​Which CPU is best: Intel or AMD Ryzen?

 ​Which CPU is best: Intel or AMD Ryzen?

Your CPU has a huge effect on overall performance and, to many, is a computer’s most important component.

Essentially acting as the brain of your computer, the best processors are behind everything your PC does.

In the CPU world, the two main players on the market are AMD and Intel, and everyone who has ever pondered the question of which CPU to pick has also asked themselves

The competition between AMD and Intel CPUs has been going on for decades. Most of that time, Intel has held the lead, but I’m not concerned so much with the past.

Intel 8th and 9th Gen CPUs

Intel’s latest (8th and 9th) generation CPUs (codename Coffee Lake). The first 8th Gen parts came out in late 2017, while the first 9th Gen CPUs arrived one year later on October 2018.

AMD Ryzen CPUs

AMD’s third generation of Ryzen CPUs is here, including the company’s first mainstream CPU to feature 12 cores, the Ryzen 9 3900X.

The company is announcing five new processors as part of the lineup, all with a release date of July 7th.

Overclocking

AMD processors have been known for their great overclocking potential. This holds true in the case of most Ryzen CPUs as well.

Every model is unlocked, meaning that the user is free to overclock them as long as their motherboard chipset supports this.

AMD is normally more generous than Intel in this regard. With an AMD system, you can expect overclocking capabilities from even the $129 (£84, AU$145) Ryzen 3 2200G.

Clock speeds

AMD’s more robust architecture had allowed their CPUs to achieve higher base clock speeds and to have greater overclocking potential than most of Intel’s lineup.

We found that the Ryzen 9 3900X and its 12-cores and 24-threads pushes the mainstream desktop into what used to be the high-end desktop (HEDT) territory.

On the Intel side, the announcement of the Core i9-9900KS, promises all eight cores running at an impressive 5GHz out of the box, which should lead to some fairly substantial performance improvements.

Security

There’s arguably space for a ‘but’ in that statement, such as, ‘but others might end up finding exploits in time’.

However, for the time being, AMD’s chips look safe from the new quadruplet of speculative vulnerability exploits.

To protect Intel CPUs from the MDS exploits, performance-sapping patches need to be applied and in some situations, it’s been recommended that Intel’s Hyper-Threading tech gets switched off until comprehensive fixes are pushed out.

Who wins?

So, which processor is better? When it comes down to it, both rank in their own way.

In terms of value, it’s easy to make the case for AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. You can get an 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 CPU starting at just $160, and that includes a cooler that works well with the CPU.

Both rank in their own way. Single-core performance shows Intel’s i7-7700K scoring higher than the Ryzen 7 1800X, but with multi-core performance, the Ryzen 7 1800X outdoes the i7-7700K.

Their solutions are pricier and more powerful, but the performance boost does not always justify the higher price tag. More importantly, their forward/backward compatibility is a tricky matter.

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