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    CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

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    AlexT
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    CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by AlexT on 6/4/2009, 5:31 am

    A quick review and thoughts of what is availible on CPU market right now and what to expect:
    TOP models:
    Ok, right in top segment we have 3 processors of interest.
    Intel i7, intel core 2 quad, AMD phenom II.
    Among 3 mentioned - the speed and prices:
    i7-920 is the fastest (300$ for cpu +200$ mobo) = 500$
    Phenom II X4 955 is following it (and in rare cases even beating it) - 240$ + 100+$ mobo = 340$. good performer in real life applications, especialy games.
    Core 2 Quad Q9550 - same or slower performance as Phenom II but more expensive. Sometimes beats Phenom in intel optimized tests, but in real life programs usualy slower. - 280$ + 130$ = 410$
    Rest of processors in this segment are not interesting at this time so i'll just ignore them.

    I have box with Phenom II X4 955 in my hands right now- the one for new AM3 socket and DDR3 memory but i'm kinda in doubt and the reason for this is upcoming i5 processors which are twin brothers of i7 but without all the useless stuff like triple-channel DDR3 controller and QPI bus. (only good for very professional use), but they have integrated PCI-E controller so graphics performance should be a bit better.
    Meaning i5 will be just as fast but cheaper (200$ for cheapest and 284$ for higher models). mobo - around 150$ = 350 or 436$
    Trick is - cheapest i5 will lack Hyper Threading (virtualy makes 8 cores) vPro and TXT technologies, but they are not that important.
    They will likely be outperformed by i7 but just a bit and they gonna overclock better than Phenoms., though they're only coming in September.
    Problem is - there's no proven facts about their performance and price especialy when you want to decide if it's worth waiting for i5 or get Phenom right now Wink But in any case - Phenoms are processors with great price/performance ratio that offer 4 cores at price of intel's 2. Just having 4 cores is important this days then overal processor speed since it's getting bottlenecked by GFX card in games, but minimum /average fps vary between 2 and 4 cores by noticeabler amount already.

    Middle-low segment:
    Imo -ruled by AMD Phenom II X3 models right now. They cost 120$ or less and beat anything intel can throw at them while offering 3 cores (2 core intel E8400 still cost 170$)
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    Almael
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by Almael on 6/4/2009, 8:39 pm

    Before the core processors the turn around life circle was 3 years, now it seems a bit longer with the way how fast they are now.
    If you don't want to be up to date it's fine to have just a core 2.

    I think the (game)increase related to core number is due to bandwitdh of graphic data done by the processor. I don't think it's worth yet to buy base on that notion. But we should see some effect in another 2 years.
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by AlexT on 6/9/2009, 8:20 am

    In the end - i got myself Core I7 Rolling Eyes I read about Intel plans to discontinue cheaper models of i7 to sell i5 for just as much so i decided that i won't loose a lot if i'll upgrade to it right now.
    I thought i won't notice any improvement compared to my OCed E8400 but i did. It feels like any CPU dependand operations perform instantly now and it's all up to HDD/GFX etc. Rendering is something else now...the same pic that took over 2 minutes now is done in like 20 sec. Any synthetic tests are almost saying "you gotta be kidding me" Laughing
    But i guess i shouldn't expected anything less from such beast of processor.
    Overclocked it to 3.5 without any increase in voltage... can't attach watercooling atm since socket is different, but then i'll get it to 4.0...
    I register very little increase in heat as i overclock it. It's definately a lot better than with core 2 family.

    As for games - first time in life i've seen Crysis running smoothly at 2560x1600 with high detail Shocked With cheap overclocked GTX260-216. I guess Crysis is CPU dependant a lot...
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    Almael
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by Almael on 9/23/2009, 6:53 am

    Almael on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:52 pm wrote:
    AlexT wrote:
    As for games - first time in life i've seen Crysis running smoothly at 2560x1600 with high detail With cheap overclocked GTX260-216. I guess Crysis is CPU dependant a lot...
    Maybe
    it's some physical and AI part. I could imagine they tried to have
    software physical calcs for people who don't have PHYS GPUs.

    Although, integrated CPU&GPU&co. are more efficient, may be cheaper, and surely an evolutionary step;
    It looks like Intel & co are using the integrated GPU propaganda to generate CPUs with less progress each time like in the past with the Hz race. In other words introducing new ones with minimal real technical gain while advertising gains in the GPU part which probably need several generations to be as advanced as GPUs today.
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    AlexT
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by AlexT on 9/23/2009, 10:11 am

    It's all about cost. I doubt you can create CPU with same performance as modern GPU. It's impossible simply because of ideology and architecture - CPUs and GPUs work differently and both are good at what they do.
    Anyway - in order to create CPU with integrated graphics you need to make it excessively powerful cuz some have those 17" 1024 monitors and will be happy and some, like myself, have dual 30" 2560x1600 monitor set up Very Happy
    Let's see what Larrabee will bring, but i doubt it's going to be something impressive due to problems normaly associated with ray tracing. It's no faster and no more efficient than cuirrent methods and i see no advantage here.
    Intel is aiming at cheap business/economy class with those integrated solutions, not performance ones anyway.
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by Almael on 9/24/2009, 11:18 am

    Yeah, well, GPU is just a math/vector core while CPU is a complex code structure. So those speeds were and are normal. Even in the early pentium age bioships and such were as fast as CPU's today with 1/10th clock speed.
    Anyway, I'm curious how the Sandy Bridge core will perform, after all it's the successor to the Core2 architecture. I was never for the Netburst, IMHO it was just a backstep to a superfast 486 with pipeline compared to a parallel pentium. Pentium 3 was what the Pentium should have been from the beginning (Intel bug mania). And the Athlon was a logical evolution thereafter. Core2 is actually somewhere in between. I guess it will be awhile until another evolution happens in the CPU architecture, but I doubt it with the trend to smaller faster parts.

    As to raytracing, it's something that can't be optimized, hardware acceleration can help out but that's all. Also changing rendering technique won't necessary make a game better, this is just lots of work for little gain. But i guess it's a nice advertisement. I would rather see better physics and world model engines.
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    AlexT
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by AlexT on 9/24/2009, 2:43 pm

    Yea, but they say ray tracing can make programmers work easier - traditional 3D require a lot of pre-defined stuff while ray-tracing can theoreticaly use much simplier language to describe how things should work when rendering. Of course it's math expensive but we'll have enough processing power soon.
    Yet i agree that ray tracing is nothing better - it's not like 3D package ray tracing where it's used with tons of other stuff and thus look so good.
    As for physics - yea, but unfortunately those 2 - ATI and Nvidia need to come to use of universal API, something like Open CL or something. While they advertise their own physics engines nobody gonna use it in every game anyway. And so far i'd bet on Havok more cuz it uses CPU and works fine - just check Red Faction, all objects in the game are brakeable with corret calculations of weight, inertia etc etc. and my poor Core i7 is not too stresses about it

    But - as long as stupid consoles won't get their upgrade - we're stuck cuz majority of market is there.
    I had high expectation for MMORPG market but they seem to adapt the same strategy to make more, not better - blame 30 millions of WOW idiots

    Oh, btw - photo of my new watercooling "do-it-yourself" experiement:
    http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/1977/pic0054f.jpg/
    To the right, the big black tower is Reserator 1 - it just cools GPU at the moment.
    At lower/left corner is a small glass reservoir with aquarium eheim pump inside of it. The garden 15mm hose is connecting it to "VAZ" automobile heater core radiator, then it goes to HeatKiller 3.0 LC waterblock viz medical 11mm hose:
    http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/141/pic0057j.jpg
    It works pretty well, especialy at given cost - about 20$ radiator, 30$ pump and 40$ waterblock - just need to make it look good

    As for CPU upgrade - i'm currently thinking if i should switch to LGA 1156 - it's i7 run a lot cooler, there's no north bridge at all (heat source) and it got more MHz for same cost. Comes at lck of x16/x16 SLI/Cross support (only x8-x8) and no 3'd memory controller (dual only) which is not that important.
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    Almael
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by Almael on 9/25/2009, 7:01 am

    Yes, tracing is just math (simply run a procedure), while the others need memories etc to do it fast.

    Don't think there is going to be any univeral API, because that's were they can invent their own GPU and tech stuff.
    Well, I won't get my hands on redfation any time soon, but I think I played the first once (maybe I'm mistaken, don't remember).

    Of course MMORG are designed for milking, people might get bored if it's too good from the start, so they got to keep giving 'snacks' from time to time.
    I dunno why many woreship WoW. I understand that my young newphews have no idea, hence, easier to be snatched, but this seemed more than just that.

    Garden hose...it looks better than it sounds. Nice arrangement (one fan for two). Man were did you get that automobile radiator from?

    Well, the new cores are comming soon, you might as well wait some more months. Not that I think there will be better options, just cheaper prices.
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    AlexT
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    Re: CPU upgrade thoughts and cpu guide

    Post by AlexT on 9/26/2009, 6:49 pm

    I decided to stick with LGA 1366 I7 - in the end for the same price i have 1 extra memory channel, more flexible overclocking, cache that runs at core speed and not fixed etc etc. - They ask for 330$ here for I7-860 (LGA 1156 lynnfield) while i7-920 cost 289.

    So - i guess we won't see much new stuff anytime soon. There's gonna be some 32nm 6 core processors for LGA 1366 in 2010 and some low-budget stuff later, but nothing that can interest me much. I guess i'll have to concentrate on exploring GPU market more this winter. Maybe buy that ATI 5870 first and switch to GT300 later.But it's incredible how well my poor GTX 260-216 handles all the games at my 2560x1600 resolution - this card has truly a very good value (assuming you overclock it). But the time has come to get a new powerful single videocard. Since i do not accept Sli/crossfire (due to it's microshutter which is hard on my sharp eyes) - i need something to power my large screen.
    Thankfuly crisis is coming to an end and maybe we'll see faster progress in computers ... When will we finaly get our huge walking robots ?

    Edit: oh, and i picked that radiator on bazzar where all kinds of car junk is being sold for 20$ from guy that didn't even speak any language i know, but he knew how to count $ Very Happy . It's 100% copper

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