Can someone give me a crash course on CPU selection?

Discussion in 'PC Industry' started by DeadlyNinja, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. DeadlyNinja

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    I know I can google benchmarks online, but the problem is that I have no idea what is considered good. For a video card, I understand how to look for frame rate, resolution, and the amount of AA. For CPU, I can see how it compares with whatever's used to benchmark it, but I don't know what top of the line looks like. It may be faster than every single chip in that review, but are they comparing it with garbage or what?
     
  2. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Are you looking at AMD or Intel, or still trying to decide between the two?
     
  3. DeadlyNinja

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    It doesn't matter too much. I'm no programmer, and I don't require very high resolutions for my games, so I think I'll stick with AMD for price. But hey, if a good price/performance intel is on sale, I have no problem picking one up.
     
  4. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    If you're going AMD, I can't recommend the 955BE strongly enough. Cheap, solid, great little overclocker.
     
  5. DeadlyNinja

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    I'm not really looking for a purchasing decision right now. I'm more interested in keeping upwith the benchmarks so I can make my decisions easier.

    That CPU is good, right? Maybe I can use that to gauge CPU benchmarks and see how other chips stack up to get a better idea.
     
  6. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    965 is the best AMD CPU currently available, the 955 is $50 cheaper and just about the same.
     
  7. Florin

    Florin Merrily dodgy
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    Why not read a few reviews for some background info? There's quite a few factors at play here. But, you mention 'top of the line' and 'what is considered good', so you're basically talking about Intel's Core i7. Or an i5 if you're looking for a value/money solution.
     
  8. Silent_Buddha

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    Aye, best way is to pick a price point, then look at reviews of CPU's in that price point. For the most part, with any modern CPU, AMD/Intel, at a given price point the performance will be pretty similar.

    The most important thing to is to make sure you only look at CPU's around the pricepoint you want. Otherwise a CPU may end up looking worse/better than what it is.

    Additionally if you are trying to hit a given price point for a system, you'll want to take into account MB prices. AMD MB's tend to be a bit cheaper than comparable Intel MBs, which can sway the price/performance numbers a bit.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  9. Thorburn

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    What are you actually planning on using the machine for? If its just basic media usage and gaming with a slower (GTS 250/Radeon 4770 or below) graphics card then really even something like a Core 2 Duo could be a better bet.

    As people have said before we really need to know price before a sensible recommendation can be made.
     
  10. DeadlyNinja

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    I plan to use my machine for a very wide variety of tasks. Simple tasks like writing stuff and going online, to watching videos and playing games.

    I don't really have a specific target in mind for price since I need to buy an entire machine. I don't have the technical skills to build one, so I might as well buy them from brand name companies. I'm aiming for 350-400 dollars. I don't need a very high end machine since the the economy is pretty bad and I'm on a tight budget.

    I used to own an HP with Athlon x2 4200+, 2GB of RAM, a 320 GB Harddrive, and my own personal 8800GS running on a 17 inch monitor that maxes at 1280 x 1024.

    I did take a look, and various sites benchmark them with various different methods. I don't even know what some of the programs they're running. With a video card, I know exactly what to look for even if they're not benchmarking the same game.
     
  11. itsmydamnation

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    I7 = top dog, D0 stepping overclocks like a gun (2.6 to 4.2 on stock volts, some people even get that with undervolting) X58 chipset is expensive and MB's have higher number of PCB layers then other chipsets (depending if the board has3X16 pci-e). tri channel memory. CPU Cost a lot as well.

    I5 = intel mainsteam, can only do 1X16 pci-e, IPC is basiclly the same as I7. not sure on overclocking haven't really followed I5 much. Intel isn't pricing these as aggressively as they could depending what model some AMD's are better value/perf.

    AMD phenom X4's = phenom 2 overclocks alot better then the orignal phenom on avg can reach 3-8. to 4.0, priced very well and motherboards with DDR3 as well as IGP with its own memory are very cheap. depending what the task is generally -10 to -20% IPC vs I5/I7

    AMD phenom X2 550 BE = FUN :p . some of these are X4's with locked cores, some are X4's with damaged cores, some are X4 with cores that are to leaky and some are a native X2 design. head over to SX they have a good thread tracking batch numbers, buy in the right batch and have a good chance at getting a quad core for the price of a dual. Because it is a black edition no locked multi. need to make sure you buy the right chip set, you need something with either SB710 or SB750 to unclock. same IPC as phenom X4


    AMD athlon X4 = the phenom have L3 cache(6mb) the athlon doesn't. look at benchmarks closely depending on your workloads their might not be much of a performace difference or there could be a lot :razz: ipc from 0 to about -10 of Phenom
     
    #11 itsmydamnation, Oct 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2009
  12. Davros

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    good post...
    you've missed out core 2 + core 2 quad which are still worthy of consideration
     
  13. DeadlyNinja

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    Yes, that's good info I can use.

    I do have another question about 4 cores. I heard (months ago anyway) that nothing will need 4 cores for quite a while, but is that true? I'm guessing things have changed quite a bit since those months.
     
  14. itsmydamnation

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    badly ported XBOX games (im looking at you GTA!)

    at the moment dual cores are fine 99% of the time

    it really comes down to the APP itself, it also depends how many thing you run at once. for example i always hit the limit in windows on the amount of windows your allowed to have open at once.

    but i would expect over the next year or so that games will start using more then two threads/cores. anyone who can prase cell (eg. carmack for rage) can damn well make there game use 4 X86 cores :twisted:
     
  15. {Sniping}Waste

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    A real important thing is the cost of the motherboard to. You might get a good price for the CPU but the mother board cost can eat you alive. You have to look at the cost of the CPU and motherboard too. Do you have a price target for both CPU and mother board?

    EDIT
    Another thing is are you going with a AXT or micro ATX mother board. The size of the case you want to use will determine that.
     
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