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AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition vs Intel i7 2600K

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been curious now for quite some time as to how both of my computers would fair against each other. Tonight being a night off for me, I decided to pit them against each other. I know this has been done many times over, but I wanted to feed my curiosity and really wanted to share something with this amazing community.

Introduction
My main rig houses:

Intel i7 2600k
ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
Zotac GTX 480
Mushkin Enhanced 120GB SSD
Corsair HX850w
All in an Antec 1200
CPU-Z Validation

My AMD rig houses:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
Gigabyte 990XA-UD3
2x4GB G.Skill DDR3 1600MHz + 2x2GB Corsair LP DDR3 1600MHz
EVGA GTX 480
Seagate Baracuda 500GB 7200RPM
Thermaltake TR2 600w
All in an Antec 900
CPU-Z Validation

Generally, I run the 2600k stably at 4.8GHz, while I happily run the 955 at 3.9GHz. I have played Battlefield 3 on both these rigs, and both are able to crush the game, running on Ultra settings. I generally play on 24/7 Rush + Metro maps, so the testing would be the same. The AMD rig averages about 65fps, with GPU load at about 98%. The Intel+SLi averages about 115fps. These are off the top of my head, as I haven't used my AMD rig much since the PSU in my main rig died.

Anways, I will start with the setup. I am going to test both rigs at 3.9Ghz. To achieve this with my AMD rig, I set the cpu multiplier to 19.5x, slightly bumped the vcore, and manually setting the RAM to 1600MHz.


Here is the top section of my BIOS:
Photobucket

And the bottom section:
Photobucket

These are the settings that I run 24/7 on my AMD rig. I never really cared or had the patience to increase the Northbridge or Hypertransport frequencies, and strongly feel that, outside of benchmarks, I would never notice the overclocks anyways.

For my Intel setup, I have messed with a few settings. As stated before, I usually run the chip at 4.8GHz with Hyper-Threading on, but for this test, have downclocked the chip to 3.9 to match the AMD chip. My current main gaming rig is the first and only Intel setup I have ever built. When I put the system together and loaded up the BIOS, I was very lost, as I was so used to working with AMD setups. Out of the box and, I believe, on stock settings (maybe just a bump in vcore), I was able to hit 4.5GHz stably. However, no matter what I tried, I simply could not load Windows over 4.5GHz. I turned to Youtube and followed a video, and before I knew it, I was stably running 4.8Ghz.


Top section of my BIOS:
Photobucket

Bottom section of my BIOS:
Photobucket

The only difference between these tests and my 24/7 setup is the CPU multiplier, which I run at 48 instead of 39. I still don't know what all of these settings do, but since my system is stable, I haven't bothered to change anything.

Testing
The first line of testing I am going to use is good ol' 3D Mark Vantage. I began by running just the CPU tests. I ran each test 3 times and here are my results;

AMD:
Run 1: 12,639
Run 2: 13,004
Run 3: 12,122

Intel:
Run 1: 20,269
Run 2: 20,636
Run 3: 21,036

After running each test three times and recording the results, I noticed that each rig seemed to increase it's respective score by about 400 each run, so I decided the run the test one more time on each rig.


Results:
AMD: 13,038
Intel: 20,785

I decided that the "phenomenon" was just a coincidence. This has concluded my first round of testing. You can only take so much from a benchmark, so I am not going to dwell on the benchmarks for too long. My next round of testing is adding the GPU test to each rig, running only 1 of my 480's on my Intel rig. I run both rigs at the same GPU settings, 800MHz core, 2000MHz memory. The only concern I have is in regards to the FSB/Hypertransport/North Bridge. I am not sure how much variation exists between AMD's Hypertransport/North Bridge and whatever Intel uses, but I am trying my best to make these tests soley CPU dependant. The AMD rig does have 4GB less of RAM, but I feel that running a single program is not going to tax anywhere near that amount. So here we go. I decided to run the "stock" Vantage setting, which is the Performance preset option. Also, I set the Physx to CPU in the NVIDIA panel, hoping to spark more input from the CPU. Here are my results:

AMD GPU Only:
Run 1: 21,237
Run 2: 21,147
Run 3: 21,149

Intel GPU Only:
Run 1: 21,538
Run 2: 21,540
Run 3: 21,777

So it appears that while the systems performed fairly well, the Intel rig ran slightly faster. However, I noticed something very strange. While the cards performed similarly during the first 2 GPU tests, the AMD system absolutely spanked the Intel system during the Feature tests. I grabbed both boxes out of storage, and to my astonishment, the Zotac GTX 480 that I purchased last June is only OpenGL 3.2, while the EVGA is OpenGL 4.1. While I can only guess, I am going to assume that this is the reason why the EVGA scored 300% higher then the Zotac on the final Feature test in 3D Mark Vantage. I am very tempted to pick up another EVGA and make a GPU swap soon...


Anyways, I am going to call it a day. In the next couple of days, I am going to try to gather some in-game benches on both systems. I'm also going to try to get some other CPU-intensive programs and really beef up this competition. For now, ta-ta and farewell!!
Edited by dalastbmills - 4/15/12 at 9:22pm
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Phyllis
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post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I took some feedback and tried to even the table as best as I could. For my second round of testing, I removed 2 DIMM's from my Intel setup and ran 2x4GB DIMM's at 1600MHz. I also used an old SATA drive for both setups, running the Intel setup and testing yesturday, and running the AMD setup this morning. For testing, I started with clean installs and timed both systems running at 3.9GHz with 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM. For this testing purpose, I started timing after I had selected the drive/partition, and the windows files began to decompress, etc. The end time is when I was in Windows at the desktop.

System setups:
Intel i7 2600k @ 3.9GHz (100 x 3.9)
ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
8GB (4GB x2) G.Skill DDR3 1600MHz
Maxtor 100GB 1.5Gb/s Sata HDD
EVGA GTX 480 800/2000

AMD Phenom x4 955 Black Edition @ 3.9GHz (200 x 19.5)
Gigabyte 990XA-UD3
8GB (4GB x2) G.Skill DDR3 1600MHz
Maxtor 100GB 1.5Gb/s Sata HDD
EVGA GTX 480 800/2000

Intel:
Start time: 10:31a
Finish time: 10:48a
Elapsed time: 17 minutes

AMD:
Start time: 11:31a
Finish time: 11:53a
Elapsed time: 22 minutes

The results speak for themselves. The Phenom took an extra 5 minutes for OS installation. I noticed that the first step, the uncompressing of Windows files, etc, sat for some time, at 0%, for the AMD setup while the Intel chip seemed to being almost immediately.

Anyways, from here, I decided to stick to 3D Mark Vantage and keep it simple. I used the 955 at 3.9GHz as my baseline. I wanted to know how the i7 compared to the chip at various speeds. So, yesterday, I ran 3D Mark Vantage 3 times at different speeds. Here are my results.

4.8GHz w/ HT
Run 1: CPU - 32,461 | GPU - 21,684
Run 2: CPU - 32,418 | GPU - 21,684
Run 3: CPU - 32,359 | GPU - 21,549

This setup, 4.8GHz with HT on, is my 24/7 setup. This is the only run that I had HT turned on. From here on out speeds are four cores, four threads. Also, speed/turbo boost has been disabled, so all tests are running at stated CPU speeds.

4.8GHz
Run 1: CPU - 24,863 | GPU - 21,553
Run 2: CPU - 25,309 | GPU - 21,526
Run 3: CPU - 25,439 | GPU - 21,520

3.9GHz
Run 1: CPU - 20,332 | GPU - 21,706
Run 2: CPU - 20,640 | GPU - 21,558
Run 3: CPU - 20,667 | GPU - 21,462

3.4GHz
Run 1: CPU - 18,002 | GPU - 21,438
Run 2: CPU - 18,319 | GPU - 21,491
Run 3: CPU - 18,158 | GPU - 21,557

2.5GHz
Run 1: CPU - 13,271 | GPU - 21,034
Run 2: CPU - 13,467 | GPU - 20,935
Run 3: CPU - 13,300 | GPU - 20,852

Thus, ended my Intel testing. I removed the Maxtor hard drive and installed it in my AMD rig. I only ran 2 tests on the AMD rig, 3.9GHz and stock at 3.2GHz. Here are my results.

3.9GHz
Run 1: CPU - 13,081 | GPU - 21,425
Run 2: CPU - 13,325 | GPU - 21,383
Run 3: CPU - 13,249 | GPU - 21,135

3.2GHz
Run 1: CPU - 10,847 | GPU - 20,427
Run 2: CPU - 11,095 | GPU - 20,515
Run 3: CPU - 11,112 | GPU - 20,485

Thus concluded my AMD testing.

After analyzing this information, I have come to several conclusions.

Conclusion 1: For the sake of these tests, I will assume that, ~21.5k is the highest score a single GTX 480 will score under 100% GPU load. If this assumption is correct, then the 955 at 3.9GHz is fast enough to hit the "GPU 100% load wall." The 2600k is capable of hitting this wall at stock speeds, which in turn means anything over stock speeds will also hit this wall. At stock speeds for the AMD chip, the GPU score dipped very minimally, and I doubt any in-game performance loss would be noticed. Also, at 2.5GHz, the same performance dip was noticed in the Intel setup GPU score.

Conclusion 2: The Sandy Bridge quad core CPU at 2.5GHz is faster then the Phenom II quad core at 3.9GHz. While I can only say that you can take only so much from a benchmark, the scores speak for themselves.

Conclusion 3: This one is kind of a long shot and will be my last conclusion. When comparing my test results of the i7 setup with the Sata 1.5G/bs HDD and 8GB DDR3 RAM to the original results using a SATA III SSD and 16GB DDR3 RAM, I noticed no loss in performance when dropping from SATA III SSD to SATA HDD. Again, you can only take so much from a benchmark. In-game performance will be effected by your HDD when your game needs to load new textures and such, but for the sake of these tests, I can assume that any SATA drive should yield similar results.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to any and all feedback.
Edited by dalastbmills - 4/17/12 at 1:29pm
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post #3 of 17
Interesting tests. It's nice to see some statistical material to support the idea that an Intel CPU isn't needed to max out BF3!

Good job, keep going.

Oh and good job figuring out the GL differences thumb.gif
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post #4 of 17
Nice thread, would be good to see how the old deneb fairs from a local OCN viewpoint.

Have you always had those mismatched pairs of RAM in your AMD rig? You've probably tried this but you could go for a higher OC on the 955 if you left only two dimms in.
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post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalastbmills View Post

These are the settings that I run 24/7 on my AMD rig. I never really cared or had the patience to increase the Northbridge or Hypertransport frequencies, and strongly feel that, outside of benchmarks, I would never notice the overclocks anyways.

Overclocking the NB gives tangible gains in cpu dependent games. Anandtech actually did a piece on it, raising the NB clock from 2GHz to 2.8GHz pushed average FPS in SC2 up from 50 to 60 at 3.2GHz, and at 4GHz it jumped from 63fps to 73fps.
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post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpartanVXL View Post

Nice thread, would be good to see how the old deneb fairs from a local OCN viewpoint.
Have you always had those mismatched pairs of RAM in your AMD rig? You've probably tried this but you could go for a higher OC on the 955 if you left only two dimms in.

I picked up a couple parts for this build over several months. I got both kits of RAM on Newegg when they were each under $30 for shell shockers. I also picked up the CM 212+ for under $20. When I originally built my Intel system, I was running the 955 in an Asus M2N-SLi Deluxe AM2/AM2+ motherboard and was planning on upgrading at a later point. I figured, by 16GB and use it now, then down the road take out 2 of the DIMM's and run 2 systems with 8GB. However, after I was able to get 12GB of RAM for under $60, I didn't see the need. However, I think that 8GB is definitely more then enough, especially for a rig I use as a back up. After I finish with all my testing, I just may take out 2 sticks and try to push it. One of my buddies ran his 955 at 4.2 24/7.
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmanstasiu View Post

Interesting tests. It's nice to see some statistical material to support the idea that an Intel CPU isn't needed to max out BF3!
Good job, keep going.
Oh and good job figuring out the GL differences thumb.gif

You know, after thinking, I'm curious as to whether the upgraded OpenGL has anything to do with the surprisingly-high performance of the single GPU. Hopefully, I will look into this, maybe spark another thread altogether.

I have quite a bit of ideas for this thread, so stay tuned biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 17

I hope everyone here realizes that many of these comparisons are moot, because the Intel setup is running an SSD!  That's an elimination of the largest bottleneck in a modern PC system.  This playing field is not level.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

I hope everyone here realizes that many of these comparisons are moot, because the Intel setup is running an SSD!  That's an elimination of the largest bottleneck in a modern PC system.  This playing field is not level.

I wouldn't say moot... these specific tests aren't hardware demanding tongue.gif
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

I hope everyone here realizes that many of these comparisons are moot, because the Intel setup is running an SSD!  That's an elimination of the largest bottleneck in a modern PC system.  This playing field is not level.

i always thought that ssd doesn't increase fps/performance, it just decreases loading times
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