AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9-9900Okay | Spec Comparability

AMD Ryzen 9 3900xDan Baker/Digital Tendencies

2019 has been an important 12 months for AMD, with new CPU and graphics card launches which are capturing large consideration from the trade and followers as an entire. However that’s to not say it doesn’t have stiff competitors in each camps. Its new Ryzen 3000 CPUs go face to face with Intel’s greatest on value, however how do they examine on efficiency?

With new in hand, there are nice comparisons for us to make all through the brand new vary of Ryzen chips and on the high finish, for round $500, we have now the Core i9-9900Okay versus the Ryzen 9 3900X. Which would be the greatest chip of all of them?

By the numbers

Solely eclipsed by its incoming 16-core brethren, the Ryzen 9 3900X is probably the most highly effective mainstream CPU AMD has ever launched, and it has some fantastical specs. The Core i9-9900Okay isn’t any slouch although, and by the numbers, they’re fairly comparable.

Intel Core i9 9900Okay
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Course of node



L2/L3 cache

Base clock velocity

Enhance clock velocity
four.7GHz (all cores) 5GHz (one core)
four.6GHz (single core) four.1GHz+ (all cores)

Intel UHD Graphics 630


The 3900X has extra cores and threads, whereas Intel’s has the stronger clock velocity, particularly with regards to single-threaded workloads. Most video games make the most of a handful of cores in 2019, although, so until you’re overclocking, you gained’t usually see 5GHz frequencies when gaming on a 9900Okay. The 3900X can increase to four.6Ghz on a single core, however might be nearer to four.1GHz if utilizing all cores and threads on the identical time. AMD’s automated overclocking can take it as much as four.3GHz in some instances, although that may be very a lot dependent in your motherboard, BIOS revision, and cooling.

The 3900X has seen a significant enhance in directions per clock over its second-generation predecessors, so is extra highly effective than the 9900Okay clock for clock. Its big L2 and L3 cache successfully get rid of the reminiscence latency issues from the 2nd-generation chips too.


Intel Core i9- 9900KIntel Core i9- 9900Okay

Intel has held a efficiency edge in gaming for greater than a decade, and even with AMD’s implausible first- and second-generation Ryzen CPUs, that held true. However not. In our gaming exams with Fortnite, Civilization VI, and Murderer’s Creed Odyssey, the 3900X beat out the 9900Okay — a CPU beforehand hailed as the very best gaming chip ever made — on nearly all settings, displaying a slight lead. Which may not be the crushing numbers that AMD followers hoped for, however that is the primary time high-end AMD CPU has overwhelmed the Intel competitors in gaming for greater than ten years. That is momentous information.

That stated, Intel’s 9900Okay is the cheaper of the 2 chips at the moment. The 9900Okay may be had for $490, however its onboard-graphics-free various, the 9900KF is priced as little as $480. Compared, provide points have pushed the 3900X as much as as excessive as $560. Whereas it is likely to be th

Which may make Intel’s possibility extra worth for cash, no less than in gaming. It is very important contemplate the continued issues Intel has confronted with efficiency of its CPUs being inhibited by Spectre mitigation, although. These might proceed as new bugs are discovered sooner or later, the place AMD’s chips are usually extra sturdy in opposition to these sorts of exploits.


Closely multi-threaded productiveness duties like video transcoding and modifying have been extra AMD’s wheelhouse for the previous couple of years, with its Ryzen and Threadripper chips competing straight and even pulling forward of Intel’s costlier choices. With the 3000 collection, and particularly the 12-core, 24-thread 3900X, AMD has overwhelmed not solely Intel’s mainstream chips (the 9900Okay included) however will even put a few of its older Threadripper cousins out to pasture.

At E3 AMD confirmed off statistics of its 3900X pitted in opposition to one which’s greater than twice the value: The 12-core, 24-thread, $1,200 Intel Core i9-9920X. And it nonetheless cleaned up.

amd ryzen 9 3900x vs intel core i9 9900k 3900x03

After we bought our arms on the 3900X we pitted it in opposition to its true rival although, the 9900Okay. Unsurprisingly, the brand new AMD CPU proved dominant as soon as once more.

In Geekbench and Cinebench the 3900X decimated the 9900Okay in multithreaded efficiency, although its decreased clock velocity meant it fell simply shy of the Intel competitors in single-threaded duties. In the actual world Handbrake 4K transcoding check, the 3900X proved nearly 25 p.c quicker than the 9900Okay. A sizeable benefit delivered by the additional cores/threads of the AMD chip.


Effectivity isn’t as necessary on desktop chips because it with cell, as there’s no battery life to be involved with. That stated, warmth is a vital issue and the extra energy a CPU requires, the extra warmth it outputs. That’s the place the considerably marketing-driven TDP determine comes from.

By the numbers, Intel’s 9900Okay is the extra environment friendly chip, with a rated TDP of 95 watts, whereas the 3900X has a TDP of 105 watts. However that’s not the complete story. Intel’s TDP scores are inclined to relate to its base clock, reasonably than its sustained increase. AMD’s are a lot nearer to the facility it pulls when at its highest clock speeds.

Analysis into energy calls for from Intel’s 9900Okay round its launch confirmed it drawing way more energy than its TDP ranking. Tom’s reported that although it remained underneath its TDP throughout gaming, when doing closely multithreaded workloads over extended durations, it may require greater than 200 watts. That quantity may enhance to 250 watts if overlocked.

We didn’t check the 3900X’s energy draw, however different reviewers have and Anandtech discovered it by no means pulled greater than 142 watts when absolutely loaded. That makes it a extra environment friendly chip than the 9900Okay too.

The 3900X is the brand new CPU king

AMD Ryzen 9 3900xDan Baker/Digital Tendencies

We had been excited for the 3900X earlier than it launched primarily based on prerelease numbers and hypothesis and we’re joyful to report that put up launch, after having examined it, we’re even happier. The 3900X affords comparable efficiency to the 9900Okay in gaming and restricted thread duties, even eclipsing it in some instances, and it obliterates it in multithreaded workloads. It does so at a decrease TDP too, that means it attracts much less energy and requires much less cooling for its highest efficiency.

The 3900X is the very best mainstream CPU AMD has ever made and hails a return to the top-tier efficiency that we haven’t seen the crimson group obtain for the reason that days of the Athlon 64. Intel now finds itself within the reverse of the place it has loved for greater than a decade and it’s decreased costs in flip to assist it keep aggressive. That and provide issues with the 3900X do make it the costlier chip by as much as $80. That’s price spending for those who’re going to make the most of its further cores, however for those who’re purely involved in gaming, the decrease price of the 9900Okay is certainly price contemplating as a substitute.

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