Never before have we tested so many game titles and ended up with this much data for one article. Testing was tedious, but once we wrapped it up it was a little humbling. This might have been one of the most unique things that we have done since the site was first started back in 2002. Thanks to the Intel sponsorship, we were able to take the time to buy, play and benchmark the top 50 steam games on two amazing platforms. This is something that took hundreds of hours to do, but was a great learning experience and gave us a look at performance on games that are very seldom if ever tested.
Over 5 million people were playing the Top 50 games on Steam when we took our snapshot. That is a huge player base and many of these titles have never seen the light of day in CPU performance reviews. It also feels like the results are more valuable since these are the games that people are actually playing. A number of CPU reviewers use built-in benchmarks found in titles like Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and there are under 200 people a day playing that title. So, just something to keep in mind when you are reading performance reviews on gaming hardware in the future.
The results can be a little overwhelming when all placed in one chart based on the average FPS of the benchmarks run. If we chart the results in order by percentage win for the Intel Core i9-9900K you come up with a more visually appealing S-curve chart of the two platforms.
This chart gets straight to the point and shows that the Intel Core i9-9900K platform managed to lead or tie in 40/46 of the Steam Top 50 playlist that were able to be tested. The average performance lead at the tested 1080P display resolution ended up being 5.5% for the Intel Core i9-9900K over the AMD Ryzen 3950X. Not bad considering the platform used for the Intel Core i9-9900K ended up being 7.5% less expensive than the one for the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor. So, not only does Intel perform better in most all game titles, but it also does it at a considerably lower cost when looking at the best available processors of this platform class.
After benchmarking most of the Top 50 game titles on Steam, we feel comfortable saying that the Intel Core i9-9900K ‘Coffee Lake’ processor is still the best gaming processor money can buy. The only processor that will be faster is the Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processor, but those have been sold out for some time.