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Intel challenges AMD's Ryzen 3000 CPUs to take the Core i9-9900K's real-world gaming crown

It’s really on ya’ll: Intel on Sunday challenged AMD to put up or shut up with its upcoming Ryzen chips in “real world gaming.”

In a media interview the day before AMD’s dedicated E3 event, Intel basically said using content creation benchmarks such as Cinebench is useless to determine gaming performance. And, the company essentially said, if AMD wants to grab the top gaming CPU honors, it needs to prove its mettle.

“If they want this crown come beat us in real world gaming, real world gaming should be the defining criteria that we use to assess the world’s best gaming CPU,” Intel VP Jon Carvill told PCGamesN.com. “I challenge you to challenge anyone that wants to compete for this crown to come meet us in real world gaming. That’s the measure that we’re going to stand by.”

[ Further reading: These 20 absorbing PC games will eat days of your life ]

To prove its lead, Intel again showed off its Core i9 easily beating AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X in gaming. 

comeatmebro Intel

Intel says Cinebench isn’t useful to measure gaming performance: Games are.

The dis to AMD comes on the eve of AMD’s highly anticipated Ryzen 3000 CPU and Radeon “Navi” GPU showcase at the E3 gaming show in Los Angeles, after debuting the chips at Computex. The strong words are a surprise as Intel is normally far more reserved in picking fights with AMD. In fact, “far more reserved” is probably understating Intel’s approach to simply ignore AMD. In years past, company officials wouldn’t even acknowledge AMD existed, much less call it out directly.

Mentioned in this article Intel Core i9-9900K

That’s not true today. With the prospect of a $500 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X beating down Intel’s $500 8-core Core i9-9900K when it arrives next month though, Intel has taken on a far more aggressive stance than before.

The elephant in the room? No one outside of AMD yet knows how fast its upcoming Ryzen 3000-series chips will be in games. AMD has already hinted that its Ryzen 3000 CPUs can stand with Intel’s Core i7 and Core i9 chips, but we’ve yet to see full details of their potential.

That’s expected to show up this afternoon at the big E3 gaming show when AMD presumably hosts its real coming out party. Hopefully, AMD will show off more gaming test results, because Intel seems confident its chips can hold their heads high—in gaming, at least.

Even though Intel will likely cede ground to AMD in many content creation tasks, Intel seems confident its high clock speed can protect it in gaming performance. Gaming loads often hit main system memory and the CPU with the stronger memory subsystem should have the edge, Intel said. That isn’t reflected in tests like Cinebench.

Intel says its latency is betterIntel

Intel says gaming has far more cache misses and thus hits main memory, which isn’t reflected by benchmarks such as Cinebench R15.

PCIe 4.0? Why would you want that for gaming? Intel asks

During Carvill’s interview with PCgamesn.com, he also panned the cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 interface as having a fairly minimal impact on gaming. Intel cited tests by hardware sites and its own internal tests on storage that point to PCIe 4.0 being a big yawn for gaming. We’d tend to agree on the GPU front, as graphics cards don’t yet saturate PCIe 3.0, but while faster storage might not necessarily mean faster level loads, it will matter in drive chores that can hit those ultra-fast PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

There’s another reason to dismiss Intel’s claims as sour grapes too: The only PCIe 4.0 PCs this year will come covered in AMD stickers. The next-gen interface is debuting in Ryzen 3000-series CPUs and AMD’s X570 motherboards.

mobile Intel

Intel likely does a pretty solid point with gaming laptops though.

Intel has a point—on laptops

Not all of Intel’s claims can be dismissed as FUD though. The one that shines the brightest is its snark on AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7 3750H chips. Intel said its “previous-gen entry processor” the Core i5-8300H is the equal or faster than AMD’s fastest Ryzen 7 3750H. Although we haven’t tested AMD’s Ryzen 7 3750H ourselves, it is a 35 watt TDP quad-core chip using older Zen+ cores. That’s just not going to hunt against Intel’s current stable of gaming CPUs, which hold a major performance advantage over AMD’s H-class CPUs. Intel’s U-class CPUs also still dominate in ultrabook laptops and should see even more performance in 10th-gen Core chips this year.

Out on a limb?

Still, this is an awful lot of trash talk coming from Intel, which probably isn’t exactly sure where AMD’s chips fall. The only glimpse we have of how well the new Ryzen chips play games were hinted at last week when AMD showed the mighty Core i9-9900K running PUBG at frame rates about as fast as a Ryzen 7 3800X. That demo was meant as a burn to the Core i9, which wasn’t faster than the Ryzen 7 chip. Both are 8-core CPUs, but the Ryzen is $100 cheaper.

But far worse than being lower in cost would be for AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs to take Intel’s “real-world gaming challenge” and actually pass. We’ll know for sure soon whether Intel’s bark has some bite behind it.

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