Intel vs. AMD: Which is better for gaming?

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Pizzaman633

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Hey there. I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to the tech world. I'm also in the process of picking out parts for a gaming rig on a $500 budget. I'm stumped on processors. I hear Intel has better performance. Though some AMD processors are faster and have more cores. Which is best?
 

JOOK-D

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For $500 it's unlikely you'll be able to get an intel chip in there (that's the budget for the full PC, not just the CPU right?).

Anyway here's my draft for the difference between the AMD and intel chips, some of it may not apply to you as it is a draft.

The difference between AMD and intel for gaming.
Firstly, you need to decide what your priorities are, and what you will use the PC for.
Things such as: light gaming, heavy gaming, basic work (e.g. MS Office), heavy work (e.g. video editing, 3d modeling).
For the most part in current games the biggest difference will be made by the selection of the GPU. Get a great GPU + worse CPU rather than worse GPU + great CPU.

The AMD FX CPU's have many cores, which are weaker.
intel i5's have less cores, which are stronger.

The intel's consequently have better performance per core. In older games, the intels perform much better as those games are optimised for good performance with only a few cores (single-threading).
In newer games, the AMD FX's really shine due to the introduction of games using more cores (multi-threading).

The difference comes in depending on what you want to use the PC for. If you're on a tight budget, save some money and go with the AMD and spend the extra money on a better GPU that will give you better performance than any CPU could.

i5: Good for older games (single-threaded), Good for newer games (multi-threaded), Good for general work, great all-round CPU and probably the best around for current games (may change in future, see here: http://www.corsair.com/blog/ps4-xbone-pcgaming/ ).
AMD: Slightly worse for older games (single-threaded), Great for newer games (multi-threaded e.g. BF4, Crysis 3), Good for light/heavy work, extra cores are great for 3d modeling and video editing or rendering, great CPU whilst costing much less than the intel. Even though it's worse in older games it will run them perfectly well and smoothly.

Regardless, both will perform well.
For an i5, I would recommend an i5 3570k or a 4670k. Why? They are king for gaming performance at the moment and since they are the k version they are unlocked and can be overclocked in future for a performance boost.
For an AMD, I would recommend a FX 6300/8320/8350 [Do NOT go with a bulldozer CPU, only piledriver. List here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piledriver_(microarchitecture) <-- That should all be one link, not sure why it splits.]. Why? Great multi-threaded performance for newer games and heavy work, are just fine in older games (not overkill, can deliver smooth frame rates maxed with a good GPU), and are great for productivity with a tame pricetag.

Some non-synthetic benchmarks for AMD FX 83xx vs i5/i7:
Gaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4et7kDGSRfc
Gaming and Streaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu8Sekdb-IE
Having shown that, the intel wins 9 times out of 10 in most purely gaming benchmarks as AMD cannot match its per-core performance. Also these particular benchmarks have been scrutinised many a time. If you wish to find out more you can google benchmarks for each processor.


In conclusion, budget gaming/work: AMD. Not on a budget gaming/work: i5. The i5 currently delivers better performance but don't get the impression that the AMD is lagging behind. They are great for gaming and work with a really great pricetag, just not currently up there with intel. In newer games though such as BF4 the AMD's have caught up in performance and in some cases deliver better performance than the intel's for much less money. You will get great, smooth FPS with either.
Either solution will game just fine with a nice GPU, focus mainly on that.
 

JOOK-D

Dignified
For $500 it's unlikely you'll be able to get an intel chip in there (that's the budget for the full PC, not just the CPU right?).

Anyway here's my draft for the difference between the AMD and intel chips, some of it may not apply to you as it is a draft.

The difference between AMD and intel for gaming.
Firstly, you need to decide what your priorities are, and what you will use the PC for.
Things such as: light gaming, heavy gaming, basic work (e.g. MS Office), heavy work (e.g. video editing, 3d modeling).
For the most part in current games the biggest difference will be made by the selection of the GPU. Get a great GPU + worse CPU rather than worse GPU + great CPU.

The AMD FX CPU's have many cores, which are weaker.
intel i5's have less cores, which are stronger.

The intel's consequently have better performance per core. In older games, the intels perform much better as those games are optimised for good performance with only a few cores (single-threading).
In newer games, the AMD FX's really shine due to the introduction of games using more cores (multi-threading).

The difference comes in depending on what you want to use the PC for. If you're on a tight budget, save some money and go with the AMD and spend the extra money on a better GPU that will give you better performance than any CPU could.

i5: Good for older games (single-threaded), Good for newer games (multi-threaded), Good for general work, great all-round CPU and probably the best around for current games (may change in future, see here: http://www.corsair.com/blog/ps4-xbone-pcgaming/ ).
AMD: Slightly worse for older games (single-threaded), Great for newer games (multi-threaded e.g. BF4, Crysis 3), Good for light/heavy work, extra cores are great for 3d modeling and video editing or rendering, great CPU whilst costing much less than the intel. Even though it's worse in older games it will run them perfectly well and smoothly.

Regardless, both will perform well.
For an i5, I would recommend an i5 3570k or a 4670k. Why? They are king for gaming performance at the moment and since they are the k version they are unlocked and can be overclocked in future for a performance boost.
For an AMD, I would recommend a FX 6300/8320/8350 [Do NOT go with a bulldozer CPU, only piledriver. List here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piledriver_(microarchitecture) <-- That should all be one link, not sure why it splits.]. Why? Great multi-threaded performance for newer games and heavy work, are just fine in older games (not overkill, can deliver smooth frame rates maxed with a good GPU), and are great for productivity with a tame pricetag.

Some non-synthetic benchmarks for AMD FX 83xx vs i5/i7:
Gaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4et7kDGSRfc
Gaming and Streaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu8Sekdb-IE
Having shown that, the intel wins 9 times out of 10 in most purely gaming benchmarks as AMD cannot match its per-core performance. Also these particular benchmarks have been scrutinised many a time. If you wish to find out more you can google benchmarks for each processor.


In conclusion, budget gaming/work: AMD. Not on a budget gaming/work: i5. The i5 currently delivers better performance but don't get the impression that the AMD is lagging behind. They are great for gaming and work with a really great pricetag, just not currently up there with intel. In newer games though such as BF4 the AMD's have caught up in performance and in some cases deliver better performance than the intel's for much less money. You will get great, smooth FPS with either.
Either solution will game just fine with a nice GPU, focus mainly on that.
 

Pizzaman633

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Jan 17, 2014
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Thank you very much! The $500 is for the entire tower, including the OS (I already have the peripherals). I will use this computer for gaming (not heavy gaming, but at the same time not light gaming), hosting a small Minecraft server, recording Minecraft sessions, and doing generic computer stuff (i.e. Word, internet browsing, etc.). I also might do some video editing, but nothing really serious. For the record, I am a huge Minecraft fan.
 

Headhigh

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Jan 18, 2014
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Quick little question also since I'm quite a noob to pc gaming...

I intend to solely play 'DayZ Standalone' when I pick one up, could you tell me how well these specs would run it??

Intel® Core™ i5 Processor K5130
8Gb DDR3 RAM
1Tb SATA hard drive
Integrated Graphics
Microsoft Windows 8

Thanks
 

Joelsjet

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Hey if you want to ask a question post your own question, when and if you do I'll be happy to come answer your question, until then stop using other peoples posts.

 

Avro Arrow

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Here's the thing. On this site you will get mostly conjecture and opinion instead of fact and sometimes when you do get the facts, they are presented in a dishonest manner trying to slant you in one direction or the other. I simply speak from my own experience (been building PCs for literally 25 years). Now, I am a gamer, in fact I am a HARD-CORE gamer. Gaming is the main raison-d'etre for me having a PC to begin with. I love running modern games completely maxed-out. Now, if you look at my specs (bottom right of this post), you'll see that my processing components (CPU and GPU) are COMPLETELY made of AMD hardware. The reasons are as follows:

1.) The Intel i5 is a faster gaming CPU, but the difference between the i5-3570 and the FX-6300/8350 is so slight that I can't tell the difference.
2.) The Intel i5 is a faster gaming CPU but only RIGHT NOW. As games (and other programs) become more and more threaded, my FX-8350's performance will INCREASE over time while the i5 will remain more or less where it is. That means that my FX-8350 will be useable and relevant for longer than the current i5 because of this. Remember that the FX series architecture is still relatively new and can only get better with more advanced program designs that can actually use all of it.
3.) The FX-6300 has almost identical gameplay numbers as the FX-8350. I only bought the 8350 because I got an "I can't say no to this" deal on it. The FX-6300 is literally half the price of the i5 and again, runs games more or less the same.
4.) The money I saved with the FX-8350 made it possible for me to get my twin Radeon HD 7970s. No game (except maybe Arma III) is even capable of making these cards break a sweat at max settings. I would have had to get weaker GPUs if I had chosen the i5.
5.) The AMD-based motherboards tend to have more features on them than Intel-based boards but are still less expensive. Now, before people start screaming about 4-channel RAM, just remember how the X58 platform with its 3-channel RAM worked out. It didn't. Before people start screaming about PCI-Express v3.0, remember that the Intel boards that have PCIe 3.0 only run multi-card in x8/x8 mode. Since PCIe 3.0 is SUPPOSEDLY twice as fast as PCIe 2.0, it means that since my 990FX chipset does PCIe 2.0 x16/x16, the speed will be the same.
6.) Remember that both the Xbox ONE and Playstation 4 use 8 AMD cores with AMD Radeon graphics. Console ports will most likely perform better on a similar design. Since most PC games are console ports, this will be a very relevant concern.

Since I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, I chose AMD because I wanted maximum performance for my dollar but still wanted maximum performance. I definitely made the right choice because given the same choice again, I would take the same route and not even think twice about it. Remember that even though Intel looks better on benchmarks, human limitations don't allow us to notice those differences. So much the better, it means we don't have to pay top dollar to get a top-shelf gaming experience from our PCs.
 

Headhigh

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@JoelsJet you are the precise reason forums get a bad name.. A lengthy pointless response.

Anyways thank you too the other 2 for the help! Appreciated
 

GetOwnedGaming

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"Hosting a small Minecraft server, recording Minecraft sessions, and doing generic computer stuff (i.e. Word, internet browsing, etc.). I also might do some video editing, but nothing really serious. For the record, I am a huge Minecraft fan."

What is the ip to the server and your youtube channel?
 

PCnerd21

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Jan 16, 2014
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Thank you so much for this post! I was going to go totally intel, but then I started looking at the price which came to 1300 on PCpartpicker! After reading your post which was the most informative post I've ever read, I decided to go with AMD and get a R9 290! I am excited and it's thanks to you. Keep up the good work, and should I go with the 8350 or an APU with a graphics card?

 

JOOK-D

Dignified


:lol: It's funny how my position has changed with experience of the chips, and time.

I find it very hard to recommend AMD CPU's now, unless you're solely focused on video editing/rendering/encoding and on a very strict budget. The AM3+ socket is essentially a dead-end, it won't be seeing any more updates in the future.

Also, I was previously very optimistic that games were going multi-threaded. It's been months since the new consoles released and there has been no change, so I'd recommend a quad core i5 over an 8 core FX. The fact of the matter is, the FX can only outperform an i5 in possibly 1 or 2 games. That's no reason to go with it, nor is hope that properly efficient multi-threaded workloads becoming the norm.

So, honestly. Grab something like an i5 4590 and a H97 motherboard, it will have you set and outperforming the FX for a long time coming.

If you'd like, you could drop your pcpartpicker build in this thread and I could have a look through it?
 

PCnerd21

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want the Intel build or AMD build?

 

JOOK-D

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Z97, there's no reason not to. It's priced essentially the same as Z87 but should support Broadwell when it releases.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/brCLwP

So I made a few changes. I swapped out the Hero for a Z97 Extreme4 - generally the ROG series are very expensive, and I think a mid-high end Z97 should allow you to achieve what you want without costing an arm and a leg. I put the money saved into a NH-D14 which should give you a far better overclock than the CM Hyper 212 EVO would.

I then changed the R9 290 - you seem to have selected a very expensive one, when you can get them for far cheaper.

I cannot fault the rest of your part choice, though I wouldn't personally spend that much on a case.

Depending on when you order this system, you could potentially wait. The i5 4690k is releasing around the 26th of this month, which will reach higher overclocks than a 4670k.
 

PCnerd21

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Thanks for the help I appreciate it. Just got off work.
 

ONKI

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This is my config

AMD 8350 (stock clock 4 GHz)
GIGABYTE 880FXA UD3
CORSAIR H110
SAPPHIRE R9 280X DUAL X (Stock)
RAM 8 GB CORSAIR XMS3
CORSAIR GS700 PSU
AUSU XONAR D2X Sound Card
HDD WD Caviar Green


my fps I get in gaming is much lower than i5 (games like BF3, BF4, CSGO)
its actually half of what my friend is getting. (i5 3570k, ATI 7950)
 

PCnerd21

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How is the 280 compared to the 290? Is the 290 worth it?
 

ONKI

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Im not at all satisfied with my PC, either its the graphics card problem or the Processor..
frames are sad. AMD says u get better performance if ur resolution is higher..

I play at 1024 x 768 I get 110 fps on bf3 and if I play full HD I get 80. and that also fluctuates a lot.

I am sure 290 x will be better...280 x peacefully sits at 45-60 degrees at Indian heat.
 

Samer Elsoukkary

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Hey, isnt the water cooler better than heatsinks or the vacuum thing. like i heard that the H100i is good
 

nizwald101

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An Intel's integrated graphics aren't going to run DayZ SA at all well. Maybe everything on the lowest settings at about 10-15fps.
 

Toxicfunk314

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Just because you don't get a higher number fps you are completely dis-satisfied with your system? Really? 80 fps is a perfectly acceptable frame rate. That higher number is a perk, nothing more.

Be happy that you saved atleast a hundred dollars by going AMD over Intel and can play the game at over 60 fps.
 

JOOK-D

Dignified


Sorry Meg but you're wrong there.

Throwing insults and calling people irrational doesn't make a statement correct. Multithreading has been a possibility for a long time now, and it's still not well implemented. Games that do use it run heavily on a few main threads, and spawn subthreads for other cores - ultimately it'll still run better on a few fast cores than multiple slower ones as a result. So "So basically AMD are better and alot cheaper" is incorrect.

There's actually nothing wrong with pentiums, especially the newer one which you can overclock on just about any chipset - you can even get it to match the i3's, which as I've told you before, often outperform the FX's that AMD offer. Intel's per-core performance is singificantly better. Look up benches of just about any game that is heavily dependent on a single core and intel tends to stomp AMD, not just "a bit better". Intel costs more for the reason, and that reason is better performance.

Please just stick to getting advice on your thread rather than giving it to others as of yet, spreading misinformation is worse than not getting any information at all. You also resurrected an old thread completely unnecessarily.
 

Tristtan

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Guys, lately i've seen developers put fx 6300 on the category of i5 2500k or i5 3570k and the fx 8350 on the i7s category on their minimum or recommended requirements, Assassins Creed Unity for example... Is reality really changing or are they just giving a hand to AMD?
 

ImDaBaron

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I dont know what they're doing because I wouldnt make those comparisons at all

 
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