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AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020 – buying tips

AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020
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Which processor is better in 2020 – AMD vs Intel comparison chart 2020? Intel’s Core i7 vs AMD’s Ryzen? Which is the best gaming processor and which CPU should you buy right now? In the past, AMD CPUs offered lower prices paired with lower performance. That’s not the case with its latest generation of CPUs. While AMD still represents great value for the money, it does have several costly options that are even more powerful than the Intel alternative in some cases. Reveal more details on AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020.

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AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020
AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020

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AMD vs Intel processors specs comparison chart 2020

We’ve reviewed both the Ryzen 9 3950X and the Intel i9-9900K to give you more insight on each processor’s capabilities, performance, and price. Both processors give you plenty of power, but each has their own pros and cons.

As mentioned before, the Ryzen 9 3950X has 16 cores and 32 threads. This gives you all the power you need and then some to tackle everyday multitasking and general workloads in an office setting. It also has enough juice to give you great frame rates in both full HD and 4K gaming settings so you don’t have to deal with terrible amounts of lag or screen tearing. The entire Ryzen 3000 series are all fairly evenly-matched when it comes to frame rates and multitasking abilities, so it all comes down to how many cores and threads you’ll need.

The Ryzen 9 3950X features dual channel memory support and 64MB of cache. This ensures faster recall of your frequently-used files and programs. With a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz and a Max Boost Clock of 4.7 GHz, you’ll be able to tackle just about any game or work task at blazing speeds.

The Intel i9-9900K has half the number of cores and threads as the Ryzen 9 3950X, but it makes up for some of that with slightly stronger single core performance. The i9-9900K has a base speed of  3.6GHz and a Turbo clock of a whopping 5GHz. It also uses just 95 watts of power compared to the Ryzen 9’s 105 watts – though you are getting around half the total performance. 

With Intel’s integrated graphics, you’ll get both full HD and 4K video and graphical support right out of the box. You’ll not only get a great picture for both streaming video and playing the latest games, you’ll also get awesome frame rates as well, preventing lag and screen tearing.

AMD vs Intel performance comparison chart 2020

So you’ve set yourself a budget for a new CPU, but you still have a ton of options when it comes to performance. On the whole, AMD and Intel Processors have been on a pretty even keel when it comes to overall performance. Between the two, it all comes down to whether you need to multitask well or want to play games at their highest settings. 

If you’re looking at buying an AMD processor, be advised that very few of their available CPUs feature integrated graphics. Those that do are referred to as an Accelerated Processing Unit. The ultra-low budget AMD Athlon 240GE retails around $80 (£62, AU$120) and features Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics. This makes it perfect for low- to mid-grade gaming as well as video streaming for high quality graphics rendering at a low price. However, if you’re into higher-end gaming, you’ll have to pair a Ryzen 7 or 9 CPU with a dedicated GPU to take your game to the next level.

If you’re looking for a processor that can handle day-to-day work and multitasking, the AMD Ryzen line is a safe bet, as they offer the most PCIe lanes so you can use more solid-state drives for super-fast computer start up and file recall. AMD processors also tend to run hotter than their Intel counterparts, so you’ll need to consider either a supplementary fan or liquid cooling system for your new CPU.

With Intel, on the other hand, each chip has on-die integrated Intel HD or Iris graphics, so you can play most mainstream games or stream quality video right out of the box, no matter what CPU you pick. However, like their AMD cousins, if you want to play more graphically demanding games, you’ll need to choose a companion GPU. 

But with the newest Coffee and Ice Lake processors, each CPU will beat out AMD Ryzen and Threadripper units on core-by-core performance – though that gap is minimal. The late 2020 introduction of Tiger Lake could see even more integrated graphic rendering ability for a better streaming or gaming experience right out of the box. Intel has also heavily hinted at plans to release their own dedicated Intel Xe GPU in 2020 (AMD vs Intel performance comparison chart 2020).

Single-Threaded Performance Hierarchy

Single-Threaded App ScoreArchitectureCores/ThreadsBase/BoostTDP
Core i9-10980XE100.0%Cascade Lake-X18/363.0 / 4.8 GHz165W
Ryzen 9 3950X97.5%Zen 216/323.5 / 4.7 GHz105W
Ryzen 9 3900X97.3%Zen 212/243.8 / 4.6 GHz105W
Core i9-9900KS96.4%Coffee Lake-R8/164.0 / 5.0 GHz127W 
Core i9-9900K95.8%Coffee Lake-R8/163.6 / 5.0 GHz95W
Threadripper 3970X95.7%Zen 232/643.7 / 4.5 GHz280W
Threadripper 3960X95.6%Zen 224/483.8 / 4.5 GHz280W
Ryzen 7 3700X94.7%Zen 28/163.6 / 4.4 GHz65W
Core i5-9600K94.7%Coffee Lake-R6/63.7 / 4.6 GHz95W
Core i7-9700K93.6%Coffee Lake-R8/83.6 / 4.9 GHz95W
Threadripper 3990X93.3%Zen 264/1282.9 / 4.3 GHz280W
Core i3-9350KF93.2%Coffee Lake4/44.0/4.6 GHz91W
Core i9-9980XE92.7%Skylake18/364.4 / 4.5 GHz165W
Xeon W-3175X89.4%Skylake28/563.1 / 4.3 GHz225W
Core i3-910085.2%Coffee Lake-R4/43.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Core i5-9400 / -9400F83.2%Coffee Lake6/62.9 / 4.1 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 3800X83.0%Zen 28/163.9 / 4.5 GHz105W
Ryzen 9 390080.2%Zen 212/243.1 / 4.3 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 3600X78.7%Zen 26/123.8 / 4.4 GHz95W
Core i3-8350K78.3%Coffee Lake4/44.0 / – GHz91W
Threadripper 2950X76.8%Zen +16/323.5 / 4.4 GHz180W
Ryzen 5 3600 75.9%Zen 26/123.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Threadripper 2990WX73.8%Zen+32/643.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
Threadripper 2970WX73.6%Zen +24/483.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
Ryzen 5 3400G71.7%Zen +4/83.7 / 4.2 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 2400G67.1%Zen+4/83.6 / 3.9 GHz65W
Ryzen 3 3200G66.4%Zen +4/43.6 / 4.0 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 2600X64.1%Zen+6/123.6 / 4.2 GHz95W
Ryzen 5 1600X59.4%Zen6/123.6 / 4.0 GHz95W

Intel and AMD CPU Multi-Threaded Performance

Multi-Threaded App ScoreArchitectureCores/ThreadsBase/BoostTDP
Threadripper 3990X100.0%Zen 264/1282.9 / 4.3 GHz280W
Threadripper 3970X94.7%Zen 232/643.7 / 4.5 GHz280W
Threadripper 3960X86.8%Zen 224/483.8 / 4.5 GHz280W
Xeon W-3175X82.6%Skylake28/563.1 / 4.3 GHz225W
Core i9-10980XE62.7%Cascade Lake-X18/363.0 / 4.8 GHz165W
Core i9-9980XE60.9%Skylake18/364.4 / 4.5 GHz165W
Ryzen 9 3950X61.1%Zen 216/323.5 / 4.7 GHz105W
Threadripper 2990WX53.1%Zen+32/643.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
Ryzen 9 3900X54.6%Zen 212/243.8 / 4.6 GHz105W
Threadripper 2970WX50.9%Zen +24/483.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
Threadripper 2950X53.0%Zen +16/323.5 / 4.4 GHz180W
Ryzen 9 390049.4%Zen 212/243.1 / 4.3 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 3700X42.4%Zen 28/163.6 / 4.4 GHz65W
Ryzen 7 3800X40.9%Zen 28/163.9 / 4.5 GHz105W
Core i9-9900KS40.0%Coffee Lake-R8/164.0 / 5.0 GHz127W 
Core i9-9900K39.4%Coffee Lake-R8/163.6 / 5.0 GHz95W
Core i7-9700K35.2%Coffee Lake-R8/83.6 / 4.9 GHz95W
Ryzen 5 3600X32.8%Zen 26/123.8 / 4.4 GHz95W
Ryzen 5 3600 32.3%Zen 26/123.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Core i5-9600K28.8%Coffee Lake-R6/63.7 / 4.6 GHz95W
Ryzen 5 2600X26.6%Zen+6/123.6 / 4.2 GHz95W
Core i5-9400 / -9400F26.0%Coffee Lake6/62.9 / 4.1 GHz65W
Ryzen 5 1600X24.1%Zen6/123.6 / 4.0 GHz95W
Core i3-9350KF20.6%Coffee Lake4/44.0/4.6 GHz91W
Ryzen 5 3400G19.2%Zen +4/83.7 / 4.2 GHz65W
Core i3-910019.2%Coffee Lake-R4/43.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Core i3-8350K19.1%Coffee Lake4/44.0 / – GHz91W
Ryzen 5 2400G17.9%Zen+4/83.6 / 3.9 GHz65W
Ryzen 3 3200G15.9%Zen +4/43.6 / 4.0 GHz65W

AMD vs Intel comparison chart 2020 – CPU Gaming Hierarchy 

Gaming ScoreCPUCores/ThreadsBase/BoostTDP
Intel Core i9-9900KS100Coffee Lake-R8/164.0 / 5.0 GHz127W
Intel Core i9-10980XE99.2Cascade Lake-X18/363.0 / 4.8 GHz165W
Intel Core i7-9700K97.9Coffee Lake-R8/83.6 / 4.9 GHz95W
Intel Core i9-9900K97.1Coffee Lake-R8/163.6 / 5.0 GHz95W
Intel Core i9-9900KF97.1Coffee Lake-R8/163.6 / 5.0 GHz95W
Intel Xeon W-3175X96.8Skylake28/563.1 / 4.3 GHz225W
AMD Threadripper 3970X96.5Zen 232/643.7 / 4.5 GHz280W
AMD Threadripper 3960X96.5Zen 224/483.8 / 4.5 GHz280W
AMD Threadripper 3990X96.1Zen 264/1282.9 / 4.3 GHz280W
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X96Zen 212/243.8 / 4.6 GHz105W
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X94.8Zen 216/323.5 / 4.7 GHz105W
Intel Core i9-9980XE94.7Skylake18/364.4 / 4.5 GHz165W
AMD Ryzen 9 390094.5Zen 212/243.1 / 4.3 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X94.1Zen 28/163.6 / 4.4 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X92.2Zen 28/163.9 / 4.5 GHz105W
Intel Core i7-8700K~Coffee Lake6/123.7 / 4.7 GHz95W
Intel Core i7-8700~Coffee Lake6/123.2 / 4.6 GHz65W
Intel Core i9-7960X~Skylake16 / 322.8 / 4.2 GHz165W
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X90.5Zen 26/123.8 / 4.4 GHz95W
Intel Core i5-9600K90.1Coffee Lake-R6/63.7 / 4.6 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 5 360088.4Zen 26/123.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-8600K~Coffee Lake6/63.6 / 4.3 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X~Zen+8/163.7 / 4.3 GHz105W
Intel Core i9-7980XE~Skylake18 / 362.6 / 4.2 GHz165W
Intel Core i9-7900X~Skylake10/203.3 / 4.3 GHz140W
Intel Core i5-8600~Coffee Lake6/63.1 / 4.3 GHz65W
Intel Core i7-7700K~Kaby Lake4/84.2 / 4.5 GHz91W
Intel Core i5-8500~Coffee Lake6/63.0 / 4.1 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-9400 / i5-9400F86.3Coffee Lake6/62.9 / 4.1 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-8400~Coffee Lake6/62.8 / 4.0 GHz65W
AMD Threadripper 2990WX (GM)81.6Zen+32/643.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
Intel Core i7-7820X~Skylake8/163.6 / 4.3 GHz140W
Intel Core i3-9350KF80.9Coffee Lake4/44.0/4.6 GHz91W
AMD Threadripper 2950X (GM)79.3Zen +16/323.5 / 4.4 GHz180W
AMD Threadripper 2970WX79.1Zen +24/483.0 / 4.2 GHz250W
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X77.8Zen+6/123.6 / 4.2 GHz95W
Intel Core i3-8350K75.7Coffee Lake4/44.0 / – GHz91W
AMD Ryzen 7 2700~Zen+8/163.2 / 4.1 GHz65W
AMD Threadripper 1900X (GM)~Zen8/163.8 / 4.0 GHz180W
Intel Core i7-7700~Kaby Lake4/83.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 2600~Zen+6/123.4 / 3.9 GHz65W
Intel Core i7-7800X~Skylake6/123.5 / 4.0 GHz140W
Intel Core i5-7600K~Kaby Lake4/43.8 / 4.2 GHz91W
AMD Threadripper 1950X (GM)~Zen16/323.4 / 4.0 GHz180W
AMD Threadripper 1920X (GM)~Zen12/243.5 / 4.0 GHz180W
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X~Zen8/163.6 / 4.0 GHz95W
Intel Core i5-7600~Kaby Lake4/43.5 / 4.1 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-910079.3Coffee Lake-R4/43.6 / 4.2 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-8300~Coffee Lake4/43.7 / – GHz62W
Intel Core i3-8100~Coffee Lake4/43.6 / – GHz65W
Intel Core i5-7500~Kaby Lake4/43.4 / 3.8 GHz65W
Intel Core i5-7400~Kaby Lake4/43.0 / 3.5 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X~Zen8/163.8 / 3.9 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 7 1700~Zen8/163.0 / 3.8 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G68.3Zen +4/83.7 / 4.2 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X66.7Zen6/123.6 / 4.0 GHz95W
AMD Ryzen 5 160066.1Zen6/123.2 / 3.6 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G64.6Zen +4/43.6 / 4.0 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X~Zen4/83.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-7350K~Kaby Lake2/44.2 / – GHz60W
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G63.6Zen+4/83.6 / 3.9 GHz65W
Intel Core i3-7300~Kaby Lake2/44.0 / – GHz51W
Intel Core i3-7100~Kaby Lake2/43.9 / – GHz51W
AMD Ryzen 5 1400~Zen4/83.2 / 3.4 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X~Zen4/43.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G~Zen+4/43.5 / 3.7 GHz65W
AMD Athlon 240GE~Zen2/43.5 / – GHz35W
AMD Athlon 220GE~Zen2/43.4 / – GHz35W
AMD Athlon 200GE~Zen2/43.2 / – GHz35W
Intel Pentium G5600~Coffee Lake2/43.9 / – GHz54W
Intel Pentium G5400~Coffee Lake2/43.7 / – GHz54W
Intel Pentium G4620~Kaby Lake2/43.7 / – GHz54W
Intel Pentium G4560~Kaby Lake2/43.5 / – GHz54W
AMD Ryzen 3 1200~Zen4/43.1 / 3.2 GHz65W

AMD vs Intel processors price comparison chart 2020

At the very low-end of the scale, AMD and Intel chips cost between $40 and $60 for a couple of cores and energy-efficient clock speeds. At the top of the scale, however, both camps have amazingly capable $500 chips.With AMD, the Ryzen 9 3950X is the current king with 16 cores and 32 threads. It pierces that $500 range with a suggested price of $700.

Meanwhile, Intel’s current top gamer chip, the Core i9-9900K, comes with eight cores and 16 threads. It’s clocked a little higher with a 5GHz single-core boost versus AMD’s 3950X at 4.7GHz. It is priced around $528, depending on where you buy the chip

On the AMD front, the Ryzen 7 3700X is a fantastic option, with eight-cores and 16-threads, and a big boost to instructions-per-clock compared to its 2700X predecessor — all for $299. It’s a killer chip that gives Intel’s i7-9700K a run for its money in gaming and dominates it in multithreaded workloads.

Intel Core i9 and AMD Threadripper CPUs targeting enthusiasts and prosumers offer even more multithreaded performance and continue to expand core and thread counts. Intel’s seventh and ninth-generation i9 CPUs offer between 10 and 18 cores and up to 36 threads thanks to hyperthreading. Prices can be sky-high, however, with the flagship Core i9-9980XE costing around $1,999 or higher.

If you need lots of PCI Express lanes, AMD’s new generation of Ryzen 3000 CPUs can give those chips a run for their money in some workloads. But its first and second-generation Threadripper CPUs are still worth considering.

For example, Threadripper 2000-series CPUs offer between 12 and 32 cores and up to 64 threads with simultaneous multithreading. They are more expensive, ranging between $329 and $1,700. We recommend the Threadripper 2950x for around $680 if you want a high-end upgrade for a low cost.

If price isn’t an issue, AMD’s third-generation Threadripper chips are now available. The 3960X packs 24 cores and 48 threads for $1,399 while the 3970X model offers 32 cores and 64 threads for $1,999. If that’s not enough cores, the new Threadripper 3990X packs 64 and 128 threads for a hefty $3,990, but that’s far more cores than anything Intel has to offer outside of its server space, and even then it’s more cost-effective.

The first- and second-generation Threadripper chips support 64 PCI Express lanes, which is a big advantage over the maximum of 44 seen in Intel’s range. The third-generation CPUs increase that number to 72 usable lanes (88 total). Threadripper chips can be more power-hungry, however, thanks to all those additional cores.

AMD vs Intel Laptop processors comparison chart

The laptop market is a different story. Most of what you’ll find are based on Intel processors of various generations and integrated graphics. As a Dell representative pointed out in 2018, Intel’s portfolio is simply huge compared to AMD: The gap between the two companies is substantial in terms of market share and “use cases.”

AMD set out to have its hardware at the heart of many laptops by the end of 2019, however. It’s already included in a few new offerings, like the new Acer Swift 3 or the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3.

AMD’s progress on the mobile front continues in 2020, though there’s a long road ahead. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 serves as the launchpad for AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 chips for laptops. Specifically, this model packs the Ryzen 9 4900HS eight-core chip (16 threads) with a base speed at 3GHz and a maximum speed at 4.3GHz.

Intel’s Core i7-9750H six-core chip used in other gaming laptops just couldn’t keep up. It even outperformed Intel’s Core i9-9880HK eight-core chip. However, thermal issues surrounding an eight-core chip residing in a thin form factor translates to loud fans continuously running in the background.

For now, the market remains mostly dominated by Intel.  You can pick from a wide range of configurations, including 8th, 9th, and 10th-gen CPUs. The latest range sports Intel Ice Lake 10th-generation processors with 11th-generation onboard graphics. They represent some of the most capable and efficient laptops available, like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. As an alternative to Ice Lake, Intel also offers 10th-gen Comet Lake processors, which include a special six-core Core i7 chip.

Typically if you’re looking for good, all-round power in a laptop, Intel Core i5 processors from one of the recent generations are a great bet. Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs offer much more general computing performance, but unless you’re performing some heavy workloads, a Core i5 is going to be more than enough in most cases.

Overall, both companies produce processors within striking distance of one another on nearly every front — price, power, and performance. Intel chips tend to offer better performance per core, but AMD compensates with more cores at a given price and better onboard graphics.

AMD vs Intel processors comparison chart 2020 for Gaming

Gaming is one area where picking a CPU can get tricky. Every Intel processor includes on-die integrated graphics, but the performance isn’t up to par with discrete, stand-alone graphics chips or add-in graphics cards.

Meanwhile, most AMD desktop processors do not include integrated graphics. Those that do are called Accelerated Processing Units, or APUs. These chips combine Ryzen CPU cores with Radeon graphics cores on the same die. They typically have better graphics capabilities than Intel’s onboard GPU cores, but weaker general processing. Intel’s Ice Lake changed that paradigm, however, with its new Iris Plus graphics.

Whether you go Intel or AMD, you can expect to spend between $200 and $350 for mid-level gaming processors and $500+ if you need a top-tier chip for high frame rates, or streaming and gaming at the same time.

Serious gamers use an add-in graphics card or a discrete GPU rather than integrated graphics (these are the best ones). In those scenarios, Intel typically dominates in gaming performance due to how the two chip giants build their processors. Its 9900K is arguably the most powerful gaming CPU available at this time — even if early benchmarks were a bit suspicious.

AMD’s chips — specifically its latest Ryzen CPUs — are excellent contenders, however. The Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3800X give the 9900K a run for its money in most games. They also decimate Intel in more multi-threaded scenarios and are great at running applications that support multiple cores.

AMD introduced the Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core processor for $749 in November 2019. AMD’s chip outperforms every Core i9 CPU in multi-core workloads, and is the best gaming CPU AMD has ever made, even if it’s only by a percent point or two. That’s not really its focus, as it acts as an HEDT-lite chip, but it’s still an amazing achievement to pack so many cores in a single die, but not lose any single-threaded performance.

AMD’s CPU momentum makes recommending Intel for gaming harder now than in the past. If you only game, then Intel’s 9700K, 9900K, and 9900KS are the best CPUs you can buy. If you do anything alongside or when you aren’t gaming, however, Ryzen 3000 chips are a better bet. They’re sold at similar prices, deliver comparable performance in games, and offer much better performance elsewhere.

Mid-range Ryzen processors are well worth considering too. The Ryzen 3600 and 3600X offer incredible value while being very capable gaming chips. Even at the very low end, AMD’s Ryzen APUs with Vega graphics offer decent gaming performance that’s worth considering. But their weaker processing capabilities mean they aren’t the best value long term unless you plan to upgrade down the line.

Unless you’re trying to play at very high frame rates or are locked to lower resolutions, like 1080p, the CPU is rarely the limiting factor in games. Springing for a more powerful graphics card will usually yield better results than shelling out cash for a more powerful processor.

And don’t forget that syncing technology like FreeSync and G-Sync can also make a big difference in gaming appearance, with or without optimizing your processor.

In some cases, you can opt for the best of both worlds. Intel and AMD partnered to create combination chips with Intel CPU cores and AMD GPU cores on the same die with the likes of the Core i7-8809G. In our testing of the 8809G-equipped “Hades Canyon” NUC, we found it to be a solid gaming machine, so it could be that this partnership leads to much greater hardware options in the future.

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