Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Why are Intel CPUs better than AMD?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
June 15, 2012 9:40:05 PM

Hello,
I have had a few computers and all of them were AMD and I really like them,
but the entire internet loves Intel and says that they have better CPUs for cheaper.

Is this true, does Intel have better prices and performance? and if so, exactly why is AMD worse?

I don't want this to be a fanboy war, but I would like to hear both sides.
Thanks

More about : intel cpus amd

a c 283 à CPUs
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
June 15, 2012 9:56:04 PM

Intel is rarely cheaper, but the performance is worth the cost, IMO. In any case, it's only the FX 4xxx and 6xxx CPU's that are "bad". Phenom II's are great CPU's and the FX-81xx's aren't bad CPU's either, really.

AMD tried something new and "innovative" with Bulldozer and hyped it like it was the second coming of Jesus Christ. So far, it has failed miserably and certainly hasn't come anywhere close to living up to the lofty expectations. There may come a time when the Bulldozer architecture makes more sense, but by that time, Intel will still be far ahead in raw performance. Basically, AMD shot themselves in the foot with Bulldozer.

Piledriver isn't gonna be a HUGE upgrade either, so AMD has a long way to go to dig out from the hole that they've dug for themselves.
a c 471 à CPUs
a c 115 å Intel
a c 118 À AMD
June 15, 2012 10:03:25 PM

It's basically due to how the CPU architecture is designed to synchronize instructions, execute instructions, branch predictions to "guess the correct result" for further execution, etc..., etc..., etc... Pretty technical. But Intel designed their CPUs to be very efficient as to how many instructions it can execute every clock cycle (1MHz). This is known as IPC or Instruction Per Cycle (clock cycle).

To get an absolute true technical understanding you will need an electrical engineering degree and focus on CPU architecture design.

Otherwise read reviews about the various AMD and Intel CPU to get the layman understanding of how those CPUs perform and look at the benchmarks rather than the technical design specs.
Related resources
June 15, 2012 10:17:51 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Intel is rarely cheaper, but the performance is worth the cost, IMO. In any case, it's only the FX 4xxx and 6xxx CPU's that are "bad". Phenom II's are great CPU's and the FX-81xx's aren't bad CPU's either, really.

AMD tried something new and "innovative" with Bulldozer and hyped it like it was the second coming of Jesus Christ. So far, it has failed miserably and certainly hasn't come anywhere close to living up to the lofty expectations. There may come a time when the Bulldozer architecture makes more sense, but by that time, Intel will still be far ahead in raw performance. Basically, AMD shot themselves in the foot with Bulldozer.

Piledriver isn't gonna be a HUGE upgrade either, so AMD has a long way to go to dig out from the hole that they've dug for themselves.


You said that the FX-4170 is bad, but I have heard it's the best AMD gaming CPU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Could you please elaborate on why you think it's bad.
a c 283 à CPUs
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
June 15, 2012 10:28:43 PM

Tokamocha said:
You said that the FX-4170 is bad, but I have heard it's the best AMD gaming CPU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Could you please elaborate on why you think it's bad.


It's not a "bad" gaming CPU, but if I was doing anything besides gaming, I wouldn't buy one. On a budget, for a purely gaming CPU, it's fine. Overall though, I'd get a Phenom II X4 or a FX-81xx if I were going AMD.
a c 141 à CPUs
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
June 15, 2012 11:29:39 PM

Comparing AMD to Intel cpus is like comparing doing math on an abacus to doing it on a calulator. Sure you come out with the same answer its just that the calculator is more powerful of the two.

For gaming, AMD's are fine because the actual math needed is easy and sparce. Most of the work is done by the Graphics card and the cpu's main job is just to feed it info.

Once you require more computational power is when Intel really shines.
June 16, 2012 3:10:28 PM

So, Intel is better, but what about price/performance?
a b à CPUs
June 16, 2012 5:31:42 PM

Price to performance is actually, IMHO, better on Intel chips. Sure, you're paying more up front, but this is truly a case of, you get what you pay for. There is a reason Intel can charge a premium for their CPUs and there is also a reason they sell a crap-ton of them.
June 16, 2012 6:23:04 PM

Price to performance depends on if you live near a Microcenter or not. If you do, you can pick up a 2500K for $170 compared to the $150 price of the 8120. In that case, Intel wins. If you dont have one near by then youre stuck with the $220 price on Newegg compared to the $170 price of the 8120. In that case, the 8120 is a viable alternative if youre on a budget and looking for value and depending on your applications. If youre gaming at resolutions or 2560x1600 and below and running a single video card then there isnt going to be much real world difference between an AMD and an Intel rig. Now if youre going to be running dual video cards at very high resolutions then youre better off with the extra horsepower of the Intel.

AMD motherboards are also sometimes cheaper than a comparable Intel board. Like my beloved Sabertooth 990FX runs $190 compared to the $250 price tag of the P67 or Z77 Sabertooth.

So yeah, you can make an argument that AMD are better for the money, especially if you overclock them. But at the end of the day, youre basically talking about less than $100 difference in CPU and motherboard together.

But then you can get into the i3's which are powerhouses for the money and can hang with anything from AMD in almost all benchies. Right now, the only real good reason to buy AMD is if youre on an existing AMD platform like I am with my Sabertooth and X6 1090 or if you just dont like Intel.....also kinda like me. LOL

Aside from that, Intel is just head and shoulders above any AMD processor right now. If youre building from scratch and can come up with the extra $75 or so it would take for a Intel build, that is the better way to go.
a c 78 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 6:29:46 PM

Keanu Reeves said:
Price to performance is actually, IMHO, better on Intel chips. Sure, you're paying more up front, but this is truly a case of, you get what you pay for. There is a reason Intel can charge a premium for their CPUs and there is also a reason they sell a crap-ton of them.

I don't really agree with that. There is nothing altruistic about why Intel charges a premium for their CPUs, its purely corporate greed. They outsell AMD 5 to 1 in the market, so financially, they don't have to charge an arm and a leg, and have a huge price gap between their dual and quad cores. They choose to, and if and when (most likely when) AMD finally throws in the towel, you can bet it will only get worse.

Look at Ivy Bridge, they hardly improved it, and they made it worse for overclocking enthusiasts because of the heat, and yet they jacked the price up on them. They say they reduced their power consumption, truth is.. realistically under typical usage, it would probably take over a year to recoup the benefit in terms of your electric bill to justify the higher price tag.

Yes Intel makes better CPUs than AMD in general, don't get me wrong. But performance is not the sole reason Intel outsells AMD, Intel engaged in very shady, unethical and downright illegal business practices to pull ahead in the market.
June 16, 2012 6:32:39 PM

nekulturny said:
I don't really agree with that. There is nothing altruistic about why Intel charges a premium for their CPUs, its purely corporate greed. They outsell AMD 5 to 1 in the market, so financially, they don't have to charge an arm and a leg, and have a huge price gap between their dual and quad cores. They choose to, and if and when (most likely when) AMD finally throws in the towel, you can bet it will only get worse.

Look at Ivy Bridge, they hardly improved it, and they made it worse for overclocking enthusiasts because of the heat, and yet they jacked the price up on them. They say they reduced their power consumption, truth is.. realistically under typical usage, it would probably take over a year to recoup the benefit in terms of your electric bill to justify the higher price tag.

Yes Intel makes better CPUs than AMD in general, don't get me wrong. But performance is not the sole reason Intel outsells AMD, Intel engaged in very shady, unethical and downright illegal business practices to pull ahead in the market.


Yeah this is why its so crucial to us enthusiasts that Piledrive offer up something to make AMD competitive again. If AMD were still nipping at Intel's heels, I doubt youd have to spend $240 minimum to overclock an Ivy Bridge processor. Back when AMD was close enough to worry Intel, you could overclock a lowly Pentium dual core to over 4 GHz! Now that Intel has run off and left AMD for the most part, $240.
a c 283 à CPUs
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
June 16, 2012 6:37:49 PM

axe1592 said:
Yeah this is why its so crucial to us enthusiasts that Piledrive offer up something to make AMD competitive again. If AMD were still nipping at Intel's heels, I doubt youd have to spend $240 minimum to overclock an Ivy Bridge processor. Back when AMD was close enough to worry Intel, you could overclock a lowly Pentium dual core to over 4 GHz! Now that Intel has run off and left AMD for the most part, $240.


The unfortunate part to all of this is that AMD has no intentions of ever "catching up" in the enthusiast segment anymore. Their main focus from here on will be mainstream to low end desktop CPU's and basically trying take over the mobile segment with their APU's.
a c 78 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 6:39:09 PM

Well, for what its worth, Tom's did bench the new trinity APUs, (which use the PileDriver) while they're not going to be as powerful as Intels offerings at their higher price points, its looking like AMD is going to meet or exceed their 10% performance improvement on their Roadmap.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-a8-5600k-...
a c 78 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 6:40:47 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
The unfortunate part to all of this is that AMD has no intentions of ever "catching up" in the enthusiast segment anymore. Their main focus from here on will be mainstream to low end desktop CPU's and basically trying take over the mobile segment with their APU's.


As well they should, the fact is that AMD has a better product on the market for that purpose (Llano/trinity). Intel is nowhere near having their onboard graphics taken seriously. Intel has no right holding the mobile market with their HD4000 graphics.
June 16, 2012 10:10:43 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
The unfortunate part to all of this is that AMD has no intentions of ever "catching up" in the enthusiast segment anymore. Their main focus from here on will be mainstream to low end desktop CPU's and basically trying take over the mobile segment with their APU's.


Im not giving up on them just yet. Ivy Bridge was kind of a step in the same direction AMD is taking in concentrating on the laptop/mobile type processors. Barely any improvement at all in speed over Sandy but big jumps ahead in IGPU performance. This could be the break AMD needs. Bulldozer was supposed to compete with Nehalem and does so fairly well but since it was out so late, AMD is basically a generation behind Intel. Since Ivy wasnt an improvement over Sandy in speed, this could be the chance for AMD to make up some ground. Granted its gonna be a lot of ground since Sandy was such and outta the park home run.

Trinity is showing 15% better than Llano with Piledriver cores. Now when Vishera comes out it will have an L3 cache and it wont have to share half its die with a IGPU and it wont have to worry about energy efficiency like an APU does. This could possibly mean up to 20% improvements over Bulldozer. Now this still wont be enough to beat Intel but if they could get close enough and then come out with some good pricing like around $200, then theyre definitely a viable alternative to Intel and that would be enough. AMD doesnt have to be better than Intel for us to have a competitive CPU market again, they just have to get close enough to worry them. A 20% improvement in Piledriver along with some competitive pricing could do just that.
a c 471 à CPUs
a c 115 å Intel
a c 118 À AMD
June 17, 2012 9:00:47 AM

nekulturny said:
As well they should, the fact is that AMD has a better product on the market for that purpose (Llano/trinity). Intel is nowhere near having their onboard graphics taken seriously. Intel has no right holding the mobile market with their HD4000 graphics.


Not every laptop sold is used to play games. Lots of laptops are used for business purposes and the vast majority of business class laptops use Intel CPUs. Small businesses my allow workers to buy their own laptops of any make or model, but mid size and especially large business will use business laptops from the likes of Dell and Lenovo amongst others. Those laptops have an immensely high probability of having an Intel CPU.

The Intel HD 4000 isn't actually that bad for an integrated graphics core since it can almost compete against the Radeon HD 6550D found in the A8-3850.

June 20, 2012 2:11:52 AM

Why can't I select the best answer for this post?
The button doesn't show up.
a c 283 à CPUs
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
June 20, 2012 2:16:46 AM

Tokamocha said:
Why can't I select the best answer for this post?
The button doesn't show up.


Because you started this post as a discussion.
June 20, 2012 2:29:38 AM

I'm new... :p 
a c 78 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 2:46:07 AM

jaguarskx said:
Not every laptop sold is used to play games. Lots of laptops are used for business purposes and the vast majority of business class laptops use Intel CPUs. Small businesses my allow workers to buy their own laptops of any make or model, but mid size and especially large business will use business laptops from the likes of Dell and Lenovo amongst others. Those laptops have an immensely high probability of having an Intel CPU.

The Intel HD 4000 isn't actually that bad for an integrated graphics core since it can almost compete against the Radeon HD 6550D found in the A8-3850.

Fair enough. well Dell I think exclusively uses Intel. So that might explain a lot.
a c 116 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 5:48:53 AM

axe1592 said:
A 20% improvement in Piledriver along with some competitive pricing could do just that.

AMD also has some catching up to do on the performance/watt front, which may eat a chunk of their CPU improvement budget if they want to catch up there, which they should since mobile devices is one of the markets they want to get more traction into.
June 21, 2012 2:30:46 AM

Thats true but Im not sure a lot of consumers would care about that a whole lot. I know I dont. The difference between a Bulldozer and a Ivy Bridge is about the same as the 2 lights I have on in the hallway. I can just turn them off and make up the difference. :D 
a c 116 à CPUs
June 21, 2012 3:14:30 AM

axe1592 said:
Thats true but Im not sure a lot of consumers would care about that a whole lot.

They do when they are on battery-powered devices, which is what both AMD and Intel are starting to focus more on.

Last time I heard about market growth, conventional desktop PC sales had only single-digit growth and falling while laptops had solid double-digit growth and rising. I would say this is a strong indication of where priorities should lie.
June 21, 2012 10:33:53 PM

Oh yeah, no doubt everything is going towards the mobile end of the market and us desktop fans arent being considered as much.

I wasnt talking about that segment though as AMD seems to be doing pretty good in that department and theyre selling pretty well.
a c 116 à CPUs
June 21, 2012 11:10:03 PM

axe1592 said:
I wasnt talking about that segment though as AMD seems to be doing pretty good in that department and theyre selling pretty well.

When you hear about international treaties and negotiations to help/incite everyone to reduce their carbon footprint, it does not really matter whether you are looking at the desktop or laptop/mobile markets, you are looking at significant pressure to make power efficiency one of the top priorities wherever possible. Mobile devices just happen to have additional pressure for extended battery life or cheaper smaller batteries.

What happened last time Intel tried to split product lines between desktop with sky-is-the-limit TDP and laptop-oriented high-efficiency? Desktop got Prescott which failed to deliver anything other than record-setting TDPs at a time where debates about energy conservation were heating up and laptops got Yonah which was optimized for energy efficiency. Since Intel's lost its original performance-at-any-cost bet, Intel ended up folding the best of both worlds into Core2 and now we are back to desktop CPUs being closely related if not identical to laptop CPUs or vice-versa. Any improvement for one will almost certainly get applied to the other, for better or worse regarding enthusiasts.
June 24, 2012 2:57:23 PM

Well gaming wise,They are both the same...I have an FX6100 @ 4.5ghz and i built a system for a friend with a 2500k @ 4.7ghz and the same graphics cards (6870) and i did alot of tests with each of them and they came out the same and in some cases (Like in GTA 4) the fx 6100 came out a little bit ahead (1-2) fps more using 48% of the cpu while with the 2500k gta 4 used 72% of the cpu.So it all depends on what you like.AMD or Intel.AMD has great performance despite what intel fanboys say.I like both amd and intel but to tell you the truth for the amount a 6100 is or 8120/8150 and how high you can overclock them i would go with amd due to the lower cost and same performance in games.Hell even my 6100 will keep up with a 2600k in bf3...
a c 78 à CPUs
June 24, 2012 5:31:06 PM

Yea thats something a lot of people don't seem to get, MOST of the 1000s of games are limited by the video card, not the processor. Yes some games are more CPU intensive than others (Starcraft II, and Skyrim to name a couple), and the difference may be more noticeable on those games, but both of them can get the job done.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1210060/fx8120-vs-2500k-benc...
June 24, 2012 6:08:19 PM

Not even so much that really but more at 2560x1600 and below and with a single video card, AMD processors have enough grunt to max out the video card. Its when you get into the multiple video card settings that you really start to see Intel pull away.

Kinda like a gas engine can tow a 7,500 pound boat just as well as a diesel can but its when you get into the 15,000 loads that the higher torque of the diesel starts to shine.
!