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AMD vs. Intel: Which Processors Are Better?

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AMD vs. Intel: Which Processors Are Better?

Key Points

  • AMD and Intel are the leading semiconductor companies in the microprocessor market, with Intel controlling 63% of the global CPU market share and AMD controlling 35%.
  • AMD has a stronger foothold in the GPU market compared to Intel.
  • AMD processors perform better than Intel ones on multi-core threaded operations, while Intel chips perform better on single-core procedures.
  • Intel graphics cards are budget-friendly and sacrifice power for affordability, while AMD cards provide more graphical power but can be more expensive.

AMD vs. Intel is a rivalry that goes back decades in the computer world. These two semiconductor companies are the forerunners in the microprocessor market. Intel controls around 63% of the global CPU market share, while AMD controls approximately 35%. So, what’s the difference between them? Let’s examine.

AMD vs. Intel: Side-by-Side Comparison

IntelAMD
MarketCPU, GPUCPU, GPU
Current CPU GenerationRaptor Lake, Sapphire RapidsZen 5 (Raphael), EPYC (Genoa)
Current GPU GenerationDG2-128Navi 33
Highest CPU Clock6.0 GHz5.6 GHz
Fastest GPU Speed (FP32)19.66 TFLOPS61.42 TFLOPS
CPU Price Range$97–4,449$95–6,499
GPU Price Range$139–349$330–1000

AMD vs. Intel: What’s the Difference?

Intel and AMD may exist in the same market, but they have several differences. First of all, performance is not the same regarding both CPUs and GPUs. There are also significant price discrepancies between the two companies. Let’s look at these distinguishing features.

Market Focus

amd vs. intel
Intel makes central processing units and graphics processing units.

One of the primary differences between AMD and Intel is their market focus. Intel really focuses on the CPU market, with the GPU market being a new secondary market they’ve only recently broken into. AMD has always had one foot in either world.

Since AMD has always made microprocessors and video cards, their product lines are more developed. Intel CPUs have a slightly more decorated history than AMD’s, but AMD has a much better foothold in the GPU world.

CPU Performance Differences

There are significant differences in CPU performance between Intel and AMD. AMD chipsets perform better than Intel ones on multi-core threaded operations, while Intel chips perform better on single-core procedures.

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Intel CPUs tend to have higher clock rates, with the highest boost clock 0.4 GHz better than the best AMD chip. However, AMD processors have improved performance with the new Ryzen 7 7800 X3D, and Ryzen 9 chipsets have pulled ahead in overall performance compared to high-end Intel chips.

GPU Performance Differences

GPU performance differences are significant between Intel and AMD. Intel makes budget video cards that sacrifice power for a better price. AMD makes mid-to-high-end graphics cards designed to provide the most possible graphical power, and their cards can get quite expensive.

Intel’s best graphics card, the A770, clocks in at just 19.66 TFLOPs and has no double-precision floating-point operation capabilities. These metrics put the A770 slightly below the current generation of console GPUs and make it significantly worse than desktop ones.

CPU Price Differences

Cost differences between AMD and Intel used to be more significant than today, but they’re still fairly noticeable. However, the prices of AMD and Intel cards have switched places. Where AMD used to be the underdog company that delivered budget CPUs, their processor’s MSRPs have risen while Intel’s have fallen.

While the lowest-end of AMD chips is slightly more affordable than Intel, the highest-end of Intel CPUs is significantly less costly than the equivalent AMD processors. 

GPU Price Differences

amd vs. intel
Intel and AMD’s GPU lines offer significantly different performance.

Intel graphics cards are relatively new and represent a budget GPU line. They sacrifice in all areas to make the cards more affordable and are primarily competitive in the low-end video card market. While AMD video cards are generally less expensive than equivalent NVIDIA cards, Intel cards are true budget cards. They offer competitive performance for the price, even if it’s not as powerful as other cards on the market.

Single-Core Performance

AMD and Intel cards differ significantly in terms of single-core performance. Single-core performance is when you deactivate all but one of the cores on your processor. It can be helpful for people who need to lower the power draw of their system, but it drastically reduces performance.

Single-core processors can only perform one task at a time and execute operations less efficiently than multi-core chipsets. These issues are why single-core CPUs are largely obsolete in the modern day. However, in some cases, people may turn off cores on their multi-core processors.

Intel chips generally perform better in single-core performance than AMD ones. They’ll do better in tasks requiring a higher speed limit and can limit the number of functions they perform, like gaming. However, when it comes to tasks like productivity programs, they’ll operate worse in multi-core threading procedures.

Multi-Core Performance

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AMD processors typically perform better than Intel ones in multi-core performance. Part of this is that AMD CPUs generally have more cores. Intel’s premier high-end chipset, the i9-13900K, has 8 P-Cores and 16 E-Cores, making for 24 in total.

Meanwhile, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has 16 in total. However, they have the same number of total threads. Multi-core processing is most important for programs that break tasks down into smaller, executable threads for efficiency, like productivity applications. 

AMD vs. Intel: 7 Must-Know Facts

  1. Intel was established in 1968 when Silicon Valley tech leaders decided to form a company that would let them innovate in their own way.
  2. AMD was established in 1969 by several leading tech researchers in the semiconductor field.
  3. Intel focuses on making high-end CPUs.
  4. AMD makes budget chipsets and graphics cards.
  5. Both companies suffered from the semiconductor shortage.
  6. Intel chipsets perform better in single-core performance.
  7. AMD CPUs perform better in multi-core operations.

AMD vs. Intel: Which One Is Better? Which One Should I Choose?

The choice between AMD and Intel is not clear-cut. Both companies offer products that may be better or worse in a wide range of scenarios. So, you’ll need to research the processors you’re buying before deciding which is better for your use case. Let’s examine some factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your next CPU.

Single vs. Multi-Core Performance

amd vs. intel
Single-core vs. multi-core performance is a huge consideration when buying a new CPU.

You’ll want to assess whether the tasks you’ll be doing are better for single or multi-core performance. Single vs. multi-core performance is like having two highways with different speed limits and lane counts.

Highway A has a speed limit of 80 miles per hour and eight lanes, but Highway B has one of 140 miles per hour and two lanes. If you have one fast car, you’ll be better served on B, but a fleet of trucks would do better on A.

You’ll need to know what programs you want to use to see whether you’ll do more single- or multi-core tasks. Things like gaming tend to do better in single-core performance, while productivity tends towards multi-core performance. However, optimizing your choice to be able to do both is also an acceptable way to build your computer.

Price

You’ll also want to put heavy consideration into your ideal price point. While AMD and Intel CPUs have largely evened out, some models still carry premium pricetags for both companies. The higher-end AMD processors, such as the 7950X3D, carry hefty fees that might be unworkable for some users. 

Additionally, users who want to overclock their Intel chipsets will have to pay extra to buy one of the K-series processors, as these are the only Intel CPUs that can be overclocked freely.

Overclocking or Underclocking

Consider whether you plan to overclock your processor. Overclocking artificially increases the clock multiplier to achieve faster speeds on your CPU while increasing the resource draw and component stress.

Overclocking is only possible on some Intel chipsets. Most Intel CPUs have locked multipliers, meaning the user cannot adjust them. However, the K-series Intel processors have their multipliers unlocked. So, the user can artificially increase or decrease the clock speed.

Nevertheless, almost all AMD chipsets can be over or underclocked. So, if you’re looking to overclock specifically, you may want to consider an AMD processor because you’ll have more options.

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