July 27, 2021

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Ryzen 7 3700x VS Intel i7 9700k: Detailed Comparison

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Building a custom PC for gaming or productivity-based applications used to be so easy back in the day. All you needed to do was find a suitable Intel processor in your budget and build your system around that. But now, the market is changed as there are a lot of options available from Intel as well as AMD for a CPU. Thus, you now get tones of options available for a CPU in every budget.

While having options allows you to choose the perfect option regarding your usage, it also creates a lot of confusion as most models look quite similar on paper based on their specifications. Right now, a lot of users face confusion between Intel and AMD CPUs that are available in about the same price range.

Today, we will go through the major differences between the Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel i7 9700k CPUs and compare them based on various factors such as gaming performance, thermal performance, overclocking capabilities, and many more. Stick until the end of our discussion to find out the best CPU for your build.

About Ryzen 7 3700x

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Before we move onto the comparison, let us try to understand both CPUs in a brief manner. First, on the list, we have the Ryzen 7 3700x processor from AMD. Released back in July 2019, the Ryzen 7 3700x quickly gained popularity based on its price to performance ratio. With a price tag of only $330, the Ryzen 7 3700x offered a lot of advantages against its competitors.

Coming to the technical specifications of the Ryzen 7 3700x, it is an octa-core desktop processor with 16 operational threads available. It operates at a base clock of 3.6 GHz but offers extended performance for a short period of time with a turbo clock speed of up to 4.4 GHz. This CPU also supports overclocking, which is suitable for heavy gaming and workstations. The Ryzen 7 3700x operates with a 36 MB L3 cache and requires 65W TDP on an AM4 socket.

Pros

  • Available under an affordable price tag
  • The number of threads is higher
  • Higher L3 cache capacity
  • TDP is significantly lower
  • Premium stock cooler included
  • Suitable choice for multipurpose PC builds

Cons

  • Turbo clock capacity is lower
  • Slight performance dip in gaming
  • No integrated graphics
  • Supported motherboards are relatively expensive

About Intel i7 9700k

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Now that you are familiar with the Ryzen option let’s take a look at the other side of the competition. Here, we have the Intel i7 9700k CPU. This is a relatively older model of CPU as it was released back in October 2018. Still, this CPU is a preferred choice for many users as it provides great performance for gaming PC builds. Although, you will have to spend a couple of extra bucks if you are going for the Intel i7 9700k, as it is priced around $374.

The Intel i7 9700k is also an octa-core desktop processor. But, it is powered by 8 cores operating at a base clock of 3.6 GHz. Still, it features great power capacity for heavy tasks as it has turbo clock capacity that goes as high as 4.9 GHz capacity. Unlike most other Intel CPUs, the i7 9700k processor supports overclocking with LGA 1151 motherboards. It requires 95W TDP and offers 12 MB of L3 cache capacity.

Pros

  • Single-core performance is pretty good
  • The best-suited choice for gaming
  • Can be used on a PC without a graphics card
  • LGA 1151 motherboards are affordable in comparison
  • Overclocking compatibility is great

Cons

  • Need to purchase a separate cooler along with the CPU
  • The lower number of threads
  • L3 cache capacity is lower
  • Higher power draw
  • Comparatively expensive option
  • Multicore performance is pretty bad

Ryzen 7 3700x vs Intel i7 9700k Table

Now that you are familiar with both AMD Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel i7 9700k processors, it should be easier for you to make a choice. Although, you should still consider the side by side comparison presented below to get a clear picture. Here, we will be comparing the most important characteristics of a CPU and give you a detailed analysis of each option. Thus, you can find the advantages and flaws of each processor easily and decide on the basis of the comparison.

Factors Ryzen 7 3700x Intel i7 9700k
Price Range Priced around $330 Priced around $374
Socket type AM4 Socket LGA 1151
Number of physical cores 8 core CPU 8 core CPU
Number of threads 16 thread CPU 16 thread CPU
Maximum TDP 65W 95W
Architecture 7 nm 14 nm
First Available In Market July 2019 October 2018
Single-Core Performance
(userbenchmark.com)
140 points 135 points
Multi-Core Performance

(userbenchmark.com)

1023 points 917 points
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.6 GHz
Turbo Clock Up to 4.4 GHz Up to 4.9 GHz
Overclocking Support Available Available

Gaming Performance

Custom PC builds are majorly designed for gaming and gaming and similar applications such as content creation, live streaming, and video editing. Hence, it is important to consider the gaming performance of a CPU before you decide which option is going to power your next build. Let’s talk about the gaming performance difference between Ryzen 7 3700x and Intel i7 9700k.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700x

First up, we are going to take a look at the gaming performance offered by Ryzen 7 3700x. At the standard Full Hd 1080p resolution and best possible graphics settings, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700x offers pretty consistent results. And as this CPU is specifically designed to be used with a dedicated graphics card, it offers great support for high-end graphics cards and allows it to perform without any bottleneck.

Let’s take a look at the gaming performance observed with the Ryzen 7 3700x paired with a high-end Nvidia RTX 2080 OC edition graphics card for 10 popular PC games.

Game Average Frames Per Second
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 99 FPS
Project Cars 93 FPS
Battlefield V 183 FPS
Rainbow Six Siege 306 FPS
The Witcher 3 150 FPS
Metro Exodus 179 FPS
Grand Theft Auto V 102 FPS
Hitman 2 95 FPS
The Division 2 129 FPS
Watch Dogs 2 104 FPS

Intel i7 9700k

Up next, we have the gaming performance recorded with an Intel i7 9700k paired with the same Nvidia RTX 2080 OC edition graphics card as well as an identical hardware configuration. After taking a look at our comparison tables for both CPUs, it is evident that Intel i7 9700k manages to deliver considerably better performance when it comes to gaming, thanks to its higher turbo boost capacity.

For each game in the testing, Intel i7 9700k has managed to maintain triple-digit FPS, whereas Ryzen has fallen short on a couple of heavy games. Let’s take a look at the gaming performance observed with the Intel i7 9700k paired with a high-end Nvidia RTX 2080 OC edition graphics card for 10 popular PC games.

Game Average Frames Per Second
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 101 FPS
Project Cars 103 FPS
Battlefield V 191 FPS
Rainbow Six Siege 340 FPS
The Witcher 3 156 FPS
Metro Exodus 184 FPS
Grand Theft Auto V 112 FPS
Hitman 2 103 FPS
The Division 2 143 FPS
Watch Dogs 2 107 FPS

Multimedia Performance

Multimedia performance is also very important when it comes to buying a CPU. Even if you are designing a system mainly for gaming, you will eventually use the computer for other tasks such as streaming and recording. Even if you don’t, the extended multimedia performance on the CPU keeps your system future-proof for extended applications later on.

Ryzen 7 3700x

Coming to the productive part of the system, the multimedia performance includes heavy tasks such as video editing, rendering, video encoding, video decoding, compression, decompression, and much more. For that, the higher thread count of Ryzen 7 3700x manages to keep it ahead in the competition.

As these tasks utilize multiple threads of the CPU at once, the 16 threads available with the Ryzen 7 3700x make it a dominant CPU in this comparison with up to 20 to 50% better performance in different tasks.

The added thread count also makes the Ryzen 7 3700x a suitable choice of CPU for content creators and streams. As most games would not utilize more than 8 threads, you will have 8 additional threads active for tasks like recording and streaming the game while you are playing it. However, nominal tasks like web browsing, photo editing, and online communication will not utilize the additional power available with the Ryzen 7 3700x.

Intel i7 9700k

The multimedia performance offered by the Intel i7 9700k is not up to the level as compared with the Ryzen 7 3700x for heavy tasks. The main reason behind that is the reduced thread count offered with this CPU. Here, you will only have 8 operational threads operating at a base speed of 3.6 GHz. While this much power is more than enough for casual tasks, it will struggle a bit in heavy tasks like video editing and rendering.

Although, the higher turbo clock capacity of the Intel i7 9700k might be an advantage for some users when it comes to multimedia performance. For basic applications that focus more on a single core performance, you will find the operational time slightly reduced with the Intel i7 9700k. You might see up to 5 to 10% performance increase with the Intel i7 9700k for the apps and services, which are based on single-core performance of the CPU.

Temperature & Cooling

The temperature and cooling parameters available with a CPU also affect its performance by a lot. As you may already know, CPUs don’t perform well at high temperatures due to thermal throttling. To avoid that, you need to check the operating temperatures of both CPUs at high load and possible cooling solutions that you can administer.

Ryzen 7 3700x

Similar to most AMD processors, the Ryzen 7 3700x is also shipped with a dedicated stock cooler. It is a fact that AMD’s stock coolers are pretty good, and users generally don’t need to buy a third-party air or water cooler for their AMD-based system. That being said, the Ryzen 7 3700x processor from AMD goes up to 70°C temperature while operating at heavy loads.

Such temperatures can be easily maintained by the included stock cooler. Thus, you can get a decent performance out of your CPU without spending additional bucks on a third-party cooler. Although, we will highly recommend liquid cooling your system if you are planning to overclock your CPU and use it at a higher clock speed.

Intel i7 9700k

Recently, Intel has stopped shipping stock coolers with its overclocking compatible CPUs. This includes the K series processors, which also includes our next competitor, the Intel i7 9700k. As this CPU is dedicated to gamers, most users are going to overclock their system. And for that, most users prefer a liquid cooling system or an AIO cooling system. Thus, Intel has removed the stock coolers to save some manufacturing costs and bring down the prices of its CPUs.

Paired with a standard air cooler, the Intel i7 9700k already offers lower operation temperatures as compared with the Ryzen. Under heavy load, the Intel i7 9700k operates at around 65°C temperature levels. And while overclocked, you will notice around 75°C temperature levels for the same. Also, a decent 3rd party cooler like Noctua or CoolerMaster can bring down the temperatures even further while maintaining a quieter performance for your system.

Power Usage

The power usage of a CPU indirectly affects your whole system. The power drawn by a CPU is mentioned in the TDP unit, which stands for thermal design power. If the TDP of a CPU is higher, it will require more power from your power supply. This will reduce the efficiency of your power supply unit and make your computer struggle in heavy tasks, which increases the power draw for other hardware as well.

Ryzen 7 3700x

AMD was infamous in the past because of its power-hungry CPUs when it was designing 14 n processors. But, AMD has managed to turn the whole thing around with the release of 3rd generation Ryzen series processors designed with the 7 nm architecture.

The Ryzen 7 3700x mentioned here has a TDP of only 65W, which is nearly 40% less than its competitors. Even with such low TDP, Ryzen is offering a higher thread count, which is admirable.

A lower TDP CPU like the Ryzen 7 3700x will bring down your system’s running cost a lot in the long run. As less power is being consumed, Ryzen 7 3700x is a perfect choice for budget-focused productivity systems.

Intel i7 9700k

While the power requirement for Ryzen CPUs has reduced by a lot in the past few years, the power requirement for Intel CPUs is, more or less, the same. The Intel i7 9700k operates at 95W TDP, which is 40% higher than that of its Ryzen competitor. Thus, the overall power usage and running cost of the Intel i7 9700k will be quite higher compared to the Intel i7 9700k.

But, the higher power draw on the Intel i7 9700k helps to keep a balanced performance output for the processor even when it is working at its peak capacity. As the peak clock speed of Intel i7 9700k is around 5 GHz, you will find it stable while playing heavy games at face lesser FPS drops.

Overclocking

Overclocked systems offer much higher performance compared to the default clock system as the overclocked hardware, whether it is your CPU, GPU, or RAM, gets more work done in less amount of time. Ryzen CPUs have always been popular with the OC favored community in the past, But, the current generation of Intel processors also offers great OC capabilities.

Ryzen 7 3700x

The Ryzen 7 3700x already offers you a larger number of threads. Thus, you will not notice a lot of difference if you overclock your Ryzen CPU with decent air or even a water cooler. You can expect about a 100 MHz additional speed with the CPU after overclocking which offers a few percentages of gain in the performance

Ryzen CPUs is equipped with smart PBO technology. The PBO stands for precision boost overdrive that automatically overclocks the CPU when required and keeps the clock speeds at the standard level when not necessary. Thus, you can save yourself from the trouble of overclocking and resetting your CPU time after time.

Intel i7 9700k

Overclocking is yet another parameter where Intel i7 9700k seems to take a lead compared to the Ryzen 7 3700x. This Intel CPU offers great overclocking capabilities with up to 5200 MHz overclocking possible with a high-end liquid cooler. While this high overclocking capability adds up to the performance of the CPU, it also makes the CPU in line with the high-end Intel i7 9900k processor.

Keep in mind that overclocking only increases the clock speed of existing cores and threads. Thus, you will notice the performance gains only in games and apps which are focused on single-core performance of the CPU. In heavier apps that rely on multi-core performance, the effect of overclocking the Intel i7 9700k is not going to be significant.

3700X vs. 9700k: Does the Ryzen 7 beat the Intel Core i7

In simpler words, the Ryzen 7 3700x is basically a budget alternative available for the Intel core i7 9700k processor. Each of these processors offers some dedicated advantages and disadvantages and differs in aspects like gaming, multimedia, thermal, and power usage characteristics.

But, you also need to consider the major fact, which is the budget for the CPU. As CPU is not as important in gaming as compared to the graphics card, you can buy the Ryzen 7 3700x and put the remaining balance of your budget to get a better GPU or get an additional 8 GB RAM or even an NVMe M.2 drive for your system for extra performance. As for the lower gaming performance of the Ryzen 7 3700x, you might not even get to notice that with a high-end GPU or additional RAM.

Also, you will be getting a higher thread count with the Ryzen 7 3700x along with a lower power draw. Thus, your system will be capable of doing so much more apart from gaming while keeping the running cost lower in comparison. Not to mention, you will also be saving a few bucks because of the included stock cooler in case you are not thinking of overclocking the system.

Conclusion

Buying a CPU is one of the most important decisions you will have to make while building a system. While going through our comparison between Ryzen 7 3700x and the Intel i7 9700k, you must have noticed the similarities as well as differences between both processors that should be studied before making a choice.

In the end, we would like to recommend buying the Ryzen 7 3700x if you are looking for a value for the money option that can also be beneficial for video editing, streaming, and other applications. Although, the Intel i7 9700k is also not a bad choice for an overclocked system dedicated to gaming and entertainment.

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