The Best CPUs?

By that, I mean the CPUs that offer the best performance at a given price range.

If you have the time or knowledge to do research… but who does in this busy world?
I do realize that not everyone has the time nor knowledge to read detailed CPU reviews.

I write this guide on the best CPUs to help you understand, save your time and money!

Summary: Skip to the recommendations

  1. Best lowest cost CPU
  2. Best Entry-level CPUs
  3. Best Mid-range CPUs: AMD Ryzen 3 V.S. Intel Core i3, AMD Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5
  4. Best High-end CPUs: Intel Core i7-7700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  5. Best Enthusiasts CPUs: AMD Ryzen R7 1700X/1800X V.S. Intel Core i7-7800X/7820X
  6. The best 10-16 Core CPUs: AMD Threadripper 1920X/1950X V.S. Intel Core i9-7900X/7920X

September 2017 Update: What’s new?

1. $20-25 price increase on the Intel Core i5-7500 and Core i7-7700K. Odd moves, considering the current competition from AMD.
2. The AMD A8-9600, A10-9700 and A12-9800 APU are now available for sale to the public, having been available in OEM prebuilt PCs since late 2016.
3. $20 price cut on the Intel Core i7-7800X.
4. Small price cuts on several AMD Ryzen CPUs.
5. The 12 core, 24 threads Intel Core i9-7920X is now available.

This is an Worldwide Guide!

Do you live in the USA?

Use Amazon, B&H and Newegg for your purchase.

Do you live outside of the USA?

No problem. All the parts can be purchased from B&H, who ships worldwide.

Prices for B&H and Newegg as of September 13th 2017. Put your mouse on Amazon links or click on them to see prices.

Best lowest cost CPU:

Intel Celeron G3930

Get the Intel Celeron G3930 from Amazon
$39.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$39.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Kaby Lake – Frequency (Turbo): 2.9 (N/A) GHz
Cores (Threads): 2 (2) – Integrated GPU: Intel HD Graphics 610
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 2400MHz or DDR3L 1600MHz 1.35v
TDP: 51 W – Socket: LGA 1151

If you’re looking for a CPU with a rock bottom price, with a modern CPU architecture and decent performance, the Intel Celeron G3930 is the best option.

That said, if you can afford spending a bit more, the Intel Pentium G4560 recommended below is definitely worth it for a modern PC.

For roughly $30 more, you get a CPU that’s at the very least more than 20% faster, thanks to its higher 3.5GHz frequency and in the best case scenarios, more than twice as fast, thanks to its higher frequency and Hyper-Threading support!

V.S the competition:
The Intel Celeron G3930 is based on Intel’s latest 7th gen Kaby Lake architecture and it has no problem outperforming the dual-core AMD CPUs currently available at this price range, thanks to:
1. The dual-core design of this Intel processor (two CPU cores, each with its FP/SSE (Floating Point) unit) is superior to two CPU cores with a shared FP/SSE (Floating Point) unit as seen on AMD’s “dual-core” designs.
2. The higher IPC (Instrutions per Clock) of the Kaby Lake architecture.

Pros:
– Amazing value for $40!
– Decent CPU performance (best at this price), fine for web browsing and basic office work.
– Low price
– Integrated video card, so you don’t require a dedicated video card.
– Low power consumption
– Based on the 7th generation of Intel “Core” CPUs, Kaby lake.
– LGA 1151 socket: You can upgrade to an higher-end Pentium/Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs simply by swapping CPUs.

Cons:
– Only a dual-core CPU, with no Hyper-Threading and a rather low 2.9GHz frequency.
– Integrated video card offers limited performance, not adequate for gaming.
– Completely locked, overclocking is not supported nor possible.

Ideal for:
– An entry-level family or Office PC, if all you want to do is browse the Internet, watch some videos, listen to some music, do some Office work and the like.
– NAS, Media Server.

Avoid for:
– Any demanding workload
– Heavy multitasking
– Audio/photo/video editing
– Gaming PCs

Best Entry-level CPUs:

Good value!
Intel Pentium G4560

Get the Intel Pentium G4560 from Amazon

$78.89 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$96.10 at Newegg

– Architecture: Kaby Lake – Frequency (Turbo): 3.5 (N/A) GHz
Cores (Threads): 2 (4) – Integrated GPU: Intel HD 610
– RAM Support: DDR4/DDR3L Dual Channel
TDP: 54 W – Socket: LGA 1151

The budget CPU king: Outstanding value!

The Intel Pentium G4560 is based on the 7th and latest Intel Kaby Lake architecture and runs at an higher frequency of 3.5GHz.

What makes it so interesting and why it’s recommended over the AMD Athlon X4 950, Pentium G3258 and G4400 is the fact that the Intel Pentium CPUs based on the 7th gen Kaby Lake architecture now comes with Hyper-Threading, unlike previous generation of desktop Intel Pentium CPUs.

So instead of a dual-core design, you get a dual-core + Hyper-Threading design for the Pentium G4560, making it far more powerful and easily capable of outperforming the CPUs that I used to recommend at this price point.

As a matter of a fact, it now offers performance far closer to the more expensive Intel Core i3, but at a significantly lower price! You’re nearly getting the performance of the older dual-core+Hyper-Threading 3.7GHz Core i3-6100!

Avoid: Intel Core i3-7100
The Intel Core i3-7100 is basically a Pentium G4560 with a frequency that’s 400MHz higher, but at twice the price.

Pros:
– Best single-threaded CPU performance at price point.
– Better than ever multi-threaded performance at this price point, thanks to the introduction of Hyper-Threading
– Integrated video card, so you don’t require a dedicated video card.
– LGA 1151 socket: You can upgrade to an higher-end Core i3/i5/i7 latest gen Skylake CPUs simply by swapping out your CPU.
– 54W TDP is lower than previous recommendations and than the competition.

Cons:
– Completely locked, overclocking is not supported nor possible.
– The integrated video card is underwhelming, very weak performance, far from a Gaming PC required performance level.

Ideal for:
– A family PC
– Budget Gaming PC
– Budget Office PCs
– NAS, Streaming PC, Media server

Avoid for:
– Heavy multitasking
– Heavy Audio/photo/video editing

Best Entry-Level APU (CPU + GPU in one):

Get the AMD A8-9600 from Amazon

– N/A (B&H – Worldwide Shipping)
$69.99 (Newegg)

– Architecture: Bristol Ridge
Frequency (Turbo): 3.1 (3.4) GHz
Cores (Threads): 2 modules/ 4 cores
Integrated GPU: AMD Radeon R7 384 GPU Cores, 655-900MHz
– RAM Support: DDR4 Dual Channel
TDP: 65W
Socket: AMD AM4

I only recommend the AMD A8-9600 if you want better integrated graphic performance than Intel integrated graphics, for a gaming PC on a very tight budget.

This is the best value proposition of the 3 APUs, the only one that I recommend, offering most of the gaming performance at the entry-level price point.

CPU performance: Poor, at best. Horrible at worse.

From a CPU performance point of view, the Pentium G4560 offers far higher performance, thanks to higher sustained frequency, as well as a far more higher performance architecture with Intel 7th generation of Core CPUs, codename Kaby Lake. AMD APUs use the AMD old Excavator core, not the newer Ryzen cores.

The so called “quad-core” design of this AMD processor looks like this: Four CPU cores, with two shared FP/SSE (Floating Point) units. Real-life performance of this design is lower when compared to an Intel dual-core CPU with Hyper-Threading at similar frequencies.

The Intel Pentium G4560, with its higher performance core and higher sustained frequency, offers definitely better CPU performance.

Video game performance:
AMD APUs are fine choices to play video games at a 720p or 1366 x 768 resolution.

This is why I recommend one for the entry-level Tier of the Budget Gaming PC article (How to easily build your Budget Gaming PC: Worldwide Edition!).

Note that you want to pair it up with dual-channel (two or four sticks) DDR4 2400MHz RAM for the best performance possible in video games. Avoid using a single stick of RAM: It can halve gaming performance.

Mid-range and High-end AMD APUs:
AVOID!

Don’t bother with the two higher models that AMD offer. On paper, with their higher end GPU, they may seem faster, but video game performance is limited by the very little memory bandwidth available, so real-life video game performance is pretty much the same.

Don’t waste your money on the A10-9700 or A12-9800: For gaming performance, an Intel Pentium G4560, along with any entry-level graphic card will offer far better gaming performance.

Best Mid-range CPUs:

Intel Core i3-7100 V.S. AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Recommendation: AMD Ryzen 3 1200

Get the AMD Ryzen 3 1200 from Amazon
$104.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo/XFR: 3.1/3.4/3.45 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (4) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 3 1200 offers unprecedented value at this price point. For years, I’ve been recommending Intel Core i3 CPUs, with two cores and Hyper-Threading support, so they could only handle four threads. Not only is two cores highly limiting in 2017, but all Core i3 models, except the more expensive Core i3-7350K are locked processors, preventing you from overclocking if you wanted to gain more performance.

The AMD Ryzen 3 1200 offers four cores at a slightly lower price than the Core i3-7100. Its multiplier is also unlocked, meaning that it can be overclocked if you wish to do so.

Need an alternative with integrated graphics?
The AMD Ryzen CPUs don’t feature integrated graphics. If you intend to play video games, you’ll want a dedicated graphic card, so this doesn’t matter to you. However, for an Office PC, the additional cost of a dedicated graphic card makes the AMD Ryzen 3 options less attractive. While I could recommend the Intel Core i3-7100 as an alternative, it makes no sense to recommend it when you can get the Pentium G4560, which offers similar performance at a much lower price. It’s recommended above.

AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

Get the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X from Amazon
$129.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo/XFR: 3.5/3.7/3.9 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (4) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X offers the same 4 cores/4 threads configuration as the Ryzen 3 1200.

What you gain is significantly higher frequencies, resulting in considerably higher performance.

Intel Core i3-7350K V.S. AMD Ryzen 5 1400
Recommendation: AMD Ryzen 5 1400

Get the AMD RYZEN 5 1400 from Amazon

$163.79 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$159.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo: 3.2/3.4 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (8) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

The AMD Ryzen 5 1400 offers unprecedented value at this price point. For years, I’ve been recommending Intel Core i5 CPUs, with four cores but no Hyper-Threading support, so they could only handle four threads. The interesting models were also priced higher, ranging from $200 to $250.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1400 offers four cores and 8 threads support for less than $160. Its multiplier is also unlocked, meaning that it can be overclocked if you wish to do so.

Avoid the Core i3-7350K:
In theory, the Intel Core i3-7350K, an unlocked dual-Core + Hyper-Threading CPU, is interesting because it’s the first Intel Core i3 that has an unlocked multiplier for overclocking.

Its default frequency of 4.2GHz is pretty impressive for a Core i3 as well.

What’s the problem? It is priced far too high for it to be interesting. Remember that this is a dual-core CPU, with half the cores of the AMD Ryzen 5 1400.

Sure, you could argue that its single threaded performance is better, which is true. I’ll argue that a dual-core CPU in 2017 is not a great choice and that it’s not going to age well. Not to mention that more and more programs, as well as games, are taking advantage of 4 or more cores.

If it was available at $120 price point, it might be slightly interesting, but at its current $140 price point, you’re far better off spending $20 more to get the quad-core, 8 threads AMD Ryzen 5 1400 instead. This is why I recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 instead, it’s an easy choice for me.

Intel Core i5-7500 V.S. AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

– AMD Ryzen 5 1500X for overall performance, workstation, multitasking and overclocking potential
– Intel Core i5-7500 for gaming performance and web browsing
– Consider the 6 cores and 12 threads AMD Ryzen 5 1600 for roughly $30 more.

Get the Intel Core i5-7500 from Amazon

$198.03 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$204.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Kaby Lake – Frequency/Turbo: 3.4/3.8 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (4) – Integrated GPU: Intel HD Graphics 630
– RAM Support: DDR4 Dual Channel – TDP: 65W – Socket: LGA1151

Get the AMD RYZEN 5 1500X from Amazon

$182.98 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$189.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo: 3.5/3.7 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (8) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

For gaming performance only:
The Intel Core i5-7500, with its Kaby Lake architecture that offers slightly higher single-threaded performance than the AMD Summit Ridge architecture found in the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, and 4 cores running at 3.4-3.8GHz, currently offers the best gaming performance. But seeing as games start using more than 4 cores, the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, which is capable of handling 8 threads at once, unlike the Core i5-7500 which is limited to 4 threads, will most likely age better than the Core i5-7500.

All around performance:

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, being capable of handling 8 threads at once, unlike the Intel Core i5-7500, offers better overall performance, especially in workstation type of workloads.

Intel Core i5-7600 V.S. AMD Ryzen 5 1600:
Recommendation for most: AMD Ryzen 5 1600

Get the AMD RYZEN 5 1600 from Amazon

$209.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$214.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo: 3.2/3.6 GHz
Cores (Threads): 6 (12) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

While the Intel Core i5-7600 might currently offer slightly better performance in some games at 1920 x 1080, the Ryzen 5 1600 isn’t far behind. The Intel Core i5-7600, with its 4 cores and 4 thread setup is slowly but surely becoming a bottleneck with newer games and that CPU isn’t going to age too well. For gaming at 2560 x 1440 or 4K (3840 x 2160) resolutions, the graphic card is all that matters.

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 offers far better performance, especially in workstation type of workload, thanks to its 2 additional cores (6 vs 4) and being capable of handling three times the number of threads at once (12 vs 4). Basically, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 clearly offers better overall performance and value than the Core i5-7600.

This makes it easy for me to recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 over the Intel Core i5-7600.

Intel Core i5-7600K V.S. AMD Ryzen 5 1600X:

Recommendation: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

Get the AMD RYZEN 5 1600X from Amazon

$229.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$229.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo: 3.6/4.0 GHz
Cores (Threads): 6 (12) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 95W – Socket: AM4

The story repeats itself here: While the Intel Core i5-7600K might currently offer slightly better performance in some games at 1920 x 1080, the Ryzen 5 1600X isn’t far behind. The Intel Core i5-7600K, with its 4 cores and 4 thread setup is slowly but surely becoming a bottleneck with newer games and that CPU isn’t going to age too well. For gaming at 2560 x 1440 or 4K (3840 x 2160) resolutions, the graphic card is all that matters.

Overall, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X offers far better performance, especially in workstation type of workload, thanks to its 2 additional cores (6 vs 4) and being capable of handling three times the number of threads at once (12 vs 4). Basically, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X clearly offers better overall performance and value than the Core i5-7600K.

This makes it easy for me to recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X over the Intel Core i5-7600K.

Don’t tell me that you can overclock the Intel Core i5-7600K: The AMD Ryzen 5 1600X can be overclocked as well.

Do note that the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X DOES NOT include a CPU Cooler, you must buy one.

Best High-End CPU:

– Intel Core i7-7700K for gaming, web browsing and overall system responsiveness
– AMD Ryzen 7 1700 for a Workstation and for overclocking potential

Get the Intel Core i7-7700K from Amazon

$334.89 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$339.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Kaby Lake – Frequency/Turbo: 4.2/4.5 GHz
Cores (Threads): 4 (8) – Integrated GPU: Intel HD Graphics 630
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 91W – Socket: LGA1151

Get the AMD RYZEN 7 1700 from Amazon

$294.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$299.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Summit Ridge – Frequency/Turbo: 3.0/3.7 GHz
Cores (Threads): 8 (16) – Integrated GPU: None
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4 – TDP: 65W – Socket: AM4

Intel Core i7-7700K V.S. AMD RYZEN 7 1700:

Summary:

They are both great CPUs, but each one excels at different tasks
With its higher single-threaded performance and very high frequencies, the Intel Core i7-7700K is what you want for the best gaming performance, web browsing and overall system responsiveness.

With its 8 cores, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is the better choice for a workstation and it has a lot of performance to gain from overclocking.

Single threaded performance:
Performance per core: System responsiveness, web browsing, gaming

Clear win for the Intel Core i7-7700K
While the AMD Ryzen architecture have far better single-threaded than their previous FX series of CPUs, it doesn’t quite match up the Intel 7th gen Kaby Lake architecture single-threaded performance, which generally have a 10-15% advantage at the same frequency.

At the same frequency, the single threaded performance of AMD Ryzen is generally around Intel 4th generation Haswell, which is still very good and a massive improvement compared to the previous gen AMD FX series of CPUs.

In this case, you have to consider that the Intel Core i7-7700K runs at 4.2-4.5GHz, compared to 3.0-3.7GHz for the AMD Ryzen 7 1700.

With a better single threaded performance at the same frequency and far higher frequencies, the Intel Core i7-7700K offer significantly higher single-threaded performance.

What this means is that your PC will definitely feel more responsive with the Core i7-7700K, same goes with web browsing.

Gaming Performance:

– Clear win for the Intel Core i7-7700K at 1080p
– More or less the same at 1440p/4K and on multiple monitors

This is not a good match-up for AMD, when it comes to gaming performance. Games like high single-threaded performance and high frequencies.
So obviously, the 4.2-4.5GHz high single-threaded performance quad-core Core i7-7700K CPU will clearly outperform the lower single-threaded performance 3.0-3.7GHz 8 core AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU.

Due to its lower single-threaded performance and lower frequencies, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 can’t be expected to match the Core i7-7700K when it comes to gaming performance.

That said, many reviewers have found that even the top-end Ryzen 7 1800X CPU sometimes significantly trails behind the Core i7-7700K, by 30% in some odd games.

AMD’s answer to this is that some games have yet to be optimized for their new CPU architecture, and I’d add that there’s probably still some bugs to be fixed and a some updates to be applied to the new AM4 platform to get better and more consistent performance out of AMD Ryzen CPUs. While this won’t close the normal performance gap in gaming at 1080p, it should fix the odd results in some games.

The Ryzen 7 1700 is still miles ahead of the old AMD FX series, but it is no match for what is the currently the best CPU for gaming, the Intel Core i7-7700K.

Mind you, if you game at 2560 x 1440, 4K or on multiple displays, the performance gap shrinks and you’re unlikely to perceive a difference: At that point, it’s mostly all about the graphic card(s).

Multi threaded performance:
Performance when all cores are working: Rendering, video/photo editing, 3D, other programs that use many cores.

Clear win for the AMD Ryzen 7 1700

While the Intel Core i7-7700K offers better single-threaded performance and higher frequencies, it only features 4 cores and it is no match for the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 with its 8 cores, when it comes to multi threaded performance.

So if you plan on using your computer as a workstation, for rendering, video/photo editing, 3D or other highly multi-threaded programs, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 is a better choice than the Core i7-7700K at this price point.

Power consumption:

Advantage: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
At idle, both consume roughly the same power. At load, depending the application, the AMD Ryzen 1700 uses 15 to 30W less than the Intel Core i7-7700K.

Overclocking

Advantage: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Both CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, so you can easily overclock them (raise their frequency) to raise their performance.

That said, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700, being the lowest Tier model in its Ryzen 7 family of CPUs, unlike the Core i7-7700K, has more to gain from overclocking. You get the same 8 core CPU as the Ryzen 7 1700X or 1800X, only with lower frequencies, so by overclocking the Ryzen 7, you can get the same kind of performance at a significantly lower price! Many report reaching 4GHz+ on all 8 cores, which is 1000MHz/1GHz over the base frequency of the R7 1700! Of course, make sure to have a solid power supply and a good CPU Cooler, preferably water cooling, to handle the additional power consumption and heat from overclocking.

Cost:

Tie: Depends on your situation
The Core i7-7700K cost slightly more and also does not include a heatsink/fan CPU Cooler, so it will cost more there.

The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 includes an AMD Wraith Stealth 65W near silent design, a fine CPU Cooler.

Of course, if you overclock, you’ll want a better CPU Cooler for the best results.

On the flip side, note that the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 doesn’t have an integrated graphic card, so you need to buy a dedicated graphic card, which will drive costs up if you weren’t planning on using a dedicated graphic card.

Best Enthusiast CPUs:
Best CPU for $300-600:
AMD Ryzen R7 1700X/1800X V.S. Intel Core i7-7800X/7820X

Get the AMD Ryzen 1700X from Amazon

$358.89 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$359.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Zen
Frequency Base/Turbo/XFR: 3.4/3.8/3.9 GHz
Cores (Threads): 8 (16)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM4

Get the AMD Ryzen 1800X from Amazon

$429.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$449.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Zen
Frequency Base/Turbo/XFR: 3.6/4.0/4.1 GHz
Cores (Threads): 8 (16)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Dual Channel DDR4
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM4

Get the Intel Core i7-7800X from Amazon

$375.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$395.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Skylake-X
Frequency Base/Turbo: 3.5/4.0
Cores (Threads): 6 (12)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 140W
Socket: LGA 2066

Get the Intel Core i7-7820X from Amazon

$579.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$599.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Skylake-X
Frequency Base/Turbo/Max: 3.6/4.3/4.5 GHz
Cores (Threads): 8 (16)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 140W
Socket: LGA 2066

Summary:

The AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X offer the best value, the Core i7-7820X the best performance in most scenarios but at an higher cost. The Core i7-7800X is not recommended for most users.

Single threaded performance:
Performance per core: System responsiveness, web browsing, gaming

Advantage to the Core i7-7800X and even more so to the Core i7-7820X
At the same frequency, the single threaded performance of AMD Ryzen is usually around Intel 4th generation Haswell, while the Skylake-X cores of the Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X are based on the 6th generation Skylake architecture.

So hovering around the same frequencies, the Core i7-7800X generally has more or less a 10-20% performance over the Ryzen 7 1700X/1800X advantage in single-threaded performance.

The Intel Core i7-7820X, with its higher Turbo and even higher Max Turbo frequency, distance itself from the three other CPUs when it comes to single-threaded performance.

Gaming Performance:

– Advantage to the Intel Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X at 1080p; unlikely to be perceived in most cases
– More or less the same at 1440p/4K and on multiple monitors

Although performance is similar in some cases, overall the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X does trails the Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X when it comes to gaming performance at 1920 x 1080.

For the best gaming performance, the Core i7-7820X is what you want, with its higher Turbo frequencies.

Mind you, if you game at 2560 x 1440, 4K or on multiple displays, the performance gap shrinks and you’re unlikely to perceive a difference: At that point, it’s mostly all about the graphic card(s).

Multi threaded performance:
Performance when all cores are working: Rendering, video/photo editing, 3D, other programs that use many cores.

  • Clear loss for the Core i7-7800X
  • Best bang for your buck: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X or 1800X
  • Best multithreaded performance: Intel Core i7-7820X

While the Intel Core i7-7800X offers better single-threaded performance, it only features 6 cores and it is no match for the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1800X, with their 8 cores, when it comes to multi threaded performance.

The Ryzen 7 1700X offers slightly lower multithreaded performance compared to the Ryzen 7 1800X, which features slightly higher frequencies at a slightly higher cost.

The Intel Core i7-7820X, with the same number of cores as the AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs and higher single-threaded performance, offers multithreaded performance that’s a notch above them, but it also costs significantly more.

So if you plan on using your computer as a workstation, for rendering, video/photo editing, 3D or other highly multi-threaded programs, the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X/1800X offer excellent value, generally offering performance close to the Core i7-7820X at far lower prices.

I say generally, because if you run a professional application that takes advantage of more RAM bandwidth, the Core i7-7820X, with its quad-channel platform, has the edge over the AMD AM4 dual-channel platform.

While this doesn’t apply to most users, if you need more than 64GB of RAM (maximum supported on AM4 platform), you can have 128GB of RAM on the X299 platform of the Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X.

Power consumption:

Advantage: AMD Ryzen
According to AnandTech, under load, the Intel Core i7-7800X uses roughly 55W more than the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X. With their 95W TDP, the AMD Ryzen 1700X and 1800X CPUs are easier to cool than the 140W TDP Intel Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X. You can also install the AMD Ryzen CPUs in smaller PCs, thanks to the lower TDP.

Overclocking

All four CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, so you can easily overclock them (raise their frequency) to raise their performance. Of course, make sure to have a solid power supply and a good CPU Cooler, preferably water cooling, to handle the additional power consumption and heat from overclocking.

PCI-Express lanes:

Advantage: Intel
If you need a lot of PCI-Express lanes on your PC platform, for multiple graphic cards, PCIe drives, etc., then the Intel X299 platform has the edge over the AMD AM4 platform.

You get 28 PCI-Express lanes with the Core i7-7800X and Core i7-7820X
You get 16 PCI-Express lanes with the AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs.

Need more PCIe lanes? The Intel Core i9-7900X offers 44 lanes. The AMD Threadripper 1920X and 1950X offer 64 lanes.

Cost:

Win: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X, with the AM4 platform

The Ryzen 1700X, 1800X and Intel Core i7-7800X are in roughly the same price range, while the Core i7-7820X is considerably more expensive. However, keep in mind that the Intel Core i7-7800X and Core i7-7820X runs on the X299 platform, with motherboards starting around $200 and performing best with a more expensive quad-channel RAM kit, while AM4 motherboard for the Ryzen 7 1700X start around $50 and a dual-channel RAM kit will cost a bit less.

The Core i7-7800X and i7-7820X also don’t include a heatsink/fan CPU Cooler, so you have to spend even more, while the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X includes an AMD Wraith Spire 95W near silent design, a fine CPU Cooler. The Ryzen 7 1800X does not include a CPU Cooler.

Of course, if you overclock, you’ll want a better CPU Cooler for the best results.

Note that none of those CPUs include integrated graphic card, so you need to buy a dedicated graphic card.

Best CPUs for $800 to $1000:

AMD Threadripper 1920X/1950X
V.S.
Intel Core i9-7900X/7920X

– Best value: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X: High performance for the price
– Lightly threaded and single-thread performance: Intel Core i9-7900X or i9-7920X: Best per core performance, better gaming performance, web browsing and overall system responsiveness
– Multithreaded performance: Get the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, for rendering, video/photo editing, 3D and other programs that use as many cores as available. The Intel Core i9-7920X, with less cores and a lower base frequency, just can’t keep up with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X when it comes to pure multithreaded performance.
– Best all around performance: Intel Core i9-7920X: You get very high single-threaded performance and good multi-threaded performance.

Get the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X from Amazon

$779.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$799.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Zen
Frequency Base/Turbo/XFR: 3.5/4.0/4.2 GHz
Cores (Threads): 12 (24)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 180W
Socket: sTR4

Get the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X from Amazon

$999.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$999.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Zen
Frequency Base/Turbo/XFR: 3.4/4.0/4.2 GHz
Cores (Threads): 16 (32)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 180W
Socket: sTR4

Get the Intel Core i9-7900X from Amazon

$962.89 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$969.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Skylake-X
Frequency Base/Turbo/Max: 3.3/4.3/4.5 GHz
Cores (Threads): 10 (20)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 140W
Socket: LGA 2066

Get the Intel Core i9-7920X from Amazon

$1199.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$1199.99 at Newegg

– Architecture: Skylake-X
Frequency Base/Turbo/Max: 2.9/4.3/4.4 GHz
Cores (Threads): 12 (24)
Integrated GPU: N/A
– RAM Support: Quad Channel DDR4
TDP: 140W
Socket: LGA 2066

Here we have four very powerful CPUs, each with different strengths.

Intel Core i9-7900X strengths: Lightly threaded and single-thread performance
The Intel Core i9-7900X feature an architecture with higher IPC or in other words, higher single-threaded performance at the same frequency and on top of that its Turbo and Turbo Max frequencies are higher. This mean that for single-threaded and lightly threaded programs, which don’t scale well to many cores, the Core i9-7900X will offer higher performance than the AMD Threadripper 1920X and 1950X.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X strengths: Best value with its lower cost
At less than $800, it’s the least expensive of the four options. 
On the other hand, if you run rendering, video/photo editing, 3D, other programs that use as many cores as available or just want to game while live broadcasting, converting video and/or running a lot of programs in the background without affecting gaming performance, the AMD Threadripper 190X has the upper hand on the Intel Core i9-7900X.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X strengths: Highest multithreaded performance
If content creation is your job and that time is money, the AMD Threadripper 1950X, with its additional four cores compared to the AMD TR 1920X, offers the highest multithreaded performance currently available on the market.

Intel Core i9-7920X strengths: High light and single threaded performance with high multithreaded performance
While the Core i9-7920X won’t keep up with the AMD Threadripper 1950X in applications that can take advantage of 16 cores, it will still offer competitive performance. In applications that can’t saturate 16 cores, the Intel Core i9-7920X will have no problem keeping up or outperforming the AMD Threadripper 1950X. When it comes to lightly or single threaded performance, the Intel Core i9-7920X has no problem outperforming the AMD Threadripper 1950X.

PCI-Express lanes:

Advantage: AMD
If you need a lot of PCI-Express lanes on your PC platform, for multiple graphic cards, PCIe drives, etc., then the AMD X399 platform has the edge over the Intel X299 platform
You get 44 PCI-Express lanes with the Core i9-7900X and i9-7920X
You get 64 PCI-Express lanes with the AMD Threadripper CPUs.

No CPU cooler, no integrated graphics, high power consumption and heat dissipation
Note that none of the four CPUs include a CPU cooler, nor an integrated graphic card, so you need to also purchase a CPU Cooler and a dedicated graphic card.

All four have high power consumption, so make sure that the CPU cooler and case cooling can handle them, especially if you intend to overclock them!

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this latest edition of the Best CPUs article.

With this being such a long article with many recommendations and alternatives, you may find some typos.

Alternatively, you may disagree with me and believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation.

Or you may have some questions.

If that happens, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.