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Intel AMD Hardware

26 Desktop Processors Compared 192

Posted by kdawson
from the two-bakers-dozens dept.
theraindog writes "The number of different CPU models available from AMD and Intel is daunting to say the least. The Tech Report's latest CPU review makes some sense of the landscape, exploring the performance and power consumption characteristics of more than two dozen desktop processors between the $999 Core i7-975 and more affordable sub-$100 chips. The article also highlights the value proposition offered by each CPU on its own and as a part of the total cost of a system. The resulting scatter plots nicely illustrate which CPUs deliver the best performance per dollar."
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26 Desktop Processors Compared

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  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:12PM (#28270869) Homepage
    if they want to talk about desktop processors come back to me when they talk about decent choice, what about the ARM ?

    I am fed up with all these people who think that all the world is Intel compatible -- when there are better CPUs out there.

  • A better solution. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:13PM (#28270885) Homepage Journal

    What is the cheapest CPU that can playback 780P flash well?
    That is probably a good CPU for 99% of the population. Flash is a resource hog and is likely to be most intensive thing that most people use.
    The next step up would be to list several games and see what is the cheapest CPU that can play them at say 60FPS at good settings with a $99 video card.

    If your a video editor, hardcore PC gamer, transcode a lot of video, or run CAD get the fastest CPU you can afford.
    So hard core types should buy I7s and pretty much everybody else should buy AMDs once you take into account ram and motherboard prices.

    Also if you are planing on running virtual machines AMD are often a better choice. Intel doesn't support virtualization on a lot of their CPUs while I think AMD does on their AM2 and up CPUs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:20PM (#28270989)

    Do any of the CPU reviews use old CPUs? What I what to know is how much faster today's CPU is compared to my 3-6 year old CPU, but these hardware reviews typically have a low end much newer/faster than my current system. Practically, a 50% CPU edge is too marginal for me to upgrade, but if a new system was 3X faster than my current aging machine I would be tempted!

  • What I'm seeing... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:27PM (#28271071) Homepage Journal

    The performance scales sub-linearly with the price, and ends up almost flat at the extreme end. This means you need to examine the cost of SMP vs. a more powerful CPU. Two X2 6400+ chips in an SMP should give you about the same performance at the same cost as one i7-920, after you add in the extra for the upgraded chipsets and mobo.

    More powerful low-end chips become more and more effective when SMPed versus their higher-end rivals. The other benefit of going SMP is that you have fewer cores sharing the same cache, therefore increase the number of distinct tasks you can perform in parallel effectively without cache-flooding.

    Of course, you can't SMP forever - the largest SMP array you can make before the system slows down by more than the CPU increases performance is 16-way. Even before then, you lose linear scaling fairly early on. So you end up balancing the different CPUs against the different methods of arranging them to get the best performance for your money.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:33PM (#28271181)
    I'd also question its price/longevity scale as well, since the sort of folks who are going to drop $700+ on a basic (no video card, no monitor, no hd's) high performance system are probably the same sort of folks who are going to scrap that box as soon as Larrabee hits.

    My AMDx2 3800+ is starting to show its age, but there is no way I am going to buy a high end part with Larrabee so close.
  • by jon3k (691256) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:50PM (#28271407)
    You mean 720P flash I assume, or, less likely, 480P. 780P isn't a standard high-def resolution.

    But, to answer your question, probably the new class of netbook like the Pegatron [engadget.com], which, interestingly enough is running a Freescale processor with an ARM based core. This little netbook also has flash based GPU acceleration (supposedly), is incredibly thin and sports I think 6 hours of battery life.
  • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:59PM (#28271521) Journal

    That's just the motherboard, let alone the processor or ram cost differences. Not to mention they are about to change the socket again rather soon, if I recall correctly (aka 1 year).

    AMD changes sockets a lot more gradually, letting people actually, you know, upgrade.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @05:12PM (#28271673) Homepage Journal

    WHen I can I buy the highest end I can and use it for 5 years.
    I might upgrade a video card. After 5 years, it gets deprecated into the house hold pool.
    I have 5 year old computers running games like team fortress 2 and wow just fine. Not the highest end graphic performance, but fine enough.

    When I build my next box, It will have 16Gigs ram, minimum. Hopefully 32. This will probably stretch it's use out to 8 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @06:59PM (#28272813)

    What would be more interesting is a Performance/$ vs. CPU plot.

  • by Falconhell (1289630) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @07:20PM (#28273019) Journal

    The most economically sound upgrade path for me has been sell after 6 months, getting 95% of purchase price back-my people like buying my 6 month old systems, and I like buildiing new ones!

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @08:09PM (#28273421) Journal

    That's what I did with myself and my customers. For the office guys I maxed out the boards at 4Gb, because they all have legacy apps and can't stand Vista. For myself and the home users i got boards that would take at the minimum 4Gb, most do 8Gb and mine does 32Gb ;-)

    But all support the latest quads. Mine can take any Phenom 2 Quad that is 95 watts, and honestly? I doubt i will ever get to the point i actually need quad. Most of the games I play are like Bioshock or Sacred Gold and simply don't need the mega horses of a quad core. My cheapo $50 HD4650 decodes DivX and most of the other codecs and plays my games smooth. So why blow cash on a bigger epeen? By sticking with the AMD 7550 my PC is so quiet I have actually accidentally turned it off before because I walked into the room and didn't think it was on. It does what I want it to do and does it fast, and with XP X64 I can sit out Vista and even Win7 if I desire and not have to worry about the 4Gb RAM limit.

    As someone who has worked PC repair and retail since the days of Win3.xx I can say that in the past there WAS a reason to keep up with the latest CPUs. In a five year period I went from a P100 to a P2-233 to a P3-600 to a P3-1100MHz. In each case the jump was dramatic and noticeable. But working with customers who have to have the biggest epeen and getting to spend time with their uber quads I can honestly say for the things I do I wouldn't have noticed a difference. I have worked with just about every Intel and AMD chip and pretty much ALL the dual cores and above are "ludicrous speed". So unless you are buying a Netbook (which is like shopping for P3s) I just haven't seen anything to make the extra cash layout for an uber CPU worthwhile.

    It is better IMHO to spend that cash on RAM and storage space and GPU. Those will make a noticeable difference in the customers experience, whereas pretty much any modern dual core and my customers are going "Oooohhhhh....It's just so fast!" which is why they keep sending their family and friends to me ;-)

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