AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs Intel Core i9-9900K: Consider Important Factors Before Your Purchase

Moore’s Law has significantly slowed down for the last couple of decades. To solve this problem, AMD and Intel are inclined towards fast and efficient silicon chips which are chunked into many cores to stay relevant for commercial or consumer demands. Interestingly, multicore powered CPUs are gaining quick traction in 2019 after the release of monster chip AMD Ryzen 9 3900X with 12 Cores 24 Threads. The current rival to Matisse named Ryzen 9 3900X is Intel’s 14nm Coffe Lake refresh Core i9-9900K with only 8 Cores 16 Threads but gaming performance excels over 7nm Ryzen 9 3900X by 6% overall 36 games benchmarks according to Hardware Unboxed Youtube enthusiast channel. However, productivity king is undisputed multicore Ryzen 9 3900X anyways because more cores mean more performance uplift in real-world situations such as Video Production or 3D development. Nonetheless, before purchasing any of these incredible processors you should consider various factors like Upgrade Path, Productivity, Overclocking, Cooling, Gaming, Power Draw and Price.

Upgrade Path

Easy to identify the upgrade path of the CPUs platform when examining the company’s roadmap for the socket scalability. AMD has promised in 2017 that AM4 platform socket will be supported till 2021 and that includes 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Gen Ryzen processors fully functioning on old motherboards from 2017. Intel’s roadmap is very frustrating to consumers since 2017 all Coffee Lake 8th Gen Core processors were forced to switch to new 1151 V2 socket due to power distribution on chipset. Yet, Intel are not informing anybody about upcoming 10nm processors’ platform choice. So buying Intel Z390 motherboard is the dead end for your upgrade path since future AMD Ryzen 4th Gen will be fully supported on existing motherboards like X570, X370, B450, A320, B350 and X470. Best Choice for Uprade Path is AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

Productivity

In productivity workloads such as rendering 4k YouTube videos and 3D Simulation, the CPU core and thread count matter the most. A simple explanation to this would be parallel power of independent cores assisting each other to complete the instruction in a shorter time. Obviously, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is powered by 12 physical cores with 24 threads making it the ultimate choice for production studios. Whereas, Intel Core i9-9900K has only 8 Cores and 16 threads which are not the best for productivity tasks. Best Choice for Productivity is AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

Overclocking

When it comes to squeezing the ultimate juice out of processor is definitely Intel Core i9-9900K because this incredible chip can hit 5.1 GHz on all cores if the user adds custom water-cooling or premium Noctua air cooler. On the other hand, Ryzen 9 3900X can’t even reach its designated boost clocks up to 4.6 GHz, in reality, it can run on 4.3 GHz max according to Der8auer OC enthusiast. However, AMD came out with AGESA Bios update to fix memory latency issues in order to give overclocking for memory frequency to boost its Infinity Fabric speed, as a result, it gave small gains in performance and stable functioning on older motherboards. Nevertheless, i9-9900K is the king of overclocking till these days but consumers should consider above mentioned previous factors too before purchasing. Best Choice for Overclocking is Intel Core i9-9900K.

Cooling

Taming the monster chip like i9-9900K is the hardest part for enthusiasts, it simply runs hotter than any Ryzen chips. For best cooling solutions, the end user must add a significant amount of money to get full satisfaction out of i9 processor. AIO coolers are the right choice for i9-9900K but investment on airflow will bring also extra spending. In contrast, Ryzen 9 3900X runs amazingly cooler compared to i9 counterpart due to processor’s chiplet design dissipating heat evenly towards IHS (Internal Heat Spreader). Furthermore, AMD’s decent Wraith Prism RGB cooler is included together with Ryzen 9 3900X package. Most of the time, it gives good cooling if the user does not overclock. Best Choice for System Cooling is AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

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Gaming

Playing game on 1080p is outdated for enthusiasts who can buy expensive hardware for their money. New gaming resolution is 1440p or ultra wide. Nowadays, gaming monitors are ahead of their time providing 165 Hz refresh rate max on 1440p and paving way for gaming CPUs to fill the performance gap. So, 165 fps must be produced by GPU and CPU to match the monitor performance. In this situation, i9-9900K is simply 6% faster than Ryzen 9 3900X, thanks to Intel’s long reigning Core architecture that has become a standard platform to optimize many games released for the current passing decade. However, games are adapting to multithreaded CPUs for example, quad-core i5-7600K is now 10-15% slower than hexa core Ryzen 5 1600 in latest benchmarks made by Hardware Unboxed techtuber. Bear in mind that Intel’s Core CPUs would be obsolete by the time when Sunny Cove new architecture CPUs launch, for sure they will come with higher core count like Ryzen 3rd Gen. To sum up, i9-9900K is still the current champion for gaming purpose but time will tell whether games optimization will favor new upcoming Sunny Cove and Zen 3 architecture. Best Choice for Gaming is Intel Core i9-9900K.

Power Draw

Despite 95W TDP (Thermal Design Power) of i9-9900K given by Intel last year, many tech channels complained that 95W TDP is not true. As people can witness in latest power draw benchmarks by Hardware Unboxed reviewer the i9-9900K consuming 244W using Blender stress test. Interestingly, Ryzen 9 3900X gets only 224 despite being 105W TDP based CPU. Power draw factor is the most important for those who are living with expensive electric bills to pay at the end of the month. So long getting 12 core powerful chip that eats less power from the wall would be an only real choice. Best Choice for less Power Draw is Ryzen 9 3900X.

Price

Here is the most notable moment for any person who wants to get each frame rate or performance for hard-earned money while getting a processor for up to 3-5 years service. Let’s say buying Intel i9-9900K for $479 and also necessary to spend $90 for aftermarket cooler Noctua NH-D15 plus affordable overclockable Asus Prime Z390-A motherboard for $180. Total spent would be $749 for CPU, Motherboard, and Cooler. On the other side, Ryzen 9 3900X is costing around $650 which is above its MSRP pricing due to high demand. Affordable overclock enabled AM4 motherboard for Ryzen anyone can get is ASRock B450M Steel Legend with $90 price tag. About cooling doesn’t worry AMD provided free Wraith Prism RGB cooler in the package. Overall spending is $740 for Ryzen 9 3900X and funny side is saving the extra $9 plus getting extra 4 cores 8 threads when refusing to get i9-9900K. Conclusive decision to get Ryzen chip is a better idea. Best Choice for Price to Performance is Ryzen 9 3900X.

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Uson Abdilazhanov

Uson Abdilazhanov

Editor and Computer Expert

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