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How can intel chips have lower clock speeds and still top AMD ?

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March 22, 2010 12:55:16 AM

I was just wondering what makes Intel so much better than AMD. I noticed that the i7 is around 2.66 ghz while an AMD phenom xII 965 runs at 3.4 ghz. Is it their architecture. or what? thanks in advance..
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March 22, 2010 12:59:52 AM

Yes, different architecture.

45nm Intel Quads such as the Q9400 @ 2.66GHz and 4mb of cache perform slightly better than 65nm Intel Quads such as Q6700s @ 2.66Ghz and 8mb of cache.

Intel i7s @ 2.66GHz such as the i7 920 perform better than Intel Q9650s @ 3.00GHz.

Different architecture means you cannot compare them by clock speed.
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March 22, 2010 1:04:35 AM

Its all about the architecture and bonus features.

i7's have hyper threading which turns their 4 physical cores into 8 logical cores, the 4 logical cores created by this arent quite as fast but still provide about a 40% boost to massively multithreaded tasks, they also have turbo boost which will turn their clocks up by a few hundred MHz when it needs to, and they have more instructions per clock.

Just like GPUs, CPUs have made it to a stage where looking at their specs you have no idea what their overall performance will be, the numbers on the box are fairly meaningless these days.
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March 22, 2010 1:14:51 AM

wow, quick replies, Thanks! So is there no way to compare AMD with intel since they have different architectures? - cuz i was kinda of setting my sights on AMD. u know, trying to go with the little guy.

But im not much of a gamer, well atleast on the pc. so i dont need high end graphics other than for watching vids (legally of course =-) )

so now im kind of rethinking the whole AMD vs Intel thing. but Intel is soo much more expensive..
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a b À AMD
March 22, 2010 1:22:02 AM

What do you plan to use your system for? For gaming an i5 750, AMD Phenom II 955/965, and any i7 will perform very similarly. If you arent gaming there is a bit more to consider. If you plan on doing some video encoding or a lot of photo editing then the intel processor will be slightly better, but for general use, web browsing, movie watching, etc, one of the lower i5s or an Athlon II x4 is more than sufficient.
March 22, 2010 1:24:53 AM

hunter315 said:
Its all about the architecture and bonus features.

i7's have hyper threading which turns their 4 physical cores into 8 logical cores, the 4 logical cores created by this arent quite as fast but still provide about a 40% boost to massively multithreaded tasks, they also have turbo boost which will turn their clocks up by a few hundred MHz when it needs to, and they have more instructions per clock.

Just like GPUs, CPUs have made it to a stage where looking at their specs you have no idea what their overall performance will be, the numbers on the box are fairly meaningless these days.



The numbers are not meaningless if you know what you're looking for.....
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March 22, 2010 2:32:56 AM

jollijurt92 said:
wow, quick replies, Thanks! So is there no way to compare AMD with intel since they have different architectures? - cuz i was kinda of setting my sights on AMD. u know, trying to go with the little guy.

But im not much of a gamer, well atleast on the pc. so i dont need high end graphics other than for watching vids (legally of course =-) )

so now im kind of rethinking the whole AMD vs Intel thing. but Intel is soo much more expensive..


The only real way to compare them is with synthetic and real-world benchmarks. Anadtech has a great CPU comparison chart.

http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?b=2
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March 22, 2010 1:35:12 PM

Benchmarks and performance comparison on whatever tasks you're interested in is how you can compare all the different chips.

See what performs the best, compare the prices and work out if you're prepared to pay more for Intel's variable increases in performance.

What are you using your system for?
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March 22, 2010 6:55:15 PM

If you are using this PC for HD video, media, and regular things like web surfing and word processing you won't need any more than an Athlon II tbh.

High end quads (phenom ii/ i5, i7) are pretty much overkill unless you are doing high end gaming or something CPU intensive.

FYI you won't need more than a low end dual core cpu and a 4350/4550 for HD playback.
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