TABLE OF CONTENTS
Now that both Intel and AMD have played their hands with the launches of 13th Gen Raptor Lake and Ryzen 7000, it’s time to take a step back and look at the state of affairs when it comes to CPUs to buy in late 2022.
We’ll go over a few benchmarks, and then our thoughts on the hotly debated question –
Intel or AMD Ryzen Processors in Late 2022?
Intel vs. Ryzen: Recommendations for 2022 (December 2022)
Both GPU and CPU shortages have abated, and most options in the market are available to buy on shelves right away. However, before we dive in, I know some of you just want a quick recommendation. I got you!
Here you go:
|Category/Task||No-Compromise Performance||CG Director |
|Video Editing / Encoding||Intel Core i9 13900K||Intel Core i5 13600K||Intel Core i5 12400|
|Viewport Performance||Intel Core i9 13900K||Intel Core i5 13600K||AMD Ryzen 5 5600G|
|(CPU) Rendering||AMD Threadripper 5995WX||AMD Ryzen 9 7950X||Intel Core i5 13600K|
|General Productivity||Intel Core i9 13900K||AMD Ryzen 5 7600X||Intel Core i3 12100|
Please avoid paying too much over the MSRP for CPUs now. They should be available at or very close to MSRP at most retailers.
Note – Do check out detailed reviews of AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs, and AMD’s Threadripper 3000 parts for more information about these CPUs.
With Intel’s launch of 13th Generation processors, it edges out even the best that AMD’s Ryzen 7000 lineup has to offer. The margin might be slim, but it’s there. That said, Raptor Lake’s P-core and E-core architecture adds yet another factor to an already complex CPU-picking scenario.
But if you’re building a workstation that you’ll primarily use to do active viewport work, the Core i5 13600K from Intel’s Raptor Lake lineup offers incredible value. It outpaces a similarly-priced Ryzen 5 7600X in most workloads – making it the best value option for workstations right now.
A Quick History Recap: AMD vs. Intel
If you’re curious about how we reached our recommendations, head on to the next section! But if you want to dive into some Intel and AMD history, stick around!
AMD and Intel have been at loggerheads for nearly half a century now; the rivalry certainly isn’t new, and isn’t going anywhere any time soon either.
While Intel maintained a tight grip on the CPU market for the past decade or so, AMD lagged behind it until the release of Ryzen in 2017.
The vast performance disparity and better efficiency of Intel processors over their AMD counterparts made them an obvious choice for any use case before Ryzen.
Whether you were building a gaming PC, workstation PC, or even an office PC, the best choice was undoubtedly Intel.
Intel IPC advantage and AMD Bulldozer
The performance disparity stemmed from the radically different architecture approaches that these companies adopted in CPUs released around 2010-2011.
Intel opted to focus on IPC improvements; AMD focused on parallelism. One approach equipped processors with fewer but extremely powerful cores, and the other equipped CPUs with more, albeit far weaker, cores.
What is IPC?
IPC (Instructions Per Cycle/Clock) is the number of instructions that a processor executes in a single clock cycle. What does this mean?
Well, here’s an easy way to understand this.
We’ve had processors touching 3 GHz for over a decade now. However, if we directly compare the performance difference between a modern processor at the same clock as an older processor, we find that the modern processor is much faster.
In a single clock cycle, the newer processors can execute more instructions (more work) than the number of instructions executed by an older processor in that same single cycle.
Since it improves efficiency by a considerable margin, an IPC uplift is considered the best kind of improvement we can get when it comes to CPUs.
Bulldozer: Plagued by Low IPC
AMD’s Bulldozer CPU lineup (FX series) launched in 2011 and was a ground-up re-design. The problem? It was a fiasco.
The newly-launched products were, in some cases, even slower than the older AMD Phenom parts that they were set to replace!
Although Bulldozer (FX 4000 series) launched a few months later, it just couldn’t compete with Intel’s amazing Sandy Bridge processors.
Intel seized this opportunity and captured the market.
The next few years saw a similar story unfold, with both companies continuing to make incremental improvements to their processors.
The result – Intel was crowned king of both single-threaded as well as multi-threaded workloads.
Intel’s lead was bound to come to an end sooner or later. The engineering brilliance it showcased in 2011 helped Intel maintain a substantial lead over AMD for close to a decade.
A remarkable feat.
1st Generation AMD Ryzen vs. 7th Generation Intel
When AMD first announced Ryzen, people were skeptical. Even I was, to be completely honest.
After all, we’d been promised the moon by AMD before and got, well, Bulldozer instead – an 8-core dumpster fire that couldn’t go toe-to-toe with a 4-core CPU from Intel even in heavily multi-threaded workloads.
Throw in operating temperatures that spawned a whole generation of ‘heater’ memes, and well, you get the picture.
However, Ryzen’s release took even the most vocal AMD fans by surprise. It offered a whopping 52% improvement in IPC than the Bulldozer core – positioning it pretty dang close to the 7th Generation Intel processors.
Of course, this uplift was more a testament to how far behind Bulldozer was, more than anything else.
But still, AMD finally caught up.
Here’s a benchmark for Premiere Pro’s Warp Stabilize – a popular effect used to reduce shake/jitter in video footage.
The Zen microarchitecture used core complexes connected by the Infinity Fabric, making it easier and cheaper to offer more cores without increasing latency too much or giving up performance.
Hence, AMD’s 8-core, 16-thread offering was priced around the same as a 4-core, 8-thread part from Intel.
Unlike Bulldozer, Ryzen offered excellent clock speeds as well as stellar IPC. When this was combined with higher core counts, AMD Ryzen took the multi-threaded workload crown with ease.
AMD’s 8-core powerhouse was pitted against a 4-core offering from Intel because of AMD’s aggressive pricing. The results were hardly surprising at that point.
However, Intel had refined its architecture and clock speeds for years and still maintained a lead in both clock speed and IPC – ensuring that it remained the best choice for single-threaded workloads.
Moreover, being a market leader for close to a decade does come with certain advantages. Applications were optimized to run on Intel processors, and some benchmarks confirmed this disparity.
For Gaming and Viewport performance and even a few production workloads, Intel remained the better choice due to snappier single-core performance.
AMD Ryzen vs Intel in 2022
AMD’s effort to improve IPC finally allowed Ryzen processors to overtake Intel Core CPUs when it comes to snappiness within a viewport. In our review of Ryzen 5000 parts, we noticed a substantial improvement in fluidity – surpassing Intel easily. However, Intel swooped right back in and took back the crown with its 11th Generation CPUs in 2021. But it looks like they weren’t done. With the 12th Generation Alder Lake CPUs, Intel has widened that lead even more!
That said, when it comes to balancing core counts, single-core performance, and power draw, AMD does have the edge (when using stock; more details in the power consumption section below).
Benchmarks: Intel vs AMD Ryzen
We build PCs for a myriad of workstation and general productivity tasks. So, I’ve compiled a range of benchmarks that should help you make an informed choice.
I’ll cover video editing, media encoding, viewport performance, rendering, and much more in the charts below – followed by CPU recommendations for those tasks.
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel Core CPUs: Viewport Performance
Building on Intel’s 12th Generation single-core performance, Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor lake takes the crown from AMD yet again – posting some incredible Cinebench numbers.
Let’s see how these numbers compare to older Intel and AMD CPUs, shall we?
That’s a significant uptick. No doubt about it. AMD just isn’t able to match Intel’s performance in this particular benchmark. But to be fair, Ryzen isn’t too far behind.
The top-tier Ryzen 9 7950X boasts a single-core score of 2059 in Cinebench R23. It’s only when you compare this to the Intel Core i9 13900K’s 2275 score that it seems slower. But for most scenes, you shouldn’t be able to tell either of these CPUs apart when working within the viewport.
Please do keep in mind that this doesn’t suddenly make the 12th Generation Intel or Ryzen 5000/3000 parts terrible. There’s no reason to rush out and grab an upgrade right now if you don’t see any stutters in the scenes you usually work with. However, the better platform extensibility, PCIe 5.0 support, additional M.2 slots, and so on do make the 13th Generation Intel offerings a very compelling upgrade for anyone on, say, 9th Gen Intel CPUs. For those on early Ryzen CPUs (1000/2000/3000) with a 400-series+ motherboard, a swap-out upgrade to Ryzen 5000 is still the best value option to gain performance without investing too much.
If you’re building a workstation from the ground up, I’d go with AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs only if you think you’ll upgrade in a couple of years. However, if you usually keep your builds for at least 4-5 years, I would go with a 13th Generation Intel build.
That said, the lack of budget Ryzen offerings is disappointing; there’s still no reasonable AMD offering for shoppers in the <$200 price segment.
You can find the full list of Viewport benchmarks here.
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel Core: Cinebench R23
When it comes to multi-threaded performance, Intel hasn’t been able to match the number of cores that AMD offered for quite a while. Now, this has always been an issue with this multi-core workload recommendation as the charts were always red. As you’ll see, cores do matter for workloads that involve physics simulations and fluid dynamics.
If you don’t need access to HEDT features like quad-channel memory, more PCI-E lanes, and so on, does 13th Gen Intel make any sense?
With the launch of its 12th Generation CPUs, Intel managed to claw its way back into the leaderboards of multi-threaded workloads again. With Raptor Lake, Intel is finally able to overtake AMD on its consumer platform.
You can find the full table here.
Threadripper 5000 parts are now finally available in the wild, and even though they cost a pretty penny, they’ll be well worth it if you’re doing any heavy CPU rendering or particle sims, etc. On the consumer side of things, Team blue is finally showing up – with the Core i9 13900K beating the Ryzen 9 5950X
However, this performance bump comes at the cost of substantial power draw, which makes the decision here a bit tricky for good value.
If power draw isn’t a concern at all, you could go with a Core i9 13900K, else a Ryzen 9 7950X is an excellent 16-core CPU that outpaces even a 24-core Threadripper 3960X. But extended core-heavy runs have been known to throttle the Core i9 13900K, making it less than ideal for a workload like this one.
The true tragedy for AMD, however, is the fact that a Ryzen 9 7900X gets absolutely stomped by a Core i7 13700K!
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel for Video Editing and Encoding
Intel’s single and multi-thread gains do carry over to video editing in a big way. If you want the very best Adobe Premiere Pro workstation, bar none, you just have to include a Core i9 13900K along with DDR5 memory.
With the Ryzen 9 7950X now trailing behind even the Intel Core i5 13600K, AMD has lost the Premiere Pro race this generation. It’s not even a competition.
In DaVinci Resolve, things are a bit different. The top-dog AMD CPU that trailed Intel’s mid-range offering now sits right at the top of this chart. If you’re primarily working with Resolve, either of these options are good. But if we account for the fact that Intel excels at both these apps, it’s the safer, more robust choice for a video editing workstation.
While AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors could easily destroy even the best from Intel’s 11th Generation lineup in video encoding, things changed with Alder Lake. With Raptor lake, Intel maintains this lead as the Core i9 13900K manages to beat a Ryzen 9 7950X quite convincingly. Here’s a video encoding benchmark from Guru3D that shows how these CPUs stack up.
It’s hard to recommend AMD for workstation systems that want to handle video editing workloads because Intel counterparts (at lower price points) are just so much better. Now that the AM5 platform is even pricier than Z690/Z790, it doesn’t really make sense to go AMD for video editing.
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel for Adobe Photoshop and After Effects
AMD’s lead in the Adobe suite is done after over a year of domination. The Ryzen 9 7950X now trails behind even the Core i7 13700K, while the Core i9 13900K easily takes the crown.
After Effects tells a similar story as well with the Ryzen 9 7950X just struggling to keep up with a lower-priced Core i7 13700K while the substantially cheaper Core i5 13600K makes everything else in AMD’s 7000 series lineup look like a bad joke. It looks like Intel is the best choice for any Adobe CC workload.
It’s hard to recommend AMD for workstation systems that want to handle the Adobe suite because Intel counterparts (at lower price points) are just so much better. Take the Core i5 13600K, for example. It regularly trounces a much-pricier Ryzen 9 7900X, while its AMD price counterparts aren’t able to match it at all.
Intel all the way for Photoshop and After Effects!
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel for Microsoft Office (Excel and Word)
AMD’s lead in Microsoft Office tasks was already dealt with by Intel’s 12th Generation CPUs. Now, the 13th Gen Raptor Lake Intel Core i9 13900K manages to edge out even AMD’s best with a convincing performance uplift in both Word and Excel.
If you’re building a workstation that needs to handle relatively complex Office tasks in Word and Excel, you’d be better off with a ‘Raptor Lake’ Inside™. Here, using the Core i9 13900K offered a sizeable boost to performance, so it’ll be our pick for a no-compromise Office workstation.
Thanks to the fact that AMD has almost no competitive products in the sub-$200 price range in late 2022, I can only recommend a Ryzen 5 7600X for those looking for good value in Office tasks. It manages to keep up with the Core i5 13600K at a lower price.
AMD Ryzen vs Intel for CPU & GPU Rendering
For CPU-focused renders using V-Ray, AMD’s Threadripper 3000-series processors still do reign supreme. Intel’s 13th Generation Processors aren’t great options if you want to do core-heavy work like CPU rendering that leverages multiple cores effectively. It’s still AMD in this particular task by a decent margin.
Although CPU-only rendering tests are meaningless for some render engines like Blender’s Cycles, which can render in GPU+CPU hybrid mode, you can still get a bit of an idea about what performance you can expect from your processor. It’s best to invest in at least a mid-range RTX graphics card for the best experience.
Although Intel’s architectural changes do help catch up with AMD on the core-heavy workloads, the Ryzen 9 7950X manages to stay ahead.
AMD offers the best when it comes to CPU rendering performance. But the mid-range and budget parts are all Intel.
We’ve also done some testing for X-particles to find the best CPU for that particular workload. You can go over the benchmarks here. Long story short, if your primary workload will deal with any kind of fluid simulation, close your eyes and get the highest core count possible.
Didn’t find a benchmark you need? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll see what I can do!
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel: Price and Platforms
When building a workstation, it’s essential to factor in price, platform support, and upgradability.
Upgradability of Ryzen vs. Intel: Is Ryzen More ‘Future Proof’?
Well, Z790/Z690 probably aren’t getting additional CPU generations, which makes them a dead-end for those looking to upgrade in a year or two. AMD, on the other hand, has promised support for AM5 through 2025! If drop-in upgrades matter to you, yes, AMD does have an advantage over Intel there. But then you can find yourself thinking, “what if the next few AMD generations aren’t as good as what Intel brings out. Will I still upgrade to an inferior product instead of changing my motherboard?”
That’s exactly why I’m a strong proponent of buying precisely what you need to use today. Not tomorrow. So, pick based on your current preferences, features, and workloads.
AMD Ryzen vs. Intel: Addressing Power Consumption
If you take a look at power consumption numbers on popular websites and YT channels, you’ll probably see graphs that look somewhat like this one –
A Ryzen 9 7950X is consuming 235W, while a Core i9 13900K needs 283W.
Well, the problem is that we’re so used to assuming that a stock CPU is tuned well by the manufacturer that (understandably) almost no one bothered with any further investigation.
User Geldmann3 over on the 3DCenter Forum found something interesting about 12th Gen Intel parts, and the same applies to 13th Gen Intel as well.
Here’s a table that encapsulates a few interesting data points from there:
|Power Limit (Core i9 12900K)||CPU-Z (Multi-threaded)||Performance Percentage||CPU Temperature (°C)|
|Ryzen 9 5950X @ ~200W||11856||~101%||- (Data not comparable)|
If Intel had released the Core i9 12900K at, say, the 200W power levels, it would lose a mere 5% of multi-core performance while not affecting single-core performance at all. What’s more, the temps would only touch 88°C.
News flash – that’s still a great CPU when priced right, Intel!
However, in a strange attempt to reclaim the top spot from a Ryzen 9 7950X in benchmarks like Cinebench, they always manage to shift the narrative to: “Intel runs hot and loud!”
So, what does this mean for workstation users? Well, it’s complicated.
We generally recommend anything based on its stock, out-of-the-box performance. But Intel has released a product that’s compelling enough for a section of workstation users that we can’t just ignore it.
So, here’s our recommendation.
- If you see the Core i9 13900K recommended in any of the workloads above, go for it. It’ll do well for you without guzzling a ton of power.
- If you drive workloads where the Core i9 12900K is recommended, in addition to core-heavy tasks like CPU rendering, grab one only if you’re:
- okay with the higher power draw that invariably accompanies a stock 13900K in those CPU rendering tasks or fluid simulation tasks
- up for tinkering in the BIOS to set power limits at reasonable levels and tune your processor.
What Should You Buy in 2022? Intel or AMD Ryzen
“Unless you’re working with Adobe Premiere Pro, Ryzen is the clear winner for a workstation PC in 2019. Even with Adobe Premiere Pro, I expect Ryzen to close the gap with the Ryzen 9 3950X – due for release next month (September 2019). Of course, Intel might still be better for some niche use-cases.
Please do consult benchmark charts pertinent to your workloads before reaching a decision. AMD is in the lead for most workstation tasks and has caught up in areas where it was lagging earlier. What’s more, if you build a PC on the AM4 platform, you could upgrade to the 16-core Ryzen processor releasing soon and also, to the Zen 3 CPUs that’ll release sometime next year (2020), without changing your motherboard!”
– This is what I said around two years ago.
At the start of 2021, I went with –
“there are no ‘buts.’ AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors completely obliterate Intel offerings in the high-performance segment, making Intel very hard to recommend.
However, at the very lower end of the product stack and viewport performance, Intel is very competitive indeed. The Intel Core i5 11600K, Intel Core i5 10400F, and Intel Core i3 10100 are amazing options for those on a relatively tighter budget. Although the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 remains a good choice, it’s now priced much higher than before- making the cheaper Core i5 10400F look like a way better deal.”
At the end of 2022, Raptor Lake has certainly shaken things up.
For Adobe workstations and quite a few other workloads, Intel’s 13th Gen is a safe choice. Just get it! Some core-heavy workloads will still benefit from the Ryzen 9 7950X or a Threadripper 5000 part, but that’s about it.
Over to you
So, what PC are you building? Leave a comment below if you need help with your build or get some help in our forum!
26 January, 2022
Clearly AMD. Less heat, less power consumption, sufficiant fast. Intel fits to microsoft, but not into a modern world of better OS’s like Linux or macOS.
7 November, 2021
Hello Jerry and thank you for the amazing post. Which CPU would you recommend for practicing virtualization? Thanks
7 November, 2021
Glad you found the post helpful 🙂
I’d definitely lean towards AMD Threadrippers for virtualization work as long as budget isn’t a barrier. If it’s within your budget, go with 3rd gen Threadripper. The top end part goes up to 64 cores, so it can accommodate even very intensive virtualization scenarios.
Motherboards here – https://www.cgdirector.com/best-motherboards-amd-threadripper-cpus-3970x-3960x/
But if you don’t need that many cores, and can make do with 16 cores, a Ryzen 9 5950x is still a great choice.
11 May, 2021
this post should be updated guys.
11 May, 2021
Hey Mike, definitely 🙂 Will be updated this week! Thanks for the heads up.
16 May, 2021
But, I can t see any major updated on it, graphs are still the old one, no much further comparison on the intel 11th gen.
16 May, 2021
Hey Mike, should be updated now 🙂