Intel vs AMD 3900X CPU for creation- AMD destroying, Techspin tested!

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UPDATE 3/31/2021: Check our latest 2021 article here for more Intel vs AMD 3900x benchmarking!

Hey everyone, what’s up. So, what’s the hands down king for Premiere? How about Blender? Due to producing a Ryzen overclocking Pro Cast episode for MSI, I got my hands on a crisp new Ryzen AMD 3900x setup to compare against our Intel i9-9900K we use for video production, we’ll find out who’s best this time.

With the new Ryzen 9 series AMD 3900X coming in at $710 dollars versus Intel’s $485 dollar price point on Amazon at the time of production, does the AMD 3900x reflect the performance considering the two hundred and twenty five dollar difference? What’s gonna take the performance and value trophies? We’re gonna answer that in today’s episode!

After a bit of a delay we’re back, and our updates should be a lot more frequent now that I quit my main job. Many things have happened here recently, we switched to Premiere for all projects, and we started doing video production for clients, now working on media for Advantech, a huge Taiwan-based IoT company, so after getting a handle on the first several projects it was time to look at how to optimize production.

We do work with clients to produce content; however, we retain all rights to present accurate observations, testing, and conclusions. Consumers should have all the facts, and we’ll deliver that.

Intel vs AMD 3900X CPU for creation- AMD destroying, Techspin tested!

Intel, AMD 3900x Creation components

We just finished a How-to-Overclock Ryzen guide for MSI here, and from that we got our hands on a whole setup. So thanks to MSI, we have an MEG X570 Ace motherboard for testing, a Ryzen 3900X CPU, and a Corsair H150i Pro 360 mil AIO cooler, which is best case scenario for both of these CPUs. Both the X570 ACE and our Z390 Tomahawk have the latest BIOSes installed, and the latest system and NVIDIA drivers, just ripe for Intel vs our AMD 3900x testing.

To preface our results, we’re going to presenting information without bias, no fan-boying here. Personally I admit I do favor Intel a bit, but at Techspin we deliver honest reviews and opinions, and the results… are what matter. And we’re not gonna chicken out from a real answer like some online websites, for which is better, saying “it depends.”

What kinda B.S. answer is that? And they cite single-core performance as a better metric for one CPU. Sorry, but this is 2019, Windows scheduler assigns programs to cores better, software uses multiple cores, and streamers and content creators need the extra horsepower.

Intel vs AMD 3900x Creation: Quick Summary


The quick summary: AMD 3900x wins hands down, with a Premiere render without CUDA on a 2 minute, 26 second project, completed 37 seconds faster at stock, and 52 seconds faster overclocked. Blender finished a minute and 10 seconds faster at stock, and a minute, 13 seconds faster overclocked. And we’ll get into Cinebench R15 and R20 results in a bit.

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I will say that I wasn’t too surprised at the outcome, that shock came in the Should you upgrade to i9-9900K episode we did at the end of last year, where I expressed a bit of buyers’ remorse when I saw the Ryzen 1950X, which costed 30 bucks less than Intel’s then-flagship, post a 3000 Cinebench compared to the Core i9-9900K score of 2,044, and a crazy 3,482 at 4Ghz overclock compared to the Core i9-9900K pass at 2,160.

That made me really think about AMD 3900x for my next build, although we just invested in our Intel platform… so maybe this cycle? Let’s get onto the benchmarks, and don’t forget we would really like to hear your comparisons, benchmarks and questions down in the comments.


Intel vs AMD 3900x Cinebench R15/20, Blender BMW

For the Intel build we paired the Intel 9900K with an MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk, Samsung 970 Evo 500 gig NVMe m.2 and 64 gigs of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200 with base clock 2133 megahertz. Ryzen 3900X we had on a MSI MEG X570 ACE, with XPG 8200 PRO 256 gig NVMe m.2, with the performance on-par with the Samsung drive, and 32 gigs of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 3000, also with a base clock of 2133 megahertz.

Stock settings were exactly that, with no tweaks in BIOS, so XMP is disabled. Overclocks had XMP enabled, only adjusting Core ratio in BIOS. All tests were run three times, best of three was taken.

Okay for Intel vs AMD 3900x, let’s start off with Cinebench R15, and Intel posts 2,044 at stock, 2160 at our overclock of 5 gigahertz. Ryzen counters with 3100 points stock, 3,231 marks at 4.2 gigahertz OC, and here higher numbers are better.

Cinebench R20 sees the 9900K with 4,810 at stock, 4,869 at 5 gigahertz- I did see similar results and took the best of three but this result seems a little weird, I thought it would punch closer to 5000. The 3900X starts at 7,021 marks stock, and achieves just under a 400 point increase to 7,420 marks at a 4.2 gigahertz overclock, again higher is better.

Blender’s BMW test is an easy real-life use case, so I would favor these results and Premiere more than the synthetic Cinebench results. The I9 at stock performs well at 3 minutes 52 seconds(232), getting a small boost from 5 gigahertz, at 3 minutes 46(226). Ryzen 9 finished 2 minutes 40 at stock(160), and 2 minutes 33 seconds(153) with that 4.2 overclock, lower times being better for this benchmark.

So whereas Cinebench and the Blender BMW tests are standardized, the Premiere project isn’t. I did grab and tried to run Puget Systems 20 gigabyte benchmarking setup and files but I couldn’t get it working in the short time I had. Premiere testing was done with a 2 minute 26 second 1080p project for Advantech, with some green-screen throughout, but no LUTs applied. We rendered with only CPU and then with CUDA enabled, and due to the green-screen ultra key used, the GPU gets a very good workout with CUDA enabled. Lower times are better.


Premiere: Intel vs AMD 3900x Creation

First up in Intel vs AMD 3900x for Premiere is without CUDA, pure CPU benchmarks. The i9-9900K at stock renders in 5 minutes 7 seconds(307), at 5 gigahertz almost a minute faster at 4 mins 12 seconds(252). Ryzen on the other hand, does exactly 4 and a half minutes at stock(270), posting 3 minutes 20 seconds for an 4.2 overclocked core.(200) For content creators like myself, this excellent performance boost may well be worth the extra cash, saving time with a 12% boost at stock and a 20% time savings at overclock.

We then enabled CUDA with our MSI GTX 1660Ti to see the gainzzzzz! And we were not disappointed, with the GPU sitting at 100 percent for the majority of the render, with generally 30~40% CPU usage still. At stock, the 9900K does 1 minute 39 seconds, overclocked it shaves off 2 seconds at 1-37. The 3900X manages 1 minute 32 at stock, shaving off just one second at 4.2 overclock.

It’s easy to see the 1660 TI was the bottleneck here, so what can we do? Well, we can run out and grab a brand new MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio, a truly massive behemoth. I’m not even exaggerating, at 32.5 centimeters or 12.75 inches, I couldn’t fit it into the Vampiric case I had the Ryzen build in, or the Osiris case I had been using for my main system while I picked out my next case.

It ended up being a good thing, as without a case I could swap the Corsair H150i Pro to the Intel rig easily and retest the overclock values as I wanted to be both as fair as possible, and get the best results, which we’ll see in an upcoming episode.


Performance per dollar: Intel, AMD 3900x

So with the latest Ryzen 3900X at 710 dollars versus Intel’s current 485 dollar flagship, AMD is currently 32% more expensive. Do we get 32% more performance? But wait, we need to factor in motherboard cost. A cheap Gigabyte Z390 UD board goes for 125, and unlike Threadripper, X570 boards won’t break the bank, this ASUS Prime X570-P goes for 170. Still a bit of a price premium, but not too bad, but it increases the delta by 45 bucks to 270 dollars more at minimum, something to consider for Intel vs AMD 3900x total cost.

Now we’re looking at 880 bucks versus 610, 30% more. Small difference, but we strive for accuracy! If you’re doing streaming while PC gaming at high spec, graphics rendering or video editing… these are the numbers you should be looking at.

Usually with Intel products, we see a decent power boost for a huge premium. With the Ryzen 9 lineup we’re seeing a considerable advantage, and linear price scaling with performance, which is pretty refreshing. For serious creators and people with the budget, we’re recommending the Ryzen and X570 combo.

Especially if you’re looking at the Premiere results, you’re probably saying, c’mon Rick, but the results with CUDA enabled are amazing! That’s true, and considering a 2070 super starts around 500 USD, just like with gaming, upgrading the GPU will likely benefit you MORE than buying a whole new CPU/motherboard combo.

Then again if you’ve bought a X470 motherboard in the last few years, chances are with a BIOS flash you might be able to use the new AMD CPUs. And, if you have a second gen Ryzen and want to get the motherboard first, you should be able to use those in the X570 boards. Of course, do your homework and Google the motherboards’ CPU support list first, as not all older boards will be upgradable.

CUDA Support in Intel vs AMD 3900x

While CUDA support in Premiere has been buggy or difficult to enable in the past, if you’re able to use it in your workflow and you see 100% GPU usage for more than half of your renders, we’d actually recommend getting a 2070 Super instead of upgrading the CPU for Intel vs AMD 3900x. The 2070 Super is basically an RTX 2080 just slightly hobbled but with GDDR6 memory, making it a great price for performance pick if you’re thinking of upgrading, even at just over 600us which is what I picked it up for here in Taiwan, and better and cheaper than a regular 2080.

If you’re in the Taipei Area and have a 2070 Super we can borrow for a day for testing, please hit us up on social media, as we want to see these results as much as you do. For some excellent testing and benchmarking check out Brian from Tech Yes City, he recently did a video, Is SLI Dead which sees some interesting scaling for 2070 Supers in NVLink.

Thanks again go to MSI for the gear we have, which allowed us to do some head to head testing we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, and Corsair especially for their H150i Pro, which kept temps down and really allowed these CPUs to perform to their best.


So the takeaway here is whether you’re an Intel or AMD fan, both the 9900K and AMD 3900X provide excellent performance at their price point, but if you’re going for maximum power, AMD is the way to go, and you won’t pay a premium for extra cores.

We’d also like to hear your thoughts on the benchmarks, or your testing, down in the comments. Upgrading your main editing rig is always costly but hopefully this video gave you some information you can use. Please take a second to hit Like, subscribe, and the bell to get notified when we put up a new video! We always check the comments and respond to most, so if you have a question or if we missed something, please tell us down below.

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Rick Novlesky

Rick balances his work for Techspin writing, shooting and production with equal parts of sleep deprivation and coffee intake.