Don’t buy AMD’s fastest laptop CPU yet | ENBLE

Don't buy AMD's fastest laptop CPU yet | ENBLE

AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D: A Powerful Gaming CPU, But is it Worth the Upgrade?

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 Image Source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE

AMD recently announced the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, a highly anticipated gaming laptop CPU. With its release in the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, one of the fastest gaming laptops available, it certainly lived up to the hype. However, despite its impressive performance, I would caution against buying it just yet. Let’s dive into the details.

When reviewing desktop CPUs like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D and the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 itself, I found that the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D didn’t come with any surprises. It boasts 16 Zen 4 cores, enabling 32 threads, and a boost clock speed of 5.4GHz. What sets it apart is the addition of 128MB of L3 cache, doubling the base processor’s cache size.

In terms of raw processor performance, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is closely comparable to the base Ryzen 9 7945HX. It doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of compute power, and in some cases, it even outperforms its predecessor. During my testing, I observed a slight increase in gaming performance, with an 8% uplift in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, identical performance in Red Dead Redemption 2, and an impressive 28% jump in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s worth noting that these figures surpass those achieved by a desktop RTX 4070 Ti and Ryzen 9 7950X.

However, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D’s gaming prowess comes with a caveat. While it excels in controlled testing scenarios, when faced with realistic conditions, its performance is not as remarkable. AMD’s quoted performance numbers were based on tests run at 1080p with the High preset in games. I decided to run my own tests at both 1080p with the Ultra preset and 1440p, considering the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17’s 1440p screen and powerful mobile RTX 4090 graphics. Surprisingly, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D fell short in some cases, performing slightly worse in games like Red Dead Redemption 2.

It’s important to note that gaming CPUs tend to shine in situations where the CPU bottleneck is intentionally created. This means that when pushing the system’s limits, the advantages of the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D may disappear, especially at higher resolutions like 1440p. Games like DOTA 2, Final Fantasy 14, Total War: Warhammer III, and Borderlands 3, which are said to have a 5% to 10% uplift at 1080p, may lose these advantages entirely at 1440p.

Despite its gaming performance, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D comes with a higher price tag compared to the base Ryzen 9 7945HX. The Scar 17 model equipped with the 3D V-Cache chip retails for $3,600, $100 more than the same configuration with the base model. In reality, you can often find the base model priced lower, with some retailers offering it on sale. Additionally, the battery life of the 3D V-Cache version is slightly worse, a concern considering the Scar 17’s already limited battery life due to its desktop replacement status.

In conclusion, while the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D delivers on its promises and showcases the capabilities of AMD’s 3D V-Cache technology, the Asus Scar 17 may not be the ideal platform for this processor. Its advantages may be more pronounced in laptops with weaker graphics cards and 1080p screens. For now, sticking with the base Ryzen 9 7945HX option in flagship laptops like the Scar 17 seems to be the better choice, saving you money without sacrificing too much performance.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 Image Source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE