AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X is now only $420 – a response to Intel’s Core i9 10900K?

Probably not - but it's still a cracking deal

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Yesterday, many media outlets unleashed their Intel Core i9 10900K reviews, and the results seem to be consistent across the board: it’s the fastest CPU for gaming (at the cost of high power consumption and heat production), but is still slower than AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X when it comes to multi-core performance.

Now, AMD has lowered the price (via Video Cardz) of its Ryzen 9 3900X. Yes, while Intel’s Core i9 10900K is looking like it will bear a $489 MSRP, AMD has set the price of the 3900X down to approx. $420 USD (£410 GBP) on Amazon (or $410 USD, depending on who you ask), meaning AMD’s value offering looks even sweeter despite the new impending generation of Intel desktop processors.

AMD still lists the 3900X as $449 USD on its store page, and the MSRP is still listed as $499 on Amazon, so this appears to merely be a discount rather than an actual price change. Still, dollars are dollars, right? And AMD has a pretty solid track record when it comes to maintaining its discounts.

Original reports of this discount put it at $410, but the CPU is currently sitting at approx. $420, at least on Amazon. That’s still pretty damn good for a current-gen enthusiast CPU that beats the 10900K at multi-core performance and gives it a run for its money in gaming performance. But the way some people are speaking about it you’d think AMD saw Core i9 10900K reviews being posted and quickly scarpered to the discount bunker to hit the giant red ‘EMERGENCY DISCOUNT’ button.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

In fact, many CPUs across the entire AMD Ryzen lineup have had discounts over the past few months. It’s been difficult to find an AMD Ryzen product not discounted, for the most part. This isn’t to say that this particular discounted price isn’t low – it is – but it’s still pretty much business as usual. The Ryzen 9 3900X is currently sitting at around the same price that it was throughout most of March. And even if you can find it for the claimed $410 instead of $420, it’s still within the realms of ‘business as usual’ for AMD.

And the reason AMD can continue with ‘business as usual’ is because – despite it being the fastest gaming CPU – the Core i9 10900K shouldn’t be too much of a threat to the Ryzen 9 3900X. This is because these two CPUs each have their own distinct strengths. The i9 10900K will undoubtedly be fantastic for gaming, and will be picked up by those ultra-enthusiast gamers to go along with their Nvidia RTX 2080 Tis.

But while the Ryzen 9 3900X is also fantastic for gaming, it will primarily be chosen by those who are willing to sacrifice a few frames for the ability to maximise performance in multi-core, CPU-intensive applications. And when it comes to the very top end of consumer hardware, you’re either in it for the framez, or you’re in it for the whole package. As you reach the top end and prices become higher, you tend to have a better idea where you want your performance gains to reside. It’s in the middle of the range that distinctions become more blurred.

So yes, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is currently at a great price and will be picked up by many an expectant gamer. But no, it doesn’t signal a dramatic response to the Intel Core i9 10900K – more of a slight adjustment, if anything.