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Full Version: Looking for hardware advice. AMD vs. Intel/Nvidia?
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I'm looking to build a new PC to upgrade from the i7 4790k/GTX 970 combo I'm running right now. When I built my PC back in 2014 I was under the impression that Intel/Nvidia was the way to go, especially for emulation. Fast forward to 2019 and AMD's Zen 2 CPUs and Navi GPUs have been getting positive reviews. Now I'm starting to lean toward AMD, but I'm somewhat concerned about the single thread CPU performance compared to Intel and OpenGL performance on AMD.

To those who have a better understanding on tech than I, would there be significant performance difference between brands (assuming were comparing recent models in the same price bracket) and how much would new hardware benefit PCSX2 performance at all compared to what I'm currently using?
The new 3000 series AMD Ryzen processors have higher Single threaded performance then the currently available Intel line. Ice\Comet Lake (Intel 10th gen) may eventually beat them, but I don't ever trust the press on chips that are not out for purchase. So on the CPU side not only is price to performance on AMD's side, but actual performance is currently on their side.

GPUs are a slightly different tale. AMD still has bad OpenGL drivers in Windows and will probably not have good ones any time soon. So for mainly OpenGL reliant emulators you are still looking at a performance penalty for AMD compared to a Nvidia GPU that would "normally" have very similar performance. If the emulator has a "good" directX or Vulkan backend then this difference really goes out the window.

As far as how much of a difference you will get. AMD Ryzen 1000 and 2000 series will be around the same performance level as your 4.5th gen Intel i7 in heavily single threaded tasks. Ryzen 3000 series will be faster then 8th or 9th gen Intel CPUs that cost twice the price, with the Ryzen 5 3600X being a monster that is pretty as much as fast as the i9 9900k, beats the i7 9700k and i7 8086k. I has 6 physical cores and 12 threads, so 2 less cores (4 less threads) then the 9900k, same setup as the 8086k, and more threads but less cores then the then the 9700k which has 8 cores with no hyperthreading. Your other workloads will probably determine which you might be able to take advantage of more. Currently these are at the top of the CPU market and you really won't get any better performance then some of the Ryzen 3000 or Intel 9th\8th gen, so if a game is slow on these there really is nothing you could get that is faster anyways since the massive core count processors sacrifice some single threaded performance and just are not as good as high end consumer CPUs in emulation so spending money on 20 core chips will not help with emulation and might even hurt performance.

GPUs are GPUs. Newer models are incrementally faster with a few new features that most emulators will probably never use. For Nvidia it is usually a simple formula. For each generation higher the first set of numbers you can subtract 1 from the model number and be close in performance at a lower price. (eg a 980ti is around the same performance as a gtx 1660ti and a 970 falls between the 1650 and 1660 (non ti) in performance) The RTX line is a little different but pretty closely follows the same formula too. (especially the Super line which is just renamed cards from the previous RTX line just 1 model number lower RTX 2060 super is a RTX 2070, the only one that is a true disappointment is the 2080 super which is not a 2080 ti in performance, but just a very slightly better 2080 so not much better then the 2070 super...) As far as AMD goes the last one I had was in the HD 3000/4000 era so I would not be the person to comment on that.
The 3700x is the one beating the 9900x, though the 9900K(F) are slightly faster. 3600x is just a bit subpar to the 9000 series.
The 3600x is a little faster in single threaded performance then the 9900k (the f variant is faster then it) and much faster then the 9700k and 8086k in single threaded performance. Overall the 9900k is slightly faster then the 3600x, though no where near what the price difference should have the performance difference at. In overall performance the 9900k and 9900kf are the only 9th gen Intel that have any performance benefit over the 3600x and the 9700k is basically tied in performance overall with the 3600x being faster single threaded and the 9700k having just slightly better multicore performance due to the extra physical cores on the 9700k.
I just checked the STP of both cpu's 3600x (2904 stp) and 3700x (2910 stp) are above the 9900x (2493 stp) and 9900k (2897 stp), but not the 9900kf (2917 stp). i9 9900 has (2802 stp)