A couple of weeks ago, AMD released the R9 7950X3D CPU, which they are marketing as “the ultimate processor for gaming.” That’s quite a big claim, and if true it would definitely belong in our PC building chart!
Does it live up to that title? Well, just about, yeah. Let me explain:
The R7 5800X3D:
First, a bit of history!
The original R7 5800X3D by AMD was released about a year ago, to mixed reception. It was a “3D” CPU, a nonsensical naming scheme that refers to the extra cache that was added on top. The mixed performance was due to the fact that this CPU had a lower max frequency, and that it was not overclockable.
The CPU was fantastic when you could fully utilize that extra cache, making it the best gaming CPU for some games. In other scenarios that did not use the extra cache, it performed worse than the non-3D 5800X.
As the 5800X3D was $100 more expensive than the non-3D version of the same CPU, if you bought it for normal everyday usage, you were quite literally paying more money for worse performance. We did not recommend the 5800X3D due to this.
The R9 7950X3D:
Enter the all-new R9 7950X3D!
AMD has taken the lessons learnt from the 5800X3D, and attempted to make a CPU with no downsides. The new 7950X3D has 2 core clusters, one with normal cache, and the other with the extra “3D” cache.
That means that it is overclockable, and has the same max frequency as the 7950X.
For normal use, the 7950X3D is as fast as the 7950X. For applications that can use the extra “3D” cache, the 7950X3D destroys the competition! It uses less power, and thus produces less heat, so it is a winner on multiple fronts.
Well, for one, it costs $700, which is $100 more than the non-3D R9 7950X, which is already pricey at $600. This makes the 7950X3D a bad choice for people that aren’t confident they’ll be getting a lot of use out of the extra cache (about $100 worth of use out of it, to be exact).
And for a smaller problem, as is tradition with 100% of AMD launches, this thing is fully out-of-stock everywhere. Why do you tease us like this, AMD? People want to buy this CPU!
We will be adding the R9 7950X3D (with suitable motherboards) to the Extremist tier of our build chart. A warning is added to the description, which we repeat here: This CPU is incredible when you can utilize the extra cache. If your applications do not benefit from this extra cache, you are better served by something cheaper.
The R7 7800X3D is expected to be launched soon (2 weeks from now, if you believe the rumours), so we will be waiting for that. Until then, we wish you many wonderful 3D experiences!