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.
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.