The Best Processors Go Head To Head

AMD and Intel have been battling for the title of supreme processor maker for decades now. The question of which CPU is better, Intel or Ryzen, has raged on since 2017. In today’s article, we are taking a look at the Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K, some of the best processors from AMD and Intel. We’ll look at each processor, and compare them side by side to figure out which one is better.

Whether you are a hardcore gamer looking to build a new PC, or interested in the best processor for video editing, multi-threading, or advanced 3D rendering, either one of these processors is a great choice. It is important to understand that the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and the Intel Core i9 10900K are two top-of-the-line, enthusiast-grade CPUs, designed from the ground up to be unbeatable performance monsters. When put head to head against each other, which one wins the battle: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K?

AMD Ryzen 9 5900x
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900x is one of the most powerful processors available today.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K: Side-By-Side Comparison

When looking at two processors of this caliber side-by-side, the specifications can give you a good idea of which one is better. Although they are completely different technologies, as you can see from the table below, the specs are not all that different. 

Intel Core i9 10900KAMD Ryzen 9 5900X
Number of Cores:10 cores12 cores
Number of Threads:20 threads24 threads
Base Clock Speed:3.70GHz3.70GHz
Boost Clock Speed:5.30GHz4.80GHz
L2 Cache Size:4MB6MB
L3 Cache Size:20MB64MB
Unlocked?:YesYes
TDP Rating:125 Watts105 Watts
Memory Type:DDR4DDR4
PCI Version:PCI-E 4.0PCI-E 4.0
CPU Socket:AM4AM4
CPU Architecture:14NM Comet Lake7NM Zen 3

Judging from the specs, we can see that the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is several notches better than the Intel Core i9 10900K. Even with bigger and better specs, does the Ryzen really outshine the Intel processor?

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K: Price or Performance?

Sale
Intel Core i9-10900K Desktop Processor 10 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 125W
  • 10 Cores / 20 Threads
  • Socket type LGA 1200
  • Up to 5. 3 GHz unlocked
  • Compatible with Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3. 0 support

Intel released their very first “Core i9” series processor back in 2017. This is about the same time that AMD came out with their lineup of Ryzen processors. This competition to see who could make the best enthusiast-grade processor took off when AMD finally released an answer to Intel’s Core i9 CPU, the Ryzen 9, in 2019.

Once the next generation of Ryzen 9 series processors came out in 2020, Intel was already several iterations into making the Core i9 series CPUs and had the larger market share for top-end processors. With this newest release of the Ryzen 9, AMD was hoping to finally dethrone the king. Could the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X really stand up to the Intel Core i9 10900K?

To find out, let’s go over some of the differences between these two processors. The first thing to keep in mind when thinking of buying a processor is the price. Whichever option provides the best bang for your buck is usually the better choice. 

But there is an added layer of difficulty to deciding when both processors are priced about the same. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X started out with an MSRP of $499, while the Intel Core i9 10900K launched with an MSRP of just $488. These days, you can easily find either of these processors for about $100 less than MSRP, but the price is still similar between them.

Which is More Powerful?

With a release date of early 2020, the Intel Core i9 10900K had a head-start of several months over the Ryzen 9 5900X. This gave AMD the time needed to engineer their CPU to ensure that it was better. The Ryzen 9 5900X was released in November of 2020, targeting the higher-end, enthusiast-grade processor market. AMD had one processor that was better than the 5900X, and that was the 5950X. Not including the “Thread-Ripper” series of CPUs from AMD, the Ryzen 9 series was the most powerful option when it came out.

Since Intel is still stuck on the old 14NM lithography process, the Intel Core i9 10900K processor is lagging behind in some important areas when compared to the Ryzen 9 5900X. While the Intel Core i9 10900K is packing 10 cores and 20 threads, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X comes loaded with an impressive 12 cores and 24 threads.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Ryzen 9 5900X also comes with a larger capacity L2 and L3 cache. Thanks to the 7NM die process used in the Ryzen 9, AMD is able to squeeze more cores and threads into a smaller space, allowing more power for a similar cost. 

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K: How Are They Similar or Different?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The world's best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

Despite all of the differences, the Ryzen 9 5900X and Intel Core i9 10900K actually have a lot in common. Both processors are completely unlocked for overclocking, and both have an immensely high base clock speed of over 4.0GHz. No matter which CPU you end up choosing, either one of these will be sure to impress. This is where the similarities come to an end, however, as you’ll see each processor is quite different.

One of the most notable differences between the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and Intel Core i9 10900K is that you’ll need a completely different socket type on your motherboard depending on which one you choose. This difference also extends to the maximum amount of RAM able to be addressed by each CPU. While the Ryzen 9 5900X can support up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4, the Intel Core i9 10900K can support a whopping 128GB. 

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X uses significantly less power than the Intel Core i9 10900K. AMD’s Ryzen processors have always been known for their energy efficiency, and the Ryzen 9 5900X is no different. The Intel Core i9 10900K, on the other hand, has a higher TDP rating than the Ryzen 9 5900X, so, if you are trying to find a CPU with lower power consumption, you may want to go with the Ryzen.

Unfortunately, neither processor ships with a stock cooler. This is not a huge problem, but it is something to keep in mind. You never want to forget to install a cooler for your CPU, and a good aftermarket air cooler or liquid cooler would be an excellent solution to this.

The Intel Core i9 10900K has a higher thermal design power rating.

Which One Is Better For Gaming?

One of the most important factors to determine which processor is better is to figure out which one is better at gaming. If you are planning to build a new gaming PC or buy a new gaming laptop, then you’ll want whichever CPU is best for playing games.

That’s why we have compiled benchmarks from some of the most popular games. When tested playing at max settings and full 1080p resolution, we were pretty impressed by both processors.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900XIntel Core i9 10900K
CSGO318+ FPS313+ FPS
GTA V108+ FPS109+ FPS
Overwatch142+ FPS138+ FPS
PUBG133+ FPS142+ FPS
Fortnite121+ FPS135+ FPS

What is most surprising about these benchmarks, is the similarity between the two CPUs. Despite the differences in technology, CPU architecture, and design, both of these processors scored extremely similarly on the benchmarks. 

Certain games like Fortnite and PUBG did display a noticeable improvement on the Intel Core i9 10900K, so if you are planning to play games like this, then you may want to go with the Intel processor.

Which One Should You Choose?

Sale
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • The world's best gaming desktop processor, with 12 cores and 24 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended. Max Temperature- 90°C
  • 4.8 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 70 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
Sale
Intel Core i9-10900K Desktop Processor 10 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 125W
  • 10 Cores / 20 Threads
  • Socket type LGA 1200
  • Up to 5. 3 GHz unlocked
  • Compatible with Intel 400 series chipset based motherboards
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3. 0 support

When talking about two processors like the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and the Intel Core i9 10900K, it really comes down to your preference between AMD and Intel. Historically, Intel has made the best processors, scoring the highest on the benchmarks, and sometimes even beating AMD at price. 

With the latest generation of the Ryzen 9 series, this old way of thinking is challenged. The Ryzen 9 5900X puts up a great fight against the Intel Core i9 10900K. With a higher core and thread count, the Ryzen 9 5900X outshines the Intel Core i9 10900K in terms of raw specs. The Ryzen also has a larger cache to help speed things along. Gaming or video rendering at 4k will be no problem for either of these processors. Even if you are a serious gamer, you are going to struggle to spot the difference between these two processors, due to the similarity in gaming benchmarks.

If you already have a Ryzen CPU, that will make the decision easier, since you won’t need to upgrade your motherboard to make the switch. If you are thinking of taking advantage of Intel’s ability to address a massive amount of ram, you may want to consider the Core i9. With its ability to support up to 128GB of DDR4, the Intel Core i9 10900K is the answer if you need a lot of RAM. 

Due to the similarities, it ultimately comes down to which one is the better price at the time. The good news is that Intel has even newer processors out already, such as the 11th and 12th generation Core i9. Both of these processors are better in every way than the current Ryzen 9. 

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs Intel Core i9 10900K: Full Review with Specs, Price, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which is better AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel i9

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X outshines the Intel Core i9 10900K by a little bit. With a higher core count, thread count, and larger cache, the Ryzen 9 pulls ahead.

Is the Ryzen 9 5900X worth it?

If you already have an AM4-compatible motherboard, then all you need to upgrade is the processor itself. For an MSRP of just $499, the Ryzen 9 5900X is a great deal and definitely worth it if you are looking for the best.

What's the difference between AMD Ryzen 9 5900x and Intel Core i9 10900k?

The Intel Core i9 10900K is based on the older 14NM architecture, which means it ultimately uses more power and has a lower core and thread count. However, the clock speed on the Core i9 is able to boost higher than the AMD Ryzen 9, and the Intel is also able to address more RAM.

Does the 5900X run hot?

While AMD processors have always been known for running hot, they have managed to address some of these issues in recent times. The Ryzen 9 5900X is still one of the hotter CPUs reaching a max of up to 98C under load.

Is Ryzen 9 5900X overkill?

Although the Ryzen 9 5900X exceeds the requirements for just about every game out now, there is no reason to think it is overkill. The best thing about having a super-powerful processor such as the Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i9, is that they will last a very long time before needing to upgrade.

Is Ryzen 9 5900X good for gaming?

With fantastic benchmarks across all of the most popular games, it is safe to say the Ryzen 9 5900X is very good for gaming.

What generation is 5900X?

The first Ryzen 9 series processor was released in 2019, and the 5900X is only the 2nd release of this incredibly powerful CPU.

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  • Userbenchmark.com Available here: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-9-5900X-vs-Intel-Core-i9-10900K/4087vs4071
  • AMD.com Available here: https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-9-5900x
  • Intel.com Available here: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/199332/intel-core-i910900k-processor-20m-cache-up-to-5-30-ghz.html
  • PCMag.com Available here: https://www.pcmag.com/comparisons/amd-ryzen-9-5900x-vs-intel-core-i9-10900k-which-high-end-cpu-is-right-for