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AMD just shocked the consumer PC space with a powerful lineup of new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs, which I recently covered on HDG. Is it finally time to make the switch from Intel to AMD?
In this article, I take a look at AMD’s new Ryzen processors and offer some tips on which processor brand you should go for in 2019 and 2020 when building a new computer.
Keep in mind that because the AMD Ryzen 3000 chips are so new, we can’t offer precise benchmarking comparisons yet, but we can still provide a rough price to performance comparison between AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 CPUs versus Intel’s equivalent offerings.
For low-end budget builds, make sure to read my post on Intel vs AMD (Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs). This article will focus on the higher-end CPUs from both companies.
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel i9-9900K
We will start at the very top because we think this is where the biggest attention will be drawn. If you’re a serious gamer or content creator, the best CPU available was the Intel i9-9900K, by a long shot. But the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has the potential to completely change that.
First, let’s talk about pricing. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X will cost $499, whilst the i9-9900K is sitting at around $485 right now. The pricing for Intel’s best gaming CPU may drop in an attempt to compete against the new Ryzen lineup, but for now, the prices are very comparable.
At a glance, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has enough power to outperform the i9 9900K. We are still waiting for benchmarks, but there’s a lot to get excited about. Firstly, AMD’s new Ryzen 9 3900X is using a 7 nanometer process. Smaller transistors mean that CPUs can be more power efficient, pushing out more calculations without hitting temperature limits.
So, a jump to 7 nanometer from 14 nanometer is already a big thing for Ryzen, and it should mean better single threaded performance. The base clock speed is 3.8GHz, bigger than the 3.6GHz base clock of the i9 9900K, and you also get a much larger cache of 6MB/64MB versus 2MB/16MB. For multi-threaded performance, things are looking pretty spectacular too. You’ll get 12 cores and 24 threads with the Ryzen 9 3900X, versus the 8 cores, 16 threads on the Intel i9 9900K.
Ultimately, the Ryzen 9 3900X easily has the potential to be a more powerful alternative to the i9 9900K at basically the same price. And, if you need even more computing power, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X for $749 takes things to ridiculous levels by offering 16 cores, 32 threads, 8MB/64MB cache and a base clock of 3.8GHz. Intel is definitely worried right now.
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X vs Intel i7-9700K
A slight step down from the i9-9900K is the i7-9700K, usually retailing for around $400. AMD’s new competitor at this price point is the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X.
Once again the 3800X is using a 7 nanometer process, giving it a big leg up on the 14nm process used by the Intel i7-9700K. In terms of other raw specifications, the Ryzen 7 3800X is fitted with 8 cores, 16 threads at a 3.9GHz base clock. Total cache is 4MB/32MB.
The i7-9700K has just 8 cores, 8 threads, and a cache of 12MB of L3. Once again, I won’t be surprised if AMD knocks the ball out of the park in terms of performance if you put the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X against the i7-9700K
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs i5-9600K
But what about the low end? All of a sudden, AMD may just have beat Intel in performance for gaming at the high end, but can they still hold onto their title for best low end CPU? Well, the best way to find out is to compare the new AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs the i5-9600K.
Firstly, the i5-9600K sits at $230 right now, and the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 will launch for $199. I would be very shocked if Intel doesn’t drop the price of the i5-9600K to compete with the new Ryzen 5 3600, so let’s just assume price points will be the same.
Even at this price point, AMD still wins with the better architecture – their cheapest new AMD Ryzen 5, the 3600, is still using a 7nm processor, leaving the 14nm i5-9600K in the dust. Both processors can be boosted, but the i5-9600K starts at 3.7GHz, versus the 3.6GHz base clock of the Ryzen 5 3600.
That extra 100mHz isn’t going to mean anything when you realize that the Ryzen 5 has 6 cores and 12 threads. Putting that against the single threaded six cores on the i5 gives the Ryzen 5 3600 so much more room for better performance.
I’d suggest that the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 will hit far, far better benchmark results against the i5-9600K.
AMD vs Intel in 2020 – Who Will Win?
Ultimately, at every single price point, AMD has completely beaten Intel’s offering. So what will Intel do to compete? For now, Intel may drop their pricing a little to offer a better deal for customers, but even then, AMD is still likely to win the price/performance game.
Intel are of course working to launch their own 7nm CPU range. When they do, we wouldn’t be surprised if things look up for Intel again, but that may not be until 2020 or beyond. If you’re in the market for a good gaming CPU, the new AMD Ryzen lineup is an excellent place to start.
If you are a gamer or a content creator, I absolutely cannot recommend AMD more than Intel at this point. The new lineup will launch on July 7, so I’d suggest waiting a few months after that date to make sure there aren’t any major manufacturing issues that come up. This would make a new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU the perfect gift around the holiday period.
In summary, should you switch to the new AMD Ryzen 3000 lineup? Well, if you are in the market for a new CPU, absolutely. If you already have the i9-9900K, it may not make sense to upgrade unless you’re absolutely after a new PC within the next 6 months.
If you are on anything less powerful, then a CPU upgrade to a new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU will definitely bring you enough performance improvements to make the investment worth it.