It is one of the most complicated decisions we have to make when choosing between Intel or AMD processors it’s not as easy as a few years ago And that’s basically good for users for various reasons. On the one hand because this means that both companies really compete with each other, from you to you, and on the other hand because both have interesting products in different price ranges.
Think for a moment what would happen if there were no real competition that we were referring to. We would have made it “easier” to choose but because there would be less product varietyand the value for money of these would be much more limited. We don’t have to go far to see a real example. Remember what happened when AMD did not raise its head with a bulldozer and Intel completely dominated the general consumer market. We have spent many years on it stagnated in the four cores and minimal changes occurred.
With the arrival of Zen, an important turning point was experienced. Six-core and eight-core processors began to democratizeand Intel had no choice but to increase the core number of its general-purpose processors, which was accompanied by a significant drop in prices.
It doesn’t matter that you are a fan of one brand or another and “just because” you prefer the Intel or AMD processors. It is important that thanks to this competition between the two you can buy today fantastic processors at a very good price. For example, you have the Ryzen 5 3600 for 189.90 euros and the Core i5 10400F for 172.90 euros, two chips with a high IPC and six cores and twelve threads. With this money, you could only have bought a quad-core processor three years ago, and at very limited frequencies.
We can go even further and find solutions that lasted until relatively recently were around 1,000 or even 2,000 euros. For example, the Core i9 6950X with 10 cores and 20 threads approached the $ 2,000 range, and today we can buy models like the Ryzen 9 3900X with 12 cores and 24 threads for about $ 479. And we also have alternatives like the Core i9 10900K with 10 cores and 20 threads for around 600 euros.
Intel or AMD processors: what are the differences?
It is a fact that AMD has fully recovered thanks to the Zen architecture, and this has been shown with the introduction of Zen 2-based processors Intel no longer has a big advantage in terms of IPC. However, this does not mean that the Ryzen 3000 are “perfect” and completely outperform the Intel Core 10 series.
Both generations of processors represent important differences at the architectural level, Of course, this affects the performance both offer, as well as other aspects such as working temperatures, consumption, overclocking capacity, retail price and the platform on which they are integrated.
Intel processors use a monolithic core design, This means that all of its cores are integrated in a single silicon wafer. This architecture represents very important advantages over the MCM architecture that AMD uses in its Ryzen 3000 series processors based on the Zen 2 architecture:
- You will reach higher working frequencies.
- You have more space to overclock.
- The cache latencies are lower.
- Less dependence on the frequency of the RAM memory.
The Core i5 10400F is one of the best processors for less than $ 200 we can buy, and no doubt it is. one of the best exponents the advantages of the monolithic core architecture from Intel compared to the MCM architecture of the Ryzen 3000 from AMD, since it tested the Ryzen 5 3600X in many tests even with a slower memory configuration (2,666 MHz vs. 3,200 MHz).
However, this architecture also has Major disadvantages that we have to consider:
- It prevents jumps in the manufacturing process with a high number of cores.
- It has higher production level costs.
- It does not allow the same level of utilization of faulty chips.
It is not difficult to understand. When we talk about Intel or AMD processors and refer to the price of both, we find that in the current generation There is a very clear difference. This is mainly due to the three reasons we gave you earlier.
We will understand it better with an example. AMD can produce a Ryzen 9 3900X using two faulty chips, each with six out of eight active coresand does not have to reach particularly high frequencies. Because of disadvantages, Intel plays everything on one card to create a Core i9 10900K as needed a chip with ten functional cores This achieves a stable 5.3 GHz with an active core and 4.9 GHz with all active cores.
It is clear that Intel maintains a high profit margin, but we must also understand that the production cost of its processors with a high core number they are higher than that of the AMD Ryzen processors.
AMD processors, for their part, use, as I said, an MCM design that stands for Multi-chip module. This means that the cores of each processor are divided into chiplets. Each chiplet integrates eight cores and consists of two CCX units, each with four cores. The various chips communicate via an infinity fabric system I / O elements have been outsourced to a package that also communicates with all chips.
This configuration has important advantages:
- Facilitates process jumps, even on processors with a high number of cores.
- Improves the success rate per wafer and helps reduce production costs.
- It enables a high level of utilization of defective chips.
- It enables the design of chips with many cores at a low price.
We could give many examples of these advantages, but I think the Ryzen 7 1700 is one of the best examples of the potential that an MCM design offers. This processor has 8 cores and 16 threads and came to the Spanish market at a price of around 340 euros, about. The Intel equivalent, the Core i7 6900K, had an average price of at that time 1,200 euros, but in practice it performed almost the same.
The value for money that can be achieved with an MCM design is beyond question we can also see it in the current generation, because the Ryzen 9 3900X has 12 cores and 24 threads and costs 479 euros.
It’s obvious to say that this architecture isn’t perfect, either It has important disadvantages:
- It achieves lower working frequencies.
- It has less overclocking scope.
- The cache latencies are higher, so more needs to be integrated.
- Greater dependence on the frequency of the RAM memory.
The chiplets are integrated in different silicon pads, which means there is a small physical distance between them, Something that doesn’t happen with monolithic core designs where all the cores are integrated in one chip, which implies everything in terms of latency.
We spoke earlier about RAM and its dependency on working speed when we cited the Ryzen 5 3600 and the Core i5 10400F. Therefore, the question of the working frequencies remains for us. As already mentioned, the Core i9 10900K achieves that 5.3 GHz with an active core and it can work 4.9 GHz with all its active cores. The Ryzen 9 3900X only has disadvantages 4.6 GHz with an active core and is nearby 4.3 GHz with all its active cores.
Intel or AMD processors: things to keep in mind
Everything we’ve said so far serves as the starting point for deciding whether to choose Intel or AMD processors. However, it is important to complete the development of all of this information in order to draw concrete conclusions that will help us Define stronger selection criteria to help us better understand the benefits that chips from different brands offer.
As you may have imagined, these architectural differences emphasize that when choosing Intel or AMD processors We will win in some things but lose in othersBecause neither of them is imposed on the other in all key aspects that should guide the purchase of a processor. But if we focus on that Value for money it is clear that AMD is the undisputed winner.
That means we will continue to resolve and develop the idea that Intel or AMD processors will see theirs concrete advantages and disadvantages. Before we go all the way, it is important that the choice of Intel or AMD processors has an important consequence today at the platform level and with advanced features.
AMD has chosen the offer longer lifetime On their AM4 motherboards, the 2017 series B350 and X370 are compatible with many of the Ryzen 3000 processors released last year. This leads to a life cycle of three years, while Intel normally limits the life cycle of its motherboards to two generations, ie two years.
The choice of Intel or AMD processors determines the useful life of the platform we want to provide, but also its lifespan Next generation features. Overall, AMD offers higher value through standard integration PCIE Gen4, available on motherboards with B550 and X570 chipsets and at Democratize overclockingA feature that’s not limited to high-end motherboards, as in the case of Intel.
We are already done with the question of the platform and have summarized the most important keys so that we are ready to fully appreciate them the pros and cons we will have that if we choose Intel or AMD processors.
Advantages of Intel processors
One of the most important is that they offer higher performance per core due to their high working frequencies and greater overclocking scope. This means that they outperform AMD Ryzen 3000 in these applications depend more on the performance of a single wire, These include games, for example.
Another benefit to note is that your gross return less dependent on RAM, which facilitates the assembly of fairly inexpensive configurations. If we get carried away by the price-performance ratio, the Core i5 10400F is still the best that Intel currently has in its catalog.
In conclusion, I would like to remember another benefit that depends on performance or architecture but is interesting and that we have to take into account, and that is the case in most cases Intel processors have retained a higher residual value on the used market. This can help us upgrade with less investment as we get more money back by selling the processor on the used market.
Disadvantages of Intel processors
The most important thing is that they offer one Value in relation to the price-performance ratio This is well below the majority of the Ryzen 3000 processors. When we choose between Intel or AMD processors, the general value they offer must always be our main pillar, and in that sense, determine our choice Intel loses the game.
If anyone doubts it, let’s use a simple example. The Core i5 10600K with 6 cores and 12 threads costs 306 eurosThe Ryzen 7 3700X with 8 cores and 16 threads has an average price of 310 euros. The second, as I said, has a much higher value because it offers greater gross performance for what it costs.
Another important disadvantage is found in its consumption and its working temperatures, because both values are in most cases higher than their AMD counterparts. The Core i9 10900K with 10 cores and 20 threads consumes more and reaches higher temperatures than the Ryzen 9 3950X with 16 cores and 32 threads.
We also have to add that we have to make the most of the most advanced models a very powerful cooling system, especially if we’re going to overclock.
Advantages of AMD processors
The most interesting is undoubtedly the excellent price-performance ratio. In terms of the return per euro invested to have a very solid valueand they can work with ease and offer a fantastic experience with any current application, including games.
Another major advantage we have Your working temperaturesthat are fairly included, which allows us to use them with ease Cooling systems that bring from home. In fact, even the Ryzen 9 3900X, which has 12 cores and 24 threads, works smoothly with the Wraith Prism RGB, and the only real exception to this rule is the Ryzen 9 3950X, a “beast” that, as we know, 16 Cores and 32 threads.
Its consumption is too much lessThey come with fairly adjusted working frequencies that we can increase effortlessly with Ryzen Master Tooland without having to invest a lot of money in buying a high-end motherboard, since the models B350 and higher already support overclocking.
Disadvantages of AMD processors
The most relevant is to be lower performance in single wire applicationsAs already mentioned, the working frequencies are not as high as with the Intel Core processors. It’s not serious as they compensate for it with better value for money, as we said, but if you’re looking for maximum performance in Intel games, keep on top of it.
they have one increased dependency on the storage speedIn order for them to develop their full potential, we have to strive for a balance between frequencies and latencies and make sure that the price cannot skyrocket. From 3,200 MHz and CL16, we are already at an optimal and balanced level.
Its residual value is much lower. For example, Ryzen 7 1700 processors, which come on the market for 340 euros, are currently available for around 100 euros and have a lower overclocking range.
Intel or AMD processors: endnotes
Choosing Intel or AMD processors today is a decision that largely depends on not just from the budget, but also what you want to do with your PC
If gaming is the most important thing for you and you want to make sure you get the most out of this 1080p or 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate, don’t hesitate. With an Intel Core Series 10, you can scratch additional FPS, but in most cases you have to assume a higher price than that of AMD equivalents.
Disadvantages if you search the best value in the price-performance ratio and you don’t mind accepting a little difference in gaming performance, and in certain applications, when you choose between Intel or AMD processors, the thing is pretty clear Ryzen 3000 You are your best choice.
However, this is the general approach by which we can resolve this duality of Intel or AMD processors are not absolute maximums todayBecause Intel has a significant value in the middle range, the Core i5 10400F, it competes clearly and very effectively with the Ryzen 5 3600.