Core i5-9600K vs Ryzen 2700X for gaming

Kudera

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Jan 18, 2017
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Hi guys, I want to buy one of those this Friday which one would be better for high end games like Witcher3, GTAV RDR2 etc? Or perhaps you would suggest a different processor for <£300?

Thanks.
 

Redneck5439

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Aug 21, 2015
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At this point in time the difference in gaming performance between Intel and AMD is very minimal. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference if you saw two gaming rigs side by side, one AMD 2700X and one Intel 9600K - really the 9900K playing the same exact games with the same GPU. The only way to tell is if you had FRAPS running in the background. That is how far AMD has closed the performance gap with their Ryzen line.

Now to get to your question, the above two posters are correct. The i5 9600K will outperform The 2700X by about 16% overall in most games. In fact the 9600K at the same clock speeds will have the same performance as the 9700K and 9900K in 99% of major game titles as the vast majority of games don't use in excess of 6 cores.

Now to fully answer your question you have to ask yourself two things: 1. Are you going to be doing anything other than gaming on your rig? and 2. Do you want an upgrade path.

1. If you are going to be doing any productivity work, ie rendering, video editing, ect. then the R7 2700X will be a much better value than the i5 9600K as it will have nearly the same gaming experience while providing much better performance in overall productivity. If you stream your game play you will also have better performance with the 2700X. The reason is simple, the 2700X has 8 cores and 16 threads as compared to the i5 9600K at 6 cores and 6 threads.

2. Do you want an upgrade path? Going forward, even if you buy the newest Z390 motherboard you won't have an upgrade path past the current 9th Generation with Intel. On the other hand if you buy a quality X470 motherboard on AM4 it will be supported though 2020. That means realistically you will be able to run a 2700X, get great performance and have the ability to upgrade to Zen2 and possibly even Zen2+. Zen2 has been reported as having ~16% IPC improvement over Ryzen in some tasks and will also support higher clock speeds. With Zen2 AMD will have a clear superiority in IPC over Intel (right now they are just behind, by literally under 5%). What this means is unless Intel finally gets 10nm out at high clock speeds they are going to be outperformed by Zen2 across the board.

If all your doing is gaming you may also want to consider the R5 2600(X). The R5 2600 can be bought for ~$160 or less and can usually be overclocked to 4 - 4.2Ghz. At those clock speeds it will perform in games the same as the R7 2700(X) as again the vast majority of games don't use more than 6 cores. The R5 2600 would provide a very good bang for your buck and you would be on the AM4 platform with the capability of upgrading to Zen2, maybe Zen2+ in a year or two.

There is no upgrade path with Intel's Z390, whatever Intel does next will require a new motherboard, however there is a clear upgrade path with AMD's AM4 which will be supported though 2020.
 

Kudera

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Jan 18, 2017
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Hi Redneck

The rig I am trying to build is for games and games only. I have no interest in streaming/rendering. So in your opinion it would be better to buy R5 2600X with a more expensive motherboard, rather than buying 2700X and spending less on the motherboard, right? I am usually upgrading my rig in 3 years so I would follow the path you suggested in 2.

I am asking because right now I am still using old generation motherboard (and DDR3 RAM...) Hence I need to buy RAM, MOBO and Processor this Friday. Thank you.
 

Redneck5439

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In my opinion for gaming it would be hard to go wrong with either the R5 2600 or the R5 2600X. Both are unlocked and both are 6 core 12 thread processors. The difference between them basically comes down to if you go with the R5 2600 you will have to manually overclock it, and if you go with the R5 2600X it will basically overclock itself. Both processors should run up to four cores at around 4.2Ghz and should have an all core overclock of just about 4 to 4.1Ghz. If your really new to overclocking I would suggest the 2600X as it will have Precision Boost Overdrive and will do the overclocking for you. At those clock speeds the R5 2600(X) will perform nearly identical to a R7 2700X in the vast majority of game titles.

The R5 2600(X) comes with capable cooler out of the box and depending on how much case cooling you may not need anything more. This will also save you an addition $30 - $40 over an Intel build as they do not come with coolers.

As far as motherboards go, you could easily run a good B470 motherboard, however you will usually get a little better performance out of X470 motherboard. The X470 has better VRM cooling and power phasing which overall leads to better overclocks and better scaling with Precision Boost Overdrive with the R5 2600X. Having a X470 board will also give you more options for upgrading to Zen2 or Zen2+ if you decide to do so.

If you are comfortable with overclocking (its really not that hard to do) the much better value is going with the R5 2600. Its listed on newegg for $60 less than than the R5 2600X and comes in at a whopping $90 less than the i5 9600K. I don't know if you are building an entire system or if you are just upgrading with a new motherboard and processor, but the savings could be applied to getting faster RAM or a better GPU both of which will help much more than the difference in IPC between the 9600K and 2600(X). Simply put the R5 2600 is the best value gaming processor there is.

You may want to see if you have a MicroCenter near you, they usually have even better prices in store than you can find online.
 

Kudera

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Jan 18, 2017
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I have never overclocked a CPU but my GPU is 8GB RX480 and i did play with it and got some stable results so I should be able to overclock the CPU. I will look into it before making my decision. Thank you very much for your input. I will definitely get R2600 or R2600X.
 

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