Intel vs AMD – Which to Choose?

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The processor is a very important part of your computer. If you’re visiting this page that means that your processor is working to render the webpage. A processor is one of the main parts that’s making sure that your system runs perfect and smooth for all your other works.

When you’re in the market looking for a good processor for your next desktop build or planning to get an all-in-one PC or even a laptop, you may have seen available options of 2 different processor brands – Intel and AMD. Both of them offer very similar features and each of them excels at different specs.

It’s ultimately your choice to decide which one is better – Intel or AMD.

Choosing the right one

There are different categories for selecting your CPU vendor. Here are all of them.

  • Performance – One of the most important categories you should focus on. The performance of the processor decides the overall experience of your usage. Your performance choice must be based on your usage. For example, you’re not going to buy a $1000 CPU just for your “Facebooking” rig, right? Again, using a $70 CPU with a $700 graphics card is also not going to give you enough performance.
  • Cooling – Processors need to stay cool for performing normally. There are billions of electrons flowing through the chip, making it really hot. You need to keep that in mind for choosing your right CPU cooler.
  • Power consumption – This is often underestimated but you should also keep an eye on power consumption. This ultimately decides your monthly electricity bill.
  • Overclocking – This is something really interesting. Overclocking allows you to enjoy faster performance than your original CPU specs. For example, you can run a processor up to 4GHz that’s only been at 3GHz by default! Of course, you simply speed up the degradation of the chip but a safe overclock will definitely help in the long run.
  • Price – Your budget for your next rig is also an important factor here. If you choose a lower end processor, you can spend that extra money on some other parts. However, you must also keep a balance between all your hardware, otherwise, your system will not work in the way you want.
    For example, you’re buying a $700 graphics card. For handling that graphics horsepower, you also must get a powerful enough processor. Otherwise, the FPS and quality output of your game will seriously throttle your gaming experience.
  • Performance/price – The headline is EXACTLY what it sounds. For the price you’re paying, how much performance are you getting?

With the points being clear, let’s check out which brand is the winner of which category.

Comparison between Intel and AMD

Intel

  • Pros

    • Strong single core performance.
    • Better overall performance.
    • Processor consumes less energy than AMD’s.
    • Produces less heat.
    • Good entry level processors.
  • Cons

    • Despite having powerful single cores, Intel processors fall behind in multithread performance.
    • You can’t overclock all the processors. For overclocking, you need “unlocked” chips and “overclock” enabled motherboard (“X” or “Z” series chipset motherboards).
    • Better processors cost a lot more than entry-level processors.
    • Integrated graphics aren’t powerful enough to run popular game titles.
    • Less core/thread count.

AMD

  • Pros

    • Strong multi-core and multithread performance.
    • Lots of cores. Yeah, AMD offers more core count than Intel at any price point.
    • VALUE for MONEY. AMD processors, despite being less expensive than Intel counterparts, offers better value for the money you spend. For building a budget build, this is one of the main things you should have in your mind.

Here’s a comparison between Intel and AMD in terms of value by Hardware Unboxed.

    • All the AMD processors have overclocking ability. It allows you to push your processor to a very powerful state.
    • Almost all the motherboards support overclocking AMD chips.
    • AMD offers their processor to be compatible with the existing platforms. For example, you can enjoy the latest 2nd generation Ryzen processors on an existing AM4 socket motherboard.
    • Powerful integrated graphics
  • Cons

    • Less powerful performance of single cores.
    • Processors consume more power and generate more heat than Intel counterparts. You need to have a powerful cooler for the cooling.
    • Older processors perform worse than their Intel counterparts.
    • If you choose a processor without integrated graphics, you need a discrete graphics card.

The final thoughts

Both processor vendors offer completely different features and facilities. Which one is the best? That depends, ultimately, on you.

If you need more cores and handle heavier workloads like rendering, editing etc. then AMD should be your right choice. AMD also offers more cores. If you’re a gamer need a strong performing processor, then Intel is the safe bet.

As of the current state, Intel seems to be having some supply shortage. This is resulting in dramatically increasing the price of processors. For PC builders and any consumer level, this is bad news. On the other hand, AMD offers a relatively stable platform. For example, you buy an AM4 motherboard and you can rest assured up to 2020. In the case of Intel, each processor generation requires its own motherboard.

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts down in the comments.

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