It is a great time to buy a new processor, but there are some big shakeups looming on the horizon. Welcome to upskilled our explainer show where we mostly just seem to break down why amd is good. Now this is a special year. End episode and i wanted to look back over the year in cpus, the biggest news of 2020 for pcs was probably zen. 3. amd launched the next generation of its desktop processors. This fall and actually managed to follow through on a promised 20 improvement in performance without increasing power requirements or moving to an improved manufacturing process compared to just a few years ago. Amd is still delivering pretty incredible performance per dollar and has helped push six and eight core chips into the mainstream. We took a closer look at their flagship 16 core chip, the 5950x and were blown away by how fast it was for media and content creation. Work though it is definitely overkill for most people on the mobile front, 2020 also saw the release of amd’s ryzen 4000 series. Laptop chips as popular as zen has been for desktop cpus. That market is a fraction of the size of the laptop world and up until these ryzen 4000 chips, amd didn’t really have a good challenge to intel’s speedy, laptop cpus. We like to focus on the top end, desktop chips, but come on most folks actually buy laptops with chips like the 4800 and 4900hs amd was able to bring enough power for some serious workloads like video editing to a mid sized laptop seriously.

The 4900hs scores about as well as intel’s desktop i9 9700k in some benchmarks and beats amd’s 2018 flagship, the 2700x. By a wide margin side. Note, if you are looking for a laptop, our editor davindra tested out and was pretty impressed by the ryzen 4000 powered asus rog zephyrus g14, while the ryzen 4000 and 5000 series chips are hugely impressive. I do feel like i’m starting to see some online grumbling with intel continuing to price its processors, maybe a bit higher than i would and not really offering a compelling performance advantage. Amd’S prices have started to rise last year’s 3800x launched at 400, but this year’s equivalent 5800x is 450 and heck going back two years to that 2700x. That was only 330. is the 5800x better and faster absolutely, but either way we are seeing amd’s prices drift higher. Now we may see cheaper releases in 2021 and these new chips really are much faster, but for a lot of fans who flocked to amd as a cheaper but still really fast, alternative to intel, it is a little hard to stomach. What we really need is some more competition, so it would have been great if 2020 was the year that intel came roaring back with a slate of killer, high performance processors ones, so good that amd would have to slash prices in order to keep up with them. But 2020 was not the year for that. This past spring saw the release of intel’s 10th gen comet lake desktop processors with the flagship 10 core, i9 10 900k.

We tested out some of these chips and they’re they’re, fine, honestly, they’re really fine, but all of them are maybe a little bit too expensive for the performance you get comet lake is the fifth, maybe maybe fifth iteration, of intel’s 14 nanometer process i’m, not sure i Have completely lost track because they stopped adding pluses after 14, plus plus, so who can say when we tested the 10900k. It was plenty fast, but it ran super hot and sucked down more than 200 watts of power intel’s in a bit of a rough spot. Here their long awaited 10 nanometer manufacturing process which promises better performance and less power usage still seems to be barely off the ground, so they’re stuck just adding more cores to the same tweaked design, we’ve seen for half a decade now the reality is at most of The higher end, there is an amd chip that probably runs a little bit faster, uses less power and again, this still kind of blows. My mind probably costs less than a lot of intel’s competing products. Things did get a lot more interesting at the low end, though, with these 10th gen processors intel is finally offering hyper, threading, essentially processor, multitasking, all the way down to its cheapest cpus. You can get an i3 10 300 chip it’s about the equivalent of their flagship. I7 6700k from a few years ago for just 175 dollars and as we found in our testing paired with a decent gpu, that is still plenty fast for most gaming still, while the cheapest new amd chip is 300, if you’re willing to just step back a generation, The ryzen 3 3100 is a 185 dollar processor that offers slightly better multi core performance at the expense of slightly worse single core compared to the i3 10 300.

For just a few bucks, more one thing holding intel back, is they still haven’t, given us native desktop support for pci express 4.0? This is the high speed interface used by add in cards like gpus and, more importantly, for super fast nvme based solid state drives, while modern graphics cards aren’t really fast enough to take advantage of pcie 4.0. Yet there are plenty of solid state drives showing up that. Have read and write speeds over 5 gigabytes. A second remember when the 400 megabytes or so of the first flash drives felt super speedy pci express 4.0 is expected on intel’s next ships called rocket lake confusingly intel’s 10th generation. Chips on mobile are entirely different, while they actually premiered in 2019. This year finally saw the wide release of chips based on their ice lake design, like the i7 1065 g7, which is made with that long awaited 10 nanometer process and they’re fine, again, they’re they’re kind of just fine they’re, pretty efficient and the integrated iris pro gpu Is a big leap forward for intel’s, graphics capabilities, but they’re kind of held back by slow clock speeds and so far the 10 nanometer chips just haven’t really made a splash. We also saw the release of the first chips for intel’s, follow up to ice lake tiger lake, which is built on an improved 10 nanometer process and features a redesigned core architecture, tiger lake or 11th gen chips are starting to show up in new laptops, like the Dell inspiron and xps 13.

, but so far, we’ve only been able to test the higher end. I7, 1185 g7 in a prototype machine and again, who is coming up with these names tiger lake bumps up cache sizes and does bring some improvements in clock speeds, but the biggest changes are in intel’s, integrated gpu tiger lake features, intel’s brand new redesigned, xe, graphics, architecture And we found it was good enough to get around 50 or 60 frames per second at 1080 resolution in medium settings in overwatch, which is not bad for an integrated gpu. These chips should offer some boosts in performance for the ultra portable segment, but for serious workloads. Like rendering and video editing with only four cores, these tiger lake chips seem to be struggling to keep up with amd’s 4000 series chips which have been out for a year and were actually based on even older zen 2 technology intel did also launch its new lakefield Chips based on its foveros design, which takes the various chip, components and stacks them vertically, designed for low power devices like tablets and ultra portables. The first lakefield devices we’ve seen, are actually pretty impressive, delivering decent performance, while only sipping a few watts of power. In our editor charlene’s recent testing, the lakefield powered thinkpad fold x1, actually bested an ipad pro in a video playback battery life test, the lakefield design, with its vertically stacked chips and a smartphone esque mix of high end low power. Cores is actually a pretty big deal.

Intel has essentially taken a chiplet manufactured at 10 nanometers and containing five processor cores, the graphics and other logic and glued it. On top of a 22 nanometer chiplet containing things like the usb and storage controllers, this is akin to amd’s use of a 7 nanometer processor chiplet and a 14 nanometer input. Output, chiplet, but it’s new from intel and the vertical stacking design is unique. Lakefield has some big potential advantages in areas like power, consumption and memory access and though the current chips max out at a mere 7 watts of power, it may give us a clue for what intel has planned in the future. So what do we have to look forward to in 2021? Well, it may actually be a pretty quiet year for amd. The current crazy unsourced rumors are that they’re pretty happy with their position in the market at the moment and they are going to take their time with zen 4. So we may not see a major release from them until 2022, 2021 will likely bring a refresh of zen 3 sort of like they did with the older 3 800 xt chips. Essentially, the same processor at higher clock speeds, and we may see some more processor options, including lower end ones like a 5300 or equivalent. We may also see an update to amd’s laptop chips. Remember those ryzen 4000 series are actually based on what is now pretty old technology, but that may be about it.

When zenford does arrive, it may be a bigger change. We know for sure it’ll be moving to an improved 5 nanometer manufacturing process and said crazy. Rumors suggest that amd is trying to support super fast ddr5 memory, along with a rework of that input, output die, which hasn’t really changed in a few years and an overhaul of the infinity fabric, which is the connection that links all the different parts of the processor. Together, this increase in speeds, along with a massive navi esque l4 cache a design borrowed from their new graphics cards, could lead to a big improvement in that all important instructions per clock mat trick which is building on some of the advances we actually saw in this Year’S zen 3., but again crazy, rumors, zen 4 will also move to a new motherboard socket now amd has actually done a pretty good job supporting older motherboards, though some folks may never get support for this year’s zen 3 chips but they’ve been using the am4 socket Since 2016., by contrast, intel seems to require a new motherboard. Every single year, am4 has had some inherent limitations, including a fragile pin, design that some folks dislike and a power cap of 142 watts. Moving away from that could change a lot of things, namely higher powered processors and maybe improved. I o options for connecting up all that super fast pcie, 4.0 storage, we’re also getting more info about rocket lake intel’s. Next desktop chips which take the improved core design from tiger lake on mobile and back ports it to some sort of 14 nanometer quintuple plus process rocket lake should finally add support for pci express 4.

0. But it seems like it’ll max out at eight cores, which means that unless those cores come with a serious improvement in performance or speed, it’s going to face some stiff competition. At this point, it seems like we won’t see a high performance. 10 nanometer desktop chip from intel until 2022, when their alder lake platform is set to launch, which should feature an entirely redesigned architecture along with maybe a mobile esque mix of high end powered cores. Of course, the shadow looming over all of this is apple, their new homegrown, m1 chips are seriously fast and what we’ve seen so far is essentially just an ipad pro chip and a fancier package. Our review by our editor davindra found that the m1 powered macbook air actually bested, that zephyrus g14 in single core performance in geekbench, though there’s a reason to not entirely trust benchmarks, comparing the m1 chips to other processors, stay tuned for our episode on the m1 it’s Coming up next and we’re gon na dig into it to achieve these speeds along with great battery life, the m1 pairs, four high powered and four low powered cores. Are you seeing a trend here, but bloomberg who got the scoop on the m1? In the first place, says, apple is planning to release computers with 12 or even 16 high performance cores as soon as spring 2021.. Bloomberg, in fact, reports that apple is even trialling a 32 core version of the m1 for a refreshed mac pro that may be released in the fall pair.

These chips with a 32 64 or even 128 core gpu up from just 8 in the current m1s and you’ve, got what has the potential to be the fastest chip you can get hands down. There also may be contenders from the world of risk 5.. As we mentioned in our video on that topic, this open source chip design is finally entering the mainstream chip. Designer sci 5 just announced to the hi5 unmatched, a 5 core linux compatible system based on risk 5.. While these early chips are unlikely to be performance, champs micromagic just announced they managed to get a risk 5 design to run at 5 gigahertz of speed on just a single watt of power. This is still early days, but that’s, potentially as much as 13 times as efficient as even the m1 and another of their designs might be as much as ten thousand times as efficient per watt, so risk five definitely has some potential. 2020 was another great year for processors. It really feels, like eight cores, has become the high performance standard, maybe helped along a bit by the new consoles, but we’ve never had so many great options to choose from all the way down to solid choices for four court ships under 200. Up to 16 core processors and beyond, and while i wouldn’t expect any huge new releases from intel or amd in 2021, we really are entering a new era of computing with apple and a host of startups.

Looking like, they are poised to release some truly revolutionary chips and we’ll, be here, testing them all out and trying to figure out how the heck they all work.