A history of Intel vs. AMD desktop efficiency, with CPU charts galore

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haha cpu fan stir brrrrt —

Intel vs. AMD is a tortoise vs. hare bustle—but which firm is which?


Amplify / Spoiler: When it involves efficiency over the years, Intel is the gradual and precise tortoise to AMD’s hasty-but-intermittent hare.

The direct wars between Intel and AMD fans had been hot for the closing few liberate cycles, with comparatively quite a lot of digital ink spilled about which firm has—or has no longer—improved vastly over the years. There is been no shortage of opinions about the present raw efficiency of every firm’s quickest processors, both. We belief it might perchance perchance perchance perchance be enchanting to dive into archived efficiency benchmarks of the quickest desktop/enthusiast CPUs for every firm to obtain an even overview of how every has in actuality performed over the years—and in all chance to even be conscious if there are patterns to be gleaned or to create some bets about the long flee.

Sooner than we dive into charts, let’s launch out with some tables—that formula, you’ll be ready to be conscious which CPUs we’re the utilization of as milestones for every twelve months. Whereas we’re at it, there are a number of irregularities within the suggestions; we are going to talk about these also and talk about the things that a easy chart might perchance perchance perchance no longer show you.

Twenty years of enthusiast computing

twelve months Intel Model AMD Model Notes
2001 Pentium 4 2.0GHz (1c/1t) Athlon XP 1900+ (1c/1t)
2002 Pentium 4 2.8GHz (1c/2t) Athlon XP 2800+ (1c/1t) Intel introduces hyperthreading
2003 Pentium 4 Unpleasant 3.2GHz (1c/2t) Athlon XP 3200+ (1c/1t)
2004 Pentium 4 3.4GHz (1c/2t) Athlon 64 FX-55 (1c/1t)
2005 Pentium 4 3.8GHz (1c/2t) Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (2c/2t)
2006 Pentium Unpleasant 965 (2c/4t) Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2c/2t) Intel takes the undisputed efficiency lead right here—and keeps it for a decade straight.
2007 Core 2 Unpleasant QX6800 (4c/4t) Phenom X4 9600 (4c/4t) Intel and AMD both originate the fundamental true quad-core desktop CPUs
2008 Core 2 Unpleasant X9650 (4c/4t) Phenom X4 9950 (4c/4t)
2009 Core i7-960 (4c/8t) Phenom II X4 965 (4c/4t)
2010 Core i7-980X (6c/12t) Phenom II X6 1100T (6c/6t) Intel and AMD both introduce hex-core desktop CPUs
2011 Core i7-990X (6c/12t) FX-8150 (8c/8t)
2012 Core i7-3770Okay (4c/8t) FX-8350 (8c/8t) Intel abandons hex-core desktop CPUs—but few movement over them, resulting from gargantuan single-threaded beneficial properties
2013 Core i7-4770Okay (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) AMD’s underwhelming FX-9590 launches—and it be Crew Red’s closing enthusiast CPU for four long years
2014 Core i7-4790Okay (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) Intel’s Fifth generation Core dies stillborn. AMD releases low-vitality APUs, but no successor to FX-9590
2015 Core i7-6700Okay (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t)
2016 Core i7-7700Okay (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) Strictly talking, 2016 used to be an Intel whiff—Kaby Lake did now not if reality be told originate till January 2017
2017 Core i7-8700Okay (6c/12t) Ryzen 7 1800X (8c/16t) Open of AMD’s Zen architecture, return of the Intel hex-core desktop CPU
2018 Core i9-9900Okay (8c/16t) Ryzen 7 2700X (8c/16t)
2019 Core i9-9900KS (8c/16t) Ryzen 9 3950X (16c/32t) AMD’s Zen 2 architecture launches, Intel whiffs arduous within the efficiency phase
2020 Core i9-10900Okay (10c/20t) Ryzen 9 5950X (16c/32t) AMD’s Zen 3 finally crushes Intel’s long-held single-threaded efficiency yarn

Even supposing both Intel and AMD obviously originate a huge vary of processors for numerous impress aspects and aim markets every twelve months, we’re limiting ourselves to the quickest desktop or “enthusiast” processor from every twelve months. Meaning no server processors and no Excessive-Conclude Desktop (HEDT) processors both—so we’d no longer be taking a grasp a study both Threadrippers or the gradual mannequin XE series Intel aspects.

Even for any individual love myself who lived by this entire interval as a gadget builder, it be a huge anxiousness within the butt assembling a list love this—let alone matching take a look at results. It’s especially advanced on the AMD facet, where there might perchance be no proper identical to Intel’s Ark providing a single list of processors, sortable by generation, form, and originate date. Ought to you mediate I picked the unsuitable “top processor” for a twelve months, let me know within the comments.

We might perchance perchance tranquil cope with a number of anomalies within the charts true off the head—to begin with, no, the absence of a original AMD efficiency CPU in 2014, 2015, and 2016 is no longer an oversight. 2013’s FX-9590—broadly (and deservedly) panned for its gruesome-for-the-time 225W TDP and unimpressive efficiency—used to be Crew Red’s quickest CPU for four years running. At some stage in that point, AMD launched several generations of low-vitality, more cost-effective desktop APUs—none of which outperformed the FX-9590.

Intel also had a number of stumbles within the course of 2013-2017, though none so excessive or for see you later. The fifth-generation Core series used to be in most cases stillborn in 2014, even supposing a refresh of the fourth-generation Core i7 series did provide a foremost efficiency boost. Two years later used to be technically one more whiff—Kaby Lake, with the Core i7-7700Okay, did now not if reality be told originate till January 2017. We fudged moderately and allowed Kaby Lake in 2016’s row, because otherwise it would go entirely—Coffee Lake, and the i7-8700Okay, looked later the same twelve months.

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