AMD vs Intel: Which CPU Is Best For Gaming (July 2019)
Choosing the right Central Processing Unit, also known as the CPU or processor, is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing the hardware components for your new build because it will ultimately determine what motherboard you’re going to need.
This, in turn, affects the compatibility of each different half.
In this piece, we’re going to discuss some of the main differences between the two gaming CPU brands and what they bring to the table in an easy-to-understand way.
AMD Vs Intel Compression
If you’re looking for a new CPU, you’ll be happy to hear that, currently, there are only 2 major players to choose from Intel or AMD. Lucky for you, these two CPU powerhouses are at war and it’s making processor offerings more powerful and affordable than ever before.
It’s been one-way traffic for as long as I can remember thanks to Intel providing consumers with stand out performers year on year. However, AMD has decided enough is enough.
Since AMD released its first information Ryzen varies we have seen the gap between Intel and AMD scale back significantly.
Since then we’ve seen AMD release a 2nd gen Ryzen chip and we’re now eagerly awaiting the 3rd gen of Ryzen CPU’s which promises to bring new levels of performance.
It’s an exciting time for computer technology as it might be the first time we see AMD go ahead of Intel in the war for CPU dominance.
How To Find Difference Between AMD Vs Intel
To get started, let’s take a look at how we’ll be comparing the two brands.
- Specs. A look at each processor and their specifications.
- Overclocking. Which processors are locked and unlocked for overclocking, and what you will need to do so.
- Upgradability/Longevity. Some processors and motherboards can be used for multiple generations, some only a single generation.
- Value. What each company offers to give you the best value for your money.
- Gaming. What you’re all really here for. Which processor is the best one for gaming?
Can you just show me the benchmarks so I can buy the fastest CPU?
I could benchmark each CPU for each task and throw numbers at you, but that doesn’t tell you which processor is the best for what you need.
Oh, and if you want to see an excessively comprehensive list of all the most relevant processors and how they rank compared to one another, then you should check out our CPU Hierarchy List.
What Are All These Acronyms?
Since this is an article that helps introduce some of the fundamentals about CPUs, how about we very briefly go over some of the terms you’re about to see. Keep in mind, this is a watered down TL;DR of these terms.
Cores and Threads
Cores and threads are both parts of a processor. Cores handle various tasks, so the more you have the more tasks your computer can handle simultaneously. At its most basic, threads also help handle more information.
Clock speed, or Gigahertz GHz
Clock speed, measured in Ghz, is how many cycles your processor runs. So the higher the number, the faster it is getting things done. A higher clock speed means you can handle one specific task better.
XFR speed and TB speed each visit the upper speeds you’ll get your AMD and Intel processor to run, respectively.
Putting it Together
If a CPU was a factory, then having more cores and threads would be like having more workers, so having more Ghz would be like having faster workers. It’s worth noting that all of the CPUs we talk about below have varying levels of speed, cores & threads meaning they all have specific pros and cons.
TDP, or Thermal Design Power
This is a measure of how much heat this component is expected to give off. Despite being measured in Watts, it is not a measure of how much energy it consumes. Instead, it’s used so that you know how much cooling you will need to provide to your computer.
This is perhaps the most simple aspect of the processor. A socket here works like any other socket in that it refers to what it can fit into.
CPUs will solely match onto motherboards that support their socket sort.
In AMD’s corner, we have the Ryzen line of processors.
First introduced in 2017, it was quickly a big hit with the consumer market for its high core and thread count and low cost.
Until the discharge of the Ryzen line, AMD’s hardware lines had been stagnant, and considerably behind Intel on speed and multithreading.
AMD decided to offer higher clock speeds, more threads, and cores in the hope to bridge the gap between themselves and Intel. Even though they were still behind, Ryzen threw AMD back into the competition for the gaming CPU market.
Let’s take a look at what the Ryzen line of processors offers.
Note – All listings are current at the time of article release (July 2019). Prices based on release price and not current market prices that are always in a state of fluctuation