AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU spotted boosting to 5.85GHz, which could worry Intel

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X CPU shown in motherboard
(Image credit: Future)

AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, the incoming flagship for next-gen Zen 4 processors, has been spotted boosting up to 5.85GHz – but there are caveats to be observed here.

This latest Zen 4 leak comes from a Weibo user (a social media platform in China), so must be treated with more caution than usual, and it was flagged up by HXL on Twitter (a regular source of hardware leakage, with the tweet being highlighted by VideoCardz).

As you can see, the leaker purportedly has a Ryzen 9 7950X that hits 5.85GHz as mentioned – huge amounts of salt required, of course, and exactly what that speed means, we’ll discuss shortly – and Intel’s Raptor Lake flagship will apparently reach 5.8GHz at top speed in comparison.

The speed of 5.85GHz does line up with a previous top speed floated for the Zen 4 flagship by Angstronomics (a well thought of source), and the Weibo leaker does also provide a CPU-Z screenshot of the pre-release 7950X.

Analysis: Whichever way you dice it, the 7950X looks pretty sharp

Clearly this is one we need to be pretty skeptical about, but if true, the 7950X being capable of that kind of boost is obviously quite the eye-opener. Now, the leaker makes the point that the Ryzen CPU actually boosts to 5.7GHz, with 5.85GHz recorded via PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive – in other words, the automated overclocking mode you can switch on to get a bit more performance out of your chip).

However, as another well-known Twitter leaker (Uzzi38) chimes in, what’s actually happening with this sample 7950X is that it is hitting 5.85GHz with no PBO needed, but this is just a peak frequency – reached probably pretty briefly, here and there. In other words, the quoted max boost on the box of the flagship Zen 4 chip will be lower than this (more like the mentioned 5.7GHz).

Exact speeds will, as ever, depend on the quality of the processor you buy – there’s always some variance within CPU models, known as the silicon lottery – but whatever the case, AMD will have an official (default) max boost set at a suitably low level so all chips can reliably hit it, for obvious reasons.

Whatever the case for the exact top boost speed for the Ryzen 9 7950X, it looks like it’ll be very close to the same ballpark as the Raptor Lake champ, the Core i9-13900K. Once again, this is another hint that the battle between Zen 4 and Intel’s 13th-gen silicon will be a very close one.

We’ll know a lot more about Ryzen 7000 tomorrow, as AMD has its launch event for the next-gen processors going ahead via a livestream. There’s a good chance we’ll find out the official rated boost speed for the flagship 7950X at this event.

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).