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Old 2012-06-11, 03:14   Link #1
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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AMD and their processors

I have an AMD motherboard. My processor is a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.

I'm out of the loop with AMD processors. So my first question is, will AMD stay in the business of making processors? I know that Intel has them beat in performance, and I read some speculation that AMD might just focus on GPU tech. Is there any grounds for that speculation? Does AMD plan to stick with making processors? Next question, is there anything out now that would be a good replacement for my CPU, or is no upgrade needed at the moment since most things don't use more than 4 cores? Also, how long do you think PC games will make use of 4 cores, and does anyone know if the next step for PC games is 6 cores or 8 cores? I'm wondering if in the first year or two of next gen consoles, PC gaming will make the move from 4 cores to more than 4 cores.

I'm thinking of upgrading my computer sometime between late this year and on or around the launch of the XBox successor in late 2013, and I'm hoping I can find AMD to be a viable option for a processor upgrade (I'd hate to have to buy an Intel motherboard and Intel CPU, it'd cost quite a bit more).
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Old 2012-06-11, 06:33   Link #2
spikexp
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Your processor is amongst the best you can get on amd side for now.

AMD need to stay in the desktop CPU game, because if they don't, intel will get the monopoly.
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Old 2012-06-11, 09:40   Link #3
Random32
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Unless you plan on doing heavily multithreaded things, the Ph2X4 is still the best AMD has. The new FX series sacrifice single thread performance for lots of cores. Good for server, bad for desktop.

You don't need to upgrade your CPU yet. A few games are very CPU heavy and will run better if you get a faster CPU, but most games won't. Ph2X4 is enough.
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Old 2012-06-11, 11:32   Link #4
Urzu 7
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I just hope for a better line-up of AM3 processors in a year or year and a half from now. I wanna upgrade my computer eventually. I'd hate to buy a new motherboard (Intel) and an Intel processor. Then the upgrade would be significantly more.

I'm starting to think about upgrading or even buying a new system in about a year and a half to two years so that I have a PC that can play games about as well as a next gen console.
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Old 2012-06-11, 12:58   Link #5
Random32
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Consoles, even next gen ones, are slow as fuck compared to a half decent gaming rig. Both the nextgen PS and Xbox GPU part is based on the AMD Radeon HD 6670, a last gen even now entry level card. Xbox is probably using a custom PPC CPU, PS is semi confirmed using AMD for CPU.

Why can't you keep your current CPU/mobo? It's still working, it's still fast enough. Upgrade what you need to upgrade when you need to upgrade it.
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Old 2012-06-11, 15:34   Link #6
Urzu 7
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I guess I just have this idea that it'd be good to upgrade when the next gen rolls in. I guess my CPU will be fine initially. I wish I had a Phenom II with a higher clock frequency, but 3.2 GHz is pretty good. Just too bad I didn't get one with 3.6 GHz. Enough to make some difference, but upgrading from 3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz is just absurd.

I guess the only thing I'd need to upgrade in the next two years would be the RAM and the GPU. With the RAM, I have 4 GB and no games really make use of more than 4 GB, as far as I know. Still, doubling the RAM will only cost about $30.

The real thing to upgrade in the next two years is the GPU. My GPU is pretty solid, but I could do better. I'd go with something around $170, maybe a bit more. I found a Radeon that goes for $180 and it is pretty good. I would do well with something like a Radeon HD 6870 or a GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
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Old 2012-06-11, 17:54   Link #7
Random32
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You could buy an aftermarket HSF for the CPU and overclock. Ph2's are really nice overclockers.
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Old 2012-06-11, 20:52   Link #8
Urzu 7
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Well, I may just hold out with my system for a year and a half or so and then buy a new system. It seems like GPUs are making the move from PCI Express 2.0 to PCI Express 3.0. My motherboard is an AMD motherboard that only does PCI Express 2.0. So if I were to upgrade in late 2013, in order to get any card worth getting, I'd need a motherboard with PCI Express 3.0. Since I'm getting a new motherboard, I might as well get an Intel motherboard and get an Intel processor, both of which are pricier than the AMD versions. So, I'd buy a new motherboard, new processor, and a new GPU. Then I would get some more RAM, so throw in about $20 for that. I need a bigger hard drive. My hard drive is not even 1 TB. So get a new hard drive. So I did a price estimate of those components, trying to guess how future prices might be on some of the components, and sticking to some prices that should be the same in late 2013 (like, picking a $170-$200 GPU). My price estimate came out to $700 to $750. I could upgrade a bunch of things about my system, or maybe just get a new one for a couple hundred bucks more.
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Old 2012-06-11, 21:17   Link #9
Random32
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For GPU's. PCIe3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0. Unless you are doing GPU compute, PCIe bandwidth isn't really a bottleneck. Modern cards barely benefit from PCIe2.0 x16 over x8.
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Old 2012-06-11, 21:36   Link #10
Urzu 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
For GPU's. PCIe3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0. Unless you are doing GPU compute, PCIe bandwidth isn't really a bottleneck. Modern cards barely benefit from PCIe2.0 x16 over x8.
Ooh. Good to know. What do you mean by GPU compute? So a Radeon 7000 GPU shouldn't have bottleneck issues with PCI Express 2.0?

Also, what is the best Phenom II X4? I assume it is the 980 Black Edition at 3.7 GHz. It is that one, right?
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Old 2012-06-11, 21:42   Link #11
Random32
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GPU compute. Like running BitCoin mining, F@H, video conversion, encryption/decryption, password cracking, etc using the GPU instead of the CPU. Basically, stuff that uses the GPU to do things other than making pretty pictures.

As for fastest Ph2X4, that would be the highest clocked one, which I believe is the 980.
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Old 2012-06-11, 22:04   Link #12
Urzu 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
GPU compute. Like running BitCoin mining, F@H, video conversion, encryption/decryption, password cracking, etc using the GPU instead of the CPU. Basically, stuff that uses the GPU to do things other than making pretty pictures.

As for fastest Ph2X4, that would be the highest clocked one, which I believe is the 980.
I don't have to bother upgrading my processor for a while. Do you think in mid and late 2013, they will have new AM3 processors? Do you think it will be just AM3+ processors instead? Do AM3+ processors work in AM3 sockets? I thought I read that they would be backwards compatible with that socket type.

What I may do is upgrade my GPU first and then upgrade the CPU a little after. I think a Radeon HD 7850 would be a good purchase for now. Radeon HD 8000 series hits early next year? Spring of next year?
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Old 2012-06-11, 22:26   Link #13
Random32
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AM3+ CPU's will NOT work inside AM3 mobos. AM3 CPU's WILL work inside AM3+ mobos though.

AMD is switching to the FMx series of sockets for desktop soon. This is mainly because of the on die GPU I believe.
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Old 2012-06-11, 22:34   Link #14
Urzu 7
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Do you think they will make new AM3 CPUs in 2013? Or do you think they will leave those with AM3 motherboards high and dry from this year on?

Does a APU with GPU capabilities work with your video card to deliver better performance? I have no idea how APUs work together with dedicated GPUs.
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Old 2012-06-11, 23:05   Link #15
Random32
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There will be no CPU's that will work in an AM3 mobo. It's highly doubtful there will be CPUs released for any AMx socket.

As for APU's and working with dedicated cards. There is Hybrid CrossFire. It's like regular xfire, but with the APU GPU and the dedicated GPU. Right now it only works with specific AMD GPU's and an AMD APU, but it should expand to include more AMD GPU's, the chance it will work with an Intel CPU or nV GPU is pretty much zero.
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Old 2012-06-11, 23:15   Link #16
Urzu 7
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So when I wanna upgrade my processor, looks like I'll have to get a new motherboard, too? No new AM3 processors from here on?

I hope that in the next year and a half to two years they put out a line of processors that surpass Phenom II X4 processors. I'll stick with AMD if they offer more good processors. But that remains to be seen. Phenom II X4 processors are still the best. You'd figure they'd have something better than those by now. Those released in 2009.
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Old 2012-06-11, 23:32   Link #17
Random32
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Bulldozer was Barcelona 2.0. It's a fundamentally good uArch that was executed poorly. If Piledriver fixes even half the problems with Bulldozer, I think the next FX's will be much better than the Ph2's even at not super multithread stuff.

As for AMD vs Intel. Unless you are a big shareholder in either company, just buy whatever suits you best. No need to be loyal to a brand.

Quote:
So when I wanna upgrade my processor, looks like I'll have to get a new motherboard, too? No new AM3 processors from here on?
Yup
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Old 2012-06-11, 23:42   Link #18
Urzu 7
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I'll see how the best AMD CPUs compare to similarly priced Intel CPUs when I want to upgrade. I will also compare the prices of Intel motherboards. Intel motherboards are typically higher priced, or no? I would only stick with AMD if I can get a good CPU at a good price. I expect Intel to still offer the best CPUs by the time I want to upgrade, and well, like I said, price matters, but if Intel is still the king of CPUs when I want to upgrade, it'd be smart to get an Intel motherboard and Intel CPU.
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Old 2012-06-13, 02:06   Link #19
Vexx
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I do the numbers every time I upgrade.... so far AMD wins my price/performance checks every time for the last 10 years. Even if I have to upgrade the mobo... the only time it came close is when I waited an extra year and the RAM also changed (ddr2->ddr3). My requirements aren't "top-end" though, they follow the curve graphs on performance/$$$. So I might, for example, go with a 2.7GHz Blah rather than a 2.8GHz Blah because the price spikes at that point.

I have the same cpu you do and tend to use ASUS mobo boards with nvidia video cards. With 8GB of RAM, I figure its good for at least 2-3 years. At that point, I'll do the numbers again. Maybe Intel will win that time, maybe not
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Old 2012-06-13, 05:39   Link #20
Urzu 7
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Intel has the superior CPUs overall, but I still like AMD processors, for the good ones like Phenom II X4 CPUs. I do hope AMD has a very good line or two of CPUs in late 2013 or early 2014.
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