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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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Specifications

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

$474+ Walmart

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

$569+ Amazon

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

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Core Comparison

  • 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 boost.

Winner: i9-12500K.

Gaming Performance

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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Processor Performance

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 compute power than the predecessor, so suffice to say that you get your money’s worth.

Winner: i9-12500K.

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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.

Winner: i9-12900K

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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.

"We often receive complimentary products to review at Nerdable. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a share of the revenue from our affiliate partners."

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