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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST PROCESSOR OF 2020

AMD and Intel both have their strengths. Budget will always be a limiting factor, but your apps will also dictate whether you should focus on cores or core speeds. And don’t forget about power draw and thermals.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X CPU

Slotting into the AM4 socket, the Ryzen 9 3950X represents a change in the level of performance now available to users on a mainstream platform. Just a few short months ago, core counts and performance promises of this magnitude would have necessitated AMD's or Intel's High-End Desktop (HEDT) platforms. Roll the clock forward to today, and that is no longer the case.

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AMD Ryzen 3700X & 3900X

AMD has launched its Zen 2 architecture in the form of the Ryzen 3000 processors. Slotting directly into the now well-established AM4 platform, AMD is leveraging the improvements brought about by TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process technology, in addition to its own process design work and architectural improvements compared to Zen and Zen+. We're looking at the Ryzen 9 3900X which is designed to compete with Intel’s Core i9-9900K. The other contender is AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X – an eight-core, 16-thread CPU that sports a 65W TDP and £320 asking price that positions it firmly against the Core i7-9700K.

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X & 3970X

AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3970X and 3960X are clear market leaders and are basically unmatched in terms of heavy multi-threaded compute performance. If you have demanding multi-threaded workloads where higher performance will bring you better outcomes, whether that’s more free time or increased profits, AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3000 CPUs are exactly where your purchasing radar should be focussed.

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Intel Core i9-10900K

Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake-S family of CPUs is headlined by the Core i9-10900K which sports 10 cores and 20 threads along with a clock speed 'Up to 5.3GHz', using a new feature called Thermal Velocity Boost. When you consider this CPU continues to use the trusty 14nm++ fabrication process and Skylake architecture, we were curious to see whether the Core i9-10900K would catch fire or would simply melt.

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AMD Ryzen 3 3300X

The sub-£150 market segment has been a clear void in AMD's Zen 2 product stack. That changes today with the launch of four-core, eight-thread Zen 2-based Ryzen 3 chips. Coming in at £95 for the Ryzen 3 3100 and £115 for the 3300X, AMD is taking aim at Intel's current Core i3 and lower-end Core i5 offerings whilst also sending a warning shot across the bow of Intel's Comet Lake-S launch vehicle.

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