AMD vs Intel: which chipmaker does processors better?

AMD vs Intel: which chipmaker does processors better?

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If you want the best of the best performance with little regard for price, then turn your head towards Intel. 

Not only does the Santa Clara chipmaker rank consistently (albeit only slightly) better in CPU benchmarks, but Intel’s processors draw less heat as well, blessing them with lower TDP (thermal design point) ratings – and thus power consumption – across the board.

Much of this is owed to Intel’s implementation of hyper-threading, which has been incorporated in its CPUs since 2002. Hyper-threading keeps existing cores active rather than letting any of them remain unproductive. 

Even though AMD has implemented simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) in its Ryzen processors, Intel has – for the most part – maintained its place on top in performance benches.

Historically, however, AMD has taken pride in its focus on increasing the number of cores in its chips. On paper, this would make AMD’s chips faster than Intel’s, save for the impact on heat dissipation and lower clock speeds. 

Luckily, the newer Ryzen chips have mitigated a lot of the overheating concerns of the past, so long as you have a decent cooling rig attached.

While it’s not hard to keep an Intel processor cool, because AMD likes to shove as many cores as possible into its silicon, the chips tend to run hotter, meaning you’ll probably have to invest in one of the best CPU coolers to avoid throttling. 

Still, $249 (about £194, $330) for a six-core processor is unparalleled, even if the extra cores are only really beneficial in multi-tasking scenarios like streaming gameplay on Twitch

There’s a huge pool of Twitch broadcasters alone that might find AMD’s Ryzen-series processors more appealing than Intel’s Kaby Lake, although Coffee Lake presents a compelling counterpoint to that argument. 

Now that the Santa Clara company’s own consumer range of desktop-class Core i processors start out with four cores and go all the way up to six, mega-taskers might be tempted by Intel. While it and AMD have loosely achieved performance parity, the battle is now ostensibly over whose chips can do more at once rather than which can do one thing the fastest.

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