When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the clock speed (or frequency), number of cores and threads, cache size, and type of memory it supports. Additional considerations like integrated graphics and overclocking needs may also influence your selection.
In addition to discussing how good the 7900 is for gaming, this article will discuss our recommended:
When using AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU for gaming, you can expect excellent game performance with either a high-performance CPU cooler or a stock CPU cooler.
Check out our Recommended AM5 Coolers below.
This performance assessment is based on the following characteristics of the CPU and their relevance to the latest graphics-intense games:
- 64 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance
- 12 cores allow for excellent performance
- 3.7 GHz base frequency
- 5.4 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
- DDR5 support with a max stock speed of 5200 MHz can be excellent for performance
- Overclocking support can be excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
- PCIe 5.0 support can be excellent for performance (with the fastest SSDs and GPUs)
- The 7900 has integrated graphics support, but this performance assessment assumes you will use a graphics card. Integrated graphics support is mediocre or worse with the latest graphics-intense games.
A CPU's cache is a small amount of memory, close to the CPU cores, containing recently used data.
Games performance can improve as cache size increases, as it will reduce delays when retrieving commonly used game assets from memory.
An L3 cache capacity of at least 20 MB is ideal for game performance.
The AMD Ryzen 9 7900 has an L3 cache capacity of 64 MB.
The 7900's impressive 64 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Increased core counts can improve the performance of games that use them, but most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Remember that cache sizes often increase along with core counts, so if you want to increase your L3 cache, you may need to get a CPU with more cores.
AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPUs have 12 cores.
The 7900's 12 cores allow for excellent performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Single-core performance is essential for some games, as many don't take full advantage of multiple cores.
Boost frequencies are only achieved under ideal circumstances. The safest strategy for consistent gaming performance with a basic cooler is to get a higher base clock speed processor. However, with adequate cooling, you may be able to maintain speeds near the max boost frequency.
When using a high-end cooler, the 7900 CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
The processor has a 3.7 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.4 GHz single-core max boost frequency.
The 7900 has a 3.7 GHz base frequency, which is the speed before boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without a high-end cooler.
With a high-end cooler, the 7900's 5.4 GHz single-core max boost frequency is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with a high-end cooler.
Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.
The 7900 CPU's support for DDR5 with a max stock speed of 5200 MHz can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Faster PC memory can improve game performance and frame rates, but using the fastest RAM may not have as much of an impact as upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.
Learn more about DDR in DDR4 vs. DDR5? Which You Should Buy.
Learn about our recommended RAM for the 7900 in Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU.
The Ryzen 7000-series CPUs contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card isn't required if your motherboard includes video-output connectors (e.g., HDMI).
A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.
AMD CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "TDP."
The Ryzen 9 7900 has a TDP of 65 watts.
A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.
The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum boost speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in What is the Best Type of CPU cooler for a Gaming PC?
For AMD's Zen 4-based Ryzen 9 7900 processor, you'll need a motherboard with an AM5 socket and a compatible chipset.
Motherboards for AMD processors are made with chipsets provided by AMD. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.
Ryzen 7000-series CPUs, which includes the Ryzen 9 7900, are compatible with the 600-series consumer chipsets. Supported chipsets include the X670E, X670, B650E, and B650.
The X670E is our recommended motherboard chipset for the Ryzen 9 7900 CPU, as it provides the most functionality and full support for PCIe 5.0. The Ryzen 9 7900 CPU also supports PCIe 5.0.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets and PCIe speeds, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU?.
- Find Zen 4 X670E Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Zen 4 X670 Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Zen 4 B650E Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Zen 4 B650 Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Feature Motherboard
- Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 9 7900:
- PCIe 5.0 support
- X670E chipset
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port
- Four NVMe M.2 slots and Four SATA 6 Gb/s ports
- Wi-Fi 6E provides fast connections to a Wi-Fi router.
- Bluetooth 5.2 support
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds and 12 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
- Check the latest price of the ASUS ROG Strix X670E-E Gaming Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Our recommended runner-up motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 9 7900:
Best Value Motherboard
- Our recommended value motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 9 7900:
- PCIe 4.0 for graphics
- X670 chipset
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port
- Four NVMe M.2 slots and Four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. PCIe 5.0 speeds for one of the M.2 slots
- Bluetooth 5.2 support
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds
- Check the latest price of the GIGABYTE X670 AORUS Elite AX Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).
Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900, for more info about how to choose the best CPU cooler.
The boxed version of the Ryzen 9 7900 CPU comes with the Wraith Prism CPU cooler. While stock coolers will prevent your CPU from overheating, your CPU will throttle its performance during games and other intensive tasks. Higher TDP coolers will keep your CPU at turbo speeds for longer durations. Stock coolers are often quite loud at their maximum speed.
Best All-in-One Liquid Cooler
- Check the latest price of the CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD on Amazon (affiliate link).
- This cooler is designed to fit Intel and AMD sockets, including the following models: Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM5, AM4, sTRX4, sTR4 (Intel LGA 1700 is supported with CW-8960091 or CW-8960093 kits).
- 350-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- It provides powerful low-noise cooling and RGB lighting with a customizable LCD display which can display your CPU temperature or other graphics.
- It has 120mm CORSAIR ML RGB ELITE magnetic levitation fans for great CPU cooling performance.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
Runner-Up All-in-One Liquid Cooler
- Check the latest price of the Thermaltake TOUGHLIQUID 360 ARGB Sync on Amazon (affiliate link).
- TOUGHLIQUID Series is designed to fit Intel and AMD sockets, including the following models: Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-v3, 2066 and AMD AM5, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2, FM1.
- We estimate that this supports roughly a 250-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- This Liquid cooler supports 5V RGB compatible motherboards.
- Equipped with TOUGHFAN 12 2000RPM and supports ARGB lighting on the waterblock.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space. There is a smaller version available, if needed.
Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler
- Check the latest price of the Noctua NH-D15 on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM5, AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
- Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA.
Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.
Recommended Stock-Speed DDR5
- At an effective frequency of 5200 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR5 speed supported by AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU without overclocking.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
Recommended DDR5 for Overclockers
- This DDR5 memory is designed for overclocking to an effective frequency of 6200 MHz.
- Easy to tune and overclock with Corsair's iCUE software.
- Onboard voltage regulation allows for more controlled overclocking.
- Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU?
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900
- Is the Ryzen 9 7900 CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900 CPU
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 9 7900
- What Is the TDP of the Ryzen 9 7900 CPU?
- How Many Cores Do AMD Ryzen 9 7900 CPUs Have?
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: