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Intel's Core i7-980X Six-Core Benchmarked

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the faster-harder-better dept.

Intel 179

Ninjakicks writes "Although they won't hit store shelves for a few more weeks, today Intel has officially unveiled the new Core i7-980X Extreme processor. The Core i7-980X Extreme is based on Intel's 32nm Gulftown core, derived from their Nehalem architecture and sports six execution cores. The chip runs at a 3.33GHz clock frequency, that can jump up to 3.6GHz in Intel's Turbo Boost mode. This processor has a max TDP of 130W, which amazingly is the same as previous generation Core i7 quad-core CPUs. Of course, it's crazy fast too. Some may say that the majority of applications can't truly take advantage of the resources afforded by a six-core chip capable of processing up to 12 threads. However, the fact remains there are plenty of multi-threaded usage models and applications where the power of a CPU like this can be put to very good use."

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179 comments

Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (4, Insightful)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436768)

I know there are SOME people out there who have $1000 to spend on just a CPU, but until these come down a long way in terms of price, it is WAY out of my price range.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (5, Interesting)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436832)

Intel always prices their High end around $1000, never mind the fact that price/performance on those chips is horrible.

It is the price you pay for getting the bleeding edge, AMD also has some halo models, but because they cant beat intel in performance, they cant afford to charge $1000 for their high end chips.

As for this comming down, AMD is slated to release six-core phenoms to the desktop before summer iirc, it wont have the raw performance of this thing, but 6 cores for under 200 bucks sounds nice doesnt it?

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436892)

It is the price you pay for getting the bleeding edge, AMD also has some halo models, but because they cant beat intel in performance, they cant afford to charge $1000 for their high end chips.

AMDs current flagship costs $195 [newegg.com] and is still a heck of a performer. I'll stick with AMD for now.

lol, anyome remember the horribly overpriced Athlon 64 FX-55?

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (3, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437384)

I just took a look at a toms hardware CPU chart ( http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-charts-update-1/Performance-Index,1407.html [tomshardware.com] ), picked out the intel CPU that came immediately above the AMD CPU you mentioned and looked up the price on newegg ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215&cm_re=i5-750-_-19-115-215-_-Product [newegg.com] ) and it was $5 more.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438886)

given those two processors I'd take the AMD, And I'm a huge fan of the I5 architecture.

it comes down to 4x-2.66 or 4x-3.4

I do wish AMD did some jiggling with the on die cache. I think having a small L2 with a big L3 really isn't that smart. but i can't say that as fact :(

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439170)

AMD's chips don't change sockets every 2 months. I can upgrade my AMD CPU without having to upgrade my entire machine. You can't compare the cost of the Intel chip directly to the AMD chip without taking the other costs into account as well.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (4, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436996)

AMD also has some halo models, but because they cant beat Intel in performance, they cant afford to charge $1000 for their high end chips.

FUD, pure FUD. AMD has always been cheaper than Intel. Even back before Intel introduced the Core2 series, when the AMD K2 and Athlon series spanked everything that Intel had to offer. Heck, even back to the days when AMD first entered the mass market (80386 days IIRC), they were the less expensive product. And to date, AMD has arguably always held the performance/$$$ award. Sure, Intel has started gaining a lead (Marginal with C2 series, but significant with the i7 series) in recent times, but AMD isn't THAT far behind. And if you consider that most of the true innovations in CPU design have come from AMD (true multi-core (I mean where there are 4 physical cores on die, not 2 dual core cpus on the die), 64bit, shared L3 cache, on-die memory controller, elimination of the north bridge and hence the system bus, etc), I find it VERY funny that "It is the price you pay for getting the bleeding edge" is applied to the more expensive Intel as opposed to the innovator AMD. Now, I'm not saying that Intel hasn't innovated at all. I'm just saying that the major innovations that the i7 used to surpass the C2 series (Namely the elimination of the system bus, on-die memory controller and the tiered cache architecture) were done first by AMD...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (2, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437056)

hey, i never said AMD was more expensive then Intel, and i bet you that if they could charge $1000 for their top end, they would (and they should, milking the high end is the easiest way to recoup dev costs)

personally i prefer AMD because of their price/performance ratio too, and they have consistently kicked intels but there

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437076)

but there....what?

huh?

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437354)

but where?

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437106)

hey, i never said AMD was more expensive then Intel, and i bet you that if they could charge $1000 for their top end, they would

They never quite hit $1000, but their Athlon 64 FX-55 went for something like $700 or $800 when it was brand new.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437172)

i bet you that if they could charge $1000 for their top end, they would

Well, if by "could" you mean with a better product, then no. That was proven in the days of the Athlon (When AMD owned almost every benchmark). They were number 1, but still the least expensive of the two by a fair margin.

If by "could" you mean with market position, then yes. Intel can charge $1k, because they have two things that AMD doesn't. First, brand recognition (I'd be willing to bet the "common" person knows Intel a lot more often than they know AMD). Second is manufacturer agreements. Intel in the past has held exclusivity agreements with a number of major computer manufacturers (And was one of the reasons for the big Anti-Trust lawsuits they faced in recent times). Intel could charge whatever they wanted not because they had the better product, but because they had the major distribution channels locked up. AMD was forced to undercut their prices just to be able to remain competitive...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437920)

Hyperthreading and MMX were arguably new additions at the time they came out. They might be shitty, but MMX was one thing which helped dedicated sound cards become obsolete. Intel is also a leader in semiconductor manufacturing processes. Which is part of the reason for their insane profits.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438448)

I'm not saying Intel doesn't innovate. But look at the two big ones that you mentioned. Hyperthreading was introduced on the Xeon-MP line in 2002. MMX was introduced in 1996 on the original Pentium. Not to mention that MMX had nothing to do with sound cards (Other than the fact that it enabled the CPU to natively do the vector math that DSP chips were doing at the time). If anything, AMD's improvement on MMX --named 3DNow!, which added support for floating points in MMX instructions-- helped dedicated sound cards become obsolete. Then Intel took AMD's changes, incorporated them in MMX and introduced SSE. So, sure, Intel did innovate MMX, but the success of MMX (and its successors) was due to a combined effort between Intel and AMD (Intel's original design, and AMD's improvements on it).

And don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to imply that Intel is a bad guy at all. They do make some amazing silicon. My only point, is that people love to bash AMD, when you could argue that a significant portion of Intel's key features were either developed in parallel with AMD (Virtualization technologies for example) or were developed by AMD first (x64, on-die memory controller, elimination of north bridge, etc, etc)... That's not to say that AMD doesn't owe a lot to Intel as well. One without the other, and we wouldn't be anywhere near where we are today...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438942)

My only point, is that people love to bash AMD, when you could argue that a significant portion of Intel's key features were either developed in parallel with AMD (Virtualization technologies for example) or were developed by AMD first (x64, on-die memory controller, elimination of north bridge, etc, etc)...

On-die memory controller like the Intel 4004, you mean? And I don't believe the 4004 had a north bridge equivalent, since it could talk to memory directly.

AMD certainly deserve kudos for developing x86-64, but claiming that an on-die memory controller was some huge innovation when microprocessors have had on-die memory controllers since the stone age of computing is just silly. If there was a huge advance it was separating the memory from the CPU by attaching it to the north bridge so you could use any compatible CPU with any type of RAM that the north bridge supported... the reason we went back in the other direction was because latency became more important than compatibility.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

wgaryhas (872268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438958)

FUD, pure FUD. The Athlon FX-57 came out at an initial price of $1031 for distributors. While the intel competitor at the time, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73 came out at $999. Then the Athlon FX-62 came out at $1031 as well, then a month later the first core 2 duo came out for $999, and AMD hasn't been able to successfully charge a thousand dollars for a desktop processor since. So, saying AMD was never more expensive is flat out wrong.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437262)

6 cores for under 200 bucks sounds nice doesnt it?
That all depends on how those cores perform.

Personally given the choice I'd rather have a higher per core performance than more cores. there is still a lot of single threaded stuff out there and even some multithreaded stuff has single threaded stages and/or a lot of locking between threads.

The information i've seen indicates that there will also be a slightly slower non-extreme version of the i7 hex core, wikipedia claims a release price of $562 though it doesn't give a source fot that claim.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437550)

Personally given the choice I'd rather have a higher per core performance than more cores.

I wouldn't. Most of what I do is very multi-tasking heavy. The fact that one program can't use more than one core doesn't bother me nearly as much as that 3 or 4 programs must share the same core. Especially when you consider that I typically run more than 1 VM at a time along side my regular programs, I think (for my use case at least) the more cores, the better the computer will perform. I very rarely use a single program (I don't play games on my computers), so the whole a faster core is better than n slower cores doesn't play as much of a factor in my computing. But to each their own (That's why they produce more than 1 line of processors)...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436842)

All new bleeding edge CPUs are expensive. That's not the point of the article/submission. The point here is that a very fast 6 core, 12 thread consumer level processor is now on the market.

Price will come down in due time.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436870)

Ahh, yes, but I remember when a megabyte of RAM was $5000 and a gig of HD space was practically beyond comprehension both physically and monetarily.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436886)

I know there are SOME people out there who have $1000 to spend on just a CPU, but until these come down a long way in terms of price, it is WAY out of my price range.

Companies? Rendering farms? At this price, I'd imagine they're not really for the average consumer but more so for companies that can consider such a purchase an asset.

That said, you do realize that the i7-975 quad core that they compared it to is also nigh $1000 [newegg.com] , right? I think showing that the same price will buy you an entirely different beast signals that quad cores are complete. The current quad cores price will come down but why would you make a more expensive quad core at Intel? The specs here show it cannot stand up to the new six core platform.

All these prices will come down, of course. So it's fun to look forward to what I'll be using in two years (I just bought a low range quad core for $140 a week ago, almost right in time for this).

And also, who strayed from the duo- quad- naming methodology?! Are you insane!? Do you have any idea the marketing power that a sexa core chip could have?

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437040)

I wonder how many of the people who can afford a $1000 CPU want an Intel chip. At that price, something like a Power6 or T2+ looks more attractive, depending on the workload.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437630)

Two questions

1: do you know of any solid comparisons between those chips and current x86-64 chips using at least the same application software? (same OS would be nice too but it's difficult to chose one that is fair to all the candidates)?

2: do you realise just how much of the computing world is tied into either wintel or lintel?

Note that the particular chip mentioned in the current article is the desktop version, apparently there will be a dual-socket version but I haven't seen any recent information on when it will be released.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437254)

In the past the extreme chips were typically not really worth the bang/per buck increase over the mid level chips. They had more cache and were unlocked, etc but they were not = 2x the lesser chips, especially in rendering farms. Remember these are consumer chips, not server chips. Intel's new strategy is interesting. There will only be a 6 core extreme chip on the 32nm process to go beside the 4 core 45nm chips. So now there are 2 major differences between extreme and non-extreme i7s; the underlying process technology, and core number.

I suspect Intel will keep it this way and concentrate on 32nm chips for laptops, as they are doing now, and high end desktop and servers alone. In less than a year Intel should be unveiling the "tock" cpu design, Sandybridge. At this point their focus may shift, since all factories running the 32nm process will be qualified to fab those chips, but as of now there is no indication of a high mid range consumer 6 core chip based on Nehalem.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437406)

Rendering farms maybe. It would be an interesting trade off.
Does this chip offer more processing power for dollar than using more but cheaper CPUs? You would have to look at power, cooling, space, system, and admin costs. I would give it a big maybe.

Companies? Most corporate PCs could run on Atoms these days but in some areas I agree I see this being great.
Simulation/CAD/CAM and Video editing are the two that jump to my mind. Throw in a any number of Science applications as well.

Honestly I see them going in to gaming rigs. The "hard core" gamers are just that nuts. This CPU is right in line with the cost of a high end video card set up Two 5970s will run you that much if not more. Throw in your three 30" monitors and it all fits right into same insane price bracket.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437506)

And also, who strayed from the duo- quad- naming methodology?! Are you insane!? Do you have any idea the marketing power that a sexa core chip could have?

The same people who decided to never release a Sexium after the Pentium.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438156)

"Pente" is Greek for five. "Sex" is Latin for six. Going from "Pentium" to "Sexium" would make even less sense than switching from Latin to English (quad to six). But maybe that was your point...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437976)

The price is going down because the 32nm manufacturing process is coming online at Intel. Smaller transistors means you can add more to the same die area, at the same manufacturing cost. Moore's law et al.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

BlueFireIce (1014121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438478)

Not really true, seeing as both chips are "EE" (Extreme Edition) most of the time the prices on these stay pretty level, just like the Core2 Extreme Edition chips were still 1k at the time the i7's had well been out, come to think of it, look up the QX9770 right now and you will still see them selling for over 1k. These chips are sold to people who don't know better and/or can't/wont/don't know how to over clock. Anyone who has ever built a PC will wait until the "normal" line comes out and pay half the price and OC it to well past the stock clock of the Extreme Edition chip.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (3, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438750)

Right now I'm using what must be one of the humblest CPUs on Slashdot, an Athlon XP 2500+. That's 1600 MHz of single-core 32-bit goodness. It's served me loyally for years with nary a complaint, and never missed a single day of work.

It still does almost everything I ask of it, but sometimes does struggle to keep up with HD video. I could help it out by getting a video card that supports VDPAU, but my equally faithful motherboard only has PCI and AGP, so there's not much room for upgrade there.

So finally it's time to retire them, and their replacements are on the way. The new kids are still pretty humble themselves, just an Athlon II X2 and a cheap AM3 motherboard. With 2GB memory, a grand total of $180. No bragging rights around here, of course, but there's nothing I'm likely to be doing for the next few years that they won't handle easily.

But here's the thing. I should be excited about bringing in the new regime, but I really feel like I'm spending my last few days with some good old friends. Should there be some kind of ceremony? Is there a computer heaven where they'll be waiting happily for me when I reach the end of my own days, along with my old 286DX25 and AMD K2? What a joyous reunion that will be...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436918)

Don't get your panties in a knot. This is computer tech, remember. In a few years you'll be able to pick one of these up at the ARC for $10.99. If you think you'll just DIE if you don't have one now, then pay up.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436968)

People should have modded you differently, not "Funny". I don't believe I've ever spent more than $150 on a processor for my personal use, going all the way back to the 386sx I bought. Now, work is a different story...

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437142)

Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU?

Everybody that makes money off the processing power of their computers? Not many hobbyists would spend 1000$ on a camera, but photographers spends thousands. Granted, that's really a workstation market more than a consumer market, but it's not special like ECC RAM, Quatro graphics cards, SAS hard drives or similar server/niche products. If you use the right apps and get a 50% speedup it'll pay for itself in many places. Overall, I don't think it's a really expensive hobby if you want to drive around in a car costing 2000$ less and blow it all on computers. I could afford this one if I wanted to, I just don't see the point. It's so much else I could spent it on and so little extra gain.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437344)

I know there are SOME people out there who have $1000 to spend on just a CPU, but until these come down a long way in terms of price, it is WAY out of my price range.

i do

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

Zebra1024 (726970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438178)

This can really save companies on software licensing. For example, SQL Server is licensed per CPU (not per core). So now I can have a single 6-core CPU running my database with one CPU license.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438412)

Pretty dumb, you ask 'who has $1000 to pay on a CPU', bad grammar aside, you then proceed to answer your own question in that you 'know there are SOME people who have $1000 to spend on just a CPU'.

Some of us have more disposable income than others. That's why Ferraris exist. The single Mom buying a new Camry might say who would spend 250k on a car, yet somehow the limited edition Ferraris always sell out in presales.

Re:Nice, but who has $1000 to pay on a CPU? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439108)

Well with the Core 2 quad extreme at $1000 and the core 2 quad like 0.1 GHz down from it at $550, I don't think you'll have to wait long for it to get a bit cheaper. I'm hoping this forces the wolfdale duos down though. I don't have a huge problem doing builds and upgrades with 3.0GHz Regors but the fast wolfdales are like 10-20% faster!

Chips for the Mac Pro refresh I believe. (5, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436800)

I believe this is what's been holding up the Mac Pro refresh, with the top or middle Mac Pro slated to get these as an upgrade from the 4 core ones.

I think core number is the new MHz. We're not going any faster, but we can just give you more of them, which makes quite a lot of sense. All those FCP render pipelines and encodes just got a lot shorter with th3 12 core Mac Pro.

Re:Chips for the Mac Pro refresh I believe. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438898)

Well, new chips are still made over a wide range of clock speeds, so it's a bit early to throw that number away. We see chips clocked at 1.x ghz (various Atoms) up to 3.x ghz at the high end. And we see chips with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 cores now. But three cores at 3ghz will probably outperform four cores at 2ghz, whether the task is single threaded or multithreaded.

Of course what I'd rather see as the center of advertisement would be two different numbers: 1) performance on some sort of standard single-threaded program, 2) performance on some sort of standard embarrassingly parallel program. That would probably require a competing chip architecture to get popular, though. The latest ARM designs might succeed, if they can continue the push from embedded to smartphone/netbook, but it's too soon to tell.

Cool (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436802)

Now to see what AMDs 6-core offering is like. I know that Intel destroys AMD in performance benchmarks and real-world performance, but AMD is FAR less expensive. If I was pushing an Eyefinity setup or something, then sure, I would go all out and drop a few hundred dollars or more on an Intel CPU. Considering that AMDs current flagship costs $195 [newegg.com] and is still a heck of a performer...yeah, I'll stick with AMD for now.

Re:Cool (2, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436824)

If the AMD chip has a higher bang for buck ratio, why not just do the sensible thing and make a beowolf cluster? It's just like have more cores, because you do.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436862)

...which is why almost all clusters or supercomputers I know of run on AMD hardware.

Re:Cool (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436898)

Er ... FAIL

Top 500 stats [top500.org] show that Intel has over 80% of the top 500.

Re:Cool (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436940)

Sorry...my experience with late-90's Warez websites has trained me never to look at a site with "top" followed by a number in its URL -_-;;

Re:Cool (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437522)

Yeah, but if you count by Rmax share (instead of # of supercomputers share), Intel only has 50%.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437770)

Er ... FAIL

Top 500 stats [top500.org] show that Intel has over 80% of the top 500.

Yeah, the top 3 use Opterons, although one apparently is Cell-based and just uses relatively slow Opterons for GP nodes.

Intel dominates in smaller supercomputers, but the ones that put the most cores in one spot use AMD. Most of the others in the top 10 are BlueGene (PowerPC), and Intel rounds out 3 out of the top 10, although one of those machines relies more on Radeons to do the heavy lifting.

Of course, most top supercomputers take years to plan and build, so we'll probably see Intel creeping back up there as the years go by, unless AMD can recapture a favorable price/performance/power ratio. AMD's real secret in doing so well in the HPC market has been their good NUMA capability, lower power consumption in active work loads (Intel is generally better at idling), and lower per unit cost.

Re:Cool (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438366)

One thing to consider is that the cost of using a CPU is not the same thing as the cost of the CPU.

Every CPU needs to be put into a socket. That socket has to be on a motherboard*. That motherboard needs a case, a PSU, ram, a switch port, something to boot off (admittedly the onboard nic may allow this). It will also need to be put in a case and those cases stored somewhere (perferablly a proper rack)

When calculating the bang per buck of a given CPU choice you have to include these support components as well as the CPU itself!

Plus not all software is friendly towards being spread accross a cluster of machines.

*Yes you can have more than one CPU on a motherboard but both motherboards and processors increase in cost hugely if you want to do that.

Re:Cool (5, Interesting)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436950)

AMD's flagship chip does indeed cost $195, but then, it's about the same speed (as the benchmarks showed) as the Core i5 750, which costs $199. AMD isn't offering better bang for you're buck, they're offering high energy use CPUs with comparable performance to intel's similarly priced CPUs.

That Phenom II uses 30W more than the Core i5, so it'll cost you about $30 a year more to run, and be less upgradable.

Re:Cool (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437010)

That Phenom II uses 30W more than the Core i5, so it'll cost you about $30 a year more to run, and be less upgradable.

True, except for when you already have a AM2/AM2+/AM3 board, or a good supply of ddr2 ram. In that case the phenom is a drop in upgrade, versus a platform upgrade for the i5. Also keep in mind that AMD will be releasing 6-core CPUs this year too, and they will fit in any recent AM2+/AM3 board, while for the intel high end stuff, you are locked into their 'premium' 1366 socket.

anyway, AMD does have a slight edge in BFTB in the lower segment

plus i like rooting for the underdog

Re:Cool (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437070)

True, except for when you already have a AM2/AM2+/AM3 board, or a good supply of ddr2 ram. In that case the phenom is a drop in upgrade, versus a platform upgrade for the i5. Also keep in mind that AMD will be releasing 6-core CPUs this year too, and they will fit in any recent AM2+/AM3 board, while for the intel high end stuff, you are locked into their 'premium' 1366 socket.

This applies to me. I just ordered AMDs 965 Phenom II to replace the Athlon 64 X2 5400+ currently in my AM2+/AM3 Gigabyte board...when the new AMD chipset is widely released with SATA6/USB3 and the price becomes reasonable, I'll order one of those motherboards. Until then, my AMD 785 chipset board will suffice. AMD has always been pretty good about making sure their sockets are versatile, and the AM2+/AM3 boards are the most versatile yet.

plus i like rooting for the underdog

This is also a reason why I stick with AMD. They're the only ones producing CPUs that can remotely compete with Intel in the consumer space, yet they are a MUCH smaller company. I like that.

"and be less upgradable." is not true (2, Interesting)

Visaris (553352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437296)

"and be less upgradable."

Not true. AMD's platform is much more forward compatible. AMD chips can now run DDR2 or DDR3 depending on what board it's in (Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3). That means that new AMD chips are compatible with 3 socket generations. Intel boards have nowhere near this broad socket and memory compatibility. Even in the same socket, a new chipset is typically required by Intel for new CPUs. This allows Intel to fake that their socket+platform had a compatibility life of 6+ years, when really, it was more like 1 and a half because they released 4 different chipsets with different support in that time frame.

If you're building your own box, or just want to upgrade later, AMD really gives you a much more flexible route. Here's an example of Intel's mess on their _current_ generation lineup: Core i7 runs on Socket 1156, while a different Core i7 runs on Socket 1366. Socket 1156 is not future-proof and will be dropped in the future. People buying those boards and CPUs might not even notice and will be s.o.l. after the very next generation. That's just silly. AMD's platform is the one with the sane upgrade path. And it's cheaper. I don't get all the AMD hate going around.

Re:"and be less upgradable." is not true (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437420)

And it's cheaper. I don't get all the AMD hate going around.

It isn't 1337 enough. Screw that, it's 1337 enough to run the games I want to play with my current configuration, that's all that matters.

Re:"and be less upgradable." is not true (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437608)

Not true.
True

AMD2/2+/3 may have been compatible with each other, but then, so were Pentium 4s, CoreDuos and Core2Duos, all living on socket 775. At some point, a socket gets too old to support new CPUs, 1156, being a new socket still has some legs in it, it'll support *at least* the next generation of Core is, and probably the CPU design following Core i. AM2/2+/3 by contrast are coming to the end of their run. It's unlikely that AM3 will support more than the next one upgrade of the Phenom.

For reference, suggesting that a Phenom II on an old AM2 board with DDR2 is going to be anywhere near as fast as in i7 with DDR3 is a joke, especially considering *both* these CPUs *live* on memory bandwidth.

Re:"and be less upgradable." is not true (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437614)

People buying those boards and CPUs might not even notice and will be s.o.l. after the very next generation.

How many computer buyers ever actually upgrade their CPU? 1%?

AMD's platform is the one with the sane upgrade path. And it's cheaper.

And it would cripple a 6-core or 8-core CPU with limited memory bandwidth on a motherboard originally designed for older CPUs with 2 or 4 cores. It also means that new AMD CPUs have to support both DDR2 and DDR3, which apparently limits their memory bandwidth even further (from what I've read, the DDR2 support in the memory controller prevents it from running at optimum performance with DDR3).

Seriously, I've never understood this 'but I can run AMD's top end new CPU on my six year old motherboard' stuff: sure, you can do it, but why bother?

Re:Cool (2, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438224)

I know that Intel destroys AMD in performance benchmarks and real-world performance, but AMD is FAR less expensive.
hmm, are you aware of any good comparisions between the best AMD chips and the best intel chips available at a given price point?

I tried to do one by taking a look at http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-charts-update-1/Performance-Index,1407.html [tomshardware.com] , looking up prices on newegg and ingnoring pricessors that are either unavailable at newegg or are more expensive than a faster chip of the same brand and limiting myself to quad core chips I got the following in decreasing order of speed

Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition $969.99
Intel Core i7-950 $569.99
Intel Core i7-870 $569.99
Intel Core i7-920 $288.99
Intel Core i5-750 $199.99
AMD Phenom II X4 965 $194.99
AMD Phenom II X4 955 $160.99
AMD Phenom II X4 945 $150.99
Athlon II X4 630 $99.99

I got bored and stopped after this point

but while doing it I realised that toms hardware mostly only tests high end stuff so it isn't a very usefull comparision (in partcular there was only one i5 quad core in that list)

Bang For The Buck Gaming Conclusion (1)

u64 (1450711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439136)

Bang For The Buck Conclusion, QuakeWars and Crysis fps

i7-975 . . . . (175.2/969.99 * 187.43/969.99) /2 = 0.017 FpsForEachBuck
i7-980X. . . .(196.9/999.99 * 234.24/999.99) /2 = 0.023
i7-870 . .. . (172.3/569.99 * 167.33/569.99) /2 = 0.044
Phe2X4-965 (128.8/194.99 * 112.33/194.99) /2 = 0.190
i5-750 . . . . (150.3/199.99 * 154.62/199.99) /2 = 0.290

As we go lower in cost we can get even more for each buck. The key is
to discover a sweet spot between too-high-costs and performance-too-slow-for-our-need.

(i7-980X 999.99$ is just a guess)

The internet is missing a site that combine a comprehensive cpu-chart real-world benchmarks
with current prices...

Wow! (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436806)

Just image how fast you could play Game! [wittyrpg.com] with that beast!

No thanks (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436822)

Unless it's lead with a solid plastic fan, I'm not interested.

the new 12 core mac pro starting at $4500 with (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436856)

the new 12 core mac pro starting at $4500 with 6gb ram and ati 5350 512 video. Price to high you can get the $800 mini with i5 430 and Intel video with 4gb ram.

That processor... (0, Redundant)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436864)

.. Looks fake.

hope they didn't buy it from Newegg... (0)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436876)

Hope they didn't buy the processor used for the tests from Newegg. Otherwise they could've discovered that the benchmarks are surprisingly equal to those of a PentiumPro 166 MMX.

Turbo mode? (5, Funny)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436896)

After 12 years, I finally have a use for that TURBO button on the front of my case again.

And about as usefull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437400)

And Intel's turbo mode is about as useful. Buy a dell or hp, put the case on a crowded shelf or in an entertainment center slot, and watch turbo mode never come on. It's very dependent on temperature. To even use it reliable you need high end cooling, and then, if you're going that far, why not just over-clock? Sometimes, it thrashes the CPU with clock up and clock down commands one after the other, turbo is silly, at least Intel's implementation is.

Re:Turbo mode? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438120)

The Turbo Boost mode is present on most of the newer Intel chips. It overclocks one of the cores, while underclocking the others, to give single-threaded apps a boost without exceeding the thermal envelope. It needs some extra support from the OS scheduler, because suddenly you have different cores running at different speeds, which messes up process accounting. As I recall the OS needs to specifically request turbo boost mode, which it does when one process is using all of the CPU time that it is given but other cores are idle.

Finally (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436914)

A CPU that can actually efficiently run my Artificial Intelligence program... if each core is 1.5x scaler.

Are these the plastic ones? (0, Redundant)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436916)

Are these the aluminum ones with the plastic fan?

Cool, but why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436930)

This seems to be a great next step for Intel and the desktop cpu industry as a whole, but why? In the benchmarks, it just seems overkill for the price/performance ratio. Difference between 120fps and 180fps is going to be no difference to the eye anyway. Shaving 10 sec off previous generation in compressing a large file... who cares?

Re:Cool, but why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437004)

Don't worry, the software guys will always find ways to piss away more cpu power.

Re:Cool, but why? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437078)

Hold on, let me fire up eclipse and i'll get right on it!

No, no... (1)

PostPhil (739179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436982)

...you're not getting it. It's waay better than the AMD stuff because it's xxxxxxtreme! That's like *twice* the xxx!

Reminds me (5, Insightful)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437038)

This really reminds me of the recent Ask Slashdot article lamenting the naming schemes being implemented for most pieces of hardware. i7= 4 or 6 cores. Makes sense since the first thing I think when I hear 7 is "must be 4 or 6!" And the '980' really goes a long way towards confirming that initial suspicion. I'm really glad they put the 'extreme' in there, cause I was worried about the numbers being too low. Seriously though, can't they come up with a name that is actually descriptive of the product rather than a bunch of reassurances about the awesome-o amazingness of their processor? It seems to me that most people ask someone who knows something about computers when they need to buy a new one or replacement parts for their old one, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I really hate names that give me no real information about what the heck I'm buying. Yes, I can google the information, but the whole practice seems immature (and sometimes a little insulting).

Re:Reminds me (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437530)

Of course!

"Introducing the new Intel Core 1336-32nm-3.33-6x+HT-VT-12MBSC!"

Re:Reminds me (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437604)

I'm right there with you. How the hell would anyone know the Phenom II 720 is a triple-core, 2.8 GHz processor with a K10 core? Assuming I even remember correctly. When I hear "phenom" I think of Dre, not a K10.

Re:Reminds me (2, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437748)

Have to say I'm disappointed too. I wanted to know whether the i{N} naming is N=3,5,7 as in odd numbers or primes. This was going to be the chip that settled that once and for all, because it would be either the i9 or the i11. The mystery lives on.

Re:Reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31439090)

If it was primes, they should have had an i2.

Re:Reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438070)

neurovish (315867) writes: on Tuesday March 09, @04:01PM (#31419042)

But how do you know if it's actually something worthwhile coming out, or a bunch of marketing spin and a clever name like 90% of product announcements are. "Announcing the new Intel Talladega core processors with SuperFlex(tm)!"

http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1575698&cid=31419042

Re:Reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438434)

Yes, I can google the information, but the whole practice seems immature (and sometimes a little insulting).

So what are the specs on a BMW E60 M5, then?

The opaqueness of the naming is actually sorta a good thing, because it doesn't mislead you into believing you can evaluate the performance of a processor just with a couple of numbers. Meanwhile, if all you care about is $$$ for performance, well, bigger numbers are better. That continues to hold true in any naming scheme, somehow. ;-)

Re:Reminds me (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439062)

I would love a return to uniform class-based suffixes. For example, the 80386SX vs 80386DX. Although "SX" and "DX" isn't descriptive, its UNIFORM. The SX chips were running a 16-bit bus and the DX chips were running a 32-bit bus.

Later Intel moved to Pentium vs Celeron, but Celeron itself wasnt uniformly descriptive (beyond meaning "shit") of the differences between them. Some Celerons had their cache's cut in half, others were simply a lower clock rate, still others were a combination of the two.

I strongly suspect that its Intel's (unreliable) FAB process causing many partial duds that creates the need for so many variations in their line. So many variations in fact that its just not a good idea to make most of the differences obvious.

As far as AMD's line, the number of cores is always in the full name of the product: "Phenom II x4 965" .. still, that "965" number is itself meaningless information. It doesnt tell me shit other than that its better than a "955" (at least there is that!)

Does it still work on yield? (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437054)

I know years ago Intel did not, for example, make a 3 GHz P4, they made shed loads of P4's and then gave each one a clock speed that it would handle, so you had a distribution curve from each batch that ran from maybe 1.6 to 3.2 GHz, and priced accordingly.

I can't imagine any recent changes in chip production per se that would mean an end to this distribution curve out of each batch.

Rather this is a case of a new process finally coming on line with the production bugs mainly worked out, which shifts the distribution curve up to higher clock speeds, the analogy here is the LHC or any other complex system.

Certainly when building systems myself you always went for near the peak but on the high side of the curve, to get most bang for your buck and also most reliability.

Holy cow! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437162)

New 6-core processor is super-fast in synthetic benchmarks and when coupled with applications which are specifically coded for multi-threaded execution!

I SO DID NOT EXPECT THAT!

My Q6600 from 2007 runs every game I have on top settings (last game I bought was Prototype). I just don't see any benefit to the consumer.

Re:Holy cow! (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437316)

...because consumers only play games.

Re:Holy cow! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437824)

... and they totally run POV-Ray.

This is obviously not aimed at mom-and-pop checking their Bookface and watching a little iPlayer. Don't troll so obviously.

Re:Holy cow! (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438804)

The major advantage to the consumer buying a 6 core processor is that games capible of multi-threading will have an exponentially more advanced Artificial Intelligence. So, the games should be more of a challenge to everyone, not just the person who plays it all the time.

Re:Holy cow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31439330)

I just don't see any benefit to the consumer.

The consumers who run Gentoo disagree.

30 frames in FreeCiv (2, Funny)

managementboy (223451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437310)

with this one we could get 30 frames out of the html5/javascript version of freeciv!

Re:30 frames in FreeCiv (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438910)

Really? Really? You made an html5/javascript version of freeciv? A better goal would be to make freeciv for the GPU. There it would suffer an extreme boost of power. GPU's these days have something like 256 cores to do all there processing, and never use more then like 4 (are my numbers correct?) plus most have on-board RAM, allowing them to process data more often, reducing the impact that the speed of light has.

Future CPU gain (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437368)

There was an article on connecting circuits with a solder that could be de-soldered with magnetic fields and it seems that the obvious future gain is reuse. If all they are doing is packing more cores in a package, the CPU should retain its value and if an effective method could be created to allow me to add new cores or delete cores that fail, then it would be just like memory. If somebody came up with a machine that could plug cores up to even 64x, it would seem that it would allow stability for twelve years. I helped design motherboard chip sets long ago and it seems that this isn't that big a trick. With current FPGA technology the interface logic could be reused with a reprogram.
It seems like a walk in the park compared to what we did 25 years ago with masked ASICs at 50K a pop. Just like the use of RAID, this should provide a market for the technical implementer.
It seems like opportunity for the manufactures too, as that need for speed could be translated into constant desire. If I had just one more core I could compile in 3,374 seconds instead of 4,809 and that would save me more time to read those really important /. articles I missed.

What a horrible future you describe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437886)

For anybody to want to desolder and reassemble old CPU packages implies that they can no longer buy a newer generation for $100 which matches their older failing CPU, or for $200 which greatly outclasses it. I say "old" because nobody would be desoldering brand new CPUs as the manufacturer would be able to do that more efficiently if there were a market demand.

And in a time when people are spending $80-100/month on their fancy coffee drinks, going through heroic efforts to rebuild a $100 CPU is just absurd. So either way, your future vision is alarming. Either CPU speed increases will grind to a halt, making those old CPUs an equal commodity, or the economy will grind to a halt and we'll all be living in third world conditions, willing to spend countless hours scavenging old CPU parts to make a single functioning CPU.

I'm happy with the current trend, where information technology prices keep falling towards the floor of petty consumer goods like an espresso drink, while inflation is raising that floor. (Ignore the official inflation statistics, as they are heavily doctored. Notice your real measure: how much cash flows through your wallet for simple day to day stuff like food and beverages, compared to five years ago when CPUs also sold in the $100-200 range?)

Re:Future CPU coffee from urine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438906)

A socket to add 2 instead of one if that is all that the mfg is doing, save the rest of the hardware cost. People don't solder things together, that is what pick and place robots and wave soldering machines are for.

Just for Bragging Rights (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437426)

If someone wants to blow $1000 on their e-peen, more power to them. My little i5 system ($600 total system cost) can run anything just fine.

can't take advantage? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437428)

Some may say that the majority of applications can't truly take advantage of the resources afforded by a six-core chip capable of processing up to 12 threads.

Well, those "some" don't code complex stuff. Give it to me, I can put it to good use. I'd take a motherboard with 4 of these popped in any day as my work desktop (I'm dealing with massively parallel and highly computationally intensive stuff every day).

Parallel apps aren't everything... (4, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437772)

Every time this comes up, someone makes the observation that most apps aren't written to take advantage of multiple cores. That is, indeed true, but unless you're running MS-DOS, there's more to it. On the average Windows and Linux desktop installations, there can easily be twenty or so processes running before you start your first end-user application, and most users tend to have more than one app running at a time. While there is no substitute for purpose-built multi-threaded programs, it's not like those six cores will be sitting idle, especially under Windows, where you could throw an entire core or two at the OS and another couple at the two or three resident antivirus/malware programs that you need to have running to compensate for Windows' broken security model.

Granted, a lot of end-user apps spend most of their time sleeping, waiting for user input, but a sleeping process runs just as well on one core as on six. For users whose programs are actually doing something most of the time, multiple applications can take advantage of the additional cores even if they are themselves not multithreaded.

Re:Parallel apps aren't everything... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438062)

CPU usage on my two year old dual core laptop:

Processes: 118
System Idle Process: 81%
firefox.exe: 12%
X1.exe: 4%
OUTLOOK.EXE: 1%
System: 1%
vmware-authd.exe: 1%

Most things don't do much, including services. They just sit there. If I close Firefox, my system barely uses any CPU (and gains about 750MB of memory back).

What I would like this CPU for is AVC encoding...

Re:Parallel apps aren't everything... (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438494)

Really the point is that this isn't aimed at a typical desktop user. A lot of the applications that this will be used for will easily use 12 threads. I know our 4 core i7 is great for compiling and our project is relatively small. Probably pretty good for rendering as well.

taJcyo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438514)

Shitheads. *BSD th3mselves to be a

Fuck Multiple Cores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438532)

I have a Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor. I also have a Logitech G15 keyboard with the flip-up screen. I use the screen to watch various system properties such as CPU and Memory usage during various activities. I have found exactly one game that makes full use out of the processor: Unreal Tournament 3. Any other game plugs along using at MOST two cores. Most only use one. This is absolutely horrid. Gluing another 2 cores on the side is not going to help matters. We need to address the base problem of either faster clocks, more instructions per clock, or teaching people how to correctly multi-thread their code.

I know that games are not the only reason people buy fast computers, but it is a very large chunk of the market.

Additional Benchmarks (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438672)

I think these kind of tests should start to include virtualization benchmarks. I'd really like to know, for example, how do VMWare, Virtul Box, Parallels, etc. benefit from these new processors?

Re:Additional Benchmarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31439314)

I'm interested in Linux KVM performance myself but nobody ever benches this! It makes choosing a CPU difficult.

Quick! Someone send these to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31438858)

CCP! A gatefight just broke out in Jita, and I'm stuck loading grid in my freighter! :X

Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31439236)

does it run Linux?
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