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MSI GT77 Titan (2023) review: a gaming laptop that lives up to its name
12:01 am | March 15, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Two-minute review

The MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is the first laptop I've gotten my hands on that features Nvidia's latest mobile RTX 4000-series GPUs and Intel's latest 13th-gen Core i9 HX processor, and I can confirm that the hype around this hardware is very, very justified. If anything, the media buzz can't even prepare you for how powerful this laptop actually is in practice, especially the RTX 4090 mobile GPU.

To start, the GT77 Titan can be configured with either an Nvidia RTX 4080 or Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile with the Intel Core i9-13980HX. There are no options for a Core i7 or lower, because that's for peasants, probably. There will be no scrimping with this laptop.

Obviously, the specs are the reason you are buying this gaming laptop. There is nothing all that compelling about its design, which is the same standard black stealth-bomber-car-transformer looking thing with twinkly RGB lighting that gaming laptops have been sporting for a very long time now. 

Yes, it's a stale design, but if you're worried that someone might see it and roll their eyes, this thing is never leaving your desk because it weighs close to 7.5 lbs / 3.5kg. This is strictly a desktop replacement. 

In terms of ports and other features, this is a very solid laptop, with just about every port you could ask for with a gorgeous 4K display running at 144Hz and seemingly as bright as a headlight on a car when turned all the way up. There's even a privacy shutter over the webcam, which is something you just don't see on too many gaming laptops out there.

Finally, when it comes to performance, there are some slips in terms of CPU performance (which is still generally outstanding) and the RTX 4090 GPU offers best-in-class gaming performance, but the premium you're paying for that performance might be too much for some to stomach.

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Price & availability

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starts obscenely expensive and goes up from there
  • More or less in line with competitors running the same hardware

Ok, so you will need to understand that the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is more like a Ferrari than it is a Ford Focus or Dodge Neon. This is a top-tier kit, but you will be paying a very high price for entry, or about as much or more as the best gaming PC with comparable performance, and in terms of value, I don't very much that this laptop will compare well to the latest crop of gaming laptops set to start coming out in the first half of 2023.

The GT77 Titan is available in the US for $4,299.99 (about £3,570 / AU$6,240) as its starting price. This will get you an RTX 4080 GPU, 64GB DDR5 RAM, and a 2TB NVMe SSD. For $4,699.99 (about £3,905 / AU$6,820), you can get it with an RTX 4090 GPU, while a $5,299.99 (about £4,400 / AU$7,690) configuration can get you an RTX 4090, 128GB DDR5, and 4TB of storage. All three models come with the Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU.

I can (and I will) argue that this is possibly the best gaming laptop I have ever come across, performance-wise. But it is also something that most of us will only ever look at online and go "That's wild, man!" before going for something far more affordable, like the model in our Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review

If you're in the position of hitting the "Buy it now" button, then this is probably one of a small handful of laptops you should consider. But if that isn't you, the Legion Pro 7i is about half the price and is still going to give you outstanding performance.

As always with tech this premium, availability outside the US is also a bit of an issue, and we've reached out to MSI about when the GT77 Titan will be available in the UK and Australia and at what price. We'll update this review if and when we hear back from the manufacturer.

  • Price score: 2 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Specs

  • Latest Nvidia RTX 4000-series GPUs
  • Intel Core i9-13980HX processor
  • Bright, 144Hz refresh 4K mini-LED display 

The MSI GT77 Titan features the latest and greatest both Intel and Nvidia have to offer, with every model of GT77 Titan for purchase coming with the latest Intel Core-i9 13980HX CPU, which is as good as it gets for mobile processors this generation. 

Pair that with the new Nvidia RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 mobile GPUs, and you've got about as powerful a machine as you're going to find. You also start out with 64GB DDR5 RAM and can get as much as 128GB DDR5, with either 2TB or 4TB of storage space.

The display is one of the biggest draws here beyond the incredible hardware under the hood. The mini LED IPS panel is 144Hz at 4K resolution, so this is not only as crisp and fast a laptop display as you're going to get, but also makes it possible to get HDR 1000 as well as one of the brightest laptop displays I've seen outside of a MacBook or OLED panel.

Finally, it's packing a 99.9WHr battery, managing a decent amount of battery life for what it's packing. Though that also means it's absolutely huge and weighs a metaphorical ton at 7.28 lbs (3.30 kg). This is purely a desktop replacement-level kit.

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Design

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Plenty of ports
  • Full-sized keyboard
  • Physical webcam privacy shutter
Spec Sheet

Here is the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i9-13950HX Processor
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: 64GB DDR5 (32GB x 2)
Screen: 17.3-inch IPS, mini LED, 4K, 144hz
Storage: 2TB SSD
Ports: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x Thunderbolt 4 w/ DP, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x RJ45
Camera: IR 720p HD w/shutter
Weight: 7.28 lbs | 3.30 kg
Size: 15.63 x 12.99 x 0.91 inches | 397 x 329.95 x 23.11 mm

Since this laptop is largely going to sit on your desk and nowhere else, we'll start with its rather massive footprint. At nearly 16 inches wide and over a foot deep, even the best backpack around isn't going to fit this laptop unless it's one of those massive hiking ones you see at Machu Pichu or something. 

And God help you if you try to carry this thing up the block, much less up a mountain. At 7.28 lbs (3.30kg), not including its brick of a power supply, only the strongest backs can support carrying this thing around anywhere.

Still, for something that's going to sit on your desk, it's the standard MSI sports car hood aesthetic. To its credit, it's about the pinnacle of the form, even if that form is getting a bit old. 

Open the lid, and you're looking at a per-key RGB backlit mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches for a very satisfying experience. Is it overkill for a gaming keyboard? Absolutely, but this entire laptop is overkill, and to its credit, the GT77 Titan leaves everything on the field.

Image 1 of 3

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
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An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
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An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)

There are plenty of ports, which we would expect from something this huge, and there really isn't a need for a dock. With three USB 3.2 Gen 2, two Thunderbolt 4 (w/ display output), one HDMI 2.1, and one Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port — as well as a 3.5mm combo jack — you're not going to be left wanting. There's even an SD card slot and an ethernet port to round everything out.

Finally, I want to shout out the physical privacy switch on the webcam, which slides over to close the lens. It has been just over three years since the first Covid-19 lockdowns and everyone has been using the webcam on their laptops for just about everything, but not enough laptop makers have been including this essential privacy function. It's not hard, but it's not ubiquitous, so good on MSI for making sure this laptop is up to speed with the times.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Performance

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Best-in-class gaming performance
  • Sounds like a jet engine under load
  • Solid sound out of a laptop

It's still the early days of the new Intel and Nvidia mobile kit, so we don't have a whole lot to fairly compare the latest MSI GT77 Titan to. But it absolutely blows last year's Titan out of the water in our benchmark tests, and the model we tested is less powerful than the i9-13980HX that you would actually buy (though not that much less powerful).

In terms of gaming performance, both processors are fairly close in our Cyberpunk 2077 test on the low end of the resolution spectrum, with the GT Titan (2023) pulling out a solid gain of 9.09% over the previous year's model. Push that up to ultra settings at 1080p, however, and you get a 74.62% jump for 2023's GT77 Titan over the 2022 model.

Similarly, in Total War: Warhammer III, we get a much larger gain with the GT77 Titan (2023) over the 2022 model at low resolution (about a 75% improvement), while it doubles the frame rates at ultra resolution and 1080p. 

Things get somewhat more complicated when looking at the GT77 Titan (2023) against the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (2023). These two gaming laptops aren't even in the same class really, with the Legion Pro 7i sporting a Core i9-13900HX and an RTX 4080. But the Legion Pro 7i still outperforms the GT77 Titan in processor performance by a decent amount.

The i9-13900HX is only slightly slower (5.4GHz boost compared to the i9-13950HX's 5.5GHz), but it can score anywhere from 12% to 15% better on processor benchmarks than the GT77 Titan's i9-13950HX. These advantages extend to gaming performance on low settings where processor speeds are more determinative, but all these differences fall away when the GPU comes into play, such as when playing on ultra settings or using features like ray tracing and DLSS. 

Now there are a lot of reasons for why this might be the case. If I had to pick, I'd argue that Lenovo is a much better system integrator than MSI, and so Lenovo is better able to squeeze some extra performance out of the same specs. But it could also be a matter of the settings used, the cooling, etc. Still, the difference is there, even though you're likely not going to see the same kind of performance I did since the only chips that will be going into the GT77 Titans to hit the shelves will be the faster i9-13980HX.

Another thing to note about gaming performance here is that we don't benchmark using DLSS or ray tracing generally, since not all hardware is capable of those features - though I will say that DLSS 3 is the 2023 GT77 Titan's secret weapon here. 

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)

DLSS has been far more of a revolutionary graphics technology than even ray tracing, and DLSS 3 is absolutely next-level incredible in terms of the performance gains you can get.

Turn on DLSS 3 with Frame Generation, and you can get an average fps of 167 in Cyberpunk 2077 with ultra settings at 1080p, which is better than a lot of desktop PCs, and 30 fps better than the Legion Pro 7i with DLSS 3 turned on.

Turn things up to max settings with full ray tracing and DLSS 3 set to ultra performance with Frame Generation, and the GT77 Titan can get an average of 131fps, with a minimum of 100fps. Boost the resolution to 1440p, and you can get an average fps of 126 (59fps minimum), and at 4K, you can get an average of 110fps, with a minimum of 35fps.

To say these numbers are phenomenal is an understatement. These are high-performance desktop numbers, and the RTX 4090 mobile pushes out performance akin to an RTX 4070 Ti desktop card, which is the best graphics card most people can get right now. All of this is to say that the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) is a top-tier desktop-replacement gaming laptop, and few laptops are going to effectively compete at this level of graphics performance.

Something like the Legion Pro 7i might be configurable with an RTX 4090 at some point as well, and so it could theoretically get this kind of performance. Sadly, right now, you can't buy one with an RTX 4090 mobile in the US so the point is a bit moot.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): battery life

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • Pretty decent given the hardware
  • Charges reasonably fast

The MSI GT77 Titan isn't a laptop in name only, thanks to its 99.9WHr, as-large-as-legally-allowable-in-the-US battery. While you might think that the Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile chip would be the energy hog here, it's actually pretty decent. It's the Intel CPU that's really going to cut into that battery life if you're using this laptop for any length of time.

Still, it's good enough to get four hours and 30 minutes of video playback, though its PCMark 10 battery life test result is actually a smidge worse than its predecessor, coming in at three hours and one minute.

It charged from empty to full in about two hours, which is impressive given the enormous size of the battery that needs to be recharged. But considering the 330W power adapter you plug into this thing, it damn well better charge that fast.

  • Battery Score: 3 / 5

Should you buy the MSI GT77 Titan (2023)?

Buy it if...

You want the best gaming performance around
With an Intel Core i9-13980HX and an Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile GPU and DLSS 3, no game will put up much of a fight here, even at 4K.

You want an absolutely gorgeous display
This is the best-looking gaming laptop display I've seen that wasn't a high-end OLED panel.

You want lots of customization options
With per-key, lid-logo, and accent RGB, you can really get that gamer twinkly light look exactly to your liking.

Don't buy it if...

You want something affordable
The price of this laptop puts it out of reach of just about everyone reading this review.

You want something portable
Lulz. Better get a donkey if you want to cart this one around.

MSI GT77 Titan (2023): Also consider

If my MSI GT77 Titan review has you considering other options, here's another laptop to consider...

How I tested the MSI GT77 Titan (2023)

An MSI GT77 Titan on a pink desktop mat

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent about a month testing the GT77 Titan
  • I used it as my main PC gaming machine for several weeks as well as creative work
  • I used in-game benchmarks from titles like Cyberpunk 2077 in addition to 3D Mark, CineBench R23 and others.

To review the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) I set the Titan up at home as my main PC gaming and content creation workstation (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc). I used it extensively for over a month to get a true sense of how well it performed.

This is ultimately a gaming laptop, so I focused most of my efforts in that direction, but with 100% DCI-P3 coverage, I also tested out its creative chops by editing photos and videos. 

I've reviewed dozens of laptops in this class over the years, including high-end desktop replacements and professional creative workstations, so I'm very keen on the subtleties of HDR 100 vs HDR 400 and what it means to have proper color coverage. As a lifelong gamer, I am also very sensitive to performance issues that can trip up PC games.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2023

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review: Team Red retakes the lead with its best CPU ever
5:00 pm | February 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Two-minute review

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is finally here, and it is worth the wait.

First introduced back in early 2022 with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, AMD's 3D V-Cache technology has proven itself to be an incredible value-add for Team Red that makes AMD's chips seriously competitive against even the best Intel processors.

Even with the non-3D V-Cache variant of AMD's flagship processor, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, you were getting a seriously powerful chip that made a worthy rival for the i9-13900K, but the extra gaming performance that 3D V-Cache brings to the table is something to see in action, and it really is AMD's not-so-secret weapon here — especially if you're playing esports titles at 1080p where the speed of the processor is far more important than having the best graphics card.

Even more surprising was the improved creative performance that 3D V-Cache brings to the 7950X3D. I had to retest the 7950X3D's video encoding performance three times to confirm my results because they were so unexpectedly excellent, making it the best processor for video editing work not called Threadripper.

To top it all off, AMD pulls a rabbit out of the hat with the 7950X3D and manages to squeeze significantly better performance at a lower TDP than either the 7950X or the 13900K.

Still, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is an expensive chip, clocking in at $699 (about £650/AU$1,150). That's the same price as the base Ryzen 9 7950X when it launched back in September 2022, so on the plus side, you're not pay more for the added features in the 7950X3D. Like the 7950X, though, you're still going to have to upgrade to a new AM5 motherboard and DDR5 RAM if you haven't already, which can make this a prohibitively expensive upgrade for some.

Still, when you look at everything on balance, this is arguably the best processor available right now, especially if you're a PC gamer, and it's one that I simply can't see Intel rivaling this generation — 3D V-Cache is just that good.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Price & availability

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)
  • Same price as the Ryzen 9 7950X
  • Intel Core i9-13900K is still cheaper
  • Upgrade to AM5 might be very expensive

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D is available globally as of February 28, 2023, and will cost you $699 in the US. We don't have UK and Australia pricing yet, but it will likely run about the same as the MSRP for the Ryzen 9 7950X, which is £649 / AU$1,139. This also makes it more expensive than the Intel Core i9-13900K, which has an MSRP of $589 / £699 / AU$929. 

When you factor in the cost of upgrading to the new AM5 platform, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D only makes sense if you are upgrading from an AMD Zen 3 or 11th-gen Intel processor or earlier, since you'll need to buy a whole new setup to get a newer processor from either brand. If you've got a 12th-gen Intel chip, though, making the jump to the AM5 platform for this processor alone is going to be a pricey upgrade.

  • Price score: 3.5 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Chipset & features

  • 3D V-Cache comes to Zen 4
  • Better power efficiency

As far as the chip itself, there isn't a whole lot of difference between this processor and its non-3D sibling in terms of architecture, so if you want more of a deep dive into AMD Zen 4, definitely check out my AMD Ryzen 9 7950X review for further info. 

For brevity's sake, I'll keep things to the three major differences between the two chips. For starters, there is obviously 3D V-Cache on the 7950X3D, which slaps a extra slab of cache memory across one of the compute dies in the chip package, adding 64MB L3 Cache to the already substantial 80MB that the 7950X had.

Cache is simply a very direct form of working memory that the processor keeps close by for instructions and data that it is using at that very moment. The more cache a processor has, the fewer trips to RAM it needs to make for data or instructions, which greatly improves performance for many common tasks. Generally, more cache is better, and the 7950X3D has more cache than any consumer processor available today.

The other difference in terms of those dies is that not every core has access to this additional V-Cache. The 16 cores are split between two dies: one eight-core die with access to 3D V-Cache at a lower clock frequency, and another eight-core die without the extra cache but with a fully enabled clock speed. 

AMD's chip drivers automatically detect if a program or game will benefit from having a faster clock frequency or access to more cache and assigns the process to the cores best suited for the task. In practice, this seems to work very well behind the scenes without any adjustments from the user beyond installing the upgraded drivers when you install the chip, but there still might be some optimizations that need to be worked out, especially when it comes to benchmark tests, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Finally, the last major difference is the lower TDP on the 7950X3D compared to the 7950X (120W to 125W). This is mostly from the lower frequency on the 3D V-Cache cores (as well as some other optimizations), meaning that the 7950X3D can use less power overall to get the same or better performance.

  • Chipset & features score: 5 / 5

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D: Performance

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D sloted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Best-in-class gaming performance
  • Outstanding performance-per-Watt
  • Runs behind 7950X and 13900K on synthetic tests, but trounces everywhere else

Speaking of performance — boy howdy, this is a hell of a processor. It doesn't always hit the highest score on a given test, and it can often lag 5% to 10% behind the 7950X or i9-13900K on a few synthetic CPU benchmarks like CineBench R23 or Geekbench 5, but that could be chalked up to the pre-release BIOS and chipset drivers I used for testing. Even if that isn't the case, nobody buys a processor to run artificial test suites on it.

When it comes to the real-world performance of the 7950X3D, it will either hold its own against the other two flagship chips in tests like PCMark 10 or it will absolutely wallop its rivals thanks to its considerably bigger cache when gaming or encoding video.

When it comes to the synthetic benchmarks, there's very little difference between the 7950X3D and the 7950X. Both chips are phenomenal multitaskers, and though the 7950X has consistently stronger single core scores than the 7950X3D, the 7950X3D performs better with multi core performance than its non-3D V-Cache counterpart. 

When it comes to the Intel Core i9-13900K, it too outperforms the 7950X3D in single core performance, with the 7950X3D running about 12% slower than the 13900K on average. The difference between the two tightens on multicore performance, with the 7950X3D running about 5% slower in multicore on average.

It's a bit of a wash on the more "general" performance tests like PCMark 10, and 3DMark's Time Spy CPU test and PassMark's CPU tests have pretty divergent scores in opposite directions, so are more likely to be outliers than anything. 

Going off these numbers alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the 7950X3D is on the ropes, but the entire picture changes when moving off the straight synthetic tests into creative and gaming performance.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D pretty much matches the 7950X in Blender and Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere tests, though it lags a bit in VRay 5 (though not by that much). Where it really shines though is with HandBrake 1.6. This is one of the creative tests we use where we get to measure it's true real-world performance on a creative workload, especially one that is highly CPU dependent.

Here, the 7950X3D encodes a 4K source video file into 1080p@30 at 124 frames per second, which is the fastest I have ever seen any chip other than an AMD Threadripper accomplish. It is nearly 35% faster than the Intel Core i9-13900K, widely considered the best consumer processor for creatives out there, and 36% faster than the Ryzen 9 7950X. This latter comparison is the most fascinating since it shows very clearly how much that extra cache memory alone can impact performance.

This difference is even more telling when it comes to gaming performance. Compared to the 7950X, the 7950X3D performs like it is fully one to two generations ahead of its non-3D V-Cache counterpart with roughly 20% to 25% better gaming performance at 1080p. Likewise, when it comes to the Intel Core i9-13900K, the 7950X3D lands about 16% to 19% faster on average, but some games will perform substantially better, and the 7950X3D is never that far behind the 13900K when it does occasionally lose out.

Obviously, the CPU is only one component in the equation of PC gaming performance, and these test results are based on games running at the lowest graphics quality at 1080p with an extremely overpowered graphics card (an RTX 4090) to reduce any fps bottleneck you'll get from the GPU.

Increase the graphics quality to max settings and the resolution to 4K and even the RTX 4090 won't be able to keep up with any of these processors, and the advantage of 3D V-Cache shrinks considerably and eventually you'll find yourself GPU-locked regardless of what CPU you're using. 

So, it's important to understand that it is not the only element that matters for your gaming performance, and for a lot of gamers, it might not even be the most important one. But, it's there nonetheless, and its impact can be substantial. Esports players especially will love the 7950X3D, as this chip performs best under the exact conditions most commonly used in competitive esports titles.

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D on its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)

What's also so notable about the 7950X3D is that while Intel's latest processors have been outstanding, that performance is far more a function of just throwing power at the problem, literally, than it is some kind of technological magic behind the scenes.

In terms of power draw, the minimum I recorded for the 13900K is a meager 2.882W, and it could hover around this for hours if you're not using your computer thanks to its energy efficient big.LITTLE design. Meanwhile, the 7950X3D is still slurping up just over eight times as much power as a baseline.

On the other hand, when a game like Total War: Warhammer III is running, energy efficiency on the 13900K goes right out the window and you start getting power draw above 330W just for the processor. This allows the 13900K to eek out up to 68 more fps than the 7950X3D (or 532 minimum fps for the 13900K to the 7950X3D's 464 minimum fps), but it literally needs almost 2.5 times as much power to accomplish this.

And that's for the best gaming performance the 13900K scored against the 7950X3D among the games we tested. In a game like Returnal, which is a sophisticated bullet-hell rouge-like with lots of projectile physics needing to be calculated every frame, the 7950X3D can outperform the 13900K by as much as 61% and do so with substantially less power.

When trying to come to an overall assessment of these chips' relative performance, it's better to look at the measurable performance gains between chips across different tests. This makes for a much more sensible average when all is said and done than averaging absolute scores where one CPU test with one very large result can badly skew a final average. 

By this measure, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D outperforms the 7950X by about 10% and the 13900K by about 6% when I average out all of the degrees of difference between the three chips, across every test. But even then, the demonstrably better performance of the 7950X3D can be somewhat obscured, since Intel especially benefits from much higher synthetic benchmark scores that don't really translate cleanly into actual real-world performance where the 7950X3D is simply the better processor overall.

You also really can't discount the performance-per-watt that you're getting with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, which is at least twice what you'd get with the Intel Core i9-13900K and about 55% better than the 7950X.

Quite simply, AMD does so much more with far less power than either of the competing flagship processors, and you don't have to accept lower performance as a tradeoff. Much more often than not, you're getting a substantially faster processor in practice — especially for gaming — making it very hard to deny the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D its due. 

It's simply the best gaming CPU by performance you can buy on the consumer market and that's not likely to change for the rest of this processor generation, at the very least.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should you buy the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

If my AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D review has you considering other options, here are two processors to consider... 

How I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D slotted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent nearly two weeks testing the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
  • I ran comparable benchmarks between this chip and rival flagship processors
  • I gamed with this chip extensively

Testing a processor is arguably one of the most involved processes of any component I review because there are so many things to measure and quantify.

Thanks to my extensive computer science background, I have a very clear sense of what is happening inside of a processor and how it is supposed to respond and perform, as well as which tools are best suited to measure these kinds of metrics since this is what I have been doing for nearly a decade now in one form or another.

I use the following tests to measure specific facets of a processor's performance, as described.

  • Synthetic single and multi-core benchmarks test the performance of specific instruction sets and processor operations like floating-point calculations using benchmark tools like GeekBench, Cinebench, and PassMark.
  • Creative performance is a measure of how well the processor performs in several popular creative workloads like Handbrake, Blender, and Adobe Photoshop. Where possible, I explicitly disable GPU accelerated operations or test rendering using the CPU by itself.
  • Gaming performance measures how well the processor calculates gaming operations like in-game physics by running several games' integrated benchmark tools like Returnal, Total War: Warhammer III, and F1 2022. In all cases, I run the benchmarks on the lowest graphics settings available at 1080p and using the most powerful graphics card I have available (in this case, an Nvidia RTX 4090) and with 32GB DDR5 RAM to isolate the actual CPU operations I am testing without having to worry about inteference from excessive memory or graphics management.
  • Stress testing tools like Cinebench R23 push the processor to its engineered limits in terms of power use and operating temperature, and I use these to make sure that every chip is pushed to full 100% CPU utilization under load to determine the minimum and maximum amount of power the processor uses (measured in watts) and the minimum and maximum temperature recorded (measured in Celsius). 

All of these tests are conducted using the same hardware test bench with the same components as much as possible, including the same RAM modules, graphics card, CPU cooler, and M.2 SSD, to ensure that test results are reflective of differences in a processor architecture and performance, rather than reflecting a bottleneck in a different graphics card or SSD, making scores for different processors comparable.

Finally, I make sure that for every processor, I retest competing processors I have already tested and reviewed and I use the latest motherboard BIOS, Windows updates, and driver updates available. This ensures that there havn't been any optimizations, fixes, or security patches that might significantly change a given test's result and I always use the most up-to-date test results when making comparisons.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2023

Review: Gelid Black Edition
3:00 am | April 11, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Gelid Black Edition

Another month, another humongous CPU cooler. Gelid’s Black Edition is certainly impressive in stature, but thankfully for something this size it’s mor[……]

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Review: Cooler Master Seidon 240M
3:00 am | April 10, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Cooler Master Seidon 240M

They all look the same. That’s the danger with the factory-sealed, ready-to-roll water-cooling kits such as the Cooler Master Seidon 240M. Superficial[……]

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Review: Enermax ELC240
3:11 am | April 9, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Enermax ELC240

Sometimes the things that really get our dander up as hardware reviewers can be a distraction. They don’t matter too much in the real world, but usual[……]

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Review: Acer Iconia W700
3:00 am | February 7, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Acer Iconia W700


Windows 8 has seen a host of fresh designs for tablets and laptops, with many manufacturers trying their hardest to build a device that’s[……]

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Review: MSI GX60
3:02 am | January 29, 2013

Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: MSI GX60


Is there such thing as enough CPU power? MSI seems to think so with the release of the MSI GX60 gaming notebook.

That’s because, intriguing[……]

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Hands-on review: HP Envy 6 Ultrabook
6:58 pm | May 13, 2012

Author: admin | Category: Computers | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Hands-on review: HP Envy 6 Ultrabook

HP Envy Ultrabook

Following on from the original HP Envy 14 Spectre, HP has today announced a next-generation Ultrabook – which just appears to be call[……]

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Review: Intel DZ77GA-70K
6:55 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

Review: Intel DZ77GA-70K

Introduction and benchmarks

As part of the initial launch platform for Ivy Bridge we had high hopes for the Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard, after all Int[……]

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