AMD vs Intel – What are the main differences?

The biggest rivalry in the CPU market is the decades-long war between Intel and AMD, and from our perspective, this battle could go on for another 10 years or more as the computing market requires faster processors. It’s very important for both home and business computer users to have a fast-enough processor because it’s the brain that keeps everything moving. Without a CPU, your computer is just a useless shell, and no one wants that lying around.

Intel vs AMD

Both giants in the form of AMD and Intel, have been competing at the highest level for a very long time, so, which one is better than the other? This post broadly compares Intel CPU with AMD processors for performance, gaming, overclocking, pricing, etc.

AMD vs Intel

We should point out that both AMD and Intel work on the same x86 architecture, which is why all your Windows 10 apps tend to work the same no matter which branded processor is inside the system.

For those who are wondering, AMD can create x86 chips mainly due to a past technology exchange agreement with Intel. At the time, AMD was merely a second-source supplier for Intel, but things changed in 1991 when the company decided to create its own chips based on the x86 platform and compete directly with its former partner. The processor was called the Am386, and it was a clone of the Intel 80386. AMD didn’t have a huge success with that processor, but as we can tell, the company went on to do very well for itself over the decades.

Performance

When purchasing a new microprocessor, performance should be one of the first things that come to mind. First, you should determine what you need the performance for. Is it for work, gaming, or a little bit of both?

Now, if you want to game but you’re on a budget, then chances are it would be too expensive to purchase a processor along with a dedicated GPU. Yes, several Intel-based processors come with discrete graphics, but these aren’t powerful enough for gaming at all.

The folks at AMD decided to change the entire game with the launch of the Ryzen 5 2400G. It comes packed with a discrete Vega 11 graphics performance.

As it stands, then, a low budget gamer should consider investing in an AMD product because they give the best performance to price ratio.

For those who can afford the tech with the most performance, then Intel comes out on top in this regard. Still, AMD brings to the table better multi-threading performance due to more cores and thread count.

If we look at the Intel Core i9 and the AMD Threadripper, which are the top consumer chips from both companies, it’ clear that both are quality, but the Intel has the edge where raw performance is concerned.

CPU Overclocking

This is where things get interesting, especially in Intel’s favor, and this has been the case for many years. You see, if you’re looking to get the best overclocking performance from your computer processor, then Intel is your best bet.

We believe it has everything to do with Intel’s more sophisticated hyperthreading and turbo-boost technology. AMD isn’t far behind, of course, especially with Ryzen, but the ball is still in Intel’s court at this time.

Who has the better graphics card?

It’s easy to answer that question since AMD has several dedicated graphics cards on the market and Intel does not. It’s very important to point out that to get to this level, AMD had to acquire ATI in the past, where Intel is trying to get there on its own.

Over the years, we’ve heard rumors of Intel acquiring NVIDIA, but nothing of the sort has since materialized, and we doubt it’ll ever happen. Now, the company is conjuring up its line of dedicated cards, but we’re not fully certain when these will hit the market.

Intel says it’s planning for 2020 release, so that’s a year from now. We’re not sure how well Intel’s dedicated graphics card technology is coming along and whether or not it’ll have the performance needed to give NVIDIA and AMD a run for their money.

One thing is for certain; Intel will have to sell these dedicated GPUs at a price that is cheaper than rivals if they want to attract gamers who are very loyal.

So, as it stands, Intel is well behind, and it shows because the company has decided to use AMD’s graphics cards with its high-end H-Series mobile processors. Certainly, this won’t be forever, but for now, it’s a good thing because consumers will likely see the rise of thinner gaming laptops.

We understand that this is made possible due to the use of Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), but since none of these Intel-powered devices have hit the market as of yet, it’s difficult to tell how they would stack up against a similar AMD set up.

AMD or Intel for Gaming

In terms of which processor is better for gaming, well, it’s all subjective. However, the Intel processors have been well designed with gaming in mind, and it shows in the overall performance.

AMD, on the other hand, is definitely no slouch, especially now with Ryze in play. However, many games have been optimized to get the most out of Intel CPUs, which is the main reason why Intel has the edge right now.

At the same time, AMD is the king where gaming consoles are concerned. Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are powered by AMD, and that’s due to the company’s APU (Accelerated Processing Unit).

Pricing

This is one of the areas both AMD, and Intel differ, and even now, nothing much has changed. You see, Intel has always been known as the company that creates premium processors, and rightfully so.

For a very long time, Intel stood at the top with the best processors for work and gaming. AMD wasn’t significantly behind, of course, but the company tends to fail at delivering on promises made when it comes down to performance.

Because of this, then, pricing has always been in AMD’s favor. However, things have changed a great deal since the launch of the Bulldozer series of CPUs. In the year 2017, AMD launched Ryzen; an guess what? It’s the best family of processors the company has ever come up with.

Not only are they fast, but still cheaper than what Intel has to offer. Finally, Intel is getting some long and needed competition, and that bodes well for consumers.

Best bang for your buck

During daily routines, two similar AMD and Intel processors from the top-end won’t perform radically different from one another. However, if you’re gaming or planning to edit videos, then that’s where you should take deep consideration into which processor setup you should go with.

For gaming with a dedicated graphics card, we’d take Intel over AMD any day, but when it comes down to heavy video editing and the use f applications that require heavy multithreading, an AMD chip could be the best choice due to having more cores.

From our point of view, AMD tends to offer better performance to price ratio via the mid and low-end spectrum of the market, and that does include gaming.

If you do not have a lot of money to spend, then an AMD setup makes a lot of sense, but if you have the cash to throw around, then look to what Intel has to offer and leave your friends in awe with your computer’s impressive performance.

Your take?

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Vamien McKalin possesses the awesome power of walking on water like a boss. He's also a person who enjoys writing about technology, comics, video games, and anything related to the geek world.