AMD is bringing back its 3D V-Cache tech, this time in three different chips: the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. The latter is undoubtedly going to be one of the best processors this year, fully set to rival Intel’s flagships.
With AMD’s beastly CPU right around the corner, should Intel be worried? Let’s find out by comparing the Ryzen 9 7950X3D to the Intel Core i9-13900K.
Pricing and availability
While AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D is not quite here yet, Intel’s Core i9-13900K has been topping the performance charts for a while now. First announced in September 2022, the CPU hit shelves on October 20, 2022, initially priced at $590. It was accompanied by two more Raptor Lake processors: the Core i7-13700K for $410 and the Core i5-13600K for $320.
For Intel, the Core i9-13900K was among the first 13th-gen processors to arrive. For AMD, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D comes after several other chips have already made it to the market.
AMD initially launched the Ryzen 7000 lineup in September 2022, ushering in chips like the Ryzen 9 7950X. Announced during CES 2023, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is set to arrive on February 28, priced at $700. It will be joined by the Ryzen 9 7900X3D and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.
You can expect AMD’s processor to run around $100 more than Intel’s. The Core i9-13900K has been available for several months, so it frequently goes on sale below $600, giving Intel the edge when it comes to overall value.
|Intel Core i9-13900K||Ryzen 9 7950X3D|
|Cores/threads||24/32 (8 P-cores, 16 E-cores)||16/32|
|Base clock||3GHz (P-cores), 2.2GHz (E-cores)||4.2GHz|
|Boost clock||5.8GHz (single core)||5.7GHz|
|Cache (L2 + L3)||68MB||144MB|
|TDP||125W (253W boost)||120W|
Looking at the specifications of both CPUs reveals a fair number of differences between the two.
For one, the Intel Core i9-13900K sports Intel’s hybrid core architecture, meaning it has a mix of performance (P) and efficiency (E) cores. Ultimately, it has a higher core count than the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, but the same number of threads.
AMD’s CPU has a significantly higher base clock and a slightly lower boost clock than the Intel chip. The processors are very similar in terms of power consumption, but the Core i9-13900K can be boosted to a whopping 253 watts.
Lastly, there’s the difference in cache size. Intel boosted the cache on Raptor Lake CPUs by a large amount, but it’s still no match for the 3D V-Cache-powered Ryzen 9 7950X3D. The AMD chip has a massive 144MB of combined cache, all thanks to the architecture of AMD’s 3D chips.
We’ve had the chance to review the Core i9-13900K ourselves, so we have extensive data about its performance. The same can’t be said about the Ryzen 9 7950X3D — at least not yet. The CPU won’t be out until February 28, and until then, all we can do is follow the little crumbs of information we have managed to gather about its capabilities.
First, let’s start with what we know — the performance of the Core i9-13900K puts it among the best Intel CPUs out right now. The Core i9-13900KS beats it slightly, hitting 6GHz out of the box, but much like with the last-gen Core i9-12900K and Core i9-12900KS, the difference is negligible enough that it’s just not worth the upgrade most of the time.
In our Geekbench 5 multi-core test, the Core i9-13900K dominated every other CPU on the market with a gigantic score of 23,786 points. However, the Ryzen 9 7950X was very close behind, but that doesn’t mean the 3D V-Cache part will have the same success in synthetic benchmarks. Compared to its predecessor, the Core i9-12900K, the Raptor Lake chip was about 30% faster here. As for single-core tasks, our Cinebench R23 test showed a 14% lead for the 13th-gen CPU.
Moving on to gaming gives us a good idea of how powerful the Ryzen 9 7950X3D might turn out to be. In Cyberpunk 2077, which is a notoriously demanding title, the Core i9-13900K matched the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in terms of frames per second (fps) — both CPUs scored 128 fps. Considering that the Intel processor is a current-gen flagship and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a last-gen CPU, we’re truly seeing the power of the 3D V-Cache in gaming scenarios.
We tested the Core i9-13900K in other games too, and the performance of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D continues to impress throughout our test suite. Intel’s flagship pulls ahead in some titles, scoring 119 fps versus 111 fps for the 5800X3D in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and 140 fps versus 119 fps in Red Dead Redemption 2. However, in Far Cry 6, the processor falls behind the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, scoring 142 fps versus 147 fps for the Ryzen.
Of course, these comparisons are bound to be inaccurate, since the two processors are of different generations. However, the immense power of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D gives us a lot of hope for the performance of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D.
As far as AMD’s claims go, the company said that the Ryzen 9 7950X3D should be around 24% faster than the Core i9-13900K in gaming, and up to 52% faster in productivity. We will have to wait and see whether the CPU can really pull it off.
A gaming beast in the making
Between the Intel Core i9-13900K and the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D, which one should you buy for your desktop PC? That depends.
The Core i9-13900K is a powerful CPU that manages to strike a good balance between gaming and productivity. It has a high core count and can hit really high clock speeds. It’s also cheaper than the AMD part, meaning you’d be saving around $110 if you go with Intel.
Another difference between the two is that Raptor Lake processors support both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, but AMD’s Zen 4 chips only work with DDR5 memory. If you go with the Core i9-13900K, you’ll also be able to save a little more by picking up cheaper DDR4 RAM.
With all that said, if the performance of AMD’s last-gen 3D V-Cache chip is anything to go by, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D is going to be a gaming beast. If pure gaming is what you’re after, we’re pretty sure that this will be the best gaming CPU this year.
One thing that both these chips have in common is that they’re both high-end, enthusiast-oriented processors. You’re getting the best performance for the highest price, and no matter which one you pick, both are bound to do a fantastic job — even if they’re not the most cost-effective options.