AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors are designed to operate with a power limit of 150W. This applies to all X series chips, including the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X. Past 150W, these CPUs gain very little performance, with tests showing zero gain north of 200W. Well-known YouTuber Buildzoid tested his 7950X across popular multi-threaded benchmarks, including Linpack, Cinebench R23, and Geekbench 3.
The results were quite surprising. Going from 50W to 75W, we see a 30-45% performance gain which grows to over 80% at 125W (2.5x of 50W). At 150W, the Ryzen 9 7950X is another 10% faster, but that’s the limit. Increasing the power envelope to 200W grants a mere 2-5% performance gain, not at all worth the additional 25W headroom.
Here, you can see that going from 75W to 150W nets you close to a 50% performance gain and corresponds to the deltas between the X and non-X variants of the Raphael family. While the non-X parts have a base TDP of 65W and a boost TDP of 88W, their X counterparts top out at 230W with a base power limit of 170W.
Therefore, if you have a Ryzen 7000 CPU, it’s best to focus on the thermals, as the boosting algorithm will set 95C as the default limit to maximize performance. Increasing the power limit will have no appreciable impact as the available 230W headroom is already more than what’s required. In most cases, you’ll be dealing with a thermal bottleneck.