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Thread: Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    rover, arkansas

    Default Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(

    I use to build computers all the time, maybe 20-25 total, but that was WAY back in the 2-core days. I just simply burned out & didn't have fun doing it any longer. But I still do my own family computers, since I'm a bit picky. I guess I was pretty good at picking the pieces, since this ancient Athlon64X2-4800+ / Nvidia9800GT rig is only now feeling serious effects of the "I-Can't-Do-That" disease. So it's time for new.

    The results of several recent 3a.m. bedtimes have allowed me to figure out the best parts for my price-range ... graphics, memory, case, drives, etc. The MOBO won't be a problem, since that's always been my favorite piece to research. However, because of how long I've been out of the loop, I'm WAY behind on new CPU-tech. That's where I need YOUR help, although I have narrowed the possibilities down to a minimum. There's just a couple (that means 3 or 5) items which I'm still clueless about.

    You saw above I haven't picked a MOBO yet, for the obvious reason I haven't picked a CPU yet. But I'm going with 1 of 6 for sure (or 1 of 9, I'll elaborate at the end). Although I've used 90% AMD's, I'm not completely Intel-Stupid. I'm NOT a fan-boy either way & hope this thread doesn't devolve into that.

    So the basics are, I'm looking at AMD FX-8350, 8320, or 8120. I shouldn't even include the last one, since it ranks quite a bit lower than the first 2 on about every benchmark/comparison I've been able to find, at only $25'ish cheaper. These are all 8-core. Now, for Intel, I've picked i5-2450P, 3470, or 2500K. I've read remarkable stories about the last one, even though several benchmarks place it a bit lower than the 1st two. HOWEVER, I'm a good OC'er & seems like that "K" signifies a chip which works well with that art, so it could probably be convinced to operate at near the performance of the 1st two. And it also already has a higher clock speed than either, but significantly lower than the 1st two AMDs. I'm plenty computer-savvy to know that doesn't mean a whole lot in modern chips, but I'll be the first to admit that it's my major CPU-weakness .... I LUV seeing those monstrous clocks, like the 4.0GHZ of the biggest AMD above.

    I do know that typically Intel usually beats AMD same-4-same, and quite often even a couple notches HIGHER of an AMD. But here's my main stickler. Best that I can tell, ALL i5's are 4-core. All AMD's above are 8-core. (Let's not get into hyperthreading discussion in depth, although it may play a part, if i5's actually have it) So ... even though Intel chips quite often outperform AMD chips, will those 8-core AMD chips have a noticable advantage above those 4-core Intels? If not, will those extra 4 cores allow the AMD chips to perform AS WELL as the Intels? I bring that up because ALL of the AMD's, with only 1 sole exception, are up to 60 bucks cheaper. I'm NOT building a bargain-basement system here, but I'm also a Disabled Vet with fixed income. $25 doesn't matter, $60 might.

    So will I get better performance from those faster, bigger, & cheaper AMDs? Or will the somewhat more expensive, smaller, & slower Intels STILL outdo them?

    That's the main question & the only one I need a definite answer to. However, as hinted at above, there are 3 more CPUs I'm eyeing as curiosities. The A10-5800K, A10-5700, & A8-5600K APUs, with integrated graphics. Now right off the bat I KNOW these don't ompute as well as ANY of the 6 above, but they aren't dramatically too far back. My new build WILL have a great graphics card in it, so I'm not saying I'll rely on the onboard video. But the plan is to buy SLI/Crossfire capable stuff, but only 1 card for now. I'm not even sure I'll like a dual graphic set-up, but doing it this way allows me to add that second card later, if I so choose.

    But will these chips with onboard Radeon graphics work together with a dedicated Radeon card, much like a Crossfire setup? he biggest & neatest advantage I see by going this APU-route is that I would still have working video if I blew my card up. (Remember I said that I OC'd .... well, sometimes I OD too & burn something up :) ) So does either of these reasons give me a legitimate reason to go with the less powerful APUs, which will actually do all the computing I want to do anyway?

    Last thing, an "addie" since we got to talking about onboard graphic stuff. I noticed that some new MOBOs have some decent onboard graphics now. Will THIS graphics do an SLI/Crossfire-type deal with a dedicated video card? Does it have to be the same brand? In other words, if the MOBO graphics are Radeon, will it work with Nvidia, or just Radeon? THIS option would allow me to do what I SHOULD do anyway & go with one of the faster pure-CPUs. But then I'd still have that extra graphics when I melt my new dedicated video card.

    Thanks in advance for all help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    rover, arkansas

    Default Re: Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(

    Add this. Maybe it'll help with the CPU choice between Intel 4-cores & AMD 8-cores. 3 things I basically do:

    1. I game. NEVER on-line. My games are almost entirely simulators. SimCity4, upcoming SimCity Limited, Trainz 2011, Cities-XL, Tropico-4, Civ-5, junk like that. I'm not running & shooting, but sometimes (often) build up humongous maps & metros.

    2. I'm an author. My books are almost always 1 of 2 genres. #1 is novels built around events which could, or have, happened. These require LOTS of research, so sometimes I may have 50 tabs open on 2 different browsers + my text editor open somewhere else. I figure this type usage is more bandwidth/memory intensive, but it does use processor power also. #2 type is BIG eye-candy books, the expensive type with large pretty pictures & little writing which you leave open on the end-table to impress your friends. Here I may have much fewer tabs open, but they will each contain large hi-res images. I may also have 1 or 2 image editors going (Photoshop, Ultimate-Paint, format changers, etc.) So I figure this type is more graphic intensive, less bandwidth, about the same memory.

    3. I'm a very active & somewhat advanced astrophotographer. The images I take through the scopes via CCD are B&W exposed through 4 color filters. The result is a set of "FITS" files, usually around 1500X1200, & often up to 300MB each, depending upon how long the exposure was. All 4 of these will be open at one time in Photoshop, while I align, crop, adjust, etc. The final, usually 500MB'ish, then goes through a converter to make it into hi-res TIFFS or lower-res PNGs. VERY high memory usage, CPU, GPU, everything.

    Maybe that info will help a little on which CPU-type is better.

  3. #3
    Lasch24 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(

    For the things you do, you could go with any chip you mentioned.
    An eight-core processor could speed up video rendering for example. It can also be a good choice if your programs can utilize all of the eight cores it has to offer.

    AMD's APUs are a quite nice thing, but one thing to be considered is that they won't max out many games.
    For what you're going to do, I would recommend you to use either a Phenom II X4 Black Edition-CPU on socket AM3, an Athlon II 750K on socket FM2.
    Note that those are closer to an i3 in performance than to an i5. For the games you play, an i3 may be a better choice, but it might not be the difference between playable and unplayable.
    But you should not use integrated graphics at all, get an HD 7770 or better.
    An i5-3350P, 3470 or 3570K are very good for gaming, while the AMD APUs and FX cpus are performing well in productivity tasks.
    Maybe it's a bit complicated, it's my reaction to you thinking it might be a simple question..

    Get a cheap i5-3xxx, if you want to overclock take the i5-3570K, on the AMD side we have the Phenom II X4 9xx Black Editions, and one CPU I would recommend if you are on a budget, the FX-6300 six core processor. For multitasking and overclocking it's quite a good chip and it will play any game on high settings if your graphics card keeps up with it.

    Core-i5 3xxx, Core-i5 3570K

    Phenom II X4 9xx BE

    Also, you should consider that the AMD chips are hungry. Real hungry. They will draw loads of energy out of the wall when they're under load. (125W TDP on the eight core CPUs, 95W on the FX-6300; 69 to 77W on the i5)

    It's your choice, for overclocking go with a motherboard above the 100 $ range.
    On the AMD side there would be the ASRock 990FX Extreme4, the ASUS M5A97 Evo (R2.0), the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 and 'UD7. There are also good boards by MSI and maybe by companies I'm not aware of.
    On the Intel side we have..a lot of boards, any Z77 board does the trick due to the CPU's relatively low power consumption, but I can't guarantee for that!
    If you're not overclocking, any compatible motherboard does the job.
    Last edited by Lasch24; 03-28-2013 at 12:11 PM.

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