The competition to be the best CPU for gaming is fierce. Two CPUs with very different approaches to high-end gaming performance are currently in the spotlight.
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D and Intel’s Core i9-12900K.
These two high-end processors offer impressive capabilities, which should have anyone looking to buy or build a PC considering them.
This next generation will bring on new architectures with faster clock speeds and lower power. Today, we are going to crown a CPU with the title of the best CPU for Desktop. Find out more below:
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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, $345+
- Architecture: Zen 3
- Process: TSCM 7 nm
- Cores: 8
- Threads: 16
- Base clock: 3.4GHz
- Boost clock: 4.5GHz
- Total L3 cache: 96 MB
- TDP: 105W
Intel Core i9-12900K, $424+
- Architecture: Alder Lake
- Process: Intel 7 (10 nm)
- Cores: 16 (8 performance + 8 efficiency)
- Threads: 24
- Base clock: 3.4GHz
- Boost clock: 5.2GHz
- Total L3 cache: 30 MB
- TDP: 241W
- The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D and Intel Core i9-12900K offer very different computing experiences.
- The AMD chip has eight identical cores and 16 threads. It excels in traditional productivity tasks.
- On the other hand, the Intel Core i9-12900K offers a more exciting hybrid design, of eight performance cores and eight efficiency cores—one that could push the boundaries of what we thought was possible from a CPU.
- More so, the AMD Ryzen CPU elevates to a 4.5GHz boost clock, which is 300MHz more than the same chip in the other Ryzen 7 chips.
- While the Core i9-12900K can reach 5.2GHz with a boost.
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The Ryzen 7 5800X and Core i9-12900K are both marketed as high-performance CPUs designed for gamers, so surely they’ll prove excellent at gaming, too – right?
- The 50% increase in L3 cache makes a big difference for the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is about 1.7% faster than the Intel Core i9-12900K CPU overall in gaming when paired with the latest GPU, for example, an RTX 3080. Its average speed is 4.17 GHz and max speeds reach 4.35 GHz.
- Consider that the AMD CPU has half as many cores and costs around $200 less.
- However, in intensive open-world titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Battlefield, the Core i9-12900k comes out on top with its larger core count.
- While some open-world games prefer the Ryzen 7 5800X3D’s increased cache, for example, Far Cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Winner: Draw. Both CPUs are good at gaming. It just depends on the games.
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Although the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is considered a leading gaming CPU, it’s not the best CPU when it comes to general performance:
- The higher core count on the Core i9-12900K allows it to be more powerful in applications and handle them faster than many of its other peers.
- Following this, the Core i9-12900K is fast but it comes at a premium price.
- The i9-12900K is approximately 30% faster in single-core performance and approximately 80% faster in multi-core performance.
- The Core i9-12900K has a lot more general computing power than the predecessor, so suffice to say that you get your money’s worth.
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PCIe And Memory Support
Buying a CPU is not just about performance, cost, and efficiency. It is also about the ecosystem and compatibility to avoid bottlenecks:
- The AMD Ryzen 5800X3D runs on the old-aged AMD’s AM4 platform and supports DDR4 memory and PCIe 4.0.
- The Intel Core i9-12900K is based on LGA 1700 socket and supports DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0.
- What this means is that the i9 has greater performance potential where memory bandwidth is a priority.
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So, Who’s The Winner?
Due to price and current compatibility, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is arguably the most popular pick if you’re looking to keep some costs down when building a gaming PC.
However, if you’re someone who wants to build a future-proof gaming PC while being able to handle high-end productivity tasks, like video editing, the extra cores, and hyperthreading on the Intel Core i9-12900K is the best way to go.
In our opinion, the winner is the i9-12900K.