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Is Intel i7 better than Ryzen 9?

Is Intel i7 better than Ryzen 9? Let's find out.

Updated: Feb 6, 2023 1:51 pm
Is Intel i7 better than Ryzen 9?

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Intel i7 and Ryzen 9 are two big players in the CPU industry. Both lineups feature the very best high-end processors available in the market right now. 

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Technically, the direct competitor to Ryzen 9 is the Core i9 series. However, Intel recently gave its i7 series such a remarkable upgrade that i7 processors can now trade blows with Ryzen 9 processors. 

In other words, the Core i7 is punching above its weight class here but is doing just fine. 

And here’s the interesting part. While Intel i7 processors are now offering performance that is more or less in the same ballpark as Ryzen 9, they cost a fair bit less. That brings the worth of the Ryzen 9 processors into question. 

In this article, we’ll deduce whether the Intel i7 is better than Ryzen 9.

What is Intel i7?

The Core i7 processor series is Intel’s second-best processor lineup, with the top series being the Core i9. 

The newer Core i7 processors have incredible specs, though, thanks to Intel’s innovative big.LITTLE CPU architecture. By newer, I mean the 12th and 13th generation i7s: the 12700K and the 13700K

For this comparison, we’ll be using the more recent 13700K. 

  • Cores: P-cores 8 / E-cores 8
  • Threads: 24
  • Base clock frequency: P-cores 3.4 GHz / E-cores 2.5 GHz
  • Boost clock frequency: P-cores 5.4 GHz / E-cores 4.2 GHz
  • L3 cache: 24MB
  • Default TDP: 125 W / 253 W boost.
  • iGPU: Intel UHD graphics 770

What is Ryzen 9?

Ryzen 9 is AMD’s top-of-the-line processor series; it’s the one that features all their flagships. We’ll be comparing the 13700K against the Ryzen 9 7900X

  • Cores: 12
  • Threads: 24
  • Base clock speed: 4.7GHz
  • Boost clock speed: 5.6GHz
  • L3 Cache: 64MB
  • TDP: 170W
  • iGPU: RDNA 2-based Radeon Graphics

Intel i7 vs. Ryzen 9 – the differences explained

First, let me quickly point out the obvious. 

  • The 13700K has more cores, but both CPUs have the same thread count. Still, the extra physical cores do amount to a minor boost in multi-core performance for the i7.
  • The 7900X has a 200MHz higher boost clock. This gives the Ryzen 9 a slight edge in single-threaded performance. 
  • The 7900X has a much higher L3 cache, the benefits of which are felt mostly in gaming. 
  • Both CPUs are rather power-hungry, but the Intel i7 does soak up more power under max load. 

As it happens, both CPUs offer very similar practical performance. They lead in different circumstances but only by the slightest of margins. 

You can expect the two to deliver very similar gaming performance. And they’ll take about the same time to complete multithreaded workloads such as rendering, encoding, editing, decoding, and file compression.

Why are core count and core speed important for CPU performance?

Core count and core speed play a crucial role in the performance of your CPU, but why? Here’s a short breakdown of why CPU core speed and count have such a bearing on performance.

  • Core count: The more cores a CPU has, the more tasks it can perform simultaneously, leading to better multitasking and overall system performance.
  • Core speed: The speed of a core, measured in GHz, determines how many calculations it can perform in a given time. Faster cores lead to faster processing and better overall performance, especially in single-threaded tasks.

Final verdict: Is Intel i7 better than Ryzen 9?

While the two processors have near identical performance, it’s worth noting that the 13700K is markedly cheaper. It MSRP-ed at just above $400, and you can find it for that price today. 

The 7900X, on the other hand, launched at a much more expensive $549. It’s closer to $500 today, but that’s still $100 more expensive than a CPU that offers the same performance. 

While we can’t claim that the Intel i7 outperforms the Ryzen 9 outright, it is very accurate to say that the i7 offers you better bang for your buck. In that regard, the Intel i7 is indeed better than Ryzen 9. 

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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