The landscape of gaming PCs has been dominated by Intel for more than a decade. The Core series have been the only regularly available CPUs for anyone looking to build up a beefy PC to run games like Battlefield or Overwatch.
However, it looks like Intel's reign is about to face its first real test in a while, thanks to AMD.
More Cores, Less Cost
Stepping up to the plate, AMD will be releasing the Ryzen 9 CPU, a follow-up to the Ryzen 7 and 5 lines of CPUs. These previous CPUs were AMD's first foray back into the space since 2004, when AMD released the Sledgehammer line, and were met with enough success to warrant a new iteration.
The hope with this new line of CPUs is that AMD can balance performance with cost. The company has always been looked at as more of a budget brand company, offering PC parts that are more affordable than the competitors.
An example of this is the series of graphics cards AMD has released to compete with Nvidia, the other major brand in the graphics card game. Nvidia graphics cards have always been more expensive, given the features the company always tries to squeeze into them, whereas AMD is the more widely available and cheaper option, with people stacking AMD cards for better performance to make up for any technical limits one may have.
Staying The Course
Intel, on the other hand, is continuing down the path the existing Core series has been on. Intel has been working on rebranding the Core series, moving different pieces into new branding. This rebranding is to make things easier in optimizing and identifying different microchips.
It doesn't mean that performance will suffer as a result. On the flip side, a recent leak of the new Core i9 may point to improved performance for the new CPU. The cache, overclocking, and architecture point to a more powerful CPU that will be able to handle whatever the PC will be running.
Who Will Win?
As things stand, the question at the heart of this is cost vs. performance. This is not to say that the AMD's Ryzen is absurdly underpowered compared to Intel's Core i9, but it is fair to say that the i9 does still have an edge in performance. This is usually a key factor for anyone looking to build their own high-end PC for gaming.
For anyone else looking to build a PC but are operating on a budget, the AMD is still a good CPU for the price. It won't light the world on fire, but it will still offer more than most other CPUs would at that price point.