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What is the cheapest x86 or x64 processor that supports AES-NI?

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December 6, 2010 7:40:20 AM

What is the cheapest x86 or x64 processor that supports AES-NI?

Break it down into Intel, Via and AMD if you would like to list chips, and prices, from multiple vendors.

I understand that Via might have beat Intel to the punch on this.

However I do not understand if there is a difference (in compatibility) between the Via and Intel implementations.

I don't think Via called their solution 'AES-NI' either.


Frankly I'd be happy with an Intel Core i3, sadly it doesn't look like they sport it.

It looks like their Core i5-600 series are closer to the Core i3 than being a 'true' Core i5 like the 700 series. (It is a little difficult to grasp, I feel bad for Joe Average consumer looking for a new PC...).

Remember: If there is a Via solution, one that is actually on the market, I would be happy to discuss it too.


Thanks in advance,

If you can't provide an answer maybe you know someone who can?
December 6, 2010 7:42:08 AM

Oh, I also have an interest in encryption of keyboard input, and possibly mouse input too. This does not need to be a high end 'Core i7 gaming rig' or anything like that.

So if you have advice on that, feel free to throw it in too. (I know of some products, but I do not wish to list what I may, or may not, be looking to use to perform this 'key' task -pun intended- on a public forum).
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December 6, 2010 9:21:43 AM

A read for you and hopefully will answer all your price questions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES_instruction_set
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December 6, 2010 9:27:03 AM

Yeah you have a good point Lutfij.

Wikipedia is a good resource, I'm just concerned that it may not always be 100% reliable (nothing is anyway), and it may not be up to date with current product offerings on the market.

I'll have a look anyway, thanks for contributing.
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December 6, 2010 9:36:45 AM

i was just going through other sites before posting...someone was using the i5-661...but i can't confirm, need to go through it again.

Nothing beats wikipedia - its usually a person who's delved alot into the topic or a fan boy who's contributed to it :na: 

FYI - i noticed that the instruction sets were all listed on the right hand corner, so after you open the Gulftown, Arrandale, Clarkdale pages , you'll have it listed...post back here with the CPU's you chose, i'll try dig up the prices - Australia right?
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December 6, 2010 10:49:08 AM

Yeah the i5-661 appears to be a common chip that Intel had given to reviewers some time ago.

Don't worry, I am quite familiar with http://ark.intel.com - it's my Via/Cyrix knowledge that is lacking... :-P


The prices I can just get from StaticIce, don't worry about getting them unless you really want to.



It's interesting that the Via solution accelerates SHA algorithms too, which are piss slow on Intel and AMD CPU's. (Not something you see every day).

I'll be doing a lot more reading before I even start on making a short-list.
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December 6, 2010 11:01:01 AM

Glad to have helped in whatever little way i did :na:  and your welcome!
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December 6, 2010 11:59:53 AM

I'm currently going over the following Intel solutions:

Intel® Core™ i3 Desktop Processor Family
http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyID=43...

Intel® Core™ i5 Desktop Processor Family (with a price below USD $200 per 1K units)
http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyID=42...

Namely the following four to isolate support:

Intel® Core™ i5-650 Processor (4M Cache, 3.20 GHz)
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43546&processor=i5...

Intel® Core™ i5-660 Processor (4M Cache, 3.33 GHz)
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43550&processor=i5...

Intel® Core™ i5-661 Processor (4M Cache, 3.33 GHz)
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43553&processor=i5...


Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42915&processor=i5...


I find it easier to work from the Intel website as it contains more information in a more useful format for making decisions than Wikipedia. Wikipedia is still damn useful though.


I'm also going over some Via material, there is a substantial amount of it considering their market share.
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December 6, 2010 2:44:52 PM

even the OP and I could've googled that out - whats your input? ^

@ OP - either get i5-650 or the i5-750 best all rounder.
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December 7, 2010 7:10:23 AM

I'm leaning more towards this: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43546

Intel® Core™ i5-650 Processor (4M Cache, 3.20 GHz).

  • Less cache = cheaper to mass produce
  • Two cores = cheaper to mass produce
  • Four logical cores via SMT = Agility of a high speed dual-core, with the potential to scale near quad-core performance at a fraction of the cost
  • The AES-NI performance is excellent for the price
  • It also sports "Intel® Trusted Execution Technology" (aka: Intel® TXT) which will go hand in hand with AES-NI in the not to distant future (and already is in some applications)

    The lack of Intel® Trusted Execution Technology is a deal-breaker for 'the smarter' enterprise customers.

    45nm processors are also somewhat of a deal breaker, excluding integrated GPU/MCH, as they cost twice as much to mass produce when compared 32nm parts.

    Plus Socket H (LGA1156) isn't going to die a quick death, and is highly upgradable.

    32nm processors (and future die shrinks) will enable a large selection of future processors that sport 'at least' the above feature set extensions to x86/x64.


    If you can find anything better, by all means post it here. I'm open to other peoples perspectives, including performance junkies!
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    December 7, 2010 7:22:26 AM

    ^ yeah the IGPU will also hlep neglect a dedicated GPU. Cheaper. Good for what your looking to build up. I've read that the i3's had issues with AES-NI didn't read all of it :p . Bang for buck choice - get the i5-650 you've looked up...evryone out there is using the i5-661 and your looking for a cheaper route with IGPU...can't be anything lower than that. any lower will KILL your hopes of your build.

    Quote:
    32nm processors (and future die shrinks) will enable a large selection of future processors that sport 'at least' the above feature set extensions to x86/x64.
    That line just begs for you to wait until Q1 2011 for the sandy bridge release and the intro of more TXT/AES-NI tech. History has shown us that intel CAN and WILL come up with monster releases & great features that rival its own processors before them.
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    December 7, 2010 8:01:33 AM

    Wait a , the i5-750 doesn't support AES-NI (or TXT).

    At least not according to this Intel web resource:
    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42915&processor=i5...

    - Are there conflicting reports of the AES-NI for this CPU?

    I am very much considering hesitating until March 12 2011, to April 12 2011 as historically that is the window when new 'good' hardware tends to come out. (At least every other market cycle...).


    PS: Currently I am just doing 'research' on these two new key technologies as they permit the totally secure creation of software. Right down to keyboard encryption so the source can't be stolen (at least not as easily) via key logging, etc. 'Cache snooping' and other security issues are also a major factor for this project.

    In fact, any and all security issues are. Potential, realised or otherwise. There's always a weakness somewhere. (ie: Non-EMI shielded keyboards immediately come to mind).



    PPS: I'm not your typical breed, I used to be here under another name prior to the move to the 'new' site + forum. Which was several years ago.
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    December 7, 2010 8:12:11 AM

    Quote:
    Wait a , the i5-750 doesn't support AES-NI (or TXT).
    pardon me, I live in Bangladesh and it was 6 am when I was writing that post , didn't sleep until 7 am...so you can understand my brain signals failing on me...
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    December 7, 2010 8:34:16 AM

    No that's fine, it pays to have at least three minds looking into something.

    + I really do welcome the assistance. :) 


    There's just over 100 products from Intel alone that I want to skim over, and those are the 'few' that I am aware off.

    Not to mention the product families sometimes have a feature available only in the higher end parts within that family, or should I say 'series of a family'.


    Finding Core i# parts in the mobile sector was a backup plan & that is a total nightmare for anyone who wants specific security features in place.
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    December 7, 2010 8:39:36 AM

    Thats intel for ya, they wanted "us" to run around in a maze in hopes that the customers buy their processors without the buyer understanding whats in the box. When they do realize what's in it, its too late...

    money dumper - customer
    money maker - intel
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    December 29, 2010 5:57:20 AM

    1) Because price doesn't dictate the feature set of a processor in any way shape or form.

    2) A 32nm processor will always cost half as much to produce than a 45nm processor, which cost half as much as a 65nm processor - for a given transistor count.

    3) There is no point spending an extra $100 - $250 dollars for transistors I don't need (For example: Going from 4MB cache to 8MB cache, on a given platform may not really help performance).

    4) A $1,000 dollar processor is not 10 times faster than a $100 processor. Although it may only raise the TCO by 50%, and result in more than 60% better performance, so I do understand why you'd raise it.
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    December 29, 2010 6:01:45 AM

    For example (#2) the most expensive Core i7 processors are made from a die that does not include
    Intel® Trusted Execution Technology support.
    .

    http://ark.intel.com/
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    January 9, 2011 5:11:57 AM

    Update: As of the 9th of January 2011, the official release date, the second generation Core i5 processors are the best choice.

    On the 20th of February the second generation Core i3 processors may become the cheapest, since the baseline feature set of both of these processor series should support AES-NI

    Note however, that the 'K' parts do not support Trusted Execution Technology which is typically desirable to have in addition to AES-NI. They may also lack 'some of' the Virtualization extensions. Namely direct mapped I/O (VT-d). They should support VT-x though. (For VT-C you'll be wanting to consider a Xeon or perhaps* Opteron based system instead).
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    January 9, 2011 5:13:02 AM

    Best answer selected by Scott2010au.
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    January 9, 2011 4:32:24 PM

    This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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