AMD debuted its new Ryzen 3000 desktop CPU line a few weeks ago at E3, and it looked fantastic. For the first time in 20 years, it looked like AMD could go head to head with Intel’s desktop CPU line-up across the board. The question: would independent, third-party testing back up AMD’s assertions?
When comparing two CPUs, you should generally be looking at three golden criteria: price, performance, and power consumption. It’s fairly easy to win on a single criterion—for example, even in the Piledriver era, comparing an FX-9590 to an i7-4770 could get you an anemic multi-threaded performance win. But the Piledriver part cost more than the Intel one and consumed tremendously more power. Moving forward to the Ryzen 2 era, things got much closer to even: when comparing a Ryzen 7 2700 vs an Intel i7-8700, the Intel CPU takes the performance win, and power consumption is relatively even, but the AMD part has a big price advantage. This is arguably an even heat for that particular lineup—but if you care more about performance, moving the AMD side up to a Threadripper 2950x brings you to an enormous win for Intel on both power consumption and price.