Without getting into the debate about whether AMD or Intel is better, I need to build a new developer machine. I use a broad range of tools on primarily Windows.

Things that probably matter:

  1. I run a couple of VMs at any given time.
  2. I do Android development. That includes using their device emulators.
  3. I do some AI development, but I have a high end GPU to do the lifting.
  4. I do heavy Visual Studio work which includes compiling large projects where source code lines can get into the 100k lines.
  5. I will occasionally play a resource intense game, but it's infrequent.
  6. I will occasionally transcode video files.
  7. I have 3 4k monitors.

I need to choose a CPU, but I get lost in model numbers. I recall there being issues with Android emulators and VirtualBox and AMD cpus. Is that still a thing? AMD or Intel? Which model? Cost isn't a serious issue, but I'd probably balk at a CPU over 1k. I also don't want to spend 1k on a CPU that's more than I really need.


1 Answer 1


Unless you are willing to consider a multi-CPU board and the Xeon CPUs it would use (are you?), the top end Intel i9 Core CPU today for your use is the $700 i9-10900X with

10 cores, 20 threads
4 memory channels
256 GB max RAM
48 PCIe lanes, and requires the LGA2066 socket for its motherboard.

The next best Intel CPU would be the i9-10900KF but the two added memory channels, doubled maximum RAM, and tripled number of PCIe lanes makes the X CPU really stand out.

As to competition from AMD, I don't believe the game-optimized $710 Ryzen R9 3950X would be that much more interesting. With only only half the maximum memory, half the number of memory channels, and only 20 PCIe lanes compared to the 48 PCie lanes of the Chipzilla powerhouse, the added features of slightly higher operating freq., increased L3 cache, two more cores/four more threads, and and ECC vs not, don't look that interesting to me. But, if you like it, look for motherboards with an AM4 CPU socket.

PCIe 4.0 vs 3.0 would look like an advantage: Ryzen, if PCIe 4.0 drives were readily available at reasonable prices; but, they're not, so it doesn't look advantageous.

Side-by-side comparisons A B C D

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