AMD Threadripper 1900X vs Intel i7-7820X

AMD’s marketing slide comparing the Ryzen CPUs to their competition.

Since March 2017, AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs have been very successfully entering the mainstream CPU market. With the recent release of their Threadripper line, AMD has also entered the HEDT (high-end desktop) segment, and was very successful in offering Intel meaningful competition (see Threadripper 1950X vs Core i9-7900X).

However, many have questioned the need for the latest Threadripper processor, the 8-core 16-thread 1900X, on the high-end X399 platform. After all, a cheaper CPU with the same core count, the Ryzen 7 1800X already exists on the much cheaper AM4 platform. Coming in at $550, its direct competition would be the 8-core 16-thread Intel Core i7-7820X, priced at $600. How do these processors compare?

If we look at the spec differences between the two CPUs, then the AMD processor runs at a similar boost clock of 4.2 GHz with XFR on the four fastest cores compared to Intel’s 4.1 GHz on the fastest three-to-four cores. Intel does have the upper hand here with Boost 3.0, that allows the fastest two cores to reach 4.5 GHz. The Intel CPU can be manually overclocked up to 4.8+ GHz though, if sufficient cooling is provided. De-lidding the CPU will most likely be required as well.

Unfortunately, not many media outlets have tested the 1900X, as it is not considered the best choice on the Threadripper platform. However, a German site,, which is highly regarded among German hardware enthusiasts, did review and compare the 1900X against Intel’s i7-7820X.

Non-gaming benchmarks

In their review, used a well-rounded combination of applications comparing performance in both Windows and Linux.

In Windows, the Intel i7-7820X has a noticeable advantage of 13% over the 1900X. Source:


In Linux applications the 1900X is only slightly behind the 7820X. Source:


In general, AMD doesn’t seem to have an advantage in non-gaming applications over its direct Intel competitor, as it does with all other Ryzen CPUs. All other Ryzen processors have the benefit of having more cores for a relatively similar price, but not in this case.

Gaming applications

Computerbase used eight games in their benchmark suite: Battlefield 1, Dawn of War III, F1 2016, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Prey, Project Cars, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Total War: Warhammer. Some of these games are questionable when it comes to optimization, but it should still give a reasonable overview of the general performance.

At 1080p, the best (though not necessarily most realistic) resolution to test CPUs, the 1900X shows the same pattern as all other Ryzen CPUs. Due to games being mostly bound to single- or lower-thread performance, we see Ryzen falling behind the competition. Source:


In lower tier comparisons the Ryzen 5 six-core CPUs have performed better than the Intel i5 processors in the frametime department, but that is not the case in the HEDT sector. Source:


In gaming, the picture stays generally the same as it was with all Ryzen processors. In the case of the 1900X, AMD can’t offer more cores than the competition, so we’re left with decent performance, but not as good as Intel’s.

Power consumption and temperatures

In terms of power consumption, Ryzen has surprised many. The 1950X offers 6 more cores and 12 more threads than the similarly priced i9-7900X, but consumes only a few percent more power. With the 1900X, the i7-7820X consumes 7% less power, and the 1800X consumes 31% less. It seems the inherent design of the TR4-socket based processors requires more power due to the separate interconnected dies under the heatspreader.

Under full load, the i7-7820X consumes around 7% less power than the 1900X. However, the Ryzen 7 1800X, another 8-core 16-thread processor based on the much cheaper AM4-socket, consumes around 25% less than the equivalent Intel CPU. Source:


Temperature-wise on the other hand, Ryzen is still noticeably better than Intel. This is due to Intel still not soldering the integrated heatspreader (IHS) onto the CPU, with temperatures suffering both due to that and the poor quality of the thermal paste used instead. Source:


The Ryzen 1900X is a strange beast. Some even compare it with Intel’s infamous i7-7740X on the X299 platform — a mainstream processor on a high-end platform. It is strange to call an 8-core 16-thread CPU “mainstream,” but that’s exactly what Ryzen set out to normalize. The 1900X is on all fronts (apart from the temperatures) an inferior CPU to the slightly more expensive Core i7-7820X. The only redeeming features of this CPU are the lower temperatures and a noticeably higher PCIe lane count: 64 on AMD’s side versus only 28 on the Intel side. When those PCIe lanes can be leveraged to their fullest potential, or when this CPU is used as a stepping stone to a better CPU down the line, we can recommend AMD’s Threadripper 1900X.

In any other case, we would recommend looking at either the i7-7820X or the much cheaper Ryzen 7 1700. The R7 1700 will have similar performance in both applications and games, but the cost of entry will be around half the price, considering the prices of both CPUs and their compatible motherboards. Unless you need the high-end features the X299 platform offers, we recommend staying with Ryzen 7 on the AM4 platform for up to 8 cores and 16 threads.

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