AMD vs Intel, which processor is right for you?
This pandemic has seen a boost in some markets but nothing comes close to the PC parts boom of 2020. Everyone has been stuck at home and it has never been a better time to get into PC building or gaming. It looks great on any resume and allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride while also just giving you something to do. Thousands of people have gotten into building their own PC but when starting you are faced with one daunting decision, AMD or intel.
For anyone who is unsure, AMD and intel are both brands that specialise in making computer processors, one of the defining and most expensive parts of your system, picking your processor determines what motherboard you get and how good your PC will run. It’s a classic red vs blue battle and in this article we will go through how their entry level (low tier) and mainstream (mid tier) processors compare with each other. There are more expensive and powerful processors but it would be unwise to spend so much on a first processor especially if you are unsure what you really want, the mainstream processors will easily be able to handle gaming or normal everyday computer tasks with little effort.
First some basic information as it’s very very easy to get confused within the seas of g and x b450 and cores etc. The processor’s names can become quite complex but a good rule of thumb is that the higher the number the better the processor, so the intel i9 is better than the intel i7 which is better than the intel i5 and so on. This applies to both companies so the ryzen 5 is better than the ryzen 3. Ryzen is the name of AMD processors and is the most new on the pc parts scene. I’ll be running through their specs and ending it off on who I believe will give you the best deal.
We’ll start from the entry level and move up to the more specialised processors. AMD comes swinging strong with their Ryzen 3000 series processors. There is the 3100 and the 3300x, each with 4 cores and supporting ddr4 dual channel RAM. The 3300x is a bit more expensive than the 3100 at around £89.00 but has the upside of a 4.3GHz overclock compared to the 3100 3.9GHz. This highlights one of AMD signature strengths, all of its processors are overclockable allowing the user to boost its setting for higher performance. Intel however is lacking quite a bit behind in the low end entry level market as there core i3 will let you run web browsers, Office applications, media software and low-end games; one of these will be ample but don’t expect a Core i3 processor to handle content creation, serious photo-editing or video work. It comes with 4 cores and a max locked 3.4GHz frequency, sorely lacking behind AMD. If you’re looking to go into an entry level PC building, then AMD 3000 series definity will give you the most bang for your buck.
Now onto the mainstream, the most common and most likely processor you are looking for. Unless you want a pc powerful enough to edit movies while downloading 50 applications at the same time, you most likely want to be going for these modestly priced yet powerful processors and if you are looking for something that powerful I recommend researching into Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX or intels i10 series that is newly releasing.
Now that the millionaires have left, we can get to the parts that are quickly being sold out and resold at a much higher price to naive people wanting to get into PC building by those previously mentioned millionaires. This category is quite contested and both companies’ processors are quite evenly matched. Intels has its i5 series while AMD has their Ryzen 5000 series. If your priority is gaming they will both do a good job but these processors aren’t designed for intense work. There are 6 different ryzen 5 processors and many more different i5 processors so for simplicity sake I will be comparing the ryzen 5 3600 with the intels core i5 10600k as there the best in the mid tier category however i understand that these are a bit more on the pricy end of the spectrum so if price is a concern I recommend the Ryzen 3400g as it comes with inbuilt vega 11 graphics which is suitable to run any mid tier games and is a good replacement until you can get a dedicated graphics card.
Intel core i5 10600k has 6 cores and 12 threads with a boosted clock of 4.8GHz while The Ryzen 3600 has 6 cores and 12 threads with a boosted overclock of 4.2GHz. It may look like intel is the clear winner here ,which it completely is, if you’re looking just at specifications but the i5 is £185 while the Ryzen 5 is £127. This is where you be honest with yourself, look at your budget and see if you spend the extra on the Intel processor however it does come without a cpu fan so remember to get one if you go down this road. Both processors will do everything you need. Both the i5 and 5000 series have many different processors so if these don’t sound right there are many more options.
Hopefully by the end of this you have come to hate processor naming conventions as much as I do and more importantly understand what you want to get. I highly recommend researching more into this topic, looking at videos and specification comparisons, the more knowledge you gain the better your experience will be and the smoother your upgrade path will become down the line, now there’s only one real question left, are you team red or team blue?