Intel vs AMD

The religion war that has been going on for years. I’m really thinking about what the optimal solution for me is.
Before I start on it, I’d like to point out that I’m not a fanboy of one or another. I’m fan of whatever gives me the most value for the work loads it has to do.
Right now AMD has 2 advantages against Intel: PCIe gen 4 and more cores.
Intel has 2 advantages against AMD: higher clock speeds and stability.
Note that when I write stability, I do not mean the security issues. That’s another discussion.

If you want to go with AMD, you either need the extra cores for the type of job your CPU has to do, or you need the extra speed from your disks that NVMe gen 4 comes with. You can NOT bottleneck a GPU with PCIe gen 3. It’s not possible, at least not for a normal setup in your home. There’s probably some insane company or YouTuber that tries to figure out how they can do it, or have some crazy weird non-productive setup just to do it. But you will not bottleneck it.

The extra cores depends on your use case. If you open all your programs like you were Windows Vista (the idea was to “open” the programs and services so it would open instantly when you wanted to launch a program), play your games and stream at the same time, the extra cores might be for you.
If you’re running a server with multiple dockers, VM’s and services, like me, it’s a good use case too.
For me, PCIe gen 4 is not really useful. And a NVMe SSD gen 3 and 4 doesn’t have a huge real world difference.
If you do a search on Google, you’ll find a lot of tests for game loading times, which would be the main use case for a home user, or transfering data, which is also what game loading times are. The difference is a few seconds at AAA titles.
If you play Valorant and Diablo 3 like me, a 2.5″ SSD is more than enough. You won’t really notice the loading screen. So if I went for a NVME gen 3 or 4. it might be instant. But when you start loading, you use that one or two seconds to shake your hands, and sit correctly so you can start your game. That’s it.
Then I’d rather spend my money on componenets elsewhere, like a better GPU.
Of course, if you want a compact system, you can go with an M.2 NVMe. Note that M.2 is not an SSD, it’s a form factor, like you have 3.5″ mechanical hard drives (HDD), and 2.5″ Solid State Drives (SSD). NVMe is a storage technology, you could call it an SSD if you like, that wouldn’t technicall be correcct, but it would work. It’s more correct than saying M.2 is an SSD.

So, for my server, I’d go with AMD, mainly because of the extra cores.
I would go for a Threadripper, but you know the prices on that. At the moment, I’m looking at the Ryzen 9 3900X.
The Ryzen 9 3950 X is not worth the ~5.800 DKK against the ~3.400 DKK for the Ryzen 3900X. Tha’s a bit over 40 % more, for 2 extra cores and a few hundred Mhz extra. You might as well buy an extra disk for that, more RAM, or whatever you might need.

Intel isn’t a bad choice for servers as well, they haven proven realiable, and their servers and HEDT CPU’s are being tested thoroughly. The mainstreams is a bit less, but it’s still really good. For Plex transcoding, Intel is actually better, because of the higher clock speeds. That’s the main resource hogger on my server, so that would make sense too.
My concern with Intel is that the power draw is so much higher on the i9 lineup than the Ryzen 9 lineup, and in Denmark electricity is expensive.
That is on full speed though, so that bad when it comes down to it.

In general AMD wins on

  • Features
  • Productivity
  • Power consumption
  • Value

Intel wins on

  • Motherboard options
  • Overclocking
  • Gaming

I don’t need to overclock or game on my server.
And for gaming, it’s better to spend more money on the GPU than a bigger CPU, unless you have the biggest GPU you can get for money that is available right now.

I’m also going to run and test more VM’s, and might even use some on a regular basis as well. The better choice for that is AMD.
I’ve also thought about swapping entirely to Linux, but for that to work, I need to have a Windows VM assigned with X amount of cores, and then stream it to my Linux desktop. My issue right now is, that I can’t always get Steam to properly work on my laptop. So I need to make it work first, and then I might be able to stream all my games over my local network, which actually works pretty well when I tested it.
And no, it will not impact my gaming performance, I’m

For my desktop, I might go with Intel.
I’m playing games on it, and doing light photo and video editing, along with streaming now and then.
I’m looking at something with 8 cores or more with SMT enabled, possibly a K processor so I can OC it on it’s old days. so that’s i7 and i9, since i5 doens’t have 8 cores. i5 isn’ta bad CPU lineup, I just like to get more than I need right now, because I’m the type of user that always find new stuff to use it for.

So I might end up with how the market looks right now, AMD for server and Intel for workstation/desktop.
That might change in the future.

Author Nanobug
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Categories Blog nanonet
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