3 cache and 8MB of L2. This is a single-CCD chip, so it just has the 5nm-fabbed core chiplet alongside the 6nm-built IO Die. Base clock is rated at 4.5GHz with maximum boost listed as 5.4GHz thanks to its 105W TDP.

The $399 USD Ryzen 7 7700X will sell for £419.99 in the UK.

Competition for the new 8-core comes from several vectors; the £380 Ryzen 9 5900X and £440 Ryzen 7 5800X3D on the affordable AM4 platform, in addition to the £430 Core i7-12700K on the advanced Z690 platform. Once again, until 13th Gen replaces it shortly.

With the two processors on review today having been overviewed, let's take a deeper look at the Zen 4 architecture and AM5 platform.

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