Ryzen 9 7900X: A Zen 4 flagship CPU from AMD.

Despite its unusual core configuration, this CPU is a true powerhouse for gaming and content creation. With 24 threads and a price tag of 549 USD, the Ryzen 9 7900X delivers exceptional performance and cutting-edge technology, including support for PCIe Gen 5, DDR5, and the ability to hit clock speeds of up to 5.7 GHz (with good cooling). With its optimized design and manageable temperatures, the Ryzen 9 7900X may be the perfect choice for those who demand top-notch performance for video and content creation.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Codename Raphael.

AMD has recently made a major announcement with the release of its ZEN4-based Ryzen 7000 processors, marking a significant milestone in the component hardware arena. The new processors boast a range of cutting-edge features, including the 5nm FinFET fabrication technique, which is the first of its kind for a desktop CPU. This new fabrication technique has allowed AMD to increase performance while also achieving higher levels of power efficiency.

The Ryzen 7000 series is comprised of four new CPU models: the Ryzen 9 7950X and 7900X, the Ryzen 7 7700X, and the Ryzen 5 7600X. These models boast significantly increased base and boost clock speeds compared to their predecessors, making them a highly attractive option for gamers and power users alike. Unlike Intel, the Zen4 architecture does not feature a hybrid design and instead focuses solely on big performance cores. It remains to be seen whether AMD will ever implement a hybrid core design, as it would require a significant overhaul of the Windows scheduler for Windows 11 and may not be ideal for all workloads, especially in mobile platforms where efficiency is a key consideration.

To support the new Ryzen 7000 processors, AMD has also introduced a range of AM5 motherboards, which provide users with even more options for building high-performance systems. In addition, AMD has introduced the AMD EXPO, a new automatic RAM SPD standard, which provides improved memory compatibility and performance.

AMD Zen4.

The AMD Zen4 CPU architecture follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, the Ryzen 5000 “Vermeer” CPUs and the older Ryzen 3000 series, in its aim to provide high performance while keeping production costs low. This is achieved through the use of a multi-chip design, with the CPU cores housed inside CPU Complex Dies (CCDs) and the I/O control circuits located in a separate die. The CCDs are manufactured using TSMC’s advanced 5nm lithography, while the I/O die utilizes a more cost-effective 6nm process.

One notable difference between the AMD Zen4 and its competitor, Intel, is the uniformity of cores within the Zen4. Unlike Intel, all cores in the Zen4 are identical, eliminating the distinction between performance and efficiency cores, which can sometimes cause confusion for software. Another exciting feature of the Zen4 is its support for AVX-512, a set of instructions that significantly enhance AI performance.

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X.
(Source: AMD)

Overall, the improvements in the Zen4 architecture are said to bring about a 13% increase in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) performance, according to AMD. The front-end, load/store, and branch prediction components are largely responsible for this improvement, with the execution engine and L2 cache also playing a role in enhancing performance. While the details of the Zen4 architecture have already been extensively covered, it is clear that it represents a significant step forward in terms of both performance and efficiency.

RDNA 2.0 integrated graphics
(Source: AMD)

AMD Ryzen 7900X pricing and availability.

The AMD Ryzen 7900X is the latest addition to the company’s CPU lineup, carrying a price tag of $550, which is the same MSRP as its Zen 3 predecessor, the 5900X. However, it is worth noting that the 7900X can now be found for as low as $395, which represents a significant discount of around 30% compared to MSRP. The 7900X also, remains a competitive offering compared to its counterpart from Intel, the Core i9-13900. The locked version of the i9-13900 starts at $510, while the KF and K variants, which are unlocked for overclocking, are priced at $540 and $560 respectively. These prices, compared to the 7900X, make for an interesting comparison in this review.

Ryzen 9 7900X specifications.

You can find the full specifications of AMD Ryzen 9 7900X below:

General

CPU ModelAMD Ryzen 9 7900X
CPU SocketAM5
Manufacturing Process5 nm
Maximum Number of PCIe Lanes28 (Revision 5.0)
UnlockedYes

Performance

Number of Cores12
Number of Threads24
Base Clock Speed4.7 GHz
Maximum Boost Speed5.6 GHz
L3 Cache64 MB

Memory Support

Maximum Capacity128 GB
Memory SupportDDR5 Up to 6400 MHz
ECC MemoryYes
Channel ArchitectureDual Channel

Power

Thermal Design Power (TDP)170 W
Included Thermal SolutionNone
Maximum Temperature203°F / 95°C
Thermal Monitoring TechnologiesYes

Technology

AES SupportYes
ExtensionAVX, AVX 2.0, AVX-512, FMA3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.1/4.2
Instruction Set64-Bit
VirtualizationYes: AMD-V
Performance TechnologiesAMD EXPO, Precision Boost 2

Integrated Graphics

Integrated GraphicsAMD Radeon
Output SupportDisplayPort, HDMI
Base Clock Speed400 MHz
Maximum Boost Speed2200 MHz

Packaging Info

Package Weight0.71 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)5.2 x 5.1 x 3.7″

Ryzen 9 7900X benefits.

The AMD Ryzen 7900X is a powerful 12-core, 24-thread processor based on the latest Zen 4 architecture. It features a clock speed that varies between 4.7 GHz and 5.6 GHz, depending on the workload. Just like the 7950X, the 7900X is equipped with two CPU Complex Dies (CCDs) and a 6nm I/O die. The addition of a second CCD translates into a larger L3 cache capacity of 64 MB, along with 16 MB of L2 cache. Although the TDP has been increased from 105W on single CCD chips to a substantial 170W, the same I/O die has been utilized, so the processor still supports 28 PCIe 5.0 lanes.

Thermals and power consuption.

When it comes to cooling, the new Zen 4 CPUs from AMD have been designed to provide optimal performance while taking full advantage of the thermal and power headroom. These processors are built to deliver as much performance as possible, and as a result, they may appear to be challenging to cool. However, AMD stresses that this behavior is intentional and that it is crucial to understand that the maximum safe operating temperature (TJMax) of 95 degrees Celsius for the Ryzen 7000 series is not the absolute maximum temperature.

With the new AM5 socket and higher TDP, Zen 4 processors are designed to reach TJMax before hitting a power wall, especially for the 12 and 16-core models. This means that under heavy load, the processors will run at 95C, which is considered the maximum safe operating temperature, without risking damage or deterioration. AMD explains that this is because the power management system knows that this is the ideal way to extract the maximum performance from the chip without causing harm.

Power draw readings are accurate to around +/-5W under heavy load due to instantaneous fluctuations in the value.

Ryzen 9 7900X Power Consumption

AMD Ryzen 7900X benchmarks.

AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors received criticism following their initial announcement due to a relatively modest improvement in IPC. However, when they launched, they showed significant gains of up to 40% in ray-traced gaming titles, making them a top choice for gaming enthusiasts. The Zen 4 architecture also greatly benefits content creation and productivity, with a particularly strong impact on productivity tasks.

Intel’s efficiency cores, on the other hand, do not have a major impact on gaming performance, with the majority of their benefits seen in heavily threaded rendering workloads. Despite this, AMD is expected to retain its dominance in the gaming market, at least in regards to ray-traced titles.

This performance boost from the Ryzen 7000 processors showcases AMD’s commitment to delivering powerful and efficient solutions for a variety of tasks. With the Zen 4 architecture and its ability to provide gains in both gaming and productivity, the Ryzen 7000 series is sure to be a popular choice among consumers.

Ryzen 9 7900X Cinebench R.23 SingleCore Performance.
Ryzen 9 7900X Cinebench R.23 Multicore Performance.

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Final thoughts.

The Ryzen 9 7900X is a processor that offers impressive performance, but is not expected to be the best-selling product from AMD. It comes with a unique core configuration and a relatively high price tag, with a suggested retail price of $549 in the United States, which increases in the European Union with added taxes. But at the moment, after the significant price drop, it is a processor that is actually worth considering.

For those who opt to purchase this processor, it’s important to ensure that all cores will be utilized, otherwise it may be seen as a waste of money. The processor is known to consume a significant amount of energy, which is becoming an increasingly important factor to consider, especially with the rising energy costs.

However, when it comes to thermals, the Ryzen 9 7900X performs well, especially when paired with a Liquid Cooling System (LCS). With a maximum wattage of 230W and a PPT (Power Package Technology) setting of 175W, the processor is able to keep temperatures manageable even under heavy load.

AMD claims that the Ryzen 9 7900X has a boost frequency of up to 5.6 GHz, and it’s possible to achieve a higher boost frequency with better cooling, given the Tjmax of 95°C. In a test with a 280mm LCS, it was able to achieve a peak boost frequency of 5.70 GHz.

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