The rivalry between Intel and AMD continued at CES this week as the two companies bid farewell to silicon supremacy. These two recumbents will not only compete against each other, but this year, they are both trying to overcome threats from Apple, Qualcomm, and even Microsoft’s MT-based ARM-based silicon.
This means that both companies are putting their resources where they know competitors cannot reach, at least not in the foreseeable future. Intel and AMD placed large bets in gaming and high-performance computing, with both companies devoting large parts of their presentations to mobile chipsets. Which company performed more effectively at CES? Let’s break it down with the biggest announcements.
Ryzen 5000 Mobile vs Intel 11th-Gene Tiger Lake
AMD’s presentation was mostly devoted to bringing its Zen 3 core architecture to laptops, and the company showcased its new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors built on 7nm processes. AMD said that we can expect to see 150 new laptop designs from its partners this year – such as Asus, Acer, HP and Lenovo – that will be powered by the Ryzen 5000, a 50% jump from the 100 designs that the former Were powered-generation Ryzen 4000 mobile CPU. This is a big win for AMD alone, especially when it comes to high-end gaming laptops that have more powerful graphics.
In the company’s presentation, AMD noted how the Ryzen 5000 outperforms when compared against Intel’s 11th-gen mobile processor. According to AMD’s own benchmark, the Ryzen 7 5800U beat the Intel Core i7-1185G7 by 44%. AMEES Lisa Su said the Ryzen chip was 7% faster in office applications and 18% faster in digital content creation.
In addition to performance, AMD noted the power efficiency of the processor – we’re looking at 17.5 hours of battery life for normal use or 21 hours for movie playback. If AMD’s numbers are correct, it is compatible with the M1-powered MacBook Air, which Apple claims can last up to 18 hours.
AMD also announced a new series of unlocked processors for performance gaming, which can be overclocked as part of its Raijan 5000 series. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and Ryzen 9 5980HX processors top out with a design with eight cores and 16 threads. Compared to Intel’s 10th-gen Core i9 mobile processor, the Ren9 9 5900 HX leads in overall CPU performance by over 35% and outperforms Intel’s offering in single threaded performance and game physics benchmarks according to Su.
Unlike AMD, which has shrunk to gaming and the thin and light laptop market, Intel is laying a big trap with its new processor. In addition to launching Tiger Lake late last year, Intel is now expanding its reach to the enterprise with an 11th-gen VPro processor for new laptops, as well as 11th-gen Vipro Evo laptops for the C-suite, The new Pentium Silver and Celeron processor has been made. At 10nm for the chromebook and education market, and the new 35-watt Tiger Lake-H series for gamers.
Problem? Intel’s 45 Watt Tiger Lake-H gaming chips were a no-show. Sure, Intel gave us a sneak peek and said they were coming soon, but Intel may have missed the window in updating all these new gaming laptops.
These gaming chips will eventually offer CPUs with 5GHz boost speeds on multiple cores, eight cores, and PCIe 4 with 20GHz, giving “more bandwidth than any other laptop outside our own 10th-gen core family, “Intel claimed.
But again, the chips themselves are not here yet, and this gave AMD an open opportunity to step in with its Raigen 5000 HX series. To fill the hole, many major laptop manufacturers such as Lenovo and Asus have moved the majority of their laptop lines to AMD. Which includes high-end gaming laptops such as the Asus ROG Zephyrus laptop, which includes graphics up to RTX 3080.
RDNA 2 Mobile vs Intel Xe
The graphics were not a large part of the company’s presentation. AMD summarized that its RDNA 2 graphics architecture – which powers the Radeon RX 6000 desktop graphics card with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 – will hit mobile later this year. Laptops with RDNA2 graphics will appear in the first half of 2021, Su said.
Although Intel has been gaining ground in recent months with its Intel XE integrated graphics architecture based on its rivals, AMD’s discrete graphics solution will give it an advantage over its rival’s emerging discrete GPUs, which are mostly targeted at midtrace notebooks . Gamers and creatives will likely choose Radeon or GeForce RTX for their discrete GPU over Intel’s Xe.
This will add the number of Ryzen- and Intel 11Th-New-powered laptops that ship with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 series mobile GPU. Nvidia said that its graphics cards will be Studio RTX laptops for over 70 gaming and professionals which will start on January 26.
Although AMD did not elaborate more about its Thripper Pro processor during the company’s Keynote, the high-end desktop portion gives it a big performance advantage over Intel. Announced quietly through a press release, the new Threadiper Pro is now available directly to consumers, featuring 64 cores, 8 channels of memory, and 128 PCIe Gen 4 lanes.
AMD quietly announced lower TDP options for its Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 7 5800X desktop processors, which are scheduled to come in prebuilt systems. A media consultant from the company said, “Powered by the new Zen 3 core architecture and with a lower 65W TDP, the Ryzen 9 5900 desktop processor and AMD Ryzen 7 5800 will provide better performance to more users.”
On the desktop side, Intel quietly unveiled a new S-Class desktop processor, named the 11th-gen Rocket Lake. These chips are still built on the older 14nm node, but Intel has rolled back some 10nm features to keep it competitive. Rocket Lake will support AI capabilities, 20 lanes of PCIe 4 and Intel Xe graphics. Unfortunately, the trade-off is that they will now be limited to only eight cores, putting them at a disadvantage in multi-level performance with AMD.
Stacks up against Apple and ARM
Intel and AMD’s strategy is fundamentally distracted when it comes to dealing with future threats. With Apple entering the PC processor business with its M1 Silicon for Mac, AMD and Intel are addressing new competitors in various ways.
At CES, Intel previewed its Elder Lake processor, which would be the company’s 12th-gen silicon for both laptops and desktops. Intel executives mentioned that unlike previous processors, Elder Lake would take a heterogeneous core approach by mixing high-silicon and high-performance cores into a single silicon.
If this sounds familiar, this is what mobile phones are doing for the big time. And this is also what Apple is doing with their processors for the iPhone, iPad and now Mac.
Intel’s move prompted many tech sites to actually compete with Apple to compete against the Mac manufacturer. For its part, Intel never mentioned Apple or M1 silicon in its CES 2021 presentation; The company only used the benchmark to show how its newly announced mobile processors outperform rival AMD.
On the other hand, AMD is taking a more holistic approach to new competition from Apple. Although M1-powered Mac products rely on Apple’s proprietary integrated graphics architecture – a departure from AMD’s use of Radon technology on Macs that is discrete graphics – AMD CEO Lisa Su is still part of the Cupertino, California-based tech giant Seemed excited about maintaining a working relationship with.
“M1 is more about how much processing and innovation there is in the market,” Su said in a press session after his company’s CES keynote, which he put in the headlines. “This is an opportunity to innovate more in both hardware and software – and it goes beyond that. [instruction set architecture]. “
He later said that there were still opportunities to work with Apple.
“From our point of view, there is still innovation in the PC space,” she continued. “We expect to see more expertise as we move forward in the next two years, and this enables more differentiation. But Apple continues to work with us as their graphics partner. And we work with them. “
Moving on to the ARM-based M1 processor, Apple actually re-established its working relationship with AMD rival Nvidia – it was Nvidia that acquired the ARM business last year from SoftBank.
And even though AMD is best known for its discrete Radeon GPU in the discrete graphics space, the company seems more open to licensing its intellectual property. Beyond CES, there were rumors that Samsung could launch new high-end Exynos ARM-based processors for select models of its Galaxy smartphone business that use AMD’s integrated graphics architecture.
Potentially, AMD may be looking to Apple in the future to license its Radeon architecture as part of the M-Series Silicon, furthering the GPU partnership of the two companies.
AMD gets more speed
While traditionally seen as silicon underdogs, AMD’s recent architectural advances in processing and graphics technologies are making it an attractive choice among gamers and PC enthusiasts. But more than that, it is fast becoming an option on basic work and gaming laptops as well.
Intel’s response this year is a move to the 10nm Elder Lake processor, which launches later this year with an advanced superfine process that brings together faster transistors and improved capacitors, the company said. It was smart for the company to focus on more exciting growth, but it has certainly given AMD a chance to advance and scoop into the laptop market.
While AMD’s announcements were far less explosive than they were last year, they are well positioned to move the company with even greater momentum for the rest of 2021. The ball is in Intel’s court, with Intel announcing a change in leadership and considering Fabs’ outsourcing. It needs to make the rest of its transition to 10nm a successful success, or else it is in trouble.