Intel’s latest processors have been packing quite a punch, performance-wise, but they sometimes come in at significantly higher price points than their AMD counterparts. However, it is worth noting that the AMD equivalent of those processors (with the same number of cores, and the same clock speed per core) is sometimes (much) slower. The Intel processors sometimes have a higher performance-price ratio as well. In the case of the recent AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and Intel i9-7940X, this is reflected to a lesser extent. Let’s lay out the basic specs before getting started with our CPU comparison.
|Specification||AMD Ryzen 1950X||Intel i9-7940X|
|L3 Cache||32 MB||19.25 MB|
The AMD has two more CPU cores, the AMD 1950X’s maximum clock speed is only 0.1 GHZ lower than that of the Intel i9-7940X. The AMD 1950X has far more L3 cache memory, and the price of the 1950X is approximately $490 less than the Intel i9-7940X. The Ryzen 1950X sells for ~$980 (depending on the store), and the Intel i9-7940X sells for ~$1,470 (also dependent on the store). That is a staggeringly high price for a CPU with less of nearly everything.
According to performance benchmarks, the Intel i9-7940X CPU still outperforms the AMD by an overall 12% margin. This is a good reminder than you need to check benchmark test results before buying a CPU, and to avoid making CPU purchase decisions based on the number of cores or clock speeds.
Apart from that, the glaring difference with the Intel here is the price. The Intel i9-7940X is 50% more expensive than the AMD 1950x. Despite obliterating the AMD 1950X with regards to performance per core, the AMD is the superior option from a financial point of view. A 12% performance improvement is not worth an extra $490.
This doesn’t mean that AMD is the better brand, or the more economical brand. It just means that the Ryzen 1950X processor is cheaper than the Skylake 7940X. If you’re shopping for a processor under $300, both Intel and AMD offer great options, for example: The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and the Intel i5-7500. Both come in at prices slightly under $200. In some stores, the AMD processor is a hair cheaper than the Intel i5 model.
According to benchmarks, the Intel i5-7500 outperforms the AMD Ryzen 1950X by a very tiny 1% margin. If you already have an Intel motherboard that supports the i5-7500, then you’re better off buying the i5 processor, otherwise you’d have to go buy a motherboard with support for the AMD.