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Second thoughts about Ryzen 9 5950X...may be an Intel Xeon W-1290P instead?

Hello all!

Following on from this thread:

…Because of the severe shortage of AMD’s CPU’s, I’m starting to wonder and at a push, if it’s worth getting a Intel Xeon W-1290P?

So far I’m thinking no, despite the ‘reasonable’ price and Turbo frequency, because I know that AMD’s offerings are more efficient. As it’s for a workstation, I’m not intending to O/C it, it’s just for work and very very rare play. The definite ECC Memory is quite nice though, no second guessing perhaps?

I was very much prepared to jump the Intel ship, but with all these shortages going on, I’m starting to second guess - even though there was an overwhelming amount of evidence Pro-AMD. “Pro-AMD” isn’t even the right description, it just seemed the logical choice!

Thanks for any thoughts in advance :+1:

My intuition says that if you actually try, the 5950X isn’t terribly hard to get now, but if you can get the Xeon at MSRP and it ticks all the checkboxes for the workloads you intend to use it for, you should get it.

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So to me, the main benefits the amd cpu would have is better power consumption (significantly) and 6 more cores.

The way I see it, if you can use 10 cores, you can use 16.

Even though intel’s cores can hit higher peaks, I think the performance is going to be much better from the 5950x.

The other thing is that I can’t find the 1290p in stock anywhere.

Of course, this will all rely on you being able to get your hands on a cpu.

The other issue at hand is motherboards. Will the 1290p fit in a consumer board, or does it need a workstation chipset? Moreover, intel boards tend to be more expensive than amd for a given featureset.

This is a standard feature of all ryzen cpus.

In my opinion, it’s pretty clear that amd makes the better cpu. But the question is if you can get your hands on one.

Started off thinking they were close. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized amd mops the floor here. Though, the 5950x is allegedly more expensive. I still have yet to see a 1290p for sale.


I’d add to this: If you can’t find a 5950X, maybe try find a 3950X instead.

Sure there’s a small performance hit, but its still going to be faster than a 10 core intel for the majority of multi-threaded workloads - and it runs in the exact same boards.

Ryzen 3000 is overshadowed a bit by Ryzen 5000 but the 3000 series are still great CPUs and likely more available. At least from what I saw when I went CPU shopping in January.


My laptop quad-core can’t do the work I need. But my 3900x can.

When I tried to test my development environment from my laptop today, I started to truly appreciate the power available from the 3900x once again.

Do I want a 5900x? Yes. Will I upgrade to one? Not unless the 3900x dies prematurely.

I know it’s silly to compare 4 cores to 12, and even sillier to compare 3ghz to 4, on top of that, but I’m trying to make the point that all these cpus are going to get the job done. They’re all very powerful and frankly astonishing. The only question is this: how much is 10% worth?


so your gonna drop a 16 core 32 thread cpu for a 10core 20 thread that has roughly half the overall compute performance?.
i get intel runs a little quicker but that will only help in low rez, high refresh gaming which neither cpu are really designed for.

you made the right choice with the Ryzen cpu if you doing anything other than gaming and you dont need thunderbolt.


I’ve honestly been shocked at just how capable the 3300x in my budget box I built last month is.

It’s about 65-75% the performance of my 2700x in a lot of things, and noticeably faster/more responsive in single thread. Thats 4 cores vs. 8. Air vs. water cooling (on the 2700x), too.

If you can find a higher end 3000 series part, I’d say go for it.

You’ll still have PCIe4 goodness for SSD, lower cpu operating temps, etc.

Sure it won’t be the absolute fastest Ryzen part you can buy, but you’re far more likely to actually be able to buy one. So maybe, in reality it is? :smiley:


I would not compare a Xeon with Ryzen. If I want compare a Xeon than with a Threadripper. By the way, if I want configure a new machine I would choose Threadripper with Vega64 (or other AMD-GPU) or Xenon with NVidia.

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Ryzen thoroughly trounces the Xeon in question in every aspect except clock speed.

Threadripper would make it look like Intel’s eating glue.

Though, this is a desktop class Xeon, not a workstation or server class. Intel may have labeled it “workstation” but that doesn’t make it so.


Not all Xeons are the same, and in terms of CPU throughput, often an i7 or i9 is actually more performant. The only thing you lose is ECC, but you gain a lot of clock speed.

If you’re wanting to compare the Xeons i reckon you’re talking about, the correct comparison is actually Epyc, not threadripper.

And either way, intel will be left in the dust at the moment. Epyc beats Intel at half the price. I know this, I just bought a bunch of them and got basically 2x 32 core EPYC systems running at higher clocks, for the cost of each 28 core Xeon system (each was specced out with a 500 GB SSD mirror for boot and 512GB of RAM - 6 of them for a new cluster).

If you want to compare a new machine you won’t be buying Vega 64 - its 3-4 generations old now.

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Note not supported on none Pro APUs

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AMD supports it on all cpus unless they’ve changed their policy. It’s up to the motherboard vendor to also support it to get “full support” though. Lots of non-supported boards will work with ecc, but without picking one with official support, you may be rolling the dice.


Apu is not supported unless pro since zen 1

Thank you for that, perhaps I’ll try a little more. Fortunately I’ve got a lot of costs coming up, so it’ll be a good few months before I have to buy. :+1:


Yes, I was keen on the power consumption, as I’m the bill payer for the electric!

I’m in a bit of a paradox - vast majority of the time I can make do with 4-6C, but every few weeks I need the extra horses/cores.

I sort of figured that although the Intel is clocked higher, the performance will actually be roughly the same as the AMD.

You’re right about stocks, although I was assuming that demand for the Xeon would be much lower than that for the AMD, so there’s a greater chance of getting one when the time comes.

I’ve checked the motherboard situation for the Intel, SuperMicro do some perfect boards for around £200-300, which is within my budget.

Like I said earlier in this response, I like the AMD for power consumption, and that in theory it shouldn’t need as much cooling (quieter potentially).

I read somewhere that although they’ll take ECC, they may not use it as intended - wish I had a link to that article/Youtube video :frowning: …but perhaps it was a figment of my imagination!

I’m generally OK with the price difference, it would be a CPU that i have for many many years.

Very good points - thank you!

I think I’m more inclined with the latest Ryzen, only because of the single clock performance being usable, and most of my work is single core…I probably should have mentioned that :blush:

Thank you for that, puts things is perspective. :+1:

When you put it like that, sounds stupid eh! It’s only because most of my work is single threaded really - trying to find a reasonable balance as well as something I can get a hold of, without having to muck around on youtube streams of stocks and all that.

Don’t need thunderbolt though, that’s for sure. Thank you! :+1:

Very good point! :slight_smile: I’m trying to avoid making the wrong move, this is for work purposes so it’s a tax deduct and I’d prefer to get more than I need than less and then regret it…been there before! :frowning:

Thank you and welcome to the forum by the way :clap: I did wonder about the GPU thing, but I feel my S/W works better on Nvidia, I’ve also already got the GPU I’d like to use (RTX Quadro 4000). I’m really hoping that the 4000 will work in a friendly manor with an AMD…I can’t see why not and I’ve seen a few people with this config with no (public) complaints.

May we ask what you’re upgrading from, or is this a new build?

Given you say you have a mostly single threaded workload, what you’re upgrading from may give us context for the sort of performance benefit you’re going to get.

If you’re currently on something like a 7700k or 8700k then the processing speed in single thread won’t be a huge bump.

But if you do go ryzen then you have pcie4 for storage which may help a lot more than the CPU speed improvement you’d get from either platform.

I don’t think you need to sweat making a wrong move so much, so long as you take the above point i made into account.

All the modern CPUs on the market are very fast compared to something from say 4-5 years ago; and more important are the platform improvements IMHO.

Both socket AM4 and whatever socket intel are currently on are end of the line, so in terms of platform longevity neither will get any processor upgrades beyond what is released today.

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Of course…and this will make you laugh (you guessed right)…an i7-7700K running at 4.8GHz.

My frustration is when I do anything that’s core intensive, occasionally I have to make videos and it’s this that’s painfully slow. Also I’m restricted in that I can’t have multiple apps open at the same time otherwise they become very slow to respond.

I figure if I have a high GHz CPU with plenty of cores exist, it will really help me…and I will never run out of performance, so to speak! In the past I’ve used my spare E5-1650v4 (6C) to do the Core work, leaving my i7 CPU free for me to get on with other things, but that’s a poor setup to me.

You’re really very kind with helping me. :+1: I’m generally OK with a machine/CPU that’ll last 5 years, when looking at the Xeon alterative, I had my business head on. I don’t have any experience of the long term reliability of Ryzen and just feel that Xeon could be more reliable - that’s based on little evidence really.

So if I could stretch this out for 6 months, is that sensible, in case the next thing is a bit better and not a re-hash of past…things?

OK so given you’re on a 7700k… you’re pretty close to the max single threaded performance you can reasonably expect ***.

3000 series will be similar, but you’ll obviously have more cores unless you go for something low end like a 3100-3300x (and even on single threaded apps they can help with background tasks, AV, antimalware, let you run something else while something processes in the background, etc.).

Speaking honestly here, you may be better off waiting for Ryzen 5000 if you can wait. If you need to spend some money TODAY in order to benefit from tax concessions for the financial reporting period, it may be worth doing something like getting all the components except for the CPU (i.e., motherboard, GPU, case, storage, ram, etc.) and sticking in a lower end 3000 series part in the interim (into the same board) if you want to use the system today while waiting for 5000 series to be available.

But whether or not the tax benefit (if applicable) would be worth buying a cpu twice or not… only you can answer that one.

But for me, for example, hardware i purchase “for work” can help offset my tax obligations so it makes sense to buy hardware within a reporting period (maybe bringing it forward a little) sometimes if it makes sense. Your situation may differ.

*** one caveat. Ryzen has fairly massive CPU caches compared to the equivalent intel processors. Xeon, depending on spec can also have massive caches, although those that do compared to ryzen are MANY core parts with fairly slow clock speeds and big price.

This may well help single threaded performance if it helps your workload fit better into processor cache. That’s very workload dependent, but it may definitely be worth trying to benchmark your specific app (or find someone who has done it) on Ryzen vs. intel to compare.

If the workload fits pretty well into intel cache size - won’t make much difference. But if it fits better into the larger cache on AMD it may be a significant win.

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I just wonder, but I’ve generally seen that the fewer cores AMD’s have, the lower the GHz?

You’re advice is incredibly useful, thank you. I don’t need to buy now, ideally I should buy before April as that’s the start of the new tax year - but my accountant/bookkeeper has been good in the past when I make a big spend at the beginning of a tax year. I think I’ll stick with the 5000 series when the time comes.

I kinda wouldn’t mind buying twice, the only thing is my down time building it. I should get someone else to build it, but it’s a nice change from my normal job! I’m also a little (just a tiny bit) concerned about the reliability of Ryzen, but that’s more based on the media than any direct opinions.

That’s interesting about the caches, so are you saying that Xeon or Ryzen are generally better? Sorry to ask.

I’ll do some research though, thank you very much for your patience. :blush:

I’d say that Ryzen has bigger caches vs. the equivalent competing i5/i7 or xeon. Again, if a problem set fits into Intel’s cache it will be faster as intel’s cache is slightly faster. but it’s much smaller. Ergo, I’d suggest that Ryzen is more future-looking and will have more consistent performance as code gets bigger.

Once you get into the bigger Xeons (which have larger cache than Ryzen), you’re up against EPYC which has even bigger caches (because it is essentially multiple Ryzen on a package).

Also those Xeons typically run at much lower clock speeds which offset the benefit somewhat. But they’re more intended for heavy multi-threading (e.g., vm servers).

There’s a couple of caveats with that, but the huge cache is one reason why Ryzen 5000 series is so fast vs. the competing desktop processors. It’s also a reason why EPYC (and thread ripper) rocks.

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