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Intel vs AMD for dummies?

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December 9, 2009 1:17:54 PM

Hi, I don't know much about CPU and I've just realized that I hardly know anything about AMD. So... can anyone give a very simple description for either or their products?

I've noticed that ppl around me that uses AMD CPUs coincidentally seem to know a lot about CPUs. From what I hear, AMD CPUs generally have better value for money and good for overclocking, whereas Intel has some key architectures (I'm not sure if this is the right word) that's superior to AMD.

Also, I've hardly seen any laptops using AMD CPUs. Does anyone know why?

Thanks :) 

More about : intel amd dummies

December 9, 2009 1:21:12 PM

pretty much everything in your second paragraph is true...

AMDs laptop CPUs are generally FAR inferior to Intel's options though.
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December 9, 2009 1:43:45 PM

amd =bang for buck
intel=performance
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December 9, 2009 1:47:09 PM

AMD laptops do suck somewhat, or at least the cpu does. It's getting better though, the new Athlon X2's suck a bit less.

On the other hand the integrated graphics on an AMD laptop are a lot, lot better than anything intel does on that front.
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December 9, 2009 1:52:52 PM

student_sol said:
Hi, I don't know much about CPU and I've just realized that I hardly know anything about AMD. So... can anyone give a very simple description for either or their products?

I've noticed that ppl around me that uses AMD CPUs coincidentally seem to know a lot about CPUs. From what I hear, AMD CPUs generally have better value for money and good for overclocking, whereas Intel has some key architectures (I'm not sure if this is the right word) that's superior to AMD.

Also, I've hardly seen any laptops using AMD CPUs. Does anyone know why?

Thanks :) 


Well.... Let me break this down.

Quote:
So... can anyone give a very simple description for either or their products?


As you said in your 2nd Paragraph,

Amd:

Pro's:
Has a better price to performance ratio. As an example, athlon II X4 620 at 2.6 GHz (quad core cpu) is only a $99.00 . The only cpus that intel have in the price range is there core 2 duo's (dual core cpu).

With the money saved on and AMD cpu, you can put it towards better gpus.

Cons': Not as powerful as intel equivalent cpu.


Intel:
Pro's:

Better than AMD equivalent powered cpu due to Micro-architectures improvements.

Has better features for most of there cpu's, like Hyperthreading (this give 2 threads to evey 1 core in a cpu. this appers to an Operating system like windows 7 as extra core) and Turbo boost. This feature will overclock your cpu if the program needs it. Example: you can have a Core i5, 2.6 quad core cpu and it can go up to a single core 3.2 GHz cpu.

Con's
With all those features, there a higher price to it. Core i5 $200 vs Phenom II around $170 and less.

Quote:
Also, I've hardly seen any laptops using AMD CPUs. Does anyone know why?


Well i cant really explain it well but i think what was happening was that Intel was trying to get companies like dell to sell only intel cpu's but that should be clearing up soon with that lawsuit against them by AMD has been settled.
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December 9, 2009 1:53:14 PM

O.K. AMD simply has better priced CPU's and cheaper motherboards for the mid to lower end prices.Intel has better performing CPU's for the mid to high end.
AMD uses the traditional way of sockets with pins on the CPU's where as Intel uses the newer Land Grid Array type of sockets.

Intel CPU's overclock at a higher percentage than AMD's generally up to 50% as compared to 20%

AMD's based laptops are inferior however when they combine the CPU/GPU it might be a completely different outcome in the next years.In other words the CPU while probably not performing on par with Intels might actually make a nice gaming laptop with integration of the GPU.
December 9, 2009 2:12:14 PM

The biggest reason that you dont see as many AMD laptops is because AMD hasnt been aggressive in moving its mobile CPU lineup to power efficient 45nm variants, therefore battery life in AMD laptops tends to be lower than the Intel counterparts.
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December 9, 2009 2:18:23 PM

Everything written above is true.

Another point is that Intel is now running different motherboards
Socket LGA775 for latest Pentium4's, Pentium Dual Cores, Core2Duo, Core2Quad and Celeries...

A differnet socket for the Intel I5 and soon I3
Another socket for the Intel I7 (king of performence.)

AMD has

AM2 (Dead)
AM2+ compatible with all AM2 CPU's and AM3 CPU's
AM3 Compatible with AM3

So... you can build a cheap computer now and upgrade later real easy.
Also people who already have an AM2+ motherboard with an older AthlonX2 can just drop a Phenom II in there for big performance gains.

I run an AMD Laptop with Nvidia 8200 Chipset.
Battery life is down to 30 minutes, cpu is fair on performance but still pnuts against any core2... An ATI or Nvidia IGP is far better then any intel IGP.

It's not bad, but it's not good.
The reason why there are so little amd laptops is more because of some controversy with an unfair business tactic... (didnt follow much on that so feel free to correct me if I am wrong)
December 9, 2009 9:47:15 PM

Thanks for the reply everyone. :) 

When you say AMD laptop CPUs are inferior, does it mean their performance is inferior, or is it just the power consumption? Too bad AMD isn't really into mobile CPU segments... They would be perfect for ppl with low budget like me.
December 9, 2009 11:50:34 PM

student_sol said:

When you say AMD laptop CPUs are inferior, does it mean their performance is inferior, or is it just the power consumption? Too bad AMD isn't really into mobile CPU segments... They would be perfect for ppl with low budget like me.


Both actually.
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December 10, 2009 12:12:06 AM

The reality of it is, for general laptop use you are still probably better off with an AMD instead of an intel. Intel gets battery life, AMD can play most movies flawlessly until the battery runs out :p 

Neither are particularly good tbh, AMD's are cheaper and if battery life is so important you could buy another battery with what you saved instead of buying the intel.
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December 10, 2009 12:33:14 AM

very well said Jenny

AMD is for people who do know a bit more about CPUs, because they are going for the underdog so they know what the benefits and disadvantages are and how to counter act the disadvantages, the majority of people with Intel are typical businessman clueless gamer and old people who do not want to risk buying a lower end brand, so they think. However, the only way AMD is inferior to Intel is in the speed sector, in fact back in the P4 days AMD actually beat the crap out of Intel in terms of price performance, and speed. AMD is right up to par with Intel ut a bit lagging currently, nothing they can't undo though.

The benefit with AMD as people have said is that it is way cheaper and they have awesome integrated graphics that can play moderate games at ok rates, not playable of course but better compared to an equivalent Intel IGp except the problem is there aren't many Intel IGPs that can scale as well as the AMD IGPs, due to the fact that AMD owns ATI, a graphics company.
December 10, 2009 1:07:27 AM

Thanks for the reply :)  I find the idea of a power efficient CPU attractive, but in reality I never actually use my laptop's battery. (excluding the times I was playing around with them in my living room just for the sake of it) Now if only AMD could come up with an affordable quad-core for laptops at reasonable performance... I'm biding my time until I can afford a laptop with an nehalem quad-core and it looks like I'll have to wait a long, long time...
December 10, 2009 1:30:27 AM

Another funny thing about ppl using AMD around me is that they all recommend others to get an Intel CPU whenever ppl ask. I asked them why they got an AMD if they think Intel's better but got no answer, except that they'll probably get an AMD next time too... (is this what you call brand loyalty?) Maybe I need to learn more about CPUs to understand.
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December 10, 2009 8:45:27 PM

then those people who the AMds probably have bad experiences with them because too high expectations from ignorance or a bad processor

no that isn't called brand loyalty, it would be loyalty if they told everyone to get an AMD

and it also depends what they recommend Intel for, if it is Adobe CS4 and photoshop and graphics intensive stuff, then an i7 will be necessary but if it is for normal gaming and multitasking, any Phenom II will be enough.

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December 11, 2009 12:23:03 AM

jennyh said:
The reality of it is, for general laptop use you are still probably better off with an AMD instead of an intel. Intel gets battery life, AMD can play most movies flawlessly until the battery runs out :p .


By that reasoning, a DVD player would beat both brands :D 

Quote:
Neither are particularly good tbh, AMD's are cheaper and if battery life is so important you could buy another battery with what you saved instead of buying the intel


Which is disproved by Intel's increasing marketshare in mobile, quarter-to-quarter.

Maybe it's all those 'brain-dead sheep' Intel customers :D 
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December 11, 2009 12:39:28 AM

Currently, Intel is better in mobile. It's not even all that close. The only AMD laptops I'd recommend at this point are those with the "Caspian" series CPUs, which are 45nm and range from the 2GHz Athlon II M300 (I wouldn't get the Sempron) up to the 2.7GHz Turion II Ultra M660. These ones aren't bad, but they still don't compete with Intel on the top end. They would do a decent job though, and since they are 45nm, they'll be somewhat closer on the power consumption.

They still won't match a good, high clocked 45nm Core 2 Duo for either power consumption or speed though.
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December 11, 2009 4:39:39 PM

Anandtech has a somewhat decent review of lappies from Atoms to Alienwares :D .

And they actually do recommend a few AMD lappies as well, at various price points.

I was thinking about buying a Dell touchscreen with BD player and lighted keyboard, since my 3-yr-old broke his refurbished XPS lappy that he had been playing with and I was going to use home office C2D XPS as a replacement. (Actually I think it may have been the replacement nVidia GT-7950 video card that crapped out, not my son banging on the keyboard). However I've read some news about Dell's quality control being worse than usual, plus they're banning forum users who complain too much, so now I'm gonna get a cheap microdesktop for my son and I'll just keep the working XPS.
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December 11, 2009 6:22:28 PM

Only AMD CPUs have integrated awesomeness... don't believe me? JennyH sent me this picture:


See it's true :) 
December 11, 2009 7:09:29 PM

But in laptops Intel's Awesomeness is integrated, AMD's Awesomeness is built into their chipsets.
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December 11, 2009 9:37:21 PM

i sense an argument in the next few pages
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December 11, 2009 9:46:33 PM

Nah.. there will be no such argument. I think people realize that I was intentionally "lowering" myself to the level of a rabid fanboi in an attempt to prove a point.

Anyone can say stupid things and live in ignorance. It takes the will and the acceptance of ones humanity and thus curiosity to seek out knowledge and interpret said knowledge in a reasonable and rational manner.
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December 13, 2009 6:05:42 PM

the problem with intel laptops is that they are also quit often overpriced

for example, i saw a gateway laptop with a Pentium Dual core for 779 in Best buy
December 13, 2009 7:17:18 PM

I'm enjoying reading through this thread. I would like to point out that even though Intel has more marketshare than AMD over the next two years I can realistically see AMD taking somewhere around 5 - 8% of Intel's marketshare away. What is incredible to me is that during the last quarter AMD actually gained marketshare on Intel, for the first time in years. Take note, that this is in a changing society that is going all things portable (phones, netbooks, laptops), and AMD isn't too strong in that sector. So what should this tell us? AMD is kicking Intel's butt in the desktop market! Intel duo core's are fine processors, but the AMD Phenom II x2 - x4 are a much better deal because of price and scalability, which means you can easily upgrade your processor over the next few years well keeping the same motherboard.

So why did Intel all of a sudden settle their billions of dollars lawsuit with AMD? If you can't beat your enemy - join them... I believe that Intel is starting to take note that AMD is "on the verge" of releasing some brilliant processors, particular in the mobile sector. For the chip industry, we've seen so much change from going for transistor density on a silicon wafer to power saving chip technologies that it is no longer how quickly you can increase the processor speed. To answer the first question posted, AMD chips are better bargain for desktops and Intel for laptops ... however next year AMDbec will surprise us with some very competitive processors for low power devices. Actually, we are about to entire a very curious era for microprocessors and the computer industry because of the breakthroughs in minimizing power consumption. If anything, get windows 7 so you can get the max out of your cpu, either it be intel or amd.
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December 17, 2009 3:25:55 PM

Upendra09 said:
the problem with intel laptops is that they are also quit often overpriced

for example, i saw a gateway laptop with a Pentium Dual core for 779 in Best buy

You do know that a Pentium Dual Core is based on Core 2 architecture, right?
December 17, 2009 3:32:10 PM

if you have to travel and need a solution that can go 5+ hours without bring plugged in, you will be buying an Intel powered laptop. my amd laptop spanks my intel laptop but it doesnt make it 2.5 hours without needing plugged in. that isnt a problem in my livingroom but makes it a poor business solution.
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December 17, 2009 3:40:29 PM

Upendra09 said:
the problem with intel laptops is that they are also quit often overpriced

for example, i saw a gateway laptop with a Pentium Dual core for 779 in Best buy

And what were the rest of the specs? A laptop with only a CPU, no matter who makes it, is pretty useless.
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December 17, 2009 4:23:01 PM

Hmm, I was all set to buy a Dell Studio 17 touchscreen since my first XPS lappy died for the 2nd time in a year (bad nVidia video card this time, is my guess - my daughter spilling beer & killing the mobo was the first fatality), but everytime I loaded my saved cart, some "chat" salesperson would pop up in a window and harangue - er, offer 'assistance' - to no end. Besides, Dells appear to have recent quality issues, plus they are now banning complainers & deleting their posts from their user forums, sorta like Apple is infamous for doing.

Instead, I think I will attempt the THG laptop resurrection miracle operation as outlined on the sticky in the laptop section. I will need a surgical mask, latex gloves and a 6-pack of cold beer, and that's before I even open the case :p .
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December 17, 2009 5:21:31 PM

jennyh said:
AMD laptops do suck somewhat, or at least the cpu does. It's getting better though, the new Athlon X2's suck a bit less.

On the other hand the integrated graphics on an AMD laptop are a lot, lot better than anything intel does on that front.



yeah they are the Monica Lewinsky of laptop processors.
December 17, 2009 5:40:22 PM

*sigh... the thread was informative a dozen posts going in till the fanboys break in.

anyway i can vouch for the crappy battery lifespan of an amd notebook but considering it has a hd3200 gpu compared to a defective g80 8400m or the sucky intel graphics, im happy it served me well.

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December 17, 2009 8:29:06 PM

Ok, selecting a CPU is much more than power consumption. You also need to consider what software is going to be running.

For example:
Software like SolidWorks/3DSMax/Maya/Mudbox/Algor(CFD sim) run quite a bit better on the Core i7s than on the Phenom IIs. So for anyone who uses these software, going with an i7 with 8 threads vs going a PII X4 with 4 threads makes sense. For the software mentioned, there is quite a significant difference that can be seen between 4 Cores and 8 (4+4HT) cores.

Another aspect is to see how long you plan to wait for an upgrade. Rightnow, if I had to choose between LGA775 (Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Quad) vs a Phenom II X4, I'd go for the X4 since the LGA775 is EOL and has no upgrade path, where as AM3 has a good upgrade path.
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December 17, 2009 8:52:34 PM

student_sol said:
Hi, I don't know much about CPU and I've just realized that I hardly know anything about AMD. So... can anyone give a very simple description for either or their products?

I've noticed that ppl around me that uses AMD CPUs coincidentally seem to know a lot about CPUs. From what I hear, AMD CPUs generally have better value for money and good for overclocking, whereas Intel has some key architectures (I'm not sure if this is the right word) that's superior to AMD.

Also, I've hardly seen any laptops using AMD CPUs. Does anyone know why?

Thanks :) 

Well there is no sense dwelling on the past therefore I will stick to current architectures from both manufacturers being AMDs K10 (10.5) and Intel's Nehalem. I'll start off with a rather simple disclaimer: "Both of these architectures either come with a Point to Point Interconnect as a standard (K10.5 with HyperTransport) or have models with a Point to Point Interconnect (Intel LGA1366 with QPi). Both of these Point to Point Interconnects are loosely based on technology owned by Intel Corp (through an IP purchase) but engineered by DEC. This technology is known as Alpha EV7". This places both architectures on somewhat of an equal footing on the communications protocol end.

The next addition to the x86 architecture is the placement of a Memory Controller from the North Bridge (1/2 of a Chip set) to the CPU die. Although both the K10.5 and Nehalem (Bloomfield and Lynnfield) have the memory controller integrated onto the CPU die, Intels version is more refined, lower on the latencies and capable of a 2 to 3 channel configuration. In this regard Intel currently has an advantage in terms of bandwidth and lower latencies. That having been said AMDs K10.5 has support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory (whereas Nehalem only has support for DDR3). This is an advantage for AMD in terms of value based products because DDR2 commands a lower price point currently.

x86-64 is another addition to the x86 architecture which was championed and pioneered by AMD and adopted by Intel. Currently it's only real use, in terms of desktop-grade performance, is that it allows for more than 4GB of memory to be allocated (x86 being 32bit tops out at 4GB). Other then that there is nothing much to add here.

Hyper Threading is another feature which places Intel at a distinct advantage. Hyper Threading allows a processor to execute up to two threads simultaneously (sharing the FPU resources amongst them). For Hyper Threading to be successful, an application must be threaded and there must be enough FPU resources left over (sitting idle) for a second thread to use. Hyper Threading will generally give a 0 to 40% boost varying on the application type and loads (there are instances of negative performance yields).

Overclocking. Currently AMD Phenom II X4 CPUs do have the overclocking records but these records have been acquired through hand picked Golden Samples which are hand delivered from AMD to specific professional overclockers. In the real world, AMDs Phenom II X4s tend not to overclock as well as Intel's Nehalem based processors (this includes both Bloomfield and Lynnfield). Nearly every single Lynnfield processor can attain 4GHz+ on air (not all but an overwhelming majority) and the sheer level of Core i7 920s operating at 4.2GHz attests to the overclockability of this architecture. It is the favorite overclocking architecture amongst the XtremeSystems and X C P U S enthusiasts (both the definitive sources for overclocking). Nehalem based processors do have a cold bug which makes them harder to work with under the freezing point but one motherboard manufacturer in particular (eVGA) has a BIOS option which easily helps get around that. K10.5 architecture is not known to have a cold bug.

QPi + PCI Express incompatibility = X58 IOH tunneling = Higher Latency. The QPi link used by Intel LGA 1366 based Nehalem processors is incompatible with the PCI Express bus. Therefore there is a method explained here: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7210000/description.h... which works around this incompatibility but which allows for more latency to be introduced. This latency creeps up whenever there is a GPU Bottleneck. Often giving the impression of slower performance for a Nehalem based processor when compared with a K10.5 based processor (but to be fair there is a Graphics card bottleneck coming into play when this occurs).

Anyways that is all for now. :) 
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December 17, 2009 9:03:33 PM

cjl said:
You do know that a Pentium Dual Core is based on Core 2 architecture, right?


Yes i do know that but my point is why is a lower class CPU still so expenses.


jsc said:
And what were the rest of the specs? A laptop with only a CPU, no matter who makes it, is pretty useless.


4 gigs DDR2
Integrated Intel GPU
dvd ROM
120GB HDD
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December 17, 2009 9:11:40 PM

Upendra09 said:
Yes i do know that but my point is why is a lower class CPU still so expenses.


From Intel? It isn't. The question you should be asking is why the laptop manufacturer is charging so much, since Intel doesn't set the price of the laptop.

Upendra09 said:

4 gigs DDR2
Integrated Intel GPU
dvd ROM
120GB HDD

That does seem a bit steep, but I'd again blame that on the laptop manufacturer, not Intel (since you can get a better Intel laptop for the same price).
December 18, 2009 4:08:37 AM

Wow thanks for the reply ElMoIsEviL. (Could you possibly be related to this industry? Just wondering :) ) I commend AMD for giving me a hard time choosing processors (which is always a good thing for us consumers of course) but they really should come up with something that can go up against Nehalem architecture... Even though it won't sell as well as the budget processors, potential AMD buyers will be relieved to know that there's a solid upgrade path available after they get AMD. I guess you can call this marketing too...
December 19, 2009 3:59:26 AM

Many of the Intel cpu s one sees in current laptops are discontinued models. For example the T6600 which can not do xp mode in windows 7 because it does not have hardware virtualization. Even the intel p7550 can't do it and has been discontinued. The current crop of AMD cpu s for laptop are the m 300 to m 640. They have replaced the ZM80 -86 series and the slower RM70s series. Why do you not see many AMD laptops -
Ask Intel about the pressure they put on HP and others to only sell intel. Intel is still selling 800FSB chips. AMD are direct connect at 2000mhz for laptop and 4000 mhz for desktop HP only is selling one AMD laptop with the M turion II processors, the dv6z on its web site. A good guide to Intel processors is to check out what they are using for their notebooks. Their lowest has the p7550 and the $1500 notebook is using the p8700.

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December 19, 2009 3:01:45 PM

^Pretty much 3/4 (more or less) of the Core 2 line up is already discontinued because Intel's switching platforms.
Anonymous
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February 8, 2010 6:13:21 PM

I fully agree with the comment from bonnmiller. As a matter of fact you can notice that in the hp web page the new line of the amd cpu up to M660 2.7 GHz is not even listed in the high performance computers while the i3-330M at 2.1 Ghz which has a lower benchmark than average AMD M series it is. If the only concern is the power consumption people should not buy Ferrari
or Porsche. 32 nm or 22nm which mean a lower travel distance of the electrons and lower power consumption is not the only issue. The innovation instead should be the goal but costs more money to Intel to invent something new. It is cheaper to reduce the size of the cpu units and pay the reviewers, fool the customers with battery concern and copy others inventions like the AMD64 with the EM64T. In any case Intel is not the only company in trying to monopolize and block constructive competion. Microsoft is another example...
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February 8, 2010 8:27:41 PM

necro
!