AMD Zen 3 CPUs Vs Intel 10th Gen CPUs

Could Ryzen Zen 3 Finally Beat Intel?

Update 11/05/2020: Find Where To Buy The Ryzen 5000 Line CPUs Here

When it comes to building a gaming PC, a lot of people find that the easiest place to start when deciding what to include in their PC is with the CPU. The CPU is like the main brain of a computer, and depending on what CPU you pick, you could have a lot of power at your disposal that you would be able to take advantage of with the right RAM, GPU, and motherboard combined for a great gaming PC.

The big question when it comes to choosing a CPU though is who to go for, AMD or Intel? It’s a pretty big question, and one that has been asked a lot over the years – and once again we find ourselves questioning whether AMD or Intel CPUs are better in 2020, with AMD’s Zen 3 CPUs launching in November to widespread enthusiast excitement, and Intel’s 10th gen CPUs that launched way back in April (seems an age ago now, doesn’t it?) still sitting happily at the top of the current generation of CPU leader boards.

So, the question is, does the launch of Zen 3 by AMD change anything? Will the 5000 line of CPUs be better than intel, and can AMD finally knock their competition off of the top spot when it comes to choosing the best CPU, not just for gaming either, but for an overall better PC experience?

AMD Zen 3 Series Vs intel 10th Gen: Pricing

Let’s kick off this comparison with probably one of the simplest and strongest deciding factors of when it comes to choosing what CPU you need for your PC.

So, first to AMD and their ZEN 3 CPUs. The pricing structure for the new 5000 series line of chips ranges from around $799 in the USA for the Ryzen 9 5950X, to $299 for the Ryzen 5 5600X. That’s a pretty big gap, and for the full list of different AMD Zen 3 CPU prices just look below:

  •       AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: $799 (Approx. £620)
  •       AMD Ryzen 9 5900X: $549 (Approx. £420)
  •       AMD Ryzen 7 5800X: $449 (Approx. £350)
  •       AMD Ryzen 5 5600X: $299 (Approx. £230)

So, the prices for these chips can look a little steep. If you were hoping to improve your gaming PC with a new top of the line Ryzen chip alongside an RTX 3080, you might be looking at a combined cost of around $1,500 just for those two components alone – which is quite a lot, considering I haven’t even factored in things like a compatible AM4 motherboard, better RAM or even improved cooling. Or RGB.

And then there is the question of how these prices stack against the previous release of the Zen 2 generation from AMD, which saw the top-performing chip of that generation (the Ryzen 9 3950X) hit shelves with a price tag of $749 attached. Obviously, the question here becomes ‘what makes the new AMD chip worth that extra $50’, and it’s a question that comes down to performance – which we will dive into soon enough.

Before we do get down to the performance per penny statistics of these chips, let’s have a quick word about how the Zen 3 chips stack against their Intel counterparts.

Currently, Intel doesn’t make a desktop-grade CPU that can offer the type of performance which would bring it into competition with the 5950X – so that might give you an indication on that extra $50. However, the 5900X can be put pretty comfortably against the I9-10900K, and when it comes to these two chips AMD comes out as $50 more expensive, with the 5900 at $549 and the I9-10900K set at $499 (retailer suggested price).

The same story can be told about the rest of the Zen 3 chips in comparison to Intel’s selection of 10th generation CPUs – they all have price tags with an increase of around $50 on their Intel counterparts.

The chief point you need to take from this section is this: if you are looking for a modern CPU that falls into a cheaper and more affordable bracket than high performance, then Intel is certainly going to be providing the better option as their officially suggested prices are lower than AMD’s.

However.

Intel’s CPU’s are often priced higher than they should be by retailers, with the i9-10900K’s price tag hovering around the $700 mark in some retailers alone. Take into account the fact that realistically, AMD’s equivalent CPUs have better-listed specifications than Intel’s, and it should be a lot easier to swallow the relatively small price difference between the two CPUs.

When it comes to budget then, AMD comes out on top if you are looking for a better performance for penny investment. Let’s talk more about that performance though.

AMD Zen 3 Series Vs intel 10th Gen: Performance

When it comes to CPUs, the real question that people need answering is whether the brand new Zen 3 processors perform at a level that validates the prices attached. So in this section, we are going to look at both the Intel and AMD CPUs that compete at a similar level, and figure out whether AMD is being reasonable in their pricing.

The Ryzen 5950X

First up we have the Ryzen 5950X, the top of the line CPU from AMD that really has no equal when it comes to Intel’s different offerings.

Specifications  AMD Ryzen 5 5950X
Architecture Zen 3
Process Node 7nm+
Cores 16
Threads 32
Base Clock 3.4Ghz
Max Single-core boost clock TBD
Max All-core boost clock 4.9GHz
Cache 72MB
Max memory speed support 3,200MHz (TBD)
TDP 105W
CPU Socket AM4
Price $799

 

So, as we can see in these specifications, we can tell that this is going to be a pretty powerful CPU. You have 16 cores ready to go on the CPU itself, with 32 threads matched with a base clock of 3.4GHz that can be boosted to 4.9GHz on a single-core, meaning that you are going to have a lot of headroom when using different programs and games that need hefty processing power available to them.

What does this mean in real terms though? Well, more cores and a higher thread count definitely puts AMD’s 5950X in top position when it comes to productivity, with applications and programs that demand multithreaded performance like video editing, photo editing, audio mixing, and other processor-intensive applications all benefiting from this CPU.

Which is great, as a lot of high-end PCs are made specifically for these types of applications, though we do have to address the gaming shaped elephant in the room, and we do that by saying that on paper this CPU doesn’t look like it’s going to be giving the best in-game performance for the money it costs.

However, that is just on paper. AMD themselves have come out and said that there has been a change in Zen 3 when compared to Zen 2, in that the number of instructions per cycle (or IPCs) will have increased by up to 19%. This is significant because it indicates that single-core performance could be much improved over the last-gen and that at least on a single-thread level we could see AMD’s performance gap with Intel eliminated.

Combine that with the uptick we have seen I the actual clock speeds, and we could have a CPU here that offers rock-solid game performance as well as an outstanding ability to cope with multithread demanding applications, making it seem like a brilliant choice if you want a PC that can handle both well. We have to wait until the embargo lifts for a full review, but until then, things look very promising.

Ryzen 9 5900X Versus The Intel i9-10900K

Ryzen 9 5900X Versus The Intel i9-10900K

Then we have the Ryzen 9 5900X versus the Intel i9-10900K. These are probably the two chips that are going to be hot property when it comes to building a PC, and so it’s definitely important that we compare the two and figure out which CPU is best.

So, here we can see all the specifications of both the Ryzen 5900X and the Intel i9-10900K laid out against each other, and draw direct comparisons.

  AMD Ryzen 9 5900X Intel i9-10900K
Architecture Zen 3 Comet Lake
Process Node 7nm+ 14nm+
Cores 12 10
Threads 24 20
Base Clock 3.7Ghz 3.7GHz
Max Single-core boost clock TBD 5.3GHz
Max All-core boost clock 4.8GHz 4.9GHz
Cache 70MB 20MB
Max memory speed support 3,200MHz (TBD) 2,933MHz
TDP 105W 125W
CPU Socket AM4 LGA1200
Price $549 $499

 

The very first thing to note here is that this is the first proper comparison between Intel and AMD when it comes to specification versus specification comparisons. Right off the bat, we can see that the Ryzen chips have more cores, more threads, a higher cache, and a better power requirement than Intel, which is all very promising.

You also have to consider that for the longest time, AMD has led the board when it comes to multithreaded performance. It’s been the rule of thumb that if you want a CPU for gaming you go Intel, and for literally anything else, you head to AMD. However, this could be the CPU that closes that gap, as if the IPS performance of this chip sees an uptick just like the 5950X is getting, then we could see clock speed, single-thread performance, and general in-game performance all improve dramatically.

We will have to wait until the final release of the 5900X to fully benchmark and appreciate the differences between the two, but as it stands on paper you could be forgiven for thinking that right now, Intel offers the better CPU for gaming performance thanks to the 10900K’s single-core and all-core boost frequency – but AMD is making some bold claims about their new CPUs performance, and it’s going to be up to individual reviews to verify their claims.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Versus Intel i7-10700K

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Versus Intel i7-10700K

Now we have the 5800X from Ryzen versus the Intel i7-10700K. Again, this is going to be drastically important as far as the question of AMD versus Intel goes, as these are two very high performing CPUs for their price bracket, and as such, they are going to be very popular. Check out their specifications below:

  AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Intel i7-10700K
Architecture Zen 3 Comet Lake
Process Node 7nm+ 14nm+
Cores 8 8
Threads 16 16
Base Clock 3.8Ghz 3.8GHz
Max Single-core boost clock TBD 5.3GHz
Max All-core boost clock 4.8GHz 4.7GHz
Cache 36MB 16MB
Max memory speed support 3,200MHz (TBD) 2,933MHz
TDP 105W 125W
CPU Socket AM4 LGA1200
Price $449 $387

 

Once again, the chief thing to take away from this list is that a better memory speed support, boost clock, and cache inside the AMD chip all point to a potentially better processor than the Intel.

So, let’s talk about what these specs potentially mean for each chip. On the AMD side of things, you can expect a faster all-core boost clock by a full 100MHz, which means that once again, when it comes to multithreaded performance (and programs that require it) AMD are winning over Intel.

Not surprising when you look at team reds track record, but the fact that we have to wait until the release of the chip itself to test out the single-core performance does raise some questions. Let’s assume then that what AMD has been saying is correct, and that the IPS count on the 5800X has been increased – what we see in this situation is a CPU that outperforms the Intel opposition whilst either giving a level or Intel beating performance when it comes to gaming.

Realistically then, for the money that AMD is asking when it comes to the Ryzen 5800X, you could be in for a very good deal. Wait for full benchmarking results to be released – but definitely think twice before buying Intel, and consider that $62 extra to AMD a sound investment in a better performing, more rounded PC.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Versus Intel i5-10600K

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Versus Intel i5-10600K

Final ly, we get to the bottom tier of the CPU ladder, the ever-exciting budget processors: The 5600X and the Intel i5-10600K. Don’t get me wrong or think I’m being sarcastic – these really are exciting processors, offering quite a lot despite their lower price tags. Check out their exact specifications below:

  AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Intel i5-10600K
Architecture Zen 3 Comet Lake
Process Node 7nm+ 14nm+
Cores 6 6
Threads 12 12
Base Clock 3.7Ghz 4.1GHz
Max Single-core boost clock TBD 4.8GHz
Max All-core boost clock 4.6GHz 4.7GHz
Cache 35MB 12MB
Max memory speed support 3,200MHz (TBD) 2,666MHz
TDP 65W 95W
CPU Socket AM4 LGA1200
Price $299 $265

 

The first thing that really matters at this stage is price: The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is $34 more expensive than the 10600K – which doesn’t seem a lot, but if you are shopping on a budget it could make all the difference. So is that $34 warranted?

Well, really it’s hard to tell at this stage. Both CPUs have the same number of cores and threads, but on paper, the 10600K is looking like it might beat out the Ryzen 5600X when it comes to a base clock speed, despite the 5600X having the edge when it comes to both memory speed support, and cache size.

So, what should we expect from the Ryzen 5600X in comparison to the i5-10600K? Well, we know that the 10600K is a great processor if you are focused on gaming and I would be surprised if AMD hasn’t made their 5600X capable of meeting the 10600K in terms of single-threaded gaming performance.

Again, multithreading in AMD CPUs has always been better than that found in Intel’s CPUs. Whilst we have to wait for the benchmark scores to come out for a full picture, it’s feasible that as well as equal gaming performance, this chip also offers superior multi-threaded performance.

Again, that’s speculation – but it will be interesting to see the actual performance results.

Should I Pick AMD Or Intel?

That’s a question only you can answer really, depending on what you want from your PC. If you are going to be doing a lot more than just gaming on your computer, of course, you should always choose AMD as they offer better multi-threaded performance and can handle things like video editing, recording, and programming much better.

As for gaming…well watch this space. Only independent benchmarks are going to confirm suspicions that AMD’s chips are capable of at least competing with Intel’s, and if they beat them then AMD really is going to be sitting happily at the top of many CPU tiered lists – even with the slight increase in their pricing.

Regarding gaming though, don’t forget this: for AMD’s newest line of processors, a Smart Access Memory has been created. This feature is present in Big Navi 2, and will see AMD 6000 series GPUs work with AMD 5000 series CPUs for an increase in overall performance. With this in mind, we could see AMD CPU/GPU combos beating out Intel gaming rigs in the very near future.

Await the benchmarks and see what comes to light, but it’s looking very good for the AMD CPU camp right now. If you have any questions regarding CPU usage, what you should choose, or even just what a CPU does, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.

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