A Brief History
For PC gamers, Intel was pretty much the only choice up until Ryzen came out.
AMD had tried previously with the Phenom and FX series in the past and failed miserably.
Once Ryzen came out (early 2017), it actually took 3 generations for it to become competitive with Intel.
During those two first generations, choosing AMD was mainly a cost cutting choice.
With the release of the 5000 series (4th gen) in November 2020, AMD finally had the lead position and for all price points. The 5600X was the best value, and the 5950X was the best overall.
Unfortunately this lead was short lived as Intel came out with Alder Lake (12th gen) in November 2021 retaking the lead, not only for ALL price points but also reintroducing viable budget $100 and $150 processor choices with the 12100 i3 and 12400 i5 processors.
The 12100 is faster than a 8700k for about 33% of the money. It’s also faster than the Ryzen 5600.
The 12400 is faster than a 9700k for about 50% of the money. It’s also faster than the Ryzen 5800X.
The 12600k is faster than a 11900k for about 50% of the money. It’s also faster than the Ryzen 5950X or 5800X3D.
There is a big value falloff after the 12600kf. If you’re considering a 12900k,
that’s money better spent another component category such as the GPU.
Which do I choose?
For new builds, no matter your budget, Intel has the best options.
I’d recommend the 12400F or 12600KF, depending on budget.
For those of you with existing Ryzen builds, despite Intel’s lead, it still makes sense to stay AMD as you can easily upgrade the processor without replacing the motherboard.
I’d recommend the 5600 non-X or the 5800X3D. Another option is switching to Intel and softening the blow by selling your old AMD parts.
For those of you with existing Intel builds, since you have to replace your motherboard in order to upgrade the processor anyway, it doesn’t make sense to go AMD at any budget.