Clash of the titans...err processors...
I am NOT starting this thread so that flamethrower wars ensue, so please let's just not go there. Nor am I saying with any absolute "this is better than that" because it's subjective and depends on the user him/herself.
As such, part of me can't believe I'm asking about this, and yet there was something compelling about the arguments. My position is that I used to be totally biased in favor of Intel over AMD. Now not so much. I'm in the grey area.
So the processors: Intel Core i5 VS AMD's current eight core lineups. The core i5 so far so good, but is the AMD A series gaining on it?
While it would seem that by *current standards* the i5 annihlates just about any of AMD's top processors (like still being slower despite having more cores), one has to wonder if AMD hasn't struck a chord of resonance for the future.
Sure, it's pretty obvious Intel has held the edge in desktop for such a long time. For the moment let's throw the tech spec chatter by the wayside. Most of today's stuff is configured such that it really only needs two or three cores, and anything utilizing in the 4 region does not make the most efficient use of it. We keep hearing about faster-faster-faster.
However, conventional computing as we know it is changing. With miniaturizing, touch screens, and mobile and whatnot. Hyperthreading and multitasking seems to be coming up more and more, even for the average user. So more cores, the better. Aside from the CPU's structuring itself, what of onboard graphics? Lately AMD seems to be competing quite a bit.
Besides price, one of the things that initially turned me away from core i7 to core i5 is that if I had a decked out rig, I would not want to use up and burn up my graphics card being on all the time for everyday, menial, mundane stuff. I'd like to be able to switch back and forth. AMD has taken notice of this, and seems to be making itself all the more attractive, especially for people looking to get a graphics card in the future but who can't afford it all right now.
Intel has been making basically generation after generation of products little different from their predecessors. How are they innovating to adapt to the changing market?
While I'm on the fence personally, I think AMD has been dismissed too long as not being up to par. Sure, Intel undeniably has the power, but AMD seems to be looking ahead, innovative, rather than just trying to go toe to toe. They're looking at a market of people on a budget. If there is one thing I learned last year observing from afar: Kindle vs its more expensive competitors. Kindle outsold them. iPad and most if not all the others. Affordability wins where fickle consumers simply want something new. So I think it is that AMD is playing the long game.
Do you think AMD is blundering against an all but invincible Intel, or could they be poised to swoop in on the market share like a hawk?
Weigh in on the issue, if you don't mind.
Personally I'm not sure, but where you can't match your opponent's strengths, you compensate in other ways to tip the scales. AMD just might be on the ball for this one.
After basically reverse-engineering Intel's designs during the 1990s, AMD achieved technical and performance parity with Intel when they introduced the original Athlon in 1999. After that, the two companies traded the performance crown between improved versions of the Athlon and Intel's Pentium 4 until the introduction of AMD's Athlon 64, which completely dominated the Pentium 4.
The Athlon 64 was roughly 50% faster than the Pentium 4 at the same clockspeed, so the only way that Intel could compete with it was to lay a PR smokescreen and ramp up the Pentium 4's clockspeed to then-ridiculous levels, where they hit a brick wall, because the chips got way too hot. It was then that Intel realized that the Pentium 4's architecture was a dead end and that they needed to come up with something better. What they ended up doing was, essentially, to resurrect the Pentium 3 and continue to evolve its architecture (via the Pentium M) into what became Core 2. With the introduction of Core 2 in mid-2006, Intel took the performance crown away and AMD has never been able to take it back.
AMD tried countering a year later with Phenom, which was disappointing, as it was buggy at first, could not run at high clockspeeds and still fell short of Core 2's instructions per clock (IPC) performance. A year and a half later in Dec 2008, AMD launched Phenom II, which was a vast improvement over Phenom and generally matched Core 2, but by then Intel had already introduced its Nehalem architecture, and has gone on to release a new architecture roughly every 2 years, which is something AMD just can't match with its meager development budget.
AMD's Bulldozer, launched late last year, was just as disappointing as the original Phenom. It was actually slower than Phenom II in anything but massively multi-threaded applications that took advantage of all 8 of its cores, as well as being power-hungry and hot. Piledriver, Bulldozer's replacement, is a marginal improvement that brings IPC performance back up to Phenom II's level, and, while still power-hungry, it doesn't seem to have Bulldozer's heat issues. IPC is still way behind Intel's, though, resulting in AMD's resorting to using higher clockspeeds in an effort to close the performance gap, much like Intel did with the Pentium 4.
Here's a comparison of Piledriver and Intel's latest, Ivy Bridge, running at roughly the same clockspeed (the AMD turbos higher), showing the Intel architecture's clear advantage while using a lot less power. Note that while Piledriver has 8 physical cores, Ivy Bridge only has 4, but can run 4 more simultaneous threads (for a total of 8) through the use of hyper-threading.
On top of all that, due to, very poor management (IMO), AMD has been hemorrhaging money for several years, and I don't know how much longer they're going to stay afloat. It's all very sad, because it was pretty cool to see the little guy challenge and then smite the giant in the early 2000s, only to then become complacent and get his rear handed to him.
I bet a computer core will never match an IGBT for heat dissipation, though. Conventional ones at least. :p
So, it falls short of everything else besides multitasking?
Well, I was more thinking along the lines of AMD FX-8150 Vs Core i5 either 2500K or 3570K. Wasn't aware there were 2 more AMD processors even higher. Which is making the competition between processors+mobos all the more difficult for me.
Still, yeah. So I guess it's doubtful they'll recover. I wasn't aware it had quite come to blows like this.
As for my future dream machine it's a standoff. Though I think I already know what everyone will say. I'm in the red and will be hurting for awhile but have a little wiggle room. (cheaping out is biasing my views a bit I'll admit, though not that much where the difference is $20-40)
So I'm eying up making my first plunge towards a new rig. Won't be a whole system.
Mobo: MSI Z77A-GD65
Processors under consideration are the aforementioned core i5s 2500K and the only marginally more expensive 3570K.
Mobos: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AMD AM3+ TUF
Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+
Processors under consideration are AMD FX-8150, and now FX-8320 and FX-8350.
Will use that site (which has thus far proven valuable) to plot out performance differences but for now I think I'll sleep on it and have thanksgiving before quite possibly making the move on black friday...
While OCing is always a distant possibility, I'll more than likely be undervolting it and adding S*** loads of ram so it will last a long time and I'll be sitting pretty for years. So longevity with performance. Also I won't necessarily be after pretty. The monitor I plan on getting is BenQ, known for its lightning fast refresh.
Here's what I'll be using it for:
Gaming (so far): Valve engine games (orange box, L4d 1&2, counter strike), SWTOR, JK outcast and academy, street fighter 4, and some others both new and old
-Video editing, photo editing, graphics. Art touchups.
-programming microcontrollers (think parallax, arduino, PIC)
-General internet browsing, though no visiting sites of questionable repute on THIS machine. I'll keep the other one for that. :devsmoke:
Component lookups, patent research, project lookups.
Electronic CAD of sorts.
PCB design (printed circuit borad) once I get a laser printer and an appropriate UV light.
-Some minor 3d modeling. (Is there anything better than GMAX that doesn't cost what 3ds max coasts?)
-music, video, dvd, multimedia
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