What happened? Intel's marketing machine was in full effect at this year's Gamescom trade fair. While the chipmaker was willing to give revitalized rival AMD credit for "closing the gap," Intel maintains that it still offers the best processor for gamers.

"A year ago when we introduced the i9 9900K," said Troy Severson, Intel's sales development manager for PC gaming and VR, "it was dubbed the fastest gaming CPU in the world. And I can honestly say nothing's changed. It's still the fastest gaming CPU in the world."

Severson added that you've probably heard a lot of press from the competition lately, "but when we go out and actually do the real-world testing, not the synthetic benchmarks, but doing real-world testing of how these games perform on our platform, we stack the 9900K against the Ryzen 9 3900X. They're running a 12-core part and we're running an eight-core."

The real kicker came when Severson gave praise to their rival.

"I'll be very honest, very blunt, say, hey, they've done a great job closing the gap, but we still have the highest performing CPUs in the industry for gaming, and we're going to maintain that edge."

Our very own Steven Walton has taken an extensive look at the two CPUs in question. In this comparison featuring 36 game benchmarks, Intel's Core i9-9900K triumphed in most - but not all - tests against the Ryzen 9 3900X. The margin of victory wasn't always significant but a win is a win.

Of course, gaming is only part of the equation. If productivity factors into your buying decision, AMD's offering suddenly becomes far more attractive.