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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-9920X 12-Core 3.5GHz Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core 3.5GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 65% 72%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 52% 63%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 54% 64%
Mafia: Definitive Edition 62% 70%
Genshin Impact 73% 79%
eFootball PES 2021 62% 70%
FIFA 21 67% 74%
Watch Dogs Legion 52% 63%
Death Stranding 57% 66%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 60% 69%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X 16-Core 3.5GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i9-9920X 12-Core 3.5GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Ryzen 9 3950X was released less than a year after the Core i9-9920X 12-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Ryzen 9 3950X has 4 more cores than the Core i9-9920X 12-Core. 16 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Core i9-9920X 12-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Ryzen 9 3950X, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Ryzen 9 3950X has 8 more threads than the Core i9-9920X 12-Core. Both the Core i9-9920X 12-Core and the Ryzen 9 3950X use hyperthreading. The Core i9-9920X 12-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Ryzen 9 3950X has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i9-9920X 12-Core and Ryzen 9 3950X are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i9-9920X 12-Core and the Ryzen 9 3950X both have the same clock frequency, this is by no means an indicator that the two CPUs will provide the same level of performance. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core i9-9920X 12-Core has a 4096 KB bigger L2 cache than the Ryzen 9 3950X, but on the other hand, it is the Ryzen 9 3950X that has a 44.75 MB bigger L3 cache than the Core i9-9920X 12-Core. In this case, the L2 size is probably what counts, so the Core i9-9920X 12-Core is likely superior in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Ryzen 9 3950X has a 60 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i9-9920X 12-Core, and was created with a 7 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Ryzen 9 3950X will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Ryzen 9 3950X has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i9-9920X 12-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Radeon RX Vega 11, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSkylake XZen 2
MoBo SocketSocket 2066Socket AM4
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date30 Nov 201807 Jul 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores12vs16
CPU Threads24vs32
Clock Speed3.5 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.4 GHzvs4.7 GHz
Max TDP165 Wvs105 W
Lithography14 nmvs7 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature92°Cvs95°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size768 KBvs1024 KB
L2 Cache Size12288 KBvs8192 KB
L3 Cache Size19.25 MBvs64 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsRadeon RX Vega 11
Base GPU Frequency-vs1063 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1190 MHz
DirectX-vs12
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size52.5 mm 45 mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Intel Core i9-9920X 12-Core 3.5GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm Skylake-X micro architecture. It is competing against AMD's 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors. It offers 12 physical cores (24 logical), initially clocked at 3.5GHz which may go up to 4.4GHz with Turbo Boost enabled, and 19.25MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features are Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology, Hyper-Threading, Virtualization is activated. As an 'Extreme' variant, this processor has its multiplier unlocked and overclocking is possible. With a 165W TDP, the Core i9-9920X 12-Core is very power hungry and will require a high-end PSU. This CPU is likely to offer exceptional computational performance and will not be the bottlenecked in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all AAA titles.The Ryzen 9 3950X is a top-end CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 16 physical cores (32 logical), initially clocked at 3.5GHz, which may go up to 4.7GHz using Precision Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. As an AMD 'X' CPU, the Ryzen 9 3950X can use eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) for automated overclocking. It has 65MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 105W. This makes the Ryzen 9 3950X a relatively power-hungry CPU, although this is in-line with the high core count. Among its many features are Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFR), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. It features an integrated AMD Radeon Vega GPU with 11 Compute Units that offers low-end graphical performance.