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Intel versus AMD Stability

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November 24, 2005 4:30:17 PM

Greetings Forumz,

After perusing through Tom's Hardware Web Site and several of the postings, I read confirmation that Intel has sacrificed raw processing performance to please their stock holders as they enjoy their name recognition. To sink the nails into the coffin, would you comment on the stability to these two contenders? With Intel's hotter processors, one can infer that that they will heat up more often which in addition to slowing the processor down can also lead to reliability issues. But how about the robustness of the processor's architecture and its compatability to motherboards? A slower machine that crashes less often might be a worthwhile trade.

Cheers,
a b à CPUs
November 24, 2005 5:57:32 PM

when you have an intel chip that is clocked at a high speed, the chip will throttle if 1) the system is OEM and did not have have intel made, very loud HSF 2) the ambient temperature is too high
then for compability of DC chips (P-D) with their special chipsets and third party (in this case second party chipsets) is bad
but all these occure when ya goto higher end P4s (as far as i know), if you stay in the 3.0-3.2 single core range then i don't think there is as much problem

AMD DC upgrade is not as problematic, as they only needs a bios flash (if its NF4 that is, which most people have for socket 939)
and amd single cores works very well, including socket 754 and the old socket A (Socket 754 seems to have some memory controller problem with 3 mixed ram chips, due to weak on-die memory controller, but this is just rumors though, there haven't been cases of people with this problem in here though...(not that i been here that lon though))
November 24, 2005 8:16:56 PM

CPU itself don't have stabilitry problem. It is what is around them that would. Improper cooling or misplaced HSF, bad power supply that stress component more than they have to, botched assembly, ...

Problem arise when you take a piece of hardware that run at the edge of safety, like Intel newer CPU, and you put them in environnement that cannot provide unstressful operating environnement. That would lead to problem. Just like motherboard, that are feeded by poor PSU. If they have good electronics component, they can run stable most of the time. But add ageing or subpar component, with the same lame PSU and you will run into problem.

So, no matter which CPU you'll get, you still have to provide good hardware and care for stability. But is is now more true with hotter Intel. If good cooling, PSU, mobo,... are used. one can built a stable and performing system. But I don't recommend them for novice builder or for budget performance machine, because this could lead to more problem. AMD has the advantage of running a cooler chip, that consume less power. This add stability in budget built as normal cooling and PSU can have the job done. Not that I recommend going cheap on the PSU, but a middle range one can do good enough for normal operation.
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November 25, 2005 12:40:18 AM

The prescott chips are very good at handling heat. They are not a cause for concern for instability. Unfortuneatly, the other components may not be as capable of withstanding the stress that added heat causes. Memory, voltage regulators, graphics cards an d north bridges are things that dont like a hot environment, and so could cause problems.
If care is given to keep the environment clean, and well ventilated, problems should be minimized.
Even for slower chips, like the 530/630 models, extreme cooling is a good idea.
Intel has made advances to curbing the problem. The 600 chips are cooler than the 500 series. By the time they bring out 45 nano parts, the problem should be taken care of. (barring any unforseen circumstances)
November 25, 2005 12:41:09 AM

Hey DH, or Jake, if you are reading this, please delete this post. I cant find the delete button any more. If it's gone, can we have it back please.
November 25, 2005 2:56:02 AM

Quote:
By the time they bring out 45 nano parts, the problem should be taken care of

How so? Is Intel bringing in SOI or something?
Going down to 45 nano doesn't necessarily improve anything, the things might even get worse. 90 to 65 and Prescott. What did that do?

I am not trying to be a smartarse now, I'm just asking.
November 25, 2005 3:07:31 AM

My understanding is that Intel will be bringing out thier variation on SOI, called Fully Depleated Silocon On Insulator, or FD SOI.
It would be nice, if it ment that Intel was again able to compete.
It's only a single step, but it is a step they should have taken a while back.
November 25, 2005 3:43:34 AM

Does this FD SOI mean Intel does not have to pay anybody licence fees?
They pretend inventing SOI all by themselves?
A new ground braking breakthrough in science with Intel Inside. Wow, I'm impressed.
Now who else could do such a stunt like that except M$? Those guys at Intel must be really cool.
November 25, 2005 4:51:43 AM

No, they still have to pay IBM for SOI. That's why it's taken them this long.
From what I understand, they have done some good work, though it will not make up for the pi$$poor layout of thier chips.
Someone should tell them that close proximity to dislike charges, is a surefire way to get leakage.
November 25, 2005 6:07:49 AM

Now this is getting juicy. Is Intel really paying IBM for using SOI?
I mean is Intel actually paying somebody for using an invention that is not made by "Intel Inside"? If that's true it's just amazing.
If it's true those blue boys aren't so cool after all.
And they call themselves robber barons. Pthui. They probably couldn't even steal my grandmothers purse, and she's dead.
November 25, 2005 5:44:28 PM

First let me say I'm not a fanboy of either company. I've owned an equal amount of Intel and AMD processors in my day. Here's what I've had (in ascending order):

i286
i386
i486 (33mhz)
i486 DX2 (66mhz)
iPentium 133mhz
AMD K6 233mhz
AMD K6-2 400mhz
AMD K7 Athlon 800mhz (Slot A)
AMD T-Bird 1.4Ghz (Socket A)
AMD Athlon XP 1.8Ghz
Intel P4 2.8Ghz (northwood)
Intel P4 3.4Ghz (northwood, my current processor)
AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ (on it's way from newegg)

I've never come across an incompatibility OR stability problem with any of those processors. Intel processors tend to get hotter, but they are almost impossible to destroy because of the built in protections. This site even once did a demostration with a P4 3Ghz (I think?) where they took off the HSF during a game (Doom3) and the farking thing continued to run (albiet, very slowly). I think it crashed after 3 minutes or so. AMD has similar built in protections.

Anyways, the point is stability and heat should not be taken in consideration when buying a new CPU, unless you are looking to overclock or run a silent PC. If you're looking for gaming or business, benchmarks and price should be your deciding factors.

CPU's and motherboards are almost never the culprits in BSOD's or crashes. The most common cause of a crash is a driver. CPU manufacturers don't write drivers and motherboard drivers are written very very well in comparision to other products.

The most reliable thing in any computer is always going to be the CPU. The most unreliable is going to be a hard drive or CD-ROM. As a rule, the more moving parts a component has the less reliable it's going to be.

I've had the following things go bad on me in my days:

Hard drives (3)
Motherboard (1)
Video card (1)
Memory (1)
CD-ROM (4)
Floppy's (2)
Power Supply (1)
Wireless NIC (1)

Notice CPU is not in there. :-)

-mpjesse
November 26, 2005 12:56:53 AM

I've actually heard rumours that IBM is charging Intel a higher-fee for using SOI than AMD or nVidia. Whether that's actually true or not I'm not very sure. Intel probably wouldn't want to disclose it since its embaressing.

In any case, FD-SOI isn't just Intel's name for SOI to avoid licensing. There are actually quite a few benefits to using a fully-depleted implemenation of SOI.

"For the high-speed transistor, at some point all of the knobs are at their stops and all of the tricks have been played. What then? Two categories of answers emerge: fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and multigate structures.

In both cases the idea is the same: Get all of the channel so close to the gate electrode that when the transistor switches off, the whole channel becomes a depletion region, conducting only a tiny current. This, of course, is also the aim of ultrashallow-junction transistors today.

But the proposed techniques take the idea to new heights. In fully depleted SOI, the transistor is fabricated in a silicon film bonded to an insulating substrate. But unlike today's SOI processes, the substrate is so thin that the entire channel becomes depleted in the gate's electric field. "

http://www.eetasia.com/ARTP_8800374900_499486.HTM

FD-SOI looks to be more effective than the current SOI process in reducing current leakage.

Certainly Intel's 45nm process incorporating FD-SOI looks very promising.

"Think happy thoughts here people, from what several sources have told the INQ, the leakage problem is solved, and I mean solved, not lessened. This will be a massive gain for Intel, and unless AMD and IBM can match it, it will pretty much hand it the mobile space, not to mention anything else where power matters."

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=25512

I'm probably going to get yelled at by endyen again for being too optimistic at Intel, but I think in this case its justified. Intel's 45nm process is supposed to be available in early 2007. AMD probably still has a few tricks up its sleeve with its 65nm process though.
November 26, 2005 2:47:33 AM

A little too optimistic, perhaps. I've been screaming for FD SOI for a long time.
It still wont solve all of Intel's leakage problems though. They need a redraw, as they have too many dislike charges next to each other. Bothe on chip, and in the interconnect layers.
I will stand up and cheer, when Intel releases an FD SOI chip (finally he says)
November 26, 2005 11:45:50 PM

problems ive found are not with the cpu's themselves, but more with the associated hardware.
Buy cheap crap and get a cheap crap experience :) 

If you go the amd route, avoid via motherboards generally.
Get a good brand PSU, decent ram, and a reliable motherboard.
November 27, 2005 5:29:17 AM

VIA is not crap with the A64. They are simply not as OCable and dont have as many features. I ran a K8V SE DLX for over a year with no problems. No conflicts or performance issues and it was completely stable.
I'm now switched to a DFI/nvidia board and it is just as stable as the via based Asus board I had before.
!