Intel VS AMD

    Intel and AMD are two giant computer processor manufactures currently. But Intel has been benchmark processor till few years ago. It all changed after AMD RYZEN series started to replace Intel. AMD has been manufacturing processor for a long time. But nothing was going well until they changed their business model. Mostly people used to know AMD as GPU manufacturer. But now GPU is not the only thing they are focused on right now.

    Brief history of Intel

    Intel has been chip manufacturing company for over 40 Years. The first microprocessor chip was Intel 4004 which was made in 1971. It started from 8 bit processor now which ranges between 32 bit and 64 bit. Early Chip names were 8086, 80386, 80486. This led to use of x86 architecture. Later on Intel named this as Intel® Pentium® processor, Intel® Celeron® processor, Intel® Core™ processor, and Intel® Atom™ processor. These are in same family tree but with new features added in each new phase.

    Present Position of Intel

    Intel Microprocessor

    After Intel introduced Core i generation of processors which is based on Intel® Pentium 4 the first generation were based on Nehalem microarchitecture. 3 variants Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 were introduced according to its performance. These were rated 3,4 and 5 stars in Intel’s processor rating respectively where Intel Celeron and Pentium processors were rated 1 and 2 stars.

    The First Core i3 Processors were launched on 2010. i3 processors had 2 cores and 4MB or 3MB L3 cache memory. The codenames of each type of i3 processors were given Clarkdale and Arrandale.

    In the previous year i5 processors were launched. It had up to 4 cores and 8MB L3 cache memory. Similarly its big brother i7 processors were also released during same time which had up to 6 cores and 12MB L3 cache.

    List of architectures used in each generation

    2nd Generation – Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture

    3rd Generation – Ivy Bridge Microarchitecture

    4th Generation – Haswell microarchitecture

    5th Generation – Broadwell microarchitecture

    6th Generation – Skylake microarchitecture

    7th Generation – Kaby Lake microarchitecture

    8th Generation – Kaby Lake Refresh microarchitecture

    9th Generation – Skylake Refresh microarchitecture

    10th Generation – Cascade Lake microarchitecture

    For each Microprocessors Intel used product line suffix denoting its performance. For Example Intel i7-6500U. here 6500 represents 6th gen processor and U represents Ultra Low Power which implies low performance.

    The list of Intel CPU Suffix-

    C – Desktop High Power Processors

    H – High performance graphics

    K – Unlocked Frequency Multiplier – Used for Expensive Gaming built.

    M – Mobile as in laptops, tablets…

    Q – Quad-core

    R – Desktop processor with high performance graphics

    S – Performance-optimized lifestyle

    T – Power-optimized

    U – Ultra-low power – Used mostly in Low performing Laptops

    X – Extreme edition Best for Gaming Performance

    Y – Extremely low power – Mostly used in tablets and Ultra books

    The price ranges with performance depending upon core i series and the suffix used.

    Brief History of AMD (Advanced Micro Devices)

    AMD Processor

    AMD’s Am2900 was its first microprocessor created in 1975. It used bit slice topology. It ranged from Am2901 to Am2965. Later AMD started as second source x86 Processors producer under the contract with Intel. In 1991 Am386 were introduced which established as direct competitor to Intel. This chip was a 100% compatible clone of Intel 80386 design. Intel and AMD had case going on regarding which this CPU since AMD was second-source manufacturer of Intel’s chips. There was a contract between two regarding those chips. But AMD won the case and got the right to sell their Am386 processors. AMD sold the processors in lower price compared to its competitor which led in its popularity.

    In 1996 AMD introduced K5 microprocessors which was competitor to Intel’s Pentium Processors. Another year it launched K6 microprocessors which also marketed as Pentium equivalent product with significantly lower price. Later AMD launched Athlon microprocessors based on K7 architecture which was the first desktop processor to reach speeds of 1GHz. One of the successful microprocessors was AMD Seprom which competed with Intel’s Celeron Series of Processor. 

    Later x86 architecture processors were K8, K9 and K10 series.

    Downfall of AMD

    AMD was going great till early 2000s. But later in that decade it started to fall behind Intel where Intel was still rising as world leader in manufacturing microprocessors. Intel was doing better in chip manufacturing and its processors were more stable than AMD’s. One of the notable point in history was between AMD Athlon 64 and Intel core 2 duo. AMD Athlon 64 was best processor during early and mid-2000s. Intel’s Core 2 Duo came out in 2006 and completely outperformed the Athlon 64. The downfall of AMD somehow started from there.  AMD CPU’s were on 28nm manufacturing process whereas Intel were at 22nm and moving toward 14nm. AMD being first to introduce 64-bit processors were starting to fall apart. AMD introduced Bulldozer, the new architecture but was in vain as it too fell behind Intel in comparison to performance.

    Revival of AMD

    AMD RYZEN 7 3700X

    In 2012 AMD hired two people Jim Keller and Lisa Su. Lisa Su is also considered the main person in revival of AMD. Intel was well ahead than AMD during this time. AMD were quietly building their new game changing design and were about to launch new processor in 2017. AMD completely made new architecture which gave new name RYZEN. Ryzen series is based on 14nm technology which is same as Intel’s but with higher core counts Multicore performance has outperformed Intel’s Processors. These processors were priced every competitively with Intel’s. Intel’s Higher core processors were excessively pricey compared to AMD’s which became main attraction for Gaming CPU builds to shift focus toward AMD CPU.

    AMD named its product with similar naming to Intel’s Core I series. Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, Ryzen 9 which corresponds with core i3, i5, i7 and i9. Currently Intel are at 10th Generation which also means its 10 years of the core I series. Similarly Ryzen being introduced at 2017 is at 3rd Generation. AMD also used suffix similar to Intel’s one.

    U – Designed for ultra-portable laptops

    H – Better for more Powerful Gaming

    X – High Definition Gaming Processors

    Is AMD better than Intel?

    According to current market the AMD Ryzen series are doing exceptionally very well. The area where it shines is in multicore threaded applications. Due to higher core count in even budget CPU AMD is overtaking Intel’s CPU. Intel is planning for to go for 10nm manufacturing process in coming year whereas AMD is focusing toward 7nm. Intel’s core I series started using 2 cores as base version but AMD jumped to 4 cores with similar price point. AMD is focused on core count so much that it became the first to launch 64core CPU. In most of the gaming and day to day application comparison both Intel and AMD are good at their own space. Intel’s 10gen CPU are performing well in every task.

    But in comparison to AMD it falls behind in multithreaded task. For applications using single threaded process Intel is still ahead of AMD. Now most of the application are moving toward multithread process which boosts the performance of the application which also helps in boosting machine learning performance. So the future of AMD seems to be great for many years to come. Many people especially gamers are switching from Intel to AMD. Due to low price with high performance AMD might replace Intel in upcoming years as No. 1 CPU manufacturer.

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