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View Full Version : Intel vs AMD -- speed vs. price?



Lau
03-17-2006, 09:06 PM
I have a general wondering: I read everywhere that AMD CPU usually have a better speed compared to Intel's for the same price.
I went to newegg.com, the most expensive (not that it's the best criteria to base my search on) AMD processors is at 2.6Ghz, and Intel's at 3.46Ghz. Both are price around $1,000. So there are a lot of other parameters, which I understand very little to that have to be taken in account, but can someone explain to me the difference?

btw, they can both be seen here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?N=2010340343+4023&Submit=ENE&Subcategory=343)

Now for the real question: I am fiercely looking for a good CPU/mobo combination. I currently have an Intel, but wouldn't mind going to AMD. I need a mid-range CPU. I do a bit of gaming, and don't use any highly demanding application. I do tend to have a lot of apps opened at once though. I really want something that will last me a while, that i won't have to change in another 6 months.
I was looking at the AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Venice 1GHz HT Socket 939 or AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 1GHz HT Socket 939. No particular reason, it just seemed reasonably priced for what I need it for.

First, what's the difference in term of performance between single and dual core? Would it be something I should consider?

#2: what are the opinions on both those CPUs?
#3: if there are good choices, what good motherboard would be a good "fit"?

jlreich
03-17-2006, 10:32 PM
For a quick comparison of Intel and AMD look at the clock speed of Intel and the rating of AMD like 3800+, 4000+ etc.. An AMD 3400+ for example is rated to say it is equal in performance to an Intel at 3.4GHz.

For light gaming and everyday computing either Intel or AMD would be suitable. But if you really want to future proof and you are not in a hurry I would wait until this summer when Intel will release their new Core CPU's and AMD will release their new AM-2 CPU's.

Both are a new generation of CPU's and are a turning point in technology.

For running a lot of apps at the same time go dual core without a question. This will also help future proofing.

If you don't want to wait then we need a budget and a list of what you need to make further recommendations.

Oh, if you want info on the differences of AMD and Intel, just do a search in the forums for CPU's, AMD vs. Intel, etc. with Saphalline's name. Really though, the differences between AMD and Intel may totally change with the new releases coming up. We will soon see. :p :)

Lau
03-18-2006, 01:01 PM
thanks jl.

I could wait until this summer. I'm not in any kind of hurry, really.

As far as my budget, I was probably planning on putting between $500 and $600 into that little project.


Intel will release their new Core CPU's and AMD will release their new AM-2 CPU's
Can you tell me more about this?

hockey man
03-18-2006, 03:28 PM
Check these links out:

http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i=2713

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2688

saphalline
03-18-2006, 04:24 PM
In layman's terms, the speed difference vs performance difference has to do with how much each architecture can do at once.

Imagine a grocery store, where there are multiple check-out lanes. Each check-out lane can handle one customer at a time. Let's say the Intel grocery store has 3 check-out lanes, and each cashier can scan 34.6 items per minute (had to scale-up the numbers for realism ;) ). And let's say the AMD grocery store has 4 check-out lanes, and each cashier can scan 26 items per minute. Do the numbers and you'll see that the Intel grocery store as a whole can scan 103.8 items per minute, and the AMD grocery store as a whole can scan 104 items per minute. These are nice round numbers that just happen to show that the difference is minimal for most users.

This is a very simplistic example, but it's a good analogy for explaining why clock speed isn't the whole story. You can see this by looking at Intel's new Core microarchitecture. Their new up-coming CPU's operate at a much slower clock speed than the latest Pentium4's, yet deliver an astounding amount of performance and have no problems beating the P4 into the ground. Greater efficiency has a lot to do with this, as well as a few tweaks to the design. These new CPU's from Intel, due for release in mid- to late summer, are actually based off the Pentium M (of Centrino fame) with the best features of the Pentium4 thrown in for good measure. A truly impressive hybrid.

AMD won't be making any such drastic changes since they just made one recently (when they moved to the Athlon64 family). But they do have some minor changes coming up. The move to a new socket, Socket AM2/M2, will usher in the new era of DDR2 support for AMD. Both Intel and AMD will be graduating to validated DDR2-800 support at the same time, which should prove to be quite interesting. To celebrate the new socket, AMD will also be shifting their CPU market to dual-core by default. No longer will dual-core AMD CPU's be only for the rich. Mid-range dual-core CPU's with cheaper prices will be all the rage, and by the end of the year AMD will be down to a 65nm process to match Intel. In the mean time, AMD needs very few changes to remain competitive with Intel.

Lau
05-23-2006, 06:21 PM
Today was the offical launch of AMD's AM2 socket... PC World did not seem too ecstatic about it.

AMD Launches New DDR2-Ready Athlon CPUs (http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,125836,00.asp)

I'm still looking into upgrading my pc btw... I have come up with a config that would cost around $1000. Not what I had in mind, but I'll just have to save a little more than I had expected ;)

So here it is:
** Motherboard:
ASUS A8N-SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD -- $106.99
** Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4400CDBOX -- $460.00
** New Power Supply:
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply -- $83.99
** Graphic Card:
MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E Geforce 7900GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 -- $294.99

** Optional 17" LCD (to upgrade from my 15" NEC Multisync 1560v)
NEC Display Solutions 70GX2 Silver 17" 4ms LCD Monitor with 4-port USB 2.0 hub -- $279.99

First question is: does this config make sense and is compatible?
Second, am I forgetting something? (Extra fans for instance or cooling system for instance?)

jlreich
05-23-2006, 06:32 PM
Today was the offical launch of AMD's AM2 socket... PC World did not seem too ecstatic about it.
This was to be expected with AMD. They really only did it to add support for DDR2. Performance wise they don't really need to go any further at this time. They are doing just fine with the current architecture. But if you go AMD I would still recommend going with the new socket. DDR2 is the new standard and already noticeably cheaper than DDR. And the price of DDR will increase as time passes.

Or as already mentioned, wait a little while and the prices on the s939's will drop.

Intel on the other hand is a different story. Conroe is very promising.

Lau
05-23-2006, 06:53 PM
But if you go AMD I would still recommend going with the new socket. DDR2 is the new standard and already noticeably cheaper than DDR. And the price of DDR will increase as time passes.

Or as already mentioned, wait a little while and the prices on the s939's will drop.

Intel on the other hand is a different story. Conroe is very promising.

What time frame are we talking about for prices to start drop? 2 months? 6 months?

PS: What do you think about the different components for my upgrade??

saphalline
05-24-2006, 01:11 AM
PC World did not seem too ecstatic about it.Well, duh!! Did you read that article? Total BS! If they knew anything about AMD's new move and the various technologies being employed by Intel and AMD at the processor core level, they'd know exactly why their tests showed no real performance improvements! What a bunch of morons! :rolleyes:

jlreich is right - AMD made the move to Socket AM2 for just 3 reasons: to add DDR2 support, to consolidate their socket platforms, and to increase the power output of the socket to the CPU. If PC World had anyone that knew anything about the K8's onboard memory controller and the latency differences between DDR and DDR2, it would have taken them less than a second to realize that DDR and DDR2 break even in the performance department using AMD's implementation! Intel's CPU's gain performance using DDR2 because of the increased bandwidth, but AMD's CPU's have an onboard memory controller that takes a performance hit with DDR2's increased latencies while gaining performance with DDR2's increased bandwidth. Ergo, the performance is essentially the same! The only reason to add DDR2 support then is what? Well, according to AMD, they scheduled the release of Socket AM2 to coincide with JEDEC's official acceptance of the DDR2-800 standard, which would be the only bin speed of DDR2 that would perform comparably to DDR400 using their onboard memory controller. Thus, by going with DDR2-800 now and expecting faster DDR2 bin speeds to be released, AMD jumps on the cheaper and higher capacity DDR2 bandwagon without losing any performance. Wow! :eek: What a concept! Imagine if everyone in the computer media field could do basic research on technology! The results would be phenomenal! :rolleyes:

Anyway, done with my rant. Moving back to your thread...

You can expect prices on Socket 939 hardware to get slashed over the next couple weeks, if not sooner. Once Socket AM2 hardware hits the streets in force, I don't expect any reputable vendor to keep the old hardware prices up for long. They knew the new socket was coming, so there's no reason to whine about reclaiming inventory investments now.

As for the parts you already picked out, they look good. You won't need any extras as long as all the parts you buy are retail (not OEM or refurbished). If you want to add more cooling, such as more case fans or whatnot, then it would be a good idea. But not necessary if you already have plenty of fans. Also, it's worth noting that no matter what platform you buy (Socket 939 or AM2) the PSU & vid card & monitor are all solid choices that you can keep.