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Are Intel CPUs Superior?

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January 31, 2012 5:36:41 PM

According to this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

It seems that Intel's CPUs give more performance per dollar than any of AMD's CPUs. Is there any reason why AMD is so behind at the moment?

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a c 146 à CPUs
a b À AMD
January 31, 2012 5:48:37 PM

Yes because the IPC of the Bulldozer makes it really slow. It can't beat out the old Phenom II or Athelon II. The 4,6 and 8 core Bulldozer can't even beat the dual core I3 in most cases. As to why they are so behind part of it is because the Bulldozer is so bad and the other part is they just don't have the money Intel has.
a c 100 à CPUs
January 31, 2012 6:10:30 PM

tahayassen said:
According to this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

It seems that Intel's CPUs give more performance per dollar than any of AMD's CPUs. Is there any reason why AMD is so behind at the moment?


AMD's CPUs usually offer more performance for the same money, especially once you factor in the higher price of an Intel-compatible motherboard with the CPU purchase. The reason for this essentially comes down to people being willing to pay more for computers with Intel CPUs.

Why there is a difference in performance is because AMD and Intel have increasingly varying design philosophies. Intel's performance goal is to concentrate on single-threaded performance, since if you have very high single-threaded performance, you can simply put more of those cores on a CPU to make a very fast multi-core CPU. You will also never end up with a "slow" CPU in any workload, be it poorly threaded or well-threaded. Continuing to try to milk a few percent here and there in single-threaded performance is extremely expensive due to diminishing returns. A CPU core that is fast in single-threaded performance is also large and complex, and requires excellent manufacturing processes to hit the required clock speeds. Intel's main assets are its excellent fab facilities, >$100B market cap, and massive marketing department (which means people will be willing to pay more for "Intel Inside"), so they are playing very much to their strengths.

AMD is worth only a few percent of what Intel is and does not have in-house manufacturing facilities like Intel does- they had to spin them off due to the massive costs to run a top-notch CPU fab. They have two aims. The first is to sell a large number of "good enough" CPUs that are easy to design and easy to make, and can consequently undersell the more complex Intel CPUs. These are the Fusion APUs, and the fact that AMD can't make enough of them to supply demand says that this plan is working well. AMD's other strategy is to concentrate on multithreaded performance to make high-end CPUs. AMD knows it can't battle Intel for single-threaded performance, because it's a dollars race and Intel has a ton more money. So, AMD sees that software is becoming ever-more multithreaded and designs its high-end CPUs for maximum multithreaded throughput. Bulldozer reflects this, it contains a larger number of simpler cores than a similarly-priced Intel CPU and thus is less expensive to design and make, but performance is similar in multithreaded programs.

Where AMD's approach can fall flat is in old poorly-threaded applications where many of the CPU's cores sit idle. Turbo CORE helps somewhat with this by jacking up clock speeds on the running cores to boost performance. But, Intel's more complex cores generally do better in this case. Many games today are poorly threaded, which is why you see a lower-priced 2-core Intel CPU like the Sandy Bridge Pentium performing on par with an 8-core FX-8100 series CPU. If we were to put some modern multithreaded applications like video encoding into the mix, the 2-thread Pentium would be much slower than the 8-core FXes, which perform on par with the quad-core Sandy Bridges in those tasks.
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a b à CPUs
January 31, 2012 6:23:56 PM

Wow. All I can say is. Wow.

1) IPC of the Bulldozer, while not as high as the latest SB processors, is still higher than the previous PhII cores. BD is an entirely new architecture, and it has features that still aren't even used yet. As far as performance is concerned, most everyone will agree that it is priced appropriately for where it sits in terms of performance. It may not be as fast in games, but as long as your CPU isn't bottlenecking your GPU and your framerate is over 60 fps, you would barely be able to tell the difference since most games at reasonable resolutions are GPU-bound and most monitors only have a 60 Hz refresh rate.

2) The BD outperforms the previous-generation Phenom II and Athlon II processors. All the FX-series processors have unlocked multipliers and have proven they can OC with a much higher ceiling than any Phenom II processor. Even if performance was even, this alone would give the BD an edge.

3) The i3 claim: If all you are talking about are programs that are not multithreaded, then by pure IPC the i3 is a great performer. But remember that the i3 only has 2 physical cores and 2 logical cores from HTT. Once you start running multithreaded applications, the fx 4100, 6100 and 8100 are able to saturate more cores with work. Add to this, the i3 is only able to OC about 400 Mhz, since the CPU multiplier is locked. All the FX processors have unlocked multipliers and are proven overclockers.

While BD isn't nearly as powerful as SB, they still aren't a fail. BD represents a completely different approach to CPU design. Just like all the other first editions out there, the initial offering will be disappointing in one way or another. And BD is no exception. It ain't no SB killer.

AMD is already refining their research. I expect to see improvements out of Piledriver. Do I expect to see Piledriver take the performance crown from Intel? No. But I do expect to see it perform significantly better than BD and still be competitive with Intel.

If you are worried that buying AMD will mean that you bought a terribly-bad product, let me alleviate your worries, since I have both i7 2600K and FX 8120 systems. For 98% of the stuff you do on your computer on a day-by-day basis, you will never notice the difference between an FX-based computer and a SB-based computer. The only place you would even notice a difference would only matter to people who like to circumcise gnats. Most of the rest of us don't really worry about the difference and just go for a cup of coffee while the machine is busy plugging away.

So, if gaming is your primary concern, worry less about what processor you are running as long as you know that it has enough legs to keep your GPU fed. Worry more about buying enough GPU to keep your games at a decent framerate with all the eye candy turned on. If this means buying an i5 2500K, go for it. If it means you can get an FX 8120 for a cheaper price, go for it, because that is more money you can spend on a faster GPU.
a c 146 à CPUs
a b À AMD
January 31, 2012 6:42:39 PM

1) IPC of the Bulldozer, while not as high as the latest SB processors, is still higher than the previous PhII cores. BD is an entirely new architecture, and it has features that still aren't even used yet. As far as performance is concerned, most everyone will agree that it is priced appropriately for where it sits in terms of performance. It may not be as fast in games, but as long as your CPU isn't bottlenecking your GPU and your framerate is over 60 fps, you would barely be able to tell the difference since most games at reasonable resolutions are GPU-bound and most monitors only have a 60 Hz refresh rate.[/quote]

Yea and that doesn't mean anything. Argue all you want but the Bulldozer is still slower than the old Phenom II. Just look at the benchmarks.

2) The BD outperforms the previous-generation Phenom II and Athlon II processors. All the FX-series processors have unlocked multipliers and have proven they can OC with a much higher ceiling than any Phenom II processor. Even if performance was even, this alone would give the BD an edge.

Again look at the benchmarks. The PhenomII beats out the Bulldozer in all but a very few benchmarks. Even overclocked at 4.5 GHz the Bulldozer still gets beaten out by a older processor running at 3.3 GHz.

3) The i3 claim: If all you are talking about are programs that are not multithreaded, then by pure IPC the i3 is a great performer. But remember
that the i3 only has 2 physical cores and 2 logical cores from HTT. Once you start running multithreaded applications, the fx 4100, 6100 and 8100 are able
to saturate more cores with work. Add to this, the i3 is only able to OC about 400 Mhz, since the CPU multiplier is locked. All the FX processors have unlocked multipliers and are proven overclockers.

Yea in multi threaded programs the Bulldozer is better but again looking at the
benchmarks most are single threaded which is why the I core processors beat out the Bulldozer in all but a few benchmarks


While BD isn't nearly as powerful as SB, they still aren't a fail. BD represents a
completely different approach to CPU design. Just like all the other first editions
out there, the initial offering will be disappointing in one way or another. And BD is no exception. It ain't no SB killer.

Yes is it is a huge fail. It's a joke that it gets beaten out by the older phenom II and can't touch Intel. For the time they put into developing the Bulldozer it should of been a lot better.

AMD is already refining their research. I expect to see improvements out of Piledriver. Do I expect to see Piledriver take the performance crown from Intel? No. But I do expect to see it perform significantly better than BD and still be competitive with Intel.

That's great and all but by that point Ivy Bridges will be out and they will again be two steps behind Intel.

a c 186 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b å Intel
January 31, 2012 6:43:46 PM

Piledriver is also going to suck.
January 31, 2012 6:49:41 PM

intel is much better than amd even though u may see that most amd cpu's have a better clock speed and alot of times more cores intel has MUCH better architecture simply because intel's budget is lik 5 times more than amd's
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2012 6:57:43 PM

I have always liked AMD'd motherboards and features, apart from the CPU's and maybe SSD's Intel don't wow you with anything else. There are pro's and con's for both manufacturers. If we are going on performance across the board, even the most avid AMD fan cannot dispute Intel has the performance hold right now.
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