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AMD Ryzen vs Intel – Which CPU Brand To Pick for Gaming Guides

When choosing a CPU, brand matters. Find out which CPU is best for you with this AMD Ryzen vs Intel comparison.


Performance-wise, AMD Ryzen and Intel Core CPUs are similar. AMD Ryzen processors perform better at multi-tasking, while Intel Core CPUs are faster at single-core tasks.

Ryzen CPUs tend to offer better value for money.

Choosing the right hardware for your new gaming PC is never easy. A brand is an important consideration before settling on a particular model of hardware.

The two major players on the desktop CPU market are AMD and Intel. In spite of the latter’s undisputed lead throughout the 2010s, the situation has drastically changed in the last few years.

The first AMD Ryzen processors were a long-awaited return to form for “Team Red.” It’s now 2021 and the third generation has proven to be a strong competitor for Intel’s 9th generation Core CPUs.

What is the best CPU brand for gaming in 2021? That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this guide.

The Recent Years

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In general, Intel was seen as the premium choice due to its superior technology and better overall performance, especially in the high-end market. On the other hand, AMD offered more affordable solutions that relied on raw power to compete with Intel.

Even though AMD had managed to keep up overall, things took a turn for the worse after 2013. AMD had released its FX series of CPUs, which offered not only high core counts (for the time) but also great overclocking potential and high clock speeds.

When they first came out, they were very viable options. Years passed, and AMD had nothing new to offer. As a result, the technology stagnated, quickly falling behind Intel, whose CPUs kept improving year after year. 

The FX series was soon relegated to powering entry-level and, occasionally, mid-range gaming systems. The AMD A-Series APUs, on the other hand, were only found in basic computers and weren’t intended for gaming. The only flicker of hope for AMD was the upcoming “Zen” architecture that had been in the works for years during AMD’s downward spiral.

In 2017, it finally happened. Here we are in the present day.

Enter AMD Ryzen

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Based on the architecture, the third generation of Ryzen CPUs is available. It is fabricated with a 7nm process and includes a range of versatile solutions at every price point.

Ryzen CPUs can be categorized into five groups:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 – A good chip for entry-level PCs that offers good performance at remarkably low prices.
  • Ryzen 5 – Mid-range CPUs that offer great value for money and are suitable for many gaming builds.
  • AMD Ryzen 7 – Performance-oriented solutions that will be at home in the majority of high-end gaming PCs.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 – Enthusiast-level performance at an astronomical price, but usually overkill for gaming.
  • A CPU with a monstrous number of cores that offers unrivaled performance, intended for high-end workstations.

AMD has been able to offer more powerful solutions year after year at very good prices since 2017, giving Intel a run for its money. Liquid VS Air CPU  As a result, many gamers left Intel for AMD.

But more specifically, how do the latest Ryzen 3rd generation CPUs compare to Intel’s 9th generation Core processors?

AMD Ryzen vs Intel Core

Clock speeds

AMD’s more robust architecture had allowed their processors to reach higher base clock speeds during the days of FX CPUs. Currently, the situation is a little different, as the two are more or less evenly matched in this regard.

Despite this, clock speeds displayed on paper are a very poor indicator of any processor’s performance. They can be misleading, especially in this day and age, where you won’t find a gaming CPU with a base clock speed lower than 3 GHz.

Overclocking

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AMD processors, as we have already mentioned, used to be known for their overclocking capabilities. It’s true that all Ryzen CPUs are unlocked and can be overclocked, provided that the motherboard chipset actually supports it.

On the other hand, not all Intel CPUs are unlocked. The only models that can be safely overclocked are those marked with a “K” at the end of the model number. RTX 2070 Super While there are ways to overclock Intel CPUs that are not unlocked, doing so is generally not recommended due to the risk of hardware damage.

Inevitably, overclocking performance will vary from model to model, though Intel CPUs currently hold the advantage in this area. 

High-end Intel CPUs can be overclocked further than their Ryzen counterparts, resulting in better single-core performance. Most builds won’t be affected by this, but enthusiasts who want as much performance as possible out of their CPU should keep this in mind.

Core Count

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The high core counts found in AMD’s FX CPUs have helped AMD remain relevant even after the Piledriver architecture became outdated. The high core and thread counts of Ryzen CPUs were also one of their selling points at launch, especially since they outperformed nearly every model that Intel offered at the time.

How will the core and thread counts compare in 2021?

Firstly, let’s quickly touch upon the subject of multithreading and hyperthreading.

These two technologies belong to AMD and Intel, respectively, but they are fundamentally the same thing – multithreading/hyperthreading CPUs have cores that can handle two tasks simultaneously, greatly enhancing the ability to multitask.

As an example, if a CPU has four physical cores and multithreading, it has a total of eight logical cores, or threads.

As we compare the 3rd generation Ryzen with the 9th generation Core CPUs, it becomes immediately evident that all of the mainstream Ryzen CPUs feature multithreading, while only the Intel Core i9 models offer hyperthreading. Maxnomic vs DXRacer – Gaming Chair in April [2021]

Here you have a brief overview:

  • Ryzen 3 CPUs have four cores and eight threads, while i3 CPUs have four cores and four threads.
  • Ryzen 5 CPUs have 6 cores and 12 threads, and i5 CPUs have 6 cores and 6 threads.
  • Ryzen 7 CPUs have 8 cores and 16 threads, while i7 CPUs have 8 cores and 8 threads.
  • Finally, the Ryzen 9 CPUs have 12 cores and 24 threads, while the i9 CPUs have 8 cores and 16 threads. 

Therefore, AMD definitely holds the lead when it comes to thread counts and multitasking, but Intel hopes to close the gap with the all of which feature hyperthreading.

Performance

In terms of multitasking, Ryzen is the best, while Intel Core CPUs are slightly better on single-core performance.

you may also like: Optimum Temps for CPU and GPU While Gaming in [2021]

So, which one is more important for gaming?

There isn’t really a straightforward answer to that. In the past, games didn’t often take advantage of multiple cores since multi-core processors weren’t all that common. However, things have changed. It’s a different story in 2021, when mainstream CPUs will have very high core and thread counts.

Many developers are now optimizing their games to take full advantage of these high thread counts, resulting in noticeable performance gains in some games.

In any case, the exact performance benefits will inevitably be different from model to model and from game to game, so generalizations are impossible.

Compatibility

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The socket and the chipset are the two most important factors to consider when it comes to motherboard compatibility.

In other words, the socket is just what it sounds like: the slot in which the CPU is placed and through which it interfaces with the motherboard. If the CPU can fit in the socket, then it will be compatible with the chipset, though cheaper chipsets will lack some of the features found on more expensive chipsets.

In addition, not all chipsets support overclocking. Additionally, they differ in a few other ways, such as the number of ports and connectors, and additional technologies such as Intel Optane or AMD StoreMI.

Currently, all Ryzen CPUs (excluding Threadripper models) use the AM4 socket, which was designed to ensure compatibility. In terms of chipset features, you can find 

At the same time, the latest Intel CPUs use the LGA 1151 socket, which was introduced in 2015, but has since undergone numerous revisions that make backward compatibility difficult.

Nonetheless, AMD has the upper hand in this regard as well, since it is easy to swap out CPUs without worrying about compatibility.

Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs will use a new   socket. Thus, those who wish to upgrade will need a brand new motherboard, though it remains to be seen how Intel will handle this issue in the future.

Meanwhile, the AM4 socket will be replaced by the AM5 socket in 2021 with the launch of the 5th generation of Ryzen CPUs, so it will still be relevant then.

Conclusion

And now, the answer you’ve all been waiting for.

AMD Ryzen is our favorite gaming processor at the moment, but it remains to be seen if the situation changes anytime soon.

So, why Ryzen?

There is no question that they aren’t better in every aspect, but while high-end Intel CPUs are often the better choice for enthusiasts and some professionals due to their overclocking ability and superior single-core performance, Ryzen offers so much more for less money when it comes to gaming.

In addition to offering more threads and comparable gaming performance, they are also slightly less expensive. In addition, upgrading to a newer CPU is much easier since you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues (although AMD will be replacing the AM4 socket with the AM5 in 2021).

The cherry on top is that AMD’s stock coolers are also much better than what Intel offers. Ryzen is thus a better and more cost-effective solution, something that many gamers will appreciate.

Having said that, Intel’s CPUs are still a viable choice – as mentioned earlier, Intel’s CPUs have better single-core performance and they overclock better as well, so they are still viable choices for high-end builds.

Currently, they don’t exactly offer great value for the average gamer, as they can seem overpriced and their compatibility issues are a turn-off for many of us.

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