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First Core i9 Benchmarks: Here’s How Intel’s Powerhouse Performs

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?

Credit: Intel

(Image credit: Intel)

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.

Credit: Tom's Hardware

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Hitman

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.

Credit: Tom's Hardware

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

Credit: Tom's Hardware

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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.

Credit: Tom's Hardware

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Bottom Line

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.

  • DavidDisciple
    Wow!! What a deal!!!! (snicker, snicker) $500 more for the i9 for an average of 10 more frames per second than the Ryzen 1800x. I might be able to go the dollar menu at the drive thru after I bought it!
    Reply
  • gammaraze
    Oh how cute, someone who thinks video game performance is the only measure of a cpu's worth... as if the CPU were the bottleneck in graphics performance. The i7-6950x is about 30% more powerful than the Ryzen 7 1800x, but you would never be able to tell by playing video games.
    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    19858828 said:
    Oh how cute, someone who thinks video game performance is the only measure of a cpu's worth... as if the CPU were the bottleneck in graphics performance. The i7-6950x is about 30% more powerful than the Ryzen 7 1800x, but you would never be able to tell by playing video games.

    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    Dude, maybe you haven't noticed, but this site (Tom's guide) is enthusiast/gamer oriented, and the article was about gaming benchmarks, and intel had the gaming industry....... until now, and also the Ryzen outperforms the i7 in other benchmarks as well-not all of them of course and in some respects the 6950x is better.Also,I would like to know where it is 30% better than the Ryzen. The Ryzen was just benchmarked at 52% better than the i7 in streaming which is great for online gamers. This article is about gaming benchmarks and if me, being a gamer can't tell a difference in gaming between a $500 processor and a $1,000 processor, guess where my money is going. I must have struck a sore spot with you, and AMD has been ribbed and slammed by intel fanboys for years and now that AMD has came up with a great processor, some of you intel fanboys can't stand it. I think it's great too that a 1st generation Ryzen outperforms a 7th generation Core i7. It doesn't feel too good when the shoe someone once threw is now getting thrown back at them.
    Reply
  • gammaraze
    Yeah, I've owned ONE Intel processor my entire life, I guess that makes me an Intel fanboy... smh. Enthusiasts/gamers would have realized almost a decade ago that the most bang for you buck is in your graphics card, not your CPU and not your RAM, though there are gains to be had there. And they would have realized that same decade ago that your best bang for your buck in CPUs is, and has always been, AMD. People have been paying huge sums of money for incremental gains for the better part of 2 decades and you seem to be butthurt when someone scoffs at your comment. Guess where professional gamers throw their money... that's right, at incremental gains. And for "only" 10 fps gain, in one of those benchmarks, that represents nearly a 25% difference. And realistically, if you can't tell the difference between 117 and 127 fps, you're not likely to be able to tell the difference if it was an extra 50 fps.

    I will say this again: CPUs aren't the bottle neck in video game performance. And judging a CPU solely by video game performance is lazy. As far as how you don't see anything close to a 30% difference, perhaps you should check out the benchmarks at Anandtech in the link on this article...
    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    19862361 said:
    Yeah, I've owned ONE Intel processor my entire life, I guess that makes me an Intel fanboy... smh. Enthusiasts/gamers would have realized almost a decade ago that the most bang for you buck is in your graphics card, not your CPU and not your RAM, though there are gains to be had there. And they would have realized that same decade ago that your best bang for your buck in CPUs is, and has always been, AMD. People have been paying huge sums of money for incremental gains for the better part of 2 decades and you seem to be butthurt when someone scoffs at your comment. Guess where professional gamers throw their money... that's right, at incremental gains. And for "only" 10 fps gain, in one of those benchmarks, that represents nearly a 25% difference. And realistically, if you can't tell the difference between 117 and 127 fps, you're not likely to be able to tell the difference if it was an extra 50 fps.

    I will say this again: CPUs aren't the bottle neck in video game performance. And judging a CPU solely by video game performance is lazy. As far as how you don't see anything close to a 30% difference, perhaps you should check out the benchmarks at Anandtech in the link on this article...

    Reply
  • DavidDisciple
    And once again, this article was all about gaming performance, not algorithms, FPU, encoding, etc. I am a gamer. It is senseless to spend $500 more for a processor for 10 more fps. The intel dominion in gaming is over and they need to price competitively instead of charging $1000 for a processor that I can get the same performance for half the price from AMD. That is the point I am making and the point article has made also. It's time to stop being biased and go towards performance and value and the difference between the two and here, AMD clearly is the winner. Have a good day.
    Reply
  • gammaraze
    19862655 said:
    The intel dominion in gaming is over and they need to price competitively instead of charging $1000 for a processor that I can get the same performance for half the price from AMD.

    Yes, because gaming performance is ALL Intel should be concerned with... smh.
    Reply
  • gammaraze
    It's almost like you don't understand the market. Like somehow Nike should cut their shoe prices in half or more because Reeboks are so much cheaper and just as good. Oh, and thanks for justifying my first post. Just because you don't care about algorithms, FPU, encoding, etc, doesn't mean the Intel chips aren't 30% more powerful, which is exactly what I said.

    Performance and value are different metrics; one that Intel has and still dominates, and one that AMD has and still dominates. Remember when AMD came out with a line of video cards that were intentionally less powerful than their previous series all because the HD5xxx were too far from their value base? Well, that actually happened. AMD is catching up in performance, but they still have a ways to go, right now they are a generation behind Intel in performance.
    Reply