[HWUnboxed] "Are Quad-core CPUs dead in 2017?"

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Aug 25, 2001
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#51
I'm curious where all of the hyperthreaded quads will be going - to mobile, maybe? It's interesting to me that two of three desktop Core CPUs will have hyperthreading disabled.
I'm a bit curious too. Intel has seemingly never missed a trick as far as market-segmentation goes, and now they're releasing new CPUs, and have a 6C/12T, 6C/6C, and then... a 4C/4T, and NO 4C/8T? Huh?
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#52
What would be the point of Intel releasing a 4C/8T Coffee Lake CPU?
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#53
What would be the point of Intel releasing a 4C/8T Coffee Lake CPU?
For completeness, possibly? Or, look at it a different way - if they're only releasing one "flavor" of quads in CFL, why not make all of them 4C/8T, if it costs Intel nothing, as far as silicon mfg costs, and it's already part of the chip die?

It would instantly make their cheap i3, a competitor for the more-expensive Ryzen 1400 / 1500X parts.
 
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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#54
Maybe so, but I would pick the 6c/6t i5 over the 4c/8t i3 myself.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#55
I really think, that Intel is trying to avoid "choice paralysis" (*), with their limited lineup of CFL-S SKUs. Either that, or there are mfg issues involved.

(*) Read an article on this lately. Apparently some people, when presented with too many choices, choose not to make a choice at all.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#56
I really think, that Intel is trying to avoid "choice paralysis" (*), with their limited lineup of CFL-S SKUs. Either that, or there are mfg issues involved.

(*) Read an article on this lately. Apparently some people, when presented with too many choices, choose not to make a choice at all.
That makes sense as there should be clear differences between product segments.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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#57
I've been saying for years that quads are getting long in the tooth. Even if the software isn't very multithreaded, the responsiveness is higher with more threads available. I remember switching from a P4 2.8Ghz with hyperthreading to an A64 3500+. I'd play Day of Defeat Source with an MP3 playlist going in the background. Butter smooth on the P4. With the Athlon it'd be choppy, even though single threaded the Athlon is remarkably faster. I upgraded to the x2 4200+ (two 3500+ on one die) partially just for this.

I cannot reasonably justify an upgrade from the 8350. Everything is extremely responsive and I never feel slowed down while doing multiple tasks. I wouldn't turn down a CPU with more cores though.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#58
I cannot reasonably justify an upgrade from the 8350.
Well, for one thing, in most games, a Ryzen 3 1200 outruns it, at least when overclocked. (*)

(*) Not by a heck of a lot, though. Consider an R5 1600 instead, for a major upgrade.
 
Aug 30, 2017
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#59
Dual-cores aren't really dead yet. So no quads are neither. Most laptops are still dual-cores. And dual-cores are enough for most people for office, email, facebook stuff.

I see the biggest problem that the difference between good-enough and high end is getting bigger and bigger. This will bite us enthusiast in the ass sooner rather than later because we will have to pay extra for the high-end products. Let's be honest, who actually needs a 6-core? Not many at all.
 
May 19, 2011
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#60
I found the video irritating to watch because the guy seemed to seamlessly go from a discussion point of "are quad-cores dead because of CPUs like the G4560" to "are quad-cores dead because of 6-8 core CPUs", and apart from participating in a hellish forum thread where one is arguing one thing with one user and a related yet distinctly different argument with another user at the same time, what's the point? If you're going to make a video about it, stick with one topic or make sure the two topics are obviously separate. Also surely one must think that one argument or the other is a valid topic for discussion, how can both possibly be? One either starts from a standpoint that say a G4560 is not enough or it is. If one's viewpoint has sufficiently advanced to acknowledge that not all games eat higher-end CPUs for breakfast, then surely one wouldn't bother engaging in the argument at all?

Aside from that, taking a 2017 dual-core CPU and saying "quad cores are irrelevant because of this CPU" is kinda stupid. If it was a 2007 dual-core that could easily handle everything that games in 2017 could throw at it and more, then it would be a valid argument, but otherwise it's a silly argument since most people do not go CPU shopping every single year and furthermore history has taught most of us pretty well that just because a given CPU is all one needs this year, it does not mean that it'll be all one needs next year.
 

Ancalagon44

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2010
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#61
Okay I watched about half of the video and I think yes he does jump around a bit.

I think the question is not a particularly good question because it is too vague. I think a more meaningful question is, "What is the minimum number of cores that one should have for gaming today?", or "What is the minimum number of threads that one should have for gaming today?"

The first question ignores hyperthreading/SMT, the second one does not. Perhaps the second question is better because hyperthreading/SMT does seem to make a positive impact on gaming these days. But, I don't think any gamer should purchase a dual core hyperthreaded CPU today - I think it will become obsolete too fast. Even if you can play games with it today, it will become obsolete too quickly.

With quad cores becoming a lot cheaper now thanks to Ryzen 3 and Coffee Lake, I think the minimum number of cores a gamer should buy is 4. Absolute minimum. Most gamers would be better off with 8 threads, but 4 cores would be the bare minimum to ensure you can play games for the foreseeable future.
 

TheELF

Platinum Member
Dec 22, 2012
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#62
But, I don't think any gamer should purchase a dual core hyperthreaded CPU today - I think it will become obsolete too fast. Even if you can play games with it today, it will become obsolete too quickly.

With quad cores becoming a lot cheaper now thanks to Ryzen 3 and Coffee Lake, I think the minimum number of cores a gamer should buy is 4. Absolute minimum. Most gamers would be better off with 8 threads, but 4 cores would be the bare minimum to ensure you can play games for the foreseeable future.
Games do not,repeat NOT,run on CPU alone...
The fastest GPU on the market today get's maxed out by i5 level of CPU computing power,no matter the number of threads or cores,could be 8 slow cores or 4 fast ones or any number of combinations with HT/smt or not,modern games are multi-threaded enough so that that doesn't matter anymore as long as you have the total in CPU compute power needed.
So the g4560 will serve people just fine because today people who bought it matched it with a 1050/ti or similar level and tomorrow they still won't have the founds to go for a 1080ti, even in 3-4 years that level of GPU will still be several hundred dollars,any affordable GPU in 3-4 years will still be maxed out (or close enough to it) by a g4560.
Why do I think that? Look at the "new" consoles! Same really weak CPU - even stronger GPU ,games in the future will focus even more on shiny graphics and even less on actual gameplay,the g4560 will be ok for many years yet since it will be able to handle even faster GPUs in the future because of this.
 
Aug 30, 2017
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#63
The fastest GPU on the market today get's maxed out by i5 level of CPU computing power,no matter the number of threads or cores

Not really true for stuff like BF1 64 player Maps which are heavily CPU limited and a Quad just is not enough.

Second point is high FPS gaming. Not every CPU reaches 120 FPS in all games, especially something like an i5 7400 ore 7500 are problematic.

CPU does matter but as always: What matters most is context. Do you play starcraft 2 mainly? Get the CPU with fastest ST performance available, probably 7740x now. GPU not so important. Play BF1 64 player at 4k? You are out of luck. It's won't be cheap. You need the best GPU available and can't dave too much on the CPU (R5 1600(x)).
 

eddman

Senior member
Dec 28, 2010
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#64
Not really true for stuff like BF1 64 player Maps which are heavily CPU limited and a Quad just is not enough.
Yes, he wasn't correct and the CPU would be the limit there but intel's quads are more than capable even for those maps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op_lH2SwYrg

I watched for 3 minutes and the frame rate never dropped below 60 and usually hovered in the 80-100 range. That's quite enough.

Second point is high FPS gaming. Not every CPU reaches 120 FPS in all games, especially something like an i5 7400 ore 7500 are problematic.
Obviously for high FPS you should not only get a high-end GPU but a CPU too. That's not a question. The discussion was about if quads are enough in general, and yes, they are enough and can easily maintain 60 FPS in games, if the GPU is not the limit.

Those people who want the highest FPS possible should look for more cores.
 
Mar 10, 2004
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#65
How would a 4C/8T Coffee Lake chip be different from a 7700 series chip? The only difference would be that one is 14nm+ and one is 14nm++.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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#66
How would a 4C/8T Coffee Lake chip be different from a 7700 series chip? The only difference would be that one is 14nm+ and one is 14nm++.
By that logic, why bother with a 4c/4t?
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
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#67
They do have to have something to sell as an i3 :)
 
Mar 10, 2004
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#68
They do have to have something to sell as an i3 :)
Yes, it's the new i3.

What would you call a 4c/8t Coffee lake chip? Would it be an i3 or an i5?

If I were Intel, I'd just keep making the 7700K if I wanted a chip in that spot. Assuming it is 300 series board compatible.
 

TheELF

Platinum Member
Dec 22, 2012
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#69
Not really true for stuff like BF1 64 player Maps which are heavily CPU limited and a Quad just is not enough.
According to the video we are talking about,where he showed a side by side of a fx 8 core and a i5 playing bf1,the i5 while pegged to the max all the time delivered much smoother framerates and higher FPS then the fx which would hover around 75% and couldn't be utilized more than that although the game obviously could have used it.
So with your logic an 8 core isn't enough either...because the FX sucks...

The only difference with BF1 is that it has much lower GPU requirements then any other modern game out there and still, in bf1 benches a kaby i5 beats the 6 core ryzen cpus by quite a lot...
So if a quad core isn't enough then also an 8 core (fx) isn't enough and a 6 core ryzen is also not enough.
Not even a 8/16 core ryzen is enough,it get's lower scores then a modern i5 in bf1 so..

 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#70
I think for the next three years if not longer, quad core CPUs with or without SMT will be just fine for gaming and everything else. Hell How many people are gaming on dual cores now?
 
Aug 30, 2017
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#71
According to the video we are talking about,where he showed a side by side of a fx 8 core and a i5 playing bf1,the i5 while pegged to the max all the time delivered much smoother framerates and higher FPS then the fx which would hover around 75% and couldn't be utilized more than that although the game obviously could have used it.
So with your logic an 8 core isn't enough either...because the FX sucks...
Yeah the FX sucks and is outdated. It has core-2 like IPC. So yeah it will suck compared to a modern quad. It will also lose to an R3. It' sliek comparing 8-core atom to a 7600k. The Atom will suck. What exactly is your point?

The only difference with BF1 is that it has much lower GPU requirements then any other modern game out there and still, in bf1 benches a kaby i5 beats the 6 core ryzen cpus by quite a lot...
These benches are single-player and irrelevant to my point.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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#72
Four core cpus are not going away anytime soon and the fact is they are more than enough for most people. It always amazes me the sheer amount of disconnect between enthusiasts and the average user. Enthusiasts will tell you that the minimum cpu needed is an 8 core monster with a 200mhz overclock and 16gb of 3200mhz ram coupled with a 1080 gpu to get a good experience. The truth is far from that for most people.
^ This. Every time a new CPU generation comes out, we go through the same recycled "is X now dead?" based clickbait from self-sampling enthusiast writers. "Real world mainstream people" are the ones who don't argue about CPU's / GPU's in tech / gamer forums day after day, and are too busy playing games (not even AAA's) to argue over who a "Real Gamer (tm)" is. "Mainstreamers" often have static needs regardless of available hardware, eg, light office work, email, web, ripping a CD to MP3, etc, haven't changed in +15 years). Those who need heavy "time is money" parallel workload solutions (ie, 4K video encoding, rendering, etc, for work) will have their employer buy them one and then be too busy using it to make daily "look what I just bought" posts. Enthusiasts often over-sell exotic use-case scenario's as "every man's needs" via goalpost moving to justify a new upgrade whilst those with lower hardware simply avoid those same scenario's with greater common sense. Examples:-

- Video. A guy has a typical 20min video to encode for Youtube upload that evening. Let's say encoding times are TR 1950X = 3m / R7 1800X = 5m / i5-7600K = 10m / G4560 = 18m. The guy starts the encode at 6pm then goes and eats dinner, watches the news, etc, and comes back at 6:30pm. All four tasks are complete, have been sitting idle for +10mins and none have held him up for typical light usage until the amount of video encoded becomes substantial (hours per day). The 16/32 chip may be desirable and benchmark 3-6x faster vs 2/4 & 4/4 chips but it's not necessary for the average user to need one to accomplish the same sub-30min task in any evening, nor will the user get 3-6x more done if he only needs that one video encoded. It's why despite funny comments of 4GHz 4C/4T not being good enough, half the people with Youtube channels have 2GHz 15w "U" chip 2C/4T laptops and don't see what all the fuss is...

^ This is what separates enthusiast from mainstream. The benchmark obsessed enthusiast will argue how much faster everything will be for all future infinite work. The mainstream user will simply ask "Can it do this finite task" (ie, "encode a video whilst I'm making dinner / watching Netflix", "type letters", "play music", etc) and literally not care about number chasing beyond that. Same goes for other stuff:-

- Photo editing : Enthusiast = "Now I can run batch Adobe Photoshop scripts for 80-layer banner-size 50MP prints I may develop a future interest in!" Mainstream = "Can I crop, resize, rotate, remove red eye, adjust color and add funny captions to my 5-20MP single-layer grainy smart-phone JPG's in PS Elements / Paint.NET / GIMP on this? It's so simple even my phone has enough horsepower, but I want to use a bigger screen."

- Web browsing. Enthusiast = "OMG, my i5 rig is so slow during 100 tab web browsing sessions with 90x of those tabs all auto-playing video and flash ads. Therefore a 16/32 ThreadRipper is the new low-end to browse the net". Mainstream = "When I asked how to speed up web browsing, I was universally recommended to install ublock Origin and since then my web page render speeds have quintupled with all the trackers, pop-ups, pop-unders, etc, removed as a bonus. Now my i3 is so fast!!!"

- Office. Enthusiast = "My Excel Monte Carlo benchmarks are too low. I need to upgrade just in case I decide to become a Fortune 500 statistician working from home specialising in uncertainty probability modelling". Mainstream = "My son just swapped out my hard disk for something called an "S-S-D". Now all my normal sized office files open in under 1s on my Pentium laptop!"

- Audio. Enthusiast = "Even though I have zero interest in audio now and don't have the software anyway, at some point I may need to apply multiple filters to 32x tracks simultaneously. Ryzen 1800X or i7?" Mainstream = "Can this laptop rip a CD to MP3? I'm told even the slowest dual-core CPU's available today are bottlenecked by the optical drive speed"

- Gaming. Enthusiast = "I have an i7-7700K @ 5GHz with GTX 1070 and this is the third stupid console port that keeps dropping below 50fps. I DIDN'T SPEND $450 FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN ULTRA!" Mainstream = "Currently rocking 60-70fps in BF1, Doom, GTA V, etc, on custom High/V High mix on a 1050Ti. It's surprising how many heavier games can run at 60fps too by turning all the silly Pure Ultra junk off like "Chromatic Aberration, Lens Dirt", etc. I just don't see the point in putting higher res textures in only to smudge 80% of them outside the centre of the screen all out again with 3 layers of blur. By switching off "smear your monitor in Vaseline and pretend you have severe Myopia and Glaucoma simulator" in the settings menu, I easily turned the 45-50fps that the 'proper' benchmarks said I would get into a solid 60fps".

Enthusiast = "PC's are my hobby for life. All other enthusiasts online agree that's what mainstream is"

Mainstream = "I'll get what's good enough for what I need and then run it into the ground. One thing I've learned is that half of performance isn't just what you have, but the way that you use it"
 
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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#73
Nice post about Enthusiast vs Mainstream users.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#74
The only difference with BF1 is that it has much lower GPU requirements then any other modern game out there and still, in bf1 benches a kaby i5 beats the 6 core ryzen cpus by quite a lot...
So if a quad core isn't enough then also an 8 core (fx) isn't enough and a 6 core ryzen is also not enough.
Not even a 8/16 core ryzen is enough,it get's lower scores then a modern i5 in bf1 so..
I think that you're sadly mistaken. Sure, the i5 may show "max" slightly higher than the Ryzen 7 CPUs, but the important metric to look at, is the 1% and 0.1% lows. Those are MARKEDLY BETTER / HIGHER than the i5-6600K. In short, the Ryzen CPUs are a BETTER CPU than the Intel i5 CPUs, for BF1, hands-down.

Edit: Unless you want to sit in-game, staring at a wall all match, and just gaze at your "higher" FPS counter on Intel.
 

Zor Prime

Senior member
Nov 7, 1999
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#75
Quads and anything less have been dead to me for over 7 years now. Even my phone has 6 cores and it's been out for a couple years (LG G4).

Phenom II X6 was so good I never touched anything else until Zen. Bulldozer what? Intel-what? Hell, I'm still competitive on the ancient Phenom box equipped with a 960 4GB in Mass Effect Andromeda MP and consistently rank in the top 2 when one of my kids has the Zen box tied up.

Realistically speaking, are quads dead? No. even dual cores are going to be around for some time.
 


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