AMD or Intel?

By looking at this site’s main picture (AMD Threadripper 1950X) you probably think I’m an AMD fan. You are right, I am an AMD fan. But I’m also an Intel fan.

I don’t really have a preference as long as at the time I’m buying a new CPU whoever offers the best bang for the buck will get my money.

I grew up using AMD CPUs. As long as I can remember… the first fourteen or so years of my life I’ve been using AMD CPUs. Started with AMD 286s, 386s, 486s… etc. My first overclocked CPU was an AMD 486DX 40MHz. I overclocked it by FSB to 50MHz. It was a pretty solid 25% full system speed increase. Overclocking back in the days was simple.

My first adventure into Intel territory were dual Celerons 366MHz on Abit BP6 motherboard. I had both CPUs overclocked to 504MHz. It was a pretty fast system back in the late 90s. Also one of the most memorable system I’ve ever had. I missed it.

Right now all my systems are AMDs. When I read Jim Keller went back to AMD and was part of the Zen processor design team I knew it’s going to be a big hit. When Ryzen architecture came out this year indeed it was a huge success. AMD finally caught up to Intel on single core performance within the 20% margin but killed Intel on core counts. It forced Intel to come out with several new processors that matches the core counts of Ryzens… including the Threadripper.

Even Intel did came up with the solution on matching core counts… it still couldn’t compete on prices. Intels were still much more expensive than AMDs. Similar Intel core counts CPU often cost up to more than 50% compared to AMD but performance margin was less than 20% difference overall.

AMD also did something that seriously gained quite a bit market share. Allowing various distributors to slash CPU prices much lower than MSRP. I believe at one time you can get eight cores AMD Ryzen 7 1700 for around $250? 1700 can be easily overclocked to 3.8GHz without much effort. I know this because my primary home virtualization server is running the exact CPU at exact same speed on air cooling. During BF you can get the Threadripper 1950X from Microcenter for $700! That is insane! Sixteen cores, thirty-two threads for $700!!! Wow! Not to mention AM4 motherboards are way cheaper as well. I’ve seen X370 motherboard on sale for as low as $80 and B350 motherboard for less than $60.

At the end of the day Intel still holds crown for performance though. But keep in mind Intel CPUs do clock higher and runs slight hotter.

When people ask me what CPU should they get… I give them the honest answer.

If you want to get your monies worth, get AMD.

If you want absolute performance, get Intel.

For AMD I think the best CPU to get is the Ryzen 7 1700. Overclock it to 3.8GHz and be done with. No point spending extra money on the 1700X or 1800X. Pretty much 90% of 1700X and 1800X owners caps out speed between 3.9GHz to 4.1GHz. That extra 100-300MHz isn’t worth the extra price you pay. I’m speaking from experience… I own two 1700s, 1700X, and 1800X.

For Intel, the best CPU to get is the i7-8700K.

Regardless, you can’t go wrong with either. It will last you a long while.

 

I am not a fanboy of any company. I only buy and use what makes me most productive. Just keep in mind… competitions only benefit us, the customers.

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