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Intel vs AMD Processors: Which One’s Really the Best?

by Eric
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Most people don’t give a thought to what processor sticker sits on the surface of their desktop tower or laptop. So long as the computer works as intended, that’s good enough for them. However, within the gaming community and other heavy usage groups, a debate rages. One part of the debate is whether it’s better to build your PC or buy one that’s already made. Within that debate lies another smaller, but no less intense argument over which processor is the best for a build.

In the battle of Intel vs AMD processors, which one comes out on top? Here’s what you need to know about these titans of the central processing unit industry.

Intel vs AMD Processors: Affordability

Let’s get down to one of the largest considerations for many would-be PC builders: price point. All the best specs in the world won’t count for anything if you can’t afford the build or the computer. Intel is by far the most dominant voice in the industry. They’ve had years to establish themselves as the go-to CPU and GPU sellers for every price point. As such, they have a much wider variety of low-end processors on offer than AMD does. So, if you don’t need anything particularly heavy-duty, you might be better served to go with an Intel.

However, if you do a lot of gaming, video editing, or 3D rendering, you need high-end processors to handle your tasks. AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X processor throws you a hefty dose of sticker shock at around $750. However, this chip comes equipped with technology that you’d have to spend double that amount to get with an Intel.

So, Who Wins Out?

In the battle of Intel vs AMD processors for the price, we have to give it to AMD. While low-end processors from Intel are much cheaper, if you want performance and low costs, AMD gives you much more oomph for much less price.

Intel vs AMD Processors:

When it comes to performance, Intel and AMD hover at around the same level. Which processor you choose will depend on your specific needs. Are you looking for the best processors in gaming or something that can handle multitasking with ease?

One thing to keep in mind when making your decide is that Intel offers integrated graphics on most of their processors, while AMD does not. AMD’s budget offerings do tend to integrate some basic graphics functions with Radeon Vega 3, which makes them easy to use for mid-quality gaming and streaming.

If you want to run games at the highest possible settings, however, you’ll need not one AMD’s Ryzen series, but one of their GPUs to get the best graphics. Intel offers better graphical fidelity out of the box, but will also require a GPU for high-end gaming experiences.

So, Who Wins Out?

While AMD puts up a respectable fight in terms of performance offerings, we have to give this round to Intel. Intel offers a much better out-of-the-box experience for gamers. While AMD has the edge in terms of multitasking, Intel’s higher-quality graphics make it a more appealing choice.

Intel vs AMD Processors: Customer Support:

No one wants to think about dealing with customer support. Especially when it comes to technology. From long waits to undertrained staff, calling or contacting the tech support desk is a universally reviled experience. More so when the company refuses to use actual humans to answer and route calls. So, between Intel and AMD, which company does more to make this difficult process easier?

Both AMD and Intel have dedicated web pages for customer and technical support regarding their CPUs. AMD allows users to download driver updates, access forums, read over spec sheets, and even select specific units for more in-depth troubleshooting. Intel offers many of the same features, but with the bonus of live chat or phone support to get step-by-step help with a unit.

So, Who Wins Out?

Sorry, AMD, but we once again have to give this round to Intel. Both websites offer a wealth of technical support features like FAQ blog posts, responsive forums, driver updates, and spec sheets. However, Intel has the advantage of offering live, easily accessible support that can walk users through complicated situations.

And in the end, that’s all anyone who calls technical support wants. An easy-to-understand, step-by-step explanation of their problem and how to fix it.

Intel vs AMD Processors: Laptop Performance:

Up until this point, we’ve discussed which processor emerges the victor based on their performance inside of a desktop. Now, let’s narrow our focus to something more mobile. After all, most users these days would prefer to take their computing power on the go.

Intel and AMD both hold decent performance benchmarks on laptops, meaning that it once again depends on your specific use case. Intel has technology specifically dedicated to AI-accelerated applications and programs, giving it an edge over AMD in that use case. This might seem too specific to matter, but there are enough pieces of software that are reliant upon this technology that its presence gives Intel a serious edge. Another thing giving Intel the edge here is its use of Thunderbolt technology, which reduces the number of extra cords and peripherals needed for a laptop. This, in turn, gives Intel-powered laptops opportunities for slimmer profiles.

So, Who Wins Out?

Sorry, AMD, but we once again have to give the win to Intel. AMD hasn’t been in the market long enough to develop the kind of specialized technologies that Intel has. If you don’t care about these extra features, then AMD processors are perfectly serviceable. However, Intel is the undisputed king here.

Intel vs AMD Processors: Graphics Card Offerings:

Up to this point, we’ve only discussed Intel and AMD in terms of central processing units. However, the CPU is only one part of a desktop or laptop’s performance. Equally important (or sometimes more, in the case of gaming rigs) is its GPU, or graphics processing unit.

People know the name AMD and its high-end Radeon series on the graphics card market. While NVIDIA still currently dominates much of the conversation surrounding GPUs, consistent supply chain issues have forced gamers to look at AMD as a serious alternative to their golden child. Due to its strong presence in the GPU market, some of AMD’s chips integrate lower-end versions of their Radeon series GPUs for better graphical performance.

But What About Intel?

While Intel continues to dominate the conversation for CPUs, the same cannot be said for GPUs. Until recently, its integrated hardware has only been “good enough” for basic performance needs and mid-range gaming experiences. Better than most AMD chips out of the box, but still in need of support from a GPU. Usually an NVIDIA.

However, in recent years, there’s been a paradigm shift. With Intel’s new Evo platform, high-end graphical fidelity marries its newest generation of CPU chips to create an unparalleled experience.

So, Who Wins Out?

Intel has made some impressive strides in terms of its integrated GPU offerings in recent years. However, we have to give the round to AMD due to its extensive GPU offerings and the reduced difficulty of obtaining them.

Intel vs AMD Processors: Power Consumption:

Power consumption may not be a concern for those seeking central processing units for their desktop. However, for laptop-based consumers, this consumption could be the difference between being tethered to the wall and moving around freely. So, which processor offers better performance on this front?

This should come as no surprise, but Intel has the benefit of experience in this field. Intel CPUs tend to consume two to three times less wattage than their AMD counterparts. This means that they’ll be able to extend a laptop’s battery performance by quite a bit. Another way AMD struggles in this regard is its heat generation. Even for desktop computers, people who use AMD high-end processors recommend using liquid cooling or grabbing additional fans to ensure that your PC doesn’t overheat. Intel processors, by contrast, tend to run much cooler.

Related: iMac Pro i7 4k is a Fabulous Desktop Compute

So, Who Wins Out?

Once again, we have to give the win to Intel. Power consumption and heat generation can make desktops encounter issues and laptops feel downright uncomfortable to use.

So, Which Processor Comes Out on Top?

We’ve tallied the points. The victor between Intel and AMD processors is, without a doubt, Intel. AMD offers a respectable fight in terms of its graphical offerings and budgetary concerns. However, Intel trounces them in every other category, making them the clear best choice. Did you find this article on the two titans of the central processing unit industry helpful? Would you like to read more like it? If so, then check out our blog for more of the latest and greatest tech news today.

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