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Newer CPU's Fail to Outpace System BLOAT...

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February 27, 2011 12:31:31 PM

Soon it will be time to upgrade from AM2 to AM3

Right now I have a
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ @ 1.90 GHz, Brisbane

I am trying to figure out if there will be any benefit to upgrading.
I see that the nomenclature has changed (x,xxx vs xxx), so I can't just compare CPU's that way.

I looked at THG benchmarks but there is no way to compare a 2007 CPU to a 2011 CPU...

CONSIDER:
2010
Adobe Photoshop CS 5 (Applying 6 filters to a 69 MB TIF image)
AMD Athlon II X4 630 (Propus 4c)
2.8 GHz, DDR3-1333, 2 MB L2
= 200 seconds

2007
Photoshop CS3 (Applying 6 Filters on 96 MB TIFF file)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ EE
Dual 1.90 GHz, 512KB, Brisbane G1, DDR2-760
= 202 seconds

....
Am I supposed to beleive that my current 4-years-old CPU is only 1% slower than the newer CPU with 2x Cores, 1.5x Clock, & DDR3 (vs DDR2) memory... on a TIFF that is 40% LARGER!!!!


what gives?
By the SPEC's the newer CPU should be 2x+ faster...
By the BENCH the old CPU is (roughly) 1.5x faster!!!!!!

How can I determine the cost vs benefit of upgrading to a newer CPU?


any Ideas?




...maby they benching on LINUX in '07 and on VISTA in 2010
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February 27, 2011 1:03:08 PM

The difference is likely due to the operating systems used and the changes made from CS3 to CS5. I bet if both used the same OS and CS version as well as the same file, there would be a much larger difference.

You are also comparing a top of the line (for its time) CPU to a budget CPU.
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February 27, 2011 1:26:22 PM

Purchased March 18, 2007 for $95
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz - Socket AM2 65W

NewEgg February 27, 2011 for $99
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz - Socket AM3 95W


Once again...

Larger File, DDR2, old CPU => 475 KB/S (37.6% Higher Throughput)

Smaller File, DDR3, +50% Clock Speed, 2x Multi-Core, new CPU => 345 KB/S
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February 27, 2011 1:44:13 PM

mmc4587 said:
Purchased March 18, 2007 for $95
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz - Socket AM2 65W

NewEgg February 27, 2011 for $99
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz - Socket AM3 95W


Once again...

Larger File, DDR2, old CPU => 475 KB/S (37.6% Higher Throughput)

Smaller File, DDR3, +50% Clock Speed, 2x Multi-Core, new CPU => 345 KB/S


Once again,

Leaps-from-Shadows said:
The difference is likely due to the operating systems used and the changes made from CS3 to CS5. I bet if both used the same OS and CS version as well as the same file, there would be a much larger difference.

You are also comparing a top of the line (for its time) CPU to a budget CPU.
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February 27, 2011 2:01:00 PM

You are also comparing a top of the line (for its time) CPU to a budget CPU. said:
You are also comparing a top of the line (for its time) CPU to a budget CPU.

The X2 3600 was far from top of the line.... It intro'd at $150 back in Q3 2006, as the cheapest dual core from AMD at that time... pretty much the same segment that the Athlon X4 now covers. It was built to compete with the very popular D805 (that was selling at $95 by then) and to try and win back people who were thinking of jumping to Intel with there C2D line. The X2 3600 rapidly dropped in price, and before it was taken off the market, was available for as little as $60 3 years ago.
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February 27, 2011 2:06:19 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing a CPU comparo starring these two processors. Same amount of RAM, same hard drive and everything else. It would have to use the old OS and old Photoshop and file in one test, and the new OS and Photoshop and file in another. See whether or not we've actually got more powerful processors nowadays.
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February 27, 2011 2:47:17 PM

joefriday said:
The X2 3600 was far from top of the line.... It intro'd at $150 back in Q3 2006, as the cheapest dual core from AMD at that time... pretty much the same segment that the Athlon X4 now covers. It was built to compete with the very popular D805 (that was selling at $95 by then) and to try and win back people who were thinking of jumping to Intel with there C2D line. The X2 3600 rapidly dropped in price, and before it was taken off the market, was available for as little as $60 3 years ago.


Actually, it competed with the Pentium-D 915 when it was released. Also, the Athlon64 X2 3600 was a mid-range processor....whereas the AthlonII series is marketed as budget and entry level with Phenom processors being marketed as High-end and Mid-range. From 1998 to 2006, the Athlon series processors occupied AMD's High-end and Mid-range product lines with Sempron processors occupying budget and entry-level segments.
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February 27, 2011 3:16:42 PM

Hey Dadiggle...

Got any links that don't involve hard-to-read super-packed color-coded charts? Something nice and easy like normal reviews? Besides that one that shows very little speed difference between Photoshop CS4 and CS5? (On Xeon systems anyway...)

By the way, I don't know if you actually meant to quote my post or not, but I'm not the one you have to convince. :p 
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February 27, 2011 4:27:06 PM

HELLO, this is the Author.

Basic-ly (sp) I am considering upgrading from: Athlon 64 X2 to: Athlon II X4...or...Phenom II x4

.............HOWEVER....................

I want to know what kind of performance increase to expect.
I am not going to pay $$ for a CPU that is not 2x faster than what I already have.

(Note #1) THG has gone down hill...
(Note #2) Win7 is bloated...
(Note #3) Where can I find a decent product comparison between:
1...Athlon 64 X2
2...Athlon II X4
3...Phenom II x4
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Best solution

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February 27, 2011 5:17:38 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/38?vs=105

There is your product comparison, not the same model Athlon X2 you have, but this ones a little faster.
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February 27, 2011 6:20:36 PM

mmc4587 said:
HELLO, this is the Author.

Basic-ly (sp) I am considering upgrading from: Athlon 64 X2 to: Athlon II X4...or...Phenom II x4

.............HOWEVER....................

I want to know what kind of performance increase to expect.
I am not going to pay $$ for a CPU that is not 2x faster than what I already have.

(Note #1) THG has gone down hill...
(Note #2) Win7 is bloated...
(Note #3) Where can I find a decent product comparison between:
1...Athlon 64 X2
2...Athlon II X4
3...Phenom II x4


Exactly where is this "bloat" in Windows7? Performance wise, it surpasses WindowsXP. It's also more stable and has more features. As well as better multi-core and SMT/SMP support. The memory manager preloads the most used applications into memory at load to improve application launch time. So, exactly where is this "bloat"...

Unless you're going to switch to an SSD from a mechanical drive, the actual performance impact of newer gen processors is limited to the bottleneck that is mechanical harddrives. If you're simply worried about processor performance....look at the Core i5 700 series, Core i7 800 series, Core i5 2500(K) or Core i7 2600(K)....but, your overall system performance is still going to be limited by mechanical harddrives.
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February 27, 2011 6:36:49 PM

^I was going to ask the same thing. Windows 7 was also built for current hardware while XP was built for single core CPUs at high GHz and up to 4GB of memory. Hell you see almost no difference between XP with 1GB of RAM and XP with 2GB of RAM.

As for the CPU upgrade, for you a Athlon II X2 wont be much of an upgrade. Its a bit better than the Athlon 64 X2, but not by much. You should go for at least a Phenom II X2 or better.
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February 27, 2011 6:43:16 PM

XP simply sucks for SMP/SMT performance. Unlike Vista and 7, where performance can scale with core count....XP is pretty well, limited. XP also has rather poor memory management resulting in programs not being properly removed from memory when closed.
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February 27, 2011 7:58:19 PM

Quote:
well you need to set the option unload from dll from ram. Its a old xp tweak.
But its funny how benchmarks on XP get better scores than on Vista and 7. except for vantage Thx to the so called dx 10 and 11 that looks exactly like dx 9. If windows 7 was so efficient with hardware and are so super with core management and ram etc etc why are the minimum specs for it higher than xps? Surely xp who's bad memory management and use of the hardware will be harder on the hardware then. Yet look at metro dx 11 low fps than on dx 9. And you can barely see the difference. Windows 7 looks good but eye candy don't make a better OS.


Actually there are some differences with DX10 and 11. DX10 has the ability to mimic light to a more natural look, much like HDR but better in terms of performance. DX11 adds Tesselation which isn't even used that much in Metro. Sad really. Neither are a lot of DX10 features.

If a dev used all the features of DX 10 or 11 in a game, it would look much better than the DX9 version. But since most devs don't, it wont seem different.

As for XP vs 7, XP was designed during the GHz race. It was made when single core CPUs reigned supreme and it was all about who could get more GHz out of their arch. There has been no optimizations to XP in terms of multi core support. It sees 2, 4, 6 or however many cores you have but canno't utilize them in the same manner. It will load the first core with processes until it hits 100%, then moves to the next core. Windows 7 and Vista both will allocate the processes across all the cores to give it an even allocation.

XP also fails to be able to utilize memory properly. I have had plenty of older XP machines that we put 1GB in and its fast as it could be. In fact a system just like it with 2GB of RAM would show nearly no difference in performance. 4GB was overkill.

We could also take on 64bit, where XP failed its hardest (remember XP was not as "amazing" pre SP2). XP 64 had nearly no driver support, and ran like crap. And to this day XP 64 still has no driver support compared to Vista or 7 64.

In honesty, its time to move on. I have used pretty much every MS OS from DOS to Windows 95-7, yes even ME which was pretty much the only reason we had XP. 7 is a great OS. Its clean, fast and smooth. It has features that XP never had and to me seems much easier to use. Plus add in that XP is now EOL, MS no longer supports it and you can't buy it anymore. That means drivers, hardware and software will soon stop supporting it.
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February 27, 2011 8:58:27 PM

Quote:
nope. Photoshop make use of the hdd caches and a Raid-0 config with 7200Rpm drives are advised and perform better especially if you use it as a scratch disk. In photoshop while encoding and such data gets passed around between hdd ram and the cpu a lot. That's why adding a Pci-e raid controller give you such a performance boost.

OP one thing about photoshop is if your cpu ain't strong but you have a decent gpu like a Gtx 460 then mpe will give you a major boost as it can help the cpu out. On systems with good cpu its the otherway around


Adding a PCI PATA controller improves performance as well. What are you getting at? I can't speak for performance in Photoshop as I have a limited knowledge as to exactly what technologies it supports. I do very little in the way of video or graphics editing. In fact, Pinnacle's and Canon's software is more than sufficient for my needs. But, in regards to overall system performance....a PCI or PCIe controller card, whether it supports RAID or not, will typically improve performance...especially if the controller has onboard cache. In fact, a Promise Ultra-ATA133 card can improve boot times of PATA harddrives by upwards of 50% under the right circumstances.

Quote:
well you need to set the option unload from dll from ram. Its a old xp tweak.
But its funny how benchmarks on XP get better scores than on Vista and 7. except for vantage Thx to the so called dx 10 and 11 that looks exactly like dx 9. If windows 7 was so efficient with hardware and are so super with core management and ram etc etc why are the minimum specs for it higher than xps? Surely xp who's bad memory management and use of the hardware will be harder on the hardware then. Yet look at metro dx 11 low fps than on dx 9. And you can barely see the difference. Windows 7 looks good but eye candy don't make a better OS.


When WindowsXP was released, 500mhz to 1ghz processors were normal. These are slow by today's standards. XP was also developed and released prior to any consumer level multi-core or SMT capable processors reached the market and as such had very poor support for such processors. Windows7, can be installed on a system utilizing a processor as slow as 1ghz, but will require at least 1GB of ram, contrary to WindowsXP being able to be installed on a system utilizing a processor as slow as 233mhz with as little as 64mb of ram (which is rather painful in itself). Faster processors leave room for more "eye-candy" and other performance reducing features. Personally, I'm all for supporting the latest hardware without forcing legacy support on users. No reason a "current gen" OS should support decade old systems.

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February 27, 2011 9:12:27 PM

jimmysmitty said:
As for XP vs 7, XP was designed during the GHz race. It was made when single core CPUs reigned supreme and it was all about who could get more GHz out of their arch. There has been no optimizations to XP in terms of multi core support. It sees 2, 4, 6 or however many cores you have but canno't utilize them in the same manner. It will load the first core with processes until it hits 100%, then moves to the next core. Windows 7 and Vista both will allocate the processes across all the cores to give it an even allocation.

XP also fails to be able to utilize memory properly. I have had plenty of older XP machines that we put 1GB in and its fast as it could be. In fact a system just like it with 2GB of RAM would show nearly no difference in performance. 4GB was overkill.
not entirely true, far from actually!

XP does multicore fairly decent. it does split applications WRITTEN for multicore just as good across cores, 50-50. although there is some truth to it, as it's not utilizing 100% only 50% of each core/thread, which would have something to do with the application not really being writing using real threading only some pseudo splitting.


"..There has been no optimizations to XP in terms of multi core support.." eh, pre SP2 didn't, SP2 introduced it AFAIK.

as for the memory, it's not really XP's fault, more so it being 32bit. as application extensions can only use 2048kb pr. job.
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February 27, 2011 10:12:04 PM

Memory usage, regardless of OS, is heavily dependent on the application's memory needs. XP could utilize memory properly...it couldn't release memory properly in most cases though.

SP2 introduced improved SMP and SMT functionality. Not really "optimizations" in the usual sense...
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February 28, 2011 12:19:04 AM

doped said:
not entirely true, far from actually!

XP does multicore fairly decent. it does split applications WRITTEN for multicore just as good across cores, 50-50. although there is some truth to it, as it's not utilizing 100% only 50% of each core/thread, which would have something to do with the application not really being writing using real threading only some pseudo splitting.


"..There has been no optimizations to XP in terms of multi core support.." eh, pre SP2 didn't, SP2 introduced it AFAIK.

as for the memory, it's not really XP's fault, more so it being 32bit. as application extensions can only use 2048kb pr. job.


I was talking about Windows specifically. If an app is written, the ability is there. But the way Windows handles processes is different.

Say you have 2 processes each using 50% or a CPU cores power. XP tend to just load the first core with both processes while Vista and 7 load two cores, one for each process. While its not a major downside, and wont affect most users since they don't heavily multitask, its still something that can be seen. Plus Superfetch is nice. Love it when games load almost instantly.

As I said before though, the biggest downside to XP is that MS stopped support for it which means in the near future, hardware, software and drivers wont support it either. Personally, I think Microsoft should have started to push people off of it earlier because that holds innovation back.

If people didn't resist change we probably could have had software that took advantage of hardware we have or at least closer than we are. Windows 7 basic will run on a Pentium 4 with 1GB of RAM with no problems.

The same thing was done with Windows 98/2K when XP came out. Everyone said XP was crap, too much has changed yadda yadda. I will stik with 98/2K. Now the same people say the same thing about 7.

Ahhh good times.
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February 28, 2011 2:50:21 AM

The comparison chart loneninja posted shows a big difference in cpu power, especially in multicore apps.

Vista and Win7 are nothing but bloatware sequels to XP with a Mac OS look to them. With fast machines, they are functional as any other OS. I had Win7 on my 1090t machine, but it was not as snappy as XP so I went back to XP. XP is a little bit faster than vista/7, without the bloat and gimmicks.

Same thing with MS Office and similar progs, bloatware and gimmicks, removing backward compatibility(gradually) to force a migration to the bloated new progs.

I have an SSD, but still cannot tolerate bloatware.



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February 28, 2011 10:52:42 PM

Best answer selected by mmc4587.
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February 28, 2011 11:39:35 PM

loneninja said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/38?vs=105

There is your product comparison, not the same model Athlon X2 you have, but this ones a little faster.


-Thanks, I had forgotten about AnandTech...
Actually, it looks like I can expect +95% upgrading from the Athlon_64_X2 to the Phenom_II_X4... HERE (if 2.1GHz=95 then 1.9GHz≈85)

And yes, Win7 is B L O A T E D... PERIOD!

I run WinXP, Win7, Ubuntu 9.04, Ubuntu 10.04, & Xubuntu 10.10 (all my systems are multi-boot).
Win7 is the ALLWAYS slowest to restart & Win7 eats up more HD space.
I actually have WinXP parred down to <1GB with ALL my programs installed, 2GB RAM and no swap file. From within XP I can re-Image my HD and be up and running XP again in less than 5 minutes... try that with Win7.

...I guess my biggest beef with Win7 is that it pretends to be able to run on Intel Atom hardware... what a joke. Snappy, Win7 is not. I had to disable 32bit color in favor of 16bit just to make the response times bearable.

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March 7, 2011 7:10:37 PM

sykozis said:
Actually, it competed with the Pentium-D 915 when it was released. Also, the Athlon64 X2 3600 was a mid-range processor....whereas the AthlonII series is marketed as budget and entry level with Phenom processors being marketed as High-end and Mid-range. From 1998 to 2006, the Athlon series processors occupied AMD's High-end and Mid-range product lines with Sempron processors occupying budget and entry-level segments.

I don't agree at all with what you're saying about the X2 3600 being midrange vs the Athlon X4 as entry level. They were in the same kind of product class. Better than the cheapest CPUs (in the X2 days that would be the single core athlon, nowadays that would be the dual core Athlon II) but certainly not midrange by any means.

The X2 3800 was much more the D820/915/920's competitor. In fact, go back and read some articles about the original X2 3800 and you'll see it was released as a new low price point to keep people from being too enticed by the D820 that cost over $100 less than the cheapest dual core from AMD. Remember that the X2 3800 only cost $2 more initially than the X2 3600 when the 3600 launched? Then the X2 3600 descended in price to match that of the D805. It certainly performed better than the D 805, but it was indeed priced accordingly to it for the vast time it was on market.
Why are we even debating this? It's facts, and they are readily available with a simple google search.
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