Ryzen 7 vs Ryzen 9

The battle of the Ryzen big boys is upon us - which should you go with?

Ryzen 9 V 7 min

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Ryzen 7 and 9 processors. We will be discussing both collections as a whole to show you the differences and which would be the better option for you and your new gaming build. There’s a lot to get through so let’s get started. As ever, if you have any questions, pop them in the comment box at the bottom.

The Specifications

Here is a table displaying all of the raw specifications for these CPUs:

VS
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AMD
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Speed

3.8GHz/4.6GHz

Core (threads)

12/24

Socket

AM4

TDP

105W

PROS

Better in-game performance over the i9-9900K

Backwards compatible with 300/400 series motherboards

Price to performance

CONS

BIOS needs update for older AM4 motherboards

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AMD
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Speed

3.6GHz/ 4.4GHz

Core (Threads)

8/16

Socket

AM4

TDP

95W

Unlocked?

Yes

PCIe Version

PCIe 4.0 x16

Total L2 Cache

4MB

Total L3 Cache

32MB

CMOS

TSMC 7nm FinFET

Max Temps

95°C

PROS

Superb value for money

Solid for gaming and excellent for multi tasking

Bundles with cooler

CONS

Intel equivalent is slightly better for gaming

The Ryzen 9 collection seems to be the more favorable option, especially if you are looking for a CPU with particularly fast clock speeds. However, there is more to CPUs than just their raw specifications. 

Clock Speed

When thinking about processors, the base clock speed and the boost clock speed are one of the most important factors for peak performance.

The clock speeds have a significant impact on how quickly and efficiently your gaming PC will run, as most game engines rely heavily on single-core performance.

Here are the clock speeds for each set of processors. There are some differences between each individual processor within the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 ranges:

Base Clock:

Ryzen 7 – 3.6GHz/3.9GHz

Ryzen 9 – 3.5GHz/3.8GHz

Max Boost Clock:

Ryzen 7 – Up to 4.4/4.5GHz

Ryzen 9 – Up to 4.6/4.7GHz

For those seeking the highest frame rates possible the Ryzen 9 is the best fit. However, the Ryzen 7 doesn’t fall too far behind and would be a great fit for casual gamers, or those on a budget. 

When looking at the base clock speeds of the Ryzen 7 models, they are surprisingly high considering they are lower in price.

You may be wondering, do the slightly increased boost clock speeds of the Ryzen 9 make a difference?

Yes, it does. An avid gamer will notice the increase in clock speed. Overall the gameplay will be a lot smoother. You are also less likely to run into loading issues if you are playing a larger MMO. 

While both of these CPUs are great for gaming, the Ryzen 7 is more of an entry-level CPU in terms of clock speeds. If you are looking to take gaming more seriously, we would recommend Ryzen 9. 

When choosing a suitable CPU for gaming, it should have clock speeds of at least 3.5GHz. The closer to 4.0GHz, the better the overall performance. 

Cores

The cores are responsible for your PC’s ability to multitask. Therefore, the higher number of cores and threads, the more efficient your PC will be when multitasking.

This is something to consider, as background processes are still active when gaming. If the number of cores is too low you may experience frame drops and lower 1% average frames. 

The number of cores for the Ryzen 7 and 9 ranges does differ considerably: 

Ryzen 7 – 8

Ryzen 9 – 12/16

While 8 cores are suitable for gameplay, this tends to be the base level. It will run your games with no issues, but if you multitask, it may not be fast enough. 

In contrast, 12 cores are fantastic and you will rarely run into issues by choosing the Ryzen 9 3900X model. The Ryzen 9 3950X uses 16 cores and is one of the better CPUs for this specification on the market. 

The Ryzen 9 models will not struggle to keep up with multiple programs, or if you game and stream on the same desktop. However, if you are looking to use your PC for gaming alone, the Ryzen 7 is more than sufficient. 

Threads

The threads are linked to the core, but instead of being physical, they are virtual. They allocate workload to each core, allowing the CPU to logically process its queue. This is another area where the Ryzen 9 processors come out on top.

Ryzen 7 – 16

Ryzen 9 – 24/32

The Ryzen 9 3950X in particular has a much higher number of threads in comparison to the other Ryzen models. 32 threads are particularly great.

While the Ryzen 7 is suitable and can run with no issues, the Ryzen 9 will take your gaming to the next level. You will not run into any problems multitasking with this CPU.

Socket 

All of the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 processors have AM4 sockets. The socket is the physical connector on your PC’s motherboard. The AM4 sockets are specific to certain CPUs. 

Both the Ryzen 7 and the Ryzen 9 chipsets are backward compatible. This is great if you want a new CPU without purchasing or upgrading your existing motherboard. 

If you are looking to future proof your build, an AM4 socket is a great feature to have.

Cache (L1/L2/L3) sizes

The cache is a comparatively small piece of storage that is very fast. This allows the CPU to intelligently store frequently used instructions. This reduces the time spent fetching data from RAM or storage, ultimately decreasing loading time.

Here is the cache for the Ryzen 7 and 9 processors:

Ryzen 7

L1 Cache – 512KB

L2 Cache – 4MB

L3 Cache – 32MB

Ryzen 9

L1 Cache – 768KB/1MB

L2 Cache – 6MB

L3 Cache – 64MB

The Ryzen 9 has a larger cache in all layers. It should be noted the Ryzen 7 is more than sufficient to run even high-end games. If you want the fastest possible gaming PC that will have little limitations, the Ryzen 9 would be the better option here.

Component/Features

PCIe 4.0

PCIe 4.0 will help when futureproofing your ideal build.

The biggest difference between PCIe 3 and 4 is the overall bandwidth. PCIe 4 is capable of 16GB/s transfer, vs 8GB/s for PCIe 3. You may see a marginal benefit in frame rate gaming in 4k, SLI graphics cards, or heavily using an M.2 SSD. 

PCIe 4 is here to stay, and its benefits will only become more apparent as games become more taxing on the hardware. It is worth investing in a CPU that uses PCIe 4.

When looking at the Ryzen 7 and 9 processors, they all come with PCIe 4. You will not have to worry about having to upgrade any of these to transfer more data simultaneously. 

As games begin to become more taxing on your CPU, the extra bandwidth provided by 4.0 will be useful.

Unlocked

While an unlocked CPU may not be essential to the average gamer, if you want your processor to have the highest possible performance, you should consider overclocking.

Overclocking is done manually. It will increase the overall speed of your CPU. In addition to this, it will allow you 144Hz/240Hz reliability while gaming. Many CPUs cannot be overclocked, however, both the Ryzen 7 and the Ryzen 9 models can.

All of the Ryzen models included in this article include a wraith prism cooler, apart from the Ryzen 9 3950X which does not have a cooling system. The prism coolers are great for stock or modest overclocks. 

Precision Boost 2

For the keen gamer, precision boost 2 is something to take into consideration. This will allow you to manually increase the CPUs clock speeds to a slightly higher level than what the manufacturers have stated.

All of the Ryzen processors currently available have the option to do this. This is good to know if you are planning to increase your clock speeds and upgrade your CPU. 

While AMD has not stated the exact numbers the precision boost can increase the clock speed by, it is possible. 

Precision Boost Overdrive 

The precision boost overdrive works slightly differently from the precision boost 2. Instead of permanently increasing the clock speed, it temporarily increases the clock speed for a specific selection of 3 cores. 

PBO is possible with all of the Ryzen 7 and 9 models. However, extra cooling may be required. You will want to ensure that your case can accommodate this before increasing the clock speeds permanently or temporarily.

Performance

Let’s take a look at how the Ryzen 7 and 9 models compare when they are benchmarked. 

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is a significantly large MMO that requires a good CPU for the best gaming performance. When comparing the Ryzen 7 CPUs to the Ryzen 9’s, the Ryzen 9’s are the clear winners. 

They provide a higher number of frames per second (fps) overall. The Ryzen 7 3700X provides 156.1 fps and the Ryzen 9 3900X provides 159.7 fps. 

Far Cry 5

When it comes to Far Cry 5, these processors are fairly average in comparison to some other CPUs on the market. They perform reasonably well at 114.2 fps for the Ryzen 7 3700X and 115.3 fps for the Ryzen 9 3900X.

Civilization VI

When looking at Civilization VI, the Ryzen 9 CPU came out on top. When looking at the benchmarks, the Ryzen 7 3700X operated at 136 fps, and the Ryzen 9 3900X at 143.2 fps.

After benchmarking these CPUs we have discovered that they both fare well in terms of gaming. While you will have no issues with the Ryzen 7 processors, they are the slower of the two. The Ryzen 9 models are the superior CPUs.

Pricing & Availability

There are currently two Ryzen 7 and two Ryzen 9 models available to purchase. 

The Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 7 3900x, and the Ryzen 9 3900X were all released on July 7th, 2019. While they are over a year old, they are some of the best CPUs available. 

The newest AMD CPU, the Ryzen 9 3950X was released on November 28th, 2020. It was highly anticipated which comes as no shock to those who know the quality of the AMD CPUs. It is available to order now.

When looking at the price of the Ryzen 9 models, they are more expensive in comparison to the Ryzen 7 CPUs. Given their higher specifications, this is to be expected. The higher pricing is justified given its specifications.

The Ryzen 7 models are the more affordable option and we would recommend them if you are on a budget. They are great CPUs for gaming, but they are not quite on the same level as the Ryzen 9s. 

When looking at the price difference between the two Ryzen 7 models, there is around a $10 difference. Given that the Ryzen 7 3800X does have the higher spec of the two, this would be the better option.

The Ryzen 9 models have a significantly higher price difference at over $100. When you consider that the Ryzen 9 3950X has just been released this is to be expected. If you are choosing between these models, you should consider whether or not the 3950X is worth the extra costs. 

Considering it has some of the best specs currently available on the market, we think that it is worth it.

If you would like to purchase one of these CPUs they are available on Amazon here:

Conclusion

To conclude, Ryzen 9 models are superior in comparison to the Ryzen 7’s. AMD has excelled in the quality and specification of these processors. 

We would recommend purchasing one of the Ryzen 9 CPUs if you have money to splurge. If you want to stream while gaming or would like to take your gaming to the next level they are the perfect option. You will not need to upgrade this processor for a long time.

This does not mean that you should disregard the Ryzen 7 CPUs. While they have lower specifications, they are vastly better than many other CPUs on the market. The Ryzen 7’s contain all of the necessary specifications needed for great gameplay. If you are a beginner or shopping on a budget, they are a great option. 

Overall, these are all brilliantly made CPUs that are impressive and worth looking into further.