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leeward
April 26th, 2008, 04:59 AM
**Long post**

Alright, I have always been a die-hard AMD fan. I'm about to build a new system and I'm still going AMD all the way, despite the slow-down. I have faith that they're coming back and they're going to wipe the floor with Intel like in the days of old.

However, I work with someone who's looking to build they're own system for the first time and has been asking for my help. He wants a "top of the line" system, so he's looking at the Intel Core2 Extreme. Specifically, the Yorkfield 9650 or 9770. If it were me, there's no way I would throw $1000-$1400 on a processor. Not with the way the tech market goes, but it's not my money. On top of that he wants DDR3 because it's the newest thing. I'm just trying to help him get what would be better for him in the long run. Which brings me to my questions.

Looking at the Intel vs AMD and Intel boards vs AMD boards. Ok, he can have his 3.0-3.2GHz with DDR3 memory. However, the 1600 MHz is the fastest FSB he's going to be able to get (from what I can tell..and that's overclocked). However, if he goes with AMD, he'll take a little clock speed hit (OC can take care of that for an $800 savings) and no DDR3. However, he will have a 2600MHz HyperTransport. Now, it's hard for me to compare, because I've never had Intel and all the systems I have built were AMD w/HyperTransport. But, from everything I've read and studied, HyperTransport is a lot better, not to mention the faster the processor can communicate with the rest of the computer, the better. I just don't see a reason to go with high-end processor and high-end RAM, when the FSB is just going to slow it all down. But, you can save some money and get a more efficient system. I look at it as getting the best value for your money.

Now, there is a GREAT chance I'm not even in the right ballpark. Everything I know was self-taught, and I don't have any "nerd" friends to bounce ideas of off to see if my assumptions are right. All I got is you guys, so, if I am way off, be gentle. :)

Lastly, this is a question that pertains both to his system and mine. The great dual-core vs quad-core. Been doing a LOT of research on this. He has XP and just plays some games. Would a dual-core do him better? Would it be worth it to get a quad-core, or would it be a waste of money? He's looking at having a good system he won't have to replace for years.

And I'm doing the same thing, but I run Linux exclusively. Which would be a better value? I'm not looking for the most state-of-the-art system, I just want a good system that'll last me a while. My only thing is that if I get a multi-core, I want all the cores to be used. Any unused cores are, in my opinion, a waste of money and die space. Thanks for all the help and advice!

LaRoza
April 26th, 2008, 05:39 AM
Lastly, this is a question that pertains both to his system and mine. The great dual-core vs quad-core. Been doing a LOT of research on this. He has XP and just plays some games. Would a dual-core do him better? Would it be worth it to get a quad-core, or would it be a waste of money? He's looking at having a good system he won't have to replace for years.

And I'm doing the same thing, but I run Linux exclusively. Which would be a better value? I'm not looking for the most state-of-the-art system, I just want a good system that'll last me a while. My only thing is that if I get a multi-core, I want all the cores to be used. Any unused cores are, in my opinion, a waste of money and die space. Thanks for all the help and advice!

Frankly, for anyone but the most hardcore gamer, it won't make a difference, and not even then. If he is running a server, or doing some serious video work, then maybe it would.

The thing about AMD v Intel is not the processors, it is the video/motherboard. I like Intel solely because I can get an Intel processor, integrated video, and wireless and it will work in Linux. AMD (which makes ATI cards...) isn't so friendly (to Linux)

For this, I would recommend what works and what is wanted. All the cores will be used.

A quad core may be a waste of money, although it is a good processor.

encompass
April 26th, 2008, 05:43 AM
I agree with laroza...
I go only with intel now, simply because I know that an all intel board... especially in laptops... will working very well in linux. Everything from the sound, to the graphics, to the wireless.
Talk about nice. Wish more companies thought like intel.

tamoneya
April 26th, 2008, 05:44 AM
go for the Q6600. Plenty of quad core power, easily overclockable and ther was just another price drop. You can get it for around 220 easy. I have it and love it.

LaRoza
April 26th, 2008, 05:49 AM
I agree with laroza...
I go only with intel now, simply because I know that an all intel board... especially in laptops... will working very well in linux. Everything from the sound, to the graphics, to the wireless.
Talk about nice. Wish more companies thought like intel.

I wish more companies didn't do it. Intel is nice now because they work with Linux, and others aren't so easy, but it reduced competition and getting good deals. Right now, I look for Intel. Even if ATI or AMD is cheaper or better, I get Intel. I have no choice Intel is a good choice, but imagine if they weren't! They'd be even better and we'd have more options. One can get any wireless, board + processor, sound, video, etc in Windows, but it isn't so easy in Linux.

I wish more companies made hardware accessable by Linux (if only by following standards and releasing information for drivers) so we could actually make choices.

3rdalbum
April 26th, 2008, 05:57 AM
Get a fast dual-core. 3.16 GHz per core makes more sense than 2.4GHz per core, when the liklihood is that the zeroth and first cores will get the biggest workout. What you say about the transport is true, but from what I've seen the Intel processors are still faster. Note that Intel will be releasing a new transport during 2008 or 09.

yatt
April 26th, 2008, 06:23 AM
A dual core would probably be a much better value. Actually (and I'm not 100% on this), but unless he has Home Pro, he won't be able to use all the extra cores of the quad core (Remember, XP was made in 2002ish. Dual cores weren't even on the radar then).

As for Intel-AMD, my vote goes to Intel. Intel's top of the line is better, their mid ranges offers better value per dollar, and they over clock much better (which furthers their value per dollar). The only place AMD can really beat out Intel is their entry level stuff which is much much cheaper.

spamzilla
April 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
I stick with intel as like everyone else has said, the newer hardware "just works." Hopefully in 1 years - 18 months time we won't need to have this conversation :)

Eras
April 26th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I've always been taught that AMD's quad core architecture is way more smarter than intel's... Then again I could be wrong. I love AMD, but I'm afraid it won't make it far in the future. (Hint: INTEL'S 80 CORES OF FURRY!)

Game_boy
April 26th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Currently Intel is winning the CPU performance battle, but AMD has better value processors in most areas that they can compete in.

As others have said though, you won't notice the difference between a $100 and a $1500 CPU unless you do heavy video editing, so get a budget one that's good value (usually AMD). Most or all games and applications now are GPU limited and it's a pretty even match between AMD and Nvidia at most price points, but Intel graphics suck compared to AMD integrated at the same or even lower price.

I would think that a 780G motherboard and a X2 5000+ CPU would be the best value for most people.

samjh
April 26th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Unless AMD can offer better value for performance, I will choose Intel; always have, and probably always will.

There was a time when AMD was a serious contender in the processor wars, but they've since lost their edge, at least in my opinion.

Pathfinder_
April 26th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Looks like your friend wants performance so go with Intel. Few years ago AMD was a much better choice and would have been stupid to go with P4, but since the release of Conroe, Intel started to dominate again.

sicofante
April 26th, 2008, 03:29 PM
I build computers for the video industry and this what I can tell you:

Your friend wants the latest, the greatest and the most expensive: he'll be OK with the very high end Intel processors. If he wants to be "future-proof" (there's no such thing in computing...) games are going multi-core lately and will take advantage of the many cores pretty soon, so he might want to go for the QX9775 (the most expensive desktop CPU you can get right now). I'd never advice anyone to buy this thing, but it's definitely the most powerful desktop CPU out of the box money can buy.

AMD is now behind Intel in raw power. Your friend has no budget problems so he must go with Intel. If you are budget conscious, however, do not ever buy the highest clocked processor from any manufacturer. They're just there to show off and their performance/cost ratio is the poorest you can get. In the middle ground the quad core best deal is by all means the Q6600. If you're doing ordinary computing, however, you are better off with AMD 4000 or 5000 series.

All of my professional customers are getting Q6600 from me right now, (Q9300 in the coming months to keep my boxes trendy ;-)).

All of my family and friends are getting an Athlon 4200 right now on Nvidia motherboards. (EDIT: Because Intel integrated graphics are very poor and ATI's ones have issues with Linux, Nvidia integrated graphics mobos are an obvious choice for ordinary computing.)

Any of these combinations works flawlessly with Ubuntu.

For laptops I can't advice, but Intel is so dominating you won't really have a hard time choosing there.

For graphics Nvidia is the clear choice in Linux (Intel integrated graphics will work too but it's much poorer). I'm running an ATI integrated graphics motherboard and I do have issues with Compiz, but that's it. I'm putting an Nvidia graphics card in my system next week so I can keep checking back and forth from ATI to Nvidia graphics every now and then.

Regarding chipsets, any will work fine. Of course I haven't run every motherboard out there, but I don't think Ubuntu will have issues with any current motherboard. Intels are a bit more expensive than Nvidias, so if you're budget conscious go for Nvidia. If your friend wants the latest and greatest again, tell him to look for an Intel X48 mobo.

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Wanting the latest and most expensive hardware is totally the wrong way to go about selecting hardware.

List the tasks he wishes to perform, then choose hardware thatbis suited to the task.

As has already een mentioned, todays mega machine will be old hat in two years and nothing is future proof.

Anything currently for sale has already been superceded.

As for the Q6600, that's an old design and some dual-cores which are significantly cheaper can easily outperform it in many tasks.

Pathfinder_
April 26th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Wanting the latest and most expensive hardware is totally the wrong way to go about selecting hardware.

List the tasks he wishes to perform, then choose hardware thatbis suited to the task.

As has already een mentioned, todays mega machine will be old hat in two years and nothing is future proof.

Anything currently for sale has already been superceded.

As for the Q6600, that's an old design and some dual-cores which are significantly cheaper can easily outperform it in many tasks.

The OP said that his friend wants the latest and greatest. Budget does not seem to a problem to him. If he wants the best and money is not a problem then let him get the best. BTW Q6600 is better then dual core. You say that the machine will be old in two years yet suggest to get a dual core. A quad core will prolong the usefulness of the machine more then a dual core will.

sicofante
April 26th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Wanting the latest and most expensive hardware is totally the wrong way to go about selecting hardware.
Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.


As for the Q6600, that's an old design and some dual-cores which are significantly cheaper can easily outperform it in many tasks.
Such as? Q6600's performance/price ratio seems unbeatable to me right now.

The design of the current Intel CPUs is the same Core architecture. Newer CPUs are built on 45 nm technology but design is exactly the same. Until Nehalem, where significant changes will be introduced (will be here in Q4, most probably), you can't really talk about newer designs.

Most ordinary computing tasks (including most current games) won't take any advantage of multi-core CPUs (be they dual or quad), but the trend is clear and almost everyone is moving to multi-core programming (games definitely).

I can only advice the cheapest dual core CPUs for ordinary tasks (and that's AMD+Nvidia mobo, definitely). Given the current pricing of the Q6600, if you want "better than ordinary performance" going for it is a no-brainer. Of course, if you're uncomfortable with a one year old CPU, then there's room for debate.

leeward
April 26th, 2008, 05:29 PM
First off, I want to thank everyone for their replys. That'll help me greatly as I discuss his options with him.

Personally, I am a die-hard AMD fan. Always have been. I don't know quite why, but I can't bring myself to buy Intel. I just don't like them and I'm really pulling for AMD and hoping they can make their way back to the top. But, for now, I'll suck it up and admit that Intel is a better choice and help him build an Intel system. :)

I have a question for myself, however, in regards to FSB. How would the performance of an Intel quad (whether it's an Extreme or Core 2 Quad) and DDR3 RAM be impacted by a slower FSB? And how would that relate to an AMD board with a 2600MHz HyperTransport setup?

As I understand it, FSB is a major player in system setup and can be a major bottleneck to a system's overall performance. I've seen the benchmarks so I know that, despite the FSB issue, Intel is still kicking AMD all over the place, right now. But, I'm trying to better understand the FSB vs HyperTransport and speed issues.

I've been around computers my whole life, but I have only recently start studying to better understand different components. I've been able to diagnosis things for a long time and repair things, but the understanding has never really been there until recently and this is one of the things I am trying to understand (I understood the practice, but not the theory).

Pathfinder_
April 26th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Intel will be replacing FSB with IMC(intergrated memory controller) soon like AMD already has done a long time ago.
As for FSB issue don't worry about it. Intel CPUs might have lower memory bandwith than AMD's becuase of FSB but to make up for that they have huge L2 cache. AMD has 512Kb L2 and 2MB L3 Shared. Some of Intel's have 4MB L2 shared and newer ones that will come out will have 6MB O_o.

Lostincyberspace
April 26th, 2008, 05:54 PM
I think amd will become the leading gaming processor in the future since they now own ati and are in a better position than intel to produce the next generation of cpu/gpu combinations. it will need a pretty big overhall in the design of mother boards though most likely incorperating a special set of memory ports to allow for dedicated memory an higher cash sizes on die.

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 05:55 PM
Such as?

E8200

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 06:01 PM
.

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
If he wants the best and money is not a problem then let him get the best.

Depends on your definition of best.

Absolute top performance comes at a very hefty premium.

But then fools and their money are easily parted as the old saying goes.

Anyway, the original question was AMD or Intel.
Currently Intel are top dog.

Pathfinder_
April 26th, 2008, 06:30 PM
Depends on your definition of best.

Absolute top performance comes at a very hefty premium.

But then fools and their money are easily parted as the old saying goes.

Anyway, the original question was AMD or Intel.
Currently Intel are top dog.

The best he can get for the amount of money he is willing to spend..

sicofante
April 26th, 2008, 07:06 PM
E8200
Let's see: the E8200 runs at 2,66 GHz and is (according to the latest price list from my providers) a 13% cheaper than the Q6600. That's a few dollars which I wouldn't call "significantly cheaper", although that's a matter of opinion.

Because a) you will always benefit from 4 cores in newer games (or rendering or any multithreaded app) and b) is ridiculously easy to overclock the Q6600 (not so easy for the new CPUs with a 1333 MHz FSB like the E8200), I sustain my recommendation: a Q6600 is a better value than an E8200 right now, for someone who wants "more than adequate" performance for "more than ordinary" tasks.

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Let's see: the E8200 runs at 2,66 GHz and is (according to the latest price list from my providers) a 13% cheaper than the Q6600. That's a few dollars which I wouldn't call "significantly cheaper", although that's a matter of opinion.

All depends on the local price.
In the UK an E8200 is cheaper, however it has come down a fair bit from the 148 it was when I last looked.

E8200 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139967) Q6600 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131823)

Clock speed is no measure of performance.

http://tinyurl.com/5hghh8

If I was paying more I would want the more expensive CPU to be significantly better in all benchmarks.....

Pathfinder_
April 26th, 2008, 07:53 PM
If I was paying more I would want the more expensive CPU to be significantly better in all benchmarks.....

That is if you were paying significantly more which you are not in this case. There's no point in buying E8200 if Q6600 is not within similar price range. Q6600 is also more future proof.

Micieri
April 26th, 2008, 09:30 PM
The way I always saw it was:
AMD = gaming
Intel = everything else (media, rendering, servers etc)
nVidia = gaming
ATI = everything else

Except when you get to the quad cores in which I have to say Intel's benchmarks have been significantly higher, but I'm sure AMD will come out of nowhere and be back at the top.

Is it just me or do AMD+ATI work better together than they should? Are they even allowed to do that? xD
(I supposed they are seeming as it's their produce)

LaRoza
April 26th, 2008, 09:34 PM
Is it just me or do AMD+Ati work better together than they should? Are they even allowed to do that? xD
(I supposed they are seeming as it's their produce)

For Linux? No, AMD and ATI are a hassle (processors are ok, everything else...)

It could be anti-competative, but Intel has gotten in trouble for such things also. It shouldn't make a difference actually.

JayBee808
April 26th, 2008, 10:06 PM
This machine is running a q6600 on a Gigabyte Intel p35 mobo. I could not be happier. I built it last October with the intention of XP gaming. Then I discovered Gutsy the week it was released. Absolutely no problems with this computer. I did have to learn how to deal with the Nvidia video drivers, but that is it. This machine has performed wonderfully in Linux and Windows. With the Quad and 2GB of RAM, VirtualBox runs like a dream. I can have a Win2K, a Kubuntu, and OpenGEU all running at the same time in virtual machines. The computer doesn't even hesitate. The q6600 has proven a great investment. It was a good deal when I bought it, and from what I can tell it is still a good deal. I was expecting the whole machine to be out of date by now.

A side note here; during the Athlon/AthlonXP years I swore by AMD and swore at Intel. I thought Intel was ridiculously overpriced. The AMD computers that I built during that time were very flaky, and have problems to this day. I suspect a lot of the trouble comes from the Via and Nvidia mobo chipsets. For my newest computer I considered both AMD and Intel, and decided on the Intel chipset/CPU combination. Like I said, no problems at all, in any OS. I think having the same manufacturer for the chipset/CPU makes for a much more stable system. I know it might cost a couple hundred more, and it might not get the highest benchmarks, but it is very reliable and stable.

sicofante
April 26th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Clock speed is no measure of performance.

It is indeed given identical architectures. I already said (EDIT: sorry, I didn't say it, must have thought it but not written it), however, that 45 nm Core 2 Duo CPUs are somewhat faster clock per clock than 65nm ones (around 7%).

The right choice always lies in the intended use: for ordinary computing tasks both are a huge overkill, for games an E8200 is probably a little bit better RIGHT NOW (although not in the near future) and for audio/video/graphics the choice is clear and it's Q6600.

sicofante
April 26th, 2008, 10:40 PM
I think having the same manufacturer for the chipset/CPU makes for a much more stable system. I know it might cost a couple hundred more, and it might not get the highest benchmarks, but it is very reliable and stable.
Hard to prove, to say the least. Nvidia chipsets are great and work reliably in both Intel and AMD environments. I've been using both Intel and AMD builds with all sorts of chipsets (including some from VIA) for the last 5 years and nothing points to stability issues with either (or if you like it the other way, I could report stability issues on both sides after building many many computers).

gn2
April 26th, 2008, 11:34 PM
That is if you were paying significantly more which you are not in this case. There's no point in buying E8200 if Q6600 is not within similar price range. Q6600 is also more future proof.

OK I concede that the price gap has decreased between the two.

There is no such thing as "Future Proof"

The Q6600 has a higher TDP (even the EE one) and is less efficient than an E8200.

Anyway, whichever one is purchased it will be old hat in a few years.