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Cores vs Ghz -Updated-

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I have seen many claims and results by people (especially with the previous gen Intel core i3/i5/i7 CPUs) that all you really need is a dual core for gaming. i7's and to some extent i5's were pointless.
Now obviously in rendering or encoding generally more cores are better than trying to get that extra 500MHz or more overclock.
So I decided to test it.

I chose a simple way of testing, I started my 4 core 4 thread 2500K at 4.8GHz and 1.4v
(so that it was stable all across the field, some 2 core setups 0x0124's when I originally tried with 1.375v thinking.gif )
I disabled the cores via the BIOS rather than just changing the affinity in Windows.
The reason for this is that I want to to be as close to a true tri/dual/single core CPU as possible.
And I don't want the other cores handling other tasks in the background.

These are the settings I used:
  • 4 Cores - 4.8GHz - 3.6GHz - 2.4GHz
  • 3 Cores - 4.8GHz - 3.6GHz - 2.4GHz
  • 2 Cores - 4.8GHz - 3.6GHz - 2.4GHz
  • 1 Cores - 4.8GHz - 3.6GHz - 2.4GHz

My reasoning behind this is simple,
4 cores at 4.8GHz is 100% of the CPU's 'power'.
3 cores at 4.8GHz should be 75% of the CPU's 'power'.
4 cores at 3.6GHz should also be 75% of the CPU's 'power'.
etc...

Also the minimum limit on a Sandy Bridge 2500K CPU seems to be x16, so I am not able to go down to 1.2GHz. I would need a Bclk of 75 to get 1.2GHz with the 16 multi, but sadly I can't even get below 97 redface.gif

For the first batch of tests I decided to do some well used benchmarks as well as some temperature / GFlop tests. The results in games will come later.

So now for the results:

Benchmarks


r10h.jpg
Cinebench R10 showed some nice results, 3 cores at 4.8GHz actually beat 4 cores at 3.6GHz. But after that more cores did seem to be better.




r10h.jpg
Cinebench R11.5 showed 4 cores at 3.6GHz beating 3 cores at 3.6GHz this time around.




aq3.jpg
Some, interesting, results alright. AquaMark 3 seems to hate 3 cores confused.gif and 3 cores at 3.6GHz beat 3 cores at 4.8Ghz confused.gif
I ran these tests multiple times, all came up with the same results. Also I set the priority to "high" and affinity to the maximum amount of available cores.




70488221.jpg
Interesting really, single core at 2.4GHz only losing 0.3FPS. This was to be expected, but I never knew to this extent. This shows some promising results for people just interested in gaming. Dual core definitely looks more than enough with Heaven 2.5. Heck a single core would do it just fine.




3dmarkor.jpg
3DMark'11 showed a steady loss as the GHz went down, but less cores didn't slow it down as much.
NOTE - As the cores declined the Physics score rapidly dropped. And the graphics score also decreased, but at a slower rate.




ibto.jpg
The GFlops seem to go down pretty much as expected.
NOTE - I ran IBT on a dual Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, it scored 21Gflops (800 DDR2 CL5 RAM) with the same settings. Just interesting to see how it compares to the 30GFlops of 2500K with only 2 cores at 2.4GHz.




p95q.jpg
This is something that amazed me, not adjusting the voltage at all my CPU was loading at 38'c with one core on air, if I undervolted I'm sure it could be MUCH lower.




Games

If there any you want me to run (as well as some other benchmarks) I will try my best to do so.
But please do note that I don't have every game in the world redface.gif

Some games currently I want to test are:
  • Starcraft II
  • Some ported games / badly optimized games (Assassins Creed etc)



We can relate to games a lot easier then benchmarks, and they tend to show some more interesting results. These are the average / min / max FPS recorded in various games. I want to note that the minimum FPS was often horrible with 1 core and a lot higher with 4. This can make all the difference in the world when gaming.


avpg.jpg

A slight drop in FPS as the cores and GHz decrease, but not much. This game relies a lot more on the GPU than the CPU. Min FPS with one core was a lot lower than with 4, but still very playable.




bfbc2max.jpg
bfbc2min.jpg
bfbc2p.jpg

The results speak for themselves, more cores, more GHz! This game scales very well compared to others. 1 core at 2.4Ghz was unbearable with it dipping down to 15FPS in gunfights. A dual core will do OK here, but this game requires 3 or more overclocked cores to start producing some nice FPS.




hl2max.jpg
hl2min.jpg
hl2avg.jpg

HL2 is an old game that has gone many changes in the past few years. A Pentium 4 can run this game with acceptable FPS, so it was no surprise to me that I could too biggrin.gif
I always thought that I would see no difference when I lowered the cores, but turns out HL2 utilizes more than 2 cores.




gmodmax.jpg
gmodmin.jpg
gmodavg.jpg

While this uses the same engine and graphics etc as HL2, I have much more control in GMod. I did several different tests for this, first one I spawned as many barrels and rag dolls as I could until the min FPS went down the drain. Several other prop tests and just general blowing stuff up tongue.gif




gridmax.jpg
gridmin.jpg
gridavg.jpg

GRID is an old-ish game too, not that much of a drop was seen until I went down to 1 core. But this game seems to LOVE a good overclock vs more cores.




crysis2max.jpg
crysis2min.jpg
crysis2avg.jpg

Crysis 2.... This game made my rig weep. I managed to do some painfully slow runs and this seems to behave a bit like GRID. Not that much loss until you get down to 1 core, but the Min/Max does take a hit more than anything, heck single digits for min FPS wasn't fun redface.gif

Edited by Alex132 - 8/9/11 at 8:16am
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post #2 of 47
BFBC2 is something you should test too.
imo, one of the games that really show the difference between more cores.
Good stuff, well done graphs and easy to read.
thumb.gif
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post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lagittaja;14449877 
BFBC2 is something you should test too.
imo, one of the games that really show the difference between more cores.
Good stuff, well done graphs and easy to read.
thumb.gif

Yeah knew someone was going to say that tongue.gif
Guess I'll let the patches download overnight, got one or two GB to download in patches redface.gif
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post #4 of 47
Wow, nice and neat. Good job. smile.gif
post #5 of 47
Nice, thats good, but it would be cool if someone did it with direct comparison to an i3 thats clocked the same, due to a different CPU design.

So possibly an i5 760 (like mine) and an i3 540 or whatever would yield some interesting results.
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post #6 of 47
WOW this is super cool! Can't wait for the results.
 
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post #7 of 47
rep +

great work !
   
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post #8 of 47
Great work! Repped!
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post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlockZoR IV;14450021 
Nice, thats good, but it would be cool if someone did it with direct comparison to an i3 thats clocked the same, due to a different CPU design.

So possibly an i5 760 (like mine) and an i3 540 or whatever would yield some interesting results.

Not using a different CPU means that there are less variables, after all this is just pure Cores vs Ghz. I don't want to bring in other factors (especially with the temps). Also I'm not that rich redface.gif

AvP results almost done.
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post #10 of 47
Quote:
NOTE - I ran IBT on a dual Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, it scored 21Gflops (800 DDR2 CL5 RAM) with the same settings. Just interesting to see how it compares to the 30GFlops of 2500K with only 2 cores at 2.4GHz.

Interesting. My stock 2500k (3.3ghz) only gets 41 in ibt. which is slower than yours at 2.4ghz.
     
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It's awful A bit meh, Bodged hinge repair (Nut and bolt through back ... 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4ghz Asus P8P67 pro Gigabyte GTX780 12GB Corsair RAM (2/3 vengance, 1/3 XMS3) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
500gb Spinpoint f3 Samsung 840 EVO 120gb Seagate 7200.14 2tb Samsung dvd+-rw 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 ultimate x64 LG 24MP55 x2 LG 32LD450 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dell thing. Corsair TX650 Coolermaster cm690 Logitech G500 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
none Xonar DG and logitech X-540 Beyer DT770 PRO 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A6-4455m 2.1ghz Dual Covered in tea stains Radeon 7500G 6GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
SSD soon None Inadequate Win7 of course 
MonitorKeyboardCase
It's awful A bit meh, Bodged hinge repair (Nut and bolt through back ... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Celeron M 360 1.4ghz Packard bell easynote (lynx banias) Intel 855gm 768mb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
50gb seagate Cd dvd combi XP sp3 15 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
one with buttons Brick It has one It has leds 
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my lap or the chair 
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