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Phenom IIs, Core I7-920 Win Out In Value Analysis

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the computes-per-buck dept.

AMD 214

An anonymous reader writes "We've all seen processor benchmarks, but how do today's enthusiast CPUs look when you account for performance per dollar? Using a smorgasbord of charts, scatter plots, and performance tests, The Tech Report attempted to single out the highest-value offerings out of 16 popular Intel and AMD processors. The results might surprise you: AMD's 45nm Phenom IIs (both triple- and quad-core) prove to be strikingly competitive with Intel's Core 2 Quads. And, on the high end, Intel's $266 Core i7-920 turns out to be a compelling step up despite the higher costs of Core i7 platforms in general."

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214 comments

Suprise? (5, Insightful)

AnonGCB (1398517) | about 5 years ago | (#27268369)

Really, who doesn't know that AMD is higher performance per dollar.

Re:Suprise? (4, Insightful)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | about 5 years ago | (#27268383)

Dollars are meaningless GIVE ME RAW SPEED!!!!

Price is all-important (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27268599)

None of that is important. Any modern x86 CPU is going to have enough performance for anything you want to do. You'd get more benefit shaving a baby's ass than squeezing the cost/performance ratio on these chips these days. Better to throw more money at a separate server if you really need more power than trying to boost the speed of any single computer.

Really, the thing that will make the biggest difference is the OS, but if you're running any modern OS you're already wasting most of those CPU cycles on platform overhead.

Re:Price is all-important (5, Insightful)

644bd346996 (1012333) | about 5 years ago | (#27268711)

Buying a faster chip is a lot cheaper and faster than rewriting something to be multithreaded.

Re:Price is all-important (2, Insightful)

bami (1376931) | about 5 years ago | (#27268857)

But buying a faster multi-core (as in, 3 or more cores) chip isn't going to do you any good if your application only runs on one or two threads.

Re:Price is all-important (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27268981)

But buying a faster multi-core (as in, 3 or more cores) chip isn't going to do you any good if your application only runs on one or two threads.

Very true if your system only runs that single application. However, everyone I know runs multiple applications just by booting their OS.

Re:Price is all-important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269827)

But the actual choke in an application still usually occurs when a single app (explorer typically) goes balistic on something and obsesses on it at 100% of a thread. The initial advantage of multi core was to allow (other) windows to not freeze in this situation, so you could still save your work before rebooting. However, these days most single apps still choke on 100% of a single thread.

To revist the GP:

Buying a faster chip is a lot cheaper and faster than rewriting something to be multithreaded.

That's no longer really an option. The faster chips are pretty much hitting a speed ceiling (at least with silicon). In order to utilize the new chips applications have to be multi-threaded. My only hope (and this should be borne out by cost-benefit analysis) is that multi-threading only happens where it's absolutely needed. Specifically I'm looking at you explorer. Every ass that event attempts to multi-thread the explorer.exe should going to get hunted down and gutted to make an example.

multi-CPU's/Cores/Threads are wonderful things that protect us from poorly written software (ie: windows).

Re:Price is all-important (4, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 5 years ago | (#27270155)

However, everyone I know runs multiple applications just by booting their OS.

But not everybody knows what their system is doing. I do: I always keep a CPU load chart in my KDE taskbar, and for interactive usage I probably use one core less than 3% of the time, and both cores about 0.1% of the time.

If I am transcoding a video, then one core gets pegged. However, I would never notice load on the processor on even with a single-core CPU if I just ran the transcode under "nice". It might take 3% longer to run because it waits for the interactive stuff, but that's insignificant.

But I don't run transcoding on my workstation anyway. Why? Because all the I/O continuosly flushes out my disk buffers for other processes. That makes my interactive apps seem slower than crap anyway because they have to hit the disk every time some of their data or program image gets flushed out. My dual cores do nothing to address that issue. I run transcode jobs on a server box where they won't bug anybody.

The only place dual core would really help most people with typical single-threaded apps is if they run at least two copies of programs heavy on number crunching but light on I/O and memory bandwidth, like $FavoriteCause@Home. Other than that, people will have to wait for multithreaded user apps to get much real-world benefit out of multicore CPUs.

Re:Price is all-important (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 5 years ago | (#27270313)

The only place dual core would really help most people with typical single-threaded apps is if they run at least two copies of programs heavy on number crunching but light on I/O and memory bandwidth

Not true, one core runs at 100% for the app you're trying to run, the other runs at about 90% with crapware, virus scanners, limewire or whatever crap the kiddies are installing on their PC's these days. As far as your average user goes, they probably will see a doubling of performance...

Re:Price is all-important (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27268951)

Buying a faster chip is a lot cheaper and faster than rewriting something to be multithreaded.

Mostly true, but if the OS is multithreaded, and anything beyond WindowsME is, you can run multiple separate non-multithreaded apps on a single machine and get better performance from each of them.

I say "MOSTLY" true because there are situations where it is better to go ahead and rewrite the application, especially if you are running several thousand copies of it on multiple machines. When it comes time to upgrade your systems, it will be cheaper to upgrade to 500 multicore processors than 1000-2000 single cores.

Re:Price is all-important (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27269913)

multithreading is not that difficult, and there are ways to multithread an app without rewriting. Granted it's hackish, but then so is almost all of software.

Re:Suprise? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270205)

Dollars are meaningless? And this is rated +5 Insightful? I knew the economy was bad, but I didn't knew it was THAT bad! (That or /. is some kind of billionaire's club.)

Re:Suprise? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 years ago | (#27270217)

Then you should be running a Power5. Actually most people don't need the fastest CPU. If you do then get the top of the line I7 or a two socket workstation motherboard.

Re:Suprise? (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | about 5 years ago | (#27268513)

My wife doesn't know that (she wouldn't care anyway). That's at least one person who doesn't know. ;)

Re:Suprise? (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27268587)

She cares because the Intel chips run cooler, and therefore the box will be quieter.

Re:Suprise? (3, Informative)

diskis (221264) | about 5 years ago | (#27268937)

2001 called, they want their AMD Thunderbird 1.4GHz back.

Sorry, but Intel has taken the lead in the hottest CPU, 150W for the QX9775, versus 125W for the Phenom II 940.

Re:Suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269491)

The Core i7 is significantly hotter than the core2 QX9775. My Qx9775 idles at 28 degrees centigrade and load at 50- 60 on air and my Core i7 920 when overclocked to the same frequency idles around 30 and load around 70 on Water... My core i7 raises my room temperature by a couple degrees...

Re:Suprise? (2, Insightful)

etymxris (121288) | about 5 years ago | (#27269513)

That's why you should stick to Core 2 Duos, which run at 65W, and are performance competitive with the latest AMD chips in 99% of use cases (quad core only has real value to "power" users that do things like transcoding, ray tracing, run multiple VMs, or run server apps).

The i7 performance advantages just don't seem to be worth the doubling (or more) of TDP. The Phenom IIs don't fare much better.

Re:Suprise? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 5 years ago | (#27270169)

Yep. The E6850 rocks. All around, it has never been bettered. They should have kept making the 57 Chevy BelAir, and they should have kept making the E6850.

Re:Suprise? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27270243)

Well, those features not sued today will be used a lot more in the next 18 months, or so. Since I build computers to get 5 years of gaming out of them, the top end is a better deal for me.
That plan has always worked well for me.

I'll be building my next computer just before Star Craft II comes out.

Re:Suprise? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27270197)

knee jerk much?

I apologize for not using the proper punctuation. lets try this:

She cares because the Intel chips run cooler, and therefore the box will be quieter~

That said, I notice you chose the QX9775 when this is about the i7.
If you want to play that game, then AMD is crap because there Phenom II 940 runs way hotter then Intels 286.

And just for clarification, other factors go into how how a chip gets beside Wattage.
Package design, heat sink, fan, placement of the bridge, etc . . .
And from what I can tell, Intel i7 pulls a few more Wats then the Phenom II.

While I don't buy AMDs becasue I dislike how they have treated cusomters and I prefer to buy from the local boys, as it where.

Also, AMD sound like WMD, and I don't support terrorists~

oh, and 1999 called, they want their joke back.

Re:Suprise? (0)

alcmaeon (684971) | about 5 years ago | (#27268555)

Are they Phenom II's or Phenom IIs's?

Re:Suprise? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268607)

Phenom II's is a singular possesive.
Phenom IIs's is a misspelled plural possesive.
Phenom IIs' is a properly spelled plural possesive.
Phenom II is a singular.
Phenom IIs is a plural.

Re:Suprise? (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 years ago | (#27269341)

Phenom IIs is a plural.

Yes, yes, we all know that from grade school. But what happens when AMD launches a "Phenom IIs"

Is the plural Phenum IIss? And even if I write Phenom IIss, most of the readers will immediately wonder if AMD has released a "Phenom IIss"...

The reason the apostrophe is inappropriately used is because it works. When people see Phenom II's, they pronounce it correctly -and- the ambiguity is removed as to whether the "s" is part of the name. The fact that its grammatically/semantically incorrect is an acceptable (to most people) tradeoff.

Language changes, even grammar, and 's appened to product names and abbreviations is becoming understood to mean the plural of a 'non-word'.

Re:Suprise? (4, Funny)

itschy (992394) | about 5 years ago | (#27269443)

Phenom IIs is a plural.

Yes, yes, we all know that from grade school. But what happens when AMD launches a "Phenom IIs"

The reason the apostrophe is inappropriately used is because it works. When people see Phenom II's, they pronounce it correctly -and- the ambiguity is removed as to whether the "s" is part of the name.

That is, until AMD releases the "Phenom II's"

Re:Suprise? (5, Funny)

itschy (992394) | about 5 years ago | (#27269457)

Damn.
We need an escape character for natural languages!

'\' Re:Suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270041)

I nominate the semi-ubiquitous '\' backslash. Seen here escaped with apostrophes to provide emphasis. It could also be escaped by itself to represent itself: \\. This however leads us to my favorite regular expression in java: "\\\\\\\\" which is a pattern to match two backslashes in a String that is being searched. (the backslashes in the search String need to be escaped twice, once for being backslashes in a String and once for being backslashes in a Regular Expression.

Can anyone familiar with groovy verify if it gets even worse at that level? What about dumping a regular expression in javascript generated by a servlet?

Re:Suprise? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268667)

Sure, harp on the apostrophe. But what about the misspelled title?

Re:Suprise? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268991)

Surprise!

Re:Suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269229)

Actually AMD lost the price/performance crown a while back. So they have it back again at the moment, but it would be rash to assume that AMD > Intel is always true. That is what benchmarks are for.

Re:Suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269487)

It's not the speed of your processor that counts, it's the software that's running on it!

Mistake in TFS (2, Insightful)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | about 5 years ago | (#27268385)

And, on the high end, Intel's $266 Core i7-920 turns out to be a compelling step up despite the higher costs of Core i7 platforms in general.

TFA says that the Core i7-920 is $284; the chip below it (The Core 2 Quad Q9550) is $266. It's still up there on the performance/price scale, though.

Re:Mistake in TFS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269127)

There are other costs involved in a Core i& system. You'll end up paying $150 extra on a motherboard that supports i7, for example.

Bottom LIne (4, Insightful)

cybrthng (22291) | about 5 years ago | (#27268413)

Its about your investment.. For me Phenom II was a no brainer because of AM2+ compatibility. Once newegg put those suckers at 200 bucks i jumped. Its like i have an entire new PC and that was upgrading from the 9600 quad core.

Oddly enough i didn't have complaints about the performance of the 9600.. i just figured encoding times and processing times would be reduced enough that it would accelerate my work and well, for 200 bucks its done so and more so than i expected.

i7 is a nice platform but i'm penny pinching right now and looking for better ROI vs bragging rights.

Re:Bottom LIne (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 5 years ago | (#27268463)

>i7 is a nice platform but i'm penny pinching right now and looking for better ROI vs bragging rights.

I wonder if penny-pinching will be more common with the economic downturn. If AMD can price itself lower then ROI will be very tempting, even if the Intel product is faster.

Re:Bottom LIne (2, Insightful)

Ender305 (1504031) | about 5 years ago | (#27269887)

I agree, me(and most other consumers) will buy whichever chip gives them the most GHz for their buck, it doesn't matter who makes it.

Re:Bottom LIne (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270501)

I have an AMD 3800 X2 processor machine. I *never* had a problem with the processor's speed being my limiting factor in term of work getting done. *Never*.

Vast majority of consumers (including businesses) of computers are no longer limited by processor speed. It is not 1990s anymore. Any cheap processor will run your shit adequately provided you have 4GB RAM or more.

Let's stop making reviews for gamers (4, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | about 5 years ago | (#27268717)

I recently had to make the tough choice of a Phenom 2 vs Intel Core Quad. I went with the Intel because I somehow came to the conclusion that they run cooler.

You see, I'm building a recording PC, so I want to have as few fans as possible. I plan on having a huge heatsink with NO fan. Most reviews, if they focus on heat, focus on the overclocking aspect.

If wattage correlates to heat like I think it does, I may have been better off with a Phenom 2. But, then again, the wattage test was only run during one task in this review. I read another review where it was different.

There just aren't enough review sites out there for... ahem... "grown ups". Maybe I should start one that takes a look at performance with DAWs like REAPER.

In the end, I don't care about best performance per dollar, or wattage per dollar. I care about performance per degree of heat, because heat = noise. Performance of modern CPUs is good enough these days.

Oh well, that's my rant of the day.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (4, Informative)

diskis (221264) | about 5 years ago | (#27268811)

You didn't google enough.
These guys [silentpcreview.com] are really anal when it comes to finding quiet parts. Following their advice, I now actually have an overclocked PC, that I can't hear if it's on or off.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 5 years ago | (#27268859)

Are you kidding? I visit that site every day. While they're great, they don't really have as large of a hardware selection as most review sites. Also, they're still (as you've demonstrated) somewhat geared toward the gamer/overclocker/max performance crowd.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

fyleow (1098657) | about 5 years ago | (#27270193)

Silent PC Review catering to the gamer/overclocker/max performance crowd?? Are we visiting the same website?? There's an entire forum on that site dedicated to green and eco friendly computing. There are also recommendations to use slower but quieter 5400 RPM WD Green drives and notebook drives on desktops. That's hardly max performance. There are also plenty of threads about underclocking and undervolting processors to save power and heat.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27270417)

What real difference do you get from over clocking.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against overclocking, and did it back when perfomance gains was going from Doom as a slide show to a smooth running game.
I also understand overclocking for the sake of overclocking. But is getting 15% increase in MHz really noticeable without testing?

And does it still ahve the same direct relationships now that a lot of work is being removed from the CPU, and the CPU's are tasking across several cores?

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (2, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 5 years ago | (#27268941)

I'm curious what you think of the Atom processors. Passive cooling seems to be a nice benefit if you can live with less performance.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 5 years ago | (#27269123)

Didn't even know about Atom processors. I just did a quick search and it seems like they're for an entirely different market segment. Although, I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever build a HTPC.

I was specifically looking for a quad core processor with this project, since I need to process effects on multiple audio streams at a time. The actual speed of those cores isn't too important to me as long as they're better than a Pentium 4. I also need relatively quick memory and the bus bandwidth/speed to input multiple audio streams.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Zashi (992673) | about 5 years ago | (#27269423)

Have you considered getting one or two PS3s? I'm not sure what audio processing software your running, but if you just need more cores you might be better off with a solution like linux clustering.

You could also look into CUDA/OpenCL using one or more graphics cards.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Fweeky (41046) | about 5 years ago | (#27269587)

The last AMD system I built is quieter and uses about an order of magnitude less power than my PS3 (~30W idle; about the same as a friend's Atom board manages).

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 5 years ago | (#27270395)

I'm curious what you think of the Atom processors

The Atom is an efficiency crap fest. It's garbage. I'd rather have an Arm chip any day. Let's get away from this absurd undead i386 architecture garbage. Linux runs on any architecture.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 5 years ago | (#27269175)

What do you mean by "Recording PC"?

I'm not sure what you mean by quiet but if you need the least noise possible, look at the Atom architecture from Intel.

If its Beefy enough then you could probably build a PC without a FAN (they use Atoms in most of the popular Netbooks which don't have fans, just some thermal material to passively cool the chips).

Combine that with an SSD if you can afford one (again, depends on what you mean by "Recording PC"), OR some of the Western Digital "Green" drives (their 5400 RPM and run easy on power so their spin low and are relatively quiet), OR if you ABSOLUTELY need quiet in a specific area, try combining approaches. Use a smallish SSD to boot the local system, and feed the data to a big honking RAID in another room (possibly soundproofed if need be).

Again, depending on how "beefy" a PC you need (and other requirements), some netbooks are relatively beefy and are incredibly quiet. Either think about using them, or learn from what they do. :)

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 5 years ago | (#27269383)

While a real recording studio may not care so much about the noise (since they would just move the PC to another room), hobbyists have things a little difference.

Anyway, my NewEgg shipment is already being delivered as we speak, so most of this discussion is moot. You can see more about the actual specifications I was looking for here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1168821&cid=27269123 [slashdot.org]

The point of my main post is... review sites are always geared toward getting the most performance regardless of how loud the computer has to be. In addition, most benchmarks focus on things that are not that important to real people.

Another hiccup in my quest was finding a low-end video card. I wanted a separate video card because recording software/effects/drivers mostly only work in Windows XP 32-bit. Which means I am limited to 4GB ram. Which means I don't want to share memory with the video card.

Well, of course, if you don't want on-board video then you MUST be a gamer seeking maximum performance!! Which means even the lowest low-end cards without fans are going to probably run very hot, raising the temperature of the entire case.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

jargon82 (996613) | about 5 years ago | (#27270053)

If you are going to use windows 32bit, and you are going to have 4GB ram, you are also going to give up that ram one way or the other. 32 bit consumer windows doesn't support PAE and as such you have 32bits (4GB) of addressing space. If you throw a 512MB graphics card in, it uses (at least) 512MB of that addressing space, even if it's not using the RAM. The most you can reliably count on using in 32 bit windows is a tad above 3GB.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270377)

Well, of course, if you don't want on-board video then you MUST be a gamer seeking maximum performance!! Which means even the lowest low-end cards without fans are going to probably run very hot, raising the temperature of the entire case.

Not necessarily [matrox.com]. You said you weren't concerned with xHz/$. It may be worth your while to check them out. None of the cards on the linked page have fans. I've used a few different matrox cards in the past and have been very satisfied. They make reliable hardware, with good solid drivers.

Of late I've been eyeing their DualHead2Go [ncix.com]. Yes most laptops (these days) will let you work across both screens, but rarely can you get a desktop screen to:
1. Sit evenly with the laptop LCD
2. Be the same resolution at the same pixel density.

I don't work for Matrox, I'm a public servant. I just really like Matrox's products.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | about 5 years ago | (#27269777)

If you're doing serious recording, your computer should be isolated from whatever you are recording anyway.

Noise shouldn't be an issue.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

orzetto (545509) | about 5 years ago | (#27269839)

If wattage correlates to heat like I think it does, [...]

Er... in case you had doubts, wattage correlates with heat 100%. When energy enters a computer case, it can only leave as heat, except possibly for the small amount of airborne kinetic energy impelled away by the fans, which is anyway very small.

If you are talking about temperature, you obviously have to consider both heat input (=wattage) and dissipation capacity. In your particular case, in which you want to minimise fan usage, low wattage is very advantageous. You should consider how CPU-intensive your typical recording application will be, and find the CPU that delivers that performance with the minimum wattage.

If you really want to go for something radically silent, try heat pipes [wikipedia.org] or liquid cooling, either convection-driven or with an acoustically insulated pump.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

fnj (64210) | about 5 years ago | (#27270335)

I'm with you on power drain. Intel has continually shot themselves in the balls since the early Conroe era. The last good thing they did was adopt the superb development work that came from their Israel team. The T2500, T7200, and E6850 rocked; it's all been downhill since then. We're repeating the Pentium 4 gag-fest debacle, churning out space heaters that do a little computing on the side. They laid a giant shit egg with their 45nm process.

Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27270369)

A solution is to put a fan in a different room that circulates cool air into a 'closet' you put your computer in so is is silent during recording.
Or put your computer in a different room, and then just remote into it from a less powerful computer in the studio.

Or lease a computer housed in a different building and just remote into there.

Value overload (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268435)

I for one welcome our new "Bang for the Buck" overlords.

No Brainer (2, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | about 5 years ago | (#27268533)

It's been like this for the past few years. If your on a budget, go with AMD. If you have a little more dough to spend, go with Intel.

This is a TERRIBLE comparison (5, Interesting)

junglebeast (1497399) | about 5 years ago | (#27268553)

It is wrong to compare performance/price because this assumes price scales linearly with performance, which is clearly false. Nobody expects to get 50% more performance when they pay 50% more. But if there is a $100 process having a performance of 1000, then we would normally consider it an excellent deal if we could pay $150 for a performance of 1300. The value for your money therefore scales in a non-linear way, and it's better to just have everyone look at the scatter plot and choose their own price point based on their personal internal scaling function. The core i7 has the greatest discontinuity in jumping ahead of the rest of the crowd in this regard.

Re:This is a TERRIBLE comparison (4, Interesting)

slashkitty (21637) | about 5 years ago | (#27268805)

Actually, this is a very important comparison. If you're considering any sort of clustering, like what I do, you absolutely need it. Do you need 100 opterons, or 4 core i7's?

In the cluster I run, I've been quickly swapping out old xeons for new Core i7's. With just the 4 920's I have running, I've been able to remove 20 old xeons, all while improving the overall performance of the cluster.

Price / Performance also helps you judge how fast the computer will be antiquated. If you now need only 500 gflops, and this computers offers 1000, you know that it should sustain you into the future.

Re:This is a TERRIBLE comparison (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#27269951)

I think his general point is that most of us are only able to use one primary computer at a time, you can have supporting ones like file server etc. but we humans don't scale well. So if I got 1000$ to spend and the choice is between Intel at 1000$ and AMD at 500$ then my only real options are to buy the Intel or buy AMD and pocket the 500$. Buying two AMD machiens might net me more gigaflops than the Intel but I don't have four arms and 30fps on each screen is not the same as 60fps. I know that I'm quite a bit past the sweetspot of price/performance and more on my price/utility sweetspot where I can't justify spending more on a computer, but it's all along the one computer axis.

Re:This is a TERRIBLE comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268883)

price/performance IS useful if you are planning to spend at that price. most people have budgets and many will have a limit to the amount they can spend. Also, the scale is definitely non-linear but it's also not one directional. Newer procs may have much better ROI due to better technology advances but it could very well be worst due to having to pay for being an early adopter. Performance/Price pretty gray with random deals (especially online) too but it's still useful as a reference. It is still better to do your own comparison before purchase though especially for those on tight budgets.

There is also the issue of depreciation where newer products tend to drop is price early on in it's life. Spending 500 bucks every two years is quite a bit different then spending 1000 every 4 years.

Re:This is a TERRIBLE comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269033)

Nobody expects to get 50% more performance when they pay 50% more.

Why not? There are quite a few pairs of processors on the scatter plots that satisfy this. Some even give you more performance if you pay less.

Up front costs are a fraction of total costs (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268605)

Until electricity is free, comparing CPUs based on up-front cost of the CPUs alone ignores a major part of the expense of owning and operating computers, particularly if you're running servers.

But that's okay, Slashdot. I understand that you live in your parents' basement and you don't pay for electricity anyway.

Re:Up front costs are a fraction of total costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269393)

I live in my parent's attic you insensitive clod!

Re:Up front costs are a fraction of total costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270267)

Does your other parent have a basement you could use?

Re:Up front costs are a fraction of total costs (1)

fnj (64210) | about 5 years ago | (#27270509)

Yep. A piece of crap Intel or AMD system running at 200 watts 24x7 uses 1750kwh per year, which at 20 cents per kwh comes to $350 per year. If it lasts 5 years, you're looking at a total power bill of $1750.

We need new blood. This garbage is pathetic. It's producing 99.9% heat and 0.01% computing.

AMD price : performance linear (4, Insightful)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 5 years ago | (#27268645)

What stood out to me is that AMD seems to have a fairly consistent price:performance ratio. Is this policy?

Most of their offerings fall pretty close to a line (not quite a zero crossing, but close). If this holds true for all their current and future offerings, you don't have to have test metrics for every processor. You can use price as a reasonable estimate of performance. i.e. Double the price gets you twice the performance.

Intel on the other hand, you can't trust price to indicate performance. A lot more research is involved. OR else you have to assume there's a high likelihood that the AMD offering for the same price will be better.

Re:AMD price : performance linear (5, Insightful)

giverson (532542) | about 5 years ago | (#27268757)

It's because Intel dominates the high end. AMD can't sell a processor with a premium pricetag because its performance would compete with Intel's midrange which is priced pretty reasonably.

AMD is the loveable underdog, but don't forget how expensive their X2s were when they were dominant. AMD isn't cheap because they're doing us a favor, they're cheap because they have to be.

AMD didn't drop their prices for a solid 18 months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269739)

When they ruled the roost late in the Netburst era.

I want them around, and like them to some degree, but they rested on their laurels to a big big degree.

Granted, this was after Intel rested on their laurels and gave us the engineered-by-marketing NetBurst.

Re:AMD price : performance linear (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#27270121)

AMD is the loveable underdog, but don't forget how expensive their X2s were when they were dominant. AMD isn't cheap because they're doing us a favor, they're cheap because they have to be.

That's a thing that people don't seem to get - prices are what they must be in the market. The question is, can you skim off enough to keep designing new chips and developing your foundries? Already they've failed at the latter and is trying a huge bet trying to make a foundry company spin-off. No matter how badly they're really doing, in the "here and now" they'll be competitive right up until they file for chapter 11.

Re:AMD price : performance linear (5, Insightful)

Bill Dog (726542) | about 5 years ago | (#27268773)

Indeed. Something that stood out to me (from that scatter graph) is:
* If you don't want to spend more than $100 on a CPU, AMD wins.
* If you don't want to spend more than $150 on a CPU, AMD wins.
* If you don't want to spend more than $200 on a CPU, AMD wins.
* If you don't want to spend more than $250 on a CPU, AMD wins.
* If you don't want to spend more than $300 on a CPU, Intel's (cheapest) i7 wins by far.

Re:AMD price : performance linear (1)

paziek (1329929) | about 5 years ago | (#27270157)

Yeah, as long as you already have mobo + RAM for i7, but then - why would you buy yet another i7?

Re:AMD price : performance linear (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 5 years ago | (#27270163)

the most important is missing. All this info assumes people dont overclock. Intel wins at every price range when you overclock. Currently all Ibtel chips can run at 4GHz with little to no effort.

Re:AMD price : performance linear (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 5 years ago | (#27270531)

Now run your comparisons based on 64 bit code instead of 32 bit. Intel shits the bed running in 64 bit mode.

Best performance per dollar ... (1)

psergiu (67614) | about 5 years ago | (#27268671)

Best performance per dollar: the 486 i got for free. Do the math yourself :)

Only one benchmark? (0)

kill-1 (36256) | about 5 years ago | (#27268785)

Did anyone notice that the only benchmark they base their chart on is Cinebench? Coincidentally, this is a benchmark that makes the Phenoms look especially good. There is also no commentary whatsoever why they chose that benchmark. So IMO the article is completely useless unless you only use Cinema 4D on your machine.

Re:Only one benchmark? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268847)

They're just using that chart as an example to illustrate their ranking system. You see the little next page button at the bottom of the page?

Re:Only one benchmark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27268955)

You might want to read past page one.

Re:Only one benchmark? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269031)

Try reading the whole article!
Page 2: http://techreport.com/articles.x/16570/2

They are Multimedia Centric but not just 1 benchmark...
"We used the following versions of our test applications:

        * WorldBench 6 beta 2
        * Half-Life 2: Episode Two
        * Crysis Warhead
        * Far Cry 2
        * Unreal Tournament 3 1.3
        * Valve VRAD map build benchmark
        * Valve Source Engine particle simulation benchmark
        * Cinebench R10 64-bit Edition
        * POV-Ray for Windows 3.7 beta 29 64-bit
        * notfred's Folding benchmark CD 9/28/08 revision
        * The Panorama Factory 5.2 x64 Edition
        * Windows Media Encoder 9 x64 Edition
        * x264 HD benchmark 2.0 with x264 version 0.59.819
        * LAME MT 3.97a 64-bit
"

Re:Only one benchmark? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#27269041)

Really? I noticed they benchmark about 25 different programs or so, if you had read past the first page.

Sheesh, why don't people ever just skip all the shit and go to the conclusion page?

Missing the best value for the buck, AMD Kuma 7750 (2, Interesting)

sricetx (806767) | about 5 years ago | (#27268963)

The article is missing the best CPU value for the money, in my opinion. The AMD Kuma 7750 AM2+ processor. It's dual core, but at around $60 shipped (Newegg) nothing else touches it from a performance to dollar perspective. They should have included the 7750 in the comparison rather than the Athlon X2 6400+ (the 7750 is K10 architecture vs. K8 for the 6400+, has 2MB level 3 cache, is not discontinued, etc.)

Re:Missing the best value for the buck, AMD Kuma 7 (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 5 years ago | (#27269753)

It's probably because at stock clocks (what they have to run for this test), the 7750 runs a lot slower than the 6400+, while probably using the same amount of power.

Other than that it's a darn good chip.

Re:Missing the best value for the buck, AMD Kuma 7 (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 5 years ago | (#27270289)

The article is missing the best CPU value for the money, in my opinion. The AMD Kuma 7750 AM2+ processor. It's dual core, but at around $60 shipped (Newegg) nothing else touches it from a performance to dollar perspective.

E5200, not to mention you can OC almost every E5200 to 4GHz

Just about threading (5, Interesting)

astra05 (987104) | about 5 years ago | (#27269051)

I just redid my system line by putting an e8400 in my desktop, where I mostly game. I switched out a Phenom 9600 (cause the tlb erratum for vista x64) to my file server/media center (which runs Ubuntu). and really as this graph will tell you: fast dual-cores are going to blow away slow quads in gaming because most games are not programmed for multiple threads and take advantage of a higher clock core. However, for most other tasks I do, like compiling the Linux Kernel (I run gentoo side by side with vista), the Quad Core Phenom 9600 seems to be much faster. Plus, I had a hard time overclocking the 9600 to anything past 2.6 ghz whereas the 3.0 ghz stock e8400 easily clocks up to ~4.0ghz on air. I should also note that I picked the e8400 over the q8200 because of the virtualization tech as I do alot of virtual systems for testing.

Single core performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269121)

I want to know what's the best processor to buy if one's going to use mainly only one core?

Re:Single core performance? (1)

etymxris (121288) | about 5 years ago | (#27269669)

Core 2 Duo 3.33Ghz. Supposedly these overclock better than most processors so you can get the single core performance even higher.

Now something about that linked site... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269235)

What is it with sites like that and insisting I click "next page" 11 times? No, that drop-down isn't enough. I want everything on one page, TYVM. Usually "print this" is a good get-out-of-dodge for this sort of thing, but not here. It gets me four pages, two without content, and together they contain only the first "page" and a printed version of the drop-down bar to find the next "page". I'm not your clicky-slave, techreport. I'll go read somewhere else.

Re:Now something about that linked site... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27270401)

I would suggest the repagination extension for Firefox. With it, you just right click any "next" and it automatically loads every page in the series of whatever you are looking at onto the current page. So, you can just keep going down the page to see every next page. Works great for sights like failblog.org, etc.

AMD vs Intel in "floating point" operations (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | about 5 years ago | (#27269365)

..like audio software and soft synths.

Ableton Live will support multiple chips/cores, so I want something that will really make short work of those VSTs that are currently beating my CPU like a redheaded stepchild.

Any ideas?

Unlcocked i7 is the pwnge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27269371)

The fact I can now unlock my memory and QPI now completely reevaluates the worth of the 920. The performance increase over my old quad is scary. I was gonna upgrade my 9800 round xmas and see absolutely no need to. I run everything cranked on a 28 inch 1920 x 1200 monitor and it never even hiccups. I think factoring in the fact that I no longer need a GPU upgrade makes the 920 more appealing as I just saved 5 bills (CAN) from having to get a 285. Plus the option on current mobos to go Crossfire or SLI and my P6T SAS compatibility make the platform fairly immune to obsolescence for a while.

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