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Old 01-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
Termie
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Default [Toms] CPU bottlenecking in games - the <$200 CPUs

UPDATE #2:

Tom's has now done the ultimate low-cost showdown - Pentium 620/HD6670 versus 3870K: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...6670,3140.html

They answer the question of what $140 buys in CPU/GPU power, and yes, they overclock that 3870 to good effect.

This one isn't nearly the blowout the other tests were - in fact, in applications, the 3870K comes out the clear winner. In games, not so much, but part of that is the weaker GPU.

UPDATE:

Tom's has now put two ~$120 CPUs, the i3-2100 and the FX4100, under the microscope, using a variety of graphics cards (5570, 6770, 6850, and 6950), to determine the best bang-for-the-buck setup:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...mark,3136.html

Take-aways: with anything under a 6950, you'd be hard-pressed to see any differences between these two CPUs - the GPU will be the limiting factor in reasonable budget builds. Metro2033 and StarCraft stand out as exceptions, however, where the 2100 pulls away with lesser cards.

Tom's Verdict:

"The good news is that AMD fans can still enjoy games on a capable machine without spending a ton of cash. With that established, though, getting in the door with an LGA 1155-based platform costs about the same and yields a more consistently-good experience."
------------------------

Tom's has done some very interesting testing of the value CPUs in a variety of games, using a 7970 as the GPU. The bottlenecking is pretty significant.

Link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...mark,3120.html

The Skyrim numbers show that this game responds to quads, but doesn't seem to work well on AMD - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...rk,3120-3.html

Note that the single-player BF3 tests predictably show now difference between CPUs - but don't let that fool you into thinking they'll all handle multiplayer the same way.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
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Talk about an insult to PC gamers, developers really need to get their heads out off their *****.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #3
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The Skyrim numbers are flawed as the latest beta patch improves performance quite a bit.

Anything less then 1.4 should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Talk about an insult to PC gamers, developers really need to get their heads out off their *****.

AMD needs to.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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Sobering look at current AMD offerings in relation to gaming.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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Honestly, what I take away from these tests is that for the budget gaming enthusiast who's new to computer tech, the i5-2400 is the run away winner here. It often keeps up with the i5-2500k@4.0, and almost always beats every other CPU. For people not interested in tinkering with overclocking, it's the set-and-forget option.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Toms offers very narrow focused reviewing and provides superficial insight in their analysis. Don't go there.

The Skyrim CPU dependency has been tested before following the 11.11.11 release, not one of Tom's web-journalists however offered but a single thought on how to alleviate it or on what causes it. They also use an OLD, by now completely irrelevant build 1.2.14.0 of Skyrim (from November 2011), and "FRAPS runs", with NO mention of recent performance boosting patches.

Which speaks to Toms' awful timing, those articles were done just before the performance fixing patch 1.4, similarly how they launched 2 articles on FX-8150s power efficiency, 2 weeks before the scheduling fix was released, making their results effectively irrelevant. My guess is also that they reuse and repackage their testing to phone in new articles every now and again with a new and ever so narrow focus.

All Tomshardware does is pimp purchasing decisions based on random out of context observations. Not every benchmark has to concluded with Brand A is better than Brand B. It's all just trolling of ignorant hicks to fuel the platform wars for the purpose of advertisement clicks.

But maybe you are young and think a self-respecting site could get away calling itself "The Authority on Tech" without upsetting people who know that there is no authority but the truth, when it comes to things you can reproduce, measure and prove. Even though most people need authoritative advice choosing hardware (that's why those sites exist), let's hope that this advice comes from a position of up-to-date insight and carefully weighed arguments not self-proclaimed authority and randomly rehashed results.

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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My AMD Athlon ii x3 455 is looking like an even better buy going by Toms review. I bought it for only 39 ($61) brand new on special offer lol
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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I'm glad to see the SC2 benchmarks. I thought that my graphics card (5770) was the reason for the inconsistent frame rate, but the results of the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T pretty much bears out what I'm seeing here, though I have to check whether I'm using the "extreme" setting.

The odd thing though is that I'm pretty sure I've checked CPU usage during a game of SC2 and was getting the sort of core usage that a second game of SC2 might be possible at the same time

- edit - just checked my SC2 settings, pretty much 'Extreme' except I disabled "indirect shadow" or something like that which only affects cut scenes apparently.

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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AMD needs to.
Really? You mean the same AMD that's on par with intel's previous $1,000 chip in games that properly use multi threading for 3/10ths of the price?
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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The Skyrim numbers are flawed as the latest beta patch improves performance quite a bit.

Anything less then 1.4 should be taken with a grain of salt.
Personally, I think that all games should be tested with their released version for at least six months after being released. It might stop software developers from using the "Ship it broken, patch it later, get a big bonus for 'releasing' on schedule" mentality.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #12
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I am not impressed with the AMD results.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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The Skyrim numbers are flawed as the latest beta patch improves performance quite a bit.

Anything less then 1.4 should be taken with a grain of salt.
Not to mention they used Ultra settings, which provides an unnecessary drain on the CPU. The shadows on ultra in particular destroy the CPU without really providing much of a visual boost. They also used AA/AF but did not specify if they used the in-game settings for this (not optimal) or forced it through the display drivers. If they said which they used, I missed it.

All I know is my FX 6100 at 4.3GHz + 6870 at 960/1150 runs Skyrim with high settings, 1080p, and 2xAA/8xAA + FXAA at 60fps the majority of the time. I'm very happy with that.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
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Really guys? You're gonna blame AMD because bethsoft cant program worth for ****?

PS, I run the game at 60fps lock.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:08 AM   #15
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Really? You mean the same AMD that's on par with intel's previous $1,000 chip in games that properly use multi threading for 3/10ths of the price?
Sorry dude, but SB has been out for more than a year and always was 'just as fast' as the old $1000 980x. The references to 'almost as fast as the $1000 CPU' is extremely old and flimsy. Same horse and pony show that AMD tried to do with the BD release.

AMD is sub-par for gaming. There is absolutely no reason to build a new AMD system if gaming is your main need. If you already have an AMD MB, you will get along just fine. But if your starting from scratch, Intel has the <$100, Intel has the >$100<$200 and Intel has the $200+ markets for gaing. Period.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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Sorry dude, but SB has been out for more than a year and always was 'just as fast' as the old $1000 980x. The references to 'almost as fast as the $1000 CPU' is extremely old and flimsy. Same horse and pony show that AMD tried to do with the BD release.

AMD is sub-par for gaming.
That is what I am starting to think.

Since the late 1990s AMD has been offering quality chips at a competitive price. AMD did not offer the same quality as Intel, but the performance was offset by the cheaper price tag.

These days, it seems that AMD is falling further and further behind Intel. And on top of the lack of performance, now AMD wants to charge a small fortune for their chips? No thank you.

10 years ago I could justify buying AMD due to the cost:performance ratio.

These days, I can not justify buying an AMD for either its performance, or its price.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #17
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Sorry dude, but SB has been out for more than a year and always was 'just as fast' as the old $1000 980x. The references to 'almost as fast as the $1000 CPU' is extremely old and flimsy. Same horse and pony show that AMD tried to do with the BD release.

AMD is sub-par for gaming. There is absolutely no reason to build a new AMD system if gaming is your main need. If you already have an AMD MB, you will get along just fine. But if your starting from scratch, Intel has the <$100, Intel has the >$100<$200 and Intel has the $200+ markets for gaing. Period.
Correct, the x6 has been out since 2008 and goes for $150 .it's perfectly good for gaming at high resolutions in CORRECTLY optimized games.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #18
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Correct, the x6 has been out since 2008 and goes for $150 .it's perfectly good for gaming at high resolutions in CORRECTLY optimized games.
Ahh, now it makes sense. And by 'correctly optimized games' you mean ones that it doesn't absolutely suck performance-wise?

So you can buy an AMD CPU and only play 'correctly-optimized' games and constantly whine when games are not, or just buy Intel? I know which option I would choose.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #19
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That is what I am starting to think.

Since the late 1990s AMD has been offering quality chips at a competitive price. AMD did not offer the same quality as Intel, but the performance was offset by the cheaper price tag.

These days, it seems that AMD is falling further and further behind Intel. And on top of the lack of performance, now AMD wants to charge a small fortune for their chips? No thank you.

10 years ago I could justify buying AMD due to the cost:performance ratio.

These days, I can not justify buying an AMD for either its performance, or its price.
Agree 100%. I did not own an Intel CPU between 1999 and 2007. Period. There just isn't a reason to buy AMD anymore. Not for the price, not for the performance. I did build a number of budget computers over the past 3-4 years with AMD double, triple, and quad core options. The SAME CPUs today in 2012 just don't measure-up like they did in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. if I built a budget build now, it would be a SB Pentium, i3, or i5 without-question. There is a great upgrade path with IB down the road, and the price is right today.

if you build a computer a few years ago with Ph II x4 or x6, great! Its still a solid system. But saying it is worth-it to buy now is silly. They are not. That was the whole point of this article folks.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #20
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Ahh, now it makes sense. And by 'correctly optimized games' you mean ones that it doesn't absolutely suck performance-wise?

So you can buy an AMD CPU and only play 'correctly-optimized' games and constantly whine when games are not, or just buy Intel? I know which option I would choose.

sure...then we will have to whine that ours intel hexacores don't show benefit from the dual cores ones.......OH WAIT!

i am not defending amd here...but game developers are very lazy these days
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #21
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Agree 100%. I did not own an Intel CPU between 1999 and 2007. Period. There just isn't a reason to buy AMD anymore. Not for the price, not for the performance. I did build a number of budget computers over the past 3-4 years with AMD double, triple, and quad core options. The SAME CPUs today in 2012 just don't measure-up like they did in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. if I built a budget build now, it would be a SB Pentium, i3, or i5 without-question. There is a great upgrade path with IB down the road, and the price is right today.

if you build a computer a few years ago with Ph II x4 or x6, great! Its still a solid system. But saying it is worth-it to buy now is silly. They are not. That was the whole point of this article folks.
I am buying ~$110-130 X6's for Distributed Computing. It takes a mad OC on quad SB to take one on and then power consumption is less of an issue - and I would have to spend minimum twice as much to get the performance. 50% more cores is an advantage, albeit a shrinking one.

AMD still has niche. At least one I know of

If AVX gets to be a big deal then BD is going to take the place of Thuban there - and let's all hope that PD is out soon... it'll be good for everyone. (ie, downward pressure on Intel offerings with any luck at all, or really cheap Octo otherwise)

A six core IVB on 1155 would have really put AMD down, so to speak. Even with ~3+Ghz clock speeds.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:12 PM   #22
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No need to beat up on RavenSEAL. I have 2 i5-2500k rigs and an AMD 1100T rig. No doubt the SB chips are faster but the 1100T is hardly a slouch.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #23
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Correct, the x6 has been out since 2008 and goes for $150 .
The Phenom 955 has been discontinued just when it got to the $100 price range. A lot of places still have it listed in the $144 price range, such as amazon. New Egg shows the 955 has been discontinued and they are out of stock.

It seems to me that AMD is keeping the price of its processors artificially high. The 955 should be in the $75 price range by now. But instead, the prices are still high.

By the prices of older processors, it appears to me that AMD is trying to direct the market towards their newer CPUs.

I was really hoping to grab a 955 when the price hit $60 or $70, but I guess that aint gonna happen.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #24
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The Phenom 955 has been discontinued just when it got to the $100 price range. A lot of places still have it listed in the $144 price range, such as amazon. New Egg shows the 955 has been discontinued and they are out of stock.

It seems to me that AMD is keeping the price of its processors artificially high. The 955 should be in the $75 price range by now. But instead, the prices are still high.

By the prices of older processors, it appears to me that AMD is trying to direct the market towards their newer CPUs.

I was really hoping to grab a 955 when the price hit $60 or $70, but I guess that aint gonna happen.
Second hand that shouldn't be hard....
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #25
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No need to beat up on RavenSEAL. I have 2 i5-2500k rigs and an AMD 1100T rig. No doubt the SB chips are faster but the 1100T is hardly a slouch.
No beating-up here....

Keep in mind that TH is pretty pro-AMD so this article is doubly-troubling for fans of AMD gaming. Fact is, AMD isn't the 'budget gaming' machine anymore. That train left the station years ago.
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