AMD Ryzen 9 7900X / Ryzen 9 7950X Benchmarks Show Impressive Zen 4 Linux Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 26 September 2022. Page 1 of 22. 69 Comments

The review embargo just lifted for the AMD Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" desktop processors ahead of their retail availability this week. As such there are a few Phoronix articles today looking at these Zen 4 processors under Linux and many benchmarks whole several more follow-up articles will be coming over the weeks ahead. For the launch-day review I have the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X processors. Let's take a look at the significant performance improvements to find with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900 series under Linux.

AMD announced the Ryzen 7000 series processors last month as these first Zen 4 processors that are built atop a 5nm TSMC process, usher in the new AM5 platform with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 now being present on the AMD side, and a host of other innovations over the existing Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" processors.

The processors being launched on 27 September include the Ryzen 5 7600X, Ryzen 7 7700X, Ryzzen 9 7900X, and Ryzen 9 7950X. Today's testing at Phoronix is focused on the Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X. Within the next week I'll have the Linux benchmarks ready on the 7600X and 7700X. AMD staggered their shipping of the CPU review samples and also the order they send them out to reviewers, as such still waiting on the 7600X and 7700X to arrive.

The Zen 4 processors are reported by AMD to deliver around a 13% uplift in IPC, much better AI and HPC performance thanks to adding AVX-512 support, and a lot of new platform capabilities with AMD AM5 moving to a 1718 pin LGA socket that supports up to 230 Watt socket power delivery. The DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0 support make AM5 ready for computers moving forward - unlike with Alder Lake, there is no DDR4 support with these new AMD processors. AMD has committed to supporting the AM5 socket at least through 2025. All of the AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors can now boost over 5.0GHz and AMD's literature indicates an expected 29% improvement in single-core performance compared to prior Zen 3 processors.

Also notable with the Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors is integrated graphics support in the form of a 2 CU RDNA2 graphics processor being found with these new processors. The RDNA2 iGPU with the Ryzen 7000 series processors is good enough to drive a display, carry out basic desktop / web browsing / office tasks, and even has AV1 decode support, but isn't practical for any gaming or other heavy graphical workloads. In the AMD Ryzen 7000 series Linux gaming benchmark article are some tests of the iGPU if curious about the performance. It's nice enough for basic desktop or even a developer box if you are just using an IDE and other tools all day, but beyond that you would want to be using even a basic discrete GPU. In any event it's nice having this option.

As outlined in the Ryzen 70000 series Linux gaming article, the iGPU does require a recent Linux kernel and Mesa in particular. Additionally, it requires linux-firmware.git as of earlier this month for the necessary GPU firmware that is a requirement for hardware acceleration. You'll need those pieces in place to enjoy the basic Radeon graphics but aside from that the Ryzen 7000 series support should be in largely good shape from the testing thus far.

Most of my benchmarks have been using Linux 6.0 Git for the latest kernel experience and having just under two weeks with these processors but have tested Linux 5.15 with Ubuntu 22.04 to verify core functionality in place, etc. The AMD hardware just arrived in mid-September and thus a lot of testing since then but even more over the coming days/weeks, so stay tuned for follow-up tests on Phoronix. This is a 22 page article and not counting the separate Linux gaming benchmarks and AVX-512 performance analysis articles. If you wish to view this article on a single-page and ad-free, join Phoronix Premium today. There is also currently a Phoronix Premium sale happening for those interested.

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