Intel’s new high-end Skylake-X series includes the top-of-the-line Core i9-7900X, which impressively features 10 cores and a turbo boost of up to 4.5 GHz. This new i9 CPU certainly has impressive technical specs, but at an astronomic price of $999, how does it compare to AMD’s latest Ryzen offerings and Intel’s own less expensive models for gaming?
Our sister sites, Tom’s Hardware and Anandtech, put the i9-7900X chip through rigorous tests against such CPUs as the Core i7 7900X and Ryzen 7 1800x paired with an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founder Edition GPU, so make sure to read through the full performance write-ups on those sites for even more details.
Grand Theft Auto V
When playing Grand Theft Auto V at 1080p and ultra settings, the overclocked i7-6950X pulled out a victory over the base i9-7900X with 100.4 frames, though it lost out to the overclocked version of the i9, which notched 106.4 fps. The overclocked Ryzen 7 1800X and Ryzen 5 1600X were well behind with 82.5 and 79.5 fps, respectively.
When running Hitman (2016) at 1080p resolution and at ultra detail, the i9-7900x hit a rate of 126.8 fps. AMD’s Ryzen lineup fell to the bottom of the list with the overclocked Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 7 1800, hitting 111.1 and 104.9 fps.
The Rise of the Tomb Raider
On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1080p with high detail, the Core i9 7900X came out on top once again with 149.3 fps, though not by a wide margin. Even the last-place CPU in the test, the Ryzen 7 1800X, managed to get close to the i9’s performance by reaching 138.8 frames.
Ashes of Singularity: Escalation
During our Ashes of Singularity test at 1080p at the crazy graphics preset, the overclocked i7-6950X beat the overclocked i9-9700X with 54.3 fps compared to 53.8 fps. Notably, this was one of the only tests where the overclocked Ryzen 7 1800X jumped to the middle of the pack, notching 44 frames.
The i9-7900X definitely impresses from a performance standpoint with top scores in all of the gaming benchmarks, but Intel’s other high-end Kaby Lake and Skylake processors offer highly comparable frame rates for lower prices, and AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are not too far behind.
With AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processor and Intel’s own 12-core variant of the i9-7900X coming down the pipeline, it is only a matter of time before this top-end performance gets beat.