Why You Should Buy AMD’s 2019 CPUs for Your Next PC

AMD Ryzen logo on textured backgroundAMD

AMD is often the first choice when looking for value in a processor, but soon, the maximum performance of Intel can be rewarded, at least in the short term. Take AMD into account when building your next PC.

AMD caused a sensation this spring with the introduction of its Ryzen 3000 processors and the X570 chipset that accompanies it. This duo begins to ship on July 7, 2019, with zippy PCIe 4.0 transfer rate promises and a proposition of exceptional value in terms of cost, number of cores and energy use.

Value has always been AMD's advantage over Intel, with its Zen, Zen + and now Zen 2 architectures. We will not really know how efficient the new Ryzen 3000 processors will be until testing and testing independent performance. Nevertheless, it seems that Ryzen 3000 will be impressive.

Intel, meanwhile, does not have a project on new desktop processors (with perhaps an exception), which reinforces the rather compelling argument of considering AMD for your next desktop version.

AMD vs Intel: the fight is real

Retail packaging for the Intel Core i9-9900K processor.Intel

AMD owned Computex in May when the company introduced its Ryzen 3000 desktop processors, based on the Zen 2 architecture and the new X570 motherboard chipset. The new processors use a 7 nm (nanometer) process, with a wide range of wire and core counts with lower heat generation (TDP) and, presumably, lower power consumption than previous models .

At E3, AMD continued its triumph on Computex by introducing another Ryzen 3000 processor, the Ryzen 16 hearts 9 3950X. Before the Ryzen 3000, there were only 16-core chips at the enthusiastic level, requiring high-end motherboards at a high price.

In comparison, AMD's 16-core chip has a selling price of $ 749. It's still expensive, but Intel's 16-core chip (the Core i9-9960X) costs more than double that price. This comparison may not be quite right, because the Intel chip is excessive for most people. It supports 44 huge PCIe 3.0 lanes, compared to 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes in the new AMD chip, and Intel's processor can handle a large memory load.

Again, that's the goal. The AMD 16-core chip is a mainstream processor that fits in mainstream cards. It's something that Intel does not have. If Intel intends to provide a more affordable response to Ryzen 3000, we will not see it for a moment. The next generation of Intel processors, called Ice Lake, are intended for laptops by the end of the year, but it is unclear when the next series of desktop processors will appear.

AMD's value proposition

AMD's new processors offer great value over previous generation components and Intel's current desktop processors. Take a simple example with the $ 329 Ryzen 7 3700X and its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 2700X, which currently sells for around $ 280. The newest processor has the same number of cores and threads as the older version and offers nearly identical rotational speeds. But the most recent processor has a larger total cache, at 36 MB, against about 21 MB for the 2700X. This suggests that the 3700X will be better suited to heavy workloads, such as video processing. The cache of a processor is similar to its internal memory. It allows the processor to access instructions faster than it is in system memory.

AMD is also testing the 3700X at a TDP of 65W, compared to 105W for the 2700X. This means that the new processor generates less heat and should consume less energy, which is not a bad upgrade for a $ 50 price increase.

Ryzen 3000 processor with orange light in the socket of the motherboard.AMD

It's the same for the less expensive Ryzen 5 3600 and its cousin, the Ryzen 5 2600. Here we have the same number of hearts and threads (6 and 12), but the 3600 is slightly faster, has a more large cache, and supports the fastest PCIe 4.0. If you find a good sale, you can get the Ryzen 5 2600 for about $ 145 to $ 150, while the Ryzen 5 3600 has a MSRP of $ 200. Again, it's a nice little bump in the specifications for about $ 50 more.

Ok, agree. Big surprise that the new AMD chips are better than the old ones. What about the value compared to Intel?

Let's compare the 3700X to Intel's popular Core i9-9900K. Both processors have eight cores and 16 threads, and both have the same 3.6 GHz base clock. The Intel boost on the 9900K is much better at 5.0 GHz than the 4.4 GHz on the 3700X. The AMD processor has a cache of 36 MB on the 16 MB of 9900K. The 3700X also has a lower TDP at 65W, compared to 95W for the 9900K. This presumably means that the 3700X consumes less power, but as the TDP is not a standardized measure, we will know how close they are when we see real-world tests.

The real determining factor here is pricing. The AMD 3700X, with its MSRP of 329 USD, is only cheaper than Intel's Core i9-9900K, between 485 and 490 USD. Given the dynamism of Intel and the popularity of the 9900K as a first-rate processor, the 3700X will probably not beat its performance. The shyness of the 9900K is not yet clear. However, even a step forward for the Ryzen 7 3800X with 16 cores and 8 cores, which would have beat the 9900K at the beginning (and anonymous) reference leaks-You still save about 85 dollars on Intel. This may not seem like much, but when you start adding costs to a new PC, that lower price starts counting.

These processors do not have integrated graphics, unlike those of Intel. But if you're looking for serious performance, you'll still get a discreet GPU for your desktop PC.

Zen 2's Value Caveat

The Asus Pro WS X570 motherboard.The Asus Pro WS X570 motherboard. Asus

We have established that these Zen 2 processors sound good in terms of value, but there is a great caveat. If you want these Ryzen 3000 chips to support PCIe 4.0, you need to buy an X570 motherboard.

These motherboards should be quite expensive for several reasons. They have a more expensive chipset, are built on a better printed circuit board and require a serious cooling design, with fans, heat sinks, and so on.

This could put a damper on the favorable prices of these new Ryzen processors at the moment. At the beginning of 2020, the situation could be different if the new version of the traditionally cheaper Ryzen motherboards (probably called B550) was launched. For the moment, a new motherboard accompanying this new Ryzen processor will cost you dearly.

The alternative is to use a Ryzen 3000 processor with a cheaper X470 card. You will still have CPU performance, but that means losing PCIe 4.0 for PCIe 3.0.

PCIe 4.0: a big leap forward, too soon?

See our article on why PCIe 4.0 is important understand in detail the benefits of the new standard. In short, PCIe 4.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0. For the game, it does not really matter, because PCIe 3.0 offers a bandwidth largely sufficient.

The big advantage for PCIe 4.0 from these beginnings is that it promises to make NVMe disks a little faster. NVMe PCIe 4.0 drives promise read speeds of up to 5,000 megabytes per second, while the best NVMe drives currently reach 3,500 Mbps.

Unless NVMe speeds really matter to you, the value of PCIe 4.0 is probably not worth it in terms of value at the moment. Again, with the new AMD processors, we recommend looking for a cheaper X470 card to house it and waiting for PCIe 4.0 to become larger than it is now before searching for an X570 card.

RELATED: PCIe 4.0: What's new and why is it important?

Intel's intermediate answer?

Overall, AMD is proving strong in the future. Intel has a desktop processor in its sleeve, but it may not be very different from what we've seen.

Intel introduced the Core i9-9900KS at the end of May during Computex. This processor will have a base clock of 4.0 GHz, an increase over the 3.6 GHz of the 9900K, and the same boost of 5.0 GHz. The difference, however, is that Intel says the boost to the 9900KS will affect all hearts. In other words, the eight cores will increase to 5.0 GHz, while on the other Intel processors, the increase is generally only one heart, the others operating below this clock higher.

Looking through the reviews and comments of the 9900K forum, you'll find that when Intel's multi-core enhancement feature (MCE) is active, it often pushes all cores to 5 GHz.

If the 9900KS surprises the world with a staggering performance compared to the 9900K – and its price is not out of reach for most people – Intel could have a compelling final statement for 2019. Otherwise immediate future for AMD.

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