Thank The Ryzen Effect For Better Intel Processors!

Intel has been in doldrums for years, literally stagnating in the lack of competition. Their dominance of the desktop and mobile processor market led them into a vicious cycle of uninspiring products and lacklustre market reception… until the AMD Ryzen arrived on the scene. Let’s look at how the Ryzen Effect helped to create better Intel Coffee Lake processors!

Updated @ 2017-10-01 : Added more information to the comparison table, and updated various parts of the article.

Originally posted @ 2017-09-10


Before Ryzen

Even before Intel dropped their Tick-Tock model in 2016, they already had trouble convincing customers to adopt their latest processors because they delivered relatively minor boosts in performance over their predecessors. In the end, they resigned themselves to trying to convince users of 5 years old (or older) PCs to upgrade to the latest Intel processors.

It was not really a matter of technical or manufacturing problems. It was really an almost complete lack of competition. Sure, AMD had a presence in the market with their 7th Generation APUs but no serious gamer or desktop user used them, and Intel locked up almost all of the mobile processor market.

That’s why we have been stuck with (mostly) dual-core processors in laptops, and quad-core processors in desktops. That was, until AMD introduced the Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 family of processors.


The Ryzen Effect

As our tests and review have shown, the AMD Ryzen processors are still slightly slower per clock than the Intel Core processors. However, AMD more than made up for that small deficit by doubling the number of physical or virtual cores, and adding a large L3 cache.

Finally, a paradigm shift in the CPU market! Now AMD has a slew of processors that deliver almost twice the performance at a lower price point. This has kicked Intel into doing what has been unthinkable for years – giving us much greater performance for our money.


The Intel Coffee Lake Processors

For years, Intel have relied on relatively minor improvements in their processor microarchitecture and process technologies to deliver what they called “double digit improvements in performance“. That’s PR-speak for performance improvements that are too small to boast.

That changed with the Coffee Lake processors that Intel announced on 25 September 2017. Intel finally increased the number of cores in their 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processors. Basically…

Intel Core i7 : 4 core, 8 threads -> 6 cores, 12 threads

Intel Core i5 : 4 core, 4 threads -> 6 cores, 6 threads

Intel Core i3 : 2 core, 4 threads -> 4 cores, 4 threads

How does that compare against the Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 processors? Here’s a table that compares their key features!

Processor Families Cores Threads L1 Cache L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory
8th Gen Intel Core i7 6 12 384 KB 1.5 MB 12 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 7 8 16 768 KB 4 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
8th Gen Intel Core i5 6 6 384 KB 1.5 MB 9 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 5 (6 Cores) 6 12 576 KB 3 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 5 (4 Cores) 4 8 384 KB 2 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
8th Gen Intel Core i3 4 4 256 KB 1 MB 6/8 MB DDR4-2400
AMD Ryzen 3 4 4 768 KB 2 MB 8 MB DDR4-2666

Read The 8th Generation Intel Core Tech Report and Everything You Need To Know About Intel Coffee Lake!

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Much Better Value For Money!

Best of all, Intel is not going to charge a fortune for the extra cores. In fact, they are only going to charge you a small premium for the K-grade Core i7 and Core i5 models. The other Coffee Lake processors will be priced at the same price points as their predecessors.

Intel Core i7 K-grade models : +$20 premium (gen on gen)

Intel Core i5 K-grade models : +$15 premium (gen on gen)

Intel Core i3 K-grade models : PRICE PARITY!

All other Core i7, i5 and i3 models : PRICE PARITY!

So even if you are a die-hard Intel fan, you should thank AMD for forcing Intel to up their game. More cores at the same price point? Unbelievable years ago, but it’s happening right now.


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