Should You Buy the New AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs or Stick with Intel?


AMD just shocked the consumer PC space with a powerful lineup of new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs, which I recently covered on HDG. Is it finally time to make the switch from Intel to AMD?

In this article, I take a look at AMD’s new
Ryzen processors and offer some tips on which processor brand you should go for
in 2019 and 2020 when building a new computer.

Keep in mind that because the AMD Ryzen 3000 chips are so new, we can’t offer precise benchmarking comparisons yet, but we can still provide a rough price to performance comparison between AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 CPUs versus Intel’s equivalent offerings.

For low-end budget builds, make sure to read my post on Intel vs AMD (Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs). This article will focus on the higher-end CPUs from both companies.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel

We will start at the very top because we think
this is where the biggest attention will be drawn. If you’re a serious gamer or
content creator, the best CPU available was the Intel i9-9900K, by a long shot.
But the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has the potential to completely change that.

First, let’s talk about pricing. The AMD Ryzen
9 3900X will cost $499, whilst the i9-9900K is sitting at around $485 right
now. The pricing for Intel’s best gaming CPU may drop in an attempt to compete
against the new Ryzen lineup, but for now, the prices are very comparable.

At a glance, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X has enough
power to outperform the i9 9900K. We are still waiting for benchmarks, but
there’s a lot to get excited about. Firstly, AMD’s new Ryzen 9 3900X is using a
7 nanometer process. Smaller transistors mean that CPUs can be more power
efficient, pushing out more calculations without hitting temperature limits.

So, a jump to 7 nanometer from 14 nanometer is
already a big thing for Ryzen, and it should mean better single threaded
performance. The base clock speed is 3.8GHz, bigger than the 3.6GHz base clock
of the i9 9900K, and you also get a much larger cache of 6MB/64MB versus
2MB/16MB. For multi-threaded performance, things are looking pretty spectacular
too. You’ll get 12 cores and 24 threads with the Ryzen 9 3900X, versus the 8
cores, 16 threads on the Intel i9 9900K.

Ultimately, the Ryzen 9 3900X easily has the
potential to be a more powerful alternative to the i9 9900K at basically the
same price. And, if you need even more computing power, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
for $749 takes things to ridiculous levels by offering 16 cores, 32 threads, 8MB/64MB
cache and a base clock of 3.8GHz. Intel is definitely worried right now.

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X vs Intel

A slight step down from the i9-9900K is the i7-9700K, usually retailing for around $400. AMD’s new competitor at this price point is the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X.

Once again the 3800X is using a 7 nanometer process, giving it a big leg up on the 14nm process used by the Intel i7-9700K. In terms of other raw specifications, the Ryzen 7 3800X is fitted with 8 cores, 16 threads at a 3.9GHz base clock. Total cache is 4MB/32MB.

The i7-9700K has just 8 cores, 8 threads, and
a cache of 12MB of L3. Once again, I won’t be surprised if AMD knocks the ball
out of the park in terms of performance if you put the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
against the i7-9700K

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs i5-9600K

But what about the low end? All of a sudden,
AMD may just have beat Intel in performance for gaming at the high end, but can
they still hold onto their title for best low end CPU? Well, the best way to
find out is to compare the new AMD Ryzen 5 3600 vs the i5-9600K.

Firstly, the i5-9600K sits at $230 right now,
and the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 will launch for $199. I would be very shocked if Intel
doesn’t drop the price of the i5-9600K to compete with the new Ryzen 5 3600, so
let’s just assume price points will be the same.

Even at this price point, AMD still wins with
the better architecture – their cheapest new AMD Ryzen 5, the 3600, is still
using a 7nm processor, leaving the 14nm i5-9600K in the dust. Both processors
can be boosted, but the i5-9600K starts at 3.7GHz, versus the 3.6GHz base clock
of the Ryzen 5 3600.

That extra 100mHz isn’t going to mean anything
when you realize that the Ryzen 5 has 6 cores and 12 threads. Putting that
against the single threaded six cores on the i5 gives the Ryzen 5 3600 so much
more room for better performance.

I’d suggest that the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 will hit
far, far better benchmark results against the i5-9600K.

AMD vs Intel in 2020 – Who Will Win?

Ultimately, at every single price point, AMD
has completely beaten Intel’s offering. So what will Intel do to compete? For
now, Intel may drop their pricing a little to offer a better deal for
customers, but even then, AMD is still likely to win the price/performance

Intel are of course working to launch their
own 7nm CPU range. When they do, we wouldn’t be surprised if things look up for
Intel again, but that may not be until 2020 or beyond. If you’re in the market
for a good gaming CPU, the new AMD Ryzen lineup is an excellent place to start.

If you are a gamer or a content creator, I
absolutely cannot recommend AMD more than Intel at this point. The new lineup
will launch on July 7, so I’d suggest waiting a few months after that date to
make sure there aren’t any major manufacturing issues that come up. This would
make a new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU the perfect gift around the holiday period.


In summary, should you switch to the new AMD Ryzen 3000 lineup? Well, if you are in the market for a new CPU, absolutely. If you already have the i9-9900K, it may not make sense to upgrade unless you’re absolutely after a new PC within the next 6 months.

If you are on anything less powerful, then a CPU upgrade to a new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU will definitely bring you enough performance improvements to make the investment worth it.