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'Best' cpus... What am I missing ?

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January 3, 2011 7:48:59 PM

Hey guys,

Have been a long time lurker, and figured that I'm confused enough to make an account and ask you guys some things.

I'm in the throws of planning a new system out, and the first place to start is with the CPU. As you all know, AMD are offering a whole bundle of cores, while the price equivalent Intels are 2 or 4 core chips.

What's really confusing me is that a lot of reviews, both here and elsewhere, are tipping the i5's as being better chips for general purpose use.

Now, I know that raw speed isn't the only measure of a chip any more, but what's really gnawing at me is that the chip I was set to buy, the Phenom x6 1075T, seems to be rated a ways below the similarly priced i5 760, despite having two extra cores AND more clock speed.

Even going to the top end of my budget (~£200) it appears on the surface that the Phenom 1100T I could get isn't beaten out until the comically expensive i7 980X, and even then it only has 0.03ghz per core on it.

Basically, I wanna know what I'm missing here.

In what way are the intel chips actually better ? And why is that so ?

As a final note, since I'm building a new system anyway, would it be smarter to just put a new graphics card into my Core2Quad machine to keep me going for 6 months (or until whenever bulldozer shows up) and making the choice then, rather than now ?

Cheers guys

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January 3, 2011 8:00:21 PM

Intel Core "i" series have better architechture than Phenom II CPU's, that's the reason why the Core i5 760 beats the Phenom II X6 in most cases.

Also, the cores work more efficient and are faster clock-per-clock (even the Core2's were a little faster clock-per-clock that the Phenom II CPU's)
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January 3, 2011 8:06:39 PM

a phenom x4 is actually slower per clock than a core 2 quad, which you already have. What particular core 2 quad do you have? you may gain nothing from switching to an AMD phenom system. Also, what are you using the system for? is overclocking something you would consider?
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January 3, 2011 8:10:40 PM

And for the upgrade, i'd suggest that you wait until the i5-2500K is available, and grab one immidiately, paired with a nice P67 mobo and a 4x2GB DDR3 kit :) 
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January 3, 2011 8:12:51 PM

Hi LostAlone and welcome to Tom's forum.

In one hand you have AMD, that offers you a CPU with X number of cores and the X same number of threads, you pay a very good price and get very good performance of those chips. Now WHEN you buy a BE chip, you get a friendly overclocker chip because you only need rise the multiplier and leave the NB, HT and RAM speed without changes.

On the other hand you have Intel, when you buy an Intel CPU this comes with X cores number and Y threads numbers, both different and usually the threads number is the double of cores number, here is the big difference with AMD. In easy words (maybe a lot people disagree with this), Intel gives you the possibility of use that threads as "additional cores" on heavy work (like SuperPI). Obviously you pay more for the Intel chips, but performs much better that AMD.
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January 3, 2011 8:36:11 PM

saint19 said:
Hi LostAlone and welcome to Tom's forum.

In one hand you have AMD, that offers you a CPU with X number of cores and the X same number of threads, you pay a very good price and get very good performance of those chips. Now WHEN you buy a BE chip, you get a friendly overclocker chip because you only need rise the multiplier and leave the NB, HT and RAM speed without changes.

On the other hand you have Intel, when you buy an Intel CPU this comes with X cores number and Y threads numbers, both different and usually the threads number is the double of cores number, here is the big difference with AMD. In easy words (maybe a lot people disagree with this), Intel gives you the possibility of use that threads as "additional cores" on heavy work (like SuperPI). Obviously you pay more for the Intel chips, but performs much better that AMD.


That was probably true yesterday, but as of today the i5-2500K priced at $216 is by far the chip to have, as unknown_13 pointed out. With easy overclocking to 4.4GHz on the stock cooler, it's gonna be the new Q6600..
January 3, 2011 8:39:17 PM

I agree with unknown. The i5 2500k looks to be the sweet spot for the new i series coming out. I am looking at this really hard for an upgrade to me aging E8400.
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January 4, 2011 6:50:32 AM

Quote:
In games its simple. You only need about 2 cores and the highest clock win if setup with quality Gpu or a sli setup


If you're going to SLI 2 GTX460 1GB, you'll need a i5 760 @ 3.8Ghz or a Core i7 950. A friend of mine had 2 5870 in Xfire and an i7 920. When he clocked the i7 to 3.8GHz, then he saw enormous difference in fps, the minimum jumped by about 65% and the average about 40%.
January 4, 2011 7:08:43 AM

Hey again, thanks for getting back to me.

I'm currently running a stock Core2Quad Q8200, so 2.33 ghz, which is partially why I'm feeling like I'm not getting value for money getting another quad cored CPU just with more clock, when there are 6 cores around for the same buck.

Anyone know how the Phenoms line up for Video Editing ? I do a fair amount of video work at home (since I have the choice of home or office :p ) I'm a lot less concerned about gaming performance tbh, because although I do plenty of gaming on this machine, I'm not fussy about getting 'top end' performance there. A few notches down the scale is ok if I'm going to get better performance elsewhere.

Since you mentioned the i5 2500k, does the new chipset have triple channel DDR3 like the LGA1366 ?

I guess the thing I'm dithering about really is that my current system does everything great, and although I know whatever way I go I'm going to get better, as I'm sure you can appreciate, there's better and BETTER.
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January 4, 2011 7:13:46 AM

LostAlone said:
Hey again, thanks for getting back to me.

I'm currently running a stock Core2Quad Q8200, so 2.33 ghz, which is partially why I'm feeling like I'm not getting value for money getting another quad cored CPU just with more clock, when there are 6 cores around for the same buck.

Anyone know how the Phenoms line up for Video Editing ? I do a fair amount of video work at home (since I have the choice of home or office :p ) I'm a lot less concerned about gaming performance tbh, because although I do plenty of gaming on this machine, I'm not fussy about getting 'top end' performance there. A few notches down the scale is ok if I'm going to get better performance elsewhere.

Since you mentioned the i5 2500k, does the new chipset have triple channel DDR3 like the LGA1366 ?

I guess the thing I'm dithering about really is that my current system does everything great, and although I know whatever way I go I'm going to get better, as I'm sure you can appreciate, there's better and BETTER.


Haha i have the Q8200 too :D 

Look, about the tripple channel thing.
Intel realized that it's useless except for benchies (for now) and deicided to go with dual-channel platform, and that will decrease the overall platform cost. Belive me, you won't need a triple channel now and in the near future.

About the upgrade, what's you're budget at the moment? I'd advise you if you have the money for an i5-2500K + P67 mobo and 8GB DDR3 RAM, when they become avilable grab one immidiately and don't worry much about bulldozer and current Intel and AMD CPU's! The efficency results and performance test speak for themselves!!
January 4, 2011 2:35:27 PM

She's a fine little chip, and even if there are prettier ones out there now, I'll always remember the good times ;) 

Thanks for the pointers on triple channel memory, I kinda wondered if it actually made any difference. As ever, more sounds tempting.

As for the i5 2500k, would I see a noticeable jump in performance for video work by spending more and getting an i7 2600k with HT ?

My budget is around £700, and since I'm only looking at a single GPU system (and not a super-high end one at that), there should be plenty of space to spend £250 instead of £180 on the chip, but only if its going to actually make a noticeable difference in speed.
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January 4, 2011 3:08:13 PM

LostAlone said:
She's a fine little chip, and even if there are prettier ones out there now, I'll always remember the good times ;) 

Thanks for the pointers on triple channel memory, I kinda wondered if it actually made any difference. As ever, more sounds tempting.

As for the i5 2500k, would I see a noticeable jump in performance for video work by spending more and getting an i7 2600k with HT ?

My budget is around £700, and since I'm only looking at a single GPU system (and not a super-high end one at that), there should be plenty of space to spend £250 instead of £180 on the chip, but only if its going to actually make a noticeable difference in speed.


If you're into video editing then get the i7-2600K, if you can afford it. If you can't don't worry, the i5-2500K is still a great buy.
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January 4, 2011 3:39:48 PM

Quote:
In games its simple. You only need about 2 cores and the highest clock win if setup with quality Gpu or a sli setup


Some games, like Dragon Age, use all 4 cores if you have them.
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January 4, 2011 4:09:00 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Some games, like Dragon Age, use all 4 cores if you have them.


Not just Dragon Age, there are many games that utilize all four cores.
January 4, 2011 4:22:45 PM

My question is that I have an E8400 at 3.6 GHZ. And had it for about 3 years. Do you guys think if I upgraded to the i5 2500K. Would I get the same kind of time out of it. I know it's hard to see in the future. Also since the i5 uses about as much power as my E8400 does. Should I keep my Silencer 610 PSU. I may add a second 5850 for xfire. What do you guys think?
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January 4, 2011 4:24:56 PM

ern88 said:
My question is that I have an E8400 at 3.6 GHZ. And had it for about 3 years. Do you guys think if I upgraded to the i5 2500K. Would I get the same kind of time out of it. I know it's hard to see in the future. Also since the i5 uses about as much power as my E8400 does. Should I keep my Silencer 610 PSU. I may add a second 5850 for xfire. What do you guys think?


Yes, the i5-2500K will last you for 3 years for sure. You'll see an enormous difference from your current E8400. And it'll handle two 5850's perfectly, just change that PSU to some Corsair 650W ;) 
January 4, 2011 4:32:36 PM

unknown_13 said:
Yes, the i5-2500K will last you for 3 years for sure. You'll see an enormous difference from your current E8400. And it'll handle two 5850's perfectly, just change that PSU to some Corsair 650W ;) 


So, you don't think my Silencer 610 will do the job. Even though it's SLI/Crossfire ready?
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January 4, 2011 4:37:15 PM

I'll try to simplify things:

Three things determine how "fast" a CPU is:
1: The number of threads a CPU can operate on at any one time [IE: More cores = more threads]
2: How fast the CPU is clocked
3: How many operations per clock the CPU can perform*

The third is the reason why a lower clocked 4 core Intel chip can beat a more highly clocked X6 chip in most situations, because the Intel chip can do more operations for every clock cycle.
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January 4, 2011 4:59:36 PM

gamerk316 said:
I'll try to simplify things:

Three things determine how "fast" a CPU is:
1: The number of threads a CPU can operate on at any one time [IE: More cores = more threads]
2: How fast the CPU is clocked
3: How many operations per clock the CPU can perform*

The third is the reason why a lower clocked 4 core Intel chip can beat a more highly clocked X6 chip in most situations, because the Intel chip can do more operations for every clock cycle.


That + Sandy Bridge has a lot better architecture and is very efficient.
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January 4, 2011 5:01:30 PM

ern88 said:
So, you don't think my Silencer 610 will do the job. Even though it's SLI/Crossfire ready?


I've never heard of Silencer before and i don't know 'bout their quality. Corsair, Antec, XFX, OCZ, Fortron and CM are Coca-Cola in the PSU world :) 
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January 4, 2011 5:05:26 PM

unknown_13 said:
I've never heard of Silencer before and i don't know 'bout their quality. Corsair, Antec, XFX, OCZ, Fortron and CM are Coca-Cola in the PSU world :) 


I'd add Seasonic in the top of the list.
January 4, 2011 5:13:42 PM

The 610 Silencer is made by PC Power & Cooling.
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January 4, 2011 5:55:42 PM

saint19 said:
I'd add Seasonic in the top of the list.


Yeah i forgot to add them they aren't bad PSU's but Corsair is da s&!t man! :D 

@ Daddigle: Even with 2 GTX460 1GB the i7 920 needs to be clocked @ 3GHz. (this would make the i7 950 perfect for such a setup 'cause it has stock speed of 3.06Ghz)
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January 4, 2011 8:16:30 PM

Seasonic make Corsair PSU's, mostly based on seasonic designs..... but not all corsair models are great.
January 5, 2011 5:45:47 PM

OK, I'm going to wait a little while for the new sandybridge chips to actually show up on shelves here, then make the decision to get the 2500k or 2600k once I've priced up the rest of the system.

Thanks again for the help guys.
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January 5, 2011 5:54:50 PM

ern88 said:
The 610 Silencer is made by PC Power & Cooling.

its was made by seasonic for pc power and cooling

iam2thecrowe said:
Seasonic make Corsair PSU's, mostly based on seasonic designs..... but not all corsair models are great.


they make bout a 1/4 of corsair psu's
!