AMD Ryzen 9 7900X / 7950X Linux Gaming Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 26 September 2022. Page 1 of 6. 19 Comments

Today the review embargo expires on the AMD Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors ahead of their retail availability this week. Over the past two weeks I have been testing the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X processors as the initial review samples (I should be receiving the Ryzen 5 7600X and Ryzen 7 7700X CPUs this week, AMD is staggering their review seeding of the different models). In this article to get things started are my initial Linux gaming benchmarks with the Ryzen 9 7900X/7950X compared to an assortment of other AMD and Intel systems.

First off, as it concerns the Linux support for the AMD Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors: if you are running a modern Linux distribution like Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Fedora 36, etc, you should be in good shape for these Zen 4 desktop processors. Newer kernels can mean temperature and power monitoring support, but basically you should be likely fine on 2022 Linux distributions. The main exceptions are with the new integrated RDNA2 GPU found with the Ryzen 7000 series processors and possible audio issues depending upon the motherboard.

For the iGPU, you need to be running Mesa 22.2+, Linux 5.18+, and using Linux-Firmware.Git from the past few weeks. The necessary AMDGPU firmware was only recently published and without that you will have just a black screen at boot if using the iGPU. When fetching that new firmware, the iGPU was running fine. For the benchmarks today I am running Linux 6.0 Git and Mesa 22.3-devel simply for a bleeding-edge software stack. If you are not planning to make use of the iGPU, you obviously have less to worry about for the Linux support.

The RDNA2 iGPUs are mainly for driving a basic desktop display, web browsing, office tasks, and other common thin-client use-cases. The iGPUs with the Ryzen 7000 series desktop GPUs are not really intended for gaming.

The integrated graphics feature just two compute units. On the display front, there is HDMI 2.1, USB-C DP Alt Mode, and DisplayPort 2.0 but display outputs vary by motherboards. I did run a few iGPU gaming benchmarks that are shown in this article if curious about the horsepower of the integrated Radeon graphics. Somewhat notable though with using RDNA2 graphics is that there is accelerated AV1 10bpc/8bpc decode with these integrated graphics, which some users will find useful. The RDNA2 integrated graphics also support VP9, H.265, and H.264 decode and then H.264/H.265 encode.

For this article the focus is on the gaming performance across a variety of Intel/AMD CPUs. The CPUs tested for this article, based on what I had available and relevant, included:

- Core i9 11900K
- Core i5 12600K
- Core i9 12900K
- Ryzen 9 3900X
- Ryzen 9 3950X
- Ryzen 5 5500
- Ryzen 5 5600X
- Ryzen 7 5700G
- Ryzen 7 5800X
- Ryzen 7 5800X3D
- Ryzen 9 5900X
- Ryzen 9 5950X
- Ryzen 9 7900X
- Ryzen 9 7950X

The Intel Alder Lake and Zen 4 processors were all tested with 2 x 16GB DDR5-6000 memory, the Zen 3 and Rocket Lake CPUs on standard 2 x 16GB DDR4-3600 memory. All of the systems were tested with an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, Samsung 980 PRO 2TB NVMe SSD, and running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with Linux 6.0 + Mesa 22.3-devel.


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