If you are looking to upgrade from older computer hardware or hunting for a new gaming rig, chances are you have been looking at comparison guides between AMD Ryzen 9 Vs Intel Core i9 to determine which one is the superior processor.
After all, you can compare SSDs with HDDs until the cows come home, but we all know that it’s your computer’s processing power that will make or break your overall experience. And so today, I’m going to give you a helping hand to distil the disparities between the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and the Intel Core i9-12900K – both of which are extremely similar in class and price.
How do they differ? Is one better than the other? Or does none of this matter?
Let’s find out!👇
AMD Ryzen 9 7900X Vs Intel Core i9-12900K
When it comes to high-end desktop processors for gaming, two of the most popular options on the market today are the AMD Ryzen 9 and the Intel Core i9. In particular, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and the Intel Core i9-12900K.
Both of these CPUs have been designed to deliver lightning-fast performance for demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, and 3D rendering. However, there are some slight nuances between the two which may help you determine which is better.
Scroll down to read my full comparison between the Ryzen 9 7900X and the i9-12900K or click the links below to skip sections:
Up first, the specifications. While very little to separate between the Ryzen 9 and Intel Core i9, based on the numbers, it is apparent that the Intel Core i9 12900K has the advantage in the total number of cores. With the Intel i9, you receive 16 cores versus AMD Ryzen 9 7900X’s 12 cores.
That said, both chipsets share the same number of threads at 24 each, respectively.
On paper, AMD laid out the Ryzen 9 7900X’s specifications as follows:
# of CPU Cores: 12
# of Threads: 24
Base Clock: 4.7GHz
Max. Boost Clock: Up to 5.6GHz
Default TDP: 170w
CPU Socket: AM5
Meanwhile, Intel presented the Core i9-12900K with the following specifications:
# of CPU Cores: 16
# of Threads: 24
Base Clock: 3.2GHz
Max. Boost Clock: 5.1GHz
Default TDP: 125w
CPU Socket: LGA 1700
But is a bigger number, in this case, necessarily better?
While on paper the Intel i9 offering seems to provide the superiority of the two products for its greater core counts, actual benchmarks showed surprising results. As per PC Benchmarks, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X beat the Intel Core i9-12900K in both single- and multi-core performances at 2039 and 29853, accordingly, versus the latter’s 1979 and 27423, respectively, on Cinebench R23.
With the Blender benchmark, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X beat the Intel Core i9-12900K at 540 seconds versus the latter’s 635 seconds (a lower value is better). The same is also true using Corona 1.3 when the former beat the latter at 48 seconds of render time versus the latter’s 54 seconds; as well as with Handbrake, at 119 seconds versus 148 seconds.
AMD Ryzen 9 Vs i9 – Clock Speed
Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
Despite representing a greater number of cores, looking back at the specifications, it is obvious that the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X comes with the advantage of having a higher base clock at 4.7 GHz versus the Intel Core i9-12900K’s 3.2 GHz.
For the non-techies among us, this means that, in general, the AMD will perform so much better than the Intel i9 for general clock speed. Considering that there is a 1.5 GHz difference, the performance during gaming is theoretically better as well.
Intel Core i9 Vs Ryzen 9 – Overclocking
Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
If you find that neither of these processors delivers enough gusto for your liking, there is always the option to overclock your CPU and maximise its potential. In this regard, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X once again beats the Intel Core i9-12900K in terms of overclocking speed for its greater headroom of ‘up to 5.6 GHz’ versus the latter’s 5.1 GHz.
Granted, while both CPUs managed to reach the maximum clocking speed, it would still be a difference of 500 GHz between the two, which is not only big in numbers but also in actual performance as you will witness further in this comparison.
Ryzen 9 Vs i9 – Power Consumption
Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
Once again referring back to the specifications, it is ostensive that the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X consumes higher energy consumption with its thermal design power (TDP) of 175w. When you consider that the Intel Core i9-12900K’s TDP of 125w is 50 watts less than the AMD, you’re probably going to have to make sure your power unit is up to the task.
However, aside from the fact that the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X is indeed more power-hungry than Intel’s Core i9, it also suggests that the AMD variant has a higher temperature threshold when performing high-intensity tasks such as gaming.
So, be sure to check both your power unit and cooling fans before purchasing any of these CPUs as we know all where that could lead!
Intel i9 vs AMD Ryzen 9 – Performance
Alright, time for the good stuff.
When comparing the differences between AMD Ryzen 9 and Intel Core i9 specifications, the Ryzen 9 7900X has clearly destroyed the Intel Core i9-12900K across multiple benchmarks. Yet, is there a shining ray of light that the Intel Core i9 would finally beat the other or otherwise be at par with it?
As hopeful as the idea sounds, benchmarks are still the best judge for that, and the results are a mixed bag in that regard. Testing the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and the Intel Core i9-12900K across a variety of games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Borderlands 3, Assassin’s Creed and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, here are the results.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Running Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on 1080p, DX12, and Ultra Settings, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900K outperformed the Intel Core i9-12900K, albeit marginally.
AMD Ryzen 9 FPS: 106-144 FPS
Intel Core i9 FPS: 103-142 FPS
For Borderlands 3 on the same settings, the Core i9-12900K actually goes toe-to-toe with the Ryzen 9 7900X; showing similar results in both minimum FPS and maximum FPS.
AMD Ryzen 9 FPS: 119-155 FPS
Intel Core i9 FPS: 119-155 FPS
With Cyberpunk, however, this is where it gets interesting for the Intel Core i9-12900K. Running a benchmark on Cyberpunk 2077 on the exact configurations as the previous two, the Intel CPU displayed a surprising result when it finally beat the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X in both minimum and maximum frames per second.
AMD Ryzen 9 FPS: 127-141 FPS
Intel Core i9 FPS: 137-166 FPS
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands makes for an outlier when it comes to the results when both the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and the Intel Core i9-12900K’s maximum FPS tied at 180 on 1080p, DX12, and High Settings. But the Intel CPU was slightly defeated on the minimum FPS count at 157 versus the competition’s 159.
Ryzen 9 Vs i9 – Price & Value
Winner: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
At their current pricing, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X is the cheaper of the two options at $689 AUD versus the more expensive Intel Core i9-12900K at $729 AUD. Being significantly less costly, however, does not mean that it is inferior as shown by the results above.
Knowing AMD, the price point is simply its way of one-upping Intel to gain market dominance.
Additionally, it is worth noting that while the Intel Core i9-12900K is more expensive than the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X, it is no longer Intel’s current flagship as that honour is now held by the Intel Core i9-13900K. This makes the Intel Core i9-12900K to be an older CPU to not be considered exactly within the same league as the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X.
Although, it was at the time.
AMD Ryzen 9 Vs Intel Core i9 – Which Is Better?
So, which one is better? The AMD Ryzen 9 or the Intel Core i9?
While both CPUs are most likely more than suitable for what you need, based on performance benchmarks, the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X is better than the Intel Core i9-12900K for many reasons.
For one, it has a higher base clock and maximum boost clock speeds, which means that the AMD Ryzen 9 CPU performs generally better than the Intel Core i9-12900K. Despite having significantly fewer core counts, the benchmarks tell so much about the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X’s superiority in both single-core and multi-core tests.
Having a mixed result in the gaming benchmark should also not be enough to dissuade you from buying the AMD CPU, as gaming, in general, is commonly dependent on the graphics card unit and therefore less intensive on the CPU. Then, there is also the issue of pricing, which is significantly less for the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X making this chipset the more affordable option.
However, while all roads point towards buying the AMD, there is a caveat to opting for the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X. With it being a recent offering, newer even by a generation to the Intel Core i9-12900K, choosing to build a rig around this AMD CPU would entail additional cost on two other major components – namely, the motherboard, for its latest proprietary socket, the AM5, and its only support for DDR5 RAM.
In other words, if you are just merely trying to make an upgrade from older hardware to record PC gameplay, it would entail added expenditure with those essential parts. As such, while you may be able to buy the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X at a cheaper cost, it comes with other expenses, too.
This could also mean that is simply a more expensive feat than, say, upgrading from an older Intel Core-built computer with a newer and better Intel Core CPU. If you are keen on taking your computer experience to the next level and are willing to pay the literal price for it, then by all means buy the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X.
Otherwise, choose the newer Intel Core i9 CPU – the Core i9-13900K – instead.
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