AMD Ryzen 9 3950X leak shows it dominating an 18-core Intel CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
Image Credit: AMD

AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X, a 16-core processor aimed at mainstream users (and gamers, with AMD pitching it as a ‘gaming CPU’), might not be out until September, but a performance benchmark has already leaked, and it looks quite astonishing.

Discovered by prolific CPU leaker TUM_APISAK, the Geekbench 4 result shows the 16-core chip hitting a score of 5,868 for single-core and 61,072 for multi-core.

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Assuming the benchmark is the real deal, and actually from a genuine Ryzen 9 3950X, this represents a pretty incredible performance level.

The numbers may not mean much to you in isolation, but they compare very favorably to not just AMD’s existing range, but also rival Intel products.

As highlighted by one of the comments on the above tweet, a typical result for the Intel Core i9-9980XE high-end desktop processor (at stock clock speeds) is around 5,400 in single-core, and 47,000 in multi-core. And that’s a monster ‘extreme edition’ 18-core CPU with a max turbo of 4.4GHz.

And the new chip very much blows away AMD’s own existing 16-core Threadripper 2950X, which as Wccftech (who first spotted the tweet) points out, averages around 4,800 and 38,000 in single and multi-core benchmarks respectively.

But what we really have to remember here is that Intel’s Core i9-9980XE is priced at about $2,000 (around £1,580, AU$2,900), the Threadripper retails for $830 (around £660, AU$1,200) or so online currently, and the Ryzen 9 3950X comes with a recommended price of $749 (around £590, AU$1,080). All this would appear to make the 3950X an extremely compelling value proposition in terms of price/performance.

Caveat corner

Still, before we get too carried away, let’s remember all the caveats here: this is an unconfirmed leak we can’t be certain about, and even if it is genuine, we are only looking at a single benchmark suite, which doesn’t represent the full picture.

Also, if we look at Intel’s mainstream Core i9-9900K Geekbench results, this hits about 6,200 points in single-core and 31,000 points for multi-core. So that single-core result does beat the 3950X by a few hundred points thanks to its ability to hit 5GHz (with a stock chip) on one core.

However, equally we must note that the benchmarked AMD chip could be an early (engineering) sample of the 3950X, as the clock speeds are running slightly slower than we’ve been promised by AMD, with the base clock at 3.3GHz rather than 3.5GHz, and boost to 4.3GHz (as opposed to a 4.7GHz maximum, albeit that won’t be across all cores).

And that means the finished AMD product which launches in September could potentially be even faster, and might just about equal the 9900K even in single-core performance. Note that the 9900K is an 8-core chip, and can be had at the time of writing for around $500 (around £395, AU$725).

TUM_APISAK also floats the possibility that AMD might produce a non-X version of the processor – ie Ryzen 9 3950 – although that sounds like a pretty wild shot in the dark to us.

All in all, this is a very interesting leak, and given that the Ryzen 9 3950X is already breaking overclocking world records, it seems the world of high-end mainstream PC processors is about to seriously kick up a gear.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).