Intel has brought its marketing guns to bear on AMD’s Ryzen processors, making a comparison which argues that the Core i7-10700K blows away the Ryzen 9 3900XT in terms of price as well as performance for gaming.
Before we come onto the issues around the fairness of this comparison in the first place, let’s take a look at Intel’s claims here, which were delivered via a presentation by the chip giant in the APAC region, as highlighted by Wccftech.
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To set the background for this battle of the CPUs, the Core i7-10700K is an 8-core (16-thread) processor clocked at 3.8GHz with boost to 5.1GHz. AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900XT pushes further to 12-cores (24-threads) with the same base clock of 3.8GHz, with boost to 4.7GHz.
Intel’s case then argues that cost-wise, the 10700K runs with a launch price of $387 in the US compared to the asking price of $499 for the Ryzen chip – although that doesn’t reflect current prices at actual retailers (more on that later).
So, given that, Intel wheels out a bunch of benchmarks for 30 games at 1080p resolution in a rig with 16GB of system RAM and an RTX 2080 Ti graphics card (the respective motherboards used aren’t mentioned).
The chip giant then trumpets that the 10700K is on a par, or better than, the 3900XT in 24 of those 30 games, and that there are some big wins for the Core i7. Those include:
- 23% faster in Total War: Warhammer II
- 17% faster in League of Legends
- 15% faster in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
- 14% faster in Rocket League
Intel’s Core i7-10700K is faster by more than 3% in 12 games, and 12 of the games are judged as roughly equal (3% or less difference), with AMD winning in 6 titles (including CS:GO).
Thus Intel concludes that the 10700K is a good deal faster over a selection of games, on balance, plus it’s considerably cheaper than the Ryzen chip.
So, is this particular comparison a fair one? There are a number of reasons why we don‘t believe that‘s the case. For starters, we have to bear in mind that Intel has obviously handpicked that library of games (albeit from ‘popular’ titles that have a benchmark mode).
Regarding the price comparisons listed, the 10700K may have a recommended price of $387, but it’s selling at more like around $410 in the US. Similarly, the 3900XT is selling at $479, not $499, so the price gap isn’t quite as wide as Intel makes out in the presentation.
Although the 10700K is still a good chunk cheaper, of course; there’s no denying that. However, there are couple of other things to remember here.
Firstly, the 3900XT gives you a good deal more performance when it comes to certain scenarios, like streaming while gaming, for example, and those 12-cores will also make a difference outside of gaming when it comes to running heavyweight apps. Those kind of things could be major considerations for some buyers.
If you’re talking purely gaming, then the 10700K is certainly the winner as Intel suggests – but then the point becomes about the fairness of the comparison. If you’re talking purely about gaming, and nothing else, why would you buy the 3900XT, and not the 3700X?
With the 3700X, you get 8-cores – the same as the 10700K, and plenty enough for gaming – and there’s no shortage of gaming benchmark roundups out there which show that the 3700X is only a whisker behind the 3900X in terms of performance in popular games (and yes, the XT model is a touch faster than the vanilla 3900X, but still, it’s only a small upgrade).
Then look at the current pricing of the 3700X – which is $290 at Newegg US right now (that’s where we’ve pulled all the prices in this article from) – and, well, it’s a very different story in terms of price/performance compared to the 10700K (at $410) now, isn’t it?
There’s no arguing that Intel’s new Comet Lake chips give a strong gaming performance, and these benchmarks are quite eye-opening in some respects – plus single-core speed remains a major Intel strength, without a doubt – but trying to argue that the 10700K somehow has Ryzen whipped in the value stakes is taking things too far on the marketing front.
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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).