AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K: Best CPU For Gaming?

When AMD’s Ryzen 3000 processors first landed, we published the review of the Ryzen 7 3700X which performed on par with the much more expensive Core i9-9900K in most non-gaming workloads while being a notch slower in gaming. Since then, there have been a lot of debates on the Matisse chips, especially if you take into account the boost clocks. There have been several BIOS updates, AGESA microcode updates and so on. We have now tested the 3700X with the newer firmware and although the boost behavior was slightly more aggressive than before, it’s still within the margin of error. Regardless, we’ll be re-conducting gaming benchmarks because:

  • They are being demanded by the audience and,
  • Gaming workloads are most affected by the operating in-game clocks.

We’ll be testing five games namely, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Assassins’ Creed Origins, Ashes of the Singularity and Deus Ex Mankind Divided. These titles have shown better CPU utilization than the average AAA game, making them ideal for this benchmark.


  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 2080
  • Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570
  • Memory: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3600MHz
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 2080
  • Motherboard: MSI Z390 MEG Godlike
  • Memory: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3600MHz
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB

All the benchmarks were conducted at 1080p using the highest in-game preset.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K Gaming Benchmarks

The overall result is as we surmised. The Intel Core i7-9700K is slightly faster in gaming workloads, but the deltas are too small to make them noteworthy. Further, the advantage of the Ryzen parts in multi-threaded workloads such as content creation, encoding, and streaming makes them ideal for a versatile setup, rather than one solely for gaming.

This is already evident from the fact that in games leveraging DX12, the deltas between the two chips is either minimal or the 3700X is faster. We expect the same result with Borderlands 3 once the DX12 port is fixed. We’ll do a report on that as soon as Gearbox lets us.

Moving on, we decided to do the CPU focused benchmark in case of Ashes and found out that when the game is CPU bound, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X comes out on top and that too by a notable margin. Even if you try out older DX11 games like Shadow of War and Ghost Recon Wildlands, courtesy of the fat L3 cache, AMD’s 3rd Gen Ryzen chips perform quite admirably. Sure, they’re not as fast as Intel’s offerings, but the advantages outweigh the negatives by a long shot, so it’s a clear win for team red. To drive my point home, have a look at the non-gaming workloads.

As Intel puts it, these are all real-world tests from applications that are used in everyday computing such as compressing, browsing, encoding, streaming, etc:

And of course Cinebench:

And there you go, as you can see the Intel chips really take a beating in multi-threaded applications like Cinebench and Indigo, no wonder they’re calling them out as “not real world”. However, the fact is that even in applications like 7-zip, Chrome, Handbrake and gaming, AMD’s performance is either on par or better than Intel’s while costing less.

Furthermore, I’d like to address Intel’s real-world jargon here. Yes, sure applications like Indigobench and Cinebench are generally used by professionals, but that’s kind of the point. AMD has brought HEDT levels of performance to the consumer market, all the while handily defeating or leveling with the Coffee Lake parts in the mainstream applications. Cheers!

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Divinity, Torment, Baldur's Gate and so much more... Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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