What is AMD Equivalent to Core i9?

Core i9 CPUs are some of the beefiest CPUs that Intel has to offer. Essentially, just as is the case with the rest of the series, the AMD equivalent to Core i9 are the Ryzen 9 processors. These are workstation grade CPUs that offer 16 cores, 32 threads and are intended mostly for professional builds.

When it comes to performance both the Core i9 and Ryzen 9 are located in the upper echelons of the CPU performance hierarchy. 

If it is sheer CPU performance you are looking for, perhaps for a professional video editing rig, data science or even for an enthusiast grade gaming+streaming build, then Intel Core i9 or Ryzen 9 are the answer.

However, given how expensive they are, they are generally not intended for an average joe. In many cases, an Intel Core i9 or an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU can cost you as much as an entire low-grade PC itself.

In this article I will explore what AMD CPUs are equivalent to Intel Core i9s in detail. 

Of course, when comparing the performance, I will rely on benchmark such as the Passmark. 

What is AMD Equivalent to Core i9?

The direct AMD equivalent to Intel Core i9 is AMD Ryzen 9. 

Both of these line of CPUs feature the flagship processors from their respective brand.

Despite both Intel Core i9 and Ryzen 9 CPUs being highly advanced and expensive, they are NOT the most powerful commercial CPUs.

With Intel, X series processors hold the title of being the most powerful CPUs (for commercial use). For AMD, the Ryzen Threadripper hold the title. 

In any case, while the X series and Threadripper are full-fledged workstation grade CPUs, the Core i9 and Ryzen 9 are an excellent light workstation CPUs.

Characteristics of AMD Ryzen 9 Processors

All of the Ryzen 9 CPUs for desktop share some characteristics with each other. These are as follows:

  • The desktop variants come in two configurations, 12 cores 24 threads and 16 cores and 32 threads.
  • They are all overclockable
  • They all feature 24 PCIe lanes conforming to Version 4.0
  • They Support DDR4 RAM
  • They DO NOT feature an integrated graphics card

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Ryzen 9 CPUs

The most current AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs come from the 5000 series and they were are released by the end of 2020.

The following are some of the top of the line Ryzen 9 CPUs for desktops and laptops:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X: The most powerful Ryzen 9 CPU available. Offers 16 cores and 32 threads with 3.4 – 4.9 GHz clock speed
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X: Weaker desktop variant with 12 cores and 24 threads. Offers 3.7-4.8 GHz clock speed.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX: The most powerful Ryzen 9 CPU for laptops. Offers 8 cores and 16 threads with 3.3 – 4.8 GHz clock speed.

Characteristics of Intel Core i9 Processors

Intel Core i9 CPUs, much like the AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs, are aimed at users seeking high performance or for those seeking to build light workstations.

Typically if you take the older 10th and 11th generation, the Intel Core i9 features 8-10 cores with hyperthreading enabled.

However, with the recent 12th generation and the hybrid technology, the configuration has changed drastically.

12th Gen Core i9 CPUs

The following are the characteristics of the 12th Gen Intel processors.

  • Desktop variants feature 8 performance cores and 8 efficient cores. A total of 24 threads.
  • Laptop variants feature 6 performance cores and 8 efficient cores. A total of 20 threads.
  • Only the processors with the “K” suffix are overclockable
  • They support DDR5 RAM
  • Offer 20 PCIe lanes with support for PCIe version 5.0

The following are some of the top of the line Intel Core i9 12th Gen CPUs.

  • Intel Core i9 12900KS: Most powerful Core i9 CPU with 8 performance cores, 8 efficient cores, 24 threads and upto 5.3 GHz clock speed.
  • Intel Core i9 12900: Not overclockable base variant of the Core i9 12th gen series.
  • Intel Core i9 12900HK: Most powerful Core i9 CPU for laptops with 6 performance cores, 8 efficient cores and upto 5.0 GHz clock speed.

Benchmark Results and Comparison 

The most powerful Intel Core i9 CPUs come from the 12th generation. These are also much more powerful than what the AMD Ryzen 9 series has to offer in its current generation.

Which brings me to an important point:

Parity in Generation When Comparing

Before I delve deeper into the topic, it is worth noting that both Intel and AMD CPUs have generation based CPUs lines.

Each new generation is far more advanced compared to its predecessor.

The latest Intel generation is 12th released in Q1 2022. The latest AMD Ryzen series is the 5000 series released in Q4 2020.

Hence, when comparing two CPUs, there has be parity in generation. For instance, it would be unwise to compare an old 7th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU released way back in 2017 with 5000 series Ryzen 9 CPU released in the 2020.

Similarly, it is unwise to directly compare the 12th Gen Intel Core i9 with the Ryzen 9 from the 5000 series.

For a head to head comparison, AMD Ryzen 9 from the 5000 series can be compared with Intel 11th Gen Core i9 CPUs.

For a direct performance comparison with the newer Intel 12th Gen i9 CPUs, you will need to wait for newer Gen AMD Ryzen Zen 4 CPUs just around the corner.

Intel Core i9 and Ryzen 9 CPU Scores

The following table compares the desktop and laptop grade Intel Core i9 and Ryzen 9 CPUs using the Passmark scores.

AMD Ryzen 9
Desktop3276112/24 (C/T)
3.80 GHZ -
4.60 GHz
AMD Ryzen 9
Desktop3947012/24 (C/T)
3.00 GHZ -
4.70 GHz
AMD Ryzen 9
Desktop4621416/32 (C/T)
3.40 GHZ -
4.90 GHz
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HXLaptop232538/16 (C/T)
3.30 GHZ -
4.80 GHz
Intel Core i9
Desktop43955- 8 Performance
- 8 Efficient
- 24 Threads
upto 5.3 GHz
Intel Core i9
Laptop29951- 6 Performance
- 8 Efficient
- 20 Threads
upto 5.0 GHz
Intel Core i9-11900KDesktop255538/16 (C/T)
3.20 GHZ -
4.40 GHz

One of the interesting results you can see here is that despite Intel Core 12th generation CPUs being more powerful across the board compared to AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, as far as the Core i9 vs Ryzen 9 goes, AMD Ryzen 5000 series still has the upper hand.

You can see how the Ryzen 9 5950X beats the Intel Core i9 12900KS in the benchmark scores despite it being much older (46214 vs 43955 points ).

We can only imagine from here what the newer Zen 4 based Ryzen CPUs will bring to the fore. 

However, as far as the laptop based variants go, the 12th generation Intel Core i9 12900HK is much more powerful compared to the AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX (29951 vs 23253 points).

What is AMD Equivalent to Core i9

Final Words

So long story short, the simple answer to the question “what is AMD equivalent to Core i9?” is simply AMD Ryzen 9.

However, if you want to draw an exact performance comparison between two processors, it is always a good idea to take into consideration the processor generation.

Also, it is always wise to use benchmarks in order to gauge and compare the performance of processors.

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Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101 and an expert in the computer peripheral industry with over two decades of experience. He has worked as a consultant for major companies and has a deep understanding of the inner workings of computer peripherals. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and has served as a product manager and technical consultant. He is passionate about testing and evaluating the latest products to provide readers with reliable information.

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