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

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joeblowsmynose

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I'm actually amused if someone has a i9 9900K for gaming with a 2080ti and plays at 1080p, medium settings. I'm playing at 1440p with a 2700x and a 1070 (144hz panel and at about 90 fps or over I'm plenty happy for twitch shooters).

I'll still stand by my assertion that there really isn't a "gaming CPU". Better to put that money into a better graphics card most times.
...
What is funny, that back a few years ago - before Zen launched, CPU reviews had very little emphasis on gaming numbers for exactly the reason some of us have been stating - the GPU does the gaming, no one bottlenecks their CPU to game, and the chances that someone even has a CPU/GPU/Resolution/Quality combo that even allows a CPU to be bottlenecked on purpose is about 0.001% of all PCs used for gaming out there, is why these numbers were and still are, not very relevant to real world gaming experiences.

What used to happen is a CPU was tested for full CPU workloads, - all cores, all threads, all saturation, long periods of time (not this 1 or two minute BS you see in modern reviews). The absolute power of a CPU was what was evaluated. Gaming was just one or two graphs with a major disclaimer that bottlnecked CPU doesn't happen so evaluating your gaming experience by the CPU was a waste of time. The only reviewer I really see still reviewing CPUs like this is maybe Gordan Ung from PCWorld - makes sense as he is a bit more old school.

So what happened? Ryzen blasted on to the scene in 2017 with 8 cores at the same price Intel was offering four, and a more efficient SMT, -- superior multi-threaded and overall heavy workload domination. That's what happened.


Intel asked ... "where are we ahead?"

"if we can 'convince' key reviewers to focus their CPU reviews solely on artificially induced bottlenecked gaming and lightly threaded tasks, then we'll easily maintain the perception of dominance over this new Ryzen.
" was the response.

And isn't it just a coincidence that since Ryzen launched, many, if not most CPU reviews are 75% bottleneck gaming numbers with a couple renderign graphs and a "synthetic benchmark" disclaimer (even if the benchmarks is benchmarking a real world app), with little thorough testing of the CPUS true capabilities. Intel propaganda/"incentives" had nothing to do with this change in reviews though ... right?

Did this actually happen? Did Intel propoganda and "incentives" really create this scenario? Well did anyone read the "internal" memo Intel circulated on how to combat zen2? Did anyone notice the army of journalists Intel has recently "hired"? Of course that is exactly what happened. And the clear evidence is the thousands of zombie fanbois out there apparently crippling all the visuals to game on a $1200 card, trying to induce bottlenecks on their Intel CPUs so they can feel like they didn't waste $200 trying to squeeze out 5% more fps ... or not doing that, getting the same FPS as a $200 more affordable competing CPU, but believing that they are getting higher FPS ... its all quite sad really.
 
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Feb 22, 2019
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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.
You do not realize that today, a new motherboard will last a loooooong time.

The slow pace of progress for CPU power means little incentive to upgrade, so getting the latest technology is justifiable for future proofing.

I still running a 10 year old i7 920. Just days ago I played Metro Exodus at 1680x1050, at 120 fps. A month ago, I did FC Primal, also at 120 fps.
If I update my system today, there is a good chance that it will last another 10 years, unless there is a high improvement in CPU performance, which is unlikely.
But if there is a high jump in performance, AMD gives the best chance of keeping the new motherboard and upgrading only the CPU.
It does not matter if PCIE 4 SSD are expensive today.
 
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Feb 22, 2019
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You miss the point. The b450 and x570 boards support the same cpus with the same performance. So other than pcie4, there is no future-proofing done by opting for x570
Support for older chipsets will be dropped first. Not just by AMD, but by the mother manufacturers.

The x570 mothers have an excess of VRM, totally exceeding present Ryzen requirements. So AMD must have planned some future CPU with high power requirements which older mothers are not prepared to support.

Also, PCIE 5 is already published, so in the next decade, with older boards you will be running GPU for PCIE5 (or even PCIE 6) on mothers with PCIE 3, with SSD saturating their channels.
 

TJ Hooker

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Support for older chipsets will be dropped first. Not just by AMD, but by the mother manufacturers.

The x570 mothers have an excess of VRM, totally exceeding present Ryzen requirements. So AMD must have planned some future CPU with high power requirements which older mothers are not prepared to support.

Also, PCIE 5 is already published, so in the next decade, with older boards you will be running GPU for PCIE5 (or even PCIE 6) on mothers with PCIE 3, with SSD saturating their channels.
Any decent B450 board is still well able to run the 3900X at stock. Given the TDP of the 3950X is the same, I'd expect them to handle it as well. And overclocking is incredibly limited for Ryzen 3000. So as far as VRMs go, it doesn't seem you'll be limited even if you don't get an X570.

I believe only one more CPU release is expected for AM4. Given that 300 series boards are getting support for Ryzen 3000, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect Ryzen 4000 series support on 400 series boards. It remains to be seen how/if UEFI size continues to be an issue, but if you're worried about that you can always get one of the new Max boards from MSI.

PCIE 3.0 came to mainstream consumer parts 7 years ago. We still don't see significant differences between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 x16 even with the most powerful cards on the market. And for SSDs, there isn't really a noticeable difference in most applications between SATA and NVMe. So I'm not too worried about PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0 for either GPUs or SSDs in the near future.
 
Feb 22, 2019
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Any decent B450 board is still well able to run the 3900X at stock. Given the TDP of the 3950X is the same, I'd expect them to handle it as well. And overclocking is incredibly limited for Ryzen 3000. So as far as VRMs go, it doesn't seem you'll be limited even if you don't get an X570.

I believe only one more CPU release is expected for AM4. Given that 300 series boards are getting support for Ryzen 3000, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect Ryzen 4000 series support on 400 series boards. It remains to be seen how/if UEFI size continues to be an issue, but if you're worried about that you can always get one of the new Max boards from MSI.

PCIE 3.0 came to mainstream consumer parts 7 years ago. We still don't see significant differences between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 x16 even with the most powerful cards on the market. And for SSDs, there isn't really a noticeable difference in most applications between SATA and NVMe. So I'm not too worried about PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0 for either GPUs or SSDs in the near future.
Do you found benchmarcks comparing different chipsets for the 3xxx processors?

I still running an RTX GPU on PCIE 2. No complains. But I expect my next mother to last a decade. I would not bet that PCIE 4 is going to be irrelevant for 10 years when PCIE 5 is already on the door.
 
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TJ Hooker

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Do you found benchmarcks comparing different chipsets for the 3xxx processors?

I still running an RTX GPU on PCIE 2. No complains. But I expect my next mother to last a decade. I would not bet that PCIE 4 is going to be irrelevant for 10 years when PCIE 5 is already on the door.
https://www.techpowerup.com/review/amd-ryzen-3900x-3700x-tested-on-x470/
AMD themselves said Ryzen 3K would perform the same on older chipsets. https://www.techspot.com/news/80333-amd-assures-ryzen-3000-perform-equally-across-b450.html

Chasing after cutting edge tech and spending extra for 'future proofing' and then waiting 10 years between platform upgrades seems sort of contradictory. Regardless, the PCIe 2.0 spec was released 12.5 years ago and was followed ~4 years later by 3.0. And yet based on your own example it's still not an issue with the latest graphics cards. There was only 2 years between the release of 4.0 and 5.0 specs, so if we were to take the useful life of PCIe 2.0 as an example but cut off two years to account for the faster release cycle between 4.0 and 5.0, we're still looking at at least ~10.5 years (obviously a very crude estimate).
 
Feb 22, 2019
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Thanks for the links
Chasing after cutting edge tech and spending extra for 'future proofing' and then waiting 10 years between platform upgrades seems sort of contradictory.
I do not see the contradiction. My system is an i7 920, running on an Asus P6T.

The only thing I didn't upgraded in 10 years was the mother and processor.
I moved to SSD, filled the 6 banks of RAM, added various sound cards and upgraded 3 GPU.
So, the mother I expect to be the longest living part of the next build, and lots of new tech is plugged to PCIE.
If PCIE is upgraded every 3 years, then in a decade we will have PCIE 8. PCIE 3 will be wildly obsolete.
 
Aug 7, 2019
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I'm unsure what the point of comparing the Ryzen 9 3900X chip to anything else since you can't get 'em unless you're willing to pay $820+ for a chip with a MSRP of $499! I would have loved to build a new system around this chip and the X570 motherboard but it looks like I'm going to have to stick with the previous gen threadripper or go with a current gen i9 from intel. I do game but my need is for huge rendering images. I'm tired of waiting days for images when current gen promises seems to make it hours.
 
Aug 7, 2019
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I'd forgotten about BandH. Thanks for that reminder. Sad that so many profiteers are out there.

I'll have to think about it now. The 2950x Threadripper still looks like a damn fine chip but I've got to wonder how well the rendering application scales and the general comparison of the 2950x versus the 9 3900x. I know that the threadripper will be a room heater for sure but the newer ryzen 9 does look attractive.
 
I'd forgotten about BandH. Thanks for that reminder. Sad that so many profiteers are out there.

I'll have to think about it now. The 2950x Threadripper still looks like a damn fine chip but I've got to wonder how well the rendering application scales and the general comparison of the 2950x versus the 9 3900x. I know that the threadripper will be a room heater for sure but the newer ryzen 9 does look attractive.
Keep in mind, the Ryzen 9 comes with a sufficient (barely) cooler and will work on a $150 X570.

The Ryzen TR needs an $50 or more TR4 cooler and a $250 or more X399 board.
 
Aug 7, 2019
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Yep, I was figuring on the extra cost of the Noctua NH-U14S and was going to run whatever X399 board handed me the capability of eight sticks of RAM and one, possibly two M.2 drives.

But ultimately, I've just got to decide which chip/platform I'm gonna run. TR4 or the LONG wait for the Ryzen 9 3900x at the price I'm willing to pay. OH, I forgot to point out that this is likely to be my last build. I've managed to so abuse my body and brain in the past that I don't expect to outlast this build. Diabetes and Parkinson's ARE hell. I'm retired now and my fixed income means this is a one time purchase. ;)
 
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Everybody I know who upgraded to any of the Ryzen chips all complain of the same issues: frame rate drops, stuttering, flickering... Its all over Reddit and even this forum. I'm still running a 3770k and, dispite sometimes loner loading times, its much smoother than any of the new AMD Ryzen processors. The benchmark numbers might be flashy but I'm not going to upgrade a computer just to do benchmarks. To risk my gaming experience to be like my friends.. No thanks... I'm gonna stick to old faithful. Still need to give credit where credit is due. Props still to AMD for shaking the Processor world up once again. I just think they need to work on these major issues before I invest.
 

TJ Hooker

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Herald
Everybody I know who upgraded to any of the Ryzen chips all complain of the same issues: frame rate drops, stuttering, flickering... Its all over Reddit and even this forum. I'm still running a 3770k and, dispite sometimes loner loading times, its much smoother than any of the new AMD Ryzen processors. The benchmark numbers might be flashy but I'm not going to upgrade a computer just to do benchmarks. To risk my gaming experience to be like my friends.. No thanks... I'm gonna stick to old faithful. Still need to give credit where credit is due. Props still to AMD for shaking the Processor world up once again. I just think they need to work on these major issues before I invest.
That's because the people with issues are most likely to be the ones online complaining (plus possibly a higher occurrence of issues right after launch due to some growing pains with the new boards/BIOSs).

You have any evidence that your 3770K is "much smoother" than a Ryzen 3k CPU?
 

TidalWaveOne

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I managed to get a 3900X from Newegg recently... although it did go out of stock relatively quickly... and then they raised the price by $20... now it's up by $30. Maybe it will come back down when the 3950X comes out. I suspect there will be less demand for the 3900X if the 3950X is available too.

Read about my build here:
https://www.htmlvalidator.com/CSEForum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2986

I did have some issues but nothing major. I use my computer for productivity, not gaming. The 3900X is awesome. I just hope the next Asus BIOS tones down the voltages and increases the speed a bit so it hits those higher speeds a little more often.
 
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I managed to get a 3900X from Newegg recently... although it did go out of stock relatively quickly... and then they raised the price by $20... now it's up by $30. Maybe it will come back down when the 3950X comes out. I suspect there will be less demand for the 3900X if the 3950X is available too.

Read about my build here:
https://www.htmlvalidator.com/CSEForum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2986

I did have some issues but nothing major. I use my computer for productivity, not gaming. The 3900X is awesome. I just hope the next Asus BIOS tones down the voltages and increases the speed a bit so it hits those higher speeds a little more often.
That's a fantastic build. You should do a youtube video on it.
 
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Aug 7, 2019
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I'm very curious to know the relative differences and potential performance comparisons between the Ryzen 9 3900X and say the Threadripper 2950X for things like rendering and similar "productivity" applications. I know that the TR are definitely higher power consumption and thus dissapation but I've wondered if the sacrifice of PCIe 4 for the older 3, having the quad channel memory in opposition to the newer Zen with its instructions per cycle would make selecting one way or the other.
 

TidalWaveOne

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I'm very curious to know the relative differences and potential performance comparisons between the Ryzen 9 3900X and say the Threadripper 2950X for things like rendering and similar "productivity" applications. I know that the TR are definitely higher power consumption and thus dissapation but I've wondered if the sacrifice of PCIe 4 for the older 3, having the quad channel memory in opposition to the newer Zen with its instructions per cycle would make selecting one way or the other.
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-TR-2950X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-9-3900X/m569025vs4044

Or wait for the new Threadrippers based on Zen 2... they should be awesome if you want multi-core power.
 
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