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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have been a building/tweaking/gaming enthusiast for a long time now it seems, but have ALWAYS had AMD cpus.. I'm starting to play with the idea of jumping ship as it looks like AMD has pulled away from enthusiast chips and putting their focus onto these APUs.. which at the moment.. I don't have any real interest in.. Now I've always been told by Intel owners that Intel is the way to go.. and obviously there are a LOT of Intel people out there... I know the bare basics.. needing to change mobo and reinstall windows/drivers etc.. but can someone delve a little deeper? If most of my time is spent gaming and watching movies.. probably 80/20 respectivly.. which intel cpu would be best? I have read that the current games do not use hyperthreading.. but DX12 games will? is this true? if so that would mean a I7 cpu would be the logical choice.. but which one? obviously I can't/won't spend a grand on a chip... but I'd like some idea where to start..

With amd.. their cpu numbers were pretty straight forward like currently I have an FX-6300 (6 cores) upgaded from a 4100 (4 cores) etc etc... but am fairly clueless as to intel chips..

so..... any ideas? suggestions? REAL reasons to swap?

and another smaller but just as important question... which mobo to plug this puppy into? currently I have in my rig

EDIT: nevermind.. ... cant get the green board.. will need to find a z97 chipset that is all black... or black/green

Gigabyte 990fxa-ud3
AMD FX-6300
MSI Gaming 4G gtx 970
2x 8GB corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600
2x 4GB patriot DDR3 1600
120GB samsung evo 840 SSD
WD Green 500gb
WD Green 3TB
Corsair H100i cooler (planning to upgrade to a custom loop soon too)
Corsair TX750M PSU
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinValk View Post

aw c'mon... 23 intel guys can't give me any reasons?
I made that switch after years of being amd loyal.

As far as gaming goes the min fps is were i felt it the most.

I had a 5ghz fx6300 and my first intel was a 4670k. The 4670k at stock clocks had smoother fps in bf4.

I since upgraded to a 4790k. If you want to overclock the 4790k offers the best chance of a good clocker.
 

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As a longtime AMD fanboy that is using a 4770k @4.4GHz after moving from an 8320 @ 4.8GHz, there's not much difference. I build the intel rig on a whim and I don't regret it at all, but the naked eye difference between them in every day uses including gaming are few and far between.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So basically... Having more cores that aren't as powerful... Is just as good as having less cores w more power.... I am a big time gamer... And amd has always been the gaming chip... But they seem to be putting all their time n money into these APUs... Which don't seem very good yet
 

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Because so few games take advantage of more than 2-3 cores you are better off to have 4 cores that can run more calculations per cycle/second than 6-8 cores that are slower. This is why an overclocked Pentium Anniversary Edition dual core with crippled cache and no hyper threading is still so capable as a gaming chip. Granted there are certainly games that can take advantage of four or more cores and with the newer consoles out more will be programmed that way (not necessarily related to DX12).

At the risk of over simplifying it, AMD's module architectures didn't meet expectations and enthusiast desktop users aren't their bread and butter so they're concentrating on mobile applications where a difference of a few percent or a few watts makes a sizable difference. It'll be another 2 years or so until Zen comes out assuming they bother to make another line of "FX" processors that would probably be the earliest you'll see them as there are no plans to update them with steamroller or excavator.

For now you are be looking at spending $400+ for what will likely be a single digit percentage improvement in average frame rates across a range of today's titles. Unless there's a specific use scenario where you are limited today or a certain game you always play that shows a large disparity in the benchmarks I would stick with what you have for the time being.
 

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To help get a better idea you could always take a peak at futuremarks page for the results of what people are getting with their hardware and also see what is most popular among the users around the world. It shouldn't be used as a decision maker, but it will for sure help you get an idea of what you could get out of what you are looking for.
 

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Without delving into computer minutiae, I, as a long-time AMD fan, switched to Intel with the i7 2500K and have never looked back (though I did have a case of the guilts). AMD ceased to be the "cutting edge" and serious Intel competition.

I've since moved to to i7 3770K, 4770K, 4790K, and, latest, 5960K. Every CPU has been overkill for my needs, not to mention somewhat wasteful of money, but I've been happy with all of them. I can offer no advice other than I think Intel CPUs have left AMD in the dust. Mostly, though, I buy what I want and rarely make any attempt to fully justify the decision (so long as the "upgrade" is faster).
 

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Glad to run into you, OdinValk.

While I'm not a gamer, I'm a developer and I had AMD as my primary development platform for years. The last Intel build I had was a dual CPU Pentium II @ 333. That was upgraded to a dual CPU AMD MP 1.2 @ 1.5 Ghz, and I stuck with AMD through a quad core 955 @ 3.7/3.8 (in winter) Ghz until December 2014.

During that epoch I had assembled or upgraded a number of Intel workstations, from Q6600's to dual CPU Xeon 12 core workstations (I forget which models). Even when it was clear that AMD was no longer "in the game" per se, my old 955 was still serving my usage pattern thoroughly and I didn't have a reason to pay out even $200 to upgrade that to an AMD X6, let alone one of the more current FX chips.

About 6 months ago I reached a point where it was clear I would have to move to Intel, but not strictly on performance reasons, this was a unique software requirement involving some instruction sets that my 955 didn't support. I could have gone with an FX series, but for the price and power demands I just couldn't justify staying with AMD.

I priced out systems for about 3 months, on occasion that my schedule permitted it. In December I caught a 1 or 2 week window where the 4790K was "on sale" for $299, when even the 4770K was still at $339.

I selected the ASRock Extreme6 - happens to be black with blue heatsinks, perhaps compatible with your color scheme interests. I took that board over others because of the 10 Sata3 ports at the price, and while ASRock isn't as well regarded by most, I had ASRock boards that ran 24/7 for over 5 years without incident. One gave up after 7 years, which was a $60 board with no solid caps.

My usage profile involves multiple VM's in various operating systems, compilation in C++, development, debugging, 3DS Max, video editing/transcoding, Photoshop and a wide range of other similar work, sometimes all at once. This does take advantage of as many cores as can be made available, and there are times when I have 5 operating systems running at once.

I've also worked on 3D engines and physics engines; I have several, with full source code, for testing. Part of my focus has been to introduce better threading support where applicable.

There is a misunderstanding about hyperthreading, and regarding Intel specifically. They're not the only CPU's that have SMT, but hyperthreading is an Intel marketing term. Power7, for example, can execute 4 threads per core, while Power8 can execute 8 threads per core. The Niagra CPU could do 4 threads per core many years ago. Intel's (1 or 2) threads per core isn't all that unique.

From the perspective of most application code, there is no recognizable difference between a core and a logical core, meaning that not only is there no specialized code to take advantage of hyperthreading, applications generally have no way to avoid it either. There are exceptions, especially for virtual machine software like VMWare, but most application code doesn't take the effort recognize the difference between a genuine core and a logical core, and treats them exactly the same. The operating system is generally trusted to provide executing provision for a thread, and where it places that has little to no concern to application code developers.

What does happen, though, is that in Intel CPU's, if you could schedule one or two cores and know nothing else is running, you theoretically get the full core's attention. At such point that a thread is scheduled in a core with two threads currently running, each core gets about 65% of the attention of that single thread, overall. When comparing a quad i7 Haswell to an FX-8350, for example, where each core of the FX-8350 is perhaps 70% of a Haswell at the same clock, even a 4790K performs rather closely if you thought of it as an 8 core CPU, with the added advantage that 4 threads or fewer will run faster, without even accounting for turbo boosts of clock speed.

For gaming this has pros and cons. Compared to an i5, or an i7 with HT disabled, there can be observed periods where the OS operates something, perhaps anti-virus or other background tasks, which would impact availability of execution units, and thus slow the relative speed of a game. On the other hand, though, the increased availability of an i7 with HT tends to smooth that out some. On an AMD FX with 6 or 8 cores, however, as long as the OS has an available core that's not busy with the game, there is no such "interference" potential.

It does take AMD FX 8 core machine around 200 watts to do what Intel can do in about 100. In the upper tier of AMD performance, pushing an 8C Vishera to it's limits, there are only a few boards that can handle the power demands long term.

When you consider that Intel has basically taken their foot off the gas, coasting forward since AMD's bulldozer, and that AMD has traded CEO's recently and won't offer much new until 2016 under their new vision, we are ALL waiting, coasting and wondering what's up. The X99 platform with 6 and 8 (or more) core options is attractive but, as you pointed out, costly beyond reason. The 4790K would only cost about $200 or less right now if AMD were still pushing competitive designs, and the whole planet has been mesmerized by tablets and smartphones to the point that enthusiast desktop / workstation markets are stagnate compared to the heated development exchanges we lived through from 2001 to 2010.

There is one reason for concern going to Intel you should consider and read about. Heat. The chips don't really produce that much heat compared to AMD, but they don't sink it to the HSF that well. The assembly of the IHS is based on glue and thermal paste, not the soldered IHS of the past. On some fraction of the production line the IHS can lift upward as the glue cures in manufacture, breaking good thermal contact. There are threads dating from Sandy/Ivy through current DC chips that show maybe 15 to 20% have temperature issues, prompting RMA or delidding (strange name, removing the IHS) to correct the problem. The 4790K I received in December was ok, in that I can run at 4.4 Ghz well within the CPU's temperature envelope. Cores 1&2 are typically 10C hotter than 3&4, which is a slightly wider spread than ideal, and might indicate a microscopically askew IHS mounting. If I were to push the CPU beyond 4.4 @ 1.18v where I have it now, I'd have to consider delidding (and I'm planning on it, with some reserve if I really need to).

For Video and gaming, I doubt HT would be of strong interest to you, so an i5 may be a more reasonable choice. If you run only the game (as opposed to other applications at the same time) in Windows you likely would not notice any degradation on an i7 due to HT, but if you were to run other applications competing for CPU resources then a quad core i5 may just as readily demonstrate that impact under some circumstances. If, for example, you ran a game focused on 1 core, with audio in it's own core, and 2 cores remained available for the OS spurious interruptions, or some task like video or audio in the background, maybe a download going on, etc...the i5 would do as well as the i7. On the other hand, if you a game made good use of 3 cores, with the 4th occasionally serving executive or audio tasks, an i5 might show a brief stutter if interrupted by anti-virus or background tasks that used 2 cores and overflowed (involving a total of 5 cores worth of work for a moment, 3 on the game plus 2 for the background). An i7 would "blend" the operations more smoothly, as if it really had 8 cores, though with only 65% of the power of one by itself. The result is more like a machine like Vishera, with genuine 8 cores, but with 4 of them operating in a turbo mode when the machine doesn't use more than 4 at once.

Put another way, there is some merit to the view that HT isn't good for games. It's a limited point, and it's just as real to say HT benefits a gaming rig that's called upon to do other tasks while gaming. It's not accurate to say games could be coded to take advantage of hyperthreading, in that there is no effort required to utilize the additional thread on each core (the operating system does that automatically).

There is another point to counter an i5 preference. In reality there is no way to fully utilize all of the execution potential in an i5 of recent designs. It may be no more than 10% of code, on average within real world applications, actually consumes all of the execution resources in the core on a single thread in Haswell i5 CPU's. The whole point of HT is to make better use of available execution resources, and thus only those with HT enabled chips actually manage to consume the entire execution potential of these recent Intel cores, and then only when more than 4 threads are operating. Gamers uniquely consternate over the fact that HT can invade some of the single thread execution speed, ignoring the fact that the overall machine is faster because of it.

The real issue on choice, though, is the price premium. Out of the total cost of the build, the i5/i7 choice comes down to about $100 or so, and if the budget is better spent on a GPU, then knowing that most games are GPU bound just about makes the choice for you. In my own system it is the i7 that easily wins out in the contest for that $100. When gaming performance is the priority, the GPU makes more of the difference, and any small advantage one can obtain from the i7 can be compensated by tuning how the system runs when gaming (that is, perhaps disabling anti-virus, curtailing services, disabling indexing, etc.

I've had nothing but pure joy moving from an old 955 to the i7, but that much should be expected. An i5, even an older one, would have so heavily outpaced that old 955 that anything this side of 2010 manufacture would have been an exquisite upgrade. I don't do this often, so I chose to avoid shaving prices on the resources I use the most. If the competition between AMD were stronger, my choice would probably have been among lower prices for the same products, but we're not going to see that for a long while, if ever again. By the time AMD reorients themselves under the new CEO, the PC gaming and workstation market might be so dwindled that the demand side of the equation leaves us with higher prices and limited improvement over the present offerings.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinValk View Post

So, I have been a building/tweaking/gaming enthusiast for a long time now it seems, but have ALWAYS had AMD cpus.. I'm starting to play with the idea of jumping ship as it looks like AMD has pulled away from enthusiast chips and putting their focus onto these APUs.. which at the moment.. I don't have any real interest in.. Now I've always been told by Intel owners that Intel is the way to go.. and obviously there are a LOT of Intel people out there... I know the bare basics.. needing to change mobo and reinstall windows/drivers etc.. but can someone delve a little deeper? If most of my time is spent gaming and watching movies.. probably 80/20 respectivly.. which intel cpu would be best? I have read that the current games do not use hyperthreading.. but DX12 games will? is this true? if so that would mean a I7 cpu would be the logical choice.. but which one? obviously I can't/won't spend a grand on a chip... but I'd like some idea where to start..

With amd.. their cpu numbers were pretty straight forward like currently I have an FX-6300 (6 cores) upgaded from a 4100 (4 cores) etc etc... but am fairly clueless as to intel chips..

so..... any ideas? suggestions? REAL reasons to swap?

and another smaller but just as important question... which mobo to plug this puppy into? currently I have in my rig

EDIT: nevermind.. ... cant get the green board.. will need to find a z97 chipset that is all black... or black/green

Gigabyte 990fxa-ud3
AMD FX-6300
MSI Gaming 4G gtx 970
2x 8GB corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600
2x 4GB patriot DDR3 1600
120GB samsung evo 840 SSD
WD Green 500gb
WD Green 3TB
Corsair H100i cooler (planning to upgrade to a custom loop soon too)
Corsair TX750M PSU
I'm sure others will give you plenty of reason, I've been using intel since after the opteron 165, I think it was the core 2 duo conroe.
If you are going to upgrade, go intel, but I'd really recommend waiting for skylake later this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm still not hearing or seeing anywhere any real concrete reasons to switch.... The general consensus is that AMD is the way to go if gaming is priority... Plus always have had AMD... Makes me a little bias... Bc I know a lot about amd and little about Intel... I know Intel users always boast about it... But what makes it better?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinValk View Post

I know Intel users always boast about it... But what makes it better?
intel has higher ipc meaning a lower mhz/ghz intel will be faster than a higher mhz/ghz amd. hell, dual core ht i3 intels are faster than 6 core amd fx when single threaded and not multitasking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Originally Posted by pc-illiterate View Post

intel has higher ipc meaning a lower mhz/ghz intel will be faster than a higher mhz/ghz amd. hell, dual core ht i3 intels are faster than 6 core amd fx when single threaded and not multitasking.
That is something else I've never understood.. how is less cores and lower clocks FASTER than MORE of both?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinValk View Post

That is something else I've never understood.. how is less cores and lower clocks FASTER than MORE of both?
To be sure, he did qualify that with the point that the software exhibiting that behaviour would be single threaded.

As such, that software would have no use of additional cores, and there are a number of games built that way. They may spin off audio in a separate thread, but it uses less than 10% of most anything this side of 1 Ghz.

I'm not sure of what cores we're really comparing here, but the current i3's have basically the same core as the i7's. Higher IPC is key here.

Back in the P4 era, for example, AMD had the higher IPC, by far. Intel's gambit was that pushing higher clock rates would counter anything AMD could throw at them, and Intel lost virtually every contest along that way until an Intel team in Israel finished work on the Pentium M. That chip at 1.6 Ghz was a fair match against P4's at 2.0, maybe faster (I don't recall exact comparisons). That chip eventually changed Intel's strategy into Core, then Core2, which is the foundation of where Intel is at with Haswell.

For each tick of the clock, P4 had fewer execution units to devote to work than AMD or Pentium M. Fewer instructions in a series could be executed out of order, and in parallel. CPU's don't execute one instruction at a time anymore, even if they are single core or operate only on thread. Further, for each function of the primitive operations within the CPU, certain more complex circuits can complete an operation in fewer clock ticks than other circuits performing the same task, increasing work completed for each clock tick. This was AMD's weapon against Intel just before and during the release of the first AMD64 chips.

Intel returned the favor, and AMD hasn't managed to bounce back to the forefront. IPC can be as much as twice in some comparisons. My old AMD 955, which was very good to me, has half the IPC as the Haswell, meaning that a single core at the same clock speed would still be half the overall work per unit of time compared to the higher IPC version.

The old 8086 need perhaps 12 clock ticks for memory address calculations, which was added to something like 20 ticks for a multiplication. In modern processors memory calculations occur in parallel with everything else, essentially being free, while multiplications may take two ticks, many can occur in a series, effectively averaging to a speed of half a tick per multiplication, depending on the core we're discussing. If the 8086 could be overclocked to 5 Ghz, it would still be dozens, maybe a hundred times slower than a modern CPU, single core.
 

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Originally Posted by JVene View Post

That is something else I've never understood.. how is less cores and lower clocks FASTER than MORE of both?
Before I get to that, you're right. None of us, including me (rather purposefully) have really given you a good reason to switch. For the price points and such, there might not be one for you.

To be sure, he did qualify that with his point that the software exhibiting that behaviour would be single threaded.

As such, that software would have no use of additional cores, and there are a number of games built that way. They may spin off audio in a separate thread, but it uses less than 10% of most anything this side of 1 Ghz.

I'm not sure of what cores we're really comparing here, but the current i3's have basically the same core as the i7's. Higher IPC is key here.

Back in the P4 era, for example, AMD had the higher IPC, by far. Intel's gambit was that pushing higher clock rates would counter anything AMD could throw at them, and Intel lost virtually every contest along that way until an Intel team in Israel finished work on the Pentium M. That chip at 1.6 Ghz was a fair match against P4's at 2.0, maybe faster (I don't recall exact comparisons). That chip eventually changed Intel's strategy into Core, then Core2, which is the foundation of where Intel is at with Haswell.

For each tick of the clock, P4 had fewer execution units to devote to work than AMD or Pentium M. Fewer instructions in a series could be executed out of order, and in parallel. CPU's don't execute one instruction at a time anymore, even if they are single core or operate only on thread. Further, for each function of the primitive operations within the CPU, certain more complex circuits can complete an operation in fewer clock ticks than other circuits performing the same task, increasing work completed for each clock tick. This was AMD's weapon against Intel just before and during the release of the first AMD64 chips.

Intel returned the favor, and AMD hasn't managed to bounce back to the forefront. IPC can be as much as twice in some comparisons. My old AMD 955, which was very good to me, has half the IPC as the Haswell, meaning that a single core at the same clock speed would still be half the overall work per unit of time compared to the higher IPC version.

The old 8086 needed perhaps 12 clock ticks for memory address calculations, which was added to something like 20 ticks for a multiplication. In modern processors memory calculations occur in parallel with everything else, essentially being free, while multiplications may take two ticks, many can occur in a series, effectively averaging to a speed of half a tick per multiplication, depending on the core we're discussing. If the 8086 could be overclocked to 5 Ghz, it would still be dozens, maybe a hundred times slower than a modern CPU, single core.
 

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Originally Posted by OdinValk View Post

That is something else I've never understood.. how is less cores and lower clocks FASTER than MORE of both?
the frequency of the cpu can only be used to determine speed when comparing cpus from the same architecture.

Amd marketing is hoping people think the way you are. Faster frequency + moar cores = teh powa!

In reality it takes a fx 8 core to be at 4.5ghz to be as fast as a 4770k underclocked to 2.5ghz.

The amd are still nice cpus. You can make a very fun single gpu rig using a fx8320.
 
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