​Which CPU is best: Intel or AMD Ryzen?

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Computing

Intel vs AMD has been the most debated topic among tech enthusiasts in recent times. Both Intel and AMD are completely different in terms of the specifications they offer yet, there seems to be a no clear winner. So what should you opt for? The answer requires you to review your requirement and based on that you can select the best processor for you.

Processors have evolved over the years. From being massive in size and offering limited features, they are now very compact and are capable of performing heavy load operations. Intel Corp (INTC) has been a company that has its roots in the microprocessor manufacturing industry since 1968.

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Overview of Intel and AMD

Overview of Intel

We are all well aware of the name Intel. It’s one of the leading brands that manufacture microprocessors for different applications. A Microprocessor is an IC that is used in computer hardware. It is used to carry out all the necessary functions required for the working of a computer.

Did you know that Intel was the first-ever company to build a microprocessor? Yes, you heard that right. Intel 4004 was the very first microprocessor developed in the history of microprocessors. It was a 4-bit CPU developed in the year 1971.

1971 was almost 49 years ago and since then, several changes and upgrades have been made in the design, development, and manufacturing process of the microprocessors. To name a few, the models released by Intel so far are as given below:

  •       Pentium 1- Pentium 4
  •       Pentium Dual Core
  •       Celeron
  •       Core Duo
  •       Core Solo
  •       Core i3, i5, i7

Recently, the 10th Generation of Intel’s microprocessor was released and with the research and innovations that are being made, we can safely say that there are many more upgrades on our way in future.

Overview of AMD

AMD was founded in 1969 but their microprocessors have made breakthroughs in recent years. AMD is known to offer high-performance microprocessors at an affordable price. The company has been in the same industry as Intel but it has started gaining more limelight and success due to its recent success.

Some of the models of microprocessors manufactured over by AMD over the years are mentioned below:

  •       Athlon
  •       Opteron
  •       Duron
  •       Phenom
  •       Ryzen
  •       Sempron
  •       Turion

AMD is trying to provide maximum performance of its microprocessors at a cheaper price. The reason for its comparatively low cost is the technology it uses to manufacture its microprocessors. Each company in this industry uses its own technique and architecture to make its microprocessors more efficient.

Not only Intel or AMD but there are several other companies that manufacture microprocessors. So why haven’t we heard of them? The answer to that is popularity. Other companies aren’t that popular and haven’t adopted many marketing strategies as these 2 companies.

To choose the best processor, first let us look at how different AMD and Intel are from each other.

Intel vs AMD: Price

Price is one of the top factors that influence the sale of any product. As a customer, you are more likely to approach a product that is within your budget. It is the ideal thing to do. Opting for products that are beyond your budget is never recommended but to purchase a products that doesn’t meet your requirement is also not advised.

Intel is known to offer high-performance and great quality offering processors that have a set price range. AMD on the other hand aims to offer more facilities at a lower price. This is one of the reasons behind the increased sales of AMD processors.

Processors manufactured by AMD, however, do not perform well in certain scenarios like gaming applications and high-processing tasks. However, they are much more affordable as compared to Intel’s high end processors which is the reason for their ever growing popularity.

The low cost offered by AMD has started taking a toll on the premium-quality products manufactured by Intel.

Intel vs AMD: Productivity and Content Creation Performance

We all use computers either for work or entertainment on a regular basis. It can either be creating documents, presentations, excel sheets, playing, games, editing videos, or soundtracks. The range of applications for computers is pretty wide and a computer needs to carry out all of these activities efficiently.

Content Creation is one of the many applications that a processor is successfully used for. It is important that the quality and the performance of the processor while carrying out tasks is optimum and no lag occurs.

When it comes to choosing between AMD and Intel in terms of Productivity and Content Creation, AMD has the upper hand. This is because it provides more cores and increased multithreading options at an affordable budget as compared to Intel.

Intel vs AMD: Compatibility

Compatibility simply means existing together, without any issue or conflicts. In the software industry, compatibility of a product means the ease with which it can function in an environment or with another software or component.

Intel and AMD, both are pretty compatible with major Operating Systems like the various versions of Windows. It has also been observed that AMD and Intel microprocessors are pretty compatible with each other as well as x86 is their common ground.

Did you know that companies like AMD and Cyrix have been manufacturing pin-compatible processors that can easily work in systems that are designed for Intel processors? Yes, that’s right and because of this, an additional custom designed motherboard won’t be needed to use an AMD chip in an Intel-friendly environment.

Intel vs AMD: Specs

Both AMD and Intel are highly competitive when it comes to manufacturing of microprocessors. Their processors are quite similar to each other, with variations. AMD has its Ryzen 3, 5, 7, and 9 while Intel has its Core i3, i5, i7, and i9.

To compare a few, Ryzen 7 offers 8 cores, 16 threads, 24 Gen4 PCIe, 32 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-3200 at a price of around $339. Core i7 (9th Gen) on the other hand offers 8 cores, 8 threads, 16 Gen3 PCIe, 12 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-2666 at a price of around $370.

The differences in these specs are quite clear. You can see that in terms of cores and threads, AMD offers more at a much more affordable price.


Intel vs AMD: Technical and Customer Support

Both, AMD and Intel are exceptional in terms of their customer support.  Intel offers a three years warranty and if any issue occurs with the microprocessor, it’ll be replaced by the company without any additional charges.

Intel offers its service for the following:

  •       Desktop boards
  •       Graphics
  •       Processors
  •       Computer Card and Stick
  •       Servers
  •       Ethernet Products, and many more.


AMD too offers three years of warranty. The AMD support can provide services for:

  •       Drivers and Software
  •       Product Specifications
  •       Community Support
  •       Warranty and many more.

Intel vs AMD: Laptop, Desktop, and Gaming Processor

Laptop and Desktop processors function in the same way. They both are used for carrying out computing operations. The difference between them is that Laptop processors are much more energy efficient than the CPU’s.

Even though their function is the same, they cannot be used in place of the other as their size, shape, and speed are different. It is advised to use laptop processors in laptops itself as they use less RAM and are far more efficient. Desktop processors can however work on full power and efficiency as they are plugged-in to the power supply.

Gaming applications require special features and specifications to ensure high quality gaming experience. This is done by using gaming processors instead of desktop or laptop processors. Gaming processors or GPUs are built to support the following:

  •       Graphics (2D or 3D)
  •       High-intensity graphics software
  •       Texture Mapping
  •       Hardware overlays
  •       MPEG decoding
  •       Multi-tasking
  •       Hyper-threading technology

Intel vs AMD: Battle of the processors

1. Intel Core i3 (8th Gen) vs Ryzen 3

Ryzen 3 has often been compared to Intel Core i3. Ryzen 3 offers 4 cores, 8 threads, 16+4 Gen4 PCIe, 16 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-3200 at a price of around $99-$120, depending upon the model version. Intel Core i3 on the other hand offers 4 cores, 4 threads, 16 Gen3 PCIe, 8 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-2666 at a price of around $174.
Core i3 has better clock speed but Ryzen 3 provides more cores and threads at a cheaper price. So the choice lies with you and the requirements that you have.

2. Intel Core i5 (8th Gen) vs Ryzen 5

Like their other models, Ryzen 5 is compared to Intel Core i5. Ryzen 5 is built to offer 6 cores, 12 threads, 16+4 Gen4 PCIe, 32 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-3200. Intel Core i5 on the other hand offers 6 cores, 6 threads, 16 Gen3 PCIe, 8 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-2400.
It was observed that Ryzen 5 Desktop processors are less power efficient than their mobile version equivalent processors. Also, Intel Core i5 has integrated graphics that AMD Ryzen 5 lacks.

3. Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) vs Ryzen 7

Similarly, Ryzen 7 of AMD is compared with Core i5 of Intel. Ryzen 7 has 8 cores, 16 threads, 24 Gen4 PCIe, 32 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-3200 at a price of around $294-$339. Intel Core i7 has 8 cores, 8 threads, 16 Gen3 PCIe, 12 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-2666 at a price of around $370.
Intel Core i7 is said to offer high clock speeds. Ryzen 7 takes up comparatively more power but offers more cache size and DDR memory.

4. Intel Core i9 (9th Gen) vs Ryzen Threadripper

Ryzen Threadripper is considered amongst the most powerful processors that offer 16 cores with 32 threads. Intel Core i9 is another candidate in the same category that offers 8 cores with 16 threads.
Besides that, Ryzen Threadripper offers 24 Gen4 PCIe, 64 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-3200 at a price of around $739. Similarly, Intel Core i9 also offers 16 Gen3 PCIe, 16 MB L3 Cache, and a Memo of Dual DDR4-2666 at a price of around $524.
Intel Core i9 has a higher base frequency and maximum boost capacity as compared to Ryzen Threadripper but Ryzen offers more cache and memory.

Intel vs AMD: Clock speed

Who wouldn’t want a PC that can carry out instructions at a faster pace, right? Well, that’s what clock speeds measure. The performance of the processor depends on the number of instructions it can carry out per cycle.

Apart from the manufacturers, the clock speed also varies depending upon the model versions. For Intel, the clock speeds of different processors are as given below:

  •       3.4 GHz – 4.2 GHz for Core i3.
  •       2.4 GHz – 3.8 GHz for Core i5.
  •       2.9 GHz – 4.2 GHz for Core i7.
  •       5.3 GHz for Core i9.

For AMD, the clock speeds of different processors are as given below:

  •       3.5 GHz for Ryzen 3.
  •       3.6 GHz for Ryzen 5.
  •       4.3GHz for Ryzen 7.
  •       4.6 GHz – 4.7 GHz for Ryzen 9.

Intel vs AMD: Overclocking

Intel vs AMD: Core Count

Core count is the number of cores that can be incorporated in a single CPU. More cores ensure that you carry out more operations. These operations can be divided amongst the cores present to carry out more tasks at the same time.

The total number of cores present also paves a way for threading in processors. More cores can carry out more threading. Threading is a process that divides a core into multiple cores that can work individually, without disturbing operations of the other threaded core.

AMD offers more cores as compared to Intel’s processors. This increases their performance and lets them carry out more processes. AMD is also well known to provide an affordable cost for its processors. This means that you get more cores and threads at a lesser price.

Intel is known to offer high-quality functioning of processors and high-performance frequencies. They however do not provide more cores and are comparatively high in price.

Which processor was faster: Intel or AMD?

As we have seen, AMD processors offer more cores and threads. Usually, the speculation is that more core and thread means increased CPU performance. But that’s not the case always. Other factors that contribute to the efficient working of a CPU are responsible too.

The speed of the processor is dependent on the IPC i.e Instructions Per Cycle that can be carried out in the core at a provided clock rate.

Even though AMD processors offer more specifications and features, they are not as fast as their Intel counterparts. Now, let’s look at some of the reasons that make Intel faster than AMD.

  •       Intel can execute more number of IPCs,
  •       It uses better quality material during the development of processors,
  •       It has a more optimized layout of microprocessors,
  •       Its arrangement of the cache.

As we have seen, the L3 cache size is used in the processors. There is also L1 and L2 type of cache present in the CPU. The arrangement of these caches is more important than their size.

You can say that Intel gains more benefits because of its unique order of cache arrangement and an optimized CPU layout.

Which CPU should you buy right now?

With the constant comparison and the prevalent competition between both the companies, you have to choose amongst them. Both of them have their advantages, disadvantages, and additional features. Their function may be the same but their components make them different from one another.

If you are looking for a high-performance processor and you don’t have any specific budget limitation, then Intel processors are a good choice. If you are looking for something similar that can provide basic features similar to Intel’s processor but at an affordable price, then AMD is your best bet.

At the end of the day, the decision of choosing a processor that satisfies your set of requirements lies with you. So choose wisely!

AMD vs Intel: Processor Specifications and Features

We have seen the Specs for AMD vs Intel in one of the sections that are mentioned in this article. Specs of a component provide you with all the necessary technical information about it.

From the specs, it was seen that AMD offers more cores and threading options than Intel. This feature allows you to assign more work to each of the cores to increase the overall performance of the CPU. Apart from that, AMD also offers more Cache size and DDR Memory than Intel. This feature can help you during the Overclocking of the processors.

The baseline of the entire discussion is that, even though the quality of the processors offered by Intel is great, AMD offers more features in their processors at a much lesser price than Intel.

The AMD processor may not be performing to the maximum limit but they offer additional cores and threading options to make up for that. All of this is available at an affordable price and that has tipped the scale in AMD’s favor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, Intel or Ryzen?

When it comes to processors, Intel has been prevalent in the market for a long time. Ryzen on the other hand is new in the league of manufacturing processors. What separates them from each other are their brand name, their performance, cost, availability, specifications, and their compatibility with other products or devices.

Both of them are known to offer better performance for your CPU. Intel is better at providing high-speed performance whereas Ryzen offers better multitasking and is more affordable than Intel. So make your choice accordingly!

Is Ryzen 5 better than i7?

Ryzen 5 has better lead-in multithreaded applications but Intel offers a higher clock speed. However, this feature of Intel is for Quad-core processors. Ryzen on the other hand offers features in a Hexa-core processor at a much less price.

The video encoding performance of Ryzen was a little better than Intel but the quality and performance offered by Ryzen for gaming applications couldn’t beat Intel’s experience and history of manufacturing gaming-oriented processors. Ryzen 5 is often approached more for its affordability feature as compared to i7.

Why is Ryzen so cheap?

Intel has been a leading CPU manufacturer for a long time. Ryzen has been launched into the market in recent decades. The brand value of Intel is much higher than that of Ryzen. Ryzen’s focus is on providing its customers with a good performance processor that is budget-oriented. Intel on the other hand focuses more on it’s performance.

The difference in price between the two also depends upon the die size of the chips being manufactured. Intel’s chips are large in comparison to Ryzen’s small core units.

Is AMD beating Intel?

According to recent surveys and statistics, it can be said that customers prefer AMD’s cheap and affordable processors that aim to provide high-performance CPUs. Intel provides quad-core processors whereas Ryzen provides Hexa-core processors with multithreading options at a much cheaper price.

You can say that AMD is giving a tough competition to Intel as Ryzen CPUs are cheaper and more competitive than most other options in the market.

What AMD processor is equal to Intel i5?

With the competition between Intel and AMD growing strong, both the companies are working on coming up with better processors. Intel has been prevalent in the market whereas AMD has set foot in the industry in recent decades.

There have been many releases from both of these manufacturers. Some of them have also been equivalent to the basics. AMD’s FX-4300 is equivalent to Intel’s i5. AMD’s FX-9590 can also be bought at the same price as i5–6600, around $250 USD.

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