Intel or AMD for best performance with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090?

Victoras wants to build the fastest coming PC possible with the GeForce RTX 3090 and wonders what he should buy.

Question by Victoras from Greece | Answered by in Video Cards & GPUs on Sep 18, 2020 7:16 PM CDT

I want to build the fastest gaming PC possible for 4K HDR single-player games. Bang for a buck is not a concern, looking to get an NVIDIA GeForce 3090, and I want to get the most out of it. Productivity is not a concern whatsoever; talking about gaming performance ONLY. Your expert advice would be much appreciated. Should I get:

a) an i7 10700K and overclock it, giving me the fastest FPS by today's standards (on par with i9 10900K)

b) an AMD processor and a X570 motherboard hoping that PCI 4.0 Express will give a bit of extra performance to the 3090 and overall match the speed of the system above?

c) Wait until Ryzen 3 CPUs arrive, hoping they are on par with Intel and combined with PCI 4.0 Express that will be the fastest combination of components?

Finally, do you think there's a benefit to using a Ryzen CPU for games since most next games will be designed for consoles using the same architecture? Thank you so much. Any help would be much appreciated.

Hi Victoras,

You certainly have a few options if we are going for the best available.

Since you specified gaming performance only and we already know you are going for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 later this month, it solely depends on your chosen platform. I have run Intel in my machines and with only the occasional gaming session, haven't found any reason to move to Ryzen just yet.

That said, you want the best available, and right now, that is the Ryzen 3950X from AMD. The benefits here are the core count with clock speed at the cost of higher heat and TDP. NVIDIA stated in the launch keynote for RTX 30 it would take 20 cores to handle the storage throughput needed to feed Ampere adequately, and the 3950X offers an impressive 16/32 configuration.

The argument for Intel is higher FPS in some games, as you mentioned. It's between the 10600K and 10700K, in my opinion, if you are going this direction, and that will depend on what games you are playing and if they are multi-threaded or not. If they aren't, the higher clock speed of an Intel CPU will certainly benefit you more than the increased core count with AMD platforms, and then you have to decide if the 4% performance gain of the 10700K is worth the extra $150 over the 10600K. In your case, it sounds like it is.

Intel or AMD for best performance with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090? 1 |

Additional benefits will be PCIe 4.0, to get the most out of the RTX 3090 and storage performance if you add a Phison E16 solution from the likes of Sabrent or Corsair. You could also try the upcoming Samsung 980 Pro or Phison E18 drives that are just around the corner.

But! We are now in the last quarter of 2020, and the release of Zen 3 and X670 is getting nearer every day. This should usher in a possible higher core count with the top-end models, perhaps a real 20/40 CPU with the Ryzen 4900X and 24/48 with the 4950X. There is also rumored support for enhanced PCIe 4.0 along with USB 4.0 support as well.

With the cost of high-end boards, it wouldn't feel right recommending X570 at this point, so my final thought, in this case, is going to be; wait for Zen 3 before moving forward and enjoy your RTX 3090 on your current build.

Last updated: Nov 3, 2020 at 07:09 pm CST

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