The ultimate CPU battle – the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs the Intel Core i9-9900K. Both are the best offering from each side of the CPU war, but which one comes out on top? I will dive deep and find out which CPU is truly better.

For a long time the i9-9900K was considered the best gaming PC available – it was the top choice for gamers, streamers, and content creators without a limited budget. But then in July 2019, AMD shocked the world with their high spec, competitively priced Ryzen 9 3900X.

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    Both CPUs are very similarly priced, and both offer the best each CPU manufacturer can possibly give to gamers in 2019. There’s a big rivalry here, so let’s take a look at how each perform in the world’s top video games.

    Which CPU is Better for Gaming? Ryzen 3900X vs Intel i9-9900K 

    I will be aggregating data from a number of sources that have tested the Ryzen 3900X and the Intel i9-9900K. Starting with a review by Techspot, we can see that performance based on gaming at 1080p resolution puts the i9-9900K about 2-10% faster in average frames from game to game. Highlights include a 157 fps average from the 9900K stock versus a 140 fps average from the 3900X in Apex Legends. 

    Ryzen 3900X vs Intel i9-9900K – Which CPU Is Truly Better? image 1

    Fortnite showed 252 fps on the i9-9900K stock and 238 fps on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X stock. With overclocked results it was the same story with the i9-9900K winning, even though both could only squeeze out an extra few frames over their stock performance.

    Another review by Hardware Unboxed showcased that besides the Ryzen 3900X’s strange 1-3% performance increase in CS:GO, Monster Hunter World, and Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, every other game saw the i9-9900K performing better. 

    The highest score was in Starcraft II’s 4v4 mode with a 16% performance difference in the 9900K’s favor. Other games like PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Resident Evil 2, Battlefront II, and Battlefield V saw improvements going the 9900K’s way. Linus Tech Tips’ score also saw CS:GO performing higher with the Ryzen 3900X, but every other game had the i9-9900K taking first place.

    Ryzen 3900X vs Intel i9-9900K – Which CPU Is Truly Better? image 2

    Ultimately, the difference in frame rate isn’t massive, but it’s enough to warrant a mention. However, there is one thing to consider that gives the i9-9900K more credit – pricing. In the UK, Intel has competitively dropped the 9900K’s price to £490 to undercut the Ryzen 3900X’s £529.99 price tag.

    In the US, the i9-9900K is priced at $479, but the Ryzen 3900X sells for $499. That’s if you can get your hands on one – the shortages have been pretty bad, which has made purchasing a top tier AMD chipset for retail price a little more challenging.

    So, if the i9-9900K beats out the Ryzen 3900X in gaming performance and pricing, why are people still buying the AMD chip?

    Reasons to Buy the Ryzen 3900X Instead of the i9-9900K

    AMD was close to beating the i9-9900K’s performance in gaming, but they didn’t quite accomplish it. Better luck next generation, AMD. However, there’s something important to consider about the Ryzen 3900X.

    Ryzen 3900X vs Intel i9-9900K – Which CPU Is Truly Better? image 3

    By taking the AM4 chipset, you are future proofing your build. Future AMD chips are likely to use AM4, but it has been confirmed that Intel’s next chipset will require a different motherboard. Good motherboard’s aren’t cheap, so that’s a consideration for many people.

    If you are a creative, take a read of this. The 12 core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X comes out ahead, just. Puget Systems’ tests have shown the AMD 3900X beats all other chipsets in Photoshop, and the 3900X beats the 9900K in Premiere Pro performance.

    However, the i9-9900K comes back and beats the Ryzen chip in After Effects. For other tasks, perhaps the Ryzen 3900X is a better choice. For example, the AMD Ryzen 3900X beat the i9-9900K in tasks like extracting zip files, and rendering Blender demo files thanks to the 12 cores.

    Ryzen 3900X vs Intel i9-9900K – Which CPU Is Truly Better? image 4

    Also, the 3900X supports PCI 4.0, so if you can afford a compatible motherboard, you can expect faster NVME speeds and, well, that’s about it for now. But it’s some awesome tech that the whole computing world will upgrade to eventually for improved data bandwidth and performance.

    The AMD 3900X is also more energy efficient, which is great for power saving, small builds, or for running quieter cooling.

    So what does this mean? Ultimately if you want to future proof your system and use apps that benefit from more cores, you’ll appreciate the Ryzen 3900X. However, if you want to save money now, or want better gaming performance, the i9-9900K is arguably the best choice.


    Thanks for reading my overview of the two best gaming CPUs in 2019. Have any more questions about how the i9-9900K stacks up against the Ryzen 3900X? Feel free to reach out to me over social media and we can discuss. 

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