Whether you’re looking for a processor for a simple office PC, a gaming PC, or a powerful workstation, you only have two options – AMD or Intel. The confrontation between these giants gave rise to an almost religious worship of one of the camps and an irreconcilable war of fans and eternal disputes about which is better – AMD or Intel.
But this article is for those who do not consider themselves to be such fans, those who, when choosing a processor, are guided by common sense and the specific tasks facing it. After all, whatever you say, but each chipmaker has its own strengths and weaknesses. And today we will talk not so much about which of them is better, but about who is in the lead in certain use cases. In other words, we will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Intel and AMD processors.
Most independent tests when comparing Intel and AMD processors favor the latter. Intel actually leads in all significant price ranges. This fully applies to the latest Intel Alder Lake models, which confidently outperform the AMD Ryzen 5000 processors on the Zen 3 microarchitecture. Moreover, the Intel Core i9-12900K actually became the fastest gaming processor in the world, but its cost is so high that it is much more An attractive choice for the role of the best gaming processor is the Core i7-12700K – it is only slightly slower than the Core i9-12900K, but it costs much less. Well, the Core i5-12600K offers the best price / performance ratio that is currently on the market. AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 – in the current generations of processors of the two giants, the confrontation between these processors ends in favor of the latter.
But even here everything is not so clear cut. Firstly, if your system does not have a discrete graphics card, and its purchase is not yet expected, then you have a direct road to the AMD camp. The company’s processors use the best integrated graphics that have no analogues in the market.
Do you need a discrete graphics card or is integrated graphics sufficient?
Secondly, you can unlock the full potential of top-end Intel processors only by using them in a company with equally powerful components, which means that the cost of such an assembly will be simply huge. For example, the same Intel Core i9-12900K can fully express itself only with a fast monitor and when playing in Full HD resolution. If you prefer 2K or 4K gaming, then the bottleneck of the system will be the video card, which will have the lion’s share of the load.
The vast majority of gamers do not need such powerful processors, and the best choice for them will be the Core i5-12600K – just because of that excellent price-performance ratio. If you plan to use integrated graphics, then look towards the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G.
Productivity in work tasks
Until recently, AMD processors were considered the undisputed leaders of the battle between AMD vs Intel in work scenarios. But with the release of Intel Alder Lake, the blues managed to reverse the sad situation for the company, and the result of the Intel vs AMD confrontation in 2021 is completely different. The new Intel processors offer an excellent combination of price and features in a wide range of workloads. While AMD’s most powerful processors still lead the way in absolute performance in multi-threaded scenarios and content creation, these wins come at the expense of more cores and threads, larger caches and, as a result, a very high price.
In many ways, the success of Intel Alder Lake is due to the use of two types of cores in processors. Fast P-cores are indispensable when it comes to single-threaded workloads, while energy-efficient E-cores increase processor performance in multi-threaded operations and background work, which is especially effective for content creation.
If you need the most productive processor – choose AMD, if the best in terms of price and performance – Intel.
Energy Efficiency and Heat Dissipation
The power consumption of processors is largely dependent on the microarchitecture and the process technology used in them, and the heat dissipation (TDP), in fact, is determined by the power consumption of the processor. AMD’s 7nm Ryzen 5000s are the most power efficient desktop processors we’ve seen, leaving 11th Gen Intel Core models at bay. But independent tests have shown Intel’s huge success in this direction. The company has been able to keep the power consumption of the new processors to an acceptable level, and Alder Lake has noticeably better power efficiency compared to the Rocket Lake generation.
If you want the most energy efficient processors, go for AMD.
When it comes to overclocking, the undisputed leader here is Intel, whose processors offer the best overclocking potential. In other words, Intel processors allow you to get more performance during overclocking compared to their speed at stock frequencies.
Another issue is that the company’s policy remains very tough. For maximum efficiency, you will have to spend money on expensive unlocked K-series processors, buy a very expensive Z-based motherboard and a powerful cooling system.
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AMD’s approach in this regard looks as liberal as possible. The company’s processors have a much lower overclocking potential, but they do not impose such stringent requirements on hardware. There is no need to buy any special, more expensive series of processors. Moreover, the proprietary Precision Boost Overdrive feature allows you to overclock your AMD processor in one click, making life as easy as possible for overclockers.
If you want a processor with the best overclocking potential, buy Intel, but be prepared to pay a lot of money for this privilege. For the simplest and easiest overclocking for the wallet, take AMD, but don’t expect any miracles.
Once upon a time, AMD was the first on the market to offer support for PCIe 4.0 in its processors, which became especially important in light of the appearance of the first high-speed SSDs with this interface. The fact that even 10th generation Intel Core processors could not work with PCIe 4.0 SSDs largely limited their owners’ access to modern technologies.
But now the situation has changed exactly the opposite. It was Intel processors that were the first to receive support for PCIe 5.0 and the latest DDR5 RAM. And against this background, AMD already looks outdated with its PCIe 4.0 and DDR4. Of course, DDR5 greatly increases the cost of motherboards, and the advantages of this RAM are not yet so obvious, but in addition to DDR5, Alder Lake also supports DDR4, which is familiar to many.
At the same time, AMD still has a modern 7nm process technology in its asset, but Intel has been able to do a lot in this direction, and its fresh 12th generation Core processors are far ahead of their predecessors in most parameters. First of all, due to the use of the updated architecture, which we talked about a little higher.
It is not easy to choose a winner in this category. On the one hand, a more modern technical process still gives AMD some advantage over Intel, but it is not so great. On the other hand, PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 make Intel processors more attractive, but the price of this progress still bites a lot.
Pricing is always the cornerstone when choosing a particular processor. And in recent years, we have become accustomed to the fact that it is simply impossible to oppose AMD here. The company’s processors were distinguished by an affordable price tag, almost all of them were overclockable and were offered with good coolers complete with free software and the Precision Boost Overdrive function.
Actually, all this remained unchanged. But Alder Lake-S has reduced AMD’s advantage to nothing, and now, in order to maintain its position, the company will have to reduce the cost of Ryzen 5000-series processors.
No company has a decisive advantage. The fragile parity in this area will continue, at least until the advent of a new generation of AMD processors.
AMD processors may still be the best choice in some use cases. They are great if you need a low power, low cost motherboard, or don’t want to spend money on a dedicated graphics card. But Intel processors far outperform similar AMD developments in gaming performance, have noticeably higher overclocking potential and offer a number of new technologies that are still not in AMD’s assortment.
Which processor is better – AMD or Intel? It all depends on your budget, the characteristics of your system and your goals. Well, we tried to make your choice easier by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Intel and AMD processors.
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