The Greatest CPU for the Cash: AMD vs. Intel Price range Shootout

The CPU memory space has been stagnating for some time. AMD's FX series is four years old and although it has received an update, nothing significant has been changed, while the Piledriver-based Vishera FX series is over two years old and AMD has resorted to overclocking and even underclocking to create the illusion to generate new models.

Likewise, Intel hasn't really impressed us since Sandy Bridge four years ago. The chips have become more powerful and efficient since then, but the generation improvements weren't as significant as you'd expect at that time.

The biggest recent success for desktop processors has been the eight-core Core i7-5960X, which, however, is far out of the reach of mainstream users at $ 1,000.

Given the minor changes, it can be expected that buying a new processor is fairly straightforward. For us, the choice seems clear: Intel has proven that it offers superior core performance with significantly higher efficiency.

However, Many enthusiasts argue that AMD offers better overclocking on its cheaper processors and therefore offers better value for money.

This is a valid point because you can buy a quad-core AMD chip for just over $ 100 while overclocking the snot The cheapest overclockable quad-core Intel part costs well over $ 200 – around 70% more.

In addition, AMD recently released the $ 150 FX-8320E, an unlocked 4.0 GHz chip with four floating-point cores and eight integer cores (not really a full eight-core part, as is available on the market) . At this price, Intel only offers the non-overclockable dual-core i3-4360 for $ 155, while a quad-core i5-4430 costs $ 35 more at $ 185.

With these parts, we will use the AMD FX-8320E against the Intel Core i3-4360 and the slightly more expensive Core i5-4430 to find out which processor offers the best value for budget builders.

Test methodology

We will examine application and game performance as well as power consumption figures in every test.

The FX-8320E has been tested at its standard operating frequency and overclocked at 4.6 GHz. The Core i5-4430 and the Core i3-4360 do not support overclocking and have therefore only been tested at their standard frequencies.

The GeForce GTX 980 was used in all tests, but played the largest role in the 3DMark and gaming tests. Although it seems unrealistic to pair a $ 600 graphics card with a $ 140 CPU, we hope to use the powerful GPU to eliminate the bottlenecks involved in comparing the CPUs.

AMD Vishera system specifications

  • AMD FX-8320E (3.2 GHz – 4.0 GHz)
  • AMD FX-8320E (4.6 GHz)
  • MSI 970 Gaming (AMD 970)
  • 8 GB DDR3-2133 RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980
  • Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512 GB SSD
  • SilverStone Essential Gold 750w
  • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Intel Haswell system specifications

  • Intel Core i5-4430 (3.0 GHz – 3.2 GHz)
  • Intel Core i3-4360 (3.7 GHz)
  • Asrock Z97 Extreme6 (Intel Z97)
  • 8 GB DDR3-2133 RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980
  • Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512 GB SSD
  • SilverStone Essential Gold 750w
  • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Application performance

The AMD FX-8320E performed well in Excel 2013, taking only 5.9 seconds to complete the workload and 4.5 seconds when overclocked. By default, the FX-8320E was 15% faster than the i5-4430 and 51% faster than the i3-4360. These numbers rose to 51% and 98% after overclocking.

The power consumption results from Excel 2013 paint a good picture. Although the FX-8320E was 15% faster than the i5-4430 and 51% faster than the i3-4360, it consumed 55% and 65% more power.

Overclocking may have improved performance by 31%, but increased system power consumption by 78%.

Power Point performance results were close when the i3-4360 led our chart with 6% ahead of the i5-4430 and 17% over the FX-8320E, even though AMD's share was on par with the i5-4430 after overclocking.

The FX-8320E was 15% slower than the i3-4360 and still consumed 72% more power – 154% more power after overclocking, bringing the FX-8320E in line with the Core i5-4430 in terms of performance.

7-zip uses multi-core processors and therefore the heavily clocked FX-8320E delivers 27% more power than the i5-4430 and 62% more than the i3-4360. Overclocking the FX-8320E increased performance by an additional 39%, a 77% advantage over the i5-4430.

To deliver 27% more power than the i5-4430, the FX-8320E had to consume 61% more power and increase consumption by another 71% by overclocking to 4.6 GHz, making it 175% more power hungry than the i5-4430 .

The i3-4360 was actually slightly faster than the i5-4430 in the WinRAR multithreading test. Again, keep in mind that it is clocked higher and supports four threads via Hyper-Threading.

Despite compressing at 5349 KB / s, the i3-4360 was still 23% slower than the FX-8320E, and overclocking was another 17% for 8175 KB / s. However, if we only look at single-thread performance, the i3-4360 was the fastest processor tested and narrowly beat the overclocked FX-8320E.

With WinRAR power consumption, the FX-8320E consumed 69% more power than the Intel processors. Overclocking brought a further 56% increase in consumption, making the AMD chip 165% more power hungry than Intel's competitors.

The FX-8320E took 31.9 seconds to get the workload done 5% better than the i3-4360 and 7% worse than the i5-4430. After overclocking, AMD's part was 16% faster than the i3-4360 and 6% faster than the i5-4430.

Here we see that the FX-8320E consumes 41% more power than the i3-4360 and only 5% more power. The overclocked FX-8320E consumed a whopping 262 watts, 45% more than the stock results.

The FX-8320E was 19% slower than the i5-4430 and 23% slower than the i3-4360 when tested with InDesign. Overclocking improved performance by 14% – enough to make the AMD chip only 3% slower than the Core i5-4430.

The FX-8320E consumed 49% more power than the Intel processors in InDesign. Overclocking the FX-8320E increased consumption by 73% and made it 158% more power hungry than Intel's chips.

The FX-8320E was 6% slower than the i5-4430 in After Effects CC, but 10% faster than the i3-4360 and after overclocking it matched the i5-4430.

The FX-8320E was 6% slower than the i5-4430 when tested with After Effects CC, but consumed 59% more power. Although it was able to reach the i5-4430 after overclocking, AMD's part consumed 140% more power.

The last application we test with is Adobe Illustrator CC. Here the FX-8320E is slower than both Intel processors – 5% slower than the i5-4430 and 26% slower than the i3-4360. After overclocking, the FX-8320E outperformed the i5-4430, but was still 17% slower than the i3-4360.

Here the FX-8320E only consumed 13% more power than the i3-4360, but rose to 88% more than the i5-4430 after overclocking.

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