Which high-end CPU should you choose?

  • Intel Core i9-13900 k

    Source: Intel

    Intel Core i9-13900 k

    Intel’s latest range is a 24-core, 32-thread beast that devours games and even the most demanding workloads.

    Positives

    • Better overall performance
    • High core and thread count
    cons

    • More power-hungry
    • older manufacturing process

  • AMD Ryzen 7000 9

    Source: AMD

    AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

    $600 $700 Save $100

    The latest from AMD is the perfect CPU for creators who need plenty of cores for intense workloads. It’s not too bad for gaming either.

    Positives

    • more effective
    • The latest breaking process
    cons

    • Runs hotter
    • Higher platform cost

XDA video of the dayScroll to continue with the content

Intel and AMD make some great processors, and their families currently compete very well against each other. Currently, we have AMD 7000 series CPUs, based on the new Zen 4 architecture, which are going against Intel’s latest 13th generation chipset. At the top of Intel’s lineup is the Intel Core i9-13900K, which competes directly with the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. Both are very powerful chips and in the range, it’s hard to choose between the two. We’ve tested both chips extensively, and here’s how they stack up against each other.


to set

  • Intel Core i9-13900 k AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
    cores 8/16 16
    threads 32 32
    building Raptor Lake Zen 4
    practical Intel 7 TSMC 5 nm
    Plug LGA 1700 AM5
    Base clock speed 2.20GHz / 3.00GHz 4.5 GHz
    Increase clock speed 4.30GHz / 5.80GHz 5.7 GHz
    ram DDR4-3200 / DDR5-4800 DDR5-5200
    PCIe 5.0 5.0
    graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770 graphics card AMD Radeon graphics
    TDP 125 watts 170 watts

Price and availability

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X launched at $699, while the Intel Core i9-13900K undercut it at launch, at $589. However, right now, both of these chips are selling around the $570-$580 mark, which results in minimal price difference between the two. Ryzen had a higher platform cost at launch, due to its X670E motherboards, which are some of the best motherboards you can buy, but also very expensive.

However, cheaper B650E motherboards are now available, which greatly reduces the overall platform cost. The i9 also has an overall cost advantage since it supports DDR4, which means you can save on RAM costs. However, this may require sacrificing some performance, so it is not recommended for everyone.

Intel Core i9-13900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X: Architecture Differences

Angled view of AMD Ryzen 7950X mounted on motherboard

The Intel Core i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X are two of the best CPUs you can buy and will serve you well. However, they also have some differences, which leads to differing performance across games and applications. There are a few things to consider.

First, is the difference in the making of these two chips. The Intel Core i9-13900K is a 24-core, 32-thread CPU, but eight of those cores are performance cores (P cores), while the other 16 are efficiency cores (electronic cores). Performance cores do the heavy lifting when it comes to the most CPU intensive tasks, while efficiency cores usually focus on background tasks, and P cores help out when needed.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is a 16-core, 32-thread CPU, with all cores matching. So, you have 32 threads on both processors, but they run a little differently in terms of performance.

The Intel Core i9-13900K is built using Intel’s own 10nm process, while the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is built using TSMC’s 5nm process. AMD has a superior manufacturing process on paper, but Intel managed some solid performance gains despite being stuck at 10nm.

Intel Core i9-13900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X: Performance

Intel Core i9-13900 k

As for raw performance, the Cinebench R23 numbers its Intel Core i9-13900K processor outperforming the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X in our tests. However, the difference is rather slight.

Cinebench R23

Intel Core i9-13900 k

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

single core

2,114

1,941

multicore

38610

37327

Geekbench 5’s scores are slightly different, with the Intel Core i9-13900K surpassing the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X in multi-core, but having roughly the same score in single-core performance.

Geekbench 5.0.0 update

Intel Core i9-13900 k

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

single core

2,154

2,155

multicore

24,997

21896

The Ryzen 9 7950x has an advantage in some other applications, such as the 7-Zip decompression test, outperforming the i9 by about 20%, as shown in Jarrod Technologya test. In computing based tasks, the i9-13900K performs better most of the time.

Coming to the games, it’s a let down too. The Ryzen 9 7950X performs better in games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and CS:GO, while the i9-13900K wins in Far Cry 6, DOOM Eternal, The Riftbreaker, and a few others. The performance difference seems to diminish at higher resolutions, with little deviation in frame rates at 4K. The i9 has an overall advantage, but the difference is about 2.1% on averages across 25 games at 1080p, 1.29% at 1440p, and just 0.29% at 4K.

While these two processors have similar performance numbers, performance per watt is an entirely different case. The Ryzen 9 7950X is significantly more power efficient than the Core i9-13900K, drawing less power to deliver the same amount of performance. For example, the previously mentioned Cinebench R23 results had a Core i9 system drawing 461 watts of power, which is 110 watts higher than the 7950X’s 351 watts.

Which one should you buy?

Choosing a high-end CPU has never been this difficult, but that can only be a good thing because consumers now have a lot more choices. However, our choice between the two would be the Intel i9-13900K. It beats the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X in the most frequently used applications, and you get the option to save on RAM due to the DDR4 support. Intel’s bet on the new design with P-Cores and E-cores has also paid off over time, and you get balanced performance.

Intel Core i9-13900 k

Source: Intel

Intel Core i9-13900 k

Intel’s latest range is a 24-core, 32-thread beast that devours games and even the most demanding workloads.

That doesn’t make the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X a bad choice at all. It is an excellent CPU that delivers great performance and is highly energy efficient. It’s still a solid value purchase, even after AMD has introduced its new Ryzen 7000X3D processors, and will serve you well for a long period of time. It has the latest 5nm manufacturing process, so you’re getting the latest technology, and while it runs hotter overall, it comes with performance to match with lower power consumption.

AMD Ryzen 7000 9

Source: AMD

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

$600 $700 Save $100

The latest from AMD is the perfect CPU for creators who need plenty of cores for intense workloads. It’s not too bad for gaming either.

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