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Intel or Amd?

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March 29, 2010 2:05:15 AM

So I am finally doing it... I know there's lots and lots of debates about amd or Intel processors. So firstly I kinda wanted to know why Intel is better, because I have defiantly heard that many places and the prices are alot higher. Second why are amd so cheap, like why is the best amd processor (AMD's 3.4GHz Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition) only cost 183 dollars http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and the best Intel processor out least I am pretty sure (Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition 3) costs around 1000$?

SO whats the difference... how is amd so much cheaper? what difference in computing will you notice between the Intel processor and the amd one? Is amd just cheap offbrand stuff or is it any good, is amd or intel better for gaming?

Thanks for answering/clearing up some of my questions... Really helpful

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March 29, 2010 2:15:19 AM

Intel processors due more work in a clock cycle, meaning that speed vs speed, an intel will always beat out an amd. Intel setups (especially i7) also allow crossfire/sli to work more efficiently.

For single card gaming setups, I have a tough time recommending anything but AMD, as the price of entry is so much more affordable (cheaper Motherboards as well as cpus) and can allow for a greater budget to be aportioned to the graphics card.

For the more hardcore benchmarkers and high res gamers with a generous budget, i7 is the natural choice.
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March 29, 2010 8:38:36 AM

Clock speeds don't really mean much when you compare two different architectures. Intel and AMD processors work in a different way.
In terms of processing speed, AMD used to be mainly on top, between 2001-2006 (don't really remember, might be 2002 or 2003), but then Intel released their Core 2 processors which outperformed AMD's flagship Athlon FX line. The reason why AMD is cheaper is simply because they can't price it any higher.

Firstly, Intel is far more well-known than AMD, and owns a larger percentage of the CPU marketshare. Secondly, in general, Phenom II X4, AMD's current flagship line, can only compete with Intel's mainstream product, the Core i5, which is slightly better than the Phenom II X4 965, but on average they perform around the same. Now, if AMD priced the Phenom II X4 965 the same as the Core i5, the majority of consumers, would buy the i5, simply because based on the fact that they believe Intel is a superior and more trustworthy company - for example, where I live, nobody here really knows much about computers, and the fact that I have seen at least ten Intel ads and some Dell ads saying that they use Intel CPUs, and no AMD ones over the past few years definitely shows that at least Intel is getting their name out there, while not many people know about AMD. Thus, if you walk in their shoes, would you rather buy a processor that is made by a company, who you have seen advertisements about, and has been associated with major companies like Apple, Dell and HP, or would you rather buy a processor from a random company who you've never heard of?

Secondly, the minority of consumers who actually do know a decent amount of computers, such as gamers, and youngsters/regulars on this forum, would probably know that the i5 750 is marginally better than the Phenom II X4. AMD knows they can't sell a Fiat for the price of a Ferrari, and thus price their processors cheaper than Intel's.
Did you know that the Phenom II X4 965 was originally $240, but after Intel released the Core i5 750 at $200, it gradually dropped down to ~$180, where it is now.
Intel for now has complete control of the enthusiast desktop market, and can price their Extreme Edition processors at $1000 if they want to - AMD cannot do anything about it. Extreme editions are simply versions which have unlocked multipliers and slightly higher clock speeds, and are also higher binned. AMD, back when their Athlon 64 line which dominated the Pentium 4 series that Intel had to offer, AMD too sold their ultra high-end enthusiast CPUs for the same price. They sold their dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 for $1000, which also featured an unlocked multiplier and higher clock speeds relative to their mainstream Athlon 64s. Although, I'd say Intel's abusing their position more than AMD did - the price difference between a Core i5 650 and 670, Core i7 860 and 870, and Core i7 930 and 960 are ridiculous, and the only major difference between them is the clock speed, which really does not justify the cost. Sure there are other very slight advantages, like higher binning and, for example with the 870, a more widespread Turbo Boost, but they don't help justify the cost much either.

AMD still sells unlocked multiplier editions - known as the Black Editions, and they are far cheaper than Intel's EE CPUs, and are only approx $20-30 more than their non-black edition, multiplier locked counterparts. They have to do this to try and appeal more to the consumer.

In most benchmarks, AMD processors seem to always lose out, and it's because simply, they are slower, but, imho, far better value for money processors. (Except Core i7 920 or 930s @ Micro Center for $200!) In real life applications, it's actually quite hard to notice the difference - unless you're purposely benchmarking it, I seriously doubt you'd notice an extra few seconds or minutes on your DVD encoding or music conversion time, or the FPS you get in your games.

In most games, it is graphic card limited, except at lower resolutions, and thus really they are both good for gaming. However, when you start adding more graphic cards in, Intel setups, as JofaMang stated previously, are better at CrossFireX/SLI, I'm just guessing because it doesn't hold the graphic card back as much.

And no way is AMD cheap offbrand stuff lol, AMD is a far bigger company than you'd think. AMD's cheap because they have to be, but be grateful that they are - you can get very decent gaming setup for a lot less than an Intel based one. I've had an Athlon 3200+ single core computer which has served me magnificently for the past five and a half years - the diffference in bootup time between that computer and my new i7 one is minimal, and so is small music conversion.



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March 29, 2010 1:26:11 PM

Okay thanks... That helps a lot, It seems like if your ever planning on sli or crossfire you should get an i7 or i5... Cause My Dad has a computer with an amd proccessor and he has no problems with it... works fine works fast. Personally I think it is basically more worth getting the best for your money and prob 1 graphics card... use it a few years then add one more card then in like 5 years just buy another computer.

The thing that you said about people not knowing about amd and thus buying intel seems to be true alot of places... Most all companies that I have looked at all their computers have intel processors.
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a c 172 à CPUs
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a c 197 K Overclocking
March 29, 2010 8:40:12 PM

jeremiah reese said:
Okay thanks... That helps a lot, It seems like if your ever planning on sli or crossfire you should get an i7 or i5...

It's not that simple. For most games, all you need is a CPU fast enough to keep the video cards fed. For that, an AMD system is perfectly adequate. But a lot of us, me too :D  , have been spoiled by the 50% OC's that we can get with first tier Intel CPU's.
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a c 161 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a c 295 K Overclocking
March 29, 2010 9:34:32 PM

^+1, this could be the thread number 1000 with the same question. All depends of the use that you want for it, and the budget that you have.
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a c 81 à CPUs
March 29, 2010 10:04:26 PM

AMD CPU's would not have been so cheap had INTEL CPU's had not been so much better.. Why is that you ask?? Well for starters, they have a better architecture and better material usage.. Also, INTEL CPU's have a better compatibility with various apps.. Also, in case you are interested, they have a better overclocking headroom (reason again being a better architecture) which tends to bring out more performance per dollar situation.. If you look at platform wise, the X58 platform gives you more flexibility with the ability to go either SLI or CROSSFIRE and the platform is best for multiple card setup.. Also there are more memory lanes enabling better workstation environment setup.. But having said all above, me too cannot justify the hefty price on the i7 965/ i7 975/ i7 980x.. May be that's what you pay for exclusivity.. Coming to the gaming terms, the 965BE from AMD is plenty fast (as explained by JSC) and forms the obvious choice at that killer pricing..
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a c 143 à CPUs
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a b À AMD
a b K Overclocking
March 30, 2010 3:19:45 PM

I don't believe compatibility has been an issue now for years.
Lmeow's post was good. Intel is faster, AMD is cheaper. Thing is, 80FPS vs. 100FPS in some game won't be a visible difference, but an extra $20 in my wallet is at least three weeks' typical lunch, or another game. And, the FPS difference probably won't be that high anyway, especially if you've put more money into the graphics card(s) on the AMD system.
Read the last $750 SBM article and see what Paul accomplished with a "lowly" AMD Athlon II X3. Even $600 is enough to build a decent gaming computer using current-generation AMD, but you'd need at least $800 to build anything with similar performance using current-gen Intel.
If, however, you have pro-level [video | design] apps in mind, the performance benefit to Intel undoubtedly justifies the cost.
If you're building a new rig, the sticky at the top of the new builds forum contains a template with a lot of useful questions and answers. Identifying your requirements is a very early step (along with constraints like budget) to determining your best choices.
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April 3, 2010 6:52:55 PM

Onus said:
... but an extra $20 in my wallet is at least three weeks' typical lunch, or another game.

Especially if you buy games the way I do. I wait a year. A $50 game is usually $30 or includes one or two expansion packs. I have Civ IV and it's three expansion packs for $40, Oblivion and its two expansion packs for $40.

And between work and the forums, I still haven't caught up.


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a c 143 à CPUs
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April 3, 2010 7:54:35 PM

Yep. I only just bought Age of Empires II because someone at work said it was good, but I have yet to play it.
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April 8, 2010 12:12:48 AM

Best answer selected by Jeremiah Reese.
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April 1, 2011 3:51:16 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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