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Intel Targets AMD With Affordable Unlocked CPUs

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the overclock-at-will dept.

Intel 207

EconolineCrush writes "For years, AMD has catered to gamers and enthusiasts with mid-range Black Edition processors whose unlocked multipliers make overclocking easy. Intel has traditionally reserved unlocked multipliers for its ultra-expensive Extreme CPUs, but it has now brought the feature to affordable models that compete directly with AMD's most popular processors. The Core i5-655K and Core i7-875K have two and four cores, respectively, and they're priced at just $216 and $342. It appears that both will easily hit speeds in excess of 4GHz with air cooling. Surprisingly, even at stock speeds, the i7-875K offers better performance and power efficiency per dollar than just about any other desktop CPU out there."

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That's "frequency", not speed (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375962)

Really, you call yourself a news for nerds site.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375994)

What do you expect? It's a kdawson submission. You know: the submissions that always plain incorrect or just total garbage

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376224)

for once, quite accurate by the anon. Reviews about these have been inconsistent, some citing bad overclocking potential [hexus.net] and generally being not for enthusiasts. [anandtech.com]

Meanwhile, others seem to state it's a full sweep [overclockersclub.com] and/or basically great [hardwareheaven.com] .

I'm wondering if this is another scenario of handpicked engineering samples or not.

I'm not at all convinced that this is great, or horrible. Anyone care to weigh in with better comments than kdawson?

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376362)

In any overclocking scenario results aren't assured(though, at certain historical moments, they very nearly have been for certain chips). It isn't a huge surprise that there is some variability being seen; but the small sample size(maybe a dozen review sites, with a chip or two each) doesn't let us say too much).

The only thing that would be really sleazy would be if the review processors "just happened" to perform atypically well compared to the ones that poor saps can actually buy. Since, though, the mixed reviews are coming from reviewers, that seems less likely, and that these chips are simply spotty overclockers more likely(unless, of course, some of the reviewers are reviewing "representative samples" kindly provided by Intel, and others are reviewing representative samples scored from somewhere in the distribution chain.

The fact that a chip only sometimes outperforms its sticker speed is irksome for the overclocker; but not a big deal. If Intel is feeding handpicks to the reviewers, that sucks.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376448)

Well, thats why I want to know. It's not at all unknown for them to handpick the samples. I remember some recent controversy about this with somebody, I forgot if it was Nvidia, AMD, or Intel, or all of them in general.

The sites with the great results seem to say "this kick ass", and the ones without are meh, so it doesn't seem to be indicative of whether this processor is even worth it or not, all things taken into consideration.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (-1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377022)

Not sure about this, but it's common for gpu makers to tune their cards for specific functions of various benchmarks while any real applications of this tuning are nonexistant for the end user.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377860)

Even with highly overclockable AMD's, you have to search for the production code, then determine which week it was produced. There may be one single week, or a run of two to four weeks, but you have to narrow it down to one of those good periods. One week, you get a near lemon that won't overclock 5% - the following week, you get an "OH MY GOD THAT'S FUCKING FAST! CHECK THE TEMPERATURE!" chip. Even among the known good overclockers, stability becomes an issue. Week 32 will run super fast, but will only stay up and stable for a week or so at a time, while week 47 will run the same speed forever.

Now, I'm pulling numbers out of my ass, but you get the idea here. If you're serious about overclocking, you have to hit the forums, and find out what other people are doing. Then, when you've identified a chip that does what you want, you start searching for it. But, be prepared to pay a premium.

Personally, I shop for a fairly good overclocker - I have two Opterons that are known to run at ~3GHZ and be stable. But, they are rated at 2 Ghz and 2.2 Ghz. I bumped them up a conservative 5% using the soft-menu or EZ-menu or whatever in the motherboard BIOS. Why, you ask? Well, I figure that I've got a good, super quality chip known to run for years under extreme abuse. They should last ME damned near forever!!

Well - maybe not that long, but at least until the next ice age. ;^)

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377088)

And speed is simply the frequency at which something is performed. Who says this 4 GHz speed is clock rate, anyway? When I read it, I figured it was how many Libraries of Congress (LOC) it could process in a fortnight. Maybe it's just me.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377374)

Errr, I mean LOC per second, as the latter part IS specified by Hz (cycles per second).

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377430)

Since the wavelength didn't change, that means the increase in frequency could change with a change in speed.

If it was do to a decrease in wavelength(lambda), then you would have had a point.

Re:That's "frequency", not speed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377788)

Frequency is speed, dumbass.

Frequency - frequence - frequent

Physics. a.
the number of periods or regularly occurring events of any given kind in unit of time, usually in one second.
b.
the number of cycles or completed alternations per unit time of a wave or oscillation. Symbol: F; Abbreviation: freq.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375974)

First

Whats the point? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32375998)

Overclocking a processor to over 4 GHz doesn't really benefit anything. Until we can find a way to get information from memory to the processor quicker (ie, make everything MUCH smaller and more tightly packed together on the motherboard) then the extra clock cycles are just a waste anyways.

igive up (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376016)

whi has the world one icrazy? For goodness sake there are 26 other letters to choose from.

It seems to me that for too long naming conventions follow the turbo marketing rule and bear little significance to the product. icore... please.

But i suppose this is good news for people that brought a CPU that doesn't allow you to tweak the multipler. I understand that this makes it much easier to clock and keep a reliable system. But for most people this is not an issue. Maybe it shows Intel are realising how much they are loosing to the gamer / media center PC builder, that works on a budget (would have selected the AMD over the Intel for price vs speed).

I just use a dual core Intel that's not clocked, and it's fine for what I need. If anything it's the RAM that I need to upgrade (to 8Gb).

Re:igive up (2, Informative)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376134)

26 other letters, or maybe only 25 other letters?

Re:igive up (2, Insightful)

lyml (1200795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376408)

a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z å ä ö

I count 28 of them on my keyboard.

Re:igive up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377346)

Don't forget ß and ü. And then there are all the funny french variations of about everyone of them.

Re:igive up (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376450)

GP speaks estonian?

Re:igive up (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376646)

Certainly doesn't speak English very well.

4 GHz, eh? (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376032)

I thought we learned that, like sex and the Pentium 4, faster isn't always necessarily better...

Re:4 GHz, eh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376060)

I thought we learned that, like sex and the Pentium 4, faster isn't always necessarily better...

Well, that depends... have you seen some of the women around here?

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376784)

Have you seen ANY women around here?

Re:4 GHz, eh? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376132)

When making a direct comparison between chip X running at frequency Y and chip X running at frequency Z, speed does correlate pretty closely to frequency(unless you are being bottlenecked hard by some other aspect of the system). Assuming you don't care about puny things like "deafening fan noise" and "having to throw a baby seal into the boiler every 15 minutes just to keep the lights from flickering"(and, if you are a true overclocker, you care nothing for such trifles) faster is better.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377740)

[quote]When making a direct comparison between chip X running at frequency Y and chip X running at frequency Z, speed does correlate pretty closely to frequency(unless you are being bottlenecked hard by some other aspect of the system).[/quote]Not necessarily. For example, I have an app that runs 50% faster on a 2GHz Phenom II than it does on a 3GHz Pentium D, because the app has a working set size that fits in the Phenom II's L1 cache (which is four times as big as the Pentium D's). There isn't any bottleneck there other than the processor itself, as it still fits into the Pentium D's L2, but that is several times slower than the L1.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376158)

sex and the Pentium 4

Is that the new TV show for geeks?

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377074)

It's going to be very hot!

Re:4 GHz, eh? (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376236)

Yes, faster is always better.

What we learned is that high GHZ don't necessarily imply a chip is faster.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377476)

That is, until Apple also started using Intel chips.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377528)

Yes, because your 3.4ghz dual core is faster then my 3.2ghz quad core. This had nothing to do with the Athlons wooping the Pentiums or Intel releasing "slow" Core Duo processors that were "half the speed" of their Pentium 4s.

Indeed, let's just throw Apple into this for the +1 relevant.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377668)

Well, the whole "GHz isn't everything" mantra was repeated over and over by Apple when they were using slower clock speed Motorolla PPC chips. I noticed how they liked to show how much better the new Macs with Intel chips performed over their older PPC models after they made the switch as well. Kind of like "ignore everything we said before about how inferior those Intel chips were over our Motorolla chips now that we are using them too".

So that is what I was referencing. I wasn't supporting or denying any actual claims about GHz comparative speeds or any of that nonsense. I am not really into the whole "comparing e-cock size" contests about hardware and which is better than which. If it works for me, I use it. When it doesn't anymore, I buy something that will.

Re:4 GHz, eh? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377804)

Right, AMD and Intel didn't participate in the "GHZ isn't everything" campaign either.

Sex tip (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377458)

faster is better as long as the duration remains the same or longer.

Yawn (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376114)

"just $216 and $342"?

The majority of regular users can get by with just about any modern processor on the market today. Just glancing at Newegg, single core CPU's are starting at $32. Dual cores at $50. Quad cores at $81. I personally haven't spent more than $100 on a processor in ages, and I'm more or less a power user (do heavy programming and video encoding as well as other such tasks on my systems).

Now, at work, for servers, and I'm sure other users who are doing things like heavy graphics editing and such, people do need faster processors, but the people doing such tasks are NOT going to give two shits whether or not the multiplier is unlocked (anybody using an overclocked processor in a professional environment is just asking for trouble).

So you're left with the absolute hardcore hardware enthusiast market. Even in this market though you're going to have the "I'm poor and don't want to spend much" people who are still going for the low cost ones and trying to push them, and the "I've got money to blow and want the fastest available" people who were likely buying the really, really expensive stuff already.

In short, I just don't see this feature, at the stated price points, as really having much of a market.

Re:Yawn (4, Funny)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376200)

Yeah, but the $32 CPU has an e-peen value of zero, while these babies raise your e-peen over 9000!!! It's 'the most e-peen for your buck' (I think that was in the small letters at the bottom of the Intel advertisement).

Re:Yawn (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376242)

In short, I just don't see this feature, at the stated price points, as really having much of a market.

Corvettes and Camaros sell Citations and Celebrities.

Or in other words, Intel will sell more CPUs than AMD if they can convince the world that they have a bigger penis. Nobody wants their CPU to come from small penis guy, or to imply that they are one.

It is rather crazy that gamers buy these, though. Far be it from me to tell anyone how to spend their money; whatever makes you happy that doesn't hurt anybody (indictments of the western lifestyle aside for now) is fine with me. But if you stay just behind the curve you can upgrade every year (to last year's kit) and still be able to play virtually every game at quite good settings. Buying the latest and greatest comes with a massive price:performance penalty. Once you get into the new generation of lower-power equipment it seems like there's little motivation to ride the upgrade train so far or long.

Re:Yawn (2, Interesting)

rrhal (88665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376854)

Whats even crazier is that some of these chips will end up in the desktops of the pointy-haired and their chosen minions because they feel that "Big Penis" CPUs will reflect better business practice. Intel sells a huge number of chips at a premium price to corporations when cheaper AMD CPUs would do the same job.

Re:Yawn (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377488)

This is why it absolutely necessary for engineers to convinces upper management that their penis size correlate to how ell the engineering dept works.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376962)

I concur. I just set my watch back one year and save thousands of dollars on everything. New games $50? Nope, mine are $25. New processor $300? Nope, mine are $100 and runs my one year old games perfectly. My last "new" car was $30k new but I bought it with 8k miles and just under 1 year old for $20k with full warranty. I'm about to buy a pair of Motorola Droids, which I can get for $99-$199 for both (2y contract, yes). It doesn't always pay off, but on average it saves up tremendously without sacrificing anything but a little time.

The net results is that I actually can buy MORE toys for the same money. Delayed gratification can be a beautiful thing.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377500)

However it leads to being a social outcast.

Re:Yawn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377584)

There's an XKCD for that: http://xkcd.com/606/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Yawn (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376980)

Or in other words, Intel will sell more CPUs than AMD if they can convince the world that they have a bigger penis. Nobody wants their CPU to come from small penis guy, or to imply that they are one.

Except that, as GM learned, when you're impotent, the customers figure out that you're a non-player pretty quick. The Corvette no longer sells anything except for itself. In simple terms, the Intel pricing structure completely misses the overclocker's market segment. The average person who wants this feature easily enabled like this isn't going to spend much more than $100 in the first place if they can possibly help it. Their "goal" is to make the cheap as dirt CPU work like the $300 one.

Re:Yawn (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377168)

So, how will the CPUs hypnotize our kids into forming an air force?

Re:Yawn (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376334)

Exactly. You can get an unlocked quad core 3.2Ghz AMD 955 for $160 on newegg, that is more than enough performance for anything a "gamer" is going to be doing. The only reason to even want more than that is if you are chasing ego with benchmarks/folding@home or are doing bulk HD video encoding/graphics rendering.

Re:Yawn (5, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376720)

If you do computationally-intensive workstation tasks, like video editing, gaming, virtualization, or using java (sigh); you really will appreciate going from a $100 CPU to a $300 CPU. Using faster components also means having an overall less-frustrating experience with your computer.

At home, I have an i7, an SSD, a high-end NVIDIA GPU, and the fastest RAM my mobo can take. At work I have a computer made of the budget components you think are good enough. The difference is extremely evident. My computing tasks happen as fast as I can think at home. At work, I often have to wait for things to load, which can derail my train-of-though, lower my productivity, or just generally piss me off.

A few hundred more for good components is money very-well spent.

Re:Yawn (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377156)

While your point is well taken, will you appreciate as well the difference between a $200 and a $300 processor?

Is it possible to get two sextuple-core processors on a single motherboard yet?

Re:Yawn (1)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377406)

I'm with you 100%. If spending more means I don't wait as much, I'm sold. Partly because my hourly income is pretty high, and if I spend a few hours a week waiting, it pays for the new processor. And partly because it drives me batty to wait on computers.

I once had a boss that said "you tell me what you need, and we'll get it". What I needed was 3 high end desktops in a single workstation configuration using Synergy to share inputs. It was beautiful, for once, if I had to wait, I just switched machines. I kept them all running non-stop and my productivity was through the roof. It more than paid back the cost of 3 2500$ computers.

Re:Yawn (1)

bored (40072) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377512)

If you do computationally-intensive workstation tasks, like video editing...

I don't know about you, but my video editor, doesn't consume much CPU time. HD speed (or a sh*tload of RAM) makes a much larger diffrence. On the other hand, when I'm done with the editing and I tell it to create the video it can spin for a long time. Generally though, I batch those up and let them run when I'm not at the computer. In that case having them finish at midnight instead of 3 AM, really doesn't matter much.

But, compiling C++ template code on the other hand, that just EATS CPU like no ones business.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376908)

I agree with this. I read the summary and thought "how much?!?" One of my recent computer purchases landed me a good machine with new monitor for around $400 and they want to sell me just a CPU for $342? Granted, I'm not heavily into gaming or number crunching, but there's no way I'm spending that kind of money on any one part. I can go by a second machine for that amount.

Re:Yawn (-1)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377188)

Speaking as someone who is currently waiting for a set of scripts to parse several 32,000+ line spreadsheets on a single core @2.4ghz, I would gladly take a $50 dual core.

Re:Yawn (3, Insightful)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376936)

There is a guy who posts this exact message, almost word for word, every time a new CPU or graphics card is announced. "This is useless - I'm a power user and I can get by with a can of tuna and a bit of string".

Well, I'm afraid I have to tell you, you're not a power user, if you don't need the power that is now available. 2005's power user, maybe. But if you want to do video editing (and I mean final cut/premiere, not reencoding your dvd rips), play the latest games etc, then you do need that hardware. That software is designed to run on that hardware. And if you manage your own machine, whether it's for gaming of photoshop or whatever, you're going to care that this thing gives you bang for your buck. for what it's worth, this new chip isn't the fastest available. It isn't even close. It's the best value high-end chip, with a view to become even better value if you're open to overclocking it.

If you're not in that target audience, then fine - why do you complain about it? Do you bitch that lamborghinis are too expensive? "$150,000? I have a ford cortina that I got for $500 and it gets me to the mall just fine!". You don't see there is a market for this, because you are looking at a sample size of 1. Intel and AMD have a multi-billion business riding on this, I for one trust they're going to have done their homework.

(And I'm interested in the chip too - I'm planning a system upgrade soon - first since my Q6600 - and I like high-end, value chips I can overclock!)

Re:Yawn (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377150)

Well, I'm afraid I have to tell you, you're not a power user, if you don't need the power that is now available. 2005's power user, maybe. But if you want to do video editing (and I mean final cut/premiere, not reencoding your dvd rips), play the latest games etc, then you do need that hardware. That software is designed to run on that hardware. And if you manage your own machine, whether it's for gaming of photoshop or whatever, you're going to care that this thing gives you bang for your buck. for what it's worth, this new chip isn't the fastest available. It isn't even close. It's the best value high-end chip, with a view to become even better value if you're open to overclocking it.

Thank you! I mean, hell. I like to think I'm a power user (I'm really not, but I like to think it), and I've talked to people who *are* power users, and every single one of them is always wishing their machine was a little bit faster, had a little bit more space, something. They're never satisfied with their machines, they're simply limited either by resources or technology. Hell, the book designer I know just got a dual quad-core machine with a crap-ton of RAM, and he still has to wait ages on certain processes.

(Oddly, I'm running a Q6600 too, and thinking of upgrading soon.)

Re:Yawn (1)

stim (732091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377710)

i think you are confusing the definition of power user. power user != tosses tons of money at shit because they are trying to fill some void in their heart. I can be a power user on a 7 year old solaris box. also, don't believe the lies, i play all the latest and greatest games and my computer is a couple years old.

Re:Yawn (2, Interesting)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376972)

Having been part of PC building community for a long time with a lot of experience in everything from low-end as-cheap-as-possible builds to ridiculously expensive gaming builds, your comment is not based on reality. Unless you have a very short memory, about 4 years ago you had to spend at least $200 to get any dual core CPU (Pentium D or AMD Athlon X2), so I very much doubt your "ages" comment on a CPU suitable for your uses. And especially vid encoding benefits a lot from quad core CPUs with suitable architectures, so were you seriously informed about these things, you would have put the limit to that $200, so that Intel's i5-750 (good at gaming, excellent bang for the buck in other desktop task, like video encoding) would have fitted into the budget. Of course, if your time isn't worth anything, you might as well get the cheapest CPU out there, but that doesn't mean that for a lot of people the $100 extra would make their computing experience a lot less time-consuming.

Re:Yawn (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377180)

Considering that the 875 is exactly the same as the 870 except for the unlocked multiplier, and the 870 has cost $562 then $342 is a quite significant drop and a better bargain no matter how you look at it but none of them are that great. Also, the title of Anandtech's conclusion is Final Words: Not for enthusiasts [anandtech.com] . It seems more like what's been happening in graphics cards, that you will be able to get some "pre-overclocked" systems. This is pretty much a competitior to AMDs $299 Phenom II X6 1090T, giving you 4 faster cores instead of 6 slower.

Though yeah, for desktop use I really feel the air is running out. New games are mostly built to be xbox/ps3 compatible and don't strain a modern PC much. Mostly it's server/workstation applications that really put them through their paces these days, but it's not that interesting for the home geek. And when games like Red Dead Redemption are xbox/ps3 with pc edition coming "later, maybe" you know the PC is dying as a game platform not matter how much you stick to your guns. I already have a Wii, I guess PC+Wii will get me through this generation but the next generation I fear it's almost certainly a console as my main gaming station. At least it'll make it easier to run Linux with what's left...

Re:Yawn (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377470)

Which part of overclocking makes you think this is for regular users?

Nothing to lose (4, Interesting)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376124)

Intel have nothing to lose anymore by keeping the multipliers locked: the bottleneck isn't with the CPU frequency anymore. The biggest differentiators in their higher end models are number of cores and cache size.

If they can get few more sales with a pointless gimmick some fall for, why not?

Re:Nothing to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377524)

For games that don't use all cores, which is almost all games, CPU frequency is the only bottleneck left. And these CPUs cater to the gaming market, obviously.

Re:Nothing to lose (4, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377562)

The biggest differentiators in their higher end models are number of cores and cache size.
I'd add the platform to that.

The low and midrange desktop chips (i3, i5 and i7 8xx) are on the LGA1156 platform. That means dual channel memory, a max memory of 16GB* and only 16 channels of fast PCIe**. What that means is that any addition storage controllers etc end up either stuck behind the PCH or stealing channels from the graphics card.

The high end desktop chips (i7 9xx) are on the x58 single socket LGA1366 platform, that means triple channel memory, a max memory of 24GB* and 36 channels of fast PCIe**.

The xeon 5500/5600 workstation/server chips are also on LGA1366 but it's a dual socket variant. That means six channels of memory (three per CPU), a max memory of 144GB* and 36 or 72 channels (depending on whether the motherboard vendor uses one or two IO hubs) of fast PCIe** (and yes there are boards that use all 72 e.g. http://www.supermicro.co.uk/products/motherboard/QPI/5500/X8DAH_.cfm [supermicro.co.uk] ).

The higher end xeon chips support even more.

* Max memory figures for desktop chips assume 4GB modules and two modules per channel. I haven't seen a desktop board that claims to support higher configurations than this though it may technically be possible. Max memory for dual socket workstation chips assumes 8GB modules and three modules per channel, more is possible in theory if you can find 16GB modules which supposedly exist but i've never seen for sale.

** PCIe channels that run at the 2.0 speeds and are taken from the processor or IOH. Not the channels that are taken from the ICH/PCH that only run at 1.0 speeds and are potentially bottlenecked by the DMI/ESI connection.

Goes to 11 (5, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376126)

It appears that both will easily hit speeds in excess of 4GHz with air cooling.

Nigel Tufnel: These go to eleven.

Re:Goes to 11, Oblig (2, Informative)

NotOverHere (1526201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377042)

Obligatory XKCD
http://xkcd.com/670/ [xkcd.com]

Why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376142)

"Enthusiasts" are people with more money than sense. Why would anyone pay more than $150 for a CPU these days? A quad-core 3.0Ghz chip is not going to be your bottleneck. Yeah, I guess if you spend all day ripping and encoding video then that extra 10%-20% might amount to a few minutes saved, but for most people spending the extra $150 on an SSD drive instead would give them a far more noticeable performance boost.

Or, if you've still got money to burn, buy a nicer monitor-- or a second one, for that matter. Or some quality case fans that don't make your case sound like a jet engine. Or a decent set of speakers.

The obsession with CPU "speed" is dumb.

LOL (3, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376150)

Well, I guess when anti-competitive practices fail.....

Re:LOL (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377904)

It's also amusing to see the new AMD-based notebooks lined up this year, after literally years of ceding the market to Intel. Maybe they run hotter, maybe they're not as energy-efficient, but I don't see those as reasons to let their mobile line languish.

Now if they could release XP drivers for some of their newer chipsets, that would be great-- unfortunately the vendors (*cough*Toshiba*cough*) have AMD by the nads on this one...

Depends on how you read the chart (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376154)

At the $200 price point, AMD is still killing it. Look at the scatter plot, and note what happens on the $200 line. Now, draw an imaginary $100 line, and check that out. It's all AMD. So while you may want to buy intel if you want today's fastest gaming machine, AMD is still the processor for those of us who want performance and money at the same time.

With that said, can anyone recommend a good AM3 air cooler that's not too spendy? I have a PhII X3 720 retail black edition that I'd like to overclock. The stock cooler won't cut it :) But I want to keep my budget very small, which is why I went AMD in the first place. So far, so good.

Re:Depends on how you read the chart (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376668)

Not sure what you call "good" but I am using this one on my 140W 965, it is certainly better than stock but still a bit "budget". I have not tried overclocking it yet, no real need. But it should be able to handle the heat of your lower wattage processor while overclocked just fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103064

Re:Depends on how you read the chart (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376960)

What a coincidence, I got impatient and ordered one of those just now.

Re:Depends on how you read the chart (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377558)

Try Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus, or if you want something cheaper, Arctic Cooling Freezer series has been quite good.

You are wrong about the $200 price point: The chart has put the hexacore AMD above Intel's i5-750, which comes from some synthetic benchmark results and a few real-life apps, and it doesn't reflect the overall real-world results, where i5-750 is still the better choice (this comes again from higher clock speed and better architecture vs. more cores). However I agree that in the cheap end AMD is probably the better choice.

Re:Depends on how you read the chart (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377832)

My current build uses an Arctic Cooling Freezer. Nice big aluminum/copper heatsink with a big fan, quiet, and keeps my CPU at sub-50 even under load-- though your 720 BE might run hotter than my 810 if it's overclocked. At about $30 on NewEgg (and still being built & sold), I think it's a great cooler for the money.

My motherboard (Gigabyte) doesn't like the fan, however-- the MB's control software sometimes fires off a warning that it's not working correctly. I think it's because it's a 3-pin rather than 4, though I'll have to research that.

4GHZ (5, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376184)

The cards! they bounce TOO FAST!!

Meh (4, Interesting)

dlapine (131282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376188)

The article comparing values uses the highest price motherboard available for AMD for a "midrange" system, then claims that the Intel-based total system is a value. If you spend $350 on a 6-core processor, then spending $140 on a high-end motherboard is reasonable. If you're spending $99 for a low end AMD quad, you're probably in the market for more reasonably priced motherboard (~$100) to go with it. The comparison is valid for the high-end AMD cpus, but not their budget stuff, as a $40 drop in price is a big deal for a system with a $100 cpu.

That being said, being able to overclock this thing is directly aimed at the enthusiast market. "I got 6 cores, w00t!" "Yeah, well I'm at 4GHZ on a quad, so there!" It definitely improves the competition between the high end AMD hexa-cores and the midrange Intel quads, and makes the Intel option more appealing to the enthusisast.

good amd MB are $150-200 good intel ones $200-250 (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376598)

good amd MB are $150-200 good intel ones $200-250 and the amd boards have more pci-e lanes as well.

Re:good amd MB are $150-200 good intel ones $200-2 (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377630)

Based on what? There are plenty of good LGA 1156 mobos available in $100-150 range. I'd guess you have no idea of what you are talking about on the PCI-E lanes.

Re:Meh (1)

Trev311 (1161835) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376696)

The only problem with that is the AMD motherboards (especially in the price range they chose) come with USB 3 and SATA 6.0 Gb/s now. Want that on the Intel machine? Extra money... That tends to get rid of the whole Intel value thing since most of the time you're not going to be bottlenecked by the CPU and you get more for your money going with the AMD combination.

Re:Meh (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376842)

Those hexa-core systems are reported to be very over-clockable. The 1090T is observed to be stable at 4.1ghz on stock cooling [overclock.net] and the 1055T up to 3.9ghz.

In the end tho, its your memory over-clocking thats most important in gaming. Even the 4-core systems are often fighting for bandwidth at 3ghz+. Thats one of the reasons that Intel is so far ahead on the high end. Their smaller process allows for a much bigger cache. Once AMD moves to the next process size, its going to be a very interesting fight because Intel is nowhere near a drop in process size at this point in time.

If I was doing any sort of heavy calculation type stuff, there is absolutely no way that I wouldn't go with the 1090T. For gaming I would go with the 955 or an i5.

better performance per dollar .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376228)

only if you fudge the numbers.
TFA chooses a totally arbitrary system price, which is just high enough to make this cpu top the chart.
Any methodology that claims the $1000 i7-980X is better value than the $300 i7-920 is BS.

NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes so (5, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376520)

NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes so a good video card can uses that up and then when you add usb 3.0 and sata 6.0 you cut into the video pci-e lanes.

for $200 you can get a AMD board with 890fx that has more pci-e lanes so you can have 2 x16 video cards + room for sata 6.0 and usb 3.0 as well.

Re:NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes s (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32376918)

No, here at Intel, we only support 1337.

Re:NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes s (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377404)

No, here at Intel, we only support 1337.

But over here at the 1336 0f 1337 63n700m3n, either one is fine.

Re:NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes s (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377646)

I call bullshit. USB 3.0 doesn't use PCI-E lanes.

so the usb chip use magic to talk the main chipset (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377838)

so the usb chip uses magic to talk the main chipset?

Re:NO 1336? so you are stuck with 16 pci-e lanes s (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377750)

To show how much full of shit you are, see this for example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131641 [newegg.com]

Triple SLI at X16/X8/X8, or dual SLI at full X16/X16. Seems to be somewhat more than your alleged 16 lanes.

To bad the cpus hear are 1156 that come with low p (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377798)

To bad the cpus hear are 1156 that come with low pci-e lanes.

Re:To bad the cpus hear are 1156 that come with lo (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377820)

Too bad you don't know how much or little the PCI-E lanes have to do with the CPU.

Summary conclusion and linked article is bull (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376578)

Anyone who can build comparable systems for significantly less than those bozos, raise your hand.

Shift the second scatter graph to the left from anywhere between $200 to $400, and then draw a new conclusion.

Nice to see AMD v Intel reversed... (2, Interesting)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376644)

Intel Targets AMD...

Nice to see this. In the past 10 years it has always been 'AMD targets Intel.' AMD must be doing something right if Intel is taking notice of it and that means a little competition which is great for the future of the hardware.

Please explain overclocking. (3, Interesting)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376684)

Can someone please explain overclocking to me? Why are processors sold at a slower speed than they can actually perform at? Why don't they ship from the factory at their fastest speed?

Re:Please explain overclocking. (2, Informative)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376860)

Simple. You run the CPU at a higher clock speed than what it was designed for. It works, and this will give you a higher clock speed, draw more power and produce more heat. The price different really isn't that big these days and nobody really cares about overclocking anymore, but it used to be a big thing back in the day.

Re:Please explain overclocking. (3, Insightful)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376932)

Car analogy: Every car comes from the factory tuned in a conservative manner regarding air/fuel mixture, spark advance.....even torque management and shift pressures/points (in the case of automatics) You are able to change these values for a greater increase in performance or fuel economy. This change (when pushed to the limit or performed incorrectly) can be risky and put extra strain on components of your vehicle.

Re:Please explain overclocking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377340)

Where's the +1 Good Car Analogy mod?

Re:Please explain overclocking. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32376948)

Lots of reasons, but one of the biggest is because they're often not 100% stable at higher frequencies without increasing the voltage.

Re:Please explain overclocking. (4, Informative)

Fross (83754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377060)

Historically, they make a whole batch of processors together, then run some tests to see how fast each will run. Some go faster than others (or more to the point, some are reliable at higher speeds, some less reliable) so they get divided into different speed batches and sold at different prices.

The reasons behind the reliability are varied, however, and mostly down to heat dissipation. As the chip gets hotter (and they get v hot inside) it gets less reliable. The manufacturer tests against a standard heat diffusion system, but some people will spend more money on good cooling, either a big heatsink and fan, or even water cooling, or down to liquid nitrogen (!). The upshot is, any particular chip will be more reliable at a higher speed.

Sometimes, however, it's just about the market. It may cost $200 to manufacture your product, but some people want to buy a good product at around $300, some want to buy one at $500 and have the best. So you sell your product for $500, but nobble a few (say in firmware) to run a bit slower, and sell those for $300. Overall, you will sell many more that way than just the $500 ones, so you make more money.

This is EXACTLY what happened with the Geforce 6800GTS (If I remember correctly) - they used to manufacture dies with 4 cores on them. If it had 4 cores working, it was a high end model, if it had 3 cores working, it was a low end model. This allowed them to increase yields dramatically, as all the ones with just one fault still sold. However, the market demand for the low end one was far greater than the number of defective parts they had, so they ended up taking the 4-core model, locking one core in firmware and releasing it as a low end model - after all, selling a card at a cheaper price is better than not selling it at all, right?

The upshot was some people could programmatically unlock their 4th core, and get a high end card for low end price! I tried it myself, but had one with a defective 4th core so just got a bunch of video corruption until I locked it again :>

Re:Please explain overclocking. (1)

ampathee (682788) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377848)

Overclocking increases both frequency and heat output. Too much heat == many crashes and/or dead CPU.

CPUs are generally sold a speed that they are stable at, within the expected normal operating temperature range.

Overclockers usually replace the stock cooling system with something better before overclocking.

Re:Please explain overclocking. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377902)

It happens whenever production and market segmentation don't align.

When a new model comes out, especially if there was a die shrink, imperfections are significant. All chips are manufactured the same, but only a few will run reliably at the top speed. In a process known as bin sorting, all chips are tested at the top speed. Some pass and are so marked. They might run faster than that, they might not, but returns are costly and damage reputation, so a bit of margin is left at the top.

Everything that failed is tested at the next lower speed. The process continues down to the bottom of the line speed. The process may be more complicated in some cases. For example, at one time, a CPU with a single cache error would have a fuse blown to disable the half that had the problem and the chip became a Celeron.. These days, whole cores can be disabled. AMD sells those.

As production kinks get worked out and the process is adjusted, yields and quality go up to the point that they may produce more of the faster CPUs than the market demands. Rather than appearing to have production problems or turn down sales, they will mark the faster processors for the lower speed and sell them that way (at a lower but still acceptable profit).

That latter stage is where Intel starts to hate overclocking since lower marked cheaper processors likely WILL run faster. Perhaps their greatest concern there is shady gray market vendors who will buy cheaper processors in bulk and change the markings. Of course, with laser etched heat spreaders and such that is less of a real concern. Then it just becomes home users knowingly overclocking.

Description is flawed (3, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377268)

"Surprisingly, even at stock speeds, the i7-875K offers better performance and power efficiency per dollar than just about any other desktop CPU out there."

-1, Inaccurate

The 2.8ghz i7-930 is $199 [microcenter.com] vs $342 for a 2.93ghz i7-875K, so almost double the price for 0.13ghz more. How did the author see that and think "better performance per dollar"? The article he linked to even shows the better performance per dollar in a chart, [techreport.com] and btw techreport that chart is pretty piss poor, shoving $200 processors on a chart that goes to $1200 just clumps 90% of the processors in the $50 to $400 range. Learn how to make a chart: you should have left off under $50 (no processors under $50) and anything past $1000 (no processors over $1000). Because of your crappy chart the i7-875 is right next to the i7-930 despite the $142 difference.

The i7-930 is locked but it does reach 4ghz on air rather easily.

I suppose all of this is a mute because the LGA 1156 platform and LGA 1366 platform are being discontinued next year [bit-tech.net] , so if you don't already have a i7 compatible motherboard you'd be buying a board that won't be compatible with any cpus made 7 months from now. I wouldn't buy a i7 cpu unless intel started selling them for $50, while AM3 boards available now are compatible with future 16-core cpus [anandtech.com]

Re:Description is flawed (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377620)

Do you base all your decisions on rumor, or just ones that fit into your proAMD fanboiisms.

Add a TURBO button;, You'll be more than satisfied (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32377342)

Turbo buttons always gave a decent boost in performance. I say, bring them back !!

Affordable? (1)

medelliadegray (705137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377608)

Intel is not affordable compared to AMD.

My system here has been frizzing out on me after 4+ years, and literally 2 hours ago I ordered an AMD 3ghz 3-core processor for 75 bucks. the board (with on board GPU) , 2gb memory, and cpu with shipping came to $230...

JUST 14 bucks more than the only Intel's dual-core processor listed in the article.

I haven't forgotten the pentium 90 math bug fiasco (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32377840)

I haven't forgotten the pentium 90 math bug fiasco.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_FDIV_bug [wikipedia.org]

I have used AMD exclusively since then, and will continue to do so.

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