Some questions about the current CPUs on the market

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Bigsnake, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Bigsnake

    Bigsnake OT Supporter

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    Looking to start building a new computer and it's main application will be for games. I've been out of looking at hardware for a LONG time so I don't know a lot of this stuff anymore.

    I've been looking at AMD and Intel. How do the AMDs 64-bit processors compare to the Intels that are out there? The main reason I'm asking is AMDs seem to be running a good bit slower. Say I have a 2.4ghz 64-bit AMD and like a 3.2Ghz Intel... How do they actually compare to each other Performance wise?

    Also, tell me about these dual-core chips. Say I have two chips of the same clock speed. One is Single-Core and one is Dual-Core... Is there truly a difference between their performance levels?

    Does the computer automatically take advantage of the Dual-Core technology or is it something the software has to support like dual-processors?

    Thanks for the help and I hope that all makes sense.
     
  2. mysteryman

    mysteryman OT Supporter

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    The GHz # is becoming more and more meaningless day-by-day. For me, my company is thinking about getting AMD servers because the performance and power savings of Opterons versus Xeons is significant. However, on a personal use level, you probably wouldn't care as much about power usage. The dual-core chips are like having dual processors but the applications that you are using need to support this (most don't), however, if one does the performance increase is pretty significant.
     
  3. Bigsnake

    Bigsnake OT Supporter

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    So basically a PC game isn't probably not going to take advantage of the Dual-Core?

    If Ghz is not the # to look at, then how do you compare different chips?
     
  4. mysteryman

    mysteryman OT Supporter

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    Depends on the game. My brother put together a dual core system and the game was actually having issues because of the dual core and he ended up disabling it at the BIOS level. You should look at tests that websites like Anandtech, Hardocp, etc do on hardware. They typically will evaluate many areas such as game performance, productivity, etc and compare against different chips.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    1. Windows already supports up to 32 processors, so a dual core falls well within what it can handle.

    2. 64-bit CPUs use data in 8-byte "words" instead of 4-byte "words". The consequences are pretty wide-ranging -- it can handle 4 billion gigabytes of RAM instead of 4 gigabytes (not that this matters nowadays though), it can handle 4 billion times as many commands (also doesn't matter), and it transfers data in chunks that are twice as big (this DOES matter).

    3. Dual core CPUs are basically two separate CPUs built into the same piece of silicon instead of two separate pieces. This shortens the distance the data has to travel to move between CPUs (at current CPU speeds, electricity moves 1 foot per clock-tick). The dual cores don't actually run faster than the single cores do, so your programs will act the same on either setup. However, the big advantage is that you can run twice as many programs before the computer bogs down.

    64-bit is making inroads in popularity, and any day now some big company will make some big program for Windows that you'll want to run and you'll have to have a 64-bit CPU to run it. However, for the time being, dual core is the more practical option because most people run lots of programs at once.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Sounds like a job for my Advanced Process Scheduler and its crazy-fresh CPU-allocation feature. It should be able to block off one of the cores exclusively for your friend's game and let everything else use the other core.
     
  7. happyrobots

    happyrobots Ü

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    In for this answer. I hate looking at computers and seeing Celeron D/M/?/?, xxxx 3000+, Turion 64, Centrino, and more...and not having a clue to what the processor speed is. I wish they all would use the same damn system! Is there a way simply see what each approx Ghz is (like 3.2)?
     
  8. Pet3R

    Pet3R Active Member

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    a dual core cpu has two physical cores at the same speed each, on different dies. a dual core intel cpu with hyperthreading gives you 2 physical cores and 2 logical cores. prgms will run faster and your cpu wont be stressed as much as a single core cpu. but not all games take full advantage of dual core cpu's YET. there arent many games that support 64 bit either, and arent many programs that use 64 bit. intel's are currently into netburst, thats why you see so many intel cpu's with tremendous speeds. but if i were you, id wait till the new intel conroe core comes out, which deviates from netburst, and performs like a beast.
     
  9. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Conroe is a good 4+ months away. You always can't wait for new tech, as it is constantly better stuff coming out.
     
  10. mobbarley

    mobbarley Active Member

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    as far as im aware, you need to be running a 64 bit OS for 64 bit programs to work. There is an XP 64, but drivers are painful.

    Dual cores are now 'cheap' so expect to see every major 3d game & killer app from now on supporting them well.
     
  11. Bigsnake

    Bigsnake OT Supporter

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    But if I'm building a comptuer that I can futureproof, then wouldn't I want to get a 64-bit cpu right now?
     
  12. Bigsnake

    Bigsnake OT Supporter

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    Thanks... I keep asking for advice and everyone is like, "Wait for this to come out" etc...

    I don't want to wait 6 months or so to build a new comptuer... because when that happens something else will be relased in another 4 months or so that's even better.
     
  13. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    The only way to get the answer you want is to find some processors in your price range and start googling for benchmarks.
     
  14. shohan

    shohan New Member

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    To save creating another thread since we're already talking about CPUs I'll add my question here. I've been asked to build a general rig for email, internet, normal use. No games save maybe solitaire and the games annoying people like to shotgun to their entire contact list.

    My question comes down to will there be major difference between this AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Newcastle and this Sempron 64 3300+ Palermo?

    Here's the system it'll be going in:
    Mobo: BIOSTAR K8NHA Grand Socket 754 NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    HSF: ZALMAN CNPS7000B-ALCU 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan - Retail
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
    RAM: Patriot Signature Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model PSD1G400KH - Retail
    GPU: eVGA 256-A8-N313-LX Geforce FX5500 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail

    Might be a irrelevant as the difference would be unnoticable. I've checked the reviews at Tom's Hardware and comparing the two processors the Sempron is on average about 20 FPS behind the Athlon in the game benchmarks and at most 500 points behind on the Futuremark. Still I'd like to get some more opinions.

    Thanks :wavey:
     
  15. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    i have an amd athlon 64 3000+. it's a 64 bit processor. i run 32 bit windows because from what i've read, i wouldn't see a huge advantage to running 64 bit windows over 32 in terms of speed, somewhat due to crappy driver support and lack of 64 bit programs
    so, i think that my computer runs at pretty much the same speed as a comparable 32 bit amd 3000+ processor.
    i'll have to try ibuntu linux for 64 bit computers that i got in the mail today and see what happens.

    i'd love to get a decent 64 bit system with 64 bit video editing software

    also, the dual core processors aren't really cheap in my opinion.
    an amd athlon 64 x2 dual core 3800+ processor alone is around $330

    step it up to the amd athlon 64 x2 dual core 4800+ and your looking at around $787
    according to outpost.com. the good thing is that the motherboards aren't super expensive
     
  16. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    The sempr0n has way less cache, and it will make a major difference. Any reason why you want a S754 system instead of S939? A 3000+ S939 is only like $121, and will out perform both the S754 cpus.
     
  17. shohan

    shohan New Member

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    No real reason for going with a S754 other then it consistently had good perfomance throught this Review at Tom's Hardware
    Also, I'm trying to keep total price, including shipping, around $500 so I'm sort of going for the best bang for the buck without worrying about future upgradability. The current PC the person has that I'm building this new one for is atleast 5 years old and wasn't even a stellar performer then. I'll take a look at some S939 processors and boards and see if I can find something there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2006
  18. shohan

    shohan New Member

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  19. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    definately take the S939 system. S754 doesn't support Dual Channel ram and it benefits A64 quite a bit.
     
  20. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    From what I understand, the problem with dual core cpu's is that they don't really have the memory controller worked out yet. That is why a dual single core Opteron 252, 2.6ghz setup will absolutely blow the freaking doors off of a single dual-core Opteron 2.6ghz setup. Both are two 2.6ghz cores, but
    the dual-core gets it's ass spanked all over the place by the two single cores, for 300 bucks less.
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The memory controller for dual core CPUs works fine, it just works differently than multiprocessor systems. With a multiprocessor system, each CPU makes separate requests for data from memory, which is faster, but the CPUs take longer to communicate between each other. With a dual-core system, both cores have to cooperate on their requests for data from memory, but the cores can communicate between each other much more quickly and they can exchange data between each other via the very fast cache memory they share.
     
  22. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    This makes no difference whatsoever in the fact that two 2.6ghz single core amd cpu's spank the ass of one 2.6ghz dual core amd cpu.
     
  23. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    From all the benchmarks I've seen the difference is minimal, no where near being considered a "spanking".
     
  24. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    No way. The dual cores get in the way of each other. On some benchmarks, the dual core number are simply obliterated by the pair of single cores.
    In fact, the disparity is so huge, that the pair of single cores even beats a
    PAIR of dual cores, on more than half the benchmarks that Techreport put them through.
    Dual core cpu systems remain nothing but hype. The only people who can even take advantage of the extra cpu power are people doing heavy rendering.
     
  25. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Single core Opterons are a powerful thing.
    The Opteron 275 is a dual core running 2.2ghz per core.
    The Opteron 254 is a single core running at 2.6 ghz.
    So figure a disparity of 15% maybe, if they were matched at speed?
    Well this is a whole lot more than 15% difference.
    It even beats a pair of them.


    [​IMG]
     

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