The Ryzen 9 3950X will probably be the last Matisse part we’ll be seeing in a while. There might a few lower-end Ryzen 3 parts based on the Zen 2 architecture, but nothing further up the ladder. The launch of the 3rd Gen Ryzen flagship was accompanied by the Threadripper parts, packing up to 32 cores. Although the latter is supposed to compete against Intel’s Cascade Lake chips, it seems like the Ryzen 9 also manages to give them a run for their money.
For the first time in more than 10 years, AMD is able to compete with Intel in every sphere from performance to power efficiency as well as thermals. According to early benchmarks, the Ryzen 9 3950X (a 16 core chip) offers performance comparable to Intel’s HEDT flagship, the Core i9-10980XE (an 18 core part).
As you can see, in Geekbench, the Ryzen 9 3950X manages to edge past the Intel Core i9-10980XE. Looking at the specs, it’s not hard to understand why. The former runs at a higher frequency with a superior IPC and is also coupled with faster memory. Just a year back, a comparable Intel CPU (Core i9-9980XE) cost around $2,000, and now it’s successor is priced less than $1,000. The Ryzen 9 3950X will set you back for $750 and offer performance better than both it seems.
Diving deeper into the benchmark, the Cascade Lake-based i9-10980XE performs either on par or better than the 3950X in most of the tests but then loses out in the memory benchmark. If you ignore that, I suspect the 10980XE will come out on top, though not by much. Then again, considering that the Ryzen 9 is a whole quarter grand cheaper, it makes it hard to see the Intel chip in a positive light.