AMD Ryzen 9 leak hints at CPUs that could outperform Intel’s Core i9

Following recently leaked details of Intel’s Core i9 enthusiast-targeted CPUs, spillage has occurred on the AMD front, revealing the alleged specs of the incoming high-end Ryzen 9 series processors.

Going toe-to-toe with Core i9, Ryzen 9 – also known as ‘Threadripper’ – will have a flagship model with 16-cores (32-threads, all ripe for the ripping). The Ryzen 9 1998X will run with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz and a boost speed of 3.9GHz, according to It’ll have a TDP of 155W.

Compare that to Intel’s top-of-the-range Core i9-7920X which will have 12-cores (24-threads) and a TDP of 140W, at least if the leaked details we saw yesterday are correct (sadly no clock speeds were revealed on this one).

The next step down in AMD’s line-up will be the Ryzen 9 1977X and Ryzen 9 1977, which are 14-core (28-thread) CPUs running at base and boost speeds of 3.5GHz/4.1GHz and 3.2GHz/3.7GHz respectively, with a TDP of 155W and 140W.

How does that compare to Intel’s second-fastest i9? The Core i9-7900X will run with 10-cores and a base clock speed of 3.3GHz with Turbo to 4.3GHz – and Turbo 3.0 to 4.5GHz, allowing a single core to be pushed further still.

So AMD has more cores, but Intel has faster boosted clock speeds (it’s likely to be the same story for the flagship model). That said, the base clocks AMD is purported to have achieved here are certainly impressive, particularly in the light of the quoted power consumption.

Dirty dozen

AMD’s Ryzen 9 series then steps down to 12-core processors, of which there are three models: the 1976X, 1956X and 1956, running at 3.6GHz/4.1GHz, 3.2GHz/3.8GHz and 3GHz/3.7GHz respectively. The 1976X will have a TDP of 140W, and the others will notch down to 125W.

Rounding off the range will be the 10-core Ryzen 9 1955X and 1955 chips, running at 3.6GHz/4GHz and 3.1GHz/3.7GHz respectively, with a TDP of 125W.

All of these processors will support quad-channel DDR4 memory, the same as Intel’s Core i9 offerings – and 44 PCIe Lanes across the range (as is the case with Intel’s top two i9 CPUs, the 7920X and 7900X).

The Ryzen 9 series processors will use a modified variant of the SP3 socket, which was originally designed for AMD’s beefy server chips that go up to 32-cores (Naples).

Remember, all of this is still speculation – but given that the leaked info is pretty in-depth on both the AMD and Intel fronts, it certainly has a whiff of credibility about it.

If this does turn out to be on the money, as already mentioned, AMD is certainly winning the battle of the core count with these high-end enthusiast processor ranges, while also keeping power efficiency ticking along very nicely.

The mainstream Ryzen offerings are, of course, pitched very competitively compared to Intel’s CPUs, and there’s no reason to doubt this will change with the 9 series. And if the price is right for the flagship 1998X here, this 16-core 3.5GHz chip could be an extremely tempting power proposition.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).