Threads versus cores for gaming

Sonikku

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Jun 23, 2005
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I've heard that games like Far Cry 5 and many more looking forward want 8 cores and that any less will result in a tangible performance loss. If true, which is worse? An Intel 6 core processor or an AMD 4 core 8 thread processor?
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
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I've heard that games like Far Cry 5 and many more looking forward want 8 cores and that any less will result in a tangible performance loss. If true, which is worse? An Intel 6 core processor or an AMD 4 core 8 thread processor?
That question is loaded. You should ask "how many thread does it need"
 

SteveGrabowski

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Oct 20, 2014
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I don't like to buy a cpu with less threads than the core count of the consoles since PC games tend to be rushed console ports. Current gen the PS4/XB1 have effectively octacores with crap IPC and low clockspeeds, so games had to parallelize to run on such weak but high core count cpus. Who knows what next gen consoles will bring though. All we know is some form of Zen 2 octacore.
 
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DrMrLordX

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I've heard that games like Far Cry 5 and many more looking forward want 8 cores and that any less will result in a tangible performance loss. If true, which is worse? An Intel 6 core processor or an AMD 4 core 8 thread processor?
I'm not sure this question makes any sense. AMD has vanishingly few 4c/8t chips of the current generation. R3s don't support SMT at all, so on the desktop, for now, you're stuck with Raven Ridge (Picasso is coming. It might not change much though).

In contrast, Intel has more than a few 6c/6t chips, some of which are decent, if overpriced (9600k, lookin at you!)

With R5 1600s selling for ~$115, why would you seriously consider either 4c/8t or 6c/6t chips anyway, if budget-constrained? Five days from now, you'll have $199 6c/12t chips that challenge a 9900k in a number of benchmarks. Or you can buy a discounted R7 2700, 1800x, 1700x, or 1700 (whatever proves to be inexpensive) to get your 8c/16t fix. If, at this point in time, you're seriously wondering about 4c/8t AMD chips vs 6c/6t Intel chips, methinks you're asking the wrong questions. Maybe if you're picking stuff out of a used parts bin, then it makes sense. But buying new? Nahhh.
 

DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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I would mean in manner of laptops.
Not sure I would recommend any AMD laptop for gaming. Intel has been too good for too long, and AMD is not focusing primarily on that market. When Renoir comes out, maybe things will change in AMD's favor. But for right now, if you can afford Intel, I think their Whiskey Lake and Comet Lake offerings will be the strongest things you can get. Even Coffee Lake mobile chips are still pretty dominant (see i7-9750H). IceLake will be rare enough to not be a significant factor in buying decisions.

You can give mobile Picasso a look, and you might find something there you like, but it's little more than a refinement of older Raven Ridge-based Ryzen mobile.
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Not sure I would recommend any AMD laptop for gaming.
Yeah.

I feel a 'Simpsons_Nelson_HA_HA.GIF" coming on.

Ryzen laptop for gaming? I really don't see it. Unless you have to take your mind off of things playing CS:GO in your dentists's chair, because he won't give you anesthetics.

Edit: I wanted a Ryzen 2500U laptop for the longest time, but I finally settled for a $120 Excavator (9220e) 6W APU-power unit. It only came with 4GB of DDR4, which wasn't quite enough for usage with the OEM install, so I put in an 8GB DDR4-2667 DIMM. It helped a little. I can now web browse sort-of OK with it. It's still a bit sluggish. But with the DDR4 APU, I can enable VSR, and get a "virtual" 1080P screen resolution with it, which is nice, for $120, all things considered. It's an alright web-browser, but it's certainly no gaming laptop, not at 6W. Even my 10W Bay Trail N2830 Atom dual-core is slight faster at MT tasks.
 
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ubern00b

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Jun 11, 2019
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Not sure I would recommend any AMD laptop for gaming. Intel has been too good for too long, and AMD is not focusing primarily on that market. When Renoir comes out, maybe things will change in AMD's favor. But for right now, if you can afford Intel, I think their Whiskey Lake and Comet Lake offerings will be the strongest things you can get. Even Coffee Lake mobile chips are still pretty dominant (see i7-9750H). IceLake will be rare enough to not be a significant factor in buying decisions.

You can give mobile Picasso a look, and you might find something there you like, but it's little more than a refinement of older Raven Ridge-based Ryzen mobile.
Huh, you're talking about mobile Ryzen processors that are 15-25w TDP and the top of the line i7 9750h (45w TDP)which on it's own will probably cost as much as the whole Ryzen mobile laptop, talk about comparing apples and oranges.

You can buy an 2550u laptop with Vega 8 ISGP, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD/1TB HDD for about 400 notes, that would be fine for casual gaming, it depends on the OP's expectations and his budget first and foremost
 

DrMrLordX

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Huh, you're talking about mobile Ryzen processors that are 15-25w TDP and the top of the line i7 9750h (45w TDP)which on it's own will probably cost as much as the whole Ryzen mobile laptop, talk about comparing apples and oranges.
AMD doesn't even produce 45w TDP mobile CPUs. Hence part of my point. You can get a DTR with a 65w CPU, but that's a niche class.

It would be lovely if we got DTRs with r5 3600s in them, though.
 
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Topweasel

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That's a DTR though isn't it? Your typical AMD laptop is Mobile Ryzen.
Well yeah but it's kind of my to a degree. It can't be a blanket statement. That said the biggest issue is that outside better iGPU Ryzen APU's don't really offer anything but maybe parity at low power levels. I expect the 7nm APU with whatever config (cept maybe a shrunk RR) to pack a punch.
 
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DrMrLordX

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Well yeah but it's kind of my to a degree. It can't be a blanket statement.
DTRs are kind of difficult to bring into any laptop discussion since, at that point, you've got OEMs hacking chips into small semi-portable form factors that weren't really designed for battery operation. Barring DTRs, I would not look seriously at AMD. You've got to cross your fingers and hope the OEM configures their Ryzen Mobile for max 35W TDP (or gives you the option in the UEFI), and even then, you lose performance compared to Intel 35-45W chips.

Bring DTRs to the table and things get weird. Battery life is usually really bad. I guess if all you were going to do is haul the thing around and keep it connected to the wall, it would be no problem. Some people can tolerate that but many can not.

That said the biggest issue is that outside better iGPU Ryzen APU's don't really offer anything but maybe parity at low power levels. I expect the 7nm APU with whatever config (cept maybe a shrunk RR) to pack a punch.
Yes, Renoir should shake things up a bit. I would not expect an optical shrink of Raven Ridge/Picasso. If that's what we get, then I'll be mightily disappointed.
 

DisarmedDespot

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Jun 2, 2016
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Well yeah but it's kind of my to a degree. It can't be a blanket statement. That said the biggest issue is that outside better iGPU Ryzen APU's don't really offer anything but maybe parity at low power levels. I expect the 7nm APU with whatever config (cept maybe a shrunk RR) to pack a punch.
Eh, they've carved a niche out for cheaper gaming laptops with a focus on battery life. Look at the Asus GA502. Ryzen 7 3750H is slightly behind the i5-8300H/9300H in performance but uses less power, and it pairs nicely with a 1660 Ti Max-Q. There's more powerful laptops at its price point, but not with that build quality, battery life or form factor.

Admittedly this is partly because Intel's got some wacko discounts for OEMs who use higher-end CPUs, so there's tons of i7-9750H and 1050Ti oddball laptop configs at that price point.
 

ondma

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Mar 18, 2018
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Huh, you're talking about mobile Ryzen processors that are 15-25w TDP and the top of the line i7 9750h (45w TDP)which on it's own will probably cost as much as the whole Ryzen mobile laptop, talk about comparing apples and oranges.

You can buy an 2550u laptop with Vega 8 ISGP, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD/1TB HDD for about 400 notes, that would be fine for casual gaming, it depends on the OP's expectations and his budget first and foremost
The list price of the cpu is not really relevant. You are not buying the processor alone, and you dont need the top of the line hex core mobile. You can get a hex core 8750H with a 1060 6gb on Newegg for 900 bucks.
 

DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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The list price of the cpu is not really relevant. You are not buying the processor alone, and you dont need the top of the line hex core mobile. You can get a hex core 8750H with a 1060 6gb on Newegg for 900 bucks.
OP didn't mention a budget either. At the higher mobile price points, AMD has no real competition (except maybe in battery life).
 

Iron Woode

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Oct 10, 1999
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I'm not sure this question makes any sense. AMD has vanishingly few 4c/8t chips of the current generation. R3s don't support SMT at all, so on the desktop, for now, you're stuck with Raven Ridge (Picasso is coming. It might not change much though).

In contrast, Intel has more than a few 6c/6t chips, some of which are decent, if overpriced (9600k, lookin at you!)

With R5 1600s selling for ~$115, why would you seriously consider either 4c/8t or 6c/6t chips anyway, if budget-constrained? Five days from now, you'll have $199 6c/12t chips that challenge a 9900k in a number of benchmarks. Or you can buy a discounted R7 2700, 1800x, 1700x, or 1700 (whatever proves to be inexpensive) to get your 8c/16t fix. If, at this point in time, you're seriously wondering about 4c/8t AMD chips vs 6c/6t Intel chips, methinks you're asking the wrong questions. Maybe if you're picking stuff out of a used parts bin, then it makes sense. But buying new? Nahhh.
Raven Ridge also includes the R5 2400G.

I built an HTPC using an R3 2200G miniITX build. Works perfect.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Raven Ridge also includes the R5 2400G.
Yeah, but I wouldn't take one of those versus a $115 R5 1600 or (gasp) ~$140 R5 2600 (Microcenter in-store only I think; they're $149 in the wild). Not for gaming, not for anything. Except maybe experimenting with SVM stuff under Linux.
 

ondma

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Mar 18, 2018
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Not sure one can extrapolate from 2/4 vs 4/4 to 6/12 vs 8/8, which is the only case where we have seen the framerate dips without hyperthreading. OTOH, also not sure if the initial reports about FC5 have been fully explored, and it the "problem" extends to other games.
 
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Laptop & gaming are words that do not belong together.
If possible use cheap laptop for work/school/whatever the a cheap desktop (this could be a small form factor) with a decent video card.
I’d bet the cost wouldn’t be much different than a “gaming” laptop.
The problem is desktops are made for performance with no regard to portability, laptops are made to be portable and have good battery life. The two goals are opposite of each other.

@Sonikku see this link, you’d think the processors would have similar performance since the model numbers are so similar but they don’t have anywhere near similar performance
One is a designed for mobility cpu the other is not

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-8700K-vs-Intel-Core-i7-8550U/3937vsm320742
 
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mopardude87

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Oct 22, 2018
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This will answer you question:

I clicked on this seriously expecting a Pentium vs maybe i3 8100 showdown. I have come to hate these kind of particular benchmarks. Given all the cache and the considerably higher clockspeeds over like a pentium, idk what to exactly conclude from this test outside of 4 cores obviously being better then 4 threads. If they tossed in a pentium then those benchmarks would have been very interesting to compare to it.

Gaming wise i wouldn't want anything less then 6 cores or if i had a quad core it wouldn't be anything less then one without hyperthreading. I would prefer a i5 8400 over a i7 6700k but would pick a 7700k over the i5 8400. Some people have said that in BF1/BF5 that anything like a 2600k/3770k seriously just tanks fps wise while a i4 8400 would be a pleasurable experience.

I wouldn't mind a 2600k vs i5 8400 benchmark video and i am sure there is perhaps a couple on youtube already. Add in perhaps the Ryzen 5 1400 as well as its a cheap 8 threaded option.

Found the 2600k vs 8700k benchmark video i was looking for. Found the BF1 results very interesting showing even bottlenecks at 1440p! Very nice mix of cpus tossed in the mix.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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I clicked on this seriously expecting a Pentium vs maybe i3 8100 showdown. I have come to hate these kind of particular benchmarks. Given all the cache and the considerably higher clockspeeds over like a pentium, idk what to exactly conclude from this test outside of 4 cores obviously being better then 4 threads. If they tossed in a pentium then those benchmarks would have been very interesting to compare to it.

Gaming wise i wouldn't want anything less then 6 cores or if i had a quad core it wouldn't be anything less then one without hyperthreading. I would prefer a i5 8400 over a i7 6700k but would pick a 7700k over the i5 8400. Some people have said that in BF1/BF5 that anything like a 2600k/3770k seriously just tanks fps wise while a i4 8400 would be a pleasurable experience.

I wouldn't mind a 2600k vs i5 8400 benchmark video and i am sure there is perhaps a couple on youtube already. Add in perhaps the Ryzen 5 1400 as well as its a cheap 8 threaded option.
I also dislike those types of YT vids i.e. little snippets and canned benchmarks that do not represent the overall experience you will have with either of those configs, in some of the titles shown.

If you are using a 2c/4t or 4t going forward < insert the South Park you're gonna have bad time meme here> With the obvious caveats of course. E.G.There will be many games that are fine, and if you have a huge backlog from steam and other services from sales of days gone by, you will be fine. But if you are a triple A, and especially MP player, things are just going to keep getting worse. 4c/8t, 6c, and 6c/12t are so affordable now it makes little sense to go any lower imo.
 
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