​Which CPU is best: Intel or AMD Ryzen?

Which processor is better in 2019? Intel's Core i7 vs AMD’s Ryzen? Which is the best gaming processor and which CPU should you buy right now?

Credit: IDG

Spec Showdown: How does AMD’s Ryzen CPU compare to Intel’s Core CPU for performance?

Here's a quick table allowing you to quickly and easily see how each AMD Ryzen CPU compares to their Intel counterparts when it comes to hardware specs.

Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen 3

Desktop

Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUs

Mobile

Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) laptop CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) laptop CPUs

Our conclusions

When it comes to desktop CPUs, Ryzen has something of an edge against i3 CPUs - especially if you’re opting for a model with one of AMD’s Vega GPU hardware. In addition, entry-level Ryzen CPUs deliver both greater power efficiency and support for faster memory modules. That being said, the top-line i3 103200 is capable of higher maximum clock-speeds than anything else on the table here. 

Then, on the mobile front, AMD’s Ryzen CPUs emerge as a clear winner. As with the desktop i3 CPUs, Intel’s TurboBoost tech helps them hold onto the crowd for maximum clock speeds. However, beyond that feat, AMD takes front after front here. The current crop of Ryzen 3 mobile processors boast additional cores and a Vega GPU that’s easy to envy.

Intel Core i5 (8th Gen) vs Ryzen 5

Desktop  

Intel Core i5 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i5 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUs

Mobile

Intel Core i5 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) mobile CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i5 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) mobile CPUs

Our conclusions

The Ryzen 5 Desktop CPUs aren’t quite as power efficient as their mobile counterparts and they lack the integrated graphics found in Intel’s Core i5 chips. However, they do offer higher thread counts, larger cache sizes and - in some cases - faster clock speeds. 

One area where they can fall short, however, is in memory expansion. Ryzen 5 CPUs support faster memory modules but they sometimes only support up to 64GB where Intel’s i5 chips are able to go up to 128GB.

On the mobile front, again, Ryzen excelled when it came to power efficiency and graphics rendering. However, it clearly lagged behind Intel when it came to both base and boosted clock speeds and cache size.

Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) vs Ryzen 7

Desktop  

Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) desktop CPUs

Mobile

Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) laptop CPUsCredit: IDG
Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) vs AMD Ryzen (3rd Gen) laptop CPUs

Our conclusions

Though a few caveats apply, we found that the scales really begin to tip in favor of AMD here. Though they might not reach the same highs as Intel’s i7 10700 and i7 10700K, the Ryzen 7 3700X, 3800X and 3800XT all boast significantly higher base performance. 

As opposed to previous generations of Ryzen chipsets, the third generation hardware here also surpasses previous limits to match Intel for 128GB of supported memory. Factor in the cache advantages inherent to AMD’s architecture and the case for choosing a Ryzen 7 CPU over an Intel Core i7 isn’t hard to hear.  

Things were a little closer when it came to Ryzen Mobile. The latest in Ryzen 7 mobile processors can’t match the thread and core count allowed for by Intel’s own Core i7 processors, nor can they keep up when it comes to clock speeds. 

That being said, the Vegas graphics processing grunt that comes integrated with Ryzen 7 easily eclipses what you’re going to get out of Intel’s own stock GPU. If the laptop you’re looking at also features a dedicated graphics card, that’s not necessarily going to be a big deal but, if it doesn’t and you’re keen to squeeze in some gaming, then it’s going to probably be worth siding with AMD here.

Intel Core i9 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen ThreadRipper

Desktop  

Credit: IDG

Our conclusions

If you’re the kind of high performance power user that AMD and Intel are looking to woo with the Threadripper and Core i9 respectively, your preference is ultimately going to come down to whether you think the higher clock speeds available with Intel are worth the higher the thread count, cache size and memory support you’ll get AMD.

Of course, it should also be noted that even the cheapest ThreadRipper consumes twice as much power as its i9 counterpart and that while the latter does include integrated graphics, they aren't any better than what you'll get out of the closest Intel Core i7 processor. 

Which CPU price is best: Intel or AMD?

As always, it should be noted that component pricing can sometimes be quite elastic. The below comparisons have been put together using PCPartsPicker.com.

Intel Core i3 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen 3

Credit: AMD

Depending on where you’re buying them from, Intel’s current crop of i3 CPUs currently range from approximately $206 on the low-end to $406 for the i3-10300. In comparison, AMD’s Ryzen 3 3200G can be had for about around half that at $175 (we’ve seen it as low as AU$138). And when you compare the two, it’s easy to see the value.

Even if it does fall short on clock speed and cache size, Ryzen offers significantly better on-board graphics plus reduced power consumption.You can find it on Amazon here.

Intel Core i5 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen 5

Credit: AMD

Depending on where you’re buying them from, Intel’s current crop of i5 CPUs currently range from around $356 for the i5-10500 to $455 for the i5-10600. In contrast, you can grab a Ryzen 5 2600X for $339 or Ryzen 5 3400G for $240 respectively.

Again, the Ryzen counterparts to Intel’s i5 chips are almost half the price - so, even if they do fall short on certain fronts, there’s a lot of value here. You can find it on Amazon here.

Intel Core i7 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen 7

Credit: Intel

Depending on where you’re buying them from, AMD’s Ryzen 7 CPUs float between $350 and $520. As usual, Intel’s CPUs tend to be slightly more expensive. We’ve seen the i7-10700 go as low as $586. We’ve seen the i7-10900 go as high as $895.

As noted in our theoretical comparison, the latest in Ryzen 7 mobile processors simply can’t match the thread and core count allowed for by Intel’s own Core i7 processors, nor can they keep up when it comes to clock speeds. Depending on what you're looking do with your PC, that might just be enough reasons to pay the premium here

Intel Core i9 (10th Gen) vs Ryzen Threadripper

Credit: Intel

This is the one front where AMD doesn’t have the edge on price. Depending on where you buy from, you’ll probably be able to Intel’s high-end i9 CPUS for as low as $895 and as high as $949.

In contrast, AMD's mighty Threadripper CPUs start at around $2399 and we’ve seen them go as high as $6262. They offer a level of performance that Intel’s i9 hardware can’t match, to be sure. However, no matter how you swing it, that’s higher pricing is a pretty bitter pill to swallow. You can find it on Amazon here.

Next Page: How do AMD Ryzen and Intel compare in practice?

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