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AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Ryzen 7 3700X vs. Intel Core i9-9900K: Which is the best gaming CPU?

By Koh Wanzi - 25 Dec 2019

Gaming benchmarks

Gaming benchmarks

We only ran our gaming benchmark suite at 1080p, since that's where the CPU is more of a factor. At the higher resolutions that are more graphically intensive, the performance differences start to even out. 

 

3DMark

The synthetic 3DMark benchmark tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stresses your hardware in turn to assess its performance.

We’ve also teased out the Physics and CPU scores for the Fire Strike Ultra and Time Spy Extreme tests and compiled them in a separate table to give a better idea of how each processor performed.

Gaming performance was surprisingly even in terms of overall scores, but a look at the Physics and CPU numbers provides a better idea of CPU performance. Both the Core i9-9900K and Ryzen 7 3700X were pretty even for the Fire Strike Ultra Physics scores, but the Intel chip had a slight lead in terms of the Time Spy Extreme CPU numbers. 

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity has long been the poster child for the performance benefits a low-level API like DirectX 12 can bring. It is based on the Nitrous engine and can be extremely punishing thanks to the huge number of onscreen units and the sheer level of detail accorded to each unit. However, the CPU does become the limiting factor at lower resolutions and settings. 

Results were a mixed bag here, with the Core i9-9900K coming out on top by a small margin at High settings, but falling behind again at Crazy settings. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided still clearly prefers the higher clock speeds on the Intel processor, and it was ahead of the Ryzen 9 3900X by a good 18 percent. That advantage shrank at Ultra settings though, narrowing to just 5 percent. 

 

Far Cry 5

The same goes for Far Cry 5, where the Core i9-9900K led the Ryzen 9 3900X by 25 percent, even at Ultra settings. It looks like the game also doesn't really scale that well with more cores, since the Ryzen 7 3700X actually beat the Ryzen 9 3900X by a hair. 

 

Metro Exodus

In Metro Exodus, the Core i9-9900K still had a small 6 percent advantage over the Ryzen 9 3900X. At High settings, that lead was slightly larger at just under 9 percent. As in Far Cry 5, the Ryzen 7 3700X was also quicker than the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X by a small margin. 

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Shadow of War sees the Intel chip take the lead as well. At Ultra settings, the Core i9-9900K was ahead by 7 percent. Again, it seems like the game doesn't scale well with more cores, and there was virtually no difference between the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 chip. 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 processors turned out very similar performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well. At Ultra settings however, the Core i9-9900K was faster than the AMD chips by roughly 13 percent. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Running the game at Ultra settings helps narrow the performance gap somewhat, where the Core i9-9900K was ahead of the Ryzen 9 3900X by just under 3 percent.