AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs Intel Core i9-9900K: Which CPU Is Better?

Kai Dowin

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I find it a bit underwhelming that "motherboard options" is a first-class-citizen comparison parameter. Both platforms have a great range of budget, mid-level, and enthusiast motherboards; And, as a matter of fact, AM4 tend to be cheaper when comparing feature-compatible boards against Z390. Once you settle on a board you won't be changing it week after week.

The way I see things, that is trying a bit too hard to give some notion of parity of the 3900X to the i9-9900K.
 

joeblowsmynose

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I find it a bit underwhelming that "motherboard options" is a first-class-citizen comparison parameter. Both platforms have a great range of budget, mid-level, and enthusiast motherboards; And, as a matter of fact, AM4 tend to be cheaper when comparing feature-compatible boards against Z390. Once you settle on a board you won't be changing it week after week.

The way I see things, that is trying a bit too hard to give some notion of parity of the 3900X to the i9-9900K.
I have no clue how Intel "won" that category ... even in the section of the article, almost all nods went to the AM4 platform, then the article quickly concluded with "Intel mobos are cheaper" (what?), and "partial wireless AC"? (What even is this? I use a cable with my PC for transmission quality and speed reasons) - and then appoints Intel the winner ... discounting the fact you can run a 3900x in $50 motherboard if you want (saw it on youtube) due to the massively superior compatibility - and with AMD you get vastly superior range or prices and options without contest.

Seriously? Giving Intel the win on mobos is 100% wrong without question. I guess they wanted it to look like a closer battle ... so just arbitrarily gave this one to them?
 
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joeblowsmynose

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Even die-hard Intel loyalist will have a hard time choosing the 9900k over the 3900x
If all you do is game with a bottlnecked CPU, "need" to choose Intel for whatever reason, can afford the extravagant cooling and PSU/ motherboard requirements, and don't care about spending more than its worth, then the 9900k is still the best for you. :)

But yeah, I never would have bought that before anyway. I care too much about finding that sweet spot in getting value for my money. And while at least Intel isn't still trying to peddle a six core for $800CAD like they were just over three years ago (which I almost bought, thank God Ryzen came!), they still have to come down on pricing more yet to be competitive with AMD ...
 
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Sure z390 boards start at less money than x570, but these cheap z390 boards are crap and cant handle a 9900k.

Even cheap x570 boards look like they can handle a more power efficient 3900x.

Also, if x570 is too pricy, sub $100 b450 boards with bios flashback will work without the need for a 2000 cpu.

Sure, older h370 and h310 board will also support the 9990k, but no way their vrms would handle it either.
 
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joeblowsmynose

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Sure z390 boards start at less money than x570, but these cheap z390 boards are crap and cant handle a 9900k.

Even cheap x570 boards look like they can handle a more power efficient 3900x.

Also, if x570 is too pricy, sub $100 b450 boards with bios flashback will work without the need for a 2000 cpu.

Sure, older h370 and h310 board will also support the 9990k, but no way their vrms would handle it either.

Saw a guy put a 3900x into a $50 A320 mobo and it worked :)
 
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Barty1884

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If all you do is game with a bottlnecked CPU, "need" to choose Intel for whatever reason, can afford the extravagant cooling and PSU/ motherboard requirements, and don't care about spending more than its worth, then the 9900k is still the best for you. :)
Some people definitely fall into the "only care about the best gaming performance, regardless of cost" category.

Even die-hard Intel loyalist will have a hard time choosing the 9900k over the 3900x
I could still see a decent number of users still doing so.

Ultimately, people buy 2080TI's etc, for their raw performance, not from a "value" standpoint. So the same can be true on a CPU front.
I don't agree with that logic at all, and (as an arbitrary) example, 95% of the performance for 60% of the cost is a no-brainer to me........... but I'm sure there's still going to be a decent market for a 9900K, or whatever it's replacement will be in time.

Yep. Msi gave 3rd gen updates to all a320 boards.

I saw a 12 core 3900x working in a 2.5 year old low end b350 board.
Gigabyte have at least one too:
  1. Update AGESA 1.0.0.2 for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ CPU full support
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-A320M-S2H-rev-1x/support#support-dl-bios

I wouldn't imagine it's a great idea long-term

The motherboard win should have gone to AMD. Should not have disregarded the HUGE benefit of 3900X being backward compatible with pre-X570 motherboards.
I read the "win" to be solely on number of boards available (X570 vs Z390) and nothing else, given the last couple of paragraphs.
In total between the five major AIBs (ASRock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte and MSI), users currently have thirty X570 boards to choose from. Each board partner has a full range of boards and feature sets from ITX to E-ATX, and covers a wide gamut of pricing and features.
Between the same five board partners, there are 58 boards to choose from just on Z390. This does not include Z370 or the lesser chipsets in B360 and H370 (which can’t be used for CPU overclocking).
However, the biggest "feature" to me is:
Ryzen CPUs is backward compatibility with previous-generation chipsets. Support goes all the way back to B350
So, yeah, I would've given the 'win' to AMD in that category too.
 

salgado18

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For Intel, only the top-end Z370 and Z390 motherboards allow the i9-9900k to overclock, and some of them can barely handle the power consumption of the chip. Even if there are many more motherboards, the mid-to-lower ones cut down an important feature of the CPU.

Meanwhile, only the cheaper A320 forbid the Ryzen 9 3900X from overclocking, and most boards in the market can handle it (even some A320).

I believe, then, that there are more useful motherboard options on the AMD side. Or, if general cost and maturity is a factor, give it a tie. But Intel definitely does not win this round.
 
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MSI finally added the 3rd gen bios back to my b350 gaming plus. They had an unstable version before and revoked it.

Im not sure how well this board will handle the higher core count ryzen skews, but i have saw the 3900x in eposvox (not sure spelling)working fine in a b450 tomahawk.

B350 gaming plus and b450 tomahawk both have a simple 4+2 phase vrm with vrm heatsyncs. The b450 tomahawk is a bit better with bigger heatsyncs.
 
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I'm seriously thinking upgrading to the Ryzen 9.

I saw benchmark with a PCIE4 SSD, and those are glorious. Also, since AMD lets the user upgrade the processor on older motherboards, that's promising future proof.
AMD should had won the motherboard criteria just for that.

The thing that worries me about PCIE4 are the motherboard integrated fans to cool it. Fans break easily, and require maintenance. I don't like that. Processors advance so slow that today's mothers last many, many years, and I don't want to lose a mother because I cannot replace one fan.
I need an article on replacing those PCIE 4 fans.

I'm also worried about PCIE 5 being around the corner.

Maybe I should wait until a 16 core is released, on PCIE 5, and Intel fights back with something, but I'm almost sold on the Ryzen.
 
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Soaptrail

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Joe, in this paragraph you have an error

"The Intel Core i9-9900K processor jumps into the ring at a 50% core count disadvantage bringing its eight-core, 16-thread capabilities up against the similarly-priced 3900X. Clock speeds on the i9-9900K start off a bit lower with a base speed of 3.6 GHz (vs. 3.6 GHz) "

It should be 3.6 GHz (vs. 3.8 GHz)
 
I saw benchmark with a PCIE4 SSD, and those are glorious. Also, since AMD lets the user upgrade the processor on older motherboards, that's promising future proof.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.

While the new chips are backwards compatable with older boards, you dont get the fast pcie 4.0 ssds.

Really that doesnt matter for many since the PCIe 4 ssds are expensive and not beneficial to gamers so a b450 board and 1 NVME over PCIe 3 is enough.
 

bortao

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Nice review, but I believe it would be useful to have Ryzen 3600 and 3600X included on the charts, since they are currently the highest price/performance options
 
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The boards have an integrated wifi MAC, but you still need to buy a separate PHY to get wifi. Eg https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Wireless-AC-9560-2230-Gigabit/dp/B07G42J6KQ
That's basically useless then. You can get a full pcie Wifi/Bluetooth card from a reputable brand for a similar price.
Speed might not be the same.

https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-802-11ac-Wireless-Connection-Bluetooth/dp/B07S393QKP/ref=sr_1_22?crid=S2HLTK7H56OF&keywords=pcie+wifi+card&qid=1562956486&s=electronics&sprefix=PCIE+,electronics,141&sr=1-22
 
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joeblowsmynose

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Some people definitely fall into the "only care about the best gaming performance, regardless of cost" category.
Well they would also need to only care about gaming with their CPU bottlnecked, as it becomes much more a wash as soon as the video card is not a 2080ti, or even with a 2080ti, resolutions are higher than 1080p and settings are higher than "medium".

But if a person does game within those super tight considerations (personally I know of no one who bottlnecks their CPU to game), and can afford it, then they will see the advantage. But if not ...

I suppose though, even when gaming is a wash, some people will still just prefer the Intel brand, nothing wrong with that.

Gigabyte have at least one too:
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-A320M-S2H-rev-1x/support#support-dl-bios
I wouldn't imagine it's a great idea long-term
Keeping a mobo beyond one generation is a new concept to many who are used to going with Intel, I can understand the trepidation. :) But more seriously, the TDPs aren't much difference, Ryzen is pretty efficient even while boosting, so power draw isn't much of a concern. What is an issue is the for MSI anyway, they had to use a cut down bois on their first gen boards, to allow compatibility, so a few features were lost in that process, RAID I think being one of them.

I read the "win" to be solely on number of boards available (X570 vs Z390) and nothing else, given the last couple of paragraphs.
I say that is irrelevant and flawed thinking considering the 3900X works in almost all AMD mainstream desktop mother boards ever since Ryzen launched.

However, the biggest "feature" to me is:
... quote is auto trimmed ... (re: AM4 compatibility)
So, yeah, I would've given the 'win' to AMD in that category too.
No doubt it should have gotten this category too.
 
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Even for "strictly gaming", you are sacrificing other things by going Intel.

An operating system must run in order for you to game. Operating systems are constantly compressing and extracting files. Games also do this. AMD Ryzen 3000 is simply better at this.

Also, you have to browse the internet to get games. According to Anandtech's web benchmarks, The 3700x and 3900x cream Intel's 9900k and trade blows with the 9700k.

Sure these differences will be virtually unnoticeable, but it goes to show nobody is ever "strictly gaming".

This is ignoring AMD's lower cost, better value, and better performance in nearly all creative workloads.
 
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joeblowsmynose

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The boards have an integrated wifi MAC, but you still need to buy a separate PHY to get wifi. Eg https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Wireless-AC-9560-2230-Gigabit/dp/B07G42J6KQ
Yeah I looked that up ... but thanks for the explain.

I still strongly prefer and recommend good ol' cable for desktops, especially if online gaming ... pretty sure "partial" AC is not a feature that makes the 9900K win the "mobo" dept though ... lol - not like you really need mobility, unless you're on a super small form factor portable gaming rig maybe.
 
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Barty1884

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Even for "strictly gaming", you are sacrificing other things by going Intel.

Sure these differences will be virtually unnoticeable, but it goes to show nobody is ever "strictly gaming".
Except, under the circumstance yes, that would be "strictly gaming". A console strictly games, yet it has the same overhead you describe in acquiring & installing games etc.

Even worst-case, you 'lose' a few seconds in sourcing, or installing a game. But that's mostly a single-time tradeoff, for X% greater performance in games the rest of the time.
 

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