AMD vs. Intel at CES 2022: Who won?

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Intel and AMD each hosted press conferences to kick off CES 2022, and both companies came up with announcements across mobile, desktop and graphics. Although there were enough revelations to make your head spin, this year’s CES has a clear winner.

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AMD brought the heat with CPUs and graphics cards coming next month and CPUs coming next year, showing how it plans to respond once Intel releases its 12th-gen Elder Lake platform. We’ll cover all the major announcements here, but be sure to pull up our roundup of everything Intel and AMD announced at CES for the full rundown.


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Elder Lake goes mobile, AMD debuts Ryzen 6000

AMD CEO LIsa Su showing off the new Ryzen 6000 CPU.

The biggest announcements from Intel and AMD came on the mobile front. Intel expanded its 12th-gen Elder Lake platform into mobile with the introduction of the H-series processors, and AMD introduced the first Ryzen 6000 processor built using the Zen 3+ architecture.

AMD is encroaching upon Intel’s dominance in laptops, and the Ryzen 6000 appears to be an inflection point. AMD says it is working on more than 200 laptop designs for 2022, the largest number for the company to date. Although AMD hasn’t dethroned Intel in laptops, the company could be sitting side by side with Team Blue in 2022, as evidenced by machines like the new Asus Zenbook 14.

That doesn’t mean that Intel called off CES 2022. The company launched its hybrid platform on mobile, starting with the performance-focused H-series chips. The numbers were unclear, but Intel said these new chips offer up to 49% improvement over AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors when gaming.

Intel is introducing 12th generation mobile processors.

AMD did not compare with Intel’s 11th generation Tiger Lake platform. However, the company said that the new Ryzen 6000 processors deliver 100% improvement in gaming performance and up to 125% improvement in 3D rendering over the previous generation. AMD also says that the enhanced 6nm manufacturing process brings massive improvements in battery life – up to 24 hours of video playback.

I do not recommend taking numbers at face value from any company. We won’t know how these chips hold up in raw performance until laptops with them hit the market.

However, Intel is still ahead when it comes to specs. Elder Lake’s hybrid architecture allowed Intel to cram 14 cores into its flagship Core i9-12900HK, compared to eight cores on the Ryzen 9 6980HX. Those cores aren’t the same—the Core i9-12900HK actually only has six P-cores—but we’ve already seen what Intel can do with the extra power of the E-cores.

What’s most important about mobile processors is that the 12th-gen is an entirely new generation, while the Ryzen 6000 is more of an iterative update — on the processing side, at least. With the Ryzen 6000, AMD is introducing its RDNA 2 graphics core into its mobile chips — the same cores used in the Radeon RX 6000 graphics card.

This is great newbies for mobile gamers. AMD says the integrated graphics can outpace Intel’s XE integrated GPU by 303%. It offers a significant uptick over entry-level discrete GPUs like Nvidia’s MX450, according to AMD.

AMD Ryzen 6000 performance numbers.

These are still integrated graphics, but they look a lot closer to a discrete GPU than we’ve ever seen. And with AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), you should be able to reach a higher graphical preset or demanding title at that coveted 60 frames per second (fps) line.

The Ryzen 6000 also supports platform features like DDR5 matching Intel’s latest generation. We’ll have to wait for performance and thermal testing, but AMD certainly had more confidence on the mobile front at CES this year.

AMD 3D V-Cache and Intel’s Core i9-12900KS

Intel at CES 2022.

On the desktop, Intel filled many gaps in its 12th-gen portfolio, and AMD introduced the first processor to use its 3D V-cache technology. We already know how impressive Elder Lake is on a desktop, and budget chips like the Core i5-12400 promise to bring that performance at a manageable price.

Intel didn’t talk about these new processors at all during its CES 2022 conference, and there’s a good reason for that. Of the 23 new processors, only seven of them use Elder Lake’s signature hybrid architecture, and all of those chips are variations of the CPUs that Intel has already released.

The exception is the Core i9-12900KS, which Intel says can hit 5.5GHz on a single core out of the box. It can reach around 5GHz on all cores. It’s a souped-up version of the Core i9-12900K that’s already out there, but it continues to push Intel’s lead over AMD on the desktop — at least until AMD releases the Zen 4 CPUs.

Dr. Lisa Su introduces the new AMD Zen 4 CPU.

We first took a look at AMD’s next-gen Gen 4 CPUs, but it wasn’t revealing much. The company confirmed the strange heat spreader design that has appeared in the rumours, as well as AM5 socket and platform features – DDR5 support and PCIe 5.0 chief among them. The only news is that the flagship chip can apparently manage 5GHz on all cores.

The more exciting announcement was the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. AMD says it’s the “fastest gaming processor in the world,” offering up to 36% improvement over the Ryzen 9 5900X despite having four fewer cores. She…

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