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-   -   Worth upgrading? (http://www.computerbanter.com/showthread.php?t=160059)

Mac Cool June 10th 10 08:22 AM

Worth upgrading?
 
ECS GeForce6100SM-M (1.0) AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100S Micro ATX AMD
Motherboard
Athlon 64 X2 5400+
2GB RAM, WinXP

I want to switch over to an intel processor and I'm considering the i3 530
or the i5 750; big difference I know. But I've read the i3 is very
overclockable if I decide to go that way. But I'm not sure if it's enough
of an upgrade to bother. The only real benchmarks I could find comparing
them are Passmark which I'm not that familiar with.

Passmark

X2 5400 1493/284
i3 540 2865/129
i3 530 2713/136
i5 750 4195/58

I don't game at all. I use my pc for vector graphics, video transcoding
and lots of multitasking. I would like to keep the upgrade under $300
initially (mb, cpu, ram).

Nate Edel June 11th 10 09:13 AM

Worth upgrading?
 
Mac Cool wrote:
Athlon 64 X2 5400+
2GB RAM, WinXP

I want to switch over to an intel processor and I'm considering the i3 530
or the i5 750; big difference I know. But I've read the i3 is very
overclockable if I decide to go that way. But I'm not sure if it's enough
of an upgrade to bother.


Short answer:

Yes, it's enough of an upgrade to bother - it's a 2-generations newer and
better core, with more memory bandwidth and a better cache architecture, and
hyperthreading, etc.

It may not be the optimal choice for your applications, though:
I don't game at all. I use my pc for vector graphics, video transcoding
and lots of multitasking. I would like to keep the upgrade under $300
initially (mb, cpu, ram).


Video transcoding will tend to use extra cores nicely. If you can go up to
the i5-750 or an i7, that's probably your best choice (although for very
heavy video-encoding usage, the 6-core Phenom IIs are an interesting value)
but /specifically for video/ compared to the i3, you might do better
sacrificing a fair bit of speed per core and going with an even cheaper AMD quad
core (ie $99 Athlon II X4 635, $118 Phenom II X4 940, prices per Newegg).

Those are pretty specific to video encoding; the hyperthreading on the i3 is
going to be pretty much as good as a quad core in /responsiveness/ except on
continuously-at-100% workloads.

--
Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
preferred email |
is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It's obscenity. I'm
posting domain | for it."

Mac Cool June 11th 10 08:41 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
Nate Edel:

It may not be the optimal choice for your applications, though:


Yeah, this is what I'm struggling with. I suspect it will be fine on the
transcoding. Heck my 5400 protests (runs very hot) but mostly gets the job
done. From looking at benchmarks the i3 would kick it's ass but yeah, the
Phenom would be even better (transcoding) for the money.

I can't find benchmarks on vector graphics (Illustrator, Coreldraw). There
are Photoshop benchmarks but I doubt they correlate.

Per multitasking, I imagine that's more hard disk speed and memory than
cpu.

Video transcoding will tend to use extra cores nicely. If you can go
up to the i5-750 or an i7, that's probably your best choice


That knocks me out of my budget though. We are also remodeling and I'm on
a very tight budget for the next 6 months.

for very heavy video-encoding usage, the 6-core Phenom IIs are an
interesting value) but /specifically for video/ compared to the i3,
you might do better sacrificing a fair bit of speed per core and
going with an even cheaper AMD quad core (ie $99 Athlon II X4 635,
$118 Phenom II X4 940, prices per Newegg).


It's tempting. I've built a lot of AMD machines over the years but
proportionally I've had a lot of problems with weirdness (hardware
conflicts, driver conflicts, overheating). My intel builds always seem to
be less problematic.


Robert Myers June 11th 10 09:34 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
On Jun 11, 3:41*pm, Mac Cool wrote:


Per multitasking, I imagine that's more hard disk speed and memory than
cpu.

My eight thread machines (Intel) seem to handle simultaneous heavy
disk i/o and all the other things I do (like running multiple machines
from the same monitor while watching HD video) much more gracefully
than my two-thread machines (Intel and AMD). I suspect the difference
is more graceful handling of frequent interrupts. Running memory
space limited rarely makes good sense, if time and avoidance of
frustration are important to you, regardless of the processor.

Computer buying decisions and preferences can be so personal, but, if
I were you, I'd keep my money in my pocket and focus on the house for
six months.

Robert.

Yousuf Khan[_2_] June 12th 10 04:44 AM

Worth upgrading?
 
On 6/10/2010 1:22 PM, Mac Cool wrote:
ECS GeForce6100SM-M (1.0) AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100S Micro ATX AMD
Motherboard
Athlon 64 X2 5400+
2GB RAM, WinXP

I want to switch over to an intel processor and I'm considering the i3 530
or the i5 750; big difference I know. But I've read the i3 is very
overclockable if I decide to go that way. But I'm not sure if it's enough
of an upgrade to bother. The only real benchmarks I could find comparing
them are Passmark which I'm not that familiar with.

Passmark

X2 5400 1493/284
i3 540 2865/129
i3 530 2713/136
i5 750 4195/58

I don't game at all. I use my pc for vector graphics, video transcoding
and lots of multitasking. I would like to keep the upgrade under $300
initially (mb, cpu, ram).


I'd go with the i5, and not bother with the i3. If something isn't at
least 4 times faster, then it's hard to notice a difference.

for very heavy video-encoding usage, the 6-core Phenom IIs are an
interesting value) but /specifically for video/ compared to the i3,
you might do better sacrificing a fair bit of speed per core and
going with an even cheaper AMD quad core (ie $99 Athlon II X4 635,
$118 Phenom II X4 940, prices per Newegg).

It's tempting. I've built a lot of AMD machines over the years but
proportionally I've had a lot of problems with weirdness (hardware
conflicts, driver conflicts, overheating). My intel builds always seem to
be less problematic.


Any sort of homebuilt PC will experience those wierdnesses, the
component manufacturers can't and don't test them in the same way as a
complete OEM system would be tested. You yourself are the system tester.
My brother-in-law has a full-gamer system with i7-920 processor, and he
has weirdnesses happening on his system too, like he always has to
reboot twice before the system will boot again. I'm sure a BIOS update
will fix that, but it's upto him to find the updates and apply them.

I think AMD systems will probably make a quantum leap advance in
stability nowadays as AMD itself is now manufacturing all of the
chipsets for its own processors. Nvidia has left the game, for both
Intel and AMD systems.

Yousuf Khan

Mac Cool June 12th 10 10:08 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
Yousuf Khan:

I think AMD systems will probably make a quantum leap advance in
stability nowadays as AMD itself is now manufacturing all of the
chipsets for its own processors. Nvidia has left the game, for both
Intel and AMD systems.


Good info, maybe I will give it another go then. Funny to get so much pro-
AMD advice in an intel group. In the past it has been mostly the via and
nvidia chipsets giving the trouble, I've never had problems with the AMD
processors themselves.

Yousuf Khan[_2_] June 14th 10 06:16 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
On 6/13/2010 3:08 AM, Mac Cool wrote:
Yousuf Khan:

I think AMD systems will probably make a quantum leap advance in
stability nowadays as AMD itself is now manufacturing all of the
chipsets for its own processors. Nvidia has left the game, for both
Intel and AMD systems.


Good info, maybe I will give it another go then. Funny to get so much pro-
AMD advice in an intel group. In the past it has been mostly the via and
nvidia chipsets giving the trouble, I've never had problems with the AMD
processors themselves.


VIA chipsets were absolutely horrid creatures, with incompatibility
problems up the wazoo. VIA spent a lot of time adding new features to
its chipsets, but ignored fixing basic features.

When Nvidia came along, they produced some interesting chipsets, based
on their original Xbox chipset. The original Nforce chipset was one of
the first and possibly only chipsets that could convert any audio format
into Dolby 5.1 audio on the fly. They gave up that highly original
feature in their second generation chipset, and then it just became
another chipset company competing on feature bloat (dangerous RAID
drivers that toasted your data, hardware firewalls that were worse than
software ones, Gigabit Ethernet accelerators that didn't, etc.).

That's why Intel chipsets were so highly favoured since the Pentium
Classic days. They simply concentrated on basic functionality and
getting those right.

So far, AMD is following Intel's path and keeping their chipsets basic.
They haven't bothered to create their own Wi-Fi chipset. RAID is usually
provided by external chips.

Yousuf Khan

Nate Edel June 15th 10 10:35 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
Mac Cool wrote:
Yousuf Khan:
I think AMD systems will probably make a quantum leap advance in
stability nowadays as AMD itself is now manufacturing all of the
chipsets for its own processors. Nvidia has left the game, for both
Intel and AMD systems.


Good info, maybe I will give it another go then. Funny to get so much pro-
AMD advice in an intel group. In the past it has been mostly the via and
nvidia chipsets giving the trouble, I've never had problems with the AMD
processors themselves.


Avoiding NVidia chipsets is equally good advice in the Intel processor side.

--
Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
preferred email |
is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It's obscenity. I'm
posting domain | for it."

Nate Edel June 15th 10 10:43 PM

Worth upgrading?
 
Robert Myers wrote:
On Jun 11, 3:41*pm, Mac Cool wrote:
Per multitasking, I imagine that's more hard disk speed and memory than
cpu.


My eight thread machines (Intel) seem to handle simultaneous heavy
disk i/o and all the other things I do (like running multiple machines
from the same monitor while watching HD video) much more gracefully
than my two-thread machines (Intel and AMD). I suspect the difference
is more graceful handling of frequent interrupts.


There are often enough badly-written tasks that sit at 100% utilization that
with a regular 2-core/1-thread-per-core CPU you're back to essentially
having a single-threaded CPU for everything else.

It seems reasonably unusual to have two of those at once, and my intuition
is that a dual-core/2-threads-per-core (ie i3/i5 model) will do nearly as
well as a real quad-core for most people.

Tasks that run 2 or more threads at 100% for real work will want more than 2
physical cores; my main experience with that is video encoding.

I'm not sure whether the extra thread per core makes much difference on quad
core systems, with one exception: virtualbox runs a LOT better on my work
system (Xeon W3565, 4 cores/8 threads, 3.2ghz, 12gb) than my home system
(Q9550 overclocked at 3.15ghz, 8gb) but more memory, more cache and the
newer core (including better VT?) makes it hard to compare directly even
with the clock speeds relatively close.

--
Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
preferred email |
is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It's obscenity. I'm
posting domain | for it."

Robert Myers June 16th 10 04:54 AM

Worth upgrading?
 
On Jun 15, 5:43*pm, (Nate Edel) wrote:
Robert Myers wrote:
On Jun 11, 3:41*pm, Mac Cool wrote:
Per multitasking, I imagine that's more hard disk speed and memory than
cpu.


My eight thread machines (Intel) seem to handle simultaneous heavy
disk i/o and all the other things I do (like running multiple machines
from the same monitor while watching HD video) much more gracefully
than my two-thread machines (Intel and AMD). *I suspect the difference
is more graceful handling of frequent interrupts.


There are often enough badly-written tasks that sit at 100% utilization that
with a regular 2-core/1-thread-per-core CPU you're back to essentially
having a single-threaded CPU for everything else. *

It seems reasonably unusual to have two of those at once, and my intuition
is that a dual-core/2-threads-per-core (ie i3/i5 model) will do nearly as
well as a real quad-core for most people. *

Tasks that run 2 or more threads at 100% for real work will want more than 2
physical cores; my main experience with that is video encoding.

I'm not sure whether the extra thread per core makes much difference on quad
core systems, with one exception: virtualbox runs a LOT better on my work
system (Xeon W3565, 4 cores/8 threads, 3.2ghz, 12gb) than my home system
(Q9550 overclocked at 3.15ghz, 8gb) but more memory, more cache and the
newer core (including better VT?) makes it hard to compare directly even
with the clock speeds relatively close.


I'm not doing anything special right now, and I can drive this machine
(albeit not very often) over 50% CPU usage--whatever that really
means. Computationally-intensive tasks wind up on other boxes.

I'm not a typical user, but the idea that there is nothing to do with
all those resources (unless you are doing something computationally-
intensive and parallel) is just wrong. If I did load the box with
something computationally-intensive, I think I'd notice the difference
between four and eight threads in an unpleasant way.

Robert.

Robert.


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