AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K: Which is the Best Gaming CPU?

Intel’s Core i9-9900K may be the fastest CPU for gaming, but for most of us, it comes down to the Core i7-9700K or the Ryzen 7 3700X. The 9900K is just a tad bit faster than the 9700K while costing a lot more while the 3900X is just overkill for gaming. Very few games use more than 8-cores and SMT/HT isn’t utilized for most.

Core i7-9700K vs Ryzen 7 3700X: Specifications

Core i7-9700KRyzen 7 3700X
Cores/Threads8/88/16
Base Clock3.6 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock4.9 GHz4.4 GHz
Cache12 MB32 MB
TDP95W65W
Memory SupportDDR4-2666MHzDDR4-3200MHz

Looking at the specs, the Ryzen 7 3700X has the thread advantage while the 9700K has a higher boost clock. The former also has a higher cache size which helps make up for the latency drop induced by the Infinity Fabric. As for the TDP, the Ryzen 7 is notably more efficient than Intel’s Coffee Lake chip. Let’s go through the benchmarks.

Testbench

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 2080
  • Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570
  • Memory: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3600MHz
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 2080
  • Motherboard: MSI Z390 MEG Godlike
  • Memory: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3600MHz
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB

All the benchmarks were conducted at 1080p using the highest in-game preset.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K Gaming Benchmarks

On average, the Core i7-9700K is a notch faster than the Ryzen 7 3700X. The differences are, however, trivial and much slimmer than the previous generation. Moreover, in certain DirectX 12 titles that benefit from higher core counts like Assassins’ Creed Origins and Ashes (CPU test), the 3700X etches out solid wins.

Let’s have a look at some other day-to-day workloads. As Intel puts it, these are all real-world tests from applications that are used in everyday computing such as compressing, browsing, encoding, streaming, etc:

And of course Cinebench:

As you can see, the Ryzen 7 murders the Core i9-9700K in everything else but gaming. In gaming, the performance deltas between the two CPUs are also rather flimsy and you’ll mostly be bound by the GPU. So here’s the deal. If you want a well-balanced CPU that delivers across a wide range of workloads, then the 3700X is your best bet. However, if you want the “Best Gaming CPU”, a chip that’s faster in gaming (even though by a marginal bit) but notably slower in everything else, then you ought to go for the Core i7-9700K.

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