The central processing unit, more commonly known as the CPU or simply, processor, is a pivotal part of any computing system. Indeed, it would not be very far from truth to say that a computer is what its processor is. The processor is the unit which reads and executes every program instruction. Therefore, consideration towards the processor when purchasing a new personal computer or laptop occupies the top rank among all other computer buying considerations. A prospective buyer's choice of processor usually depends upon his/her computing requirements - say, you may be looking for more gaming experience than storage, or you may be more into speed than heavy graphics and multimedia output - and computer usage (low, moderate, heavy), besides individual budget. Despite there being a large number of brands offering many good processors, the AMD vs Intel battle is, by far, considered the battle royale which assumes leviathan proportions in terms of comparison of processing features, price differences and market share! So, which is better - AMD or Intel? Let's take a look at Intel vs AMD processor comparison 2013 and decide for ourselves!
AMD vs Intel Processor Comparison 2013
Although Intel dominates the market with its high-end, coming-of-age processor technologies like the well-received Core i series and the fresh and upcoming Ivy Bridge range, AMD is not far behind and occupies considerable mindshare due to high performance processors at economical price ranges. Let's take a brand-by-brand look at AMD and Intel processors to get to know what products each offers and how each has something to say about its prominent presence in the CPU market before jumping to a parallel Intel vs AMD processor comparison 2013.
Those of you who have experienced the functionalities of AMD's FX series of processors (FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4100) enabled with the oven-fresh Bulldozer microarchitecture would understand how the first generation Bulldozer enabled processors absolutely dazzle at certain functions while fall below expectations at certain other areas of computing requirements. The Bulldozer is a totally new architecture design and not an upgradation or modified version of any existing ones. Hence, the expectations from the FX range as well as the hype created around it before its launch were sky-high. However, once the FX series was launched, it received mixed responses from commercial as well as retail users. FX-8150 has been considered as a major failure as far as its performance in moderately threaded processes are concerned. In fact, many users are of the opinion that its performance in less intensively threaded benchmarks reaches lower standards than AMD's Phenom II X6 when the latter is clocked at a slower speed. In highly threaded situations, FX-8150's performance is almost at the same levels as that of Phenom II X6. In fact, being priced higher than Intel's Core i5 2500K with a fluctuating performance, given different benchmarks, as compared to the latter, AMD's FX-8150 comes across as something of a disappointment. The FX series of processors are also known to consume a lot of power when overclocked.
AMD has announced the launch of the second generation Bulldozer processors by the end of Q1 of 2013, which would mean that you should be able to get your hands on them by March this year. The second generation Bulldozer core architecture, codenamed Piledriver, is expected to take care of the first generation series' lacunae in terms of consistency and enhanced performance under all kinds of threading benchmarks. The second generation FX series processors are being expected to pack at least 25% higher performance capabilities, even in situations of heavy-duty multimedia overloads. The latest Opteron series is also all set to enhance server performance and efficiency in an economic way as far as prices and power consumption are concerned. If the second generation Bulldozer architecture does manage to live up to its claims, it is certainly possible for Intel's Sandy Bridge to face some stiff competition, both in terms of price and energy efficiency. While competitive pricing has always been AMD's strength, the upcoming Piledriver processor range also promises low power consumption, the latter being one of AMD processors' biggest weaknesses till date. Therefore, if AMD can get the energy usage figures down to Intel processors' levels, Intel may have something to worry about.
Not to be outdone by AMD, Intel is a tough contender when it comes to the Intel vs AMD battle. With its new Ivy Bridge microarchitecture enabled range of processors (Core i5 and Core i7, though not to be confused with the Intel processors of the same name that was built on Nehalem and other earlier microarchitecture types) slated for release by Q2 this year, we have some great Intel processors to look forward to. An immediate successor to Sandy Bridge, the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture claims to bring the energy consumption figures lower than all its predecessors such as Sandy Bridge, Nehalem, Clarkdale, Wolfdale, etc. Add superior integrated graphics output and smaller, faster transistors to that and you have a product that is every heavy-duty computer user's dream! To put it simply, those of you who have used Sandy Bridge processors before would be able to realize the improvement Ivy Bridge offers - the latter will give the same performance as the former with lesser power consumed and higher, faster performance at the same power consumption as Sandy Bridge. You will also experience better multimedia quality as the graphics core of Ivy Bridge processors have been significantly enhanced as compared to processors belonging to older Intel microarchitecture types. Prices would be slightly on the higher side as compared to AMD, but given the consistency, superior performance specs and its downward-traveling energy consumption curve, Intel may not have that much to worry about after all!
Get as much technical information as you can on AMD versus Intel chips before you settle for any one. Neither can be declared the clear winner as each has some features which are better than those of the other. However, judging by speculations, Intel's Ivy Bridge seems to have an edge over AMD's Piledriver. That means, 2013 could very well belong to Intel! However, the facts can be laid down for certain only when both processor ranges are launched in the retail market. Till then, prioritize your computing requirements and take your call - make sure your decision is based on technical facts rather than price and marketing campaigns.