AMD vs Intel Values Compared: Which Processor Is Better for 2020?

According to the Steam Hardware Survey, around 80 percent of gaming PCs run Intel CPUs. For years, Intel and Nvidia were the way to go. But now, with the new Ryzen 3000-series CPUs, people are starting to question Intel’s value.

Going into 2020, you’d be right to wonder which CPU truly offers the best value. For the first time in years, AMD is outselling Intel CPUs. The Ryzen 5 3600 alone is selling more than the entire line of Intel CPUs.

Is now the right time to make the jump? In this article, we’re going to compare AMD and Intel value and let you know which CPU belongs in your new machine.

Ready to find out which CPU should be part of your streaming equipment? Then read on!

Intel vs AMD: Price and Power

Speaking generally, AMD offers superb power to those on a budget.

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X undercuts Intel’s value dramatically. The AMD processor offers twice as many processing threads and the MSRP cost is $50 less than its competitor, the i7-9700K.

If you need to use your processor for CPU intensive activities like rendering, AMD CPUs generally offer far more cores than Intel. The 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is available for just $499 MSRP, yet it competes with Intel’s $1199 i9-9920X.

If you’re after budget power, AMD will typically beat Intel on value. However, there are some exceptions.

Single-Core Performance

In terms of single-core performance, Intel stomps AMD. This isn’t an issue for a lot of applications, but there will be some which will run better on Intel than AMD.

If single-core power is a top priority of yours, the i9-9900K will smash an AMD Threadripper 2970WX.


Pitting integrated graphics against a dedicated GPU would have gotten you laughed out of the room in the past. For example, if you were to look at Intel HD Graphics vs Nvidia GPUs, the GPUs would have humiliated them.

Perhaps not for much longer.

Intel value is up with Ice Lake. These processors, which are designed for ultrabooks, offer integrated graphics on par with a low/medium-spec graphics card. For example, if you want to play Fortnite, you can!

AMD Ryzen CPUs have been offering a decent graphical solution for budget gamers, but Intel could have them beaten soon. This is particularly the case with all Intel CPUs featuring onboard graphics, while only certain AMD CPUs do.

Overclocking Capabilities

One of my best gaming PCs ran an i5-3750K, overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Back then, AMD wasn’t even in the running. Today, AMD tends to offer better value to overclockers.

You can overclock a whole host of AMD CPUs. Only select Intel CPUs (those whose model numbers end in a K) can be overclocked.

It’s true that Intel CPUs can usually run faster with their Turbo Boost technology, however. The i9-9900K can go up to 5 GHz from a base speed of 3.6, compared to the Ryzen 7 3800’s max speed of 4.5 GHz from a base of 3.9.

If you’re looking for a great budget gaming solution, which you can overclock to your heart’s content, AMD is the company for you. They are dominating the overclocking market and crushing Intel’s value.

True Value: AMD and the Decline of Intel Value

If value is important to you, AMD is the clear winner here.

Sure, Intel’s value is better for single-core performance but AMD’s included goodies just help edge it out.

For example, if you buy a Ryzen 3 3200G, you also get a 1200 MHz Vega GPU. This APU is cooled by a Wraith Stealth cooler. Go for the Ryzen 5 3400G and you get a Wraith Spire cooler.

The Wraith coolers are fantastic value and far better than most stock heatsinks. You don’t get anything like as good a heatsink on Intel CPUs.

They are a better proposition for gamers too. The number of cores on some of the Ryzen CPUs is insane and will help you hit high framerates in any game you care to name. The clock speeds may not be as high, but you’ll barely notice.

Hardware Compatibility

One area where AMD does come a cropper is with hardware compatibility. Due to Intel’s market dominance, AMD motherboards and heatsinks can be tricky to find.

Some heatsinks will require you to purchase an AM4 bracket to fit them to a Ryzen. A lot of motherboards will not fit AM4 chipsets at all. You’re going to have to shop around if you want to find top quality tech components that are compatible with AMD.

The Verdict

AMD used to be something of a laughing stock. Not anymore. Today, their combination of sheer value has smashed Intel’s value as a gaming CPU into the dust.

They are powerful, cheap, and feature enough cores for anything you could care to do. If you’re building a new gaming PC, there is no alternative: the Ryzen is where it’s at.

AMD and Intel FAQs

We’ve reached a verdict, but we’re sure you have questions. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common ones.

I’m Not Comfortable Overclocking: Which is Better Value?

If you don’t want to overclock your CPU, Intel CPUs are not worth it. AMD CPUs offer a lower price point and sufficient power for your needs.

Is AMD Better for Streaming?

This is a definite yes. If you’re going to be streaming, AMD’s increased number of cores will help you multitask more efficiently.

Can I Pair an AMD CPU and an Nvidia GPU?

Your computer’s CPU and GPU run independently of each other. There is no need to run an AMD CPU with a Radeon GPU.

Final Thoughts

Intel’s value is under severe attack by AMD, and that’s a fantastic thing. Competition is good for business, and we, as consumers, can get a far better deal.

For those looking to build a futureproofed computer, AMD is the answer. It may run slightly slower in terms of single-core performance, but that’s not going to trouble many. We wholeheartedly recommend grabbing an AMD chip for your new build.