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AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X review: maximal design

Counter-Strike: GO, Metro Exodus EE and Black Ops Cold War.

We've run our benchmarks at the standard three resolutions: 1080p, 1440p and 4K, but we're focusing the bulk of our attention on those 1080p results, as this is where differences between different CPUs are most visible. (There's an argument for testing at 720p to make these deltas even more visible, but even mainstream PC gaming has long since moved onto 1080p.) We're using an Asus RTX 3090 Strix OC graphics card for these results.

This page is all about the fps you get in FPS games. Our trio of games in this section includes Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The latter two are RT-enabled benchmarks, as we examine performance in their single-player campaigns.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike remains the gold standard for competitive FPS, and is unique amongst our benchmark suite as it is a DirectX 9 title that can be played on even modest hardware at hundreds of frames per second. Regardless, serious players value a high and stable frame-rate, and going for a modern CPU like the ones we've tested can result in a much better experience when playing on a suitably high-refresh rate gaming monitor.

AMD Ryzen processors have historically scored extremely well in this test, thanks to their excellent single-core speeds, but at at the moment things are tied with the 7700X and 13900K both sitting at a 1080p average of 396fps. As the oldest title in our suite, it's perhaps not surprising that the extra cores of the higher-tier cards are more harmful than helpful for CS:GO, with the 7700X sitting in first place, then the 7950X, then the 7900X and finally the 7600X. However, all of these CPUs provide exceptional performance, even looking at the one percent lows, and as 360Hz monitors remain the territory of the most competitive FPS gamers, you're guaranteed a solid result from essentially any modern CPU on a 240Hz or slower screen.

CS:GO: DX9, Very High, AF off

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition is an RT-only variant of the vanilla game, run here with DLSS engaged to uncouple the GPU and push the strain onto the CPU as much as possible. The test scene we're using comes from the very beginning of The Volga level, with Artyom and Anna discussing their hopes for the future before running into a hostile camp.

As in the game, there are some oddities here, with the 7700X and 13600K outperforming their flagship counterparts despite repeated re-tests. Overall though, Ryzen 7000 offers a clear advantage over not only Intel's latest and greatest, but also any Ryzen 5000 processor that isn't the 5800X3D. All told, the lead for AMD over Intel here is around 20 percent for most matchups, reasonably significant despite the high frame-rates throughout.

Metro Exodus EE: DX12, Ultra, RTX, DLSS Performance

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War comes next. Here, the focus is less on competitive performance and more on the single-player side of things, as we enable ray tracing and hop into one of the first campaign missions, Fracture Jaw. Interestingly, this mission has RT disabled on consoles, even when the option is enabled elsewhere in the game, suggesting that the BVH building process here is particularly tough. The opening scene, as Bell joins Adler on the fields of Vietnam, is heavy on the CPU at the relatively low graphical settings we've chosen.

We also have a new BOCW winner, with the 7950X equipped with DDR5-6000 setting a new high water mark of 156fps - closely followed by the 7700X at 155fps. Interestingly, that puts the 7900X and 7600X on the back foot, with the 13900K and 13600K only slotting in at positions four and five on the 'best CPUs for this one game' list.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: DX12, Low, TAA

We conclude our new standard gaming tests on the next page, where we take on Cyberpunk 2077 and two new editions of Digital Foundry favourites: Far Cry 6 and Crysis 3 Remastered.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X analysis

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About the Author
Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.

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