Intel Core i9 10900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 5900X- Which is the best high-end CPU?

i9 10900K vs Ryzen 5900X

i9 10900K vs Ryzen 5900X

For gamers who are currently thinking of upgrading their existing system to get a high-end one with the best processor in the market, i9 10900K and 5900X are some of the best choices to go with. Intel undoubtedly had the crown being the best performer with its crown jewel the Intel Core i9 10900K, until the day when AMD released the Ryzen 9 5900X.

Now you might be wondering why should you even look for an AMD processor when the previous generation Ryzen series were easily beaten by its Intel counterparts. But before diving straight away into the key differences, let us take a close look at the specification of both the processors.

Specifications at a glance

SpecsCore i9 10900KRyzen 9 5900X
Architecture Comet Lake Zen 3
Lithography 14nm 7nm
Cores/Threads 10/20 12/24
Clock(Base/Boost) 3.7/5.3GHz 3.7/4.8GHz
Overclockable Yes Yes
Total Cache 20MB 70MB
Socket LGA 1200 AM4
TDP 125W 105W
Integrated GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630 N/A
CPU cooler Not included Not included

Intel Core i9 10900K

Core i9 10900K

The Intel Core i9 10900K was released back in the Q2 of 2020 and it comes with a price tag of around $500. Looking at the specs of the Intel Core i9-10900K, it is quite clear that this particular processor is meant to give you satisfactory performance.

Built on the same 14nmm technology, the Core i9- 10900K comes with 10 cores accompanied by 20 threads and offers a base clock frequency of 3.7GHz and a boost clock frequency of 5.3 GHz. It also comes with a higher TPD of 125 W and also will need the new motherboards that support LGA 1200 chipset.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

 Ryzen 9 5900X

As per the claims from AMD, the Zen 3 series processors are supposed to give you a boost of 19% on IPC gains over the previous Zen series architecture and it definitely is going to give its Intel counterpart a tough fight.

Looking at the specs, it is quite clear that the AMD 5900X is coming with more cores/threads which has been a trend with AMD. The Ryzen 9 5900X features 12 cores accompanied by 24 threads and offers a base clock frequency of 3.7 GHz and a boost clock of 4.8 GHz.

The AMD Zen 3 architecture is more future-proof as it also supports PCIe version 4.0 and the notable thing that I personally felt is an absolute killer feature is a fact that the Ryzen 9 5900X can be used on the same AM4 motherboard which is more user friendly and easy for the users who are currently using existing AMD Ryzen processor.


Let us keep the specification aside, and get some insight into the performance difference between these two processors so that you will have clear facts and figures about which one is the best.

The Intel Core i9-10900K when got released, it instantly became the best processor not only for gaming but also for workstations. However, it was built with the same 14nm technology that can be coined as outdated. And on the other hand, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X comes with the latest Zen 3 architecture and makes use of the TSMC 7 nm FinFET manufacturing method.

Key Differences

Now when we compare them head-on then the first thing that pops out is the increase of core and thread count on the Ryzen 9 5900X that offers 12 cores and 24 threads, accompanied by a huge 64 MB L3 cache memory. The Intel Core i9-10900K on other hand offers 10 cores, 20 threads, and an L3 cache of 20 MB. The increased core/thread count may not look significant but it boosts the performance by almost 20%.

While the base clock of both the processors is identical i.e. 3.7 GHz, Intel Core i9-10900K has an edge on the boost clock and it can reach 5.3 GHz while the Ryzen 9 5900X reaches 4.8 GHz. Also, there is another key point to be noted is that the Ryzen 9 5900X comes with the support of PCIe 4.0 and also can be used with an exiting motherboard of B550 or X570 chipset but the Intel Core i9-10900K is limited to PCIe 3.0 and will also need new LGA 1200 chipset motherboards.


Thermal Design Power or TDP refers to the maximum amount of heat generated by a computer chip or component under any workload with a real application. In terms of power consumption, the Ryzen 9 5900X offers the least TPD value between the two, and as per the claims from AMD, the latest Zen 3 processors are more energy efficient.


The Ryzen 9 5900X is priced a bit higher than that of its Intel counterpart, however, the value to price comparison is on par with the Ryzen 9 5900X. It won’t play any significant role in the higher price for the reason that you can upgrade your existing processor with the Ryzen 9 5900X as it comes with AM4 support. While with that of Intel Core i9-10900K, you will need to have the latest LGA 1200 chipset series motherboards which will lead to cost the Intel Core i9-10900K more than that of the AMD’s.


Ryzen 9 5900X offers better memory compatibility than that of the Intel Core i9-10900K. Furthermore, the Ryzen 9 5900X also offers support for PCIe 4.0 along with increased PCI lanes of 20 whereas the Intel Core i9-10900K is maxed at PCIe 3.0 and 16 PCIe lanes. But this won’t be having any direct effect in terms of performance.


Prior to the launch of the Ryzen 9 5900X, the Intel Core i9-10900K was undoubtedly the best processor in terms of gaming as well as a few specific applications where Intel was able to be in the top place. However, the Ryzen 9 5900X was successfully able to change the tide of the long rivalry between the two brands.

Source:- Testing Games

The Ryzen 9 5900X, is able to beat Intel i9-10900K in almost everything except a few exceptions like Red Redemption II where the margin was however not huge. However, Ryzen 9 5900X successfully beat Intel Core i9-10900K on photoshop with a huge gap in terms of performance where previously the latter held the top position for a long period of time.

And after a quite long period of time, AMD successfully took the crown from Intel in terms of gaming performance where the Ryzen 9 5900X was able to reach impressive results that were showcased during the launch event, where the Ryzen 9 5900X was able to give almost 10-20% performance boost over the Intel Core i9-10900K.

Wrapping up

To keep a few things simple and easy for everyone, we didn’t dig too deep into technical facts and figures but seeing the different benchmarks and performance reviews it can be concluded that the Ryzen 9 5900X clearly wins. Now, if you are already using the Intel Core i9-10900K processor, then it is not going to be a wise decision to change to AMD, but if you are already using an old gen Ryzen processor and are currently looking to upgrade then you might like to get your hands on the Ryzen 9 5900X.

Intel Core i9 10900K
Intel Core i9 10900K
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
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