Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Is the Ryzen 9 7950X CPU Good for Gaming?

Find out if AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X processor is good for gaming.

7950X Good for Gaming Chuck Fortner / Unsplash

Last Updated: November 26, 2022

Written by Kevin Jones

When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the frequency (clock speed), core/thread count, cache size, and supported memory type. Additional considerations, such as integrated graphics and overclocking needs, may also influence your selection.

In addition to discussing how good the 7950X is for gaming, this article will discuss our recommended:

Check another CPU:

Ryzen 9 7950X

Is the 7950X Good for Gaming?

Section Link

When using AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X 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
  • 16 cores allow for excellent performance
  • 4.5 GHz base frequency
  • 5.7 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 7950X 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.
Check out these AMD CPUs that are Good or Excellent for gaming:
Recommended Motherboards for the Ryzen 9 7950X:
Best Feature Motherboard

Is the Cache Size of the 7950X Good for Gaming?

Section Link

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 7950X has an L3 cache capacity of 64 MB.

The 7950X's impressive 64 MB of L3 cache is excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Core Count of the 7950X Good for Gaming?

Section Link

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 7950X CPUs have 16 cores.

The 7950X's 16 cores allow for excellent performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Clock Speed of the 7950X Good for Gaming?

Section Link

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 7950X CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The processor has a 4.5 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.7 GHz single-core max boost frequency.

The 7950X has a 4.5 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 7950X's 5.7 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 7950X, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.

Is the DDR Support of the 7950X Good for Gaming?

Section Link

The 7950X 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 7950X in Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X CPU.

What Does the X Suffix in 7950X Mean?

Section Link
Processor Name SuffixMeaning
X"X" means it is an extended frequency range CPU. These CPUs support higher frequencies than standard CPUs.

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).

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Cooling the 7950X

Section Link

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 7950X has a TDP of 170 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?

Motherboard Requirements for Ryzen 9 7950X Processors

Section Link

For AMD's Zen 4-based Ryzen 9 7950X 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 7950X, 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 7950X CPU, as it provides the most functionality and full support for PCIe 5.0. The Ryzen 9 7950X CPU also supports PCIe 5.0.

ASUS ROG Strix X670E-E Gaming ASUS ROG Strix X670E-E Gaming Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

For a detailed comparison of these chipsets and PCIe speeds, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X CPU?.

Section Link

Best Feature Motherboard

Runner-Up Motherboard

Best Value Motherboard

Section Link

Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X, for more info about how to choose the best CPU cooler.

The boxed version of the Ryzen 9 7950X CPU does not come with a CPU cooler, so you'll need to purchase one separately.

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! CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD Liquid CPU Cooler CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD Liquid CPU Cooler Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

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. Thermaltake TOUGHLIQUID Liquid CPU Cooler Thermaltake TOUGHLIQUID Liquid CPU Cooler Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler

Section Link

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.

Learn More About the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

Section Link

Other Considerations When Building a PC

Section Link

Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles: