The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is shaping up to be one of the most powerful processors (CPUs) on the market, with 16-cores and a high 3.7GHz boost clock. And, AMD aims to achieve these specs through a special binning process.
A processor with 16-cores operating at a 3.7GHz boost clock regularly is a pretty big ask without overclocking, so AMD has to be very selective when manufacturing the Ryzen 9 3950X, according to a report from PCGamesN, which partially explains why, at $749 (about £590, AU$1,090), it’s so much more expensive than the $499 (about £395, AU$730) Ryzen 9 3900X.
You see, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is already manufactured using two 8-core dies, it’s just that four cores are disabled on the 12-core processor, which makes it easier to bin than the 16-core 3950X.
AMD claims that its processors with higher core counts will also boost clock speeds in the future, thanks to AMD pulling components like the memory controller and I/O interface and putting them in their own 12nm chiplet.
Because the CPU cores will be on their own chunk of silicon, you can have high core counts and high clock speeds, with AMD saying “your best gaming parts are also going to be your highest core count parts”, starting with AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation.
One of the other benefits that this selective binning may bring is increased overclocking potential. If every chip is a winner in the “silicon lottery,” then users should be able to push the Ryzen 9 3950X further than past chips. That might be why the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X broke some overclocking records at E3 2019.