AM4 vs Coffee Lake- What you need to Know?
The war between Intel and AMD continues, and probably will never end. The latest processors and chipset offerings from both companies bring computing to a whole new level, with more throughput, more raw processing power, and even more cores than we have ever seen before.
But which of these chip giants is the best? Today, we will attempt to answer that question as we break down both across a wide variety of criteria and how it fits in with you, the computer shopper, and your needs.
Pricing and Availability
We all know that traditionally AMD chips are far cheaper than Intel chips. However, with the latest models, these lines have blurred slightly. On the top end, you will actually find an AMD chip that is quite a bit more than the high-end Intel. On the lower end, you can easily find one an Intel chip that will meet your needs. Sounds like it’s a tie, doesn’t it?
However, AMD has far more choices for the budget shopper than Intel does. Sure, there are several different high-end options, but that will have you spending upwards of $300-$400. However, there are many choices from AMD that come in under $200, making it great for anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Because of the new socket found on the Coffee Lake chips, currently, your choices for motherboards is somewhat limited. Coffee Lake users must use a Z370 chipset for their systems. While there are some choices, there aren’t as many as you may think. If you are a high-end user, you have far fewer choices. In fact, there is only one option out there for you at this time. Sure, this will change with time, but if you want to upgrade now, you will find you have a very limited choice.
AMD, on the other hand, and their AM4 chips, including the most recent Ryzens, all use the same socket. That means that there are almost limitless choices out there that can handle the latest chips from Intel. Some boards out there, such as the X370, give you, even more, overclocking options, while others are priced to be perfect for budget shoppers. If motherboard choice is important to you, then right now you should go AMD all the way.
AMD’s latest processors pack more cores into them than any processor we have seen. While they tried this before, today’s landscape is very different. The software is beginning to favour more and more cores, and this could be a game changer for AMD. But how well does the eight cores of AMD stack up to Intel’s six? Sadly, the eight cores often don’t produce as much processing power as the six cores from Intel. The end result is tests are all over the board. In some tests, AMD will come out ahead for some types of processing.
While in others, such as video processing, for example, Intel blows AMD out of the water. So what does this all mean? Basically, it all comes down to how you use your machine. Depending on your usage, an AMD processor may be the best choice for you and you will get more from it than you will an Intel chip, but in other cases, especially in the production worlds, Intel is still the chip to beat.
While you can overclock AMD’s chips, their ability to overclock doesn’t even come close to the Coffee Lake chipset. In fact, this is the reason why Intel needed a new socket type in the first place. When you clock Intel’s chips above 5Ghz, the single thread performance of the Coffee Lake chips goes through the roof, beating the best that AMD can give. However, you must remember that all of AMD’s chips can be overclocked, while Intel makes you pay for this feature.
If you need the best performance possible and are shopping on a budget, you definitely have better overclocking with AMD, even if Intel’s overclocking ability is far stronger than that of the AMD.
Now, this is what it all comes down to, am I right? How well with the AM4 line of processors hold up against the behemoth that is Intel when it comes to your favourite games? Unfortunately, AMD’s fortunes haven’t changed, at least not yet.
For the most part, the edge goes to Intel, at least for now. While your video card will do most of the heavy lifting during gaming, your processor and chipset will be backing it up every step of the way. Thanks to the overclocking ability found in Coffee Lake, gaming goes to Intel. However, AMD has definitely improved their game. For example, games such as Doom run in Vulkan mode perform almost as well as the same game powered by Intel.
The Coffee Lake chips also now support even more cores, just like AMD, so improvements to core usage will benefit both, giving AMD an even better shot at overtaking Intel when it comes to the budget gaming desktop market where dedicated cards are not always guaranteed.
So Which Is Better?
So which one is better? In many ways, it is a tie. A big surprise, I know. Everyone has gotten used to AMD sitting in the budget category, but no longer. In many ways, AMD’s latest chips can easily rival Intel’s best offerings across the board. However, in the long run, Intel still wins out, even if it is only slightly.
It really comes down to usage. If you are relying on your machine to process video, complex calculations, graphics and even gaming, then you will benefit more from one of the latest Coffee Lake processors and chipsets than you will the AMD Ryzen and AM4 chipset. On the flip side, pretty much everything else is a tie, or so close it’s tough to call. So why pay the premium price
for a chip with the Intel name if it isn’t going to benefit you?
Look at how you use your machine and then make your decision from there. If you choose wisely, you will not only save yourself some money but also some valuable time waiting for your computer to process whatever you are doing.
AMD has come a long way in the last few years. While they are still the best option for budget shoppers, they do have some great premium choices out there as well. While they still may not be able to beat Intel, they are taking steps to come closer to the chip leader. In the end, it all depends on how you use it. Both chipsets offer their own strengths and weaknesses, but they all have a place in this world.
Of course, if you are simply looking for the best, Intel still has the crown, but AMD has come much closer to the top of the mountain.
Guest post by Laptop.Ninja