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Thread: Intel or AmD ?

  1. #1
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    Question Intel or AmD ?

    I've been reading everything I can find about the power/performance specs between AMD and Intel. On most forums everyone agrees that AMD makes the faster processer? Yet Intel has a higher G-hz and front bus speed? I was hoping some one could exsplane the truth in laymens terms. Also, of the two, who's been the more reliable manufacture, over the years?
    Can't Wait for the 64 bit revolution!!

  2. #2
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    If you can't wait for the 64 bit revolution, why not go AMD? There are quite a few threads and reviews kickin around that compare the 2 manufacturers. In the end, it really comes down to what software you plan on running. Maya and Games? AMD. Max, lightwave and any other application that is a pimp for SSE2 instructions? Intel. That's as basic as it is going to get for ya...

    as for the front side bus, Intel does not have a higher FSB than AMD. It runs a 200MHz FSB just like AMDs latest offerings. Intel just has a different way about creating processors than AMD, and quadruples the FSB in the processor itself, where as AMD only doubles it. Makes no difference really, as AMD runs lower clock speeds than Intels latest offerings. AMDs fastest processors are clocked around 1GHz slower than Intels latest offerings, yet there are numerous gaming benchmarks and some application benchmarks where AMD spanks Intel like a like a little bitch (excuse the language ). So it really depends.

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    I wouldn't exactly say that AMD has the fastest processor at the moment. At the very top of the heap (3.6 Prescott versus Athlon FX53) Intel--despite it all--still holds a marginal lead on a significant number of media benchmarks. Of course, this is what matters to us around here. However, both of those chips are outlandishly expensive. They are anything but cost effective. On the whole, in the affordable zone, AMD is the better choice for a variety of technical reasons.

    The real problem is that Athlon 64 and Opteron are ready for the 64 bit software world, and Intel is not. The 64 bit software world is being taylored to AMD64. Hence, there is a lot of reason to doubt whether Intel will continue to have any advantage, minor or otherwise. Also, there are a lot problems with the Intel architecture that make it less than desirable right now. You can only be assured of getting a 64 bit chip from Intel if you buy their Nocona XEONs. I still haven't seen any FCLGA775 sockets or Pentium 4F chips hit the market.
    Last edited by davidaleon; 08-10-2004 at 07:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, this does help. So, in essence, a higher Ghz is only a holding capacity? Tring to get a better understanding! SO bear with me!~! How does (more or less off) a Ghz effect performance?Is this the amount of space a processor has to hold information? And the FSB is how fast it can move it?

  5. #5
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    Well...

    I hate for this to turn into a long technical post, but I guess I can't avoid it. FSB stands for front side bus. Strictly speaking it is a measure of how fast the motherboard moves data between ram and the CPU. Only Intel has an FSB now. AMD does not have an FSB, it has a hypertransport bus. Part of the 64 bit revolution is to get rid of the FSB and introduce the Hypertransport bus.

    Hypertransport basically amounts a bi-directional, channelized pipeline where each processor in a system can maintain its own independent channels to ram, and everything else. Hypertransport is more than just a connection between processor and ram, it is the universal link between all components. Even the PCI bus is attached to the Hypertransport bus. Hypertransport is more like the backbone of the system.

    In either case, the faster your bus, the faster the motherboard can move information around. The slower the less information it can move around in any given time frame.

    The processor speed gives you some idea of how much work the processor can do in a second. How much work the processor does each cycle depends on what you are asking it to do, and how efficient the chip is. If the chip is more efficient, it does more work every cycle. It is less efficient it does less work every cycle. Most chips can do more than one opperation per cycle these days, on average. Some can do a lot more than one opperation per cycle (like Itanium2). The higher the MHz the more work the chip can do, but this is also relative to how efficient the chip is.

    AMD's 64 bit chips are roughly 150% more efficient than Pentium 4, even in a worst case scenario. In a best case scenario, AMD 64 delivers more like 190% of the efficiency of P4. This means an Athlon 64 running at 2000 actual MHz performs as well or better than a P4 running at 3000 actual MHz. It just does 1.5 times the work per cycle. If the Athlon could ever pull even with P4 in actual clock speeds, the result would be a massacre. The only reason Intel hasn't been killed yet is because they are able to the P4 at massively higher speeds. The fastest AMD chip only runs at 2.4 GHz, the fastest P4 can run at 3.6, and even a little bit more if you OC. Hence there is at least a 1.2 GHz gap in raw speed at the high end. Despite AMD's higher efficiency, they haven't been able to totally overcome the massive difference in speed, at least not yet. They have partially overcome it in areas like compiling code and playing video games. It's tough to beat AMD in these sectors of the computer world. They haven't beaten Intel in most rendering benchmarks and most media encoding tasks. There are a few where they have beaten Intel, but Intel wins most of the time.

    This should change when AMD's 90 nm chips arrive fairly soon (like September/October). As soon as AMD shrinks their chips, they should be able to cut the voltage and the power levels and speed up the chips quite a bit without overheating problems. We should see the new chips introduced around 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz. They will also be about 5% more efficient still because of the shrink. Intel will have a serious problem at that point unless they are running well over 4GHz.

    I'm betting they will be stuck at 4GHz for some time. Expect AMD to snatch the lead this fall.
    Last edited by davidaleon; 08-10-2004 at 11:53 PM.

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    Great post dav... There for awhile, i thought i was the only one who knew the mystery of the amd's

  7. #7
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    Thank you.

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    Lightbulb

    Thanks alot Davidaleon,
    That made things alot clearer!!One last thing, If you could!?! How does "cacth"-512K v 1mb translate in the big scheme?

  9. #9
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    The larger the cache, the more often there will be data directly available to the processor to... well... process... This can really speed things up.

  10. #10
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    All else being equal, more cache is better than less cache. However, in the case of Athlon 64 all else isn't exactly equal. Most of the benchmarks show that the extra cache on an Athlon 64 1MB doesn't really do a whole lot to enhance performance. Check the benchmarks in the following article if you want to see the differences between two chips running at identical speeds, only differentiated by the cache size:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=1937

    This one compares the Athlon 64 3200+ vs the Athlon 64 3000+. Both run at 2000MHz. Both have single channel PC3200 ram. The only difference is that the 3200+ has 1MB of cache, and the 3000+ has 512KB of cache. As the names tell you, AMD felt 512KB of extra cache is worth 200MHz of P4 power. The benchmarks show that it ain't so.

    The rule of thumb for Athlon 64 is to prefer speed over cache. It's better to have a faster Athlon 64 with less cache than to have a slower processor with more cache. 512KB is basically enough to optimize Athlon 64. More cache can help in some situations, but not all that much.

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