Don’t you love competition? For the longest time Intel was the only processor to consider when building a gaming machine, AMD changed the game when they came out with Ryzen it was very easily the best value CPU in the market and Intel didn’t have an answer to it other than to drop prices of its current line.
Intel has counter punched with its Coffee Lake line of processors, and now we have a real CPU fight going on.
You can’t really go wrong with either brand right now, they both provide great value. But we’re here to maximize your dollar and prevent buyers remorse, read on to figure out whether Intel or AMD works best for you.
TLDR: Intel Coffee Lake vs AMD Ryzen – Which is better for gaming?
Intel Coffee Lake processors beat out Ryzen in gaming due to its better clock speeds. Currently, Intel’s latest Coffee Lake lineup beat AMD Ryzen’s performance at all price tiers, while being slightly more expensive.
What to look for in Gaming CPUs
Performance per dollar (Value)
This is sometimes hard to determine, most games aren’t bottlenecked by CPU speed and aren’t very CPU reliant. There are some games, like PUBG, GTA V, Dota 2 and Fortnite that rely on CPU to drive frames. Because most games will run very well on mid-range CPUs, the value peak is at the mid-range. You should also consider costs of required RAM and motherboards that go along with AMD and Intel, AMD parts usually cost less but require high end ram, while Intel’s CPUs and motherboards cost more.
Winner : Intel Coffee Lake
Choosing a chipset platform is crucial when considering your future ability to upgrade platforms. You want to pick a platform that will be supported for a few years so if you need to upgrade your CPU you’ll have options. You just don’t want to have to upgrade your motherboard to upgrade your CPU, it’s a hassle and it’ll cost you a bunch of money.
AMD has stated that they will be supporting theirAM4 platform for years to come.
A future Ryzen 2 will work on an AM4 motherboard you purchase today.
Intel, on the other hand, has been the opposite story, in the effort to compete with AMD, Intel has already dumped Kaby Lake for Coffee Lake, a completely new chipset. So if you’re the owner of a 7700K and want to get to the 8700K, you’ll have to get a new motherboard.
Winner: AMD Ryzen
Cooling and TDP
TDP stands for thermal design power, and it represents the maximum amount of heat a processor is designed to generate. The lower the TDP the easier the CPU is to cool and the lower its overall power draw. You typically want as much performance as you can get at the lowest TDP you can manage if you want to think about your power bills.
Intel’s latest CPU line TDP are:
i7 8700K: 95W
i5 8600K: 95W
i3 8100: 65W
AMD’s latest CPU line TDP are:
Ryzen 7 1800X: 95W
Ryzen 5 1600X: 95W
Ryzen 3 1300:65W
Overclocking makes your CPU run at speeds faster than what’s rated on the box, it’s great because you get more performance out of the same chip for free! All the AMD Ryzen CPUs are capable of overclocking as long as you avoid the A320 line of motherboards. Intel CPUs with a K in their model name indicates the ability to overclock. Techradar has a clean and simple list of general tips to overclock your CPU.
There are several factors that go into how much of an overclock you can get with your CPUs, your cooling system, power supply quality, motherboard, ram and a bunch of other factors, but in general, some CPUs just show more ability to overclock without crashing your system.
According to Hardware Zone, Intel’s line of CPUs is easily more overclockable, the i7 8700K was able to achieve a 17% lift in their testing topping out at a whopping 5.13 GHz. AMD Ryzen’s seem to have OC gains of around 10% topping out at around 4.1 GHz per core.
Intel’s latest Coffee Lake processors stack up very well against AMD Ryzen, they beat Ryzen at every major price point in performance after factoring in overclocking by a good margin. The only thing holding you back is future proofing, if you like to upgrade your PC fairly frequently then investing in a more future proof platform like Ryzen’s AM4 platform might be a better bet, Ryzen 2 chips are set to come out later this year in 2018 so waiting until then might be a wise move.
But, if you’re looking for a CPU right now, we have to give the recommendation to look for an Intel processor, current games aren’t bottle necked by the CPU, so if you buy a good CPU now it’ll be good for gaming for a long while going forward even without upgrades.