Every time you want to buy a traditional laptop or PC you are likely to choose between AMD and Intel processors. Both known as the great CPU manufacturers, making a choice between the two can be challenging. But if you know the difference between the two processors, making a final decision may be a lot easier.

CPU socket

AMD

Intel

Design

Uses pins on its processors, requiring a socket with pin holes

Uses metal contact points, requiring a socket with metal pits

Compatibility

Backwards compatible

Not backwards compatible

Performance

Longer-lasting than Intel

Short-lived than AMD

 

Both AMD and Intel have been creating different sockets to be used by their processors, since the release of the very first CPU. This means only one CPU socket is compatible with a particular processor. But these changed with the launch of the 486 processor and Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) sockets, which is also known as Low Insertion Force (LIF). With ZIF, installing a processor on the socket can be done by just pulling a lever, ensuring that the pins would not be bent.

Backwards compatibility of an AMD socket means a Socket AM3 processor would work with its predecessor Socket AM2+. When Intel changes a processor socket, this usually means changing the motherboard and, sometimes, the RAM.

 

AMD

Intel

Compatible motherboards

74

215

Choosing a motherboard is a bit more complicated, what with the various processor socket designs available. But if you want to have more options, going Intel gives you more choices in terms of motherboards. Motherboard compatibility won’t be much of a problem.

AMD

Intel

Price

Cheaper

More expensive

 

If price is your top priority, then buying a computer with an AMD processor would work in your favor. This doesn’t mean, however, that you get the best value for your money. But AMD gives you better-performing on-board graphics and multi-core processors for a lesser price. Are you willing to sacrifice other hardware specs for the cost?

 

AMD

Intel

Power consumption

Less efficient

More efficient

 

Processor heat dissipation is measured in Thermal Design Power (TDP), which refers to the average maximum heat given off when a processor runs normal commercial software. AMD’s A6-7400K has 65-watt TDP, while Intel’s Pentium G3258 has 53-watt TDP. AMD A10-7870K has 95-watt TDP, while Intel Core i5 4440 has 84-watt TDP. This shows that AMD processors must consume more power to keep up with the performance of Intel processors.

 

It also follows that the cooling factor of AMD is poorer. It heats up much faster, while Intel runs cooler for a longer period.

 

AMD

Intel

Gaming

Good

Good

Gaming is one factor where AMD and Intel is on a level playing field, simply because they are lacking in certain areas. AMD offers excellent low-end gaming because it uses APUs, which combine Radeon graphics and the processor on the same chip. On-die integrated graphics is also used by Intel, but falls short with AMD’s Radeon in terms of performance.

However, Intel chips are a lot faster than AMD. In fact, an Intel Core i3 or i5, which costs similarly as an AMDprocessor, offers fps as high as 30 or 40.

 

AMD

Intel

Performance Speed

Slower than Intel

Faster

 

As already mentioned, an IntelCPU works faster than an AMD, which makes it an ideal choice, if you are into gaming or that you need to process several applications at one time. A computer that lags is both frustrating and infuriating.

AMD

Intel

Overclocking

Consistent

Less consistent

 

If you want to get more out of your CPU’s performance, you only need to increase its clock speed above its normal base rate or fixed clock speed, a process known as overclocking. AMD consistently supports this feature, offering it for as low as $45 with the AMD A-Series APUs. Intel, on other hand, doesn’t offer overclocking on mid-range chips and only has one budget overclocking option. You can overclock the Pentium G3258 at a hefty price of $70. Of course, if you can afford to buy high-end Intel chips, there are several of them that supports overclocking.

Unique technologies used

  • Graphics chips

Some models of Intel and AMDprocessors have integrated graphics chips. This eliminates the need to use a separate graphics chip or graphics card built into the motherboard. AMD’s first generation high-end models can play the latest 3D games in excellent detail without the need for an AMD graphics card running alongside it.

  • Core speed

Both companies have also released six-core (hexa-core) and eight-core (octo-core) processors. AMD has 1 hexa-core model, and 2 octo-cores.

  • Cache

AMD and Intel implements cache differently. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors used in Core i3, i5 and i7 all have LGA1155 socket and has up to four cores each that has Level 1 and Leve 2 cache in each core. Bulldozer (FX) processors of AMD use modules that contain two processor cores each. Each core has a Level 1 cache, while two cores share Level 2 cache at a size of 2 MB. Level 3 cache is shared by all modules.

Since Pentium 4, Intel processors use the Hyper-Threading technology that helps improve parallelization of multiple tasks done simultaneously. This makes the processor faster than ever.

Future aspirations of both companies

Both companies are working to develop processors with lower power consumption than the models that came before them. They are pushing for more efficient processors, but Intel always had an edge over AMD. Intelprocessors have a longer cooling point and continues to do a better job in ensuring the same feature is carried through to the next round of processors.

Conclusion

When shopping for computers, the choice between AMD and Intel is something you will have to make. As if that is not hard enough, you also need to choose one over 600 CPUs. If you are on a budget, AMD is the way to go. If you are after performance and speed, then Intel is the ideal choice. Unfortunately, some of the latest models from AMD can now compete with Intel. So ask yourself: would you go for the low cost of AMD versus the better performance of Intel? Would you go for AMD’s better integrated graphics or Intel’s high-end graphics card?

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