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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Ryzen 9 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 37% 0%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 54% 26%
Halo: Reach 74% 59%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 31% 11%
Cyberpunk 2077 47% 15%
Borderlands 3 37% 0%
FIFA 20 55% 28%
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 37% 0%
Fortnite: Chapter 2 66% 45%
eFootball PES 2020 48% 18%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz 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 3900 was released less than a year after the Core i5-9400F 6-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 3900 has 6 more cores than the Core i5-9400F 6-Core. 12 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 i5-9400F 6-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Ryzen 9 3900, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Ryzen 9 3900 has 18 more threads than the Core i5-9400F 6-Core. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Ryzen 9 3900 uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

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 Ryzen 9 3900 and Core i5-9400F 6-Core 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 Ryzen 9 3900 has a 0.2 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. 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 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.

Both the Ryzen 9 3900 and the Core i5-9400F 6-Core have the same TDP of 65 Watts, but the Ryzen 9 3900 has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameZen 2Coffee Lake
MoBo SocketSocket AM4LGA 1151
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date09 Oct 201931 Jan 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores12vs6
CPU Threads24vs6
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs2.9 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.3 GHzvs4.1 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs65 W
Lithography7 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature95°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size768 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size6144 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size64 MBvs9 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs37.5mm x 37.5mm
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Ryzen 9 3900 12-Core 3.1GHz is a high-end CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It offers 12 physical cores (24 logical), initially clocked at 3.1GHz, which may go up to 4.3 GHz using Precision Boost. It has an unlocked multiplier, therefore, it can be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 64MB 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 65W. This makes it very energy efficient compared to competitor processors. Among its many features are Simultaneous Multithreading, Cool n Quiet, CoolCore Technology, Extended Frequency Range (XFX), Pure Power and Precision Boost are enabled. AMD's Ryzen 9 3900 is currently only available through OEM manufacturers and system builders.The Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz is a mid-range CPU based on Intel's 9th Gen 14nm, Coffee Lake refresh microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (6 logical) initially clocked at 2.9GHz, which may go up to 4.1GHz using Turbo Boost. It does not have an unlocked multiplier and therefore cannot be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 9MB of SmartCache. Intel SmartCache refers to the architecture that allows all cores to dynamically share access to the last level 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. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many advanced features are Intel Optane Memory support, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization technology. It Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz features no onboard integrated graphics. This CPU is likely to offer decent computational performance and will not be a bottleneck in all but the most CPU-intensive AAA games in 2019.

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