Should you Buy an AMD Ryzen or Intel Laptop?

1st October 2020
Laptop open showing AMD Ryzen and Intel Core i5 stickers next to the keyboard

There are so many choices and processors, how do you even understand which one to choose? How do you demystify these letters and numbers too?

AMD versus Intel has become a more common question for customers in recent times. Intel has been on top of the laptop market for a long time, around 15 years in fact. They’ve been comfortable up there in their position of power, but AMD are certainly giving them competition for that top spot now.

The first MacBook Pro I ever owned was a 2010 MacBook Pro. It had an Intel i7 M620 processor in it. It was fantastic for graphic design and could handle PhotoShop, InDesign, and Illustrator, but separately, it wasn’t really possible to run them all at the same time. It wasn’t as powerful as I needed it to be, so I needed to upgrade. In 2015, I got a new MacBook Pro with an i7 4980HQ processor in that MacBook Pro. Between my 2010 and 2015 MacBook Pro, I saw a 197% increase in performance. We now have the current MacBook Pro 16″ with the latest Intel i7 9750H processor, seeing a 114% increase in power between 2015 and 2020.

Why did we see such a huge increase between the M620 and the 4980, but only to then lose 80% of that increase between the 4980 and the 9750?

If we compare that to one of the latest Ryzen 7 processors; the Ryzen 7 3700U processor has only 5% better performance than a 2015 Intel processor in a MacBook Pro. So you see from that Ryzen was making some big changes and really starting to bring itself up to the forefront of laptop processors, but they were still at a performance level of 2015.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14S front full open view showing Ryzen Pro & Radeon Vega Graphics logo
ThinkPad T14S AMD Ryzen

Intel was still currently winning and then AMD just released their 4000 series. The Ryzen 9 4900HS hit the market and it really got close to taking over the i7 9750H but it didn’t quite make it. They had been causing a ruckus in the desktop and gaming workstation category, and now they were setting their sights on laptops.

So they made their move into the desktop processor category. Why? Because the processors are easier to cool, they were less complicated to integrate into desktops, whereas with the laptop processors you’ve got to work with the brand, you’ve got to get them into the laptop. They knew there was going to be more flexibility in desktops, as well as have faster releases because gamers and those who build workstations are always ready to upgrade to the newest components, they tend to be very early adopters.

So now they turned their sights towards the laptop sector. In 2017, they launched their first lineup: the Ryzen 5 2700U, the Ryzen 7 2700U, and the Ryzen 7 2700, which we’ve only been able to find in the Acer Predator Helios 500. The first challenge that Ryzen set themselves was to beat the Intel i7 7500U and they tried to do this with the Ryzen 7 2700U. They succeeded by beatinbg that processor by 11% greater performance, around a year later they released their 3000 series. This processor lineup continued to turn heads for those on a lower budget, but they didntt really start to set their sights on the high-end laptop category until this year, when they released their 4000 series lineup.

Lenovo ThinkPad E15 with Intel Core i7 10th Gen open side view
Lenovo E15 Intel

From there Ryzen 7 just barely inched past the i7 mobile series competition, but then Intel released their latest processors and took them back over this past year. There has been a back and forth with Ryzen and Intel for the budget, low and medium-range categories. So if Ryzen wanted to make a Mark in the laptop market, they have to improve their offering to start attacking the higher end market, because that’s where you’re looking at 4K video editing becoming very prevalent. You’re looking at running multiple design programs at the same time, so it’s very important that rise and continues to improve their processors.

Here are a few comparisons between Intel’s high-performing processor and Ryzen’s processors to see which processor performs better.

If we take the Intel i7-9750H vs Ryzen 7 3700U, the i7 9750H beats that processor by 38% performance. So it’s on average about 38% faster than the Ryzen processor. If we take the same Intel i7 9750H vs Ryzen 7 3750H, it beats the Ryzen by 27%.

If we take the previous iteration of Intel’s top, gaming and creator laptop processor, the i7 8750H, and we put it up against the Ryzen 7 3700U, it beats it by 29%. So Intel’s older generation processor is still beating Ryzen’s newer generation.

Now let’s take the processor in the Dell XPS 15 for example, and you have the Intel i7 7700HQ vs the Ryzen 7 3700U. The Intel beats it by 8%, so we’re getting a little bit closer in that processor competition.

If we take the Intel i5-9300H vs the Ryzen 7 3750H, Intel beats it by 12%. The Intel i7 10510U vs the Ryzen 7 3700U, Intel again beats it by 20%. the last one we’ll compare is the Intel i7 8565U vs Ryzen 7 3700U two pretty on par processors and here Intel wins again.

Thinkpad Ryzen Vs Intel
Lenovo ThinkPad

When Ryzen launched their 2017 Ryzen 2700U, it was on benchmark for the goal to beat Intel and the mobile processor sector. It was a good processor from 2017 to 2018, they had a 13% increase in power and performance. So from the Ryzen 2700U to the rise in 3700U we saw a 13% increase in power and from 2018 to 2019 Ryzen came up with a 3780U and we saw a 10% increase in that processor. So then we have 23% growth from entry point in about two and a half, to three years.

What is that saying about AMD? They are aggressively improving the performance of their processors compared to Intel, so you need to keep an eye on AMD. Productions have slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already had an impact on Intel availabilty.

A current example of a laptop that has both the Intel i7 1065G7, which is an Intel mobile processor with discreet graphics built into the chip vs the Ryzen 7 3780U processor, two good processors, pretty on par with one another, but the Intel chip i7 is still roughly 15% faster than the Ryzen chip. Bear in mind that’s Intel’s 10th gen processor and Ryzen has yet to release their 4000 series. So if Ryzen can make a 25% increase from this processor, they’re going to pass Intel in the category very soon.

We have a wide range of laptops to lease with both AMD Ryzen and Intel CPUs, talk to our expert team about the right specification for you and they’ll point you in the right direction for the perfect laptop for your needs. Call them on 020 7111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk