AMD vs Intel – Desktop processor showdown

AMD recently launched its Ryzen 5000 processors, which it said are the most powerful desktop chips available on the market.

According to AMD, these processors offer the best single-threaded and gaming performance of any desktop chips on the market.

“Zen 3 increases our lead in overall performance, it increases our lead in power efficiency, and also now it delivers the best single-threaded performance and gaming performance as well”, AMD CEO Lisa Su said.

The new range includes the following four processors:

  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 9 5950X

It is worth noting that AMD’s new processors use its Zen 3 architecture, which is newer than the architecture used by Intel’s current 10th-generation processors.

Intel is set to launch its 11th-generation desktop processors next year, which will offer a fairer comparison as both processors will be using the state-of-the-art technologies.

In the interim, however, we compared the performance of the top desktop processors currently on the market.

Specifications

The most powerful new Ryzen processor – the Ryzen 9 5950X – offers users 16 cores and 32 threads.

It does not have a direct competitor from Intel, as it is priced significantly above Intel’s premium Core i9 processors – $799.

The Ryzen 9 5900X has 12 cores and 24 threads, as well as a base clock of 3.7GHz

Its competition is the Intel Core i9-10900K processor, which has 10 cores and 20 threads.

It also has a base clock of 3.7GHz, but its boost clock is a higher 5.3GHz than the Ryzen 9 5900X’s 4.8GHz.

The Ryzen 7 5800X competes with the Intel Core i7-10700K, both of which have 8 cores and 16 threads. They also both have a 3.7GHz base clocks, although the Intel processor again offers a higher boost clock.

Finally, the Ryzen 5 5600X and Core i5 10600K both have 6 cores and 12 threads, although the Intel’s 4.1GHz base clock is significantly faster than the 3.7GHz of the Ryzen 5 5600X – which has a base clock of 3.7GHz.

The AMD processors comfortably win in two areas – cache and TDP.

Every AMD processor has at least double the cache of its Intel equivalent, while the AMD processors also require less power than Intel’s do.

This is countered by the fact that AMD’s processors are more expensive than their Intel challengers – which makes sense given the AMD processors are new and therefore use newer technology.

The specifications of the AMD Ryzen and Intel Core processors are detailed below.

CPU Cores/Threads Base/Boost Clock Cache TDP RRP
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16/32 3.4GHz/4.9GHz 72MB 105W $799
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12/24 3.7GHz/4.8GHz 70MB 105W $549
Intel Core i9-10900K 10/20 3.7GHz/5.3GHz 20MB 125W $499
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8/16 3.8GHz/4.7GHz 36MB 105W $449
Intel Core i7-10700K 8/16 3.8GHz/5.3GHz 16MB 125W $387
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6/12 3.7GHz/4.6GHz 35MB 65W $299
Intel Core i5-10600K 6/12 4.1GHz/4.8GHz 12MB 95W $265

Benchmarks

While looking at the raw numbers gives one an idea of a processor’s power, benchmarks give a more accurate idea of how these processors will perform.

In recent benchmarks by Puget Systems, the new Ryzen processors easily beat their current Intel rivals.

In fact, in some cases, the new Ryzen processors even outperform Intel Core processors that are priced to be in the tier above them.

These benchmarks, courtesy of Puget Systems, are detailed below.

Now read: AMD Ryzen 5000 processors – South African pricing revealed

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AMD vs Intel – Desktop processor showdown