With AMD’s recent unveiling of their new Ryzen 5000 series processors on October 8, you may have noticed several articles popping up all over the web. As you probably already know, AMD and Intel are the only choices you have when it comes to CPUs. So, which CPU is better Intel or AMD?
If you want to buy a new CPU, the simple answer is AMD. Intel has announced that its 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs are coming in 2021. This means that AMD is left without competition almost across the board, especially with their newest Ryzen 5000 series CPUs with Zen 3 architecture that is coming out November 5.
If the new AMD Ryzen 5000 series benchmarks are anything to go by, it seems that they are a significant leap from the AMD Ryzen 3000 series. In case you do not know, AMD Ryzen 3000 series is the current generation of Ryzen processors. The 3000 series runs on the 7 nm Zen 2 architecture and it has already established itself as a better and cheaper choice when placed against Intel.
This does not mean that you should throw Intel out of the equation by any means. If you do not mind waiting to see which CPU is better Intel or AMD in 2021, then by any means, wait for Intel’s official announcement with some benchmarks. The competition between the two companies is fierce, which is a win-win situation for customers.
Also, you might be able to catch an older Intel CPU on sale. It does not matter what brand you are buying, as long as you make sure that you are getting the for your money. No matter what your budget is, make sure to compare the specific models that you are interested in using benchmarks as a reference. It only takes a few minutes. So, ultimately, the answer to which CPU is better Intel or AMD is yours to answer.
If you are interested in a breakdown of which CPU is better Intel or AMD, then keep on reading for a more in-depth view of the topic. You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of each manufacturer.
Which CPU is Better Intel or AMD
To answer the question of which CPU is better Intel or AMD in a more detailed way, we first need to talk about the recent history between the two rivals.
Intel had been dominating the market for a long time. AMD was quickly falling behind after Intel’s announced their Core microarchitecture. Since then, Intel was the better choice for almost everyone. They outperformed AMD, they ran cooler, and developers did most of their optimization work around Intel CPUs.
When AMD unveiled Ryzen in February 2017, things took a major turn for both companies. The question of “which CPU is better Intel or AMD” became something that you could debate with your friends over a coffee instead of them laughing at you as soon as you mention AMD.
AMD started to have a significantly better value proposition. It was glaringly apparent that AMD was the better choice when it outperformed its Intel counterpart while being significantly cheaper and running cooler.
Fast forward a few years, AMD is dominating the market. It does not matter if you only have a little money or a lot to spend on a computer, AMD is the obvious choice. Moreover, the new AMD 5000 series promises to beat Intel’s high-end CPUs for the first time in many years.
Because of Intel’s dominance throughout history, some applications (especially content creation software) tend to perform better on Intel CPUs. Always check what the case is for your specific usage scenario.
You may have noticed that the naming scheme of the two rivals is nearly identical. You have a Ryzen 3 and its competitor Core i3, Ryzen 5 and Core i5, and so on. This makes it easy for customers to compare the prices and the performance of two similar models from the manufacturers.
Let’s now take a look at which CPU is better Intel or AMD for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Intel Processors
It is not all black and white, just like with anything in life. Intel has a few advantages over AMD.
If you are in the market for a laptop, then you have a much larger variety to choose from if you opt for Intel. Intel has dominated the laptop market even more so than the desktop market for ages and some Intel CPUs have a lower energy consumption than AMD, allowing for longer battery life and better thermals.
If money is no object for you and you cannot wait for the new AMD generation or do not care about it, then the best Intel Core i9 -10900k is still the best CPU money can get for most applications, especially gaming.
Another advantage is that you might already own a board that is compatible with a newer Intel CPU. In this case, buying a new Intel processor would save you money.
On the subject of motherboards, they are often significantly more expensive for Intel than for AMD. Also, Intel has worse CPU and chipset compatibility despite using the same socket than AMD. And not only that, but you also have to pay extra for an unlocked Intel CPU and a motherboard that supports overclocking.
Next, Intel CPUs tend to run hotter. They also have a bad stock cooler. Intel does not take advantage of faster RAM frequencies as AMD does. This has to do with their CPU architecture.
Advantages of Intel Processors
- Better choice in the laptop market.
- Run cooler in laptops.
- Better high-end CPUs.
- Better performance in some productivity tasks.
- Better optimization.
Disadvantages of Intel Processors
- More expensive.
- Bad stock cooler.
- Chipset compatibility.
- Motherboards are more expensive.
- Do not take advantage of faster RAM.
- Pay more for unlocked processors and motherboards that support overclocking.
- Fewer cores and threads when compared to AMD.
Advantages and Disadvantages of AMD Processors
AMD outperforms Intel thanks to their raw performance. AMD processors tend to have a higher core and thread count than Intel. For example, the Ryzen 5 3600 has 6 cores and 12 threads, while the Core i5-9600 has 6 cores but only 6 threads.
This is a huge performance advantage in most modern applications for AMD. Productivity tasks that are optimized to use all cores and threads will run better on AMD processors.
On the subject of cores and threads, AMD has another major advantage in the enthusiast workstation market. AMD’s Threadripper lineup decimates Intel Xeon processors at half the price.
Unlike Intel, all of AMD’s processors are unlocked out of the box and support overclocking. You do not have to pay extra for a K-variant (Intel models that end with a K) to overclock. Moreover, AMD motherboards are slightly cheaper and most of them support overclocking (B450 motherboards or better). These motherboards will also have support for the new Ryzen 5000 series, which is great for people in need of an upgrade.
Most, if not all AMD processors run cooler and also come with a better and sleeker CPU cooler. Some of their coolers even have RGB! Unlike Intel CPUs, AMD CPUs can take advantage of higher RAM clock speeds that allow for a better performance of the entire system.
At the time of writing this, AMD is set to release a new generation of series processors that will push performance up and price down for both the new and the current generation.
Advantages of AMD Processors
- Better performance across the board.
- Cheaper CPUs.
- Run cooler.
- Better stock cooler.
- Cheaper motherboards.
- Better chipset support.
- Take advantage of faster RAM.
- New generation is coming very soon.
- Unlocked out of the box.
Disadvantages of AMD Processors
- Worse optimization in some applications.
- Only a handful of laptops run AMD Ryzen.
- Run hotter on laptops.
- Brand recognition.
So, which CPU is better Intel or AMD? Right now, it is hard to recommend Intel to anyone, unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket and need the absolute best you can get. It is still hard to tell if AMD can beat Intel and take the crown for the best CPU in video games and other applications. AMD’s official benchmarks for the Ryzen 9 5900X indicate that they indeed will.
Also, if you are in the market for a new laptop, the differences between the two manufacturers are not a major factor.
Remember that discounts on computer hardware happen quite often and you should always check the pricing of both Intel and AMD CPUs as well as their performance to see how they compare. You should not be surprised to see all sorts of crazy deals when the new AMD Ryzen 5000 series drops.
This means that you should check both Intel and AMD CPUs before making any decisions. If you want to have the maximum performance per dollar, always wait for deals and do thorough research. The answer to which CPU is better Intel or AMD, in the end, is for you to answer.