Real computer geeks and hard-core gamers know how important the Intel vs. AMD AMD rivalry is to the gaming community. Although they aren’t game makers, these two tech giants have been fueling our hobbies for a long time. And now, their rivalry is reaching new heights because of the innovations happening around their space.
Table of Contents
A little history
Intel was founded in 1968 by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore. A year later, AMD was established with Jerry Sanders as its president. Both companies were focused on designing and developing Central Processing Units (CPUs) for computers.
For those who don’t know, CPUs are the brain of your devices – PC, Laptop, Gaming Consoles, and smartphones. It’s the part in charge of processing all the commands being inputted on your device.
Since its inception more than 50 years ago, Intel has always dominated the CPU market in terms of market penetration and company size. This is because Intel has been ahead in innovations for the longest time.
What made Intel dominant?
Intel’s processor is currently used for more than 60% of computers in the world – double of what AMDs PC penetration numbers are.
The two main reasons why Intel became the most dominant CPU manufacturer in the last 2 decades or so are their chips’ performance and their marketing efforts.
The specs and performance of Intel and AMD’s chipsets have always been close. Intel might’ve had a slim lead through the years, but what made them preferable to consumers was their power management and cooling capabilities.
See, if you’re a common consumer and you’re not really looking for a device with overclocking capabilities, the basic Pentium and Intel i3 and i5 series would be good enough to serve your computing needs.
And even though AMD had a parallel product to these models (some would say more superior because of the overclocking capabilities), consumers opted to use Intel models because they are more energy-efficient and they don’t overheat as much.
Aside from having a good chipset at their disposal, Intel doubled down on marketing their products to mass consumers. They did this by simplifying all the technical jargon, so even the simpletons would understand what they’re buying.
They amplified these efforts with the “Intel Inside” campaign which positioned them as the preferred brand in the space.
On the other end of the spectrum, AMD focused on marketing their products to tech-savvy people who were looking to push the boundaries of their rigs. This is because AMD focused on developing chipsets that can be overclocked (at the expense of power consumption and cooling). This advantage made them more appealing to performance geeks.
Although Intel might be winning the PC market so far, AMD owns the gaming console segment. They’re currently providing the CPUs for both Playstation and Xbox consoles. They’re also making good strides in providing an excellent gaming experience. This has made them significant in the gaming world. Perhaps this will give them the boost they need to catch up to Intel in the PC market, especially now that they’re being more aggressive.
AMD’s rise to significance.
In the last 5 years or so, AMD has started to make some noise for itself in the PC space.
This was driven by their new product line – the Ryzen series which is a powerful, yet affordable chipset that can compete against Intel across the board, and the growth of the PC gaming community.
Although Intel still holds the lion’s share of the market, AMD is slowly chipping away Intel’s lead – taking away 3% of the market share in early 2020.
Now let’s look at how AMD is catching up by comparing the latest CPU line of both tech giants.
Intel vs. AMD Price Comparison
For the longest time, AMD has positioned itself as the cheaper CPU. As a result, most PC and laptop manufacturers used their chipsets for lower-end models of their products. This helped them attract budget buyers who still wanted to have a decent level of performance.
However, with the emergence of their Ryzen product line, they’ve been head-to-head with Intel when it comes to pricing – even going above them in some models. For instance, their top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is currently on the market for $799. This is more expensive than the Intel i9 10th gen processor which is the top-of-the-line processor from their competitor.
As for their entry models Ryzen 3 and Intel i3, the mid-level Ryzen 5 series and Intel i5, and the upper-tier Ryzen 7 and i7, the price differences are negligible with only a couple of dollars in between competing models.
Bottomline in pricing: AMD still has lower pricing in terms of head-to-head battles except for their higher-tiered models.
Intel vs. AMD Specs
Talking about the top-of-the-line models of both brands, the Ryzen 9 boasts a 16-core and 32-thread processor with a 4.9GHz boosted power while Intel has a 10-core and 20-thread 5.3Ghz boosted power chip. Looking at the difference in cores and threads, you can already see why AMD is priced at the $799 mark while Intel’s is only at $488.
The mid-range Ryzen 5 series’s top model carries a 6-core and 12-thread machine with up to 4.6GHz processing power. While the Intel i5 with the same core and thread count has a boost of up to 4.8GHz.
A deep specs analysis by tech experts shows that even though Intel has a slight advantage on boosted processing power, AMD’s advantage on the cores and other components leaves Intel in the dust.
Intel vs. AMD Gaming Performance
As gamers, this is the real test for us because we’re open to investing in parts, as long as we get the best gaming experience.
In the battle of gaming performance, most reviews favor AMD’s processors across the board. This is because of the maximum performance the AMD models have when you max everything out.
The caveat for this is the need for supporting parts such as a high-end graphics card and monitor, so you can fully maximize your CPU’s monster capabilities.
However, in our opinion, most gamers won’t need this extra juice from high-end processors. Meaning, most Intel CPUs are highly serviceable especially if you’re keen on energy efficiency and innate cooling.
Intel vs. AMD for Content Creators
Across the board, AMD has dominated Intel in terms of raw machine performance. This is because they really doubled down on creating powerful machines for their consumers.
If you’re a content creator like us, processing power is important for your productivity especially if you’re running multiple applications at the same time. This would help you stay on the flow without the worry of lags and crashes.
In this regard, AMD’s raw power would be the perfect fit for you. However, if you’re looking for a CPU with an integrated graphics processor, you’d be better of getting an Intel rig.
We have to admit, we’ve been using Intel-powered rigs for the longest time. It’s worked great in serving all our needs as content creators and gamers, and we’re pretty sure you had the same experience too.
But with AMD’s new line of processors, we believe that the game is about to change in the next couple of years. This is because AMD now has a wide variety of products that beat that of Intel in most aspects. It’s also a big help considering how affordable most of their processors are.
How about you, which processor would you be getting for your next rig?