AMD vs Intel: which CPUs are better? (2023)

Comparing the best of the best: Intel and AMD.

AMD vs Intel: which CPUs are better? Image shows the text "AMD vs Intel: which CPUs are better?" underneath the Intel and AMD logos, on a pink gradient background.

PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Read More

Last Updated on

Today, we’re unpacking the big question of AMD vs Intel: which CPUs are better? In the ongoing tussle for processing supremacy, AMD and Intel stand as the towering giants of the CPU world. This article is all about dissecting their current offerings to see which CPUs come out on top in 2023. As a reader, you’re likely seeking clarity on which brand will serve your computing needs best, whether it’s for multitasking, gaming, or efficient PC power usage—and we’re here to provide just that.

We’ll explore the latest specs and features, evaluate the pricing and value, and delve into how Intel processors and AMD processors handle multitasking and productivity tasks. For the gamers, we’ll examine which CPUs could give you the edge in the latest titles. And because performance isn’t the only consideration, we’ll also discuss power consumption and heat output—critical factors for many builds. Without further ado, let’s dig into some of the best CPUs offered by Team Blue and Team Red.

Specs and Features

When evaluating the latest CPU offerings, Intel and AMD present their unique takes on power and performance. Previously its top-of-the-line CPU, Intel’s Core i9-13900K commands attention with its 24 cores and 32 threads, and its high boost clock of 5.8 GHz is impressive. It maintains a TDP of 125W but can push to 253W for peak performance. However, Intel’s Raptor Lake refresh that was released in October saw the i9 14900K, built upon the Raptor Lake architecture, reach speeds of up to 6 GHz. On the other hand, AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D stakes its claim with a 144MB cache and an efficient energy profile, topping at 162W under full load. It can also almost match Intel’s capabilities, with a boosted clock speed of 5.7 GHz, without draining that much power.

Intel’s strengths lie in its architectural design, which delivers a balanced performance that’s tough to beat. The Core i9-13900K stands out for its ability to handle intensive multi-threaded tasks without breaking a sweat, making it ideal for both gaming and productivity. The downside? These chips can be power-hungry under load, which might lead to higher energy bills and the need for better desktop cooling solutions. Annoyingly, it seems that the refreshed 14th Gen chips are no exception, and although deliver better performance, haven’t been blessed with lower power consumption.

CPUMSRPCores / Threads (P+E)P-Core Base/Boost (GHz)Cache (L2/L3)TDP-PBP / MTP
Core i9-13900K$58924 / 32 (8+16)3.0 / 5.868MB (32+36)125W / 253W
Ryzen 9 7950X$69916 / 324.5 / 5.780MB (16+64)170W / 230W
Ryzen 9 7950X3D$69916 / 324.2 / 5.7144MB (16+128)120W / 162W
Ryzen 9 7900X$54912 / 244.7 / 5.676MB (12+64)170W / 230W
Ryzen 9 7900X3D$59912 / 244.4 / 5.6140MB (12+128)120W / 162W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D$4498 / 163.4 / 4.596MB105W
Core i7-13700K$40916 / 24 (8+8)3.4 / 5.454MB (24+30)125W / 253W
Ryzen 7 7700X$3998 / 164.5 / 5.440MB (8+32)105W / 142W
Ryzen 5 7600X$2996 / 124.7 / 5.338MB (6+32)105W / 142W
Core i5-13600K$31914 / 20 (6+8)3.5 / 5.144MB (20+24)125W / 181W
Core i5-13600K$31914 / 20 (6+8)3.5 / 5.144MB (20+24)125W / 181W
Ryzen 5 7600X$2996 / 124.7 / 5.338MB (6+32)105W / 142W

AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X3D excels in gaming thanks to its massive cache, giving it an edge in high-frame-rate scenarios. However, the focus on gaming performance means that it can lag in general productivity tasks when compared to Intel’s more balanced offerings. Additionally, Ryzen’s reliance on the newer DDR5 memory means users will face higher upgrade costs if they’re coming from older systems.

After considering the pros and cons, Intel comes out on top in the specs and features category. Its CPUs offer a blend of performance and versatility that’s hard to overlook, providing a better overall experience for a wider range of activities. Intel also maintains compatibility with DDR4, allowing for a more budget-friendly upgrade path. Thus, for users looking for an all-encompassing CPU that delivers across the board, Intel is the way to go in the AMD vs Intel showdown.

Pricing and value

In the AMD vs Intel battle of CPU pricing and value, Team Blue has rolled up its sleeves to reclaim its position in the market. The launch of Raptor Lake is a clear indicator of Intel’s aggressive strategy, marking a significant drop in the cost per core and thread across its Core i5, i7, and i9 ranges. This strategic pricing allows Intel to overshadow AMD in value, particularly in the mid to high-end segments.

AMD has long been the go-to for budget-conscious buyers, thanks to perks like included coolers and the freedom to overclock across most of its product line. The company’s forward-thinking features like Precision Boost Overdrive further cemented its place as a value leader. But times have unfortunately changed. AMD’s price hikes and the removal of bundled coolers, coupled with increased cooling demands for its CPUs, have dampened its competitive edge. This shift has made AMD’s offerings less appealing to those seeking maximum value for their investment.

Multitasking and productivity

Intel stands out in the multitasking and productivity arena, particularly with its Core i9-13900K processor. Boasting 24 cores capable of juggling 32 threads, it’s an impressive powerhouse that excels in keeping numerous tasks moving fluidly. The chip’s performance shines in benchmarks, notching a towering Passmark score of 60,009, and it leads the pack with a single-thread rating of 4,679.

AMD, while offering solid CPUs, can’t match Intel’s core and thread count, which translates to a slightly more constrained multitasking experience. Especially for those engaged in content creation or heavy multitasking, this core count discrepancy can be the deciding factor.

Intel’s chips are adept at seamlessly transitioning between tasks, ensuring productivity doesn’t falter even under heavy loads. With a blend of robust single-threaded performance and a multitude of cores for parallel processing, Intel delivers a smooth and efficient computing experience. This balance makes Intel the preferred choice for users who demand peak performance across a breadth of applications.


When it comes to AMD vs Intel in the gaming realm, AMD steals the spotlight with its X3D line of CPU chipsets, which includes the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 7950X3D, and Ryzen 9 7900X3D. These processors are tailored for gamers seeking the pinnacle of performance, and they deliver by topping the charts in gaming benchmarks. Notably, the Ryzen 7000 series features high-performance integrated graphics – the Radeon Graphics integrated graphics solution. However, we’ve still made sure to delve into the best GPU for the Ryzen 7 7800X3D to find you a graphics card that this AMD CPU superpower won’t bottleneck.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D, in particular, has made waves as an outstanding gaming processor, marking its territory as the best option available for pure gaming prowess. It’s a formidable choice for those who prioritize gaming above all else and is recognized as such among the community of gamers. However, this gaming superiority comes with certain caveats in productivity workloads, where AMD’s X3D chips may not perform as well as some users require. If your computing needs are multifaceted, encompassing both gaming and productivity, Intel’s offerings might serve you better. They provide a more balanced package, ensuring that users don’t have to compromise on performance outside of their gaming escapades.

Power consumption and heat

When it comes to power consumption and heat, AMD leads with its advanced 5nm process technology. AMD chips are more power-efficient and cooler, translating to energy savings and less strain on cooling systems. Intel, despite improvements with its Raptor Lake series, still tends to consume more power. However, the performance delivered by Intel CPUs often justifies their higher energy use for many users.

Nevertheless, the overall efficiency crown goes to AMD. Its CPUs offer more processing power for each watt consumed and come with more manageable thermal demands. This makes AMD the better choice for those who prioritize energy efficiency and lower operating temperatures in their computing tasks.

Do gamers prefer AMD over Intel?

Gamers looking for the top frame rates in games often gravitate toward AMD’s high-end offerings. AMD has made significant strides with its Ryzen series, especially the X3D chips that offer the best gaming performance currently available, and for this reason they tend to score highly when it comes to the best CPUs for gaming.

Are Intel and AMD sockets the same?

Intel and AMD use different socket designs for their processors. For example, Intel’s 12th, 13th, and 14th Generation CPUs use the LGA 1700 socket, while AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs use the AM4 socket, and its latest Ryzen 7000 series CPUs use the new AM5 socket. It’s essential to match the CPU to a motherboard with the correct socket type, so it’s good to have this knowledge under your belt.

AMD vs Intel: PC Guide’s view

When you’re investing in a CPU upgrade, you’ll no doubt be weighing up between AMD and Intel, as they sit neck and neck at the top of the processor market. While Intel might take the edge in terms of speed on heavy multitasking loads, AMD’s speeds aren’t far behind and often perform more energy efficiently. With such close competition on our hands, the CPU that’s going to be better for you depends on your current system setup, what you need it for, and how much you have available to spend on it.

If you’re still unsure which way to swing, you can head to our CPU buyers guide hub to crack down on the market’s favorite CPUs out there and what they could bring to your desktop.