I plan to purchase a non-Apple laptop shortly. The one I’m most interested in comes in two varieties, identical except for the CPUs. One has an AMD Ryzen™ 7 7745HX; the other has an Intel® Core™ i7-13700HX. The Intel model costs $140 more than the AMD. If I understand what I’ve read online, the Intel CPU overall performs slightly better overall, but not overwhelmingly so. I’ll primarily use the new computer for music and graphics, but I might experiment with gaming, something that has long been a joke on Macs. Is the Intel CPU worth the premium? I suspect that it won’t make that much difference for me, and the extra money would be better used for upgraded peripherals, but I’m not sure.
I figure I probably will need some anti-virus protection for the new computer — something that I haven’t had to worry about with Macs. Bitdefender is the best-reviewed and is not terribly expensive. Is it reliable, or should I consider something else? Are free options adequate?