AMD is often the first choice if you're looking for a value for a processor, but soon Intel may be losing the crown of peak performance ̵
AMD caused a sensation this spring with the introduction of its Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs and associated X570 chipset. Delivered starting July 7, 2019, this duo promises fast PCIe 4.0 transfer rates and unbeatable value for money, cores and power consumption.
The value has always been AMD's advantage over Intel with its Zen, Zen + and now Zen 2 architecture. We will not know exactly how well the new Ryzen 3000 processors will perform until independent benchmarks and tests appear. Nevertheless, it looks like Ryzen 3000 will be impressive.
Intel will not use any new desktop processors in the meantime (with perhaps one exception), reinforcing the rather convincing argument that AMD is considering its next desktop build.
AMD vs. Intel: The fight is real
AMD was the owner of the Computex show in May, when the company introduced its Ryzen 3000 desktop processors based on the Zen 2 architecture and the new X570 motherboard chipset. The new CPUs use a 7nm (nanometer) process with a broad range of lower heat generation (TDP) core and filament counts, and presumably lower power consumption than previous models.
At the E3, AMD continued its Computex triumph with the introduction of another Ryzen 3000 processor, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X. Prior to the Ryzen 3000, there were only 16-core chips for enthusiasts who needed high-end motherboards at a high-end price.
The 16-core chip from AMD has a sticker price of $ 749 in comparison. That's still expensive, but Intel's 16-core chip (the Core i9-9960X) is more than twice as expensive. Maybe that's not a fair comparison, because the Intel chip is too much of a good thing for most people. It supports whopping 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes compared to 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes in the new AMD chip, and the Intel CPU can handle a shipload of memory.
But that's exactly what it's about. The AMD 16-core chip is a mainstream CPU that fits into mainstream boards. Intel does not have that. If Intel intends to offer Ryzen 3000 at a cheaper price, we will not notice this for a while. The next generation of Intel CPUs named Ice Lake will be available on the notebook market later this year, but it is not yet known when the next round of desktop CPUs will be released.
AMD's Value Proposition
AMD's new processors offer much more value than parts of the previous generation and the latest desktop processors from Intel. Take a simple example with the Ryzen 7 3700X for $ 329 and its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 2700X, which is currently being sold for about $ 280. The newer processor has the same number of cores and threads as the older version and offers approximately the same clock speeds. However, the newer CPU, at 36 MB, has a larger total cache than the 2700X at 21 MB. This indicates that the 3700X is better at high workloads such as video processing. The cache of a CPU corresponds to the integrated memory. This allows the processor to access instructions more quickly than they retrieve from system memory.
AMD also rates the 3700X with a TDP of 65W, compared to 105W for the 2700X. This means that the newer CPU should generate less heat and consume less power – not a bad upgrade for a $ 50 price hike. Ryzen 3000 CPU with orange light stripe in the motherboard socket The same applies to the cheaper Ryzen 5 3600 and its cousin, the Ryzen 5 2600. Here we have the same core and thread count (6 and 12), but the 3600 is slightly faster, has a bigger cache and supports the faster PCIe 4.0. If you find a good sale, you can get the Ryzen 5 2600 for about $ 145- $ 150 while the Ryzen 5 3600 has a MSRP of $ 200. Again, it's a nice little bump in the specs for about $ 50 more.
Okay, good. It's a big surprise that AMD's newer chips are better than the old ones. What about the value compared to Intel?
Let's compare the 3700X to the popular Intel Core i9-9900K. Both processors have eight cores and 16 threads and both have the same base clock of 3.6 GHz. The Intel Boost on the 9900K is much better at 5.0 GHz than the 3700X with 4.4 GHz. The AMD CPU has a 36 MB cache over the 16 MB of the 9900K. The 3700X also has a lower TDP at 65W vs. 95W at the 9900K. Presumably, this means that the 3700X consumes less power. However, since TDP is not a standardized measurement, we will only know how close it is to testing in practice.
The real kicker here is the pricing. With an MSRP of $ 329, the AMD 3700X is just a bit cheaper than the Intel Core i9-9900K for $ 485 to $ 490. With the Intel's boost clock and the popularity of the 9900K as the top gaming CPU, the 3700X is unlikely to outperform the 9900K. How shy the 9900K will be is not yet clear. Even if you continue to develop the eight-core Ryzen 7 3800X with 16 threads that reportedly surpassed the 9900K in early (and anonymous) benchmark leaks, you still save about $ 85 over Intel. That may not seem like much, but if you start adding up the cost of a new PC, the lower price will matter.
These CPUs do not have integrated graphics, as is the case with Intel. However, if you're looking for serious performance, you'll get a discrete GPU for your desktop anyway.
Zen 2's Value Caveat
We've found that these Zen 2 processors sound great in terms of value, but there's a big caveat. If you want these Ryzen 3000 chips to support PCIe 4.0, you need to buy an X570 motherboard.
These motherboards are likely to be quite expensive for a variety of reasons. They have a more expensive chipset, are built on higher quality circuit boards, and require a serious cooling design with fans, heat sinks, etc.
This could dampen the low prices of these new Ryzen CPUs for the time being. In early 2020, it could be a different story when the newer version of the traditionally cheaper Ryzen motherboards (expected B550) comes on the market. Currently, it costs you a new motherboard for this new Ryzen CPU.
Alternatively, you can use a Ryzen 3000 CPU with a lower priced X470 board. Processor performance is maintained, but it means that PCIe 4.0 for PCIe 3.0 is lost.
PCIe 4.0: A big leap, too soon?
Read Our Article Why PCIe 4.0 Is Important To Understand The Benefits Of PCIe 3.0 New Standard In Detail. In short, PCIe 4.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0. For games that's not really important at the moment, because PCIe 3.0 offers more than enough bandwidth. [IDP] The big advantage of PCIe 4.0 in these early days is that it promises to make NVMe drives a bit faster. PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives promise read speeds of nearly 5,000 megabytes per second, while currently the best NVMe drives reach speeds of around 3,500 Mbps.
Unless NVMe speeds are really important to you, the value of PCIe 4.0 is probably not worth the value right now. Even with the new AMD CPUs, we recommend looking for a reasonably priced X470 board and waiting for PCIe 4.0 to become more important than now before an X570 board comes out.
RELATED: PCIe 4.0: What's new and why is it important?
Intel's preliminary reaction?
Overall, AMD looks good for the near future. While Intel has a desktop CPU in stock, it may not be very different from what we've already seen.
Intel introduced the Core i9-9900KS at the end of May during Computex. This processor has a base clock of 4.0GHz – from the 3.6GHz of the 9900K – and the same 5.0GHz boost. The difference, however, is that Intel says the thrust on the 9900KS will affect every core. In other words, all eight cores are raised to 5.0GHz, whereas in Intel's other CPUs, boosting normally only affects a single core, while others operate at this higher clock.
When Intel's Multi-Core Enhancement feature (MCE) is enabled, all cores are often raised to 5 GHz.
When the 9900KS surprises the world with a dazzling performance over the 9900K – and its price is not that high. For most people unreachable – then Intel could submit a convincing final statement for 2019. If not, the immediate future looks like it's about AMD.