If you have around $350 to spend on a powerful eight-core mainstream processor, you currently have two options; Intel’s INTC +0.55% Core i7-9700K or AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X. There’s around $80 between them, with AMD’s CPU giving you plenty of change from $400 sitting at $330 while Intel’s new 8-core CPU currently costs $409. It’s one reason why the Core i9-9900K can’t really be compared to anything AMD has at the moment – it’s a lot more expensive than the Ryzen CPU, but also a lot faster, which is what you’d expect. So, the real test is between these two CPUs.

See the head-to-head of the Core i5-9600K and Ryzen 5 2600X

However, they’re both very different in terms of specifications.The Ryzen 7 2700X has Simultaneous Multithreading, to it has twice as many threads as it does cores (8/16) while the Core i7-9700K doesn’t have Intel’s own version – hyper-threading, so it has eight cores and eight threads – decided less horsepower for multi-threaded workloads.

On the flip side, the Intel CPU has much higher frequencies. In fact, even its all-core boost of 4.6GHz is higher than the 4.3GHz maximum boost of the AMD CPU – something that could well help it in games and lightly-threaded benchmarks, but is it enough for it to make up the deficit it has in threads? Finally, there’s cache. The AMD CPU wins here with double the L2 cache and 33% more L3 cache.

I used 16GB dual-channel Corsair Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 memory with both CPUs, Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Edition graphics card, along with a Samsung 512GB 960 Evo SSD, Corsair H100i RGB Platinum cooler, and Corsair RM850i PSU. I used MSI’s MEG Z390 Ace motherboard for Intel CPUs and for AMD CPUs, Gigabyte’s X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming. I used the latest build of Windows 10 with both Spectre and Meltdown security patches installed.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X overclock: 4.25GHz

Intel Core i7-9700K overclock: 5.1GHz


While it was a win for Intel here, the difference was barely noticeable in this GPU-dependant game with less than 2fps being added the minimum and average frame rates. As it’s such an easy game to run I also up the resolution to 1440p.  Another GPU-bound game, the results here were within the margin of error across the board, while the slightly higher result for the stock

speed Ryzen 7 2700X might be due to its stock boost frequency being higher than the all-core overclock I achieved.



speed Ryzen 7 2700X might be due to its stock boost frequency being higher than the all-core overclock I achieved.

Far Cry 5, on the other hand, appears to love cores and frequency and leans a bit more on the CPU, but here, the higher frequencies on offer by the Intel CPU won the day, with a sizeable lead over AMD.

Ashes of the Singularity was another case of higher frequencies being preferred and even the Core i7-8700K managed to beat the Ryzen 7 2700X
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