Must be that time of year again, i.e. AMD and its minions are busy trying to promote the AMD line of CPU/APU processors – especially the Ryzen™ overhyped line. BTW, just because your new laptop has a ‘Ryzen™ in it’ doesn’t mean you can compute at AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processor performance (note the *DOUBLE* trademark identifier ‘stuff’- WOW!!!). Nope, that Ryzen™ in your new laptop is so throttled down in an attempt to stop it from melting thru the bottom that who knows what the true speeds are. Intel throttles their laptop processors also, but run your own search – something like “fastest laptop processor 2020” should do it. Looks like Intel dominates that search category. Anyway, don’t believe me or anyone else in your final decision…use us for advice, do your due diligence and decide for yourself. Don’t fall for the “Ryzen™” ‘name dropping’ stuff. Here’s an important search tool for you: UserBenchmark does millions of benchmarks…like 147+++ million benchmark tests covering Gaming, Desktops and Workstations.
Here are some Questions:
1. Will you use Linux or Windows on this planned computer?
Linux supported by Intel via the upstreaming of Intel Linux drivers to the Linux Open Source Community. Adoption into individual Linux distributions is dependent upon the OS vendor.
Intel has been a *STRONG* supporter of Linux for years ‘n years…immediately upstreaming their Linux drivers to Linux community, but it is up to the individual Distro developers to add them. AMD is notoriously slow at upstreaming their drivers, and a majority of the 2000+ Distros are even slower at getting them added. Doesn’t really matter if you’re using Windows 10 – it is supported fully by both AMD and Intel.
2. Are you buying or building this planned computer?
Unless you’re familiar with building a computer, then AMD Ryzen™ builds can get very complicated…especially if you’re on a budget. See my Ryzen™ ‘Stuff’ page for posts and info on building a Ryzen™. This is where the “AMD’s are cheaper” sales pitch falls apart, so be very careful if this build is on a tight budget. Also, the higher-end builds are probably going to be more expensive than an Intel build. Even low-end builds with any Ryzen™ APU/CPU is probably going to be more expensive than a comparable Intel build, and that doesn’t include the extra time it takes for finding compatible AMD components – e.g. MoBo, fans, memory, etc. If you’re buying the computer, it should be fine on either processor…well, not all Linux Distros work on any laptop or desktop, so if you use Linux you may want to buy the computer with your Distro already installed on it. See my MX Linux page on an example of buying a brand new laptop with plans to install MX Linux on it (ended up having to install Ubuntu on it).
3. How will you use this planned computer?
Desktop Duty? Gaming? Workstation? This may be the most important area of your decision on going with AMD or Intel. Unless you have tons of money, then you shouldn’t plan on installing the $1,900 AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 3970X Processor onto your planned Desktop Duty and/or Gaming computer.
Nope, you can find plenty of cheaper and faster Desktop and/or Gaming computer processors than that $1,900 AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 3970X Processor. Go to UserBenchmark site, and compare processors there…that Threadripper™ is a waste for anything other than Workstation Duty, which it excels at. Their User Guide may be helpful. Desktop Duty involves ‘stuff’ like “surfing the web with multiple tabs, watching videos and listening to music rarely use more than four threads.” Also, if you plan on gaming – “Very few of today’s popular games benefit from more than six threads.” GPU’s are the main changers in gaming.
Someone working on and developing the Linux Kernel could definitely use a $1,900 AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 3970X Processor, to really help speed up the process, but we’re talking serious Workstation Duty here…and someone like Linus Torvalds did in fact build his recent computer with that processor: You can build Linus Torvalds’ PC: Here’s all the hardware and where to buy it. Why would he buy a case with a window on the main side?!?! Hopefully he can turn off all those lights, unless he likes them – or maybe found components w/o lights (which isn’t easy nowadays!). Glass or plastic windows are now a ‘thing’ on many cases, but why would Linus need it?
Desktop Duty? Gaming? Workstation? Or maybe you have the money and want “UFO” performance on all three uses (there is also a ProGame ranking somewhere on that site?).
UserBenchmark is a popular gamers’ and desktop user site, and there are only 7 AMD processors listed in the Top 20 “Best user rated CPU” … just 2 AMD processors listed in the Top 20 “Best value for money CPU” category … and there are no AMD processors listed in the Top 38 “Fastest average effective speed category.”
My ‘Apevia‘ build with the Ryzen 5 3400G’s Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics APU still gives me wireless USB adapter problems when first cold-booting with Linux Distros (even Ubuntu). No problem ever, when cold-booting with WIN10, so its another one of those buggy firmware/driver issues that Linux and AMD experience. Works fine after a reboot, but that is a pain. Also, never have that issue with Ubuntu (and some other Distros) on my 4 Intel machines when using that same wireless USB adapter. Be careful when listening to the Ryzen™ hype…especially if you use Linux.
Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.