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Windows 7: Wanting to compare two CPU' - AMD 8 core VS. Intel i7 -opinions needed


26 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
 
 
Wanting to compare two CPU' - AMD 8 core VS. Intel i7 -opinions needed

Hey 7 forums!

I am wanting to upgrade in the near future from my current AMD Phenom II X4 3.0Ghz 4-core processor.

Now i know how much everyone loves intel and their second-gen core i7 processors, but when AMD offers an 8-core for nearly the same price, it makes me wonder "What's going on there?"

I know that i7 has some amazing hyper-threading, but that's about all I know about it. As well, I know that AMD can boast 8 cores, but they might not necessarily be true 8-core.

What concerns me, however, is that when reading the reviews for the 8-core, I commonly see things like:

"Fast" and "Great CPU"

But when i read the reviews for the more powerful i7s, i see

"OMG THIS THING IS A BEAST" and "FASTEST CPU EVER!"

I know that its more likely that amatures will go for intel, because it's a bigger name, but still...

I'm wanting some opinions from people who actually know computers, on which would offer better performance for the money. (To get a sense of what I use it for, just think Gaming. No 3d modelling)


Here's the AMD 8-core (a whopping 3.6Ghz per core.. so 28.8 GHz total):
Newegg.ca - AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8150FRGUBOX

And here's a good Intel i7:

Newegg.ca - Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K

Although that one is 329 bucks.. If i wanted something more affordable, im down to 3.06Ghz, which is almost no improvement over my current CPU..

Newegg.ca - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950


Any opinions would be appreciated, thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Well of course there are tons of benchmarks for each processor so you can compare there...

But a couple of things:

A 6 or 8 core sysem vs 4 core will yeild zero benefit for 99.999% of any desktop user. With GOOD video editing software and when you are doing tons of it, 8 cores may help. When rendering extreme quality 3d from cad or animation programs (BUT NOT GAMES) it can help. Or maybe if you are going for the record with seti or something. But other than that, there is no point, it'll simply cost you more money in electricity to power it and them even more money in AC to keep your room cool

Second, you are right to worry about the max clock on a single core. For 99% of what you will run, the single core clock is more important than how many cores you have. But that really only holds true for comparing one model of proc to another from the same manufacturer and line. AMD made the line "Clock speed doesn't matter" famous years ago and Intel has been beating them over the head with it for a while now. I haven't looked but it's possible that a 3.2 gig i7 might still beat a 3.6 AMD in a single thread (single processor) test. (Or maybe not!)

You will need to carefully check out benchmarks for things you will be doing (like gaming) on specifically the CPU models you are considering and see what the numbers show...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
 
 

When I saw "two active users browsing this thread" and noticed that one of them was you, I knew i was in for a good reply

And i was! Im thinking then, when it comes to slow and stutter-y games, a better graphic card would yield a much more noticeable improvement.

However, will RAM offer me any advantages? 16 GB of DDR3 ram is available for the same price that i payed for my 4 gigs of DDR2. Will this create a big difference in game performace? Because i know that, unlike most games, something like Minecraft is incredibly RAM-intensive, instead of Graphically and CPU-intensive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Thanks

I've got 12 simply because my choices were 6 or 12 or 24. I've never come close to maxing 12, but I've hit 7.something a lot, I am frequently running a game+photoshop and sometimes even a VM at the same time 4 would be too small for even a moderate power user. 8 should be fine, 16... well, headroom is nice, but definitely way over the top Check with the motherboard though, you may need to get 6 or 12, then I'd get 12.

CPU and GPU should be er... "generation/cost matched" I guess. They need to compliment each other. If you are getting a top line CPU you need to get a top line GPU. IF they are too out of sync either direction you'll be wasting one or the other and your game will be running at the slowest of the two.

Some games are more CPU bound and some more GPU bound but I've found that if I buy the one under best CPU and one under best GPU at any point in time that I do well at maxing out frame rates for a reasonable cost. But a 520 GPU in an i7 2700 computer would have your game running like crap at 10% CPU, or an i3 with a 580 GPU would have the game running like crap with your GPU at 10% (Well maybe not so bad in that direction)

So an i7 2700 and a gtx 580 would be killer (Without being /rediculous/ in price), or maybe the next step down for each of those if you want to save some money there...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
 
 

hmm. Those statements seem to conflict.

A better CPU won't result in better game performace

A better GPU won't result in better game performance

A Better CPU AND GPU, at the same time, WILL give better game performance.

It makes sense though, that one aspect can't outmatch the other, or else it'll get dragged down by whichever is lacking.

I think i'll go for the 16gb ram when i upgrade CPU and GPU, because right now, my Mobo only accepts DDR2 ram.

Just for comparison though, are my 3.0ghz 4 core processor and my Radeon HD 4850 card matched? Because from what I can tell, the 560 superclocked card would easily outmatch mine. If i were to get it, would it be hampered by my CPU?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Well after just a quick look, I'd say that that cpu and card are /probably/ a good match yes...

If you only wanted to upgrade one thing then the card would probably allow you a better gaming experience over upping the cpu by itself

But upgrading both would be better still.

The 560 GPU looks to be about twice as fast as what you have now and upping to an i7 2600 would also possibly be up to twice as fast as your current processor (for multu threaded apps) and maybe 20-30% faster for single threaded apps (like almost all games). But that was after just a quick look, when I am buying a new rig I spend several hours comparing details

Your current GPU is no slouch so I think it could handle keeping up with the 560 no problem
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
 
 

Hmm. Looks like my wallet just got a bit deeper. :P

That brings me to my last question. You see, I'm only in highschool, so my part-time job doesn't exactly pay for a new computer every week.

I'm hoping to sell my current rig (minus the sound card) to make back enough money that i could get a new computer for about 300-350 dollars difference.

That means, that i would need to sell my computer for around 800 - 750 if i want to buy a new one for about 1100 (the same price that i bought this one for, two years ago.)

So, do you think that I could get about 800$ for my build, if it's 2 years old? System specs are up to date, and the only thing i'd hold on to is the sound card and monitor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You have to remember that a multi-core CPU is only as good as the software that is running on it, in terms of how many cores it can utilize. Very few software apps out there can even utilize 4 cores as of yet. For example, your we browser isn't going to suddenly render web pages faster with 8 cores as opposed to 4.

That all being said, you can't look at simple MHz anymore. AMD taught us that years ago, and now they've been getting smacked around by that way of thinking. Also, when considering both platforms, you have to consider chipsets, and that's one of the biggest reasons I go Intel and only Intel. The Intel chipsets, simply put, are stable, rock solid, and fast.

The general way of thinking in system building is, if you want high-end, you go Intel. If you want something along the lines of a value, mid-range system, you have choices. Intel owns the high end computing segment right now.

Without trying to be insulting, you have a lot to understand in term of processors and how to compare them. Mhz is meaningless anymore, and you can't multiple the speed by the number of cores to get anything useful. You have to compare architectures, and that includes the various chipsets. Please feel free to ask questions....because the more you understand, the more comfortable you will be with why you made a certain choice. I've been building systems for 17 years now, and it is still a learning process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
 
 

Aha that "without trying to be insulting" bit made me laugh. Like i said, I'm still in highschool. I understand the basics of how a chips architecture affect its performance, but only that: the basics.

If i can come up with a bit more money (see my last post) then i'll go for the i7 intel, because i know that its architecture and hyperthreading give it many legs up when compared to AMD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ty Tonus Burman View Post
Aha that "without trying to be insulting" bit made me laugh. Like i said, I'm still in highschool. I understand the basics of how a chips architecture affect its performance, but only that: the basics.

If i can come up with a bit more money (see my last post) then i'll go for the i7 intel, because i know that its architecture and hyperthreading give it many legs up when compared to AMD.
If you're mainly interested in gaming, consider an I5-2500k rather than an I7-2600k (or 2700k). You'll save $100 over the 2600k, and hyperthreading may not be all that useful for games.

One site:

AnandTech - Bench - CPU

suggests that an I5-2500k is a better deal than an FX-8150 for all but those rare applications that really exploit multithreading. The I7 appears to outperform the FX-8150 in all of the benchmarks published there.

If you insist on AMD, the FX series isn't that much of a leap in performance over the Phenom II X6 series, which is priced lower.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Wanting to compare two CPU' - AMD 8 core VS. Intel i7 -opinions needed




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