If you’re a PC lover, hater, or haver, the most underrated part of your entire device is the processor. Although there are several companies that create them, Intel and AMD are the two main contenders in the battle of PC processors.
Obviously, it’s better to wait a couple months to buy a processor rather than the day it hits shelves, because it will be much cheaper anyway.
AMD is almost certainly cheaper than Intel processors, but usually Intel’s are lightning fast, so it doesn’t exactly mean that if you buy an AMD you’re getting the best bang for buck.
AMD’s on-board graphics are usually much better than any of Intel’s integrated graphics, though, and for those in search of very large, multi-core processors, AMD will have much cheaper ones for more or less of the same performance that Intel can offer. For example, AMD’s quad-core 3.9GHz A10-7879K is currently priced at $165, whereas Intel’s quad-core 3.1Ghz Core i5 4440 is priced at $220.
As mentioned, AMD is dominating the graphics scene, which means they are dominating the gaming scene. Back in 2006, AMD bought ATI, a graphics processor firm, and has heavily invested in graphics technology (specifically well on-board, especially for laptops).
Intel has only recently started investing, and it’s important to remember that Intel has only integrated graphics, which mean that AMD’s Radeon graphics system is lightyears ahead. To be fair to Intel, with its newest generation of Core processors, it released Iris Pro technology, which is a huge improvement from the previous HD Graphics system.
Frankly though, if you’re a gamer, you need a dedicated graphics card rather than a mere integrated graphics system. This means that Intel has the edge, because Intel processors have much better performance when put alongside high-end graphics cards.
Intel is killing the performance game. It pretty much rules the PC world in terms of lightning fast, high-end systems. However, once you’ve examine the difference between Intel Core i7 and AMD A10, the differences are pretty minor, but this is really only at this high level. If you compare Intel’s Core i5 4440 to A10-7879K, Intel’s midrange blows it out of the water. It has better single core performance, and overall better performance - and AMD is a year newer.
But if you have a need to speed and you’re always overclocking, than you might want to settle for AMD because it supports this a bit better.
Basically, every computer heats up, even SSDs. Processor heat dissipation is usually discussed in TDP, or Thermal Design Power, which estimates the average maximum heat a processor is going to emit while running (normal software). For AMD’s A10-7879K the TDP is estimated at 94 watts, whereas Intel’s Core i5 4440 is only 84 watts. So Intel knows how to keep its processors a lot cooler, and therefore more efficient. Bonus: Intel’s new Core i7 5775C high-end processor was overclocked to 4.2GHz and still managed to stay under 60 degrees, which is incredibly impressive.
Well, AMD is a lot cheaper, again, it’s not always the best value. If you’re on a budget though, specifically a gamer budget, AMD might be right for you - until Intel drops the price on Iris Pro technology anyways. But if money is no concern at all, Intel is the clear winner: they have better performance, less overheating, and for gamers that can spend the extra money on a graphics card, this is a clear call.
Additionally, for those interested in building their own computers, AMD has only 74 motherboards compared to Intel’s 215.
In the end though, you can pay the $440 for Intel’s Core i7 4790K that races along at a ridiculously 4GHz, but if all you plan to do is work on your spreadsheets, it’s a bit much.
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