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AMD vs Intel: Does single core performance really matter?

Last response: in CPUs
December 7, 2013 2:49:55 PM

Hey guys,

I have been looking around all the posts about AMD and intel cpu's and there is just one thing I cannot get a grip on. It's about the question whether or not single core perfomance really matters (since every last generation CPU seems to have enough single core for every game you'd like to play). Isn't it more important to have more cores in your CPU?
Intel has better single core performance, far better, that's clear to me. However, for the same price as a 4 core i5 you can get an 8 core AMD (e.g. FX 8320/8350). It seems to me that producers of games are now slowly starting to utilise the extra cores build into the CPU's. The Playstation 4 and the Xbox one have 8 core AMD cpu's, which opens up the path to games based on 8 core CPU's (or at least games that profit more from 8 core cpu's).

Now here is the thing I'd like to know. Intel has better single core performance, but it's quite clear that you don't need the single core perfomance that an i5 gives you. Actually, you have a lot of room left, which gives me the feeling that AMD cpu's have more than enough single core performance.
That would suggest choosing an AMD cpu, since you´ll probably profit from the 8 cores in a year or two, and then it is more useful than a i5 intel cpu.

But, I don´t know if this is true. Can anyone confirm this to me, or otherwise tell me why I am wrong?

Hope you guys can help me with this.

Cheers, Tom
a b å Intel
a c 371 à CPUs
a b À AMD
December 7, 2013 2:56:01 PM

I'd say thats pretty much on point. For gaming, the GPU is what really maters anyway.

The intels have absolutely beautiful architecture - low power consumption, low heat output, great (esp. single-core) performance.

It's completely game dependent, honestly. Most games will play great on an AMD, like the one I have. Then there are the PC murderers like Total War Shogun 2 where you can see a real difference between the CPU - the intels get almost double the FPS.

For the most part, gaming CPUs are overkill - everyone wants the best FPS possible. I still believe that as long as your CPU is relatively modern it's all down to the GPU.

And about the multi-core adoption thing, I hope so. It certainly seems that way. I can only recommend going up to an FX 8320 though, because once you reach the pricepoint of an 8350 you could instead get a i5 3570k/4670k which are better for the most part. On the AMD you should still blow past 60 FPS though.
December 7, 2013 3:26:13 PM

Well, with this benchmark in Rome: Total War II performance between i5-2600K overclocked and FX 8350 overclocked is only 8 FPS difference

But could just be the benchmark i found ;) 

In the end, it's about the FPS, of course, that's true. And ok, GPU is more important. I have already bought a Radeon Hd 7870 and am thinking about later buying another HD 7870. i'd like to be able to play games with this PC as long as I can, at first at ultra settings and later on with lower settings, but with good FPS

I don't want to spend too much money on a CPU, but I'm afraid I'll buy a CPU that isn't good enough to fully support two Radeon HD 7870 graphic cards. Ideal would be if at some point in a year or 3 (don't really know how much time it'll take) my graphic cards aren't good enough any more to play games at acceptable FPS, and at that point I just buy a new MB, CPU and GPU, etc. I am just afraid that at some point it is the CPU that isn't good enough anymore, and on the other hand I don't want to spend too much money on it.

So, to be specific, if I buy an AMD FX 8320, will that at some point not be good enough anymore (instead of the GPU's)? And should I therefore go with an i5? Or is an i3 or an FX 6350 good enough already?
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a b å Intel
a c 371 à CPUs
a b À AMD
December 7, 2013 4:33:57 PM

You'd get a few more years out of an FX 83xx or an i5 k series.

I have the 8320 and a 7870 myself and it performs great. You can run most cards in CF/SLI with this processor, no problem. At some point, all CPUs will be obsolete, that's just what happens. If you buy a FX 83xx or an i5 k series they will last for a few more years, i3's are currently capable and have been for years. It seems to be a slow moving process. e.g Core 2 Quads are still decent for gaming.

New gens of CPUs (or APUs in AMD's case) are being released in the next year. AMD's, don't yet know the gaming performance, will use the FM2+ socket and the intel will use the current Haswell socket, the LGA 1150. Therefore, if you go with Haswell and a good motherboard you might be set for the next gen of CPUs, whereas AMD's Am3+ socket seems to be stopping dead. However, it is much cheaper and should be good for a few years yet, by the time you need to upgrade there may have been many socket iteration already.
December 8, 2013 7:48:45 AM

Thanks, gives me a better idea what to do!