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AMD Phenom II X4 820 vs. AMD A8-5500

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August 3, 2012 3:44:45 AM

Hello,
Hello guys,
I am in need of some help.

I recently bought a new HP Pavilion - HP Pavilion p7-1235
It is equipped with an AMD A8-5500 processor APU which I believe is based on Trinity/Piledriver with base clock of 3.2ghz.
It comes with 8gb of RAM and ATI Radeon 7560D integrated graphics.

I have another PC that is also an HP Pavilion - HP Pavilion p6404y
It has an AMD Phenom II X4 820 which runs at 2.8ghz
It has an Nvidia Geforce 210 video card and 16gb of DDR3 RAM

Now I picked up the HP Pavilion p7-1235 at Staples for $489 total

I looked at the Windows Experience Index score and the processor in both of these PCs is a 7.2
Memory is basically the same with the older pc with 16gb of RAM having a .3 score better

The graphics in the HP Pavilion p7-1235 are rated at 6.7 - which beats the old PC which scored a 5.8 and 5.1

So I guess my question is - what is the performance difference between these two processors?

Everything I've read suggests that the A8 performs better than the Phenom II x4 - but now I have my doubts since the windows experience score rates them the same.

Part of the problem is the Trinty chip is so new that I can't find a lot of data on it.

If someone could give some advice I'd appreciate it as I'm so confused.
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August 3, 2012 3:50:39 AM

Kevin523 said:
Hello,
Hello guys,
I am in need of some help.

I recently bought a new HP Pavilion - HP Pavilion p7-1235
It is equipped with an AMD A8-5500 processor APU which I believe is based on Trinity/Piledriver with base clock of 3.2ghz.
It comes with 8gb of RAM and ATI Radeon 7560D integrated graphics.

I have another PC that is also an HP Pavilion - HP Pavilion p6404y
It has an AMD Phenom II X4 820 which runs at 2.8ghz
It has an Nvidia Geforce 210 video card and 16gb of DDR3 RAM

Now I picked up the HP Pavilion p7-1235 at Staples for $489 total

I looked at the Windows Experience Index score and the processor in both of these PCs is a 7.2
Memory is basically the same with the older pc with 16gb of RAM having a .3 score better

The graphics in the HP Pavilion p7-1235 are rated at 6.7 - which beats the old PC which scored a 5.8 and 5.1

So I guess my question is - what is the performance difference between these two processors?

Everything I've read suggests that the A8 performs better than the Phenom II x4 - but now I have my doubts since the windows experience score rates them the same.

Part of the problem is the Trinty chip is so new that I can't find a lot of data on it.

If someone could give some advice I'd appreciate it as I'm so confused.


I wouldn't put much into the WEI it's pretty useless and doesn't really tell you how good your computer is. The main difference is core for core the Phenom II is better and faster but has no integrated graphics. The APU has pretty good integrated graphics but lacks in CPU power.
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August 3, 2012 12:26:25 PM

I realized I accidentally posted this thread twice. Everyone please disregard the other thread and direct all replies to this thread.

Thank you for your answer.

Does anyone know how the A8-5500 performs compared to the AMD Phenom II X4 820?

The A8 has a base frequency of 3.2ghz with turbo boost up to 3.6ghz - has 4MB of L2 cache.
The Phenom II runs at 2.8 ghz has something like 1mb of L2 cache but 4MB of L3 cache.

Basically what I'm trying to figure out if the new A8 is comperable or better than the Phenom II X4.

I ask because if the new PC with the A8 is going to be better than my 2 year old HP with the Phenom II X4 - well I'd like to keep it. If the Phenom II machine is better overall than I'd rather save the money.

I found a buyer for my old PC for 225, which I'd pay towards the new PC and a remaining balance of about $250 to pay (this PC was $489 total).

But if the new computer is no better than I can't see wasting the money.

Some background info:
I'm not a gamer - I mostly do internet surfing, watch videos, DVDs, flash videos, but I am a user who is legally blind and uses software called Zoomtext which magnifies the display. However I don't know if Zoomtext uses the GPU more or the processor to run the software. Think of how you hold a magnifying glass to a page, the page is blown up and things are bigger, but you can't see the whole page when you are looking through the magnifying glass - but yet if you move the magnifier around you can see what's on the whole page - that's basically what Zoomtext does, and the view follows my mouse when I move it.
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August 3, 2012 12:29:27 PM

how did you get 5.1 and 5.8 on the geforce 210?
i only got a4.6 and a 5.6 and btw i have a better system (except ram ) than you! :cry: 
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August 3, 2012 12:50:24 PM

Hello,
Is there a way to attach a JPEG? I just signed up last night - so I'm not familiar with all the features of the forum - but I enjoy what I see so far! :) 

For the HP Pavilion p6404y (the 2 year old PC with the Phenom II X4) the WEI is:
Processor - 7.2
RAM - 7.5
Graphics - 5.1
Gaming - 5.8
Hard Drive - 5.9

With the new HP Pavilion p7-1235 with AMD A8-5500 @ 3.2ghz (TB to 3.6), 8GB DDR3 RAM and 1TB
Processor - 7.2
RAM - 7.3
Graphics - 6.7
Gaming - 6.7
Hard Drive - 5.9

I'm not sure if I misquoted the numbers earlier - but these are the scores I got on my 2 year old HP Pavilion p6404y - AMD Phenom II X4 820 @ 2.8ghz, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB 7200 RPM drive, and Nvidia Geforce 210 card.

I got the card re-certified off of Newegg like a year ago - it was from PNY and was around 20 dollars.

If anyone can give me insight in comparing these two PCs I'd appreciate it. If they are equal then I'd rather just keep the old one.

However I do like the looks of the new on and the addition of 4 usb 3.0 ports :) 

If anyone has any thoughts please let me know.
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August 3, 2012 12:54:42 PM

I'm surprized that windows is rating the Trinity A10 CPU similar to the Phenom II x4 in power. The Trinity CPU is essentially a dual-core CPU, so to trade blows with the Phenom II x4 (even in Windows Experience Index perverted view) is very impressive.

Yes the GPU in the Trinity CPU will be faster than the GT210. Although I would assume that zoomtext will have very little hardware (GPU) (so will mostly run on the CPU), and will most likely run better on NVidia hardware too. So I doubt you'll get and better performance from the Trinity desktop.

As long as your current machine isn't experiencing any issues running the programs that you need correctly, I would not see the need to upgrade. Perhaps the money would be better spent on a larger monitor?

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August 3, 2012 1:07:53 PM

Thank you for your responses. :) 

As I said technically there was nothing wrong with the 2 year old desktop - it performs quite well - but I thought this new computer might be a boost.

Just so we're on the same page - the new Pavilion has an A8-5500 processor based on Trinity - from my understanding this is really a dual core processor with 2 integer cores (basically pseudo cores right?). Isn't it basically like a dual core processor with hyperthreading?

As far as Zoomtext goes - it is ineed reliant on processor power. When I move the mouse around quickly - the procesor usage goes up, when I stop moving it goes back down.

What I think is interesting - according to Speedfan - when I use Zoomtext and move around the screen like crazy - the new A8 processor shows up as less CPU load in speedfan. When I was on the Phenom II X4 the cpu usage was higher percentage than with the A8 processor. Does this make any sense?

I have a 24" AOC LCD with DVI output and I like it a lot :) 
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August 3, 2012 1:57:51 PM

If anyone else has more insight on comparing the A8-5500 vs. the Phenom II X4 820 - I'd appreciate it. I really thought the A8 would be better performing - based on what I've read on these forums. Not much better, but definitely an improvement. Can anyone else provide more clarity/thoughts?
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August 3, 2012 3:21:21 PM

No the Phenom II will be faster because it has a better architecture. To me APU's pretty pointless. Its better to get a faster phenom IIx4 with a dedicated video card. An APU's offer nothing more than onboard graphics, they just moved the chip from the motherboard, to the CPU. I would much rather have a good CPU and good dedicated GPU for what it would cost to get a crappy athlon x4 equivelant and a crappy low end crossfire setup.
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August 3, 2012 4:05:23 PM

One last thought - what if I took out the Nvidia Geforce 210 and the 16gb of RAM - how would that help the HP Pavilion p7-1235? In other words - would putting in the video card and 16gb of RAM make it better than the system with the Phenom II X4? I thought perhaps if I was using a video card it would take the load off of the APU and let it concentrate on being a CPU vs. being both a CPU and GPU? I could be totally wrong with my thoughts though.

More and more I'm inclined to think I'll just return the p7-1235 if it's really a step backwards in terms of the processor.
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August 3, 2012 4:32:24 PM

So you want to take out the RAM and video card from computer 1 and put it into computer 2 (witht the APU)? That's not really going to do much. Unless you're maxing out the RAM adding more RAM is pretty pointless and isn't going to do much. As for the video card again it's not going to make up for the lack of performance of the CPU. What are you doing with this computer?
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August 3, 2012 5:17:12 PM

You are correct - I was going to take out the RAM and video card from PC 1 and put it in PC 2.

I'm sorry for all the newbie questions - but since I am legally blind I do not install any PC hardware. I understand a lot of it - just can't install them and play around with them as most system builders do. :) 

I use a program called Zoomtext - which is a screen magnifier and enlarges what you see on the screen. You only see a portion of the screen at once, but when you move the mouse it follows your mouse pointer and you can see what's off screen. Again think of it as looking through a magnifying glass - you can only see a little at a time - but move it around and you'll be able to read the whole page. This program installs a "mirror driver" of sorts - and seems to somehow duplicate the video card driver. From what I can tell Zoomtext is driven by CPU. When I have speedfan open and move the mouse around quickly - the cpu load jumps up. When I stop moving it goes back to around idle.

Anyway - I do internet browsing, youtube, video watching, DVD watching, music listening. Once in a while I rip a DVD and encode it to video to watch on my PC. I like to run a virus scan and still be able to use the PC.

Based on everyone's answers - I am getting a feeling that this new PC is a step down from what I had with the AMD Phenom II X4.

If that's true then perhaps I should just return the PC back to Staples and get a refund.

The only benefits I see to keeping the new PC is:
1. I like having USB 3.0 ports
2. I also like the fact that the PC uses less engery because the processor uses less wettage - helps me save on energy costs - although I'm sure I won't notice much.

Other than that not much else seems to be different.

According to this:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Phenom+II+X...
The Phenom II X4 820 = 3464

And according to this:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+A8-5500+APU
A8-5500 = 6543

The A8 seems to even compete with an intel i7 while the phenom ii x4 is at the bottom of the list.

I'm not sure what this data means - so if someone could clarify I'd appreciate it.

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August 3, 2012 5:31:07 PM

CPU power wise the APU was kind of a step down. Like I said core for core the Phenom II is more powerful. I really don't know much about that program you are using for your disablity, I mean I don't know know how much resources it is using up. RAM wise you shouldn't be using that much memory either 8 gigs or 16 gigs on the other computer. I would say your problem is either the CPU or graphics card.
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August 3, 2012 5:51:54 PM

Well to be honest - there was nothing wrong with my HP desktop with the AMD Phenom II X4 - it's just that I had the itch to get a new PC - and I thought the A8 would be an okay step up.

www.aisquared.com is the site for Zoomtext.

Can you explain those scores from CPUBenchmark? I thought the higher the number, the better the score. The A8 has almost twice the value as the Phenom II - hence why I thought it was better. Plus reading people's thoughts on these forums lead me to believe that it was better than the Phenom II X4 counterparts - maybe not by much - but better.

Is there any evidence to support the A series versus the Phenom II?
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August 3, 2012 5:58:26 PM

Itch for a new laptop? Make your current hardware SHINE with a new SSD... Don't bother upgrading your computer. No single upgrade has ever yielded more improvement, dollar for dollar, as upgrading to a good SSD...
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August 3, 2012 6:04:19 PM

This is a desktop PC.

One last question - if I return the HP p7-1235 - can I add usb 3.0 ports to the Phenom II X4 PC?

I've read that you can add a card to the pci-e x16 slot - but I presently have the Nvidia geforce 210 in there.

I have something called x1 express slots open I believe - can i add it there?
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August 3, 2012 6:37:53 PM

Yes. You can absolutely add a USB 3.0 PCI Express 1x card to your computer. You do not need the 16x slot.

Take note of the user ratings for the USB 3.0 cards. Some are better than others in terms of reliability and speed.

Sorry, mistyped on the 'laptop' comment. Be it a desktop or a laptop, a clean install on a new SSD replacing your hard drive will yield amazing improvements to your computing experience. You would have sworn you had just purchased the fastest computer you have ever seen. I would recommend using the money from the returned HP desktop and getting a 128 gig Samsung 830, 128 gig Crucial M4, or an 120 gig Intel 330. Great bang for the buck and super reliable, not to mention fast.
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August 3, 2012 8:27:58 PM

Hello all,
Judging by all the answers I've received so far - things seem to indicate that the Phenom II X4 is a better processor than the A8-5500. I am just curious how people are arriving at these conclusions? Did everyone see something I missed? From what I've read in numerous places the A8 should be on par with a Phenom II X4 if not slightly better. Plus I posted links to CPUBench pointing out another thing I've noticed but no one seems to acknowledge that.

I just want to know where these opinions are coming from? Thanks
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August 3, 2012 9:02:21 PM

I am not saying that the Phenom II X4 is expressly better. What I think both of us are saying is that at the very least you will not see much tangible improvement, if any. In some cases, the A8 will outshine the Phenom II. In other cases the Phenom II will beat the A8. But outside of the graphics aspect of the A8, the difference is not worth the cost of purchasing a new computer, unless you just want to 'have' a second computer for the sake of having 2. As far as an upgrade, you will likely not notice any difference.

Where you might actually notice a difference is on graphical programs like 3D games. But even then, you would be better served upgrading your existing GPU and getting a SSD than buying a new computer.

The Phenom II is a great chip, and because you already own it, is so much cheaper. The only advantage to getting a new computer is having a 2nd computer. If you are itching for a true upgrade, get a SSD, do a clean install of Windows, and a new computer you will have.

EDIT:
Even considering power consumption, you are using less 'energy' by no purchasing a new computer, and depending how you use the computer itself, the Phenom II isn't really in a different power envelope than the A8.

Add the USB 3.0 card and add the SSD with a clean Windows 7 install, and maybe add a little RAM, and you will feel much more satisfied than buying the A8 system.

This coming from someone who has an A8 based laptop with a SSD...
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August 3, 2012 9:31:00 PM

Kevin523 said:
Hello all,
Judging by all the answers I've received so far - things seem to indicate that the Phenom II X4 is a better processor than the A8-5500. I am just curious how people are arriving at these conclusions? Did everyone see something I missed? From what I've read in numerous places the A8 should be on par with a Phenom II X4 if not slightly better. Plus I posted links to CPUBench pointing out another thing I've noticed but no one seems to acknowledge that.

I just want to know where these opinions are coming from? Thanks


What a CPU is suppose to be doesn't mean anything. The Bulldozer was SUPPOSE to be an Intel killer and look how that turned out. The Trinity is based off an updated version of Bulldozer but for CPU power it's still slower than the old Phenom II or Intels Sandy Bridges/Ivy Bridges.
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August 4, 2012 1:44:28 AM

hi I understand this is ur first thread here. notwithstanding that I myself have just around 10 replies, welcome.

now to ur question. for the usage you have mentioned, either system will be equal to the other...wit graphics being significantly faster wit the A8-based system

i'm however, confused abt whether you already purchased the a8 system or just contemplating to buy it or if you have both and thinking of selling one of them. pls help me out wit that.

sending from mobile so sorry for glaring typing errors
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August 4, 2012 1:50:35 AM

btw the A8-5500 is a quad core and not dual core.
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August 5, 2012 4:49:49 AM

Hello all,
Just for clarification - the A8-5500 is the new APU released by AMD using the Trinity/Piledriver cores. I just did some research to confirm this.

Now my question is - people have told me here in this forum (and others) that a Phenom II X4 will outperform an A8 clocked at the same frequency. So if I have a 2.8ghz AMD Phenom II X4 - it will outperform at 2.8ghz A8 processor - is this correct?

Ok if that's true I can understand that but what if the Phenom II X4 is clocked at 2.8ghz and the A8-5500 has a base clock of 3.2ghz and can turbo boost up to 3.6 ghz - wouldn't that mean the A8 would slightly outperform the Phenom II X4?

If this is not true - how far behind is the 3.2ghz AMD A8-550 behind the Phenom II X4 820 @ 2.8ghz? Would they pretty much be neck in neck in everyday normal tasts - such as running MS Office, internet surfing, youtube video watching, flash video watching, encoding DVDs to video, playing NES/SNES/Playstation emulators? (This is the only gaming I do).

I don't mean to sound like I'm disbelieving everyone - I just want to present all the facts and see what results. Thank you everyone for being patient with my questions.
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August 5, 2012 10:18:29 AM

The A8-5500 is faster than the phenom II 820, which is only a glorified athlon II with higher clocks and only marketed it as a phenom. The WEI index uses a logarithmic scale, so small increases in performance aren't easily noted.

The A8 is not dual core, the cpu should deliver near quad core performance is most applications. The shared resources in the cores do lose some performance when scaling up but this is much less than a dual core with hyperthreading. The A8 would be like ~3.6 cores while dual core with hyperthreading would be like ~2.4 cores. The single core performance of the A8 should be quite a bit higher than the phenom IIx4 820 so that even with only a scaling of 3.6, it will be slightly faster with all cores running.

The A8 should out perform the 820 by a slight margin but would not generally be much as the difference of 10% in cpu performance won't be picked up unless you do a long task such as unziping a large file or encoding something, general everyday things won't really show up since they are being bottlenecked by other things in the machine as well as the user.

The A8 should deliver much better performance in anything that requires graphics due to the APU, this includes many form of HD videos and gaming. Encoding video will be quite a bit faster if the VCE engine in the APU is used(completely software dependent if its supported). If its not, then it would be only slightly faster.
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August 5, 2012 1:57:01 PM

esrever said:
The A8-5500 is faster than the phenom II 820, which is only a glorified athlon II with higher clocks and only marketed it as a phenom. The WEI index uses a logarithmic scale, so small increases in performance aren't easily noted.

The A8 is not dual core, the cpu should deliver near quad core performance is most applications. The shared resources in the cores do lose some performance when scaling up but this is much less than a dual core with hyperthreading. The A8 would be like ~3.6 cores while dual core with hyperthreading would be like ~2.4 cores. The single core performance of the A8 should be quite a bit higher than the phenom IIx4 820 so that even with only a scaling of 3.6, it will be slightly faster with all cores running.

The A8 should out perform the 820 by a slight margin but would not generally be much as the difference of 10% in cpu performance won't be picked up unless you do a long task such as unziping a large file or encoding something, general everyday things won't really show up since they are being bottlenecked by other things in the machine as well as the user.

The A8 should deliver much better performance in anything that requires graphics due to the APU, this includes many form of HD videos and gaming. Encoding video will be quite a bit faster if the VCE engine in the APU is used(completely software dependent if its supported). If its not, then it would be only slightly faster.


Thank you for this response - it has been very helpful. Your explanation gave clarification to my question and you discussed where the A8 would be better in certain cirumstances - which helped out a lot. :) 

One last question - I found a buyer for my Phenom II X4 PC for $230 - I was going to use that money towards the new PC - leaving a balance of about $250 to pay - based on this - would this computer be a good upgrade from the Phenom II X4? I basically look at the new HP as a slight processor upgrade, a video card upgrade essentially, USB 3.0 ports upgrade. I was going to take the 16gb of RAM out of the old PC and install in the new PC as well.

Thanks for your input once again.
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August 5, 2012 6:34:42 PM

Kevin523 said:
Thank you for this response - it has been very helpful. Your explanation gave clarification to my question and you discussed where the A8 would be better in certain cirumstances - which helped out a lot. :) 

One last question - I found a buyer for my Phenom II X4 PC for $230 - I was going to use that money towards the new PC - leaving a balance of about $250 to pay - based on this - would this computer be a good upgrade from the Phenom II X4? I basically look at the new HP as a slight processor upgrade, a video card upgrade essentially, USB 3.0 ports upgrade. I was going to take the 16gb of RAM out of the old PC and install in the new PC as well.

Thanks for your input once again.

I'd say its worth it simply just due to having the graphics upgrade.The price looks quite good for what you get. Just don't expect a massive difference.
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August 6, 2012 1:14:42 PM

Would anyone happen to know why the AMD chips based on Bulldozer and Piledriver are reviewed so poorly? Are they honestly bad chips? Do they really not perform well? Or is it just that they didn't meet up to expectations and AMD's hype?

Would an A8-5500 @ 3.2ghz be more than capable for general PC use for at least two or three years?

I thought about upgrading my Phenom II X4 820 cpu to a Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.2ghz and 6mb L3 cache. would this be a good upgrade for 90? My problem is that I am legally blind and can't do this upgrade myself. My girlfriend said that she'd try to do it - she was going to watch a few videos on youtube to see how it's done. However if she's not comfortable doing the upgrade then I'll have to find someone to do it. Does Staples install processors? I realize it would cost more money to do so.

To be honest - the HP Pavilion p7-1235 with the AMD A8-5500 seems like the easiest upgrade route to go. I paid $449 plus tax for this machine. My neighbor would buy my old PC for $230 - so I'd essentially only pay about $250 out of pocket.

If I upgrade the processor in my old PC it would cost minimum 90 bucks - and if I need someone else to install the processor - it would cost extra. Plus a video card upgrade (nothing gamer level) plus possibly a SSD drive would cost more than the balance I'd have to pay on the p7-1235....

Any views on my thought process?

Thanks again for all your help!
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August 6, 2012 1:22:24 PM

Bulldozer are not bad chips. They are priced badly. Unlike Phenom chips, Bulldozer chips do not have true independent cores. Bulldozer chips are designed to 'share' part of their cores with another core. So instead of 8 fully independent cores, you have 4 independent cores, each with 2 'processors' sharing 1 'integer core'.

They do well in multithreaded tasks. But what you describe as what you are using your computer for, you will see no benefit, if any.

Clock per clock, Bulldozer is slower than Phenom, and WAY slower than a comparable Intel chip at this price.

It sounds from your posts that you want a new computer regardless of weather it is the most cost effective path for you. And that is fine. I just fear you will be highly disappointed with the new rig. You would be better served by buying faster internet connection than this new computer, unless you game, and even then, you computer would likely handle a better video card like the 7750, and you would save yourself $100.
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August 6, 2012 1:40:02 PM

I must admit - I believe I got caught up in the 'new computer' hype. You know that excited feeling one gets? :)  To be honest - I hooked up the old PC again last night with the Phenom II X4 820 - and it seems just as fast as the new computer I just bought. I've been considering what everyone has said - and my gut feeling - and I think I'm going to return the PC back to Staples. Thank you everyone for your help, suggestions and comments!

One last thought though - would upgrading to a Phenom II X4 955 be a worthy upgrade? It has 95 watt TDP and that's the wattage currently used in my Phenom II system. is 90 dollars a good price (it's on Newegg). If my girlfriend can't install the processor - can Staples or some other place do it?

Or am I better off sticking with the Phenom II X4 820 as there wouldn't be much gain in performance/speed upgrading to a 955?

Thank you for helping me with my decision - I'll be returning the PC to Staples.
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August 6, 2012 1:56:41 PM

If you were a gamer, or a video transcoder, or an audio recorder, yeah, the upgrade might be worth it. If you just do basic office stuff, browse the web, and play the occasional facebook game, you will not see a tangible difference.

Spend some money on an awesome SSD. You will see tangible improvements, and will make you feel like you have the fastest supercomputer on the block...

http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B007RARHSO?tag=betteraddon...

256 Gig Vertex 4. Add it to your existing hard drive (for storing photos, music and movies) and have the Vertex 4 as your boot drive where all your programs are installed. You will be thrilled at the difference! Your boot times will be cut by anywhere from as little as half to as much as an order of magnitude. The internet browser and office suites will open instantly. Everything will feel zippier...
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August 6, 2012 6:55:17 PM

jacobdrj said:
Bulldozer are not bad chips. They are priced badly. Unlike Phenom chips, Bulldozer chips do not have true independent cores. Bulldozer chips are designed to 'share' part of their cores with another core. So instead of 8 fully independent cores, you have 4 independent cores, each with 2 'processors' sharing 1 'integer core'.

They do well in multithreaded tasks. But what you describe as what you are using your computer for, you will see no benefit, if any.

Clock per clock, Bulldozer is slower than Phenom, and WAY slower than a comparable Intel chip at this price.

It sounds from your posts that you want a new computer regardless of weather it is the most cost effective path for you. And that is fine. I just fear you will be highly disappointed with the new rig. You would be better served by buying faster internet connection than this new computer, unless you game, and even then, you computer would likely handle a better video card like the 7750, and you would save yourself $100.

Bulldozer modules do not have 4 Independence cores. They have pairs of cores which are symmetrical. They also don't share integer cores, they share a float point unit which is twice as wide as the ones in phenom and are thus much faster.

The CPU OP is looking at is a trinity Piledriver core and is 15% faster than bulldozer at the same clocks, it should match his old CPU at the same frequency in performance.
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August 6, 2012 6:59:18 PM

Kevin523 said:
I must admit - I believe I got caught up in the 'new computer' hype. You know that excited feeling one gets? :)  To be honest - I hooked up the old PC again last night with the Phenom II X4 820 - and it seems just as fast as the new computer I just bought. I've been considering what everyone has said - and my gut feeling - and I think I'm going to return the PC back to Staples. Thank you everyone for your help, suggestions and comments!

One last thought though - would upgrading to a Phenom II X4 955 be a worthy upgrade? It has 95 watt TDP and that's the wattage currently used in my Phenom II system. is 90 dollars a good price (it's on Newegg). If my girlfriend can't install the processor - can Staples or some other place do it?

Or am I better off sticking with the Phenom II X4 820 as there wouldn't be much gain in performance/speed upgrading to a 955?

Thank you for helping me with my decision - I'll be returning the PC to Staples.

It won't really be worth upgrading to a phenom II x4 955 unless you run games. The difference isn't much outside of gaming for that upgrade. The phenom II x4 955 also has 125 TPD, only the special editions of the 945 has 95w, depending on your motherboard you'd have to check if they support 125w cpus. The phenom II x 955 would be the fastest processor mentioned so far but not really significantly faster than the 840 or the A8-5500.
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