Best and worst CPUs since 1998

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by Shephard, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. PingSpike

    PingSpike Lifer

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    I can think of one compelling reason. The 3ghz northwood was the end of the line for that platform where as s939 and even s754 had a number of faster chips coming out for them.

    But yeah, I don't think northwood was terrible overall. I'd just moved away from Intel during that era and it would have taken a much better product to move me back, not just competitive. You're absolutely right that prior to the introduction of nforce AMD chipsets were a huge weak point. I think VIA was the biggest supplier for quite awhile, I remember rocking an sdram thunderbird setup and never really loving that motherboard.

    I think the worst was probably the cacheless celeron. People dump on prescott and it was terrible but they still made a ton of them. And AMD is still making bulldozers. The celerons without cache were so bad they stained the whole celeron brand right out of the gate. Even after the awesome 300A had been out for a long time and the prior ones were dead and buried I still had people telling me how shitty celerons were based on the initial reviews. Hey, the misconception kept the prices down for those in the know. There were certainly some shitty celerons since but I'm talking about during the 300A's heyday I was hearing this.
     
  2. Nemesis 1

    Nemesis 1 Lifer

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    Thats jjust not true . Back in 05 on a single core my 3.2c overclocked with the best memory on earth did not take a back seat to AMD 64. Back than I posted my benchmarks none here could defend against those results
     
  3. Barfo

    Barfo Lifer

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    My Prescott P4 would rise my room's temperature quite a bit, it really sucked in that regard.
     
  4. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Platinum Member

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    Hear, hear... :thumbsup: I think we have a "winner" there...

    As many other have pointed out, the early Willamettes where c***tastic. The Celeron Williamette/Northwood versions even worse. The runner up would be Presco... PresHOT... combined with POS OEM computers.

    As for the best... Celeron 300A gets my vote, with the Core2 a hair behind... :thumbsup:
     
  5. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    I think you misunderstood his comment. He didn't really address Northwood, which is almost certainly what you were running with your 3.2C. Prescott was slower than Northwood and hotter as well. Anyway, yes, a 3.2C northwood even stock did very well against A64 3000/3200+. But the A64 line quickly included 3400+, 3500+, etc .. and P4 began to fall behind both stock v. stock, and OC vs. OC.

    It's accurate to say that P4 northwood was competitive and even class leading at times during it's entire release schedule. P4 both before and after northwood is the weak spot. But northwood was a pretty long timeframe, about as long if not more than the era Athlon X2 had against Pentium D (until the C2D came and squashed it, just like P4 eventually got squashed).
     
  6. Borealis7

    Borealis7 Platinum Member

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    i think the first Conroes (like the E6400) were the best, they really were revolutionary in terms of performance. i remember the SSD guy at Anandtech saying "Intel just Conroe'd the SSD market." :D

    and obviously the 2500K, it's too good!
     
    #56 Borealis7, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  7. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    True enough, I guess what I was trying to say is that during the release of the first 3000/3200+ chips, a ~3Ghz+ P4 NW was not worth moving from unless you wanted to do a sideways move and be ready for more upgrades. At the time though Intel was still promising that Prescott and future releases would remain competitive. We know how that turned out though, with only a couple of S478 Prescotts that sucked butt hahah. And then S775 looked like garbage until C2D came out, and of course C2D wouldn't work on basically any early S775 mobos anyway, making it what I would term the darkest days ever for Intel.

    My first AMD64 build was a S940 Opteron before S754/S939 were released at all with the AMD64 consumer chips. I remember being incredibly impressed with it.

    I totally agree about the 300A, a great secret for those in the know. 300A @ 450 was as fast or faster than the fastest CPUs on earth at the time (it was released well before Slot-1 P3s I think as well), so you could spend a tiny fraction of the money compared to even a P2-333 and get as good or better performance depending on app. Same core, smaller but had cache on-die running at full clockspeed. This brings me to another interesting point :

    Slot-A Athlons had off-die cache for a long time, I think all the way up to the very first 1Ghz models. What was funny about that is that 1Ghz Athlon only had 333Mhz external L2 Cache, which really put a fairly notable damper on things in some regards. Thunderbird, which included both Slot-A and Socket A variants, had the on-die cache and was the super buttkicker everyone remembers when thinking of the Athlon branding. Slot-A Athlon (Pluto and Orion) basically tied up pretty evenly with Pentium 3 models, whereas Slot-A Athlon Thunderbird and Socket-A Thunderbird opened up and maintained a notable lead over P3 and even extended that lead over Willy P4s in most things (I think Quake and encoding were about the only things P4 had the lead in : eg P4 1.5Ghz > pre-XP Athlons on those sole benches).

    Oh how I hated *most* socket-A chipsets though. VIA and partners had a bunch of doozies. Weird BSD problems, incompatibilities with certain hardware (SB Live caused a bunch of issues IIRC on some setups), and iffy performance, hindering the awesome Athlon XP. Irongate 750 or whatever wasn't much better, and worse in some regards. Then Nvidia came out, and their 2nd try, Nforce2 .. it was just awesome. The same AXP chip, taken off a KT266 or KT333 board, would really fly on an NF2 board. The quality difference was amazing. About the only impressive VIA chipsets I remembered were the KT133A, which delivered amazing SDRAM performance, and the KT400 at the very end. Most of the interim releases seemed half-assed, particularly when compared to the seamless and rock-stable experience of running a good DDR 845 or 865-based P4 setup. Of course, P4 had it's own crappy VIA and SIS chipset options, along with the horribly overpriced RDRAM 850 and horribly slow SDRAM original 845.
     
  8. krumme

    krumme Diamond Member

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    What is not to like abouth a thread of CPU love :)

    The first AMD K7 because it had a bad ass FPU from another planet

    The core duo, from the excellent Intel Israeli team, because it has enough power to drive win 7 today of acceptable speeds, using very low power. Brought AMD 3800x2 power for a laptop. What an achiewement, - all brought to market very fast.

    Sandybridge for the notebook market, because it had low idle power, and really brought effective power gating to the table, and at the same time usable gfx speed.

    Bobcat. Because it brought x86, dx11 and good videodecoding, to every corner of this world, together with core duo speeds. All for dirt cheap.
     
  9. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    My two cents:

    Worst: Coppermine 1.13, Willamette, Prescott, the entire Bulldozer lineup

    The Coppermine P3 was a dark page in Intel history.

    Willamette, which threw everything good that Intel was doing for the sake of clock speeds, same with Prescott, that threw away the improvements done in northwood for the sake of more clock speed.

    Bulldozer was the architectural harakiri that is killing AMD.

    Best: A64, Tualatin, Conroe, Nehalen IVB

    A64 was the ship the efficiency benchmark for desktops and servers from its introduction until Conroe arrival.

    Tualatin was the seed that generated Conroe, and it single handed created the market for low-power notebooks.

    Conroe brought notebook efficiency to servers and desktops, and became the efficiency benchmark.

    Nehalen was a huge performance improvement

    Ivy Bridge brought a revolution in performance per watt.
     
  10. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Why would you say Coppermine is a dark page? They were fast, basically equal clock for clock with Athlons. They had volume problems towards the end, and released the 1.13 unwisely when it wasn't ready (they actually released a fixed 1.13 coppermine afterwards). At worst you could say it was merely competitive. It was certainly a step up from Katmai. They also had some great OC value, example 600E was easy to take to 900Mhz frequently, etc.
     
  11. aaksheytalwar

    aaksheytalwar Diamond Member

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    Best CPUs in decreasing order
    Core i7 920
    Core 2 Duo E6400/6600
    A64 3000+ s939
    Amd xp 2500+ Barton

    Worst CPUs:
    Willamette
    Prescott
    Intel pentium d
     
  12. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    the 1.13Ghz version wasn't the only trouble spot with Coppermine. Intel is all about manufacturing millions of chips at insanely high yields. Coppermine was an exception to this rule. Intel had significant yields problems with Coppermine to the point that the launch was delayed and they had to explain that in an EC. The 1.13Ghz trouble was just the icing on the cake.
     
  13. Yuriman

    Yuriman Diamond Member

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    The 3.2C was neither a Willamette, nor a Prescott.

    A friend of mine swapped his Athlon64 system out for a Pentium D and ended up going through 3 motherboards, the VRMs burned out each time.
     
  14. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Platinum Member

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    Wow. I have heard some stories about Pentium Ds being too hot to handle, but that takes the cake. What model CPU/MB was that...?
     
  15. Yuriman

    Yuriman Diamond Member

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    I'll have to ask him but if I were to put money on it, I'd bet that they were low-end Intel branded boards, and he wasn't overclocking either.
     
  16. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Hmm, yeah on the business side of things it was fairly disappointing. On the user/enthusiast side they were fine (or great, if you OC'd a lower model). As a 'best' or 'worst' CPU I can't say that it makes any sense to include it as a whole. The 1.13 itself was bad, but very rare and pulled quickly, but I could see that individually included as a 'worst' CPU.
     
  17. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    I had a Pentium D 805 that ran for years and years at 3.5Ghz+ with no mobo failure.
     
  18. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Platinum Member

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    Given a decent board, no problems. The ones with dodgy (or just cheap) VRMs where the problem. Remember we are talking about a dual core 130W Prescott. The 805 was a 95W if I remember correctly...?
     
  19. nemesismk2

    nemesismk2 Diamond Member

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    My fav CPU was the AMD Athlon XP 2500 Mobile which used to be a demon overclocker upto 2.5Ghz. My worst CPU was the Cyrix 166 or maybe IDT Winchip 200 :(
     
  20. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Yeah cheap boards are a PITA. I'm a sucker for paying $20-$30 more at least for a very important part of my PC :) I'm very rarely disappointed with going a couple steps up. Granted, I usually don't go berzerk and spend $400 on a board with features I'll never use and don't care about, but want the caps, VRM, heatsinks to be better than average for sure.
     
  21. SPBHM

    SPBHM Diamond Member

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    another great AXP was the 1700+ jiuhb dlt3c
    it was so cheap, at 1.46GHz with low voltage, I could push it to 2.2GHz with the default 2800+ voltage and higher fsb, and 2.4GHz with good cooling and overvolt, that thing with a nforce 2 MB was quite nice to use.... it wasn't a big challenge to make it perform like a 2800-3200+ :D
     
  22. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

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    I truly think the Cyrix takes the cake for 'worst' because not only was it slow, but also often unstable at stock levels. Even some of the crappy CPUs listed in this thread were generally stable at stock speeds. The Cyrix was trouble all around...
     
  23. smitbret

    smitbret Diamond Member

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    The Athlon 1.4Ghz Thunderbird was such a huge game changer. It smoked anything that Intel had at the time and was one of the first CPUs that forced people to recognize that shear Mhz was not the only factor when it comes to CPU speed.

    The Athlon 1700+ and the 2500+ were great single cores that followed. Both were extremely overclockable and were dirt cheap. The 1700+ with the Throroughbred core could do some outrageous overclocks that made it nearly pointled to buy something more expensive.

    Intel C2D took everything that AMD had created for the previous few years and just smashed it with a hammer. When the Conroe core came out it made the AMD CPUs its bitch and Intel hasn't looked back since.
     
  24. Z15CAM

    Z15CAM Golden Member

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    Especially on a nVidia chipped GA-K8N-SLI Mainboard - It was like having 2 Athalon 3200 XP Bartons on board. Although CPU bottle-necked you could run 2 GeForce GTX 280's in SLI and processor OC to 2700MHz.
     
    #74 Z15CAM, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  25. Munky

    Munky Diamond Member

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    Worst? The original s423 P4, not only from the weak CPU perspective, but from the platform choices as well - you either had to shell out for overpriced RDRAM for purely political reasons, or be stuck with old-fashioned SDRAM. I remember that pissed me off at the time, and that put me on a long AMD steak afterward.

    As the best, I'd chose the Nehalem core i7/i5. Fast and power-efficient. Over 3 years later I've yet to see anything compelling enough to upgrade.