AMD or Intel? Competition stimulates business – Intel had to experience this painfully with the resurrection of its almost written-off adversary AMD.
With CPUs of the new Comet Lake series, the company, which was founded in 1968, is reaching for lost market shares.
However, AMD does not stand idly by the goings-on: With brand new processors from the Ryzen 5000 series, the one year younger company wants to maintain its strong market position – and gain further shares.
Does this work?
14 nanometers? 7 nanometers!
On paper, however, the new Comet Lake S processors look pretty old: While the opponent already includes his notebook processors from the Ryzen 4000 series and current PC CPUs such as the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X and the new Ryzen 5000 series 7 nanometer thin structure widths, Intel continues because of massive problems with the conversion of the manufacturing process for the Comet-Lake-H- (for notebooks) and Comet Lake S processors (for PCs) continue to use 14 nanometer-thick conductor tracks.
One disadvantage: With finer 7-nanometer structures, eight-core processors with a power loss (Thermal Design Power; TDP for short) of 15 watts can be produced, while Intel’s Comet Lake H series notebook processors can handle themselves with 45 watts all three times as much.
And the thinner the conductor tracks, the more computing units fit on the same area.
For example, AMD installs up to 64 processor cores in the Threadripper 3990X, whereas Intel currently only creates a maximum of 56 cores – and only with huge server processors.
Only child: Intel Core i9-10980XE
Intel’s top processor Core i9-10980XE from the tenth core generation suggests to buyers that it is also a model from the Comet Lake S series .
But that’s not true. He comes from the Cascade Lake range and is therefore an only child.
Despite the thick 14-nanometer structures, Intel squeezes 18 processing units into this processor, which allows the Windows 10 operating system to believe 36 cores for better distribution of tasks using Hyper-Threading technology.
Over 5 gigahertz clock
Within the normal Comet Lake range, the Core i9-10900 models are at the top.
And Intel has bored that out: While the Core i9-9900 (K) still had to make do with eight cores, the five models within the Core i9-10900 series now all have ten cores.
Using hyper-threading technology, they can even fool the Windows operating system into 20 computing units.
The base rate is between 1.9 and 3.7 gigahertz, depending on the model, but for demanding tasks a single processing unit can now work briefly at up to 5.3 gigahertz instead of “only” at 5.0 gigahertz.
New: The CPUs reach 5.3 gigahertz Core i9-10900Kand 10900KF not exclusively with turbo technology, but with “Thermal Design Velocity Boost”.
That means: It may briefly exceed the TDP limit significantly.
For this, however, there must be an effective cooling system for the CPU, otherwise the processor will die an excruciating heat death.
Intel Comet Lake S processors
32 Comet Lake processors, up to six types within one performance class. But where are the differences? Be careful when buying, because even one letter within the product name often makes a huge difference:
- K: Intel processors that have a “K” at the end of the product name can be overclocked for an even higher working pace.
- Q: If there is an “F” at the end of a product name, the processor does not have a graphics chip on board. That means: A separate graphics card has to be plugged into the PC for image reproduction.
- T: Intel processors that have a “T” at the end of the product name are energy-saving models. They have a lower power loss (35 instead of 58, 65 or even 125 watts), clock with lower frequencies and therefore work more slowly. Since they also generate less waste heat, they are often used in small mini PCs.
Comet Lake S: Core i7-10700
The two new Core i7 processors 10700K and 10700KF are also allowed to use the “Thermal Design Velocity Boost”, but the 10700, 10700F and 10700T models are not. All processors in the Core i7 series have eight cores or 16 threads, and the base clock frequencies are between 2.0 and 3.8 gigahertz, depending on the model.
Comet Lake S: Core i5-10500, 10400
While the new processors from the Core i7 and Core i9 series are primarily intended for use in high-priced PCs, the manufacturers use the Core i5-10500 and Core i5-10400 CPUs in affordable mid-range computers.
All Core i5 processors are allowed to distribute tasks to six cores, the base clock frequencies are between 2.0 and 4.1 gigahertz.
AMD Ryzen 5000: Same manufacturing process
AMD has not changed anything in terms of production: AMD also manufactures the Ryzen 5000 processors with thin 7 nanometer structures.
As mentioned above, Intel still builds its current 10000 core CPUs from the Comet Lake S series with thick and inefficient 14 nanometers.
The Rocket Lake S series , which appeared in the first quarter of 2021, also uses the wide structures.
With its improved 7nm FinFET manufacturing process, AMD promises a 19 percent increase in performance per cycle.
To this end, AMD has improved the output, loading and storage units as well as the buffer.
AMD Ryzen 5000: All CPUs at a glance
New structure of the CCX modules
Also new: For the production of an eight-core CPU, like the Ryzen 7 5800X tested here , AMD no longer wired two four- cores (CCX modules).
All eight processing units are now on a CCX – this is supposed to reduce latencies and increase the speed.
The tested Ryzen 9 5900X still consists of two six-core CCX.
The top model 5950X now consists of two wired eight-core CPUs (CCX modules).
In the predecessor, a CCX still had four processing units.
Also new: All cores can access the 32 megabyte cache (L3) of a CCX directly and do not have to take a detour via the I / O controller.
This also applies to the 32 megabyte cache of the 5600X whose six cores sit on a silicon chip.
Processors in tempo comparison
The test showed: Intel currently has little to oppose the rival.
The undisputed number 1 is and remains AMD’s almost 4,000 euro Ryzen Threadripper 3990X with its 64 cores.
But even in the area of processors for end customers, Intel’s top CPU Core i9-10980XE cannot hold a candle to the AMD Ryzen 5950X.
Especially when applications distribute tasks to many cores, the AMD processors are significantly faster – for example for photo and video editing or for complex calculations in CAD applications.
CPU benchmark: test result
AMD is still ahead of the game.
Even if you ignore the outrageously expensive Threadripper 3990X, the 5000 series works more jagged than the respective Intel counterpart.
In return, the Intel CPUs are much cheaper and therefore offer a better price-performance ratio.
The demand for AMD CPUs is currently so high that the manufacturer can hardly keep up with production.
The result: the sales prices are significantly higher than the manufacturer’s recommended prices.