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AMD Ryzen vs Intel – Is Ryzen Better than Intel?



When building a gaming rig, it is vital that we pay attention to the smallest detail. Because even a tiny mistake could ruin the whole rig. Right from the display monitor to the type of chair, we tend to pay close attention to everything involved. When building a gaming rig, the CPU is by far the most important. Unfortunately, gamers worldwide have been at loggerheads when it comes to debating between Ryzen and Intel. The rivalry between the two tech giants isn’t new and has been going on since 2017. And judging by the look of things, it doesn’t look like the rivalry’s going away anytime soon. 

Comparing the two in laptops is practically impossible over the last couple of years. This is because no brand builds an identical machine wherein the only thing different is the CPU. While this may be true to some extent, processors such as the XMG Core 15 claims to give equal treatment to both sides. But with everything else the same, determining the best CPU is tough. 

If you’re stuck between choosing between Ryzen or Intel, then you aren’t the only one. Cases like these tend to get less complicated when one has a detailed idea about the specifications and the differences that separates the two processors. But not many do, and this is where we come in. In this article, we will be laying down the detailed specifications about Intel and Ryzen, followed by the critical differences between the two to help you make the better choice.

AMD Ryzen

When AMD rolled out the Ryzen 5000 CPUs, nobody thought it could sustain the volatile market dominated by Intel, but here we are into 2021. AMD has already surpassed Intel’s most premium offerings from 2020. While Intel had the undisputed lead throughout the 2010s, things took a drastic turn when Ryzen announced itself on the global scale back in 2017. But when the Ryzen CPUs first came out in 2017, they quickly went on to become a tough competition for Intel’s 9th generation core CPUs. As time passed, Ryzen, too, came out with their generation processors as it went head-to-head with Intel’s core processors. 

The X570 is AMD’s latest chipset driver, which offers full support to the Ryzen 3000 and 5000 processors. Developed with PCIe 4.0 support, the X570 is perfect for overclockers that offer comprehensive low-level control and complete support for even the most advanced GPUs and storage devices. Chipsets designed for AMD’s AM4 socket assure the fastest DDR4 memory, PCIe 4.0 for NVMe and graphics, plus the first native USB 10 Gbps support. Other AMD chipsets include: 

AMD X570

AMD B550

AMD A520

AMD X470

AMD B450

You can find a brief difference between these chipsets on Devsjournal. Meanwhile, AMD Ryzen CPUs can be divided into five groups, respectively.

  • Ryzen 3: Initially intended towards entry-level systems, the Ryzen 3 is an excellent choice for gamers on budget. It comes with a reliable processor that offers a smooth and efficient overall performance. Overall, the Ryzen 3 is an excellent entry-level CPU that makes PC gaming way more affordable.
  • Ryzen 5: A significant upgrade over the Ryzen 3, the Ryzen 5 CPU comes equipped with a full suite of technology options that drastically elevates your PC’s performance. In simpler words, the Ryzen 5 is a perfect mid-level CPU that offers excellent value for money without compromising on the performance whatsoever. Another standout factor that makes the Ryzen 5 worth is its low power consumption of 65 watts.
  • Ryzen 7: The overall stats indicate a victory for the Ryzen 7 CPUs against Intel’s i7 processors. The Ryzen 5 currently stands as the best CPU for enhanced productivity and provides performance-oriented solutions right in the majority of the high-end gaming PCs. 
  • Ryzen 9: The Ryzen 9 is an enthusiast-level processor with 12 cores that power through gaming, streaming, and many more. The Ryzen 9 is designed explicitly for overclocking and comes with 70 Mb of gaming cache for gaming and overclocking enthusiasts. Though premium-priced, the Ryzen 9 provides the best performance when gaming.
  • Threadripper: Threadripper is Ryzen’s top-of-the-line CPU with multiple cores and an unmatched power-packed performance aimed explicitly at high-end workstations. This heavy-duty CPU is aimed mainly at those who rely on heavily threaded applications and multitasking. 


Latest AMD Processors

Processor NameCoresThreadsMax Boost ClockStatus
Ryzen 9 5950X1632Up to 4.9GHzLaunched
Ryzen 9 5900X1224Up to 4.8GHzLaunched
Ryzen 7 5800X816Up to 4.7GHzLaunched
Ryzen 5 5600X612Up to 4.6GHzLaunched

Intel Core

For years, Intel has held a position at the high table in the computing market. However, it wasn’t until 2017 when AMD first launched Ryzen and announced itself as a staunch competitor to Intel core processors. Over the years, Intel has rolled out new flagship processors at periodic intervals. Intel is known for business and personal use given its superb single-thread performance, powering thin and light laptops with industry-leading CPU performance, discrete level graphics, and smart AI.

Intel’s Z590 is the latest high-end CPU chipset designed to support the newest batch of CPUs. Motherboards fitted with the Intel Z590 chipset are fully compatible with 10th and 11th generation motherboards. This chipset is Intel’s flagship product designed explicitly for Intel’s Rocket Lake 11th generation processors while simultaneously offering backward compatibility to Intel’s Comet Lake processors as well. In addition, the Z590 comes equipped with double-digit single-core and multi-core performance improvements, leading gameplay, and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes for higher bandwidth. Other Intel chipsets include: 

Intel Z590

Intel B560

Intel H570

Intel H510

Intel Z490

Intel B460

Similar to the AMD Ryzen, Intel can be divided into four groups, respectively.

  • i3: Intel’s i3 processor is perfect for entry-level computing wherein you surf the internet, office applications, media software, and low-end games. An i3 processor is less expensive than Intel’s Core M processors and comes with extended battery life in a slimmer form factor.
  • i5: Intel’s i5 processor is designed explicitly for mid-range mainstream users who care about performance, speed, and overall graphics. Along with handling multiple tasks at once, an i5 processor offers excellent support for gaming as well. In addition, the i5 is a great processor for video rendering and editing tasks.
  • i7: The i7 is perfect for those looking for high-end gaming performance. i7 processors tend to have considerably more capability than i5 CPUs and are sufficient for performing multimedia tasks, high-end gaming, and scientific work. Core i7 equipped systems are aimed explicitly at those looking for faster systems. 
  • i9: Intel’s i9 is the topmost model in the list of Intel’s flagship processors and is almost 9.4% faster than Core i7. The i9 CPU comes with Intel’s hyper-threading technology which allows each core to process two threads, resulting in a speedier performance.

Latest Intel Processors

Processor NameCoresThreadsMax Boost ClockStatus
Intel Core i9-11900K/KF816Up to 5.3GHzLaunched
Intel Core i9-11900/F/T816Up to 5.2GHzLaunched
Intel Core i7-11700K/KF816Up to 5GHzLaunched
Intel Core i7-11700/F/T816Up to 4.9GHzLaunched
Intel Core i5-11600K/KF612Up to 4.9GHzLaunched
Intel Core i5-11600/T612Up to 4.8GHzLaunched
Intel Core i5-11500/T612Up to 4.6GHzLaunched
Intel Core i5-11400/F/T612Up to 4.4GHzLaunched


AMD Ryzen Vs. Intel: Comparison

To get a better overview of the key differences between the AMD Ryzen and Intel CPU, here are a few parameters based on which you can decide which one to go for.

1. Chipset

As we mentioned earlier, the Ryzen chipset on multithread performance, makes it ideal for multitasking and running heavy-duty applications such as 3D rendering, virtualization, and video editing. Meanwhile, Intel’s chipset is designed to handled single-core tasks. Thus, while Intel chipsets guarantee maximized performance, they fall short on features compared with the AMD Ryzen chipset.

2. Overclocking

Ryzen CPUs are designed explicitly for multitasking and overclocking enthusiasts. All Ryzen CPUs can be overlocked to the limit. However, not all Intel CPUs are unlocked. As of now, only the models marked with “K” can be overclocked safely. 

Overclocking Intel CPUs is known to cause potential hardware damage. Intel processors can at times clock higher than AMD CPUs but tend to consume tremendous power and battery in the process. Although, Intel processors still offer the best single-core performance and overlock better as well. 

3. Performance

It is challenging to differentiate Intel and Ryzen CPUs based on performance since they offer similar performances. However, Ryzen CPUs are perfect for multitasking, overlocking, and running heavy-duty applications. Whereas Intel CPUs excel at single-core tasks. However, Ryzen’s current Gen 2 architecture has better single-thread performance compared to Intel CPUs. 

Note: The performance tends to vary from model to model (Intel and AMD). Therefore, no generalizations can be made based on performance. 

For example, Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs hold a comprehensive lead over AMD Ryzen’s nine series in terms of single-thread hierarchy but cannot translate those gains over to gaming. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 5000 is 10% faster than Intel’s flagship i9-11900k. 

4. Integrated Graphics

While integrated graphics have been Intel’s specialty so far, they are heavily outnumbered by AMD’s Vega 8 graphics. Some of the current generation Intel chips can reduce overall performance by limiting clocks of the GPU processing clusters. Meanwhile, the Vega 8 and 11 graphics come with boosted clock speeds and graphics engine speeds.

5. Power Consumption and Heat

The critical feature of AMD Ryzen CPUs is their ability to overlock without consuming additional power life. Meanwhile, most Intel processors tend to overclock higher than AMD but consume tremendous power and battery in the process. In addition, AMD processors have a minor manufacturing process and have an increased density of transistors per mm. All this leads to a Ryzen CPU consuming less power and generating less heat than Intel CPUs.  Also, AMD’s stock coolers are considerably better than what Intel has to offer.  

6. Pricing 

Both AMD and Intel have CPUs built explicitly for entry-level PCs along with high-end PCs. However, AMD’s lineup is comparatively cheaper than Intel but offers multi-threaded performance and is equipped with CPU coolers. Meanwhile, Intel CPUs do not provide the best value for money and come across as overpriced despite their compatibility issues. But Intel CPUs are worth it if you are using them in high-end gaming or working environment.  


The Verdict: Is Ryzen Better Than Intel?

AMD and Intel are the two significant players going strong in the current CPU market. While Intel had the undisputed lead throughout the 2010s, the situation might have changed the direction in the past few years. But when the Ryzen CPUs first came out in 2017, they quickly went on to become a tough competition for Intel’s 9th generation core CPUs. 

Going with the general perspective, there is very little that separates the two. However, everyone knows that AMD is better when it comes to multitasking, whereas Intel Core processors are faster when single-core tasks are considered. Although, Ryzen CPUs tend to offer better value for money and offer a compelling value across their entire product stack, especially when we take the performance-per-dollar factor into account. 

Overall, AMD CPUs tend to beat Intel in a head-to-head contest flat out. If you’re looking for a good CPU for your gaming rig, AMD is currently the best option for gaming. Ryzen offers more features for less money as compared to Intel core processors. 

Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.

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