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Intel Hardware

Intel Quad-Core Price and Performance Showdown 115

Posted by timothy
from the horses-for-courses dept.
ThinSkin writes "The folks over at ExtremeTech have had enough time on their hands to benchmark Intel's entire quad-core lineup to determine which has the best performance for the dollar. While prices range from $183 to $1399, the real bargain is with Intel's latest Core i7 architecture which outpaced many other more expensive processors. For comparison's sake, Intel's fastest dual-core CPU was thrown into the mix and was, at times, not even competitive, which suggests that we're beginning to see more and more multi-threaded applications take advantage of four cores."
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Intel Quad-Core Price and Performance Showdown

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @10:51AM (#26132521) Journal
    I don't think that there is much demand for consumer boards with that many slots. 4 sockets, the consumer usual, will do 4GB for peanuts, which is overkill for anybody running a 32 bit OS, and covers an overwhelming majority of consumer use cases. With 2GB modules, also fairly cheap, a 4 socket board will hit 8GB, which is enormous for consumer purposes.

    Beyond that, if you want FB-DIMM or registered DDR, to support some enormous number of sockets, you'll need to go with a memory controller that supports that. With AMD or newer intel, that means buying a server processor(since the memory controller is on die), which will be expensive. Older intel still meant using a server chipset, also not cheap. And silicon aside, more sockets=higher BOM costs, more difficult signal routing, possibly more board layers, and so on.

    There is a market of "people who want server/workstation boards at consumer prices"; but I suspect that the "consumers who need more than 8GB of RAM" market is pretty small. And, in any case, more sockets costs more to manufacture.
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @10:59AM (#26132615)

    Its a bit stupid to do a price performance without any consideration to anything else. Someone else mentioned DDR2 VS DDR3 and price and availability, also if anyone does one whit of looking you will see that you can have a nice dual-core or quad-core motherboard for like 150-200$. I looked a few weeks ago for the 7's and the cheapest was like 350-375$, most seemed to be over 400$. Which to me, is simply nuts.

    Anyway like a good slashdotter I didn't RTFA, so it may be that the 7's are the bees knees. However I would caution anyone from basing their decision on a benchmark and a price tag, as there is more involved that that. Anyway my two cents...

  • by iainl (136759) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @11:04AM (#26132673)

    What benchmarks would you like to see? Because off the top of my head, media encoding, photoshop stuff and games are exactly the sort of things that home users would be doing to require that kind of CPU oomph.

    Sure, there are plenty of other things people spend lots of time doing, but most of those (at least as far as home apps go) would run just fine on practically any reasonable new processor.

  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @11:13AM (#26132753)
    I just don't understand why there aren't more consumer boards with a lot more sockets

    Desktop user never needs more then 3GB, because this is what Vista/XP support. Mainboards, unfortunately, are created with XP/Vista (32-bit) in mind.
  • Re:RAM Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @11:35AM (#26132977)

    I just gotta say it. Overclocking is sooo lame. For a 5% improvement in performance you risk losing 50% of service life and reliability. And then end up buying another cpu, which totally blows the performance/price comparison all to hell. You might as well just spend the money increment more and buy the next one that actually has the reliable performance the overclocking gets you. Some people just can't be comfortable unless they are living on the edge, even artificially.

    But of course, you do get techie cool points when the thing is working, and sympathy points when it smokes. That must be worth the price of buying a new one, right?

  • Re:Whoopee (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Retric (704075) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @11:43AM (#26133065)
    It's also wrong, I have a Core 2 Q6600 the slowest chip in their roundup and I never tax all the cores. Games don't need that much CPU and I can encode video while playing games so I don't care how long it takes.

    Unless you are spend all day running benchmarks it's silly for most people to spend all that much on a CPU.
  • Re:RAM Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @12:07PM (#26133331)

    "If done properly"

    But that is the whole problem. I understand the fun of fiddling around with a system and experimenting with something new. If you want to pay for that kind of fun, go for it. We all know you can push something up to the ragged edge, and over, and have a good time doing it.

    But really, it should just work, reliably every day, and without having to watch a temperature gauge or worry if the water pump is going to give out or chase dust bunnies out of the heat sink. And by the way, how much did you save when you bought the cheap processor AND the cooling equipment to keep it alive?

  • Suicide Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ostracus (1354233) on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @12:51PM (#26133845) Journal

    How do you "turn off" electromigration? [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 16, 2008 @04:01PM (#26136633)

    Electromigration-aware design [wikipedia.org].

    Intel has already been experimenting with fabrication & design techniques to improve electromigration performance [intel.com].

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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