AMD unveils Ryzen 9 5950X gaming CPU with 16 cores, Zen 3

AMD / screenshot by Lori Grunin / CNET

AMD on Thursday announced the Ryzen 5000 series, the leading desktop CPUs for gaming and creativity. And if a few of the company’s benchmarks are to be believed, it was able to get a significant performance boost from the new processors without changing the core specs — like the number of cores, total cache and power envelope — and just moving to the new Zen 3 architecture. AMD also gave us a quick preview. The eagerly awaited Radeon RX 6000 graphics card, which will be launched on October 28.

CPUs mark the debut of Zen 3, which is based on the previous generation of AMD’s 7nm architecture with improvements that the company says provide about 19% additional instructions per clock cycle over the 3000-series — and it’s already pretty fast — through the committee. One of the big intergenerational changes is the transition from a four-core block to an eight-core block in the template layout, with twice the amount of L3 cache. In practical terms, this means that more memory is closer to the cores in the CPU, which reduces the overall latency, which means that it responds faster to any CPU related activities.

Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs

base clock

increase the clock



System Power Target (Watts)

US price

Ryzen 9 5950X







Ryzen 9 5900X




70 megabytes



Ryzen 7 5800X







Ryzen 5 5600X




35 MB



Zen 3 CPUs also get a boost from more efficient arithmetic and instruction prediction. All while achieving a 24% improvement in performance per watt, according to AMD, they’ll be able to run on the same motherboards. The base and boost clock speeds are slightly different from their predecessors. As far as I can tell, there are no changes to support specifications related to the chipset, such as the maximum amount of memory or the number of PCI 4 lanes.

You’ll notice that there’s still a gap in the lineup as it will be a 10-core option to compete directly with the Intel Core i9-10900K.

AMD’s November 5 target launch date is aggressive, especially since Intel has yet to reveal its next-generation competing flagship desktop processors. Intel recently confirmed The new architecture, code named “Rocket Lake,” based on Cypress Cove (10nm cores adapted and validated for Rocket Lake’s 14nm process) will debut on 11th-generation Rocket Lake-S chips in early 2021. It claims. Intel says its Rocket Lake processors will have better performance with more IPC – ironically, AMD’s metric became popular across clock frequencies a few years ago – PCIe 4.0 support, extended AI acceleration capabilities and Xe graphics architecture, with much faster integrated graphics.

The new processors are jumping into the 4000-series naming convention, perhaps to eliminate confusion with mobile Zen 2-based processors bearing this designation.

for his preview of the RX 6000 graphics card line (aka “Big Navi”), which includes the RDNA 2 architecture we’ve been hearing about so much in the future. Xbox Series X and PS5 consolesAMD highlighted 4K performance. That’s unusual for the company, which has been focusing on boosting its 1440p capability at the higher end of the RX 5000 line. Not surprisingly, though, given that similar new console chips target 4K at 120fps.