If you've been venturing into electronics stores looking for a new desktop or notebook, you may have noticed that the vast majority of models sold use processors from Intel or AMD. The former is certainly more famous, but it is not uncommon to find the second on the market.
But, after all, what is the difference between Intel and AMD? Is it true that one simply better than the other? But what about the price, which one is the most cost effective? Read through the paragraphs below to understand all you need to know about the processors of each brand at once.
Intel is certainly the most popular processor brand in the world. More recent surveys indicate that the company accounts for over 80% of the world's CPU market, while AMD is a distant second. What is the reason for this success anyway?
In general, it is easy to argue that Intel processors perform better in some key respects. While AMD chipsets have more processing cores, Intel chipset cores are faster and more efficient individually. This, however, is not an inflexible rule: there are AMD processors that perform better than Intel's, but not many.
Proof of this are benchmark tests such as CPUBoss. In direct comparison, an Intel Core i7-6700K easily beats an equivalent of AMD, the FX-9590. In terms of specifications, this finding is not obvious at all. Intel's chipset is a 4 GHz quad-core, while AMD's is a 4.7 GHz octa-core. Still, the performance of the first higher.
This is mainly due to Intel's years of research and development investment in its chip architecture. Intel processors also tend to be more "flexible" in terms of compatibility with different motherboard models, which makes it easier for PC makers – and enthusiasts to build their own machines.
The downside is that invariably most high-performance Intel processors are also more expensive than AMD's with similar specs. In a quick search for Brazilian retail, it is possible to find Intel chips costing from $ 300 to almost $ 10,000. AMD games can be purchased by anyone between $ 130 and $ 2,000 to spend.
As we have already commented, many of AMD's processors are cheaper than Intel's, which guarantees a company advantage in this regard. It is important to remember that "cheaper" does not necessarily and not always mean that the processor has poor performance. It may not be as good as a rival, but it certainly should not be bad.
If you just compare prices, you see that an AMD Athlon X4, which can be found at around $ 300, has a better overall performance (according to CPUBoss tests) than an Intel Pentium of the same price range. If you want to save money on the processor, AMD models are often more cost-effective.
Another point where AMD usually gets the better of its products' integrated video card. According to CompuBench benchmark tests, for example, an AMD A10 7870K, which costs about $ 700, has a much better graphics performance than an i5-6400 that costs about the same. That is, in more basic games, AMD processors are also more advantageous.
The downside of AMD products – and also one of the main criticisms of business users – has to do with their energy efficiency. Branded processors consume more power on average than competitors, and get hotter more often. Much of this is due to the higher number of cores, which makes heat dissipation more complicated.
A PC with a high-end AMD processor therefore requires a better cooling system – which can make the final package a little more expensive than if you had purchased an Intel processor. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that AMD has good options for those who want to save money, but not without some disadvantages.
Is it possible to say that one better than the other? The short answer would be: no. Intel and AMD have advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day it all depends on what you as a consumer value most when buying a computer or processor to build or upgrade your own PC.
Intel makes many processors that are faster and more efficient, at least in most price categories; while AMD has processors with better integrated GPUs and more cost-effective, at least among the cheapest models. It is worth comparing chipsets of similar value from the two brands before buying.
Other details not included in this article, such as the possibility of overclocking and compatibility with motherboards, may also help to unbalance the dispute. In the end, a processor does nothing on its own: a good PC also needs several other hardware components to display good performance.
It is important that you avoid betting all your chips on the most famous brand, because this is not always indicative of quality. Both Intel and AMD have products capable of meeting different consumer profiles. Just first decide which one is yours.
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