Intel Core i9-13900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X: Which CPU is best?
Red vs. Blue.
Intel's Core i9-13900K is the company's flagship processor for its 13th Gen family. It has the highest count of cores and threads, unlocking some serious performance.
- More cores
- Lower TDP
- Faster boost clock speeds
- Integrated GPU
- 10nm process
- Less cache
If you want the best AMD performance, you're going to want to look at the Ryzen 9 7950X. It has the most cores from team red and is capable of taking on the 13900K.
- 5nm TSMC process
- More cache
- Integrated GPU
- Slower boost clock speeds
- Higher TDP
- Fewer cores
Both the AMD Ryzen 7000 and 13th Gen Intel Core series of processors are very good. The Intel Core i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X are the best of both families, capable of trading blows against one another in synthetic benchmarks and gaming. If we were to choose just one, the best CPU would be the Intel Core i9-13900K, but the Ryzen 9 7950X is a close second.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Intel Core i9-13900K||AMD Ryzen 9 7950X|
|Speed||Up to 5.8GHz||Up to 5.7GHz|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 770||Radeon (2 cores)|
The Intel Core i9-13900K has more physical cores and threads than AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X. There is a total of 24 compared to AMD's 16. Interestingly, the number of threads is the same due to how Intel utilizes a new hybrid core design, whilst AMD uses the traditional processor core design.
Only Intel's P-cores have two threads, which creates an uneven number of threads to cores. Intel is also using an older manufacturing process with a less efficient transistor design, which should be rectified once the company is able to shrink this process down to match what AMD is enjoying through rival TSMC.
Integrated graphics are present on both processors though Intel has the upper hand here with UHD Graphics 770. AMD's Radeon integrated GPU is only really used for video output and shouldn't be relied upon for heavy tasks such as gaming and video editing.
Then there's the thermal design power (TDP) of 125W for Intel and 170W for AMD, though both processors will happily pull 200W of power from the PSU and motherboard. We'll go into a little more detail regarding power and temperatures. Whether you're looking at 13th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 7000, you'll need a new motherboard (and likely new RAM).
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The performance of the Intel Core i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X are similar in real-world scenarios. Should you be gaming or playing around with creator software, either processor will be a solid choice for a PC build. Any processor with 16 or more physical cores is going to be impressive to those who haven't used anything close.
We'll first go into some synthetic benchmarks, which while don't represent an accurate look at how these CPUs will fare in the real world, do allow us to compare them with actual numbers. It's clear to see just how close the Intel Core i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X fare (with the Ryzen 9 7900X thrown in for good measure).
Power consumption is roughly similar too. The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Intel Core i9-19300K will push hard and pull 200W from the power supply. This all depends on how good your cooling is, however. The better the cooling, the more these CPUs will be able to boost. By default, we're looking at 5.7GHz and 5.8GHz, respectively.
The temperatures of both processors under heavy load will surpass 90C and that's by design according to Intel and AMD. They're making full use of available thermal headroom, which wasn't the case with previous generations. This does result in far hotter temperatures but so long as your PC case is capable of exhausting the heat, you shouldn't notice a difference.
Looking for the very best from Intel? You'll need to the Core i9-13900K. It has just about everything you require for a powerful gaming or work PC.
AMD has brought the fight back to Intel and the Ryzen 9 7950X is yet another fine example of a super-capable processor that can easily go up against the best from Intel.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.