AMD Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 Vs Intel 10th Gen: Which Should You Buy?

A comprehensive look at the main differences that separate AMD's Ryzen 5000 series and Intel's 10th Gen CPUs

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AMD and Intel have been battling for CPU dominance for as long as I can remember, with Intel coming out on top for the last 15 years or so. However, thanks to AMD’s Ryzen series, a CPU lineup that was custom-designed to retake the processing top spot, the gap between AMD and Intel has become much less apparent.

As many will know, Ryzen recently announced the release dates of their latest Ryzen 5000 series CPU lineup, sparking huge debate on whether Intel is still the best when it comes to gaming performance. Ryzen CPUs have been bridging the gap between themselves and Intel for a few years now, with the latest generation promising to out-perform its rival for the first time in what feels like forever.

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AMD posted some fairly interesting performance benchmarks on the day of their live announcement, branding the new Zen 3 CPUs as “where gaming begins”. The gaming benchmarks focused on the difference between AMD’s flagship Ryzen 5 5900X Vs Intel’s i9-10900K, with the former coming out on top in most titles.

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Thanks to this, and the fact we saw very little on the other CPUs that make up Ryzen 5000, the internet has spiraled into chaos trying to decipher which is better for your specific needs.

So, for that reason, we’re going to be taking a closer look at both AMD and Intel’s most recent offerings to see which you should be purchasing.

The CPUs

For the purposes of this article, we’re only looking at the most recent CPUs from each brand. For those that aren’t fully up to speed with the latest hardware, here are the current processors from both AMD and Intel:

 

 

AMD Vs Intel: The Latter Years

As we’ve already mentioned, the gap between Intel and AMD has been closing since the release of Ryzen – a CPU lineup that was aimed at reclaiming the CPU hierarchy top spot. However, AMD are now stating that their latest Ryzen lineup could outperform Intel’s for the first time in over 15 years.

That said, over the years, we’ve watched plenty of keynote speeches from both AMD and Intel, with both providing performance data that has later been proved incorrect or was collected under bespoke scenarios for individual gains.

Take last year’s Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series launch as a prime example. During the keynote, AMD claimed to have designed a chip that will beat Intel in both gaming and multi-core workloads. However, that was not the case when independent 3rd party reviewers started to post their own results – many of which had Intel falling ontop of AMD when it came to gaming.

The most recent keynote (Zen 3 announcement – 7th October) boasted an up to 20% performance increase when compared to the Intel i9-10900K. If true, this is absolutely huge for AMD as a brand. It’ll not only place AMD back on top, but it should cement their place for some time too.

With that in mind, let’s begin by taking a closer look at the Ryzen 9 5950X to see exactly what it has to offer.

AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD Ryzen 5 5950X
ArchitectureZen 3
Process Node7nm+
Cores16
Threads32
Base Clock3.4Ghz
Max Single-core boost clockTBD
Max All-core boost clock4.9GHz
Cache72MB
Max memory speed support3,200MHz (TBD)
TDP105W
CPU SocketAM4
Price$799

Unfortunately, Intel doesn’t currently offer any like-for-like desktop CPUs in this performance category. Whilst we won’t be able to do an Intel comparison, we can see if it’s worth the $799 asking price that AMD has branded it with.

Firstly, AMD called the 5950X their “best of both worlds” CPU. As far as desktop CPUs go, it offers unrivaled performance in both workstation and gaming scenarios. It offers up 16 cores and 32 threads, with a base clock frequency of 3.4GHz. That clock frequency can be boosted to 4.9GHz for a single core, making it extremely good for games that still require plenty of processor power.

Thanks to the new architecture, CPU cores can now communicate in a much more efficient manner. This improves multi-threaded workload performance by almost 50% in certain tasks.

That being said, is $799 considered good value for money? Well, that’s a tough one. This CPU is definitely bespoke in its market demographic. If you just like gaming, this CPU definitely doesn’t showcase the best value for money. However, if you’re someone who wants excellent workstation performance who also enjoys gaming on the side, there are definitely claims for this CPU.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X Vs Intel i9-10900K

AMD Ryzen 9 5900XIntel i9-10900K
ArchitectureZen 3Comet Lake
Process Node7nm+14nm+
Cores1210
Threads2420
Base Clock3.7Ghz3.7GHz
Max Single-core boost clockTBD5.3GHz
Max All-core boost clock4.8GHz4.9GHz
Cache70MB20MB
Max memory speed support3,200MHz (TBD)2,933MHz
TDP105W125W
CPU SocketAM4LGA1200
Price$549$499

Next up we have the Ryzen 9 5900X vs the Intel i9-10900K, the first proper look at a true comparison between AMD and Intel.

As you can see from the table above, each of the CPUs in question offers high core counts, high thread counts, and high base/boost frequency – exactly what you need from both gaming and workstation type workflows. That being said, the Rzyen 9 5900X and Intel i9-10900K differ quite dramatically. It’ll be very interesting to see what has to offer.

Let’s first look at some of the pros that come with purchasing AMD’s offering. The 5900X has 12 cores/24 threads (2 more effective cores than Intel),  a 70MB combined cache, supports 3,200MHz + RAM, has a lower TDP, and is very much compatible with older 400/500 series AM4 motherboards.

On the opposing side, the Intel has a greater max single-core boost frequency, higher max all-core boost frequency, and is quite a bit cheaper. Thanks to the latter of the Intel pros, this makes choosing between the two processors a much more difficult task.

On paper, you would expect the Intel to be better from a gaming standpoint. It has higher clock speeds than the AMD and, historically, performs to a much higher standard than its competition.

That being said, preliminary gaming performance displayed by AMD would suggest the opposite to be true.

It’ll be a very difficult process separating these two CPUs from a gaming standpoint. I suppose it all comes down to the individual benchmarking upon the release of the new CPUs from AMD. That, ultimately, will be the defining factor.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Vs Intel i7-10700K

AMD Ryzen 7 5800XIntel i7-10700K
ArchitectureZen 3Comet Lake
Process Node7nm+14nm+
Cores88
Threads1616
Base Clock3.8Ghz3.8GHz
Max Single-core boost clockTBD5.3GHz
Max All-core boost clock4.8GHz4.7GHz
Cache36MB16MB
Max memory speed support3,200MHz (TBD)2,933MHz
TDP105W125W
CPU SocketAM4LGA1200
Price$449$387

Next up we have AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X vs Intel’s i7-10700K, another extremely close battle between two high-performance CPUs.

Looking at the pros and cons of these two offerings, each comes to the table boasting 8 cores and 16 threads. Each has a 3.8GHz base clock frequency, with the Intel winning out on max single-core clock boost (5.3GHz). On the opposite side, AMD can boast a 100MHz higher max all-core clock boost frequency of 4.8GHz.

The 5800X also has a larger combined cache, supports higher clocked memory, and is a 105W TDP part.

Once again, however, the Intel is much cheaper than the AMD offering – coming to shelves at over $60 cheaper than its rival. That’s an almost 20% increase for the AMD. If history tells us anything, it’s that you probably aren’t going to see a 20% performance increase over the Intel alternative. That said, it still has much better multi-core performance, comes on the 7nm process node, and is backward compatible with your old 400/500 series motherboards – something Intel simply can’t match.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Vs Intel i5-10600K

AMD Ryzen 5 5600XIntel i5-10600K
ArchitectureZen 3Comet Lake
Process Node7nm+14nm+
Cores66
Threads1212
Base Clock3.7Ghz4.1GHz
Max Single-core boost clockTBD4.8GHz
Max All-core boost clock4.6GHz4.7GHz
Cache35MB12MB
Max memory speed support3,200MHz (TBD)2,666MHz
TDP65W95W
CPU SocketAM4LGA1200
Price$299$265

Finally, we come to our budget face-off, the Ryzen 5 5600X vs Intel’s i5-10600K. For me, this is probably the most intriguing battle of the new Ryzen lineup – mainly because the 10600K is such a good gaming processor.

Quickly going over the specs, these processors really don’t have that much in common, apart from each offering 6 cores and 12 threads. The AMD has a base clock frequency of 3.7GHz (400MHz slower than Intel) and a slower max all-core boost clock as well (4.6GHz over Intels 4.7GHz). That said, the Ryzen 5 5600X is built on the 7nm process and comes equipped with almost triple the effective cache. The Ryzen also offers 3,200MHz memory support and is a 65W TDP part.

With no prior benchmarking to go off, we can only take the 3600X as a loose benchmark – using the same performance uplift percentage seen from the 3900X to the 5900X as a rough guide. That said, if we’re expecting the same performance gains that we saw from the 3900X to 5900X, I’d expect to see the 5600X come out just on top of the 10600K. However, at this stage, that is purely speculation.

Should You Buy AMD Or Intel?

So, the only thing left to answer is whether or not you should choose AMD or Intel for your next CPU purchase. At this incredibly earlier stage, it’s really hard to give a definite answer on whether or not AMD is going to outperform Intel.

However, early signs are extremely encouraging for AMD fans.

That being said, there are still a number of different factors to consider before deciding on Intel or AMD. For example, if you plan on waiting for Intel’s 11th Gen CPUs, remember, you’ll likely have to purchase a new motherboard as well. On the flip side, AMD offers backward compatibility – only requiring a small BIOS update to get your new Ryzen 5000 series CPU running on a 400/500 series motherboard.

Another thing to consider is multicore performance. AMD has been a mile ahead of Intel on multi-threaded workflows for some time now. Meaning, if you are planning on doing some workstation tasks on the side of your gaming, you might want to reconsider your Intel purchase.

All being said, this is all speculation at the moment. Thorough benchmarking tests will be on their way shortly, showcasing the real difference between AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 CPUs and Intel’s 10th Gen alternatives.