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Intel vs AMD: TOP-10 Best PC Processors

First, Intel released more affordable non-overclockable 12-generation Core processors without the K index (unofficially, they still overclock on the bus). And then AMD responded with an update, or rather a refresh, of the Ryzen 4000 and 5000 lineup, also at very tasty prices. As a result, the choice of the optimal new processor has become more complicated, and there are also very profitable used solutions. According to our opinion we have selected the top ten processors for office, home gaming and professional work applications.

The article was written with the support of the Ukrainian computer manufacturer 2E.

Intel Core i3-4130 (used) – typewriter

Intel Core i3-4130 is a used processor from AliExpress costing only 500 hryvnias. In terms of performance of computing cores, it even slightly outperforms the three times more expensive Athlon 200GE, but is inferior to it in terms of the built-in graphics accelerator. And the point here is not so much in the gaming potential, but in the hardware acceleration of codecs – the current H.265 and VP9 are not supported. By the way, the motherboard on the H81 chipset can still be found on sale, even a new one with a guarantee.

Intel Celeron N5105 (soldered) – no fan

The Intel Celeron N5105 is a modern alternative to the aforementioned used Core i3. It consumes five times less electricity and emits less heat by about the same amount. Thanks to this, it can suffice even with passive fanless cooling. Supports all modern video codecs except perhaps AV1. But you can’t buy the Celeron N5105 separately, only bundled with a motherboard or a nettop, because it’s soldered in and can’t be upgraded.

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (Used) – for eSports

The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is still the best value APU in terms of core performance and integrated graphics, especially in the secondary market. SMT virtual streams, like subsequent iterations of the Zen architecture, provide only a small increase in frame rates in games. After all, Radeon Vega 8 remains the bottleneck anyway. It must be overclocked in the core to 1500 MHz and in dual-channel memory to 3200 MHz. As a result, it will be possible to surpass the discrete GT 1030 and catch up with the RX 550.

Intel Core i3-12100F – budget gaming

The Intel Core i3-12100F is the new king of budget gaming builds. At the start of sales, it was overpriced, at the level of the more multi-core i5-10400F, but the price is gradually decreasing. It has a significantly higher performance per core than the 11th and, especially, the 10th generation Intel Core, while being much colder. It also supports the fast PCI-Express 4.0 bus, which is important for video cards with a reduced number of PCIe lanes: Radeon RX 6500 XT, RX 6600 and GeForce RX 3050.

2E Complex Gaming is a budget gaming computer with a Core i3-12100F and a GeForce RTX 3050. The video card supports NVIDIA’s proprietary DLSS technology to increase FPS through smart upscaling with virtually no loss in image quality. Simply put, the 12100F and RTX 3050 pairing will handle even the most demanding games at high graphics settings at Full HD resolution at a stable 60 FPS for at least another three years.

AMD Ryzen 5 5500 – both play and work

AMD Ryzen 5 5500 is another favorite of budget gamers, already with 6 cores and 12 threads of the Zen 3 architecture. In fact, the same 5600G, only with the integrated Vega video card blocked, apparently due to a factory defect. It boasts a fast dual-channel cache of 8 + 8 MB and overclocking of RAM in synchronous mode up to 4266 MHz. But still a little slower than the Ryzen 5 5600 with 32 MB of cache, and it only supports discrete graphics cards in PCIe 3.0 x8 mode.

Intel Core i5-11400 – workstation

The Intel Core i5-11400 is the most affordable six-core processor with a fast PCIe 4.0 graphics card, albeit for the old LGA 1200 socket. The F version is cheaper, but the Iris Xe can still be useful even with a discrete one. For example, it can play the AV1 codec in hardware, and also performs well in H.265 video editing and Topaz Gigapixel AI photo upscaling. Fortunately, modern motherboards allow you to use iGPU and dGPU at the same time.

2E Integer is a compact business computer with Core i5-11400 and licensed Windows 11 Pro. And the built-in Intel UHD 730 graphics card is useful for viewing, recording and editing video thanks to proprietary Intel Quick Sync technology, as well as for photo processing and 3D modeling using the open OpenCL standard. The PC is equipped with dual-channel 2×8 GB RAM, which speeds up the processor cores by 10% and the iGPU by 50%.

AMD Ryzen 5 4600G – upgradable option

AMD Ryzen 5 4600G is the best processor to temporarily run on integrated graphics, and after half a year to buy a discrete one. The architecture is slightly older than the 5600G Zen 2, and the single-channel cache is 8 MB, but the price is much lower. And a video card of the RTX 3060 Ti, RX 6700 or 6750 XT level will definitely pull it out. And the 4600G is also the best choice for Mini-ITX PC builds in a thin case, a la InWin Chopin or GameMax Violin. But in this case, you will have to spend extra for a low-profile cooler.

Intel Xeon E5-2680v3 (used) – for home server

The Intel Xeon E5-2680v3 is a processor with 12 cores, 24 threads that is relatively low-demanding to the motherboard power subsystem, and the price is at the level of Pentium or Athlon. Of course, Haswell’s 22nm architecture is significantly slower than Alder Lake and Zen 3. But in highly parallelized tasks such as 3D modeling, CAD drafting, and especially virtual machines, the number of cores wins out. But you can build a PC with two such CPUs (two-socket motherboard).

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D – best for gaming

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the most powerful gaming processor ever. 8 cores and 16 threads allowed reaching a record high FPS in the Total War Attila strategy, a third-level cache of 96 MB is of great use in Counter-Strike GO. It was possible to increase it by adding an additional 64 MB to the 32 MB integrated into the chipset with a standalone chip. This arrangement is called AMD 3D V-Cache and will likely appear in other Ryzen processors of the current 5000 and upcoming 7000 series soon.

Intel Core i7-12700F – for serious work

The Intel Core i7-12700F is a direct competitor to the aforementioned Ryzen 3D. It even costs a little less, while it has a large number of cores: 8 powerful P-Cores, dividing into two threads, and 4 more energy-efficient E-Cores for undemanding tasks. This is useful not only for games, but for professional work tasks: programming, batch processing of photos, video editing. Weak cores are used for multimedia entertainment while powerful cores are busy with hard work.

2E Hyper Complex is a progressive gaming and part-time professional PC with a Core i7-12700F processor. It comes with a solid 32 GB of RAM and a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card, which is much closer in performance to 3070 than to 3060. And a tandem of  512 M.2 PCIe 4.0 and 2 TB SATA SSD is a good solution for storing videos, 3D models, CAD drawings and, of course, games.

Yuriy Pyatkovskiy

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