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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Which CPU is best for you?

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (Image credit: Windows Central)

To compare the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, you have to take into account what you're getting for the money. For people who need to squeeze out as much as they can from their CPU, the Ryzen 7 5800X is the way to go. If you want the Infinity Gauntlet of CPUs, you can plop down the cash for a Ryzen 9 5950X and watch as benchmarks and rendering processes speed by without a hitch.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Gaming performance

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Comparing the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X for gaming performance is a funny task. Both CPUs will do fine with almost any game you throw at them. Realistically, the performance between the two for most games are even. The Ryzen 9 5950X's doubled core count isn't going to make Apex Legends run faster, but it might ease your framerate if you're an avid Skyrim modder. Unless you have an incredibly specific use-case for needing raw horsepower out of your CPU, the best option of the two is probably going to be the cheaper one: the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X.

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X might have half the cores, but it is almost half the cost of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. You won't get double the performance out of the 5950X, so why make the investment? Although the 5950X has tons of headroom for intensive games, modern games won't have access to much of that power anyway. Instead, consider picking up the cheaper of these two options and grab a strong GPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950XAMD Ryzen 7 5800X
Cores16 (3.4GHz)8 (3.8GHz)
TDP105W105W
Turbo4.9GHz4.6GHz
Threads3212
OverclockableYesYes
L3 cache32MB32MB

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Rendering performance

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

For rendering video and 3D modeling, of course the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X wins out in raw performance. The CPU's 16 cores, 32 threads, and big cache will devour any complicated tasks such as these. But when you compare it to the Ryzen 7 5800X, it doesn't look as hot. For the price, it doesn't outperform the Ryzen competition so well that you should splurge and go with the better performing CPU.

Again, it comes down to the ratio of price to performance and among the two options, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X stands out. It's simply a better buy for most tasks. If you absolutely know you need double the core count and to save what could be seconds to a minute of extra time rendering, go ahead and get the AMD Ryzen 5950X, but for the average consumer, the 5800X is more than enough.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Cooling

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Cooling is where both the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X fall short. Both CPUs don't come with coolers in the box. That means you'll spend extra to buy a CPU fan or liquid cooling setup to add them to your build. It's not a deal breaker, but it's important to consider, especially when one of them is nearly $800.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X runs cool for such a powerful CPU. Even when overclocked, it keeps solid temperatures with a simple air cooler. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X on the other hand can run hot. If you don't overclock, you'll be okay, but it's something to keep in mind if you plan to push the CPU. That said, for normal users, it should be fine and is still the better choice of the two.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: Which should you buy?

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X are hard to compare. They're so similar in terms of where they sit for an average user. Both CPUs are overkill for any normal task. Outside that though, the price is a major factor in deciding which one is better for you. Although the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is ultra strong and won't break a sweat with almost any task, it's hard to recommend it over the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X simply because of how expensive it is.

Tyler Colp is a freelance writer for Windows Central. He's written about tech, games, and the culture around them across the internet. Ask him anything about Dark Souls or just follow him on Twitter.