For IT teams managing PC fleets of any size, success often depends on tools and practices that promote operational efficiency and predictability. With more employees now working remotely than ever before, many IT administrators are facing added layers of complexity with common tasks such as deploying and updating systems. In such a challenging environment, some admins may be concerned that migrating to a mixed-CPU fleet—containing some PCs with AMD processors and others with Intel processors—will increase costs and inefficiencies. Others may hesitate to change from Intel-powered PCs to AMD-powered PCs because they anticipate additional management burdens—even when new hardware could potentially boost overall productivity. Are those concerns warranted, or is it possible for organizations to move towards modernized mixed- or new-CPU fleets with confidence?

We explored these concerns by testing the OS and driver deployment process for two pairs of laptops from HP and Lenovo, each pair containing one AMD processor-powered laptop and one Intel processor-powered laptop. Because organizations use different deployment and management tools, we performed two separate deployments using two different Intune tools: a traditional approach with Configuration Manager and a modern approach with Windows Autopilot. In our tests, we found no difference in deployment effort between AMD-powered laptops and Intel-powered laptops. Within each deployment approach, the work took similar amounts of elapsed time; the necessary hands-on admin time varied slightly across laptops. We also found that with Windows Autopilot, the AMD-powered laptops we tested took less total system time to complete deployment than their Intel-powered counterparts.

Our testing shows that admins can use the same deployment process with AMD- and Intel-powered PCs while expecting to spend the same amount of hands-on time to complete the task. With that level of simplicity, admins should feel free to evaluate the potential benefits of moving to a mixed- or new-CPU PC environment without being concerned about added time costs and management complexity.

For more in-depth information about our mixed-CPU OS and driver deployment study, check out the report below.