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Updated CPU Charts 2008: AMD Versus Intel

Test Hardware Details

Test Systems

Our two test systems, for the AMD and Intel platforms.

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Motherboards

The components used for the CPU charts have been updated. For the AMD processors we are using an Asus board with the AMD 790FX chipset and for the Intel CPU we are using a Gigabyte board with the Intel X48 chipset.

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Main Memory

All AMD processors are tested with DDR2-1066 memory from A-Data, which is addressed with CL 4-4-4-12 timings. On the Intel platform, DDR3-1333 uses CL 7.0-7-7-21 timings. Depending on the bus clock rate of the processor, the memory is addressed with a lower clock rate. This is a technical feature caused by the chipset of the manufacturer.

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Graphics Card

In order for the processor speed to truly impact our game benchmarks, we are using the powerful N280GTX-T2D1G-OC from MSI.

Hard Drives And USB Stick

Our test systems are each fitted with two 320 GB hard drives from Western Digital. The WD32000AAKS functions with just one platter and thus has a lower power consumption, which means that it doesn’t need any extra cooling. The Linux system is only loaded from a Corsair Flash Voyager USB stick.

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Blu-ray Drive And Sound Card

For the Blu-ray benchmark we used a BDC-202BK drive from Pioneer. For the games benchmarks to keep the audio output load on the processor as low as possible, we have used a sound card : the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer has its own audio processor and a software wrapper for Vista.

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Power Supply And CPU Fan

We are using a Cooler Master 850 watt power supply to drive the system. The AMD and Intel processors are cooled using the CNPS 9700 LED fan from Zalman.

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  • Mucke
    What about AMD Dual Cores?

    Especially the new Athlon 6500@3GHz would be interesting.

    By the way: the Intel-system uses DDR3-1333, AMD DDR2-1066; that makes some difference in the price (just like the mainboard).
    Reply
  • Ok, this is not a fair benchmark for AMD.. your testing motherboard for AMD platform costs only 140 euros and the testing top-range motherboard for Intel Platform costs 250 euros!!! To be equally tested it should be tested on P35 Chipset with DDR2 RAM.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Yannis GROk, this is not a fair benchmark for AMD.. your testing motherboard for AMD platform costs only 140 euros and the testing top-range motherboard for Intel Platform costs 250 euros!!! To be equally tested it should be tested on P35 Chipset with DDR2 RAM.
    Yannis,

    Thank you for the feedback.

    It does not make sense to handicap the Intel platform simply because AMD's infrastructure is currently priced to compete with Intel's mid-range. This would completely eliminate the scores for higher-end configurations like Skulltrail and the Extreme Edition CPUs, providing an incomplete picture of the current processor landscape.
    Reply
  • Mucke
    It does not make sense to handicap the Intel platform simply because AMD's infrastructure is currently priced to compete with Intel's mid-range. This would completely eliminate the scores for higher-end configurations like Skulltrail and the Extreme Edition CPUs, providing an incomplete picture of the current processor landscape.

    In the final charts the details "3.33 GHz, DDR3-1333 (Wolfdale)" could be supplemented by the price for the entire system. Then it would be fair (you might even include Intels with DDR2 and Athlon X2s as well -- that would make a great list!).
    Reply
  • apaige
    The Linux OpenSSL results are completely out of whack (see http://global.phoronix-test-suite.com/?k=category&u=openssl for normal results). Intel results should be higher, and AMD results should be over *three* times higher. That's one benchmark where AMD processors have consistently shown to smoke Intel CPUs by a large margin. Something is definitely wrong with those results.

    Also, could you please give the exact command line for the LAME benchmark? And why do you keep on benchmarking it in CBR mode, even with the version bump, when all the work by its developers in recent years has essentially been on VBR mode? VBR is also highly recommended over CBR.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    It looks to me like you mismatched the mobo, ram and also cherry picked the graphics settings for the games.

    Why ... well it make the little green guys look even worse.

    Bert you don't really need to cheat on the benchmarks to prove the Intel CPU's are generally better.

    We do know that.

    Reply
  • duzcizgi
    cangeliniOne thing missing with the charts is, there's nosorting by price. Only then, your claim that test setups are fair, can hold ground.

    You have ordered the scores with fastest at the top, but what about order by price? Wouldn't it make more sense? If it's apples-apples comparison, then put apples against apples, not oranges. If it's price/performance comparison, then mention price differences also. How much both systems TCO is.
    Reply
  • sgtbaker420
    BTW Guys...Supreme Commander Forged Alliance was misspelled in your charts.
    Reply
  • wavebossa
    ReynodIt looks to me like you mismatched the mobo, ram and also cherry picked the graphics settings for the games.Why ... well it make the little green guys look even worse.Bert you don't really need to cheat on the benchmarks to prove the Intel CPU's are generally better.We do know that.
    You guys make it seem like not getting the fastest mobo and ram would make a real difference in these benchmanrks.

    If they didn't mismatch, what would you have wanted them to do? Only show the intel procs/setups that are closer in perfomance to AMD? If they did that, the Intel fans would whine about the lack of good intel setups.

    However I still believe you made a mistake. Instead of using the M3A32 for AMD, you should have used the M3A79 or another SB750 based bored due the fact that many benchmarks have already proven the SB750 dominance over its earlier counterpart.

    All in all, good article.
    Reply
  • v12v12
    Sounds like a bunch of AMD whining... blah blah "fair" this and that, AMD is inferior and everyone knows it. Hell I'm writing this on an X2 Turion, face the FACTs and stop trying to hold onto former AMDominance: AMD is toast until it completely reinvents itself, crying and whining about "fair" is a moot point. The REAL point is—for the money, Intel IS the better buy and will be for the foreseeable future (Nehalem anyone?)... the only thing stopping AMD is AMD themselves and mismanagement, which has been documented and proven. I don't like the Evil-Intel-Empire as much as the AMD-zealots, but they are proving to be the leaders of CPU technology... If AMD does have an answer for Nehalem and a reasonable (provable) road map, then we'll all benefit in price competition... Until then the whining is lame.
    Reply