AMD vs. Intel | Digital trends

An important decision in finding a new or upgraded PC is an important one. Do you use AMD or Intel CPUs? Apple and Microsoft or Fort knight versus Apex LegendThe competition between AMD and Intel is one of the biggest controversies for PC lovers. Both are as different as the products they produce.

However, one of these two finely wafered vendors carries the heartbeat of the PC. Which CPU is the right choice for you? We dig into the details and find out.

Desktop CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 3900x
Dan Baker / Digital Trends

Choosing the right CPU as the main source of cost when building, upgrading, or purchasing a PC can help you find the CPU that provides the best performance for your cost. In general, AMD chips are less expensive and perform better, but not on newer CPUs. AMD is still value for money, but in some cases there are far more powerful options than the Intel alternative.

On the micro scale, AMD and Intel chips range from $ 40 to $ 60 with a few cores and energy efficient clock speeds. At the top of the scale, both camps have $ 500 chips and are surprisingly possible. For the Red team, AMD's Ryzen 3900X is king with 12 cores, 24 threads and a price tag of about $ 500. Intel's current top gamer chip, the 9900K, comes with 8 cores and 16 threads, but with a slightly higher clock with a 5GHz single core boost than the 3900X's 4.6GHz. It is priced a little less at $ 485.

Recommended Intel chips for more middle ground options include Core i5-9400F for $ 160 The Core i7-9700K is $ 380. On the AMD front, the 3700X is a fantastic option with 8 cores and 16 threads, with orders significantly higher than $ 330 per clock for versions prior to 2700X. It's a killer chip that allows Intel to make money in games and dominate in multi-threaded workloads.

Targeted by enthusiasts and prosumers, the Intel Core i9 and AMD Threadripper CPUs offer much more multi-threaded performance and continue to scale core and thread count. Intel's 7th and 9th generation i9 CPUs offer 10 to 18 cores and provide hyper threading up to 36 threads. The flagship of the 9980XE is $ 2,000 and the price is very high.

If you need a lot of PCI Express lanes, AMD's next-generation Ryzen 3000 CPUs can make money for these chips on some workloads, but first and second generation Threadripper CPUs are still worth considering. Threadripper 2000 series CPUs offer 12 to 32 cores and up to 64 threads with simultaneous multithreading. They are more expensive between $ 580 and $ 1,700. We recommend Threadripper 2950x (about $ 650) If you really want one of these advanced upgrades for a high end PC setup.

All Threadripper chips support 64 PCI Express lanes, a huge advantage over Intel's up to 44. More cores consume more power.

However, third-generation Threadripper CPUs are expected to be released before the end of the year, and Intel is expected to release the next generation 14nm Comet Lake desktop CPUs in early 2020.

Notebook CPU

Dell XPS 13 2018 Review Version 1541544414 Screen Core Logo 2
Bill Robertson / Digital Trends

The laptop market is a different story. Most of what you can find are based on various generations of Intel processors and integrated graphics. As Dell representatives pointed out last year, Intel's portfolio is simply huge compared to AMD. The gap between the two companies is significant in terms of market share and "use cases".

AMD will have hardware at the center of several laptops by the end of 2019, and there are already a few products like the new Acer Swift 3, but the market is mostly dominated by Intel. You can also choose from a wide range of configurations, including 8th and 9th generation CPUs. However, the latest range boasts Intel Ice Lake 10th generation processors with 11th generation onboard graphics. It represents some of the best and most efficient laptops available and includes products like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. There is also an upcoming Comet Lake mobile CPU.

In general, the latest generation of Intel Core i5 processors is the best if you want good performance on a laptop. Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs provide much more general computing power, but in most cases Core i5 will suffice unless you're doing a lot of workload.

Overall, the two companies produce processors within distance from each other in almost all areas such as price, power and performance. Intel chips tend to provide better performance per core, but AMD is complementing more cores with a given price and better onboard graphics.


Dell G3 Gaming Laptop Review | Fort Knight Close Up
Nate Barrett / Digital Trends

The game is an area where CPU selection can be tricky. All Intel processors On-die integrated graphics but performance is not equivalent to individual standalone. graphics Chip or add-in graphics card. Meanwhile, most AMD desktop processors do not include integrated graphics. Also known as AMD APU, which combines Ryzen CPU cores and Radeon graphics cores on the same die. They have better graphics capabilities than Intel's onboard core, but their general processing is weak. However, ice lakes can change the typical paradigm.

Whether it's Intel or AMD, mid-level gaming processors require $ 200 to $ 350, top-of-the-line chips for high frame rates, or at the same time streaming and gaming can cost over $ 500.

Those who take the game seriously use add-in graphics cards or individual GPUs instead of integrated graphics (this is best). In these scenarios, Intel tends to be dominant in gaming performance because of the way two chip giants build processors. The 9900K is probably the most powerful gaming CPU at the moment, although the initial benchmarks are somewhat suspicious.

AMD's chips, especially the latest Ryzen CPUs, are great competitors, but the 9900K can make money in most games with 3900X and 3800X. It is also good at eliminating Intel in more multithreaded scenarios and running applications that support multiple cores. Take a look at the Ryzen 3900X review and see more coverage for AMD's latest gaming chips in the coming months.

This makes it much harder to recommend Intel for gaming than before. If you're just gaming, the 9700K and 9900K are the best CPUs to buy, but the Ryzen 3000 CPUs at a similar price offer similar performance in games and much better performance elsewhere. It's a good idea to use Ryzen 3000 chips when you're not playing or playing games.

Best graphics card for games
Bill Robertson / Digital Trends

Mid-range Ryzen processors should also be considered. Ryzen 3600 and 3600X are great gaming chips, but with incredible value. AMD's Ryzen with Vega APUs offers great gaming performance that is worth considering even at very low levels, but if you're weak in processing power, it's not the best value in the long run unless you plan to upgrade your line.

Unless you're playing at a very high frame rate or stuck at a lower resolution like 1080Pp, the CPU is rarely the limiting factor in your game. If you want a more powerful graphics card, you will get better results than a more powerful processor. In addition, synchronization technologies such as FreeSync and G-Sync can make a big difference in how your game looks, whether it's processor optimized or not.

In some cases, you can choose the best of the two worlds. Intel and AMD recently partnered to create a combination chip with Intel CPU and AMD graphics on the same die as the Core i7-8809G. In the "Hades Canyon" NUC test with the 8809G, we found this to be a solid game machine, and this partnership could lead to a much larger hardware option in the future.

Who won?

During everyday workloads, the best AMD chips and the best Intel chips do not yield radically different results. There are obvious differences between certain scenarios and benchmarks, but CPU is not the core of PC performance.

In short, AMD's CPUs, especially the latest Ryzen 3000 models, offer incredible value and performance across the full range. Even for most gamers, from modest 3600 to 3900X, using an AMD CPU will make the cost even better. Intel CPUs are still great, but Intel will have to lower prices to stay competitive with AMD. If you are only interested in buying Intel, it is worth preparing for it.

1216788 Auto Save v1 Intel Core i7 Socket

When choosing the next upgrade, it is still best to look at the individual performance numbers of the chips you want to buy, but considering these general guidelines will give you a good idea of ​​where to start. The AMD Ryzen 3000 processor delivers the best buck in almost every value range. Intel has a bit of an edge in top-notch games, but nonetheless, the benefits beyond AMD's CPU outweigh a bit. AMD has promised that existing motherboards will continue to work with new AMD chips in 2020, so the upgrade path has also improved.

You can find an Intel chip at an affordable price, but you can still get great performance when you pay for it, but if you ignore the new landscaping that AMD processors gave us in 2019, you can still keep the performance intact.

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