Question I always had Intel CPUs. Convince me about AMD.

Nov 11, 2019
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Hi there!

So I'm looking forward to build a new rig for gaming. Playing games in 1080p (21:9, 144Hz monitor) and then later in 1440p possibly will be in the focus. I'm planning to use this setup for the next 4-5 years and I am thinking of spending quite a lot of money, so high-end but not NASA-killer setups are in the talking (i5-9600k, i7-9700k, RTX2080-ish GPU).

I always had Intel processors but I am aware that AMD once again became a heavy-hitter, real-deal in the business. I am glad and everything but it is hard to let loose my initial discomfort of changing manufacturer and platform. However I am willing to do it considering that there are more than enough valid reasons behind it. Although emotions play a part and I surely can't really miss with an i7 or i5, nor can I with a Ryzen 5 (3600 and X) or Ryzen 7 (3700X).

So please, try to convince me buying a new rig with AMD architecture! But please keep in mind: framerate and longevity are the two key factors. I am not really interested in things like faster video export or faster times in WinRAR :D

Thank you :)
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
If you can hold off a few more months for Comet Lake CPUs (assuming they don't get delayed), you should be able to get quite a bit more value per dollar than current-gen mainstream Intel CPUs with i5 gaining HT to get up to par with AMD's 3600(X). The same thing will most likely apply to Intel's i7 too.

Intel's current value-per-doller is horrible compared to AMD's 3rd-gen.

I can't blame you for having lingering doubts about AMD's reliability, I have been less than impressed with how AMD has consistently needed 3-4 months after CPU launches to sort out system-breaking AGESA bugs, strongly suggesting that AMD is launching products 3-4 months premature.
 
Nov 11, 2019
23
3
15
0
If you can hold off a few more months for Comet Lake CPUs (assuming they don't get delayed), you should be able to get quite a bit more value per dollar than current-gen mainstream Intel CPUs with i5 gaining HT to get up to par with AMD's 3600(X). The same thing will most likely apply to Intel's i7 too.

Intel's current value-per-doller is horrible compared to AMD's 3rd-gen.

I can't blame you for having lingering doubts about AMD's reliability, I have been less than impressed with how AMD has consistently needed 3-4 months after CPU launches to sort out system-breaking AGESA bugs, strongly suggesting that AMD is launching products 3-4 months premature.
Thank you for your answer!

Well, I don't really want to start this waiting game since there are always new line of products ready to be launched at any given moment, so if I wait a few more months (and if Intel magically doesn't delay this again) then someone would say that if I wait a few more, I'll be able to buy RTX30xx series and this goes on...

This is interesting you said about AMD that they have issues with reliability. My concerns come from the past when AMD lacked pretty far behind Intel. They CPUs generated crapton of heat, had horrible electricity consumption and generally had way worse performance in games.
However they look OK today. But I'll dig into this AGESA bugs...frankly, I've never heard about them.
 
Nov 11, 2019
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It's your money, throw it at any Intel you want to. Smart money goes to Ryzen, I had enough of Intel giving less for more money every year after year.
Yeah, but how it is "less" when looking on benchmarks it is always more. I get it is not as efficient framerate/money-wise, but still, that is one argument. Are there any others?
 

ScrewySqrl

Champion
Moderator
Here's the thing: Those Benchmarks never have all the security patches installed for things like Meltdown and Spectre, and so on.

Those fixes slow Intel chips down a lot more than AMD chips, if only because AMD doesn't need as many fixes. So those cases where Intel shows a slight lead over the (usually less expensive) AMD Chip, AMD is probably a little ahead of the Intel in real-world use.

As for 'catching up to AMD,' Intel has already admitted that it will be 2021 before they really have an answer to Ryzen -- that's 2 years away.
 
Nov 11, 2019
23
3
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Here's the thing: Those Benchmarks never have all the security patches installed for things like Meltdown and Spectre, and so on.

Those fixes slow Intel chips down a lot more than AMD chips, if only because AMD doesn't need as many fixes. So those cases where Intel shows a slight lead over the (usually less expensive) AMD Chip, AMD is probably a little ahead of the Intel in real-world use.

As for 'catching up to AMD,' Intel has already admitted that it will be 2021 before they really have an answer to Ryzen -- that's 2 years away.
Appreciate your answer, thx!
 

Rdslw

Estimable
Aug 1, 2017
1,543
41
3,540
312
I'm with ya. If anything AMD = Intel these days. The core race is over exaggerated.
it all depends how you use it.
there are 4 places where AMD wins.
  1. security
  2. work
  3. power-efficiency
  4. money
for eveything else, they are even.
People are hyped, because nothing good appeared for YEARS. I still use 3'rd gen and its fine.
There were no compelling reasons to go up since 2'nd gen and its just a fresh new stuff.

AMD can do same workload in 60% of energy and money used. That's it. you just get same thing with same performance for almost half the price.

I still cannot find any nanoATX board with am4 I want for "smart" TV/console so its not all roses in RED team
 
Some thoughts:

Look at the specs of those posting. For the most part, you will find advocates of amd or Intel correspond to what the poster owns. Justification for their decision, I think.
From that, put me in the intel camp. But, since I am perfectly happy and not looking to upgrade, you can discount that.

If you have a need today, buy today. If you wait for the next best thing, you will wait forever.

Today, intel 9th gen and ryzen 3000 have about the same IPC(instructions per clock)

Intel K suffix processors can usually run at 5.0 clock, sometimes on all cores. ryzen comes mostly overclocked already, with a max near 4.7, and not on all cores. I suppose that is a ding on amd, not a plus.
AND typically runs both cpu and gpu products near it's overclock limits withothout headroom.
In a way, that is a plus since you need not be concerned with overclocking.
OTOH, intel 9th gen K processors on a Z390 motherboard can use the Intel performance maximizer app to generate the optimal overclock.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-cpu-auto-overclock-performance-maximizer,6179.html

ryzen gives you more threads per dollar. Once you get past about 6, the effectiveness of more threads goes down for gaming. Most games depend on the performance of the single master thread.
The exception might be multiplayer games with many participants. If that is what you do exclusively, then look at ryzen.
An interesting theory on clock vs threads might be amdahl's law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law

Yes, I am a bit concerned about reports on ryzen motherboard chipsets, but they will be worked out in time.

One concern for ryzen is the dependency on ram.
Not all ram is compatible and ryzen performs better with faster ram.
OTOH, intel real app performance is not much impacted by ram speeds. A plus for Intel.

Where are you coming from?
You want the cpu upgrade to be a significant one.
One rule of thumb for a balanced gamer is to budget 2x the cost of the cpu for your graphics card.
If you are looking at a RTX2080 class card, I might think that a i7-9700K would be about right.
Few games are going to effectively use more than the 8 threads. I do not see a i9-9900KS as a good option if you are on any sort of a budget.

Spend the difference elsewhere.
A good pcie m.2 drive for instance or for a case you love.
 
Reactions: JQB45
Here's the thing: Those Benchmarks never have all the security patches installed for things like Meltdown and Spectre, and so on.
That's mostly false. Any reputable review has those mitigations installed, especially if it's 9th gen.

Here's what I don't like about this year. AMD X570 boards need a chipset fan because the chipset is/was half baked. B550 is soon to release. Is it still that OCing Ryzen disables idle frequencies? (what is this? 1990?) Intel is obviously late on their much needed 10nm chips.
 
Last edited:
Thank you for your answer!

Well, I don't really want to start this waiting game since there are always new line of products ready to be launched at any given moment, so if I wait a few more months (and if Intel magically doesn't delay this again) then someone would say that if I wait a few more, I'll be able to buy RTX30xx series and this goes on...

This is interesting you said about AMD that they have issues with reliability. My concerns come from the past when AMD lacked pretty far behind Intel. They CPUs generated crapton of heat, had horrible electricity consumption and generally had way worse performance in games.
However they look OK today. But I'll dig into this AGESA bugs...frankly, I've never heard about them.
The only reason he's telling you to wait is because this will be Intels first response to recent AMD Ryzen competition in over a decade. IMO this is the one exception to the waiting game.
 

Newtonius

Prominent
Sep 25, 2019
573
104
690
48
What should really persuade you is your intended usage and a little bit of self-research.

When I was planning on making my next build with the 9900K, AMD came out of nowhere with the zen 2 line-up. I was only going for the 9900K because of the price -to-performance it offered for multi-purpose work. I like programming, video editing, photo editing, gaming, recording and compressing. So I needed a power house cpu at a reasonable price to do everything as quickly as possible. At the time, the 9900K was the best at a consumer range.

But the 3900x came out and showed everybody the magnificent performance it can give out compared to intel's best. So I bought it since it was the SAME PRICE as the 9900K, with the bonus of being new lithography/architecture (newer is always better). And let me tell you I have never wondered what a 9900K would be like. I get all my work done and constantly upload and create new content at such a fast pace that I don't know what to make next, but whatever I wanted I definitely could.

That was my reason to get a 3900X, you just need to know what you want from your money and with research you'll personally convince yourself either AMD or intel. It's not a choice of which brand is better ethically, but what YOU get out of it for your needs.
 
the AMD vs intel race was relevent back in the AMD FX days but with ryzen CPU's basically having the same performance as their intel counterparts it not really anymore. but id probobly stick with intel if the build i was getting in the end cost the same and within a budget
 
Nov 11, 2019
23
3
15
0
Some thoughts:

Look at the specs of those posting. For the most part, you will find advocates of amd or Intel correspond to what the poster owns. Justification for their decision, I think.
From that, put me in the intel camp. But, since I am perfectly happy and not looking to upgrade, you can discount that.

If you have a need today, buy today. If you wait for the next best thing, you will wait forever.

Today, intel 9th gen and ryzen 3000 have about the same IPC(instructions per clock)

Intel K suffix processors can usually run at 5.0 clock, sometimes on all cores. ryzen comes mostly overclocked already, with a max near 4.7, and not on all cores. I suppose that is a ding on amd, not a plus.
AND typically runs both cpu and gpu products near it's overclock limits withothout headroom.
In a way, that is a plus since you need not be concerned with overclocking.
OTOH, intel 9th gen K processors on a Z390 motherboard can use the Intel performance maximizer app to generate the optimal overclock.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-cpu-auto-overclock-performance-maximizer,6179.html

ryzen gives you more threads per dollar. Once you get past about 6, the effectiveness of more threads goes down for gaming. Most games depend on the performance of the single master thread.
The exception might be multiplayer games with many participants. If that is what you do exclusively, then look at ryzen.
An interesting theory on clock vs threads might be amdahl's law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law

Yes, I am a bit concerned about reports on ryzen motherboard chipsets, but they will be worked out in time.

One concern for ryzen is the dependency on ram.
Not all ram is compatible and ryzen performs better with faster ram.
OTOH, intel real app performance is not much impacted by ram speeds. A plus for Intel.

Where are you coming from?
You want the cpu upgrade to be a significant one.
One rule of thumb for a balanced gamer is to budget 2x the cost of the cpu for your graphics card.
If you are looking at a RTX2080 class card, I might think that a i7-9700K would be about right.
Few games are going to effectively use more than the 8 threads. I do not see a i9-9900KS as a good option if you are on any sort of a budget.

Spend the difference elsewhere.
A good pcie m.2 drive for instance or for a case you love.
Ok, so I'm from Hungary. Country is on the expensive end of computer parts due to ridiculous VAT and other stuff. But it is what it is. My budget is limited, although I'm quite lucky as I'm still willing to pay a lot (compared to the avg. wages here at least). The reason behind the stronger GPU is that most tests and people say it is better to invest into a GPU rather than a processor. For example in my currency, i5 and Ryzen 5 are all roughly 75-80k, i7 and Ryzen 7 are 110-120k. That 40k makes the difference between a 2070s and (almost) a 2080S.

Another thing is that most people believe that 6 cores without HT will be insufficient later on - and I'm planning to hold my ground for at least 3-4 years before another major investment (maybe another 16GB Ram midtime, if I feel the urge). Therefore Intel's i5-9600K is almost out of the picture. Ryzen 5 however is not.

Although I am fairly sure that there's no real bad decision in this case, but I still want to be as objective as I can and if there are more arguments next to AMD then I am maybe willing to change. It's going to be a completely new rig after all (minus the storages).

Lastly, I can't really make up my mind on OC-ing. It just might not be my way of handling things. If all AMD comes pre-OC then it is for the better since I might not even invest into a K processor and a pricy Z370 motherboard...I just think that if I need to OC to get the framerates then the need for a new setup is around the corner anyways, so it would only likely to affect the last year of that rig.

But this answer now looks like as if it was me conviencing myself to buy an AMD :D
 
Just keep up what you're comfortable with. There's really no need to change if you don't want to as AMD's doing well enough as it is.

But if you're interested in supporting the only microprocessor company that's been consistently transformative in the consumer marketspace AND sells modern and fully competitive products at every performance level you might rethink your buying choices.
 
Reactions: RodroX

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Herald
IMO it only makes sense to get Intel if you really want the best high FPS gaming (with a top tier GPU) and you're willing to get a 9700K/9900K, Z390, good cooler, and overclock. A OC'd 9600K also does very well, but if you're worried about running out of threads in the near future then it's probably not an option.

Other than that, I'd get AMD.
 
Reactions: RodroX
Ok, so I'm from Hungary. Country is on the expensive end of computer parts due to ridiculous VAT and other stuff. But it is what it is. My budget is limited, although I'm quite lucky as I'm still willing to pay a lot (compared to the avg. wages here at least). The reason behind the stronger GPU is that most tests and people say it is better to invest into a GPU rather than a processor. For example in my currency, i5 and Ryzen 5 are all roughly 75-80k, i7 and Ryzen 7 are 110-120k. That 40k makes the difference between a 2070s and (almost) a 2080S.

Another thing is that most people believe that 6 cores without HT will be insufficient later on - and I'm planning to hold my ground for at least 3-4 years before another major investment (maybe another 16GB Ram midtime, if I feel the urge). Therefore Intel's i5-9600K is almost out of the picture. Ryzen 5 however is not.

Although I am fairly sure that there's no real bad decision in this case, but I still want to be as objective as I can and if there are more arguments next to AMD then I am maybe willing to change. It's going to be a completely new rig after all (minus the storages).

Lastly, I can't really make up my mind on OC-ing. It just might not be my way of handling things. If all AMD comes pre-OC then it is for the better since I might not even invest into a K processor and a pricy Z370 motherboard...I just think that if I need to OC to get the framerates then the need for a new setup is around the corner anyways, so it would only likely to affect the last year of that rig.

But this answer now looks like as if it was me conviencing myself to buy an AMD :D
I'm afraid you are overthinking it, truth is that top CPUs from both makers are more than enough for any games now and few years in the future. Your goal is to get most value for your money and to sink the difference into GPU and SSDs.
Look at it this way, I9 9900 may have 10% higher frame rates in 1080p gaming over R7 3700x but even 3700x is already 50% stronger than needed for those same games.
 
Reactions: JQB45 and RodroX

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
This is interesting you said about AMD that they have issues with reliability.
I haven't seen complaints about reliability, most of the issues with AMD is premature AGESA version (the CPU and chipset micro-firmware) and premature board manufacturer BIOS causing heaps of unnecessary compatibility and stability issues at launch. Most of those get fixed over a couple of months but many people don't have time to wait for weeks for a BIOS/firmware fix or tons of spare parts to play parts-swapping until they find a combination that boots so the board can be updated to fix issues before the original parts can be used as intended.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Intel has nothing of any lasting value below the 9700k. Currently, cpus are hitting limits on speeds, and have been for a good long while, even FX cpus years ago could hit 5.0GHz, as could 3rd gen Intels. So speeds haven't really changed much at all. That leaves IPC and threads to make up the difference between those older, simpler games and the newer, seriously cpu demanding stuff.

Dual cores are done. Simply cannot handle modern games, devs are having far to much code in multiple strings trying to shove through a cpu all at once. Quads have been in trouble for a while now, basically since GTA V hit the streets. Hex cores will be next, then quads +HT shortly thereafter and all that depends on IPC as well. My old 3770k is still hanging in there, quad+HT, but IPC or lack thereof will drop it sooner as viable vrs a 7700k.

There's already games out that will happily use 10-20 threads if available, recommendations of 32Gb of ram.

The I5-9600k is still no better than the much cheaper i5-9400f, just a little faster, still hex threads. Only the i7 9700k will have any longetivity, even Adobe CC is at 8 threads usage.

Ryzen 3000 series IPC is pretty equitable to 9th gen Intel, speeds are a little lower but less important, more important is the adaptability of 12+ threads. With software devs limited by IPC and speeds, thread count is the easy way out. Get more work done on 2 slower threads than 1 faster thread. That equates to faster processing, be it fps or time taken to render/compile.

Doesn't help Intel any that to effectively use an i9 9900k/s at its full ability requires the largest AIO's or full custom loop.
 
Intel has nothing of any lasting value below the 9700k. Currently, cpus are hitting limits on speeds, and have been for a good long while, even FX cpus years ago could hit 5.0GHz, as could 3rd gen Intels. So speeds haven't really changed much at all. That leaves IPC and threads to make up the difference between those older, simpler games and the newer, seriously cpu demanding stuff.

Dual cores are done. Simply cannot handle modern games, devs are having far to much code in multiple strings trying to shove through a cpu all at once. Quads have been in trouble for a while now, basically since GTA V hit the streets. Hex cores will be next, then quads +HT shortly thereafter and all that depends on IPC as well. My old 3770k is still hanging in there, quad+HT, but IPC or lack thereof will drop it sooner as viable vrs a 7700k.

There's already games out that will happily use 10-20 threads if available, recommendations of 32Gb of ram.

The I5-9600k is still no better than the much cheaper i5-9400f, just a little faster, still hex threads. Only the i7 9700k will have any longetivity, even Adobe CC is at 8 threads usage.

Ryzen 3000 series IPC is pretty equitable to 9th gen Intel, speeds are a little lower but less important, more important is the adaptability of 12+ threads. With software devs limited by IPC and speeds, thread count is the easy way out. Get more work done on 2 slower threads than 1 faster thread. That equates to faster processing, be it fps or time taken to render/compile.

Doesn't help Intel any that to effectively use an i9 9900k/s at its full ability requires the largest AIO's or full custom loop.

intel may know that already. there is a rumour going around the 10th gen core i3-10100 CPU's will come with 4 cores and 8 threads

https://www.extremetech.com/computing/300175-rumor-hyper-threading-comes-to-core-i3-with-intels-10th-generation-comet-lake

so if it is true the 10th gen i3's will be basically the same as the 7th gen i7's
 
I have pc's in the house of every creed. Recently went from my i7 4770k to a 3700x and its been pretty phenomenal. It does not overclock you will be lucky to get the speed it says on the box. But its actual performance for rendering and gaming at 1440p has be down right fantastic. It's a different world where ram speed and temps take priority and its been kinda fun. I dont think upi can lose right now. I dont know anyone buying new parts to play in 1080p so its a great world to be in right now. But if gaming is all you care about and its in 1080p then intel. other than that everything is pretty awesome. one more note sustained transfers on pcie 4.0 have been pretty great but nothing that i think should be mind blowing.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
thread count is the easy way out. Get more work done on 2 slower threads than 1 faster thread. That equates to faster processing, be it fps or time taken to render/compile.
Only if your code does stuff that lends itself well to multi-threading. Many things don't. Code compilers for example don't scale with threads at all since it is practically impossible to thread highly context-dependent stuff especially when the parsing is responsible for building the context it operates on but development environments can get around that to some extent by concurrently compiling and linking different objects as dependencies allow. In games, most code responsible for managing user interactions is a strict sequence of things to do based on user input and game state, not much opportunity for threading there. You can delegate sound mixing, physics and other embarrassingly parallel parts of the game to threads but some significant chunk of the code is still intrinsically serial and needs to complete before the other threads can be told what they need to do.

The only sort of code that threads arbitrarily well is mindless large-scale math.
 
But doesn't AI of other people/creatures/items in a game, if there are more of them, lend itself well to multiple cores/threads?

I am a software developer, but don't work in anything remotely like gaming, so I'm out of my element on that point?
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Intel has without a doubt the fastest single core CPUs still. Multi-core things become more "muddy" in terms of performance crown as Intel is avoiding directly competing products above 8/16 (8 cores/16 threads) Intel is feeling pricing pressure, so they had to lower prices on HEDT. However Intel is still more expensive on these parts when compared against 3900X, 3950X, etc...

To sum up: At a similar performance level, AMD is cheaper and is MORE than adequate for gaming at 4K resolutions. At this point the GPU becomes the bottleneck more than the CPU (Most games)


AMD is likely to support socket AM4 for another generation. So if you get a quality board today (X570), you can upgrade to Ryzen 4000 series. (Zen 3) which is due out next year, and not have to replace your motherboard/memory.
 
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