Starfield gives a lot to talk about. Most opinions are positive about the game, which, while not being perfect, shows that Bethesda took an optimization leap forward on so-called “Day 0”. The first results and analyses reflect a strange behavior regarding the CPU. And the fact is that while Intel and AMD are pretty evenly matched in the gaming segment, Starfield shows a clear winner: Intel. Why does the Core 13 stand out over the Ryzen 7000 in this game? The answer will be worth your while Get more FPS on your PC except in a few cases: Starfield relies heavily on RAM bandwidth.
Armed with one RTX 4090con rBAR enabled solutions TPM 2.0 active of any kind Windows 11 and the latest NVIDIA drivers, the guys at PCGamesHardware have shown the performance achieved by many of the CPUs of both competitors… And what has been achieved shows a curious divide between processors with a single common denominator.
Intel beats AMD on CPUs for Starfield
Even the mid-range Intel Core 13 processors managed to outperform the almighty Ryzen 7 7800X3D, albeit with a staggering difference of 6% (13600K) and +26% (13900K). How did you get it? How could an i5-13600K beat AMD’s best in a game like this?
Well, according to initial considerations, the differences in favor of Intel are due to the higher speed of the RAM. We ran the comparison to see this for the two processors described, namely i5-13600K vs. Ryzen 7 7800X3D, where the general characteristics are pretty much on par.
The first gets 30 threads, with the maximum frequency reached in the cores being 5.1 GHz. The AMD option is given 16 threads at 5GHzbut although in IPC the architectures are very uniform (less than 1% actual CAP), the differences are caused by the RAM.
RAM blows up AMD’s performance at Starfield
If we look between these two processors, with the same IPC and without the boost in games that AMD’s 3D V-Cache represents, this difference, which always helps the Reds, is nothing compared to the difference in speed of the RAM.
Starfield seems to depend heavily on RAM speed, and this is how Intel manages to beat AMD. Specifically, and to be precise, we have DDR5-5200 versus DDR5-5600which assumes a simple bandwidth of 7.69% not counting the nudge of better or worse latency.
Curiously, the gap between the two CPUs, whose performance is very similar outside of games, is about 6%. But then, given the same storage, how does the i9-13900K manage to climb one? 20%? Firstly because the frequency is far away and this pushes the performance to the core. Second, because even though they have the same BMI, the higher core count and overall frequency increase the bandwidth by up to 15,000MB per second in reading and almost 3,000MB/s In Writeplus the corresponding cache push.
Therefore, AMD cannot compete here or with its flagship, as Intel gains a distinct advantage, not only maintaining the blues push but also damaging AMD as the 3D v-cache is not the deciding factor against Intel. On the other hand, it is within its processor series, because, for example, between the Ryzen 7 7800X3D and the 7700X, with the same cores, poorer frequency, and the same RAM, the first scales impressively 12% above second place.
What about the best-value CPU?
No one disputes the resolution the Ryzen 7 5800X3D inflicts on Intel, at least until the Core 14 hits the table. The problem is that the CPU is slower than expected for the same reasons described so far. And that’s because the RAM bandwidth is much lower than what the i5-13400F, for example, achieves DDR5-4400.
The AMD option integrated DDR4-3200 with much less bandwidth and therefore with a much weaker processor to contend with.
So you already know Starfield is highly dependent on the speed of RAM and you can gain some extra FPS if you increase the speed and your IMC supports it, albeit based on a little more excitement.