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Old 2012-06-13, 17:36   Link #21
Random32
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AMD generally has excellent budget CPU's. They set the prices so they are competitive with Intel. Intel generally doesn't want to get involved in a price war since they might get their asses sued off (again) for whatever anti monopoly law since they are such a big company compared to AMD.
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Old 2012-06-14, 20:57   Link #22
Urzu 7
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Maybe I will stick with AMD for my next processor. Their processors are definitely cheaper by quite a ways.

You said something about the next line of processors from AMD looking really promising, right? Or at least something that implied that, right? Do you think the next line of processors from AMD will surpass the Phenom II X4 processors?

Also, does anyone know when DDR4 RAM will hit the market? Surely sites like Toms Hardware and such discuss generally when DDR4 will hit, right?
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Last edited by Urzu 7; 2012-06-14 at 21:39.
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Old 2012-06-14, 21:45   Link #23
Random32
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If Piledriver doesn't beat Ph2, you can negrep me. Bulldozer is a pretty decent uArch on paper, execution was rushed and mistakes were made. To compare to previous chips made by AMD, Bulldozer is the modern original Phenom, Piledriver is probably the next Phenom II.
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Old 2012-06-14, 22:49   Link #24
Urzu 7
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But Piledriver should only be AM3+, huh? They just won't even make AM3 chips anymore.
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Old 2012-06-14, 23:17   Link #25
Random32
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All signs point toward FM2 as the socket instead of AM3+. Anyways, its not going to work in your current mobo.

They have a new socket, and they are going to use it. They stopped releasing AM2 chips after AM2+, AM2+ after AM3, it only makes sense we won't be seeing more new AM3 considering that AM3+ has come out.
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Old 2012-06-14, 23:24   Link #26
Urzu 7
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When are the Piledriver processors due to hit the market? When they release, and if I were to buy one, should I get one with more than 4 cores? Games are just now starting to utilize 4 cores, so we shouldn't see many games use more than 4 cores for a while, but getting a processor with 4 cores wouldn't hurt and it'd be future proofing, right?
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Old 2012-06-14, 23:45   Link #27
Random32
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I mispoke. Piledriver based FX CPU's will be for AM3+. My bad. AMD isn't ditching AMx just yet. They will be coming late this year if things go well, if things don't go well, early next.

Trinity, Piledriver + GPU. A few mobile chips are out. Trinity based desktops will be out *soon*, actually chips will be out 2H this year.
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Old 2012-06-15, 22:09   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
I mispoke. Piledriver based FX CPU's will be for AM3+. My bad. AMD isn't ditching AMx just yet. They will be coming late this year if things go well, if things don't go well, early next.

Trinity, Piledriver + GPU. A few mobile chips are out. Trinity based desktops will be out *soon*, actually chips will be out 2H this year.
Trinity AMUs were tested... yesterday (Tom's Hardware)? The Trinity set is showing good promise as a great all-in-one solution for HTPC and notebooks (it absolutely demolishes the Intel intergrated graphics capabilities) but its really lagging in some areas when compared to the i5 and i7. It'll be interesting to see how the FX-Piledrivers clock (as I'm personally keeping an eye on one and the A10 for a couple of replacements) against the i5 and i7, and the price points for all of these new chips.
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Old 2012-06-16, 15:33   Link #29
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I have a 955 and I don't plan on upgrading for at least another year if not 2. What you should look at upgrading would be your hdd to a sdd. This will give you the greatest increase at the moment. Get a 128GB ssd and use your hdd as storage and you will be set for a while.
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Old 2012-06-24, 17:32   Link #30
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I used to be a AMD guy, but recent years I switched to Intel. Here's my experience between the two.

AMD was good when I used it because back then as I didn't know too much about computers and was on budget. Their components are very upgrade-able and affordable. A specific CPU socket is backwards compatible with new or old motherboards for a couple of generations which means you hardly ever needed to buy a new CPU. They offer multiple core CPUs on the best best dollar per core basis in price. They're also very overclock-able from what I heard, but I personally never overclocked my AMD CPUs when I was using still using them.

Intel is all about performance. You get what you pay for with their tech. They offer the best performance per dollar for their CPU. Meaning some of their CPUs with 4 cores can beat a 6 core AMD CPU in performance. The reason for that is because their CPU architecture is very refined allowing their CPU to work very efficiently which AMD is lacking currently due to their CPUs being able to be backwards compatible with older or new motherboards. With Intel you pretty much need to buy a new motherboard for a new generation CPU and vice versa which can be expensive.

Lastly, CPU architecture is very important, but general consumers don't know too much as they only care about the number of cores in a CPU and the speed. CPU architecture is the main reason why most computer tech get outdated in a period of 4-5 years (although this is slowing changing due to Moore's Law). It's really the architecture that's improving year by year that actually increase the performance of CPUs. You can have a 4.2ghz 8 core 45nm processor from back in 2006, but with modern CPUs of equal speed and cores but with a 22nm processor the performance is 5x higher.

Spoiler for Details about upgrading components...:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
When are the Piledriver processors due to hit the market? When they release, and if I were to buy one, should I get one with more than 4 cores? Games are just now starting to utilize 4 cores, so we shouldn't see many games use more than 4 cores for a while, but getting a processor with 4 cores wouldn't hurt and it'd be future proofing, right?
The truth is many software developers still are slow to utilize all the cores on a CPU as most will only use 2-3 mainly. I think the only games currently that use 4 cores are Crysis 2, MW3 and Battlefield 3
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Last edited by Wandering_Youth; 2012-06-24 at 18:36.
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Old 2012-06-24, 18:17   Link #31
sa547
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Along with an Athlon II X2 260, I also bought a modest board -- a smallish ASRock N68-VS3 FX -- that had an advantage apart that it uses DDR3s and an IDE port: since it had an AM3+ socket, it means that within two years I should be able to swap the processor for a Piledriver.

As my previous machine was a P4 2.8 on a 478 socket (and before that a Compaq Deskpro P3 733), I originally wanted to try out at least even an i3 on a Sandy Bridge, but my limited budget kept me from getting it, plus socket 775 processors and boards were on their way to being phased out. I also considered the new Llano with the integrated APU, but they were also beyond budget and I wanted a dedicated graphics card.

Once I assembled the new rig (including a now-modest HD4670 GPU 512mb/128bit -- don't blame me, I'm all right with this card than going after the cutting-edge, but it's better than a GF210 with 1gb of memory but 64-bit) and fired it up, I threw in the works: 10-bit MKVs, 1080p videos, high-def reencodes, Skyrim and Black Ops (both at performance settings -- I'm not a sucker for eye candy, just great gaming), Google Sketchup and Photoshop... and I was satisfied that it was able to meet my requirements for an all-purpose rig.

@Urzu: considering that you're using a Phenom and a better-performing GPU, which still packs more punch than what I'm using, I think you should keep both of them.
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Old 2012-06-24, 18:59   Link #32
Urzu 7
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I won't upgrade my motherboard and CPU for quite awhile. I'd love to have a Radeon in the 7000 series, but I just don't need one. Skyrim runs well on my system with vanilla graphics with settings on high (framerate is pretty consistent and runs at about 30 fps, maybe a little over). The Witcher 2 should run pretty well on my system with high settings.

Maybe in 2013, I'll upgrade my motherboard, CPU, and perhaps get a GPU in the Radeon 8000 series. Might as well upgrade the RAM, too. I have 4 GB and don't really have a need to double that right now.

Should I double my RAM? RAM doesn't cost much. I only use my computer for general use, internet use, PC gaming, and watching DVDs and fansubs, with some fansubs being 720p or 1080p.
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Old 2012-06-24, 19:19   Link #33
Wandering_Youth
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I would suggest you upgrade to 8 GBs of ram as that is now pretty much the standard and games will become ever more resource intensive so it's good but be prepared.

What ram sticks are you using currently and would they be compatible with the new motherboards and CPUs coming out in 2013?
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Old 2012-06-24, 19:47   Link #34
Urzu 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandering_Youth View Post
I would suggest you upgrade to 8 GBs of ram as that is now pretty much the standard and games will become ever more resource intensive so it's good but be prepared.

What ram sticks are you using currently and would they be compatible with the new motherboards and CPUs coming out in 2013?
Well, I dunno about RAM in 2013. If I get a new motherboard and DDR4 happens to be out, I'll get DDR4 RAM. I don't know when DDR4 RAM is expected to hit the market.

I have DDR3 RAM. 1600 DDR3 RAM, which is a pretty good RAM, huh? I know there are some much higher, but that is a good RAM right now, huh?
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Old 2012-06-24, 22:18   Link #35
Wandering_Youth
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DRR3 1600 is fine, that's the standard stuff now. I thought you might have something slower or might not be compatible with whatever is coming out in 2013.
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Old 2012-06-25, 01:23   Link #36
Vena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandering_Youth View Post
Intel is all about performance. You get what you pay for with their tech. They offer the best performance per dollar for their CPU. Meaning some of their CPUs with 4 cores can beat a 6 core AMD CPU in performance. The reason for that is because their CPU architecture is very refined allowing their CPU to work very efficiently which AMD is lacking currently due to their CPUs being able to be backwards compatible with older or new motherboards. With Intel you pretty much need to buy a new motherboard for a new generation CPU and vice versa which can be expensive.
That's not quite true. Gaming performance, yes, hands down because the AMD architecture, particularly the Bulldozer, is terrible at single thread operations and the modules are over taxed with two active cores per. But the Bulldozer architecture was never designed for lightly threaded processes (and Trinity doesn't look to be much better) and, as such, would expectedly under perform Intel (which has a bit of an unfair bias in benchmarking tests) who's single or lightly threaded throughput is phenomenal. If you go into the, still, more niche markets of heavy threaded processes you'll start to see that the highly touted i7 at $300 isn't that far ahead of the FX-8100 series at $200. For many people, that $100 for a rather inconsequential difference in performance might be better spent elsewhere and Intel's superiority on price to performance begins to blur.

As for the architecture, the Bulldozer chips are dumb all around and I don't know why AMD insists on making such strange design choices. There's not enough resources per module (read: two cores per module, an FX-4100 has two modules and four cores) but if you were to deactivate one core per module, the cores would perform much better than they currently can and do. This means that poor and inefficient design choices (AMD now does computer printing for its CPUs instead of their older hand assembly) are limiting good ideas. Its like a car with a great engine but everything else is rusted.

You'd think they'd fix the god awful memory controller in the Bulldozer chips but looking at recent results... I doubt it. AMD is in the process of finding problems and fixing only half of them in a generation for some strange reason. Its like they don't even want to compete.
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Old 2012-06-25, 02:30   Link #37
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I don't think they'll want to bother with Bulldozer any further, as it was an expensive PR near-disaster worthy of the Edsel and Intel made them the laughingstock of the hardware world. If AMD could learn something from that debacle, they're supposed to implement it in the next development cycle.
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Old 2012-06-25, 09:49   Link #38
Random32
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Well Piledriver is Bulldozer with a bunch of fixes. The next few uArchs from AMD will most likely be Bulldozer + improvements as well, since its AMD's first major rework of their uArch since K8. Bulldozer itself isn't a bad idea, execution was severely lacking though. Trinity shows that its 15% improvement on performance per clock per core over Bulldozer I think.

Technical stuff about changes from BD to PD if interested here.
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Old 2012-06-25, 10:38   Link #39
Vena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
Well Piledriver is Bulldozer with a bunch of fixes. The next few uArchs from AMD will most likely be Bulldozer + improvements as well, since its AMD's first major rework of their uArch since K8. Bulldozer itself isn't a bad idea, execution was severely lacking though. Trinity shows that its 15% improvement on performance per clock per core over Bulldozer I think.

Technical stuff about changes from BD to PD if interested here.
The memory controller is still terrible from what I've seen, so they're fixing some things but leaving others to fester. I question this decision but Piledriver's FX series should be decent enough and good if you disable one core per module if you plan to use it for gaming/lightly threaded work.
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Old 2012-06-25, 14:02   Link #40
Random32
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As I understand it, the really terrible single thread performance is mainly a scheduling and clock issue. The goal was to put all the threads on as few modules as possible, turn the rest off, and let the remaining Turbo. Of course the nominal clock and turbo clock were too close together, thus the Turbo couldn't make up for the fact that modules aren't "full" cores. Scheduling the threads with balance to each module (like how it's handled for a Hyperthreaded CPU) improves performance for applications that don't use all cores a fair bit. Unlike 7, Windows 8 by default schedules for Bulldozer/Piledriver the same way it schedules for Intel Corei with HyperThreading enabled I believe.

As for what is fixed and what isn't. I think the main problem with Bulldozer isn't the memory controller. It's mainly high cache latency, branch misprediction penalties, and a decoder that can't feed execution fast enough. Cache latency and misprediction penalty has been improved with Piledriver, but the decoder can still only decode 4 instructions per clock when the execution units can handle 12 per clock.
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