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Last seen 1 month ago.

— Intel’s Core i5-9400F is a hex-core 9th generation Coffee Lake desktop processor. It features base / boost clocks of 2.9 / 4.1 GHz, 9 MB of cache, a 65W TDP and it ships with a cooler but it does not have integrated graphics like the “non-F” variants. Although the 9400F is compatible with the enthusiast grade Z390 chipset it is normally paired with a better value for money B360 motherboard. At its launch the i5-9400F retailed for $180 but prices have dropped to a point that it now represents an excellent value proposition to gamers. Comparing the i5-9400F to the Ryzen 3600 shows that the 3600 is 8% better for quad-core processing but it costs 40% ($50) more than the 9400F. Ordinarily higher quad-core performance would result in better gaming but the Ryzen 3000 memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency. Gamers can invest the $50 savings in a better GPU, for example by upgrading from an AMD RX 570 to an RX 580. Since the GPU makes the most difference to gaming, the end result is a system which offers far superior real world gaming performance for similar money. For those gamers who demand the best of the best, it is necessary to jump to one of the higher frequency SKUs such as the 9600K but for everyone else the i5-9400F offers unparalleled value.

1 month ago.

— The Ryzen 7 3800X is an 8-core, 16-thread high end desktop Zen 2 processor, built on AMD’s seminal 7nm manufacturing process. It has a boost clock speed of 4.5 GHz, overtaking the previous Zen+ flagship, the Ryzen 7 2700X, by 200 MHz and around 16% in terms of effective speed. The 3800X is available at launch for $399 USD alongside four other new Zen 2 processors, including the similarly specified Ryzen 7 3700X. The main differences between the 3800X and 3700X being an extra 100 MHz of boost clock frequency on the 3800X and extra TDP headroom (105W for the 3800X versus 65W for the 3700X) for a $70 USD premium. The 21% higher release price translates to just a 2% higher effective speed over the 3700X. The 3800X is in direct competition with Intel’s i7-9700K, benchmarks show that, when overclocked, the 3800X is 10% worse for gaming but 30% faster for 64-core processing. The 3800X is also 15% ($50 USD) more expensive than the i7-9700K. Additionally, the 3800X's memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which can also impact gaming. Like the other third generation Ryzen processors, the 3800X is compatible with the new PCIe 4.0 enabled X570 chipset as well as the 400 and 300 series motherboards.

2 months ago.

— Early Q3 of 2019 welcomes the Ryzen 9 3900X, AMD’s current top of the range, third generation Ryzen flagship which raises the bar for 64-core processing on desktop CPUs. This is AMD’s first Ryzen 9 processor and it is a 12-core, 24-thread CPU based on their latest 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The 3900X has a boost/base clock of 3.8/4.6 GHz, 64 MB of L3 cache (double the L3 on the rest of 3000 series), support for 3200 MHz DDR4 system memory and a TDP of 105W. All this, plus a Wraith Prism cooler, at a very reasonable launch price of $499 USD. By comparison, Intel’s 8-core, 16 thread i9-9900K is available for $479 USD (and requires a cooler: $30+ USD). Benchmarks illustrate that the overclocked 3900X leads by a whopping 41% for 64-core processing but that the 9900K maintains a 10% lead for gaming, desktop and other sub octa-core tasks. The 3900 memory controller is significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations and shows a better write throughput than the lower spec 3000 models, but it still shows relatively high latency. In terms of 64-core performance at this price point, there is no threat from Intel. The only real competitor is the upcoming (Q4, 2019) 16-core, 32-thread 3950X ($749 USD). The Ryzen 9 3900X is compatible with the new PCIe 4.0 enabled X570 motherboard via an AM4 socket, as well as 400 and 300 series motherboards.

2 months ago.

— The 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 3700X hails from the middle of AMD’s latest range of 7nm silicon Zen 2 CPUs. The new processors are launched alongside the new X570 chipset, whilst still being backward compatible with 300 and 400 series motherboards. They are also PCIe 4.0 enabled, allowing double the data transfer speeds compared to PCIe 3.0. The $329 USD 3700X has a boost clock of 4.4 GHz, 32 MB of L3 cache, supports 3200 MHz DDR4 memory and has a power draw of just 65W TDP. Out of the box, the 3700X, 3600X and 3600 achieve similar quad core speeds but the 16 threaded 3700X is 30% faster for multi-core computations than the 12 threaded 3600X. Comparing the 3700X to Intel’s i7-9700K shows that, when overclocked, the 3700X is 26% faster for 64-core computations but 13% slower for gaming and desktop (sub eight core performance). Additionally, the 3700X'x memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which can also impact gaming.

2 months ago.

— Early Q3 of 2019 sees the release of the new Ryzen 5 3600X: a hex-core, 12-thread, PCIE 4.0 enabled processor. AMD are releasing five new CPUs based on their latest Zen 2 microarchitecture which features a 7nm manufacturing process that delivers approximately 13% better IPC than the previous 12nm Zen+. For workstation builds the 3600X is viable, however, the $200 USD Ryzen 5 3600 represents a better value proposition, especially for consumers who are willing to overclock. The additional $40 USD for the 3600X buys 200 MHz of extra base and boost clock: 3.8 / 4.4 GHz for the 3600X vs 3.6 / 4.2 GHz on the 3600, this translates to approximately 2% higher overclocked performance for 20% more money. The 3600X ships with a more powerful Wraith Spire cooler (compared to a Wraith Stealth on the 3600). Comparing the 3600X to Intel’s overclocked flagship i5-9600K shows that although the 3600 has 29% faster 64-core speed, it is around 11% worse for gaming (sub eight core performance). Additionally, the 3600X's memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which can also impact gaming. The arrival of Zen 2 marks the end of the "Sandy Bridge (i5-2500K)" era, Intel can no longer rely exclusively on their single-core advantage to dominate the market, they must also compete on price.

2 months ago.

— AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 is one of five new processors based on the latest Zen 2 7nm microarchitecture. This 6-core, 12-threaded processor is priced at $199 USD and succeeds the Zen+ Ryzen 5 2600 improving upon it by 18% in terms of average effective speed and 12% in terms of overclocked performance. The 3600's base / boost clocks of 3.6 / 4.2 GHz match the previous gen hex-core Ryzen 5 2600X and therefore indicate an 11% clock for clock (IPC) improvement over the previous generation. The Ryzen 5 3600 is in competition with Intel’s hex-core i5-9600K. AMD continues to push the multi-core performance envelope: benchmarks show that the 3600 has a 27% overclocked 64-core advantage over the 9600K but that the i5-9600K leads by 14% on single, quad and hex core workloads which translates to 14% higher fps for gamers. Additionally, the 3600's memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which can impact gaming. The Ryzen 3000 processors all include coolers and although they will be launched alongside the new mainstream X570 chipset (which is PCIe 4.0 enabled), they are backwards compatible with 400 and even the 300 series motherboards. At $198 USD, the 3600 offers reasonable value for workstation users.

3 months ago.

— The hex-core i5-9600K is third in Intel’s line-up of 9th generation Coffee Lake CPUs. It has a TDP of 95W and requires an aftermarket cooler ($30+). The 9600K was designed to be overclocked. Once this is enabled in the BIOS (requires a Z-series motherbaord), the 9600K runs 10% faster. In terms of performance, the i5-9600K is almost unbeatable for desktop users and it has sufficient multi-core performance to handle all but the most demanding workstation tasks. For Heavy workstation users the Ryzen 3000 series offers great 64-core performance at a very competitive price. For example the overclocked Ryzen 3600 is approximately 13% worse for gaming and desktop (sub octa-core tasks) but it is 27% faster for 64-core processing. At stock clocks the i5-9600K is around 8% slower than Intel’s flagship i9-9900K but when both are overclocked, the 9600K closes the gaming gap to within two or three percent. Considering that the 9900K is the fastest gaming processor available, and almost twice the price of the 9600K, this is no small feat. The i5-9600K is aimed squarely at gamers who are not willing to compromise on performance but don't want to pay more than they need to.

11 months ago.

— Intel’s Core i7-9700K is an unlocked 9th generation Coffee Lake CPU. It is an 8 core, 8 thread processor. The 9700K features 12 MB of cache, a 95W TDP and Intel UHD 630 graphics. Like the other 9th generation chips, it is compatible with Intel’s new Z390 chipset as well as last years Z370 chipset (with an updated BIOS). The 9700K has stock base / boost clocks of 3.6 / 4.6 GHz and a single core boost of 4.9 GHz (compared to 3.6, 4.7 and 5.0 GHz for the flagship 9900K). This translates to almost identical single, quad and octa core performance between the 9900K and 9700K. Mainstream PC games do not benefit from more than eight threads, so at $350 (25% cheaper than the 9900K), the 9700K offers far better value for money to gamers. That said for purely gaming there is very little reason not to consider the i5-9600K which, when overclocked, offers almost equivalent gaming performance but at a 35% discount.

11 months ago.

— The Intel i9-9900K is an 8 core, 16 thread, unlocked 9th generation Coffee Lake processor. It has a base / boost clocks of 3.6 / 4.7 GHz and a single-core boost of 5.0 GHz (the highest frequency achieved yet from this class of Intel CPU). It features 16 MB of cache, a 95W TDP and Intel UHD 630 graphics. The 9900K is compatible with the new Z390 chipset, and subject to a BIOS update, is also compatible with the older Z370 chipset. Aimed at users who do not wish to compromise, the i9-9900K offers the best gaming and desktop experience available at any price. Heavy workstation users should consider the Ryzen 9 3900X which is similarly priced. Comparing the overclocked 3900X shows that it is just 10% worse for gaming and desktop (sub octa-core) but around 40% better for 64-core computations. Gamers should consider the 9700K which offers identical overclocked gaming performance at a $100 USD discount.

11 months ago.
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Intel Core i5-9400F $140Nvidia GTX 1660 $220Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $70
Intel Core i5-9600K $225Nvidia GTX 1660-Ti $275Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $90
Intel Core i7-9700K $350Nvidia RTX 2060S (Super) $429Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $230
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $39Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $70SanDisk Extreme 64GB $88
WD Blue 1TB (2012) $37G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $500SanDisk Extreme 32GB $48
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $64Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 C16 2x8GB $73SanDisk Extreme 16GB $24
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