Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel Core 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel Core i7-10700K
Intel Core i5-10600K
Motherboard ASRock Z490 PG Velocita (P1.30a)
CPU Cooler TRUE Copper (2kg)
DRAM Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2933
Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
SSD Crucial MX500 2TB
OS Windows 10 1909


Please note we are still using our 2019 gaming test suite for CPU reviews with a GTX 1080. We are in the process of rewriting our gaming test suite with some new tests, such as Borderlands and Gears Tactics, as well as changing the settings we test and moving up to an RTX 2080 Ti. It's going to take a while to do regression testing for our gaming suite, so please bear with us.



Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix


Scale Up vs Scale Out: Benefits of Automation

One comment we get every now and again is that automation isn’t the best way of testing – there’s a higher barrier to entry, and it limits the tests that can be done. From our perspective, despite taking a little while to program properly (and get it right), automation means we can do several things:

  1. Guarantee consistent breaks between tests for cooldown to occur, rather than variable cooldown times based on ‘if I’m looking at the screen’
  2. It allows us to simultaneously test several systems at once. I currently run five systems in my office (limited by the number of 4K monitors, and space) which means we can process more hardware at the same time
  3. We can leave tests to run overnight, very useful for a deadline
  4. With a good enough script, tests can be added very easily

Our benchmark suite collates all the results and spits out data as the tests are running to a central storage platform, which I can probe mid-run to update data as it comes through. This also acts as a mental check in case any of the data might be abnormal.

We do have one major limitation, and that rests on the side of our gaming tests. We are running multiple tests through one Steam account, some of which (like GTA) are online only. As Steam only lets one system play on an account at once, our gaming script probes Steam’s own APIs to determine if we are ‘online’ or not, and to run offline tests until the account is free to be logged in on that system. Depending on the number of games we test that absolutely require online mode, it can be a bit of a bottleneck.

Benchmark Suite Updates

As always, we do take requests. It helps us understand the workloads that everyone is running and plan accordingly.

A side note on software packages: we have had requests for tests on software such as ANSYS, or other professional grade software. The downside of testing this software is licensing and scale. Most of these companies do not particularly care about us running tests, and state it’s not part of their goals. Others, like Agisoft, are more than willing to help. If you are involved in these software packages, the best way to see us benchmark them is to reach out. We have special versions of software for some of our tests, and if we can get something that works, and relevant to the audience, then we shouldn’t have too much difficulty adding it to the suite.

Socket, Silicon, Security, Overclocking, Motherboards Core-to-Core Latency: Issues with the Core i5
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  • DrKlahn - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    My biggest issue with gaming is that these reviews rarely show anything other than low resolution scenarios. I realize a sizable slice of the gaming community uses 1080p and that some of them are trying to hit very high frame rates. But there also a lot of us with 1440p+ or Ultrawides and I think it gets overlooked that Intels gaming "lead" largely evaporates for anyone not trying to hit very high frames at 1080p.
  • ElvenLemming - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Honestly, I think it's ignored because it's well understood that at 1440p+ the CPU just doesn't matter very much. There's not much value in anything above 1080p for a CPU review the vast majority of games are going to be GPU limited. That said, plenty of other outlets include them in their reviews if you want to see a bunch of charts where the top is all within 1% of each other.
  • DrKlahn - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I do agree with you that a lot of us do understand that as resolution and detail increases, CPUs become almost irrelevant to gaming performance. However you do see a fair few posters parroting "Intel is better for gaming" when in reality for their use case it really isn't any better. That's why I feel like these reviews (here and elsewhere) should spotlight where this difference matters. If you are a competitive CS:GO player that wants 1080p or lower with the most frames you can get, then Intel is undoubtedly better. But a person who isn't as tech savvy that games and does some productivity tasks with a 1440p+ monitor is only spending more money for a less efficient architecture that won't benefit them if they simply see "Intel better for gaming" and believe it applies to them.
  • shing3232 - Thursday, May 21, 2020 - link

    3900X or 3800X can beat Intel 9900Kf on csgo with pbo on if I remember correctly.
  • silencer12 - Saturday, May 23, 2020 - link

    Csgo is not a demanding game
  • vanilla_gorilla - Monday, June 15, 2020 - link

    >If you are a competitive CS:GO player that wants 1080p or lower with the most frames you can get, then Intel is undoubtedly better.

    It's actually more complicated than that. Even midrange Zen 2 CPU can hit well over 200 fps in CS:GO. So unless you have a 240hz monitor, it won't make any difference buying Intel or AMD in that case.
  • Irata - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Techspot shows a seven game average and there the avg fps / min 1% difference to the Ryzen 3 3300x is less than 10% using a 2080ti.
  • CrimsonKnight - Thursday, May 21, 2020 - link

    This review's benchmarks goes up to 4K/8K resolution. You have to click the thumbnails under the graphs.
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - link

    To be clear: Anandtech tests at low resolutions so the bottleneck is the CPU, not the GPU. A Ryzen 5 won’t bottleneck a 2080 Ti at 4K.
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Those of us who live near a Microcenter can get the 3900X for $389, along with a $20 discount on a motherboard (and a serviceable heatsink). The Ryzen 5 (what I bought) is $159, also with a $20 motherboard discount and a decent cooler. So my effective motherboard cost was $79, and total cost of $240 + tax, with a motherboard that can (most likely) be upgraded to Zen 3

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