We’ve been through the overall changes brought by the 10th generation of Intel CPU’s, and we covered the flagship i9-10900K and how it fares to its predecessors. Now, let’s take a look at Intel’s upper mid-range CPU: the i7-10700K. How will this CPU fair against the previous generation i7-9700K, and the equivalently priced (though still cheaper) AMD Ryzen 7 3800X? Is it worth upgrading from the i7-9700K? Let’s check it out.
i7-10700K vs i7-9700K vs 3800X: Specification Comparison
Intel Core i7-10700k
The Intel Gen-10 i7-10700K is equipped with 8 cores and 16 threads, an L3 cache of 16 MB, and an operating speed of 3.6 GHz that can be overclocked to 5.1 GHz; either via single core overclocking, or Intel’s Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. Together with its new hyperthreading capabilities, the Intel i7-10700K also has an increased TDP of 125W, which can go down to 95W by throttling the operating speeds to 3.5 GHz via Intel’s new configurable TDP feature.
The i7-10700K, like all 10th gen CPUs from Intel, has a similar 14nm architecture with the 9th gen CPUs. When it comes to RAM support, this processor has a maximum memory size of 128 GB of DDR4, with max base speeds of 2933 MHz and a max memory bandwidth of 45.8 GB/s. Intel has currently priced this tenth generation i7-10700K at $374 RCP, which is a whole-sale price for purchases of approximately 1000 units, therefore this card will most likely retail at upwards of $400-$450. In addition, it comes with Intel’s new LGA 1200 chipset, meaning that a Z490 motherboard must be purchased in order to use this processor.
Intel Core i7-9700K
The current, 9th generation, Intel i7-9700K has 8 cores and 8 threads, with an L3 cache of 12 MB, and a base operating frequency of 3.6 GHz, with the capacity to overclock to 4.9 GHz. In terms of energy consumption, it has a thermal design power of 95 W, and once again uses the same 14nm lithography as the 10th gen iteration. This CPU can support up to 128 GB of RAM, with a DDR4 memory type, base speeds of up to 2666 MHz, and a max 41.6 GB/s memory bandwidth. The i7-9700K currently retails for $379, not including a CPU cooler.
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
In contrast to the two aforementioned Intel CPU options, we have the AMD third generation, Zen2, Ryzen 7 3800X. This processor includes 8 cores and 16 threads, with a level 3 cache of 32 MB, a 7 nm lithography, and operating speeds of 3.9 GHz; with the ability to overclock to 4.5 GHz. Additionally, this CPU has PCIe 4.0 compatibility, which is lacking from the aforementioned Intel options which are still PCIe Gen 3 compatible.
The CPU socket type for the Ryzen 7 3800X is AM4, meaning it can be placed into motherboards ranging from the X370 and B450, all the way to the X570. It has a TDP of 105W, and includes a Wraith Prism CPU cooler with its purchase. It can also support DDR4 ram with base speeds of up to 3200 MHz. The Ryzen 7 3800X currently sells for $339, making it the cheapest in price of the three CPUs. The slightly downgraded (in operating speeds) Ryzen 7 3700X, which is also fairly more thermally efficient (with a 65W TDP), sells for only $308.
Though the superiority of specifications for the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X are not as pronounced as they are between the i9-10900X and Ryzen 9 3900X/3950X, the difference in L3 cache, the lower TDP with an included CPU cooler, the higher operating speed, and the difference in price – not to mention the PCIe Gen 4 compatibility and superior lithography – are all differences that are difficult to ignore. What the Intel options do have going for them are the higher overclocking speeds, and what the Intel i7-10700K has that compounds this advantage, are its new overclocking features, such as the Turbo Max 3.0 Technology.
i7-10700K vs i7-9700K vs 3800X: Which is best for gaming?
If you are looking to build that will function purely for gaming purposes, then the Intel i7-9700K will be the first CPU to be left behind. More and more developers are taking full advantage of CPUs to optimize their game’s performance. The closer we get to the new Xbox Series X and Playstation 5, the more we are going to begin seeing games that will further make use of hyper/multi-threading technology.
Even now, games are using up to six cores and twelve threads for operation, and this is likely to increase to up to 8 cores and 16 as the new generation of consoles advances. If the games you play do not make use of multithreading, such as popular online multiplayer games that are designed to be playable on lower-end PCs, then Intel i5s, or Ryzen 5s, would suit your needs better than the i7-9700K for their price.
i7-10700K vs i7-9700K vs 3800X: Which is best for you?
Deciding between the 10th generation Intel i7-10700K and the Ryzen 7 3800X is going to be a choice based mostly upon the amount budget at hand, and minute preferences. The Ryzen 7 3800x does have better overall specifications than its Intel counterpart, though the Intel CPU will fare slightly better in gaming benchmarks and, even more slightly, in overclocking speeds.
On the other hand, if you aren’t looking to overclock your CPU, then the superior 3.9 GHz operating speed of the Ryzen 7 3800X will suit you better. Also, to be taken into account, are the increased costs associated with the Intel processor. Though we don’t know the retail pricing yet, the fact that it will cost over $400, and require an LGA 1200 compatible motherboard – and probably a CPU cooler too – means that the overall package will not be cheap.
On the contrary, the Ryzen 7 3800X can be plugged into an existing B450, X470, or X570 motherboard if you are looking to upgrade. Also, the Ryzen 7 3800X includes a Wraith Prism cooler, which may not be an optimal cooling solution for the CPU, but will work just fine if you don’t mind the extra noise. An even cheaper option would be the Ryzen 7 3700X, which has the same cores, threads, and operating speeds of the i7-10700K, but only costs $308.
Overall, if you’re looking for price to value ratio, you can’t go wrong with the Ryzen 7 3000 series. If you are an overclocking enthusiast who wants the maximum speeds possible for your games, then the Intel i7-10700K is your match.
- Intel Core i7-10700k: Likely will perform better in gaming benchmarks, and overclocking capabilities over 3800X
- Intel Core i7-9700K: Only recommended if you can get a great, discounted deal
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800X: Best price-to-value ratio vs 9700k/10700K, can use existing B450, X470, X570 motherboards (know which models have decent VRMs, features, take no gambles)