Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Intel Upgrades Hardware

Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt 173

Posted by timothy
from the when-ndas-expire dept.
Vigile writes "Not many people have debated that Intel's Nehalem architecture is the fastest available for consumer desktop computers since it was released last year, but quite a few have complained about the cost of the platform. Intel just released new Lynnfield-based processors under both the Core i7 and Core i5 names and tests are showing the new CPUs beating Nehalem in both performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar tests to a startling degree. And while raw performance probably still goes to the Nehalem-based Core i7 CPUs, the lower prices of motherboards and memory for Lynnfield processors will likely more than make up for it." Update: 09/08 14:03 GMT by T : There are more eye-wateringly exhaustive examinations of the new chips all over the Web; here's HotHardware's version, and Tom's Hardware's.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt

Comments Filter:
  • arm (Score:2, Interesting)

    How do these compare to "popular" arm chips? Ideally ones powerful enough to run netbooks not just phones.

    • Re:arm (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:22AM (#29350143) Homepage

      If you imagine ARM as a women's flyweight newbie and Lynnfield as the men's heavyweight world champion in boxing, you got a pretty good idea how that match will play out. Not nearly the same class and the results are as expected.

      • Re:arm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:21AM (#29351779) Homepage

        What is it now, the secret Linux on ARM "this will crush Intel any day now" idiot brigade doing the modding? I guess I'm in for another dose of negative karma on this post, but wtf.... we're talking about 2-500$ quad-core CPUs with a 95W TDP. There's not an ARM processor in sight that is even remotely competing in this class. Maybe if this was about some low-end Atoms the question could have made a little bit of sense, but now it's just to laugh at. And the ARM fanbois with no humor I guess.

      • Re:arm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GauteL (29207) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:00PM (#29353271)

        Could someone please stop modding this down? It really is not a troll and the post is essentially true.

        Comparing a quad core high-performance desktop processor with a lightweight low power mobile/embedded processor would be completely pointless. An argument which the parent actually made with a little bit of humour.

        The quad core desktop processor would absolutely trash the ARM in performance, but would result in a phone that would (literally) burn a whole in your pocket for 5 minutes until it ran out of battery.

        It really is like comparing apples to oranges. Both types of processors are completely unsuitable for the main uses of the other.

        Besides I can think of at least one use for a female flyweight newbie for which I'd never consider a male heavyweight champion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      How is a raven like a writing desk? They're entirely different kinds of products. They're not even the same kind of computer (RISC versus CISC), but even setting that aside, you'd be better off comparing an ARM CPU to one of Intel's low-end Atom offerings.

    • Re:arm (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:34AM (#29352867) Journal

      The popular ARM chips are single-core Cortex A8 running at between 600MHz - 1GHz. They perform slightly better than (single-core) Atom clock-for-clock on most workloads, and slightly worse on a few. The next generation chips that are just starting to hit the market are based on the Cortex A9, which does a bit better clock-for-clock and scales up to 4 cores per die. ARM chips also typically have the memory and flash controllers, GPU, and a DSP on die. Something like the OMAP3530 consumes around 250mW in real use or around 15mW when playing back MP3s on the DSP. They are typically limited to around 1GB of RAM, with only about 256MB being available in package-on-package configurations (i.e. not requiring a more expensive motherboard).

      In short, they compare like apples and oranges. In terms of performance per watt, the ARM chip most likely wins by an order of magnitude - more if you include the DSP. In terms of absolute performance, the i7 wins by at least an order of magnitude.

  • Perhaps it's nearly time to upgrade my aging Athlon X2 5600+...

    One thing that I find interesting about this is that Intel decided to still call it "i7" when it apparently doesn't fit into the Nehalem-based i7 motherboards. As the article correctly pointed out - why not call it "i6" to prevent consumer confusion?
    • by noundi (1044080) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:21AM (#29350129)

      Perhaps it's nearly time to upgrade my aging Athlon X2 5600+... One thing that I find interesting about this is that Intel decided to still call it "i7" when it apparently doesn't fit into the Nehalem-based i7 motherboards. As the article correctly pointed out - why not call it "i6" to prevent consumer confusion?

      My processor goes to i11.

    • One thing that I find interesting about this is that Intel decided to still call it "i7" when it apparently doesn't fit into the Nehalem-based i7 motherboards. As the article correctly pointed out - why not call it "i6" to prevent consumer confusion?

      Intel has never been particularly keen on matching processor branding to sockets; while its probably frustrating to enthusiasts who'd like to be able to rely on the branding rather than several different axes of variation within the same brand name while buildin

  • Lack of focus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:20AM (#29350121)

    I've begun to feel that Intel is lacking focus in their chip lineup. While it makes sense that they have different series for different markets, within those lineups they have too many disparate chips that just cloud the water.

    Atom Z vs Atom N is one such case. The Atom is supposed to be their embedded processor series, but they just can't shake off the PC market yoke and focus solely on embedded customers.

    They have server CPUs, desktop CPUs, mobile CPUs, and embedded CPUs. But within each segment there are just too many choices that make it difficult to understand the whole picture without true data analysis like this article.

    • Re:Lack of focus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:24AM (#29350169)
      It's called binning and price discrimination. One is a technical/economic tool to maximize profits based on the non-perfect nature of chip manufacture, the other is the capitalists favorite tool to extract the maximum profit possible out of the consumer.
      • Re:Lack of focus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by afidel (530433) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:38AM (#29350327)
        Wow, how is explaining the market dynamics of chip manufacturing a troll?!? Was it the use of the word capitalist? You do know that it's a perfectly valid economics term, right?
        • Was it the use of the word capitalist? You do know that it's a perfectly valid economics term, right?

          Only when followed by the word "pig!" and uttered in an Eastern European accent.

        • by vlm (69642)

          Wow, how is explaining the market dynamics of chip manufacturing a troll?!? Was it the use of the word capitalist?

          Ahh you left out the rest of the phrase "capitalists favorite tool to extract the maximum profit".

          Everyone knows the actual favorite capitalist tools to extract profit, in order, are:

          1) Form a Monopoly (Microsoft)

          2) Form an Oligopoly / Cartel (OPEC, to some extent Intel/AMD)

          3) Form a confuse-opoly to eliminate the free market by making it incomprehensible (cell phone pricing, and to a lesser extent, CPU pricing)

          4) Government intervention via patents, regulations, govt contracts, special taxes against your c

    • Re:Lack of focus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:29AM (#29350213) Journal
      One wonders if this is a lack of focus, or if they aren't hugely interested in having the whole picture be understood(at least by end users).

      If, for instance, they are assuming that the first line of selection will be done by the (presumably informed and competent) OEM, the amount of choice the customer has to deal with is considerably reduced. You pretty much just choose the device you want, and then pick from a very limited set of chips available in that device. Server configuration is still a bit complex; but so are server applications, so server customers can suck it up.

      Aside from enthusiasts who just like following the stuff, the relevant picture isn't all that complex. If you want a netbook, you get Atom, game over. If you want an ultralight, you get some cut-down ULV version of the core2. If you get a laptop or a normal desktop, you get a core2. If you get an enthusiast model or workstation, you get a quad core. Within each device type, there are only really a few clock speed/cache size options to choose from(and, unless you are doing Serious Computing or gaming, it hardly matters which one you choose).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        the relevant picture isn't all that complex. If you want a netbook, you get Atom, game over. If you want an ultralight, you get some cut-down ULV version of the core2. If you get a laptop or a normal desktop, you get a core2. If you get an enthusiast model or workstation, you get a quad core.

        What was that you were saying about "not confusing"? Jeez.

        Okay I have a Pentium 4. I want to upgrade. What's the modern-day equivalent of a Pentium 5? I see Atom notebooks for sale for $300 but those seem to have less power than what I have now, so do I get a Core2 CPU instead, or is that considered too old? Am I suppose to get an i7 processor? Or perhaps an i8? Maybe I should look at AMD instead?

        This confusion reminds me of what happened with Apple with they had Performas, Quadras, and Centris Ma

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MadKeithV (102058)
          The only people confused are the tech-savvy people who care. The rest of the consumers are just happy with the performance of the computer / laptop they bought at the price-point they could afford, blissfully ignorant of the differences in power, cores, and battery / energy use.
          I have an Atom-based netbook. I didn't know it was an atom when I bought it. I knew it was only â199 for an ultraportable that would allow me to read PDFs, read and write office documents (in OpenOffice), and surf the web.
        • You aren't understanding the parent.

          You take your $800, go to Dell's website, and select $700 worth of computer, and pay $100 tax and shipping. And then you get a free printer with 6 pages worth of ink in it.

          You aren't Intel's customer. Dell is. As the GP said, "Aside from enthusiasts who just like following the stuff, the relevant picture isn't all that complex." You fall into that "enthusiast" category, by even thinking about P5 or AMD.

          For Dell, it's a no-brainer. You find a decen

          • He said "Aside from enthusiasts who just like following the stuff".

            I might have a passing interest in the progress of processor technology but I'm actually specifically interested at the moment because I'm on the look out for a new laptop. For me that means looking at a Toshiba [toshiba.com], a Lenovo [lenovo.com] (and Dell, Fujitsu etc) and trying to make a judgment about what advantages and disadvantages each has and comparing them to see what makes the most sense for me.

            I've found Intel's processor designations mind boggling
            • But there again you're seeking information far outside that which 90% of the people buying a new computer look for.

              Intel doesn't give a shit about how easy it is for you or anyone else to compare processors. It truly doesn't matter.

              Dell will buy 100k processors of some generic type. It doesn't matter if they are the same, worse or better than what the're selling now. They'll slap them into a system, mark the entire thing up, and slap the specs on their website.

              Joe Average will come

      • An educated consumer is a dangerous consumer. You want to be able to trump up a product to sell it. But, you can't trump up a product if your buyer is an expert.
        • by epine (68316)

          An educated consumer is a dangerous consumer. You want to be able to trump up a product to sell it. But, you can't trump up a product if your buyer is an expert.

          Yes, but theory of the beneficent invisible hand is based on voluntary transactions between informed parties. It seems to me that most American businessmen are capitalist, except for than annoying bit about informed consumers. Instead we have a giant industry to manufacture overwhelmed consumers who purchase on color preference.

          You comment about trumping up a product is valid as an inference from how the system actually works, but has no point of contact to the philosophical system (capitalism) that we us

    • Re:Lack of focus (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:58AM (#29350571) Homepage

      They have to keep up the idea that there's competition by having many different brands offering many different options. Truth is that in many markets it's now a grand choice of Intel, Intel and Intel. Then you usually make more money keeping your customers confused and selling outdated or low-end processors to high-end prices than making it all very obvious. AMD is struggling badly to carve out any sort of niche where they can get a premium, delivering value processors isn't making them enough money to do what's necessary neither in R&D nor in process development. Intel on the other hand is pounding away at systems-on-a-chip, SSDs, higher-end graphics and really moving towards the Intel computer with your choice of Dell, HP or Compaq sticker. You can tell nVidia fears that future too.

      • by toby (759) *

        "Truth is that in many markets it's now a grand choice of Intel, Intel and Intel."

        Which helps explain why AMD has an antitrust suit [google.ca] against Intel.

    • I've begun to feel that Intel is lacking focus in their chip lineup.

      Yes. Because they can afford it.

      Now fab-less AMD remains in remote second position and can't really compete against the Chipzilla.

      That gives a perfect chance to Intel to further fragment the market to maximize the profits.

  • Pedantry note (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:24AM (#29350167)
    I think the submitter means "disagreed", or "argued" not "debated". I expect that in the early stages quite a lot of people debated the subject, but when the results become clear they stopped arguing and there was a general agreement

    Yes, I know it's pedantry, but some of us like to live in a world where different words mean different things that make a useful distinction. And now, please, do get off my lawn before my dog comes and pees on your shoes.

    • but when the results become clear they stopped arguing and there was a general agreement ...
      some of us like to live in a world where different words mean different things

      Are you referring to things like the difference between future tense and past tense? :-)

      P.S. Please don't bother trying to pick apart any wording that I use in this post. I don't really give a crap about minor stuff like that, but if YOU are going to be a pedant, try not to be so hypocritical about it.

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:25AM (#29350177) Homepage

    I don't understand how Core was an improvement on Pentium. Pentium was iconic and a household name (which is pretty difficult to achieve in such a low-level field, especially as Intel typically doesn't sell direct to consumers). Core is boring and misleading. For instance, Core 2 Duo ... whuh?! Doesn't sound that impressive but definitely sounds muddled.

    Now there's this i7 and i5 business. Maybe I'm just old but I preferred when "Pentium n" is the new processor and probably better than my "Pentium n-1". I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Core is about as boring as traditional IBM naming.

    Their hardware is excellent these days. They went through some doldrums but generally seemed to sort themselves out pretty effectively and come out with ace stuff. Their Linux support is usually great too. Maybe one of these will be my new PC...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241)
      I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Oh, I don't know, I've heard that Sex Sells.

      Besides, if they had stuck that naming, we would probably have the Orgasium by now, and who wouldn't buy that!
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      "Centrino". They're not just selling a CPU these days, they're selling a platform. Thus, they are marketing a platform too. The fact that CPUs are still named at all is for the benefit of enthusiasts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        >>>The fact that CPUs are still named at all is for the benefit of enthusiasts.

        False. If you bothered to learn your history, you'd know the reason why CPUs have names instead of numbers is because the courts ruled companies cannot trademark numbers. Thus the 80586 became the Pentium and that tradition has continued to today. They cannot just go back to calling them 80986 because of legal reasons.

    • by nyctopterus (717502) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:52AM (#29350487) Homepage

      I think it has to do with the marketing idea that you concentrate on your primary brand--in this case "Intel". You de-emphasise your sub-brands by giving them dull generic sounding names. I suspect this was the idea behind Apple changing the Powerbook and iBook brands to MacBook Pro and MacBook respectively. Emphasise the "Mac" umbrella brand.

      I think it's dumb, but there you go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When the Pentium 4 came out, it performed worse then the Pentium 3. Towards the middle or end of the Pentium 4's life was the only time AMD clearly trounced Intel. The Pentium brand was largely ruined.

      Intel made an attempt to re-image itself and shack off any stigma associated with it's old, we're-the-biggest-so-we-don't-care-if-our-chips-suck selves, changing it's "Intel Inside" logo to "Intel Leap Ahead," dropping Pentium, etc.

      Not sure that the new stuff is necessarily better, but I believe that was the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mikael (484)

      I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Core is about as boring as traditional IBM naming.

      They could have used 'hexium' or 'hexagonium' but the first name would have sounded like the CPU had a curse on it, and the second would lead users to think their data would disappear.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by baka_vic (769186)

      The later Pentium 4 procs were just pushing higher and higher speeds with no regards to the incredible TDP they were now producing - basically it was the epitome of a hot and expensive processor which lost to AMD at that time. The Itanium sinking also doesn't help.

      The Core stuff is from a different architecture lineage, and I guess they want to tell people that these processors were something different from the hot P4s.

      But you're right, the Core naming is retarded - Core and Core 2, are different families,

    • by pohl (872) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:47AM (#29351249) Homepage
      These things happen. Sometimes words, and sometimes even letters, carry hype all by themselves. You wake up one day, and a capital letter X is all the rage. Apple buys NeXT, then you have MacOS X. Some agile methodology gurus want to sell some books and they invent eXtreme Programming. Microsoft, with a marketing department full of ironic hipsters from Seattle, decide that would make an awesome name for Windows XP too. X is everywhere. Fast forward a few years, and the X is out, and the word Core is in. Live on the bleeding edge of the RedHat-derivitive universe with Fedora Core. Apple APIs abound: Core Data, Core Animation, Core Image. The megahertz race gives way to multicore. X sounds cool. All by itself, it is one phoneme away from something that evokes coitus. Core is hip, central, musical: hardcore, grindcore, metalcore. Even the term for the captured state of an abnormally terminated computer program sounds cool: core dump.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Little problem with your chronology - Apple has been naming their, uh, core APIs with "core" since at least the beginning of OS X, around 1999. Long before the rest of the industry thought it was cool.

        • "I'm an Apple fanboy, I was doing whatever it is you're doing before it was cool."

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Aw, muffin. Are you jealous? You know, you could just get a Mac if you want one so badly.

            The only thing worse than a "fanboy" is a "fanboy" in denial.

        • by pohl (872)
          True, but not terribly relevant to the trend. CoreFoundation may be that old, but CoreFoo didn't become a leitmotif until Tiger.
          • CoreGraphics is also that old. There are several other Core* frameworks; they were the C APIs used to implement Cocoa (Objective-C) and Carbon (Classic-style C). When Carbon was deprecated, Core expanded to include any relatively low-level Cocoa APIs. As the grandparent said, the chronology is way off. For example, Microsoft was using things-with-X-in-the-name as a buzzword from around '95 onward (DirectX, ActiveX, XBox, and so on). Apple were using Core in their APIs since 2000.
            • by pohl (872)
              I'm not sure that bringing up CoreGraphics undermines anything, given that the marketing name for it was "Quartz". You're right that I left out a lot of uses of X. I'm sure one could come up with more.
    • by koxkoxkox (879667)

      No, not the Sexium, more like the Hexium or something like that (yeah, I know it was for the joke, but still ...)

    • Maybe I'm just old but I preferred when "Pentium n" is the new processor and probably better than my "Pentium n-1".

      Not to troll, but the Pentium 4 line was a distinct step backwards from the Pentium III in many respects.

      Yes, the Pentium 4 was the successor to the Pentium III. However, it wasn't particularly good in terms of performance, power consumption, or cost. AMD clearly had the upper-hand during that period of time.

      Of course, Intel, AMD, ATI, and nVidia *all* need to clean up their product lines so that they make sense to consumers!

      • Maybe I'm just old but I preferred when "Pentium n" is the new processor and probably better than my "Pentium n-1".

        Not to troll, but the Pentium 4 line was a distinct step backwards from the Pentium III in many respects.

        Of course, that's not trollish at all, as it's simply true! The Pentium 4s were still, in some sense, "better" as they (eventually! The first Pentium 4s were slower than PIII in some benchmarks, I think) exceeded the raw performance of the PIII. But in terms of microarchitecture, the Pentium 4 was a bit of a dead end. A shame in a way, as it did seem like Intel were thinking toward the future in some respects with that design and then instead ended up wasting a lot of time. The Pentium M, which begat t

  • AES benchmarks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by a09bdb811a (1453409) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:27AM (#29350191)

    These chips have some kind of AES acceleration, called AES-NI.

    Are there any benchmarks of this? I use dm-crypt on Linux w/ AES-128 and the throughput is pretty low, about 60MB/sec tops, not as fast as the disk itself.

    • Re:AES benchmarks (Score:5, Informative)

      by Neil Hodges (960909) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:33AM (#29350257)

      The VIA Nano [wikipedia.org] has had AES, SHA-1, and SHA-256 acceleration since its inception.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, Nehalem/Lynnfield does NOT have AES-NI. Westmere will, but only in 2010. As a heavy 1Gbit+ encrypted network user, 3x AES speedup is enough for me to postpone my purchases until then.

    • by cfalcon (779563)

      But do you trust hardware you can't examine to do your encryption for you? This is a bigger problem for the hard drives where we have to trust a controller to have the data stored at some encryption standard (and can't analyze the data ourselves to check that the encryption was applied properly), but a hardware implementation could, for instance, cache your keys somewhere not nearly volatile enough.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        A regular processor running a software encryption algorithm could cache your keys, data, whatever somewhere not nearly volatile enough.

  • Nehalem vs. Nehalem (Score:4, Informative)

    by Demetrius Berman (1633485) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:32AM (#29350249)
    Lynnfield is a Nehalem processor, just as the earlier Bloomfield is a Nehalem processor, hence the title to this article makes no sense. The difference is in socket (LGA 1156 vs. LGA 1366), and intended market ... with a couple design differences as well.
    • by Andy Dodd (701) <.ude.llenroc. .ta. .7dta.> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:11AM (#29350757) Homepage

      By definition, if it isn't a Nehalem die, it's not Nehalem, even if it's just a "tock" variant (die shrunk - see Intel's "tick/tock" roadmap) of Nehalem it's still a different chip design.

      In this case, the CPU has significant design differences from a Nehalem CPU. There's a lot more than just removing some pins from the package. The CPU had to be changed significantly (one DDR channel removed, QPI replaced with DMI) in order to allow those pins to be removed.

      The removal of QPI in favor of DMI (much slower but simpler/cheaper) is a *significant* difference.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by zokier (1049754)
        There isn't a single Nehalem die/chip. Nehalem refers to the general architecture on which Lynnfield, Bloomfield etc chips are based on.
        • You're both right, which is why the argument is stupid. There's the Nehalem microarchitecture which refers to the chip's construction, and there's the actual Nehalem chip, which was the first chip built with the Nehalem architecture.

          It's like arguing whether or not you can call the USS Greenville a "Los Angeles boat".
          • No, they aren't both right. Nehalem is an arcitecture and nothing more. There is no Nehalem chip.

            http://www.intel.com/technology/architecture-silicon/next-gen/ [intel.com]

            Intel® Microarchitecture, Codenamed Nehalem

            Intel's latest-generation microarchitecture, first exemplified as the Intel® Coreâ i7 processor, represents the next step in faster, multi-core technology that intelligently maximized performance to match your workload

            It was first exemplified as the Core i7, and as we know the Core

      • The removal of QPI in favor of DMI (much slower but simpler/cheaper) is a *significant* difference.

        Funny. QPI was not removed or replaced by DMI in any sense of the word. In fact, DMI has existed for at least the last 5 generations of chipsets from Intel. On last year's Nehalem release, QPI connected the CPU with their "IOH" called Tylersburg. Tylersburg was then connected to the ICH with DMI. It was a 3 chip solution. With Lynnfield, the CPU and IOH have been combined to a single chip. The QPI conne

    • by kill-1 (36256)

      Exactly. I also don't see why the memory for Lynnfield CPUs should be cheaper as the submitter claims.

      • Two DIMMs are cheaper than three.

        • Unlike some old designs years ago where the memory had to be installed in pairs, Nehalem's triple channel system is designed so that it can also operate in single or dual channel mode. So the number of DIMMs isn't the issue. You can get away with a single DIMM if you wan't. So, installing 2 DIMMs on a Lynnfield system should be no less expensive than installing those 2 DIMMs on a Bloomfield system. The only thing Lynnfield will do to improve the cost is
          1) Decrease the cost of the motherboard/chipset/cpu its

  • Okay I know it's important for big server farms, but personally speaking I'm not interested in performance per watt at all. I'm only interested in one thing: Which processor/motherboard/graphics card/OS combination gives me the biggest bang for the bucks for my gaming, compilation, and simulation needs?

    • by remmelt (837671) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:50AM (#29350449) Homepage

      Bang for the price-of-admittance buck or bang for the total-cost-of-ownership buck?

      See, not only server farms need to pay their electricity bills. A modest system can be built in the under 50W range, where gamer systems don't have the 1000W PSU for nothing. There is a huge difference at the end of the month.

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        Indeed, the system I'm posting this on now has a Core2Duo e7400 proc at 2.8 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB HDD, and integrated nVidia graphics. While running Ubuntu 9.10, with compiz effects on, according to my Kill-A-Watt meter, it pulls a cool 46 watts at the plug just browsing around. I can't complain.
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        A modest system can be built in the under 50W range, where gamer systems don't have the 1000W PSU for nothing.Mostly they do. You need an insanely powerful system to come even close to needing a 1kW PSU. A quite capable gaming system will comfortably function with a PSU of half that capacity.

    • How nice for you not have a care in the world for energy consumption. As one who actually has utility bills to pay, my electric bill is around 20 cents per kwh, or $1752 per kw-year. If I can save 200 watts of continuous consumption, that's $350.40 less per year for me to pay. Also, I don't play games, so I don't give a flying fuck for graphics performance after the first couple of notches. The same goes for cars. I could drive a car that goes 200 mph and 0 to 60 in 3 seconds, but mpg is important to m

      • by edmudama (155475)

        Depends heavily on where you live.

        Residential power here is $0.055 per kWh with no hourly, daily or seasonal restrictions or pricing... roughly 25% of what you pay. There are almost no cases where paying extra for a green technology locally will recover the costs.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:54AM (#29350511)

    Since we're talking about different Intel chip lines...

    I've been laptop shopping, and I've seen two different kinds mobile processor names: P* vs. T*. For example, P8600 and T9600.

    Could someone explain to me the significance of 'T' vs. 'P'?

    • The "T" vs "P" originally came from the name of the socket the processor fit in, but quickly became corrupted by Intel marketeering. The modern guideline is that the "T" chips tend to be Mobile Core 2 Duo ("Merom") which are 65-nm chips and run hotter, and that the "P" chips are all Mobile Core 2 ("Penryn") which are 45nm and run 10W+ cooler. The latter, obviously, get significantly better battery life and come with all of the bells-and-whistles enabled by default (VT-x, EIST, faster FSB at 1066 MT/s, etc).
  • Power consumption, H.264 encoding, file compression and image manipulation tested here, as well as Intel's on-chip PCI-Express links in multi-GPU setups: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Intel-Core-i5-and-i7-Processors-and-P55-Chipset/ [hothardware.com]
  • Fishy numbers? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NameIsDavid (945872)
    Something seems strange with these numbers. My i7 920 system, overclocked to 3.2GHz, draws 95W at idle (monitor excluded). This is based on the APC utility that monitors my UPS unit into which my computer is plugged. This is with 6GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and a silent ATI 4670 card. Now, my GPU draws much less than the test system. However, the 60W difference between Nehalem and Lynnfield seems odd since that would means that my system would drop to 35W idle with Lynnfield!
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      However, the 60W difference between Nehalem and Lynnfield seems odd since that would means that my system would drop to 35W idle with Lynnfield!

      Isn't the claimed 60W difference under load? The idle figures I see in the Tom's Hardware article only show about 30W difference.

      However, from what I've read of the article, the new CPUs will pretty much shut down cores which aren't being used and lose an entire north-bridge chip that currently takes about 20W by itself.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      My i7 920 system, overclocked to 3.2GHz, draws 95W at idle (monitor excluded). This is based on the APC utility that monitors my UPS unit into which my computer is plugged.

      That seems extremely high for an idle system. You should check it with something like a Kill-a-watt.

      Are you sure you don't have a few instances of Prime95 or something running in the background ? :)

  • While I hardly think 640K is enough for anyone, this story strikes me as an odd curiosity, certainly not something worthy of the Slashdot front page. In the age of netbooks, the iPhone, and notebook computing, does the ultimate pinnacle of performance even matter any more? Even with desktops, I just bought a $600 Dell that's so far beyond anything I can throw at it (with the usual exception of those few extraordinarily demanding GPU-bound games that need $400 video cards just to scrape by), that CPU perfo
    • That's why the comparison is performance per Watt, not performance, although good job posting before reading to the end of the headline. Performance per Watt is still very much relevant. Even if the chip is fast enough already, a new version that has the same performance in half the power means more battery life.
    • I have a 4ghz C2D (overclocked). My x.264 encoding of BD rips takes as long as 18 hours - I keep the quality high. I am looking for more cores and more clock speed if I can get it in order to lower encoding time. I already know more cores will benefit me since a slightly slower 4 core I've "drag tested" has beaten my C2D by a couple of hours but runs hot as hell. I've been looking to move to an I-7 920 clocked to 4ghz but if I can get one of these 800 series CPUs for less, overclock it to nearly the same pe

  • so? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toby (759) * on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:41AM (#29352981) Homepage Journal

    Why compare 2 Intel products? Where's the comparison with AMD, or - in a perfect world - low-power, high-threads SPARC?

    Intel == destructive monopoly, quit playing into their hands. Up next: Worthless comparisons of Vista and W7...

    • I would say AMD and Intel are neck and neck performance-wise. They both alternate years of being in the lead. Intel does not really have a monopoly. There are really only two manufacturers in the CPU market.
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        I would say AMD and Intel are neck and neck performance-wise.

        If by 'neck and neck' you mean 'often slaughtered by a CPU running 500MHz slower', yes. Which wouldn't be a problem for AMD per se if AMD's slower CPUs were significantly cheaper to build than Intel's; most of the revenue is in the mid-range even if much of the profit is at the high end.

        They both alternate years of being in the lead.

        AMD get ahead when Intel screw up. Currently Intel are not screwing up and don't seem likely to screw up for some time to come.

        There are really only two manufacturers in the CPU market.

        That'll be news to ARM (though I suppose that if you're pedantic enough you could claim that they

  • More Reviews (Score:2, Informative)

    by tab_b (1279858)
    Here are a few more reviews for today: The Tech Report [techreport.com], Phoronix [phoronix.com], AnandTech [anandtech.com], X-bit labs [xbitlabs.com], and Benchmark Reviews [benchmarkreviews.com]. It's all enough to make your eyes bleed. There's a list for the Core i7 870 at 0x6877.com [0x6877.com]
  • This is slightly off-topic but I really like the newer Celeron processors. It is almost an overclocker's dream as you have a fair amount of room to play with. The new Celeron E3000 series based on the Wolfdale architecture looks especially promising and has 1mb of cache. I bought the Celeron E3300 and I am planning to pump it to 3GHZ. My guess is that a simple increase of 500MHZ should be interesting enough without putting undue stress on it. From there, I'd like to see how it compares with Dual Core X

That does not compute.

Working...