Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 10:58 UTC
AMD With Intel's Core i7 and Nehalem processors being out and about; Intel's "next-gen" processors are already here today. AMD hasn't been sitting still, and launched the Phenom II earlier this year. Ars decided to take a look at how the competition will go this year, and overclocked a Phenom II to 4.2Ghz, and benchmarked it against Intel's latest and greatest.
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why I prefer AMD
by unclefester on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 12:01 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

With AMD you don't need a very expensive new motherboard and memory every time a new CPU series arrives. AMD Socket A CPUs were readily available for at least 5 years and upgrades were cheap and easy. The Phenom II is backwards compatible with most recent AMD MBs and DDR2 RAM. Intel is usually a much more expensive upgrade option.

Reply Score: 12

v RE: why I prefer AMD
by t-eighty on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 12:07 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
RE: why I prefer AMD
by mckill on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

Except you can get an older Intel board and get any sort of Core2 and get the same performance for the same price. Core2s can also reach 4ghz without any crazy cooling and stock coolers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: why I prefer AMD
by t-eighty on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
t-eighty Member since:
2006-12-07

To be fair, what enabled AMD to do this is their integrated memory controller. Now that i7 has this feature, you won't need a chipset refresh for every memory clockspeed bump.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: why I prefer AMD
by liamdawe on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE: why I prefer AMD"
liamdawe Member since:
2006-07-04

To be fair, what enabled AMD to do this is their integrated memory controller. Now that i7 has this feature, you won't need a chipset refresh for every memory clockspeed bump.

That is until Intel decides to change something again which requires another new motherboard.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: why I prefer AMD
by unclefester on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: why I prefer AMD"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Intel will probably deliberately break socket compatibility within a year.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: why I prefer AMD
by helf on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 17:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: why I prefer AMD"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

...and if all they do is change the pin arrangement, then some company will probably come out with a socket adapter. Like Powerleap.

Reply Score: 2

RE: why I prefer AMD
by fithisux on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 18:50 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

That is why I buy almost exclusively AMD, save some celerons.

Reply Score: 2

RE: why I prefer AMD
by Bounty on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 19:22 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

Check my release dates, but it's all in how you frame it.

I don't have a single source, but I think LGA 775 came out in Feb 2004 and was replaced by LGA 1366 in Oct of 2008. 4 years, 7 months.

Socket 939 came out in June 2004 and lived until May of 2006. 1 year, 11 months.

(I'm putting the death dates of these not when the last new processor was released for them, but when the writing was on the wall due to a new socket out. The point when you don't really want to invest in a new mobo of that socket.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: why I prefer AMD
by JMcCarthy on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: why I prefer AMD"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Not really going to argue that AMD is better. I think the only reason they're "behaving" aside from IMC, is because a large chunk of people could land in the hands of Intel if forced to switch sockets. Phenom II's are great, I have a 920, but they're not as irresistible to people who lack AM2+.

One other point, while 775 has been along for quite a long time, you're not going to be dropping in new C2Q/C2Ds in old 775 motherboards because of FSB issues among other things it may just have well been a socket change -- or several -- because incompatibility is incompatibility.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: why I prefer AMD
by daschmidty on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: why I prefer AMD"
daschmidty Member since:
2007-03-01

I partially agree with incompatibility due to FSB and some things. BUT it really hasn't been that bad all things considered. I mean maybe you'd have to buy alot of mobos if you jump for a new CPU every time one comes out, but if we are debating cost here, I doubt anyone does that. And as long as your strategy wasn't to go buy the cheapest mobo in existence that barely met the spec for the first CPU you bought for it, most of them had at least decent upward mobility. I have had 2 different LGA 775 mobos in the past 3 or 4 years. My first was bought back n the P4 days (intel 945) but held on to compatibility up to the early 6000 series C2D's. Those people who went and bought a 533MHz FSB limit mobo 2 years ago because it was on closeout really should have seen the writing on the wall that it was on closeout for a reason.

That being said X58 chipset boards are way too pricey right now, and it will be some time before i leave my Core2 based platform (X38).

Reply Score: 1

RE: why I prefer AMD
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 21:38 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly. I have spent a fortune going after Intel changes. And now a Core i7 CPU, plus a decent mobo, plus enough DDR3 RAM, would cost another small fortune.
I can't afford to build a Core i7 box right now.
I also believe Intel has a long term wrong stategy, especially considering the present economic climate.

Reply Score: 2

RE: why I prefer AMD
by javiercero1 on Tue 24th Feb 2009 01:33 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
javiercero1 Member since:
2005-11-10

That is all fine and dandy... except for the fact that most socket A motherboards did not support Phenom when it was introduced.

Same for old revisions of socket F motherboards not supporting Barcelona.

AMD also burned a lot of people when they left people stranded with the socket 939 and 940.

Edited 2009-02-24 01:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: why I prefer AMD
by Bitterman on Tue 24th Feb 2009 03:14 UTC in reply to "why I prefer AMD"
Bitterman Member since:
2005-07-06

With AMD you don't need a very expensive new motherboard and memory every time a new CPU series arrives.


Isn't the point of the article about AMD being competitive today with the open question being tomorrow? Tomorrow the i7 boards wont be 300 bucks and DDR3 will be down in price. Right now i7 is for high end machines. Not to mention you can overclock on base air cooling to 4ghz blowing away anything around by nearly double.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: why I prefer AMD
by unclefester on Tue 24th Feb 2009 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE: why I prefer AMD"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

But i7 and DDR3 will probably take another 18-24 months to be as cheap as AM2+ and DDR2 is now.

Current $100 CPUs are already more than adequate for what 95% of the population requires.

Reply Score: 3

HyperThreading
by Treza on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 13:54 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

What the Phenom (and future AMD CPUs) miss the most to compete against latest Intel chips is HyperThreading.

It is much important for "Server" loads with massive number of threads, where the i7 shines.

Reply Score: 2

RE: HyperThreading
by Brendan on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 16:28 UTC in reply to "HyperThreading"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

What the Phenom (and future AMD CPUs) miss the most to compete against latest Intel chips is HyperThreading.

It is much important for "Server" loads with massive number of threads, where the i7 shines.


I'm still wondering when Intel will release their server CPUs. At the moment you can probably get 8 quad-core Opterons on a motherboard, but you can only get one quad-core Core i7...

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: HyperThreading
by helf on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE: HyperThreading"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Supposed to be later this year... I'm waiting for the 32nm chips and multi CPU server boards before I upgrade ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: HyperThreading
by Brendan on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: HyperThreading"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Supposed to be later this year... I'm waiting for the 32nm chips and multi CPU server boards before I upgrade ;)


Me too. I'm want a pair of quad-core Core i7s (minimum), mostly for testing purposes (so I end up with NUMA and hyper-threading in the same system).

I'm not very good at waiting though - I ordered a quad-core Phenom II yesterday to pass the time :-)

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: HyperThreading
by gilboa on Tue 24th Feb 2009 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: HyperThreading"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Hi,

"What the Phenom (and future AMD CPUs) miss the most to compete against latest Intel chips is HyperThreading.

It is much important for "Server" loads with massive number of threads, where the i7 shines.


I'm still wondering when Intel will release their server CPUs. At the moment you can probably get 8 quad-core Opterons on a motherboard, but you can only get one quad-core Core i7...

-Brendan
"

A. Xeon 55xx will be released in a couple of weeks.
B. ... And trust me, I like AMD, but given a well optimized application, the 55xx will run circles around the 238x.)
C. Xeon 75xx will be released in ~6 months.
D. ... and with 8 cores, 16 threads, AMD's Istanbul core (6C/6T) will have a -very- hard time competing.

Having said all that, at least as far as I can see, AMD still has an edge when it comes to virtualization, so it just might be enough to keep it alive until Magny Cours (12C/12T) comes; plus, if you have a fairly recent Barcelona machine (Say HP DL385/585), upgrading to Istanbul should be fairly easy.

- Gilboa

(We're a long time AMD users; up until a couple of months ago our software was optimized to run on Opteron 2xx/x and 8xx/x, but now we're in the process of switch to Xeon 55xx/75xx [when it's out])

Edited 2009-02-24 14:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by flywheel
by flywheel on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 16:16 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

Intel Core i7 Competitive Today, But What About Tomorrow?

Reply Score: 7

Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

Tell that to my socket 939 board. Or my buddy's am2 board that doesn't do 125 watts. I will say AMD's boards are often cheaper though which is nice. Especially when we're talking i7. It's a premium/ripoff for those boards right now.

I generally bounce between AMD and Intel depending on who I think has the best price/performance at the moment and can meet the performance (or power) demands I need. With an eye out for future upgrades of course.

Reply Score: 1

poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

Socket AM3, which supports DDR3-1300, will be out soon-ish, but I don't think it will be competitive soon. either way, I am waiting for that to get back on the amd band wagon. last AMD chip I had was a 4000 (when that was THE proc to have, though that was some time ago), First one I have was a 2600, good times indeed. But now I am on intel and I don't see myself changing back for my main workstations any time soon. I do need a new AMD machine for development purposes though, so hopefully soon.

Reply Score: 2

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

AMD boy myself. Got a 3200 marginally overclocked, though I suspect I could do far better on this.

It's a really hard call for which camp to align myself in, but I am really impressed with the "life" of AMD boards. Every time I got a new Intel I got a new mobo, but with AMD it's lasted ... and lasted.

Reply Score: 2