Intel is trying to hold onto its standing as the processor (CPU) champion after the launch of AMD's Ryzen 3000-series processors, and the company's latest attempt comes in the form of benchmarks comparing the Intel Core i7-9700K to the Ryzen 9 3900X, MSPowerUser reports.
Intel's benchmark comparisons come in the form of a slideshow, and they show the Intel CPU winning in most cases. The benchmarks include SYSmark, MobileMark, WebXPRT and 16 video game titles.
The choice of benchmarks appears aimed at "a realistic day-in-a-life" according to one slide and a "better indicator of mainstream PC experience" according to another. SYSMark runs actual applications like Microsoft Office programs, and both MobileMark and WebXPRT perform some typical computer tasks.
Then, Intel claimed "on par or better" performance in a variety of video games, with the Ryzen processor only winning out in Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Intel claimed Final Fantasy XV, Far Cry 5, CS:GO, PUBG, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, among other games, for itself.
- Check out the match-up: AMD vs. Intel
- Get the details on Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh
- See Intel's new Ice Lake CPUs
Missing or obscuring the point
While what Intel is claiming in its slides may well be the case, there's plenty of information absent, and some important considerations left unmentioned.
For instance, in the video game benchmarks, Intel claims on par or better performance, but doesn't indicate which of the games were only on par, thereby giving itself a victory for what may only be a draw. It's also worth noting that many of the games it lists are older, like Grand Theft Auto V, CounterStrike: GO, and Crysis 3.
Another important consideration is system configuration. We don't see a slide showing the exact configuration of the Ryzen machine, and while Intel likely built similar machines, Ryzen CPU performance can vary significantly depending on the RAM installed.
Then there's the big elephant in the room: use case. Intel emphasizes realistic use cases, but fails to acknowledge the Intel Core i7-9700K and Ryzen 9 3700X aren't CPUs for typical computer users who just want to browse the web and crank out spreadsheets. They are high-performance components meant for folks with serious computing needs. Benchmarks like Cinebench show just how much raw performance people can get out of a machine, and core counts can really come in handy when it comes to creative workloads.
There are extras for Ryzen 9 3900X to consider as well, like PCIe 4.0 support, an included cooler, and the possibility that future games and programs will offer improved support for more cores and threads as chip makers like AMD and Intel continue to boost those numbers.
Intel may be posting a win for itself here, but we're still standing by our ranking of the best CPUs, which sees the Ryzen 9 3900X squarely at the top.
- See our Intel Core i9-9900K review