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Are the tables changing and have Intel realised?

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July 28, 2012 1:03:32 PM

This is the first post I have ever placed on a technical website. For years I have used Toms Hardware so thought it would be apt that I did so here.

Before I begin my post let me tell you a little of myself and how I use computers.

I am based in the UK and work in the film and television industry as a sound editor. I would say I push my computer more than most individuals on a daily basis but maybe not so much as pro gamers and video editors.

I have no ties to Intel or Amd or any bias to one or another. This post is just based on my personal views and vision for the future.

Amd recently have been hammered in the stock market and are on the ropes but like all good rocky movies I can see a glimmer of hope for them in the not so distant future. I also feel Behind closed doors intel know this although we will have to see.

I am of course talking about the APU. Such a simple concept of combining a CPU and Gpu on to the same chip.

The computer industry is obsessed by clock speeds and benchmarks but really this does not give us any real life information.

I currently run an amd phenonm II X4 with SSDs and a GeForce gtx680 GPU.

Although old now I have never been limited by my CPU in any task I perform on a daily basis.
I can play BF3 with Ultra settings ( I only use one monitor)

I can run 48 tracks of audio on my protools rig

And I can edit 1080p home videos using my Cuba GPU with acceptable render times.

Can anyone really tell me the average user needs a faster CPU and also the £££ that go with it? When was the last time your CPU really hindered you.


Really think about this before you jump in.

Yes I7 can run a lot faster and compress documents and render video quicker etc

But any professional would edit on dedicated hardware such as adrenaline or nitrous so a top of the range CPU would not be nessacary.


wouldn't you be better spending £500 on the best GPU and £250 on a top AMD processor and still run games ,video editing and most day to day tasks faster than the £800 cost of your single top of the range intel i7?

I understand some want the very best and i wish them well if they have the funds and are impressed by pcmarks scores and synthetic benchmarks. To be honest if I have to wait 10 mins extra for render times i'll enjoy the break away from my computer.

I digress.

AMD now have this young Immature APU and behold it is faster than anything Intel can put against it. The average user does not understand about bench marks and compression times etc . All they want is a pc that they can work from browse the Internet play light games and watch HD video.

Trinity wil not be a game changer and wll only be marginally faster than llano but over the next few years AMD will increase this gap with knowledge from ati which Intel do not have. Faster CPUs are not the long term future.


My father has no idea how quick his pc is all he cares about is does it work and can he do his daily tasks.

This is the future of pcs. Tablet users desktop user all able to do there daily tasks without spending a fortune to do it.

AMDs main problem as I have thought for years is branding and advertising
Ask my dad who makes CPUs and he'll say intel and sing you a little jingle.

He has no idea who AMD are and i bet you none of your friends or family do who aren't tech savvy. ( maybe in the states or asia but certainly not in Europe)

AMD hold a key but they need to use it and let the world know or its for
nothing.


I invite anyone's points of view or comments into my thinkings

Thanks for reading

Mr Pond













a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 1:22:07 PM

So are you saying that there are no Intel CPU's that have a GPU on them? :heink: 
July 28, 2012 2:27:12 PM

Not at all I'm just saying currently amds APUs have a better balance of how there chips perform / cost and should capitalise on this in the future. Intel without getting outsider help will lag behind each new generation of APU in the short term?

Once again these are just my views and would like others opinions.
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a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 2:37:17 PM

I agree with and always have advocated the CPU/GPU point you mention. It makes me laugh that so many will go for an intel CPU because "thats best" then pair it with a cheap GPU, these "gaming" rigs would have gamed somewhat better had they paired a cheaper CPU with a better GPU.
a c 473 à CPUs
a c 115 å Intel
July 28, 2012 2:40:36 PM

JamesPondAqu said:



wouldn't you be better spending £500 on the best GPU and £250 on a top AMD processor and still run games ,video editing and most day to day tasks faster than the £800 cost of your single top of the range intel i7?


£800???

You can buy an i7-3770k for £264 or an i5-3570k for £178. Both of which can take on the very best AMD CPU quite easily.

AMD's APU is really only good for budget systems (mostly laptops) for games where you don't intend on spending a lot on a graphic card, if at all. The iGPU may be good enough to play games at low resolution, but not really at medium resolution (1600x900) or higher. You can toss in a relatively low end card to make use of hybrid crossfire or whatever they call it, but install anything faster than a Radeon HD 6670 (not sure which Radeon HD 7000 series card) and the iGPU is deactivated. Therefore Llano / Trinity is more or less a waste for more than the causal gamer.

Quote:
The computer industry is obsessed by clock speeds and benchmarks but really this does not give us any real life information.


Nope, wrong... It's all about IPC (Instructions Per Cycle), the more IPCs a processor can handle per Hz, the more powerful the CPU will be. AMD has taught this lesson to Intel back when they released the Athlon XP CPU (I had two PCs with this CPU series). Intel has learned this lesson extremely well and since the release of the Core 2 Duo / Quad (mid-2006), they have taken the performance crown away from AMD; they have also de-emphasized higher clock rates. Higher clock rates are sought after by overclockers who wants to squeeze as many MHz out of the CPU as they can. That applies to both AMD and Intel CPUs.


There are a lot of holes in your post, but I can't be bothered to plug them all. I'm sure other posters will deal with the remaining ones.
July 28, 2012 2:44:40 PM

My point exactly . Intel is a brand and percuved as the best which AMD never achieved. They need to advertise there APUs aggressively with television commercials not on the internet.
My father is never going to look up CPUs on the Internet and discover AMD but he does watch a lot of tv and would come to accept AMD as a brand did he but knew they existed.

AMD I except have limited resources but more should be shifted to advertising than rNd. It's pointless having the fastest CPU / GPU if no ones heard of you?
a c 473 à CPUs
a c 115 å Intel
July 28, 2012 3:03:26 PM

"APU" is a term AMD came up with for their CPU core and GPU core on a single chip.

Intel still refers to their processors with integrated graphics as CPUs.
July 28, 2012 3:09:24 PM

Thanks for the reply Jaguar.

I think however you miss my point. Im not interested in how a chip performs and the technicalitys of how it does so, as long as it can complete the tasks i assign it without noticable delay or hindrence.
I feel the majority of cpus out on the market attain that position.
CPU GPU on the same chip and affordability I believe are the future for your everyday user and yes your correct at the time of writting APUs are in there infancy stages but AMD may evolve this faster?

Sorry if there are holes in my post i am not this are my own views of how i work and precive computing.



My whole point is does the average user need a very fast CPU
July 28, 2012 3:15:48 PM

jaguarskx said:
"APU" is a term AMD came up with for their CPU core and GPU core on a single chip.

Intel still refers to their processors with integrated graphics as CPUs.




I completley understand this the same as "CPU" im sure would of once been coined by someone.
a c 81 à CPUs
a b å Intel
July 28, 2012 3:41:38 PM

the average user does not need a 'very fast' cpu. the definition of 'very fast' varies from person to person. for example, when amd hyped newest crop of fx cpus, they pitched 'more cores are the future' mantra. a lot of people bought into it. during the time of pentium 4, intel pitched 'more ghz is the future' and a lot of people bought into that too. companies will always pitch their latest products as 'very fast' to 'the fastest available today and for the future' and get people to buy them. average people will think more ghz means very fast and they'll buy the cpu that sports the highest ghz clockrate.
that does not mean that the cpu is 'very fast' or even 'fast'. it usually just decent for everyday tasks.
average user will buy one depending on many factors e.g. advertising, actual need, 'because his/her friend/co-worker/someone else has one' etc. product advertising plays a vital role here, not actual performance.
amd... has a record of executing poorly. it's not their ideas are bad or their products are slow as snails. their latest !@#$ ups might have already started to bite them in the rear despite them having a promising product lineup at present (trinity).
if you're happy with your rig, then don't pay attention to what other people say.
a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 3:55:20 PM

Apu's are pointless at the moment. Sure they have better graphics but what's the point when the processing power is slow and weak. There really is no point in getting an APU. It doesn't matter if you are gaming or just fooling around on the internet a Phenom II quad core is faster. You would be better off with a phenom IIx4, dedicated video card and motherboard. APU's offer nothing more than onboard graphics, they just moved the chip from the motherboard, to the CPU. To me APU's are a waste of money.
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:18:20 PM

@ JamesPondAqu
What you are saying does not hold water I'm afraid. The cost difference between buying an APU like the A83850 or a 1155 like say a G620 + an entry level GPU is zero and the Intel + GPU set up will be more capable at anything you care to throw at it.

Mactronix :) 
a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:23:52 PM

And that was going to be my next point. AMD has nothing more to offer with the APU then Intel with their CPU's. I just did a cheap build with a SB Pentium for a little over 200 dollars. It's just as cheap as an AMD APU build and it has alot better performance.
July 28, 2012 4:33:05 PM

mactronix said:
@ JamesPondAqu
What you are saying does not hold water I'm afraid. The cost difference between buying an APU like the A83850 or a 1155 like say a G620 + an entry level GPU is zero and the Intel + GPU set up will be more capable at anything you care to throw at it.

Mactronix :) 



I Agree with what you are saying but once again this seems shortsighted.

The way we compute is changing. Im not talking now but 5 years down the road.
Surely it is more expensive for an OEM to source a cpu from one place and a gpu from another thus increasing costings.
Why not buy and manufactuer one chip if it performs for everday life?

Once again the average user does not even know whats powering there machine! As long as it performs his or her daily tasks and can accomodate casual gamers.
Surely APUs or intergrated graphics are the future for AMD and Intel for tablets laptops mobile device and possibly desktops?

Why keep spending money on making cpus faster if there is no benifit to the user. We live in a digital age and GPUs are going to play a bigger role moving forward so why not combine them into one chip?

a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 5:06:18 PM

You underestimate what people know. I have done tons of computer re-pairs and people might not know if they have AMD or Intel in their computer but they do know when a weak CPU can't handle the stuff they want to do. When people want to buy a laptop or desktop I ask them how much graphics matter. If graphics don't really matter I steer them away from AMD APU's computers because they can get an OEM computer with a Pentium and it will perform alot better than an APU.
a c 81 à CPUs
a b å Intel
July 28, 2012 5:09:41 PM

both intel and amd are going to build SoC - system on a chip. they're taking slightly different routes. apu is an intermidiate step in that direction. in 5 years, there might not be any apu as we know right now. sandy bridge, llano, brazos, trinity, ivy bridge - all are intermidiate stuff on the way to build socs. next year intel will release haswell - one step closer to soc. amd will have apus based on steamroller cores.
however, market for performance cpus/hardware will always exist. amd realized that they are incapable of competing with intel in that area and they gave that up in favor of making money off apus.
if you look at intel's latest product launches you'll notice that they are ephasising cpu less and less and focussing more on the integrated gpu.
there will always be need for faster cpus/gpus/storage/everything because some people (not everyone) will need it.
since most software are still not massively parallel, are still more or less cpu dependent, making faster cpu makes sense... for now. unless software creators/developers have enough incentive to write that kind of software, gpu acceleration won't pick up. by the time it does, current hardware products are likely to be outdated if not obsolete. it doesn't only depend on 'gpu playing bigger role in the future'.
although the main reason apus are not mainstream despite amd's hype is due to amd's poor brand presence, advertising, lack of early availablity (this one is global foundries' fault). trinity is better than llano but now i hear amd has managed to screw that up too. i hope that doesn't turn out to be true.
a c 186 à CPUs
a b å Intel
July 28, 2012 5:28:55 PM

So, let me get this straight.

You're saying AMD's APU is faster than anything can put out.

But...

You state:
Quote:
The average user does not understand about bench marks and compression times etc . All they want is a pc that they can work from browse the Internet play light games and watch HD video.


Doesn't this mean the average user doesn't need an APU?
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 5:57:39 PM

rds1220 said:
And that was going to be my next point. AMD has nothing more to offer with the APU then Intel with their CPU's. I just did a cheap build with a SB Pentium for a little over 200 dollars. It's just as cheap as an AMD APU build and it has alot better performance.


Sorry but I have to say this statement is wrong unless your severley blinkered in to thinking the only use for PC's is gaming. Infact the majority of PC's need to be cheap and cheerful and do little more than run MS office and browse facebook or pornotube. The APU's do seem to have missed their market here.

SB Pentium + h61 board + basic GPU (to be equivalent of APU) = £110

APU + FM1 board = £80

ok £30 ($50) may not sound alot but if your budget building thats actually a large chunk of money possibly 10% or more of the total to be spent.
a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 6:19:17 PM

No one mentioned gaming we are talking about every day use, How many people's computers have you fixed? How many people have you had come to you and complain that their computer can't even do the things you listed? There is no point in getting an APU when a Pentium can do everything an APU can do and more. Like I said it's foolish to think people are just plain stupid and can't tell the difference between CPU performance. APU's have nothing to offer over Intel CPU's and Intel CPU's perform a good bit faster.
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 6:28:21 PM

tbh the 'average user' would be fine with an intel atom CPU. The average user will go to a PC shop and ask the sales man who will get a PC that is on their budget. There is no performance winner with the average user because the average user doesn't care. Using my PC is no different with word processing etc than my 6yr old Pentium D. The only difference is in gaming (and the odd bit of video editing) but the average user will generally compare graphics to an Xbox or PS3, which all but the lowest of low end CPUs will beat.
don't seethe point of your question, in the UK intel have a massive market share in pre-built PCs from places like currys and argos and the market share with enthusiasts too. AMD have llano and trinity but that's only a small niche
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 6:50:52 PM

wr6133 said:
Sorry but I have to say this statement is wrong unless your severley blinkered in to thinking the only use for PC's is gaming. Infact the majority of PC's need to be cheap and cheerful and do little more than run MS office and browse facebook or pornotube. The APU's do seem to have missed their market here.

SB Pentium + h61 board + basic GPU (to be equivalent of APU) = £110

APU + FM1 board = £80

ok £30 ($50) may not sound alot but if your budget building thats actually a large chunk of money possibly 10% or more of the total to be spent.


Asrock H61M-VS Micro-ATX Motherboard = £40

Intel Celeron Dual-Core G530 2.4 GHz Processor with Socket 1155, L3 2Mb, Sandy Bridge, 32nm = £35


thats £75 which is cheaper than the apu.




most people don't need a graphics card so the built in graphics card is good enough


a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 6:52:37 PM

Not really. The Atom is so weak and slow I would avoid it like the plauge. I can't tell you how many people have come into the shop I work at and complain that their netbook with an Intel Atom is to slow even to use the internet or do basic stuff. I look at it and the RAM is maxed out and the HDD is half full but it's still so slow. There is only so much you can do to make a computer faster when the processor is slow. My point is I won't buy an APU. I can and as mentioned already have done a personal build using a Pentium over an APU. I would rather have performance over graphics and I've taken that route many times in both desktops and laptops. I think many people have come to that same decision and thats why APU's haven't caught on. As for me helping people unless the person is really looking for a CPU and doesn't plan on using discreet graphics I will almost always recommend an Intel Pentium or I3 over an APU.
a c 146 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 6:53:57 PM

shanky887614 said:
Asrock H61M-VS Micro-ATX Motherboard = £40

Intel Celeron Dual-Core G530 2.4 GHz Processor with Socket 1155, L3 2Mb, Sandy Bridge, 32nm = £35


thats £75 which is cheaper than the apu.




most people don't need a graphics card so the built in graphics card is good enough


Exactly and that was my point. And yes if you went with a celeron with a really cheap board you can get under the price of the APU.
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 7:59:49 PM

rds1220 said:
Exactly and that was my point. And yes if you went with a celeron with a really cheap board you can get under the price of the APU.



meant to quote the wr guy
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 9:29:19 PM

JamesPondAqu said:
I Agree with what you are saying but once again this seems shortsighted.

The way we compute is changing. Im not talking now but 5 years down the road.
Surely it is more expensive for an OEM to source a cpu from one place and a gpu from another thus increasing costings.
Why not buy and manufactuer one chip if it performs for everday life?

Once again the average user does not even know whats powering there machine! As long as it performs his or her daily tasks and can accomodate casual gamers.
Surely APUs or intergrated graphics are the future for AMD and Intel for tablets laptops mobile device and possibly desktops?

Why keep spending money on making cpus faster if there is no benifit to the user. We live in a digital age and GPUs are going to play a bigger role moving forward so why not combine them into one chip?



The problem with the approach you seem to be advocating is that it will stifle development. Its the same for a lot of differing fields not just PC's and hardware.
People tend not to like it when you use cars as an example but it fits here pretty well so I'm going to. F1 has given us some really great improvements over the years from safety to performance.
The point is if you don't have the high end performance segment of an industry striving for new and better ways to do things and improve performance then you are just resigning yourself to mediocrity.
Performance increases tend to come as a side effect improvements in efficiency. Sorry but again the same as car engines.

Now while you may advocate that this is fine, we don't and probably wont need any more processing power in our home PC's.
I have to say that this is very narrow and short sighted. So sod all those people who will benefit in the future, when increased processing power means that a cure for X or Y can be formulated ?

No we need the invention and development that gives us these advances, these advances are sold on to those who want it at a price they are willing to pay.
So while it may well be true what you say that most people just want a box that works, its been shown in the replies already that this can be had using any combination from whichever manufacturers you like for the same money and if you stick to Intel and a discrete you will be getting a better PC
Having only enough power is all well and good but lets not fall in to the trap of saying its all people should aspire to.

Mactronix :) 
July 28, 2012 10:34:56 PM

mactronix said:
The problem with the approach you seem to be advocating is that it will stifle development. Its the same for a lot of differing fields not just PC's and hardware.
People tend not to like it when you use cars as an example but it fits here pretty well so I'm going to. F1 has given us some really great improvements over the years from safety to performance.
The point is if you don't have the high end performance segment of an industry striving for new and better ways to do things and improve performance then you are just resigning yourself to mediocrity.
Performance increases tend to come as a side effect improvements in efficiency. Sorry but again the same as car engines.

Now while you may advocate that this is fine, we don't and probably wont need any more processing power in our home PC's.
I have to say that this is very narrow and short sighted. So sod all those people who will benefit in the future, when increased processing power means that a cure for X or Y can be formulated ?

No we need the invention and development that gives us these advances, these advances are sold on to those who want it at a price they are willing to pay.
So while it may well be true what you say that most people just want a box that works, its been shown in the replies already that this can be had using any combination from whichever manufacturers you like for the same money and if you stick to Intel and a discrete you will be getting a better PC
Having only enough power is all well and good but lets not fall in to the trap of saying its all people should aspire to.

Mactronix :) 




Great post Mactronix

It's nice to read such a thought out post. I wholly agree that development should never be stifled and we should always aspire to greater things.
My thoughts are of the directions that these may take.
I am not advocating any idea but postulating things to come.

To take your example of F1. For sure teams could simply increase engine performance but are limited by rules and regulations which has led to such great iinnovation as DRS and KERS.

Amd cannot compete with raw power but can innovate in other ways and may steal back some market share in the not so distant future.
We can see from Q2 that desktops sales are reducing across the board and laptops tablets and phones are the future or daily life.


Intel would not bother RnD with integrated CPUs if thy did not believe APUs to be a threat in the distant future.


Time will tell and I hope there will always be greater things and innovation.
I can assure you in life I am not narrow minded or short sighted.

Thanks all for your posts

:-)

Mr Pond


Ps I wish my new iPad had an Apu as hd playback is utter dog shite!



a b à CPUs
July 29, 2012 9:10:59 AM

Thanks for the kind words. Thank you for starting such an enjoyable thread.

My gut feeling is that the scenario where you will get a true SOC is not that far away. You can pretty well run a net box right now with what we have.
Gaming should not be overlooked in all this though, there are I would think plenty of people out there like myself who game at a high level but not to the extreme. That is I don't ever plan to run BF 3 on Ultra with 3 screens and a cinema sound system.
The people that do need a lot of power to do so.
People like myself still need more than you can get from non discrete options.

The future has a few advocates for differing options at the moment some are saying mobile touch tablets will replace the home PC. Again that's discounting the gamer. As long as people game on the PC the home system is going nowhere.

What I believe will eventually happen is that a true SOC that is capable of playing most games at a decent enough level to satisfy is between 3-5 years away or as far away as AMD want it to be.

To explain: While they are behind on the CPU side of the package AMD are in the driving seat because the lack of performance increase from them is resulting on Intel resting on its laurels to a degree. As long as AMD are not a threat Intel will release sub optimal performance increments to the public causing the rate of improvement to slow.
This is giving them time to increase the capability and quality of the graphics part of the package.

I believe that in and around that 3-5 year target area I mentioned that Intel will to all intents and purposes catch up to AMD graphically. AMD may still be better but that wont matter to the general public because the Intel chip will do all that is needed, much like you are saying it does what's needed why get more ?

So if AMD don't get their fingers out and improve the performance of the CPU part of the package by the time the SOC is properly effective and viable to the masses, they will find Intel cruising up alongside them graphically and end up left with no niche in the market space which they enjoy to a small degree at the moment with the simplicity of a semi capable SOC in their APU of the moment.

Mactronix :) 
a b à CPUs
July 29, 2012 4:23:22 PM

Haven't read the last few so sorry if this is a repost of some sort.
As in the origional question, Intel have noticed and have made intel HD graphics a lot better so will catch up eventually.
N.B the Atoms I used were in virtual machines so that might have had something to do with it but servers aren't my forté.
a b à CPUs
July 29, 2012 5:47:15 PM

JamesPondAqu said:
My point exactly . Intel is a brand and percuved as the best which AMD never achieved. They need to advertise there APUs aggressively with television commercials not on the internet.
My father is never going to look up CPUs on the Internet and discover AMD but he does watch a lot of tv and would come to accept AMD as a brand did he but knew they existed.

AMD I except have limited resources but more should be shifted to advertising than rNd. It's pointless having the fastest CPU / GPU if no ones heard of you?


How a company allocates its limited dollars (or pounds sterling :p ) is usually based on business projections: "If we spend xxx amount of money, we will get zzz amount of profit". A TV advertising campaign like what Intel routinely does each year costs hundreds of millions of dollars. AMD simply does not have that kind of cash to spread around, so it opts for the el cheapo route of Internet advertising such as here on THG. I remember seeing Opteron ads on the back of transit buses here in the Washington DC area some years back. Made no sense to me - what IT pro would buy a server CPU from an ad on the back of a smelly bus? But at least it was cheap advertising :) .

However if AMD sacrificed or raided their R&D budget in favor of advertising, they would simply die out in a few years as they could no longer compete on any level performance-wise, what with the billions Intel spends. That would be suicide for a CPU company.

And as for Intel not having an answer to the "APU", you should do some research into Haswell, which is supposed to debut next spring IIRC. Might be an eye-opener :p .
July 30, 2012 11:07:10 AM

fazers_on_stun said:


And as for Intel not having an answer to the "APU", you should do some research into Haswell, which is supposed to debut next spring IIRC. Might be an eye-opener :p .


yup....haswell is supposedly a 'GRAPHICS MONSTER'...so i guess we could say intel is coming up with something against the APU's http://img.tomshardware.com/forum/uk/icones/smilies/sol...

i don't hate amd! but they need to be quicker in development acc to me if they are to survive.
!