Intel 8th Gen U Series Vs AMD Ryzen – The Fight For Laptop Processor Supremacy

by | Jul 2, 2018

Introduction

Intel and AMD are the two most renowned and popular chipset manufacturers when it comes to the microprocessor industry. Intel was founded way back in 1968 and AMD followed the suit a year after in 1969. Majority of the laptops and computers now sold in the market comes with one of these chipsets inside.

With AMD being dormant for years, Intel has been dominating the market with more than 90% market share in the laptop market. But the game changed in 2017 with AMD releasing its improved and efficient chipsets and GPUs under the Ryzen and Vega brand names respectively.

These products gave Intel a tight competition in almost all benchmarks. This article analyzes various aspects of these processors and details the performance and power efficiency, especially in the laptops and see who comes out on top. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Intel – The David

As we have said, Intel has the upper hand in the laptop chipset market. A lion’s share of laptops – be it entry level, budget or premium, carry an Intel badge in markets all over the world.

Intel continuously innovated various technologies in microprocessor industry and gained an unbeatable cult status among the general public. Intel inside almost became a household slogan for even those who never owned a laptop before.

What does Intel have to offer for the laptop segment? Intel manufactures mobile chipsets for all type of computing processes. From casual web browsing to intensive games to hardcore content production, Intel has a chipset capable of satisfying the needs for a wide range of users.

For your easy understanding, here’s a table that gives a rough idea of types of Intel mobile microprocessor suited for different uses.

Use - caseIntel Processor
Cheap/ultra-portable devicesIntel Atom
Entry-level laptopsIntel Pentium N series
Slim/lightweight netbooksIntel Core M
Everyday useIntel Core i3, i5 U
Enhanced productivityIntel Core i7 U
Gaming/video editingIntel Core i7 HQ, HK

AMD – The Goliath

AMD, as evident from its market share, covers only a minute spectrum of laptop processor market with a handful of models to compete with Intel. One thing to note is that AMD has been and still is a strong player in the mobile APU ( Accelerated Processing Unit) chipset market in the laptop industry. These APUs are designed in such a manner that the CPU and GPU are present on a single die.

It has been observed that certain models with AMD APU inside perform better than the Intel counterparts with integrated graphics. The price of AMD offerings is also less compared to those chips from Intel. This helps AMD chips to find a sweet spot in the budget laptop market.

With the introduction of Ryzen chips, the game has been close ever since. AMD Ryzen mobile chips perform faster or as fast as Intel’s counterparts, but with a less price tag. Intel has already started to feel the heat and is upping the game with the release of unlocked Core i9 8950K mobile processors.

Intel Vs AMD – Mobile Processors Compared

Intel i5 8250URyzen 5 2500UIntel i7 8550URyzen 7 2700U
No: of CPU cores444
4
Threads8888
Boost clock speed3.4 GHz3.6 GHz4.0 GHz3.8 GHz
TDP15 W15 W15 W15 W
GPUUHD 620Vega 8UHD 620Vega 10
No: of GPU cores10101010
GPU clock speed300 MHz1.1 GHz300 MHz1.3 GHz
Cache6 MB6 MB8 MB6MB

As you can deduce from the table above, the Intel i5 8250U faces a tough competition from the Ryzen 5 2500U. The AMD chip has higher clock speeds, both in CPU and the GPU. The graphics performance of AMD Vega shows a striking difference when compared with the Intel’s UHD 620.

Now coming to the Intel i7 8550U and Ryzen 7 2700U, there isn’t much difference in terms of CPU clock speed. Although Intel has a slightly more boost speed, the Vega 10 graphics with 1.3GHz clock speeds beat the UHD 620 with relative ease. The extra 2MB cache of Intel i7 8550U helps it to perform a bit faster than its Ryzen counterpart.

It’s important to note that even with the increased GPU clock speeds in the GPU department, the overall TDP of Ryzen chips remain at 15W. This equates to better power efficiency with no decrease in performance.

Price

Since the price of Ryzen chips is less when compared to the Intel’s latest eighth generation, there are budget laptops priced under Rs.40,000 featuring powerful Ryzen 5 series processors in the market. Acer Swift 3 is a Ryzen powered laptop priced at just Rs.39,990 in the Indian market. Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G is an Intel Core i5 8250U powered laptop with a price tag of Rs.44,990. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is another Ryzen powered laptop priced under Rs.50,000 that performs equally or better than a similarly priced Intel-powered laptop.

Conclusion

With the Ryzen series chipsets, AMD has a strong candidate for competing with Intel in the microprocessor industry. These chips are significantly less expensive than the Intel’s products. This makes them a favourite choice for OEMs to be included in their budget laptops. `

While the single-threaded performance of Intel chipsets is still better than the Ryzen, the graphics department lacks punch when faced with Vega graphics from AMD. From a consumer standpoint, the strict competition is indeed a boon. Lower prices and better performance are always appreciated by the public, so do we.