AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X Processor – Gaming Performance

While 2020 hasn’t been an ideal year in the grand scheme of things, one positive has been the huge tech product releases from both Nvidia and AMD in the past few months. AMD has recently launched the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Consumer based CPU’s in the form of the Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X. We’ve been fortunate enough to get our hands on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X to put it through its paces and see how it performs in various benchmarks and tests.

Here’s a closer look at the Ryzen 5000 Series compared to the previous generation

Base Clock3.8GHz3.7GHz3.9GHz3.8GHz3.8GHz3.7GHz3.5GHz3.4GHz
Boost Clock4.4GHz4.6GHz4.5GHz4.7GHz4.7GHz4.8GHz4.7GHz4.9GHz
L3 Cache2x16MB32MB2x16MB32MB4x16MB2x32MB4x16MB2x32MB
PCIe Lanes2424242424242424
Launch Price$249$299$399$449$499$549$749$799

To test the CPU we used two different test benches, which were both equipped with a Gigabyte RTX 3080, 750W GOLD Rated PSU and Windows 10 Pro with all drivers up to date.

Configuration 1 – AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, NZXT Kraken X62, MSI X570 Gaming Pro Carbon
Configuration 2 – AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, AMD Wraith Prism, Gigabyte B550 AORUS Elite

We thought it would be interesting to test the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X on both a low-end Air cooler such as the AMD Wraith Prism cooler which was bundled with previous AMD CPU’s as well as throwing in a NZXT Kraken X62 AIO to see what would happen if the system had adequate cooling.

While testing the CPU with the AMD Wraith Prism cooler we were able to POST and run benchmarks but the unfortunate immediate concern was that the cooler was just unable to keep up with the heat output of the CPU leading to almost immediate thermal throttling. Basic Cinebench runs saw the CPU hitting 91 C under full load which resulted in lower performance and peak core clocks. We also tested AMD’s ECO mode which lowers the power limit to see if this would at least resolve the heat concerns as some users may want to put the Ryzen CPU in a small form factor build where cooling may be restricted. While temps were now more manageable the performance was hit even further to the point that it would be better to just use a different lower end CPU in this kind of environment.

One of the major claims of the Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs is their IPC improvements over the previous generation of Ryzen Processors. While both the 3000 and 5000 series are fabricated off the same 7nm die, the 5000 Series now have 32MB cache per chiplet of 8 CPU cores over the previous 16MB per 4 Cores. This allows for improved single threaded performance. On top of the new architectural changes, the new CPUs also have a higher clock speed when compared to their 3000 series counterparts. To test the claims of the IPC improvement of the Ryzen 5000 we tested the Ryzen 9 5900X against the Ryzen 9 3900X in Read Dead Redemption 2 on Ultra Detail at 1080p and 1440p.

While for some reason the minimum framerate in our 1440p testing was lower than that of the previous generation, both tests resulted in a 7-8% increase in average performance across the board. While these improvements are marginal, it’s still incredible to see that AMD was able to create superior Processors while still running on the same fabrication process as the previous generation.

While it might not really seem worth it to upgrade for some users when Single Player titles see an improvement of less than 10%, we also tested out CS:GO in the uLLeticaL benchmark to see if this processor lives up to it’s claim of massive framerates in competitive titles. We ran CS:GO at lowest (competitive) settings with Multicore Rendering enabled and managed a brain hemorrhaging 755.73 fps in 1080p and 662.10 fps in 1440p. These framerates are way higher than any current displays can handle, with the highest we’ve seen being a 300Hz 1080p panel. One could argue that it’s completely pointless to have framerates this high, but it’s also worth noting that the higher the framerate, the lower the input lag. Framerates this high in a game like CS:GO can only work to the advantage of a pro player, wanting to make sure their system is never a bottleneck for competitive play at the highest level.

For our final comparison against the Ryzen 3900X we tested 3DMark Time Spy Benchmark with the Gigabyte RTX 3080 EAGLE in both runs. While the Graphics Score ran slightly lower while running with the 5900X (margin of error?) we saw a good increase in CPU Score going from 11733 to 13281 which was a 13% increase over the 3900X.

In summary, the 5900X mostly met our expectations in gaming and synthetic benchmarks. The CPU saw a slight increase in performance over the previous generation, while not being world shattering, but still maintained to consistently provide better performance across the board. If you’re still running a Ryzen 3000 Series Processor you might want to hold onto your wallet for the next generation, but if you’re building a new system or are just looking for the best performance at the bleeding edge of technology, then we highly recommend you pick up one of these CPUs. Just note that I would highly recommend that you also make sure to purchase an AIO Water Cooler to properly keep the heat at bay.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X can be picked up for R12,499.00 from Wootware


AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X CPU

AMD’s latest generational improvement in the Ryzen lineup of CPU’s sees a marginal improvement in gaming performance for only a small increase in price.