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Bang For Buck: myth?

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Over the last few weeks, I've been taking a lot of flack for being considered a "Intel fanboi", as I often disagree with the "bang for buck", so I've decided to write this post, to see if I am wrong in my assessment, if I am, I will apologize for being too much of a fanboi...if not...i will continue to toot my own horn

now it is commonly agreed, that clock for clock, that the phenom II architecture is on par with core2 architecture. to further verify this, I spent most of the morning looking around at the various benchmarks that have been done by tom's hardware and anandtech, they seem to be fairly consistent with each on this.

it was quite difficult to find benchmarks and reviews for the various Intel cup's that were the same clock to each other, I wanted to compare "clock for clock", it was also harder to find ones that had the same clocks, without HT as well, as I'm not interested in comparing the HT enabled cup's at this time, as I just want to tackle the differences in the quad-cores

i chose 8 benchmarks, a combination of real world (like cs4, video encoding) and synthetic benchmarks, I only included results that are CPU dependent, I didn't use any game benchmarks.

q9550 @ 2.83Ghz vs i5-760 2.8Ghz:
avg. increase: 15%

"i5-760" @ 3.3 GHz vs i5-2500 @ 3.3Ghz:
avg. increase: 12%

i had to use some conjecture for the nehalem vs sandy, as there aren't any lynnfield's or bloomfields that do not have HT, at the clock that sandy is at. since my CPU is a lynfield, I disable the ht, and set the OC to 3.3 GHz, and ran the benchmarks the best I could with what information the sites provided.

next I actually compared a phenom II to a sandy bridge of same clock:

phenom II x4 955be @ 3.3Ghz vs i5-2500 @ 3.3Ghz:
avg. increase: 30%

pretty close to the overall 27% for the jumping between architectures, wouldn't you agree? since I like solid numbers, I will give benefit to doubt, and round down to 25% over all increase for phenom II to sandy bridge.

now armed the knowledge of clock per clock performance between the architectures, I went to go look at prices:

q9550: $279
i5-760: $209
i5-2500: $209 (for non oc version) and $220 for oc version.

phenom II x4 955be: $140

now the q9550 is just ridiculously priced IMHO at this time, but it is also market strategy, to get people to buy the newer technology over the older technology. I'm sure you can find them used for much lower, and at the same time, at different places new for lower, as I'm using newegg prices at moment.

looking at the prices, I can say, the phenom II's are priced well right now, they do make a tempting offer, but considering clock for clock, they are around 25% slower than intel's new sandy bridge without HT, should they be considered in "bang for buck"?

for "bang for buck" to me, means you pay less, and can get about the same performance if you over-clocked to the more costly ones performance, right? so lets compare.

phenom II 955be for $140 is around 25% slower than the i5-2500k clock for clock. so surely for "bang for buck" to be right, the price difference percentage, should be more than the performance difference, right? lets find out. I will use the price of the non-ocable and ocable 2500k.

209 - 140 = $69
209 x 25% = $52.25

now that is the conservative 25%, lets check it out with the 30% from the averages.

209 x 30% = $62.7

now lets do the K model prices:

220 - 140 = $80
220 - 25% = $55
220 - 30% = $66

now this might seem conclusive to some right? To me it is not, as the definition of “bang for buck†is not met...and here is why...

can an over-clocked phenom II, beat a non-oc'ed i5-2500?

How would we go about this? 25% more clock speed? Since clock for clock is this?

3400 x .25 = 825
3400 + 825 = 4225

can your average, run of the mill phenom phenom II x4 955BE reach 4.2 GHz? The short answer, maybe, from my research, the average appeared to be in reality closer to 3.8 on air, with a decent air cooler, most of the reviews and forum post I came across of people actually achieving 4.2 were pushing close to 1.6 volts through it (average was 1.55) and had water cooling loop, or they made mention they were on air and it was an extremely “cold†day, and then added that 24/7 on air they were getting 3.6 to 3.8....

I actually couldn't find any solid benchmarks of how well a 955be @ 4.2 GHz, about the closest comparison I could find was to compare the phenom II 975 @ 3.6ghz which is seems to be a typical over clock found on a phenom 955...the numbers aren't promising...you've been warned...the 975@3.6 is still 25% in averages, slower than the i5-2500 @3.3, but lets be totally optimistic here, lets say 20%, and lets do a bit of conjecture, lets say every 300 MHz, the phenom II knocks off 5%, lets say the i5-2500k is only about 12% faster than a oc'ed phenom II @ 4.2ghz.

To some that might be worth the savings of $80 dollars on CPU, you can put it towards a good water loop, from my research, you will need water @ this speed.

How fast according to these test would the 955be need to be, to beat a stock clocked i5-2500k? If the benchmarks and real world performance scaled this way, which in most cases it doesn't, you will need to hit about 4.8 GHz, you know any one who runs that 24/7?

So what else is CPU dependent? There are 2 things I can think of in a computer, that can vary based on what platform you go with, and that is the motherboard and air cooler.

Now I know much more about Intel motherboards, I will not lie, but I did research this, this morning, and this is my conclusion: (I used the information in the amd-motherboards thread, specifically mobo clubs that have been created and have recently been posted in, I also limited my research to Intel and amd chip sets, not any third parties like nvidia's)

AMD:
asus crosshair IV formula am3: $214

Gigabyte GA-890fxa-ud5: $179
BIOSTAR TA890FXE: $139

There seems to be a decent amount of boards for am3 in the $120 to $180 range.

Intel:

Asus Maximus IV extreme: $364
Asus p8p67: $164
asus p8p67 deluxe: $239
Msi p67a-gd64: $179
same with amd chip set am3 boards, 1155 boards seem to have a fair (albeit smaller) selection in the $120 to $180.

I've seen it been said a lot of times about the quality of the amd boards due to power-phase, I did my best to determine the power-phase on the amd boards are the ones that aren't catching fire or overvolting, or whatever they are doing. Hope the same can be said about the Intel boards. I also tried to stick with the ones that had usb 3.0 and sata 6gbs.

I also I know there are probably way more fantastic amd boards for cheaper that will make “bang for buck†more appealing, but in all the sig rig's I've looked at today, and review sites about boards, it seems the “acceptable†price range is in the $120 to $180 range for both manufactures.

Most of the heatsinks I've looked at today, appear to be switchable between the two, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part, any decently priced heat sink can be used for both...now I didn't research water blocks, so their might be some significant price differences there, as the block is the only real thing you'd have to reconsider in a loop.

Conclusion:
At the beginning of this “quest†you could say. I really did want to be absolutely blown away, by awesome “bang for buckâ€, and to say that the current amd line had more to offer than what apparent by just summarily looking at them from time in between purchases.
Yes there were other amd and Intel cpu's I totally ignored here, but I did it for a reason. These are general the price ranges I look at when considering a new build, so if it isn't obvious I did this for myself, and decided to share with the rest of you. I also realize that the x6's are with in this price range that I was looking at today, but I will also say, I wasn't comparing any CPU that had HT enabled , these were the 4 cores running, and since amd intended the x6's to compete with the 1366 chips that all come with HT, I thought they would be out of place, as I would be ignoring an Intel feature/technology to satisfy the “worthiness†of the phenom II line, and I absolutely refuse to “ignore†features, just cause one doesn't have it.

To me since the x4 don't have HT, and there are quite a few i5 sandy-bridge quad-cores that don't have HT, figured they should compete well with each other, right?

I also said if I was “proven†wrong here, I would admit to being a Intel fanboi. With all the research I've done today, I don't feel that I'm being a fanboi, if anything, it has cemented my stance on the issue, that I personally do not believe amd offers any “bang for buck†compared to anything of intel's with in the same price range...cause I know for fact, that some one here will mention a $1k Intel hexacore extreme and how amd's hexacores aren't any where near that price...it is maybe why I kept the x6's out of this, cause for a hexacore that can barely compete with most of intel's quad-core with HT, Intel doesn't have any competition in the hexacore market, so they can price inflate all they want for a 970@$600 and 990x@$1k.
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Bazinga Punk
(12 items)
 
ooh shiny!
(6 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon 3440 AsRock P55 extreme Evga 8800 GT 512 MB Gskill Ripjaws 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue Antec Khuler 620 Ubuntu 11.10 Asus vw264H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
GIGABYTE KM7600 CORSAIR TX 650 Cooler Master 590 GIGABYTE GM-M6800 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core I5 6500 Gigabyte z170xp-SLI Nvidia 970gtx Corsair 16gb ddr4 2666mhz  
Hard DriveOS
250gb Samsung Evo 850 Windows 10 & Ubuntu 15.10 
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post #2 of 2
Good Job! I like this post for it's common sense approach!
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Equinox
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k Asus Z97I-Plus Galaxy 780 Ti HOF Edition Kingston Hyper X Fury 16 GB 1866Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Crucial MX100 512 GB Corsair H55 dual fan (CPU) NZXT G10 Corsair H55 (GPU) 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro SP1 Asus PB278Q DK-9087 MX Red White Leds Seasonic 660X 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone FT03 Logitech G400S Razer Sphex Fiio E17 / E9K 
AudioAudio
Fidelio X2 HE-400i 
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