We recently compared the Ryzen 7 3700X to the new Core i5-10600K in 9 contest titles, using low-quality settings to determine how much faster the Intel processor is when the frame rate is well above what you think for 144 -Hz games need.
The results were interesting, although the margins for the most part did not differ significantly from those we saw in our original CPU test. That said, the esport-style performance of games was not significantly different from when we tested modern AAA games with presets for high and ultra-graphic quality.
We found that the i5-10600K was 6% faster on average than the R7 3700X when playing, and this latitude barely changed to 7% in low-quality games in games like Rocket League, Fortnite, and PUBG. Obviously, the 3rd generation Ryzen processor was able to assert itself and in some cases even pull forward.
We wondered how well the previous generation R7 2700X would do under the same test conditions against the 3700X and of course the i5-10600K. So we went back, tested the 2700X and added it to the results of this benchmark comparison. We also took the time to revise our CSGO tests using a method recommended by a number of very enthusiastic counter strike players.
For testing, let's look at the out-of-the-box performance of XMP loaded with CL14 DDR4-3200 memory on AMD and Intel processors. The 10600K is not power limited as this is usually an out-of-the-box experience. In our original test, we also found that overclocking at 5.1 GHz could improve game performance by up to 12%. So keep that in mind. We have also seen Ryzen processors gain over 20% in adjusting storage times. In our experience, AMD and Intel processors have achieved similar performance increases in tuning.
We'll look at the same suite of 9 games, all tested at 1080p and 1440p using low quality settings with both an RTX 2080 Ti and an RTX 2060 Super.
First we have Battlefield at 1080p with the low quality preset and we can already see some interesting results. The 2700X isn't much faster with the 2080 Ti when the low quality settings are used as opposed to the ultra quality settings. We expect the average frame rate to improve by about 13% without changing the 1% low.
For reference, the 3700X with the ultra quality settings is 9% faster than the 2700X, but we're seeing a 21% increase in performance for the 3rd generation Ryzen processor. This underscores the nature of AMD progress with the Zen 2 architecture.
Perhaps more surprisingly, even with the RTX 2060 Super, the 2700X is still the performance-limiting component, since the 3700X was 18% faster here. Of course, the 2700X was still good for over 100 fps, so we imagine most of you will be happy with the level of performance at higher quality settings, but it's clear that the 2700X is the primary bottleneck for competitive gaming.
The 1440p results are a bit cheaper because the test conditions are a bit more tied to the GPU. The 3700X was 9% faster than the 2700X when looking at the average frame rate with the RTX 2080 Ti, but 16% faster when comparing 1% low data. Even with the 2060 Super, we see a performance increase of up to 12% when we switch from the 2700X to the 3700X.
In Fortnite, we see almost identical performance to the 2060 Super or 2080 Ti, as the three CPUs are the primary performance-limiting component. So let's just focus on the 2080 Ti data. Here again we see a performance improvement of up to 23% for the 3700X compared to the 2700X, with the average frame rate increasing from 265 fps to 325 fps. The 10600K is still 8% faster than the 3700X, which is an impressive result for Intel.
At the same time, it's obvious how much AMD has managed to fill the gap in a single generation. We should note that the 2700X could hold over 200 fps at all times in our demanding Fortnite benchmark. Although it is much slower than the Intel Core i5, it is still fine for most players. If you take Fortnite seriously and want the maximum possible performance, it would of course not have made sense to buy a 2nd generation Ryzen processor in favor of the Intel alternatives.
If we jump to 1440p with the 2080 Ti, we still see a significant performance boost for the 3700X over the 2700X. Here 3rd generation Ryzen was up to 21% faster.
It's also worth noting that the 10600K is up to 33% faster. If AMD competed with Intel's 10th generation Ryzen with 2nd generation Ryzen, it would basically be a bloodbath for Team Red. Of course, AMD lowered Intel prices, but the margin between 2700X and 10600K is still very high high.
If we use a less powerful GPU like the RTX 2060 Super, we encounter a pretty strong GPU bottleneck at 1440p, and now the 10600K is only 8% faster than the 2700X.
To test CSGO, we previously moved away from the community benchmark for bot matches that reproduce the real gameplay more precisely. However, it can be difficult to get accurate data with bots. The good news is that there is an even better way to accurately measure real gameplay. With this method, we can use the repeat function by displaying professional games.
So we went back and tested the three CPUs with this new method. We previously found that the 3700X is 8% faster than the 10600K when comparing the average frame rate and up to 22% faster when comparing the 1% low data. However, the frame rates were much higher because smoke grenades were not regularly fired in the bot match.
With the Pro Match, we see that the 3700X and 10600K are much more evenly matched. However, compared to the 2700X, the 3700X was up to 31% faster, reaching the low 1% from 163 fps to 214 fps. That is a massive leap in performance for generations.
The edges stay roughly the same at 1440p. Here the 3700X was up to 34% faster than the 2700X, which provided performance comparable to that of the 10th generation Core i5 processor.
Next we have the results of Rainbow Six Siege, where we find our largest margins to date. While the 2700X limited the RTX 2080 Ti to an average of 304 fps, the 3700X was almost 40% faster at 420 fps. This increase in performance seems almost too significant, but keep in mind that core-to-core communication has improved by up to 50%, as our first test shows. These margins are less extreme when using the RTX 2060 Super, but the 3700X was still up to 22% faster.
The RTX 2060 super results at 1440p show that all CPUs deliver practically the same performance, which shows that we are very limited to the GPU. There are still large margins when using the RTX 2080 Ti, and although the 2700X was the average frame rate of the 10600K, the Intel processor was 13% faster compared to 1% low performance.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds results show a milder 13% increase in performance for the 3700X over the 2700X, and while this is still a nice increase from generation to generation, this is one of the smaller gains we've seen so far.
It's worth noting that the Core i5-10600K was 17% faster than the 3700X, so Intel enjoys a significant performance advantage in this title. The 10600K was also up to 32% faster than the 2nd generation Ryzen processor.
Because the 3700X can bridge the gap between the 2700X and 10600K, when we use a less powerful GPU like the RTX 2060 Super, we find that the 3rd generation Ryzen processor can push the mid-range GeForce GPU to its limits. In fact, the 3700X was up to 21% faster than the 2700X with the slower GPU.
By increasing the resolution to 1440p, the advantage of the 3700X compared to the 2700X with the RTX 2080 Ti is reduced to only 10%. The 10600K was still up to 19% faster.
For maximum performance in a title like PUBG, the Intel processor is clearly the superior option, although most in that title may not need more than 150 fps.
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, we only see very slight increases in performance when we switch from the 2700X to the 3700X to get 8% better average frame rates, while the 10600K was 5% faster than the 3700X.
With the RTX 2060 Super we basically saw the same performance from the three processors.
The 1440p data has practically the same margins. We expect an improvement of up to 6% for the 3700X compared to the 2700X with the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 2060 Super.
When tested with Rocket League, both Ryzen processors delivered a similarly low performance of 1%, although the 3700X increased the average frame rate by 17%.
We should note that Rocket League limits the frame rate to 250 fps by default, although it can be removed by editing a configuration file. Even the 2700X will make maximum use of an RTX 2080 Ti before making changes to the game files.
The edges close a bit at 1440p when the game is more tied to the GPU, but the 2700X and 3700X still delivered comparable 1% low performance with averages well over 400 fps.
World of Tanks is a slow tank shooter where positioning is more important than flick shots. Therefore 144 Hz displays with 144 fps are more than sufficient for this. In this case, the 2700X is perfect for World of Tanks games, as it allows over 170 fps at all times.
But if you just look at it from a performance standpoint, the 3700X was of course up to 22% faster, which is a significant increase. Without 3rd generation Ryzen, Intel would be up to 37% faster in this title.
The edges at 1440p are similar. We're still mostly limited to the CPU, but 2700X still allows over 170 fps.
The War Thunder gives us another example of the significant progress AMD has made with Zen 2. Here the 3700X is up to 48% faster than the 3700X when you look at 1% lows and 42% for the average frame rate.
The 2700X severely limits system performance in War Thunder, and while a minimum of ~ 250 fps is still impressive, it's a far cry from what the Intel processor can do in comparison.
Even at 1440p, the 3700X is still up to 43% faster than the 2700X, while the 10600K is only 14% faster than the 3700X, which is still a decent margin, but seems a lot less significant considering 348 fps vs 397 fps .
The graph below shows you the average performance of the 9 games you just tested. Comparing the 1% low data, we see that the Ryzen 7 3700X was 20% faster on average than the 2700X and 26% faster when comparing the average fps. These are some really impressive generations' performance improvements.
The 2700X still enabled highly playable performance with steady frame rates, so for many players this difference cannot be realized, especially since under realistic conditions they almost always have only a limited GPU, with high update / competition games being the only exception.
The 3700X was still around 22% faster with the slower RTX 2060 Super, although this is not surprising given the quality settings used at 1080p. This also shows that anything faster than the RTX 2060 Super is mostly pointless for competitive games.
What we have learned
For some of you, these results will come as a surprise, especially because this is not the type of game testing that we normally do. We also do not believe that many other technical media have provided this type of data. This makes sense because most of you in Rocket League, War Thunder, or Fortnite are unlikely to be looking for extreme frame rates above 300 fps.
However, we have done low resolution tests in the past, which have shown that the 8700K is up to 52% faster than the 2700X, although an older version of CSGO used an inferior test method and this particular result was an outlier. While the 10600K in this test at 1080p with low quality settings was on average 35% faster than the 2700X, we found similar margins when testing with titles like Far Cry Primal, Total War Saga: Throne by Britannia, StarCraft II, Wreckfest. and World of Tanks to name a few.
We also saw significant improvements in cache bandwidth, core-to-core communication, and DRAM latency in previous IPC tests compared to the 2700X and 3700X.
Another remarkable thing is a 2 year old feature that we wrote that compares the Ryzen 7 2700X and Core i7 8700K on a 35 game benchmark. When we came to our conclusion, we broke down the pros and cons and said in the end that we would personally get the 8700K, it was simply the better gaming CPU. We have found that, although the 2700X contains 2 additional cores, which makes it a superior performer in core-heavy workloads, it has not expected it to offer a gaming advantage in the next few years.
Fast forward to date and the 8700K, which was essentially renamed 10600K, is still faster than the 2700X in all games. The performance difference with more demanding AAA titles under realistic test conditions is closer to 12% than with the 35% found here with competitive gaming benchmarks. For about the same price, we would buy the 8700K over the 2700X for gaming.
No question, AMD has made a significant leap with Zen 2. In our opinion, gaming performance is so close compared to Intel that it doesn't make a difference for the vast majority of players. It will be interesting to see what progress AMD can make with Zen 3, and we suspect it won't be long before Intel feels serious pressure on all fronts. Hopefully they can bring decent IPC profits to future generations.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon
- Intel Core i5-10600K at Amazon (soon?)
- Intel Core i7-10700K at Amazon
- Intel Core i9-10900K at Amazon
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X at Amazon
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon
- GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on Amazon