PCWorld (USA)

6 essential things to know about AMD’S Ryzen 7000 processors

AMD wrestles the top spot from Intel with an impressive set of benchmark results, but it may not get to hang on to its win for long.

- BY ALAINA YEE

The Ryzen 7000 ( fave.co/3bpnovb) is more than just AMD’S latest batch of processors. The Ryzen 7950X, 7900X, 7700X, and 7600X are AMD’S first Zen 4 chips, first produced on 5nm, first to sport integrated graphics, and first to usher in the new AM5 socket with debut PCIE 5 and DDR5 support.

As you’ll see in our Ryzen 9 7950X review ( fave.co/3thn24k), AMD has plenty to be proud of. Dig through the many benchmarks, and you’ll see the flagship CPU trounce the competitio­n and post big improvemen­ts over last-gen Ryzen 5000. The chips down the list pull out some flashy numbers, too.

It adds up to an outstandin­g accomplish­ment for Team Red—though one set against a backdrop of complicate­d nuances. Here are the six essential things you need to know about AMD’S outstandin­g Ryzen 7000 CPUS.

1. THE RYZEN 9 7950X IS A MULTITHREA­DED MONSTER

Got heavy rendering and/or encoding workloads? The Ryzen 9 7950X is the chip for you. It stomps Intel’s flagship Core i9-12900k ( fave.co/3fgvpfz) in raw performanc­e. In our multithrea­ded benchmarks, it won again and again, with its smallest victory a hefty 37 percent, and its largest a whopping 60 percent. The 7950X shows up its predecesso­r, too, with its lead over the

5950X as big as 48 percent.

This chip’s weak spot (if you can call it that) is instead in single-core and lightly threaded tasks, and some specific areas like machine learning and encryption. The battle with Intel is fairly even here, with Team Blue’s flagship chip sometimes coming out on top. Add in software optimizati­on, like Adobe Premiere Pro’s use of Quicksync to boost video-editing tasks, and the 12900K can outperform the 7950X in certain workloads. We’ll have to see if Ryzen 7000’s integrated graphics result in similar support for Team Red and a more even playing field in the future.

But that doesn’t mean Ryzen 7000 loses to 12th-gen Alder Lake outside multithrea­ded tasks. Not at all. In fact, the least-powerful chip at launch, the Ryzen 5 7600X ( fave. co/3tscbex), can beat the 12900K in a number of games. What ultimately matters are the software and games you use most.

2. MORE POWER, MORE POWER DRAW

Ryzen 7000’s stunning performanc­e is in part a result of AMD upping electricit­y consumptio­n. The new AM5 socket permits more juice to flow to the processor, and this first batch of compatible chips takes advantage of that.

So you can anticipate a higher power bill when running one of these chips. The amount depends on how hard you push them in daily use, but looking at TDP gives general idea of the increase. The Ryzen 9 5950X is rated at 105 watts; the 7950X, 170 watts. That’s the expected power draw under load—and it can go up higher still during a performanc­e boost. Ryzen 7000’s limit is 230W through its socket, while Ryzen 5000 caps out at 142W.

Why the change? Intel. It already took this same route before AMD. By changing its approach (and design), AMD neutralize­s that potential advantage.

3. YET BETTER POWER EFFICIENCY

When chips start to use more power—as the Ryzen 7000 does—the performanc­e squeezed out of each watt becomes important, especially given rising energy costs worldwide.

Fortunatel­y, Zen 4 delivers on the company’s claims of greater power efficiency. At least, the Ryzen 9 7950X did so in multithrea­ded tasks. When compared to the Intel Core i9-12900k, it gets much more done in the same amount of time, or simply finishes faster. The 7950X uses less electricit­y while doing so, too.

It doesn’t win as clearly in single-core and lightly threaded tasks— there, the 12900K often beat the 7950X on energy efficiency in our tests.

But AMD still has another trick up its sleeve, and it’s called Eco Mode. An easy change in AMD’S Ryzen Master software utility lets you limit the power running to Ryzen 7000 chips. For example, the 7950X and 7900X can drop down to from 170W to 105W or 65W. This settings tweak reduces electricit­y drawn, with surprising­ly minimal impact on singlecore and lightly threaded performanc­e.

This flexibilit­y means that AMD can have its cake and eat it too—and so can you. Need every bit of juice to encode huge files fast? Or perhaps you need to set a lower power limit

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? This benchmark result is but one example of how beastly the 7950X is.
This benchmark result is but one example of how beastly the 7950X is.
 ?? ?? An example of Ryzen 7000 power draw during multithrea­ded work.
An example of Ryzen 7000 power draw during multithrea­ded work.
 ?? ?? Performanc­e in this single-core benchmark barely budged even when power to the 7950X was limited by more than half.
Performanc­e in this single-core benchmark barely budged even when power to the 7950X was limited by more than half.

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