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Intel: AMD has “done a great job closing the gap, but we still have the highest performing CPUs”

Intel's banging the 'real-world performance' drum again at Gamescom

Intel Core i9 9900K

Intel’s on the campaign trail again at Gamescom. Following on from its E3 challenge for AMD to ‘come at us, bro’ Intel execs have been talking up its processors against the competition out in Cologne. And once again it’s talking about real-world gaming performance and how its CPUs still have the frame rate lead over even the latest 7nm Ryzen 3000 processors from the red team.

“A year ago when we introduced the i9 9900K,” says Intel’s Troy Severson, “it was dubbed the fastest gaming CPU in the world. And I can honestly say nothing’s changed. It’s still the fastest gaming CPU in the world. I think you’ve heard a lot of press from the competition recently, but when we go out and actually do the real-world testing, not the synthetic benchmarks, but doing real-world testing of how these games perform on our platform, we stack the 9900K against the Ryzen 9 3900X. They’re running a 12-core part and we’re running an eight-core.”

It does bear saying that, while they are vastly different in terms of core count, and therefore thread count, they are also very similar in price.

The 9900K is around $500 while the 3900X is… around $500. So for Intel to come out and say it’s great that its top CPU is capable of beating AMD’s in gaming terms, while having four fewer cores, is kind of a moot point. The fact that AMD is offering four more cores for the same price, and still has comparative gaming performance, is the reason the competition is getting the good press.

Is the i9 9900K faster than the Ryzen 9 3900X?

Sure, if we’re talking about games then the 9900K delivers faster gaming frame rates than AMD’s top 12-core CPU, but not always tangibly. You can check out the 3900X vs 9900K benchmarks in our review. So Intel can bang the ‘real-world performance’ drum all it likes, but that performance lead all but disappears when you start to play at high resolutions, and on high quality settings with high-performance graphics cards, which makes it all pretty much equal anyway.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

And then AMD can still point to its superior multi-threaded performance for creative workloads thanks to offering more cores for the same price.

But Intel is promising to keep its ahead of Ryzen in the gaming race with its next gaming processors… whenever they arrive. To be honest they’ll still be on 14nm, with more plus points after the node than AMD has cores, but if Intel can swallow some price cuts and get more aggressive with its gaming processors then that might change a few people’s minds.

“So, again, you are hearing a lot of stuff from our competition,” says Severson.” I’ll be very honest, very blunt, say, hey, they’ve done a great job closing the gap, but we still have the highest performing CPUs in the industry for gaming, and we’re going to maintain that edge.”

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