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Tactical Advance
LordSeb

The age old question. AMD or Intel.

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AMD's zen+ architecture is out in April. So what everyones thoughts on AMD and Intel at present, spectre issues aside.

 

(Amusing side note in Australia you could buy an intel I9 7980XE for about $2800 or you could buy two AMD threadripper 1950X at $1340 have change left over and be left with a creative predicament of how you are going to implement two processors without using a server motherboard.)

Edited by LordSeb
Amusing side note after checking out prices for the creme of the crop

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Old question - how much do you want to not spend? ;) that's all it comes down to. Intel is still better performance, AMD is still cheaper.  I swapped from AMD a while back and went to my first Intel an i5 K. Havent looked back since. Currently running an i7 6700k. Yes, 2 generations behind the current 8700k now, but its still more than capable in SC. Looking at a lot of the posts, the 6700k onwards is the sweet spot for performance. Not sure why you'd go for an i9 over an i7 7800k too. Either you have money to burn or you wont get any more performance than someone running a new i7. Spend the spare cash on really good screens, ram, cooling and GPU :)

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AMD has been losing the fight for a while now, their latest CPU's are getting there, but only in the multitasking segment not gaming. If you wanna go budget though, I think AMD might have the upper hand, but not too sure since I don't really pay attention to budget too much :P

 

If you wanna game, always go Intel =3

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If youre unhappy with Spectre & Meltdown, i'm not sure where you go. Intel and AMD are both affected along with pretty much everything else out there, more or less. I still lean towards Intel because if the patches and fixes cost some of the performance, you have more to start with if youre an Intel owner. It's a shame. Intel needs decent competition just to keep it from stagnating and giving us cr*p. AMD is the only other horse in town. Or more accurately - pony ;) compared to Intel.

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I would say there is no disputing Intel has held the crown for considerable time, but when someone is stuck holding the crown without any challengers they get complacent. I personally am not in either camp really, I sit on the sidelines interested at the next innovation to come along. My laptops all have intel I-7s my server/desktop has an AMD 8350FX Black Edition which my fiancée is getting has been gaming with everything that has been thrown at it comfortably. I think Ryzen/threadripper probably blindsided Intel a bit because AMD pretty much said  hey were not dead and we mean business. So we have a case were AMD is doing a superior job for multicores workload whilst Intel has better single core grunt. 

 

Processors have really seemed to have stagnated in comparison to leaps in graphics card power from what I can see. I mean you can still game in luxurious FPS comfort using a 2012/2013 processor and they are still very zippy for everything else. I am debating is it because Intel's not really had much of a challenger, therefore not needed to innovate or is it because we are reaching physical limitations of current materials and processes used.

If AMD processors are only marginally slower than intel and manage to keep it that way without a noticeable difference in game, they are  half the price or less than the intel processor, then that's a big issue for intel. Unless you have all the cash in the world and no cares to get that extra tinsy boost.

Do you guys find you are buying new motherboards when you want to upgrade your intel processors? I've been told its a common issue because intel changes the chipsets a lot and if it is the case then that might be a factor to also add to cost. A new gaming motherboard is not always cheap. It isn't really an issue for me because I tend to keep my CPU until I need an entire new rig, but it would be a nice to have if my motherboard had room to upgrade.

As Bursar points out with Spectre and Meltdown, we roll into another kettle of CPU issues. So a lot of CPUs might lose their shine and the next gen tech might not come out as shiny as it may have potentially been. But that is kind of an up in the air element, we don't know what AMD and Intel have to do to fix these issues and we don't know if their fixes will have different effects on speed. You definitely rightly point out Intel at least has more head room if it does lose some ground in the speed department.

I am really on the fence, I mean I want get my new rig I am building up and running asap, but I really want to see what this years innovations bring from both companies. A hard question is after Zen+ is released next month does one wait to see if Zen2 with its drop to 7nm transistors shakes things up? At least their older gen processors might come down further.
Intel are on their I7 8th Gen coffee lake desktop architecture and a myriad of other lakes which is a little bit confusing to follow at times. I'm not sure when the 9th gen comes out, but I am kind of very eager to see what they bring to the party after last year.

Both companies appear to be hitting the more cores is better drum at the moment, which I guess is true if you are doing every computer operation possible simultaneously.

:D I hope it doesn't seem that I am leaning little bit against intel, I am not really. It is more of because they are the best, they need to do a lot more to wow me, since they have the crown. I don't really see as having the crown as a reason to drop the ball or not hold lavish feasts of innovation surprise (I will give them the Optane drive was interesting to see).

Sadly the I9s neither wow my pocket book or the habitability of a computer case with their temperatures under air cooling. They might need a few more generations and to knock a $ off.

 

9 minutes ago, Tactical Advance said:

CPU old or new with 4 cores and 4 threads make little difference in SC and other games.

 

GPU's for the FPS gain.  If you have an I7 go got the bigger GPU.

Haha got me whilst I was writing Tac. There is of course that point. Regardless of innovations surrounding your CPU, in regards to Star Citizen, your GPU is your workhorse.

Anyway, it's going to be a very interesting year around what's coming out of Intel and AMD. I can't wait!
 

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I think you'll also find its interesting from an NVidia point of view too Seb. There is a new range due out at some point this year. We know NVidia jumped a bit when AMD brought out their new series in 2017. Having said that, there is still nothing better than an i7 & 1080Ti for gaming, period. Yes Intel like to change their board setups periodically, typically every couple of generations it seems. And it can get expensive then. However, I expect my 6700k to be viable for at least the next 2-3 years. Right now its 2 years old already. Is a 4-5 year lifepsan unreasonable? I have a 980Ti, which I had right before the 1080 was released. It's still more than competetive. The only area I will consider changing currently is my screens which are 1920 x 1080. I will change them, having taken advice, to 2k, not 4k yet. Two 27" screens is a lot to upgrade!

 

The area these days for gaming seems to be heat though. Pragmatically a sealed loop fluid system is where cooling is at, even if its just for the CPU. Air cooling is slowly becoming a thing of the past. In the same way that people marvel at an air cooled engine. Not that it worked, but why some people still insist on doing it ;) In this area AMD get their performance gains by pushing the electrons faster. Much faster in some cases, but this isnt always as effecient. Have a good look at the actual wattage everything needs. It isnt uncommon for a good system to actually be power hungry. Although in some cases, while a similar system may cost the same, the power usage may well be much lower. Sorry, but AMD are well known for just turning the dial round the clock and watching things glow to get a performance gain.

 

I'd also consider other items. M2. & SSD is the way things are going if not have already gone. Speed up the background items and the one that grab the headlines work better too. A balanced system will always out perform one with a couple of big items. I run an i7 6700k, M.2 SSD (Samsung 512GB) for Windows and Star Citizen, 1TB SSD (Samsung) for other games and 2 x 4TB WD Blacks (mirrored) for storage. 32GB of 3000mhz Corsair gaming ram with heat spreaders, 3 extra case fans (Apache silent) and a Corsair 110i CPU fluid cooler. All of this is bolted to an Asus ROG motherboard. I picked quality (and expensive) components which I expect to get a long life from. The PSu is well over spec at 1000w Corsair RMx series. Dont skimp, dont go cheap on one item. Balance it. AND a good case you dont mind working in ;)

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6 hours ago, Tactical Advance said:

CPU old or new with 4 cores and 4 threads make little difference in SC and other games.

 

GPU's for the FPS gain.  If you have an I7 go got the bigger GPU.

 

SC definitely likes at least 8 threads, so I wouldn't bother with a 4 core i5 any more.

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20 hours ago, Bursar said:

I think you'll also find its interesting from an NVidia point of view too Seb. There is a new range due out at some point this year. We know NVidia jumped a bit when AMD brought out their new series in 2017. Having said that, there is still nothing better than an i7 & 1080Ti for gaming, period. Yes Intel like to change their board setups periodically, typically every couple of generations it seems. And it can get expensive then. However, I expect my 6700k to be viable for at least the next 2-3 years. Right now its 2 years old already. Is a 4-5 year lifepsan unreasonable? I have a 980Ti, which I had right before the 1080 was released. It's still more than competetive. The only area I will consider changing currently is my screens which are 1920 x 1080. I will change them, having taken advice, to 2k, not 4k yet. Two 27" screens is a lot to upgrade!

 

The area these days for gaming seems to be heat though. Pragmatically a sealed loop fluid system is where cooling is at, even if its just for the CPU. Air cooling is slowly becoming a thing of the past. In the same way that people marvel at an air cooled engine. Not that it worked, but why some people still insist on doing it ;) In this area AMD get their performance gains by pushing the electrons faster. Much faster in some cases, but this isnt always as effecient. Have a good look at the actual wattage everything needs. It isnt uncommon for a good system to actually be power hungry. Although in some cases, while a similar system may cost the same, the power usage may well be much lower. Sorry, but AMD are well known for just turning the dial round the clock and watching things glow to get a performance gain.

 

I'd also consider other items. M2. & SSD is the way things are going if not have already gone. Speed up the background items and the one that grab the headlines work better too. A balanced system will always out perform one with a couple of big items. I run an i7 6700k, M.2 SSD (Samsung 512GB) for Windows and Star Citizen, 1TB SSD (Samsung) for other games and 2 x 4TB WD Blacks (mirrored) for storage. 32GB of 3000mhz Corsair gaming ram with heat spreaders, 3 extra case fans (Apache silent) and a Corsair 110i CPU fluid cooler. All of this is bolted to an Asus ROG motherboard. I picked quality (and expensive) components which I expect to get a long life from. The PSu is well over spec at 1000w Corsair RMx series. Dont skimp, dont go cheap on one item. Balance it. AND a good case you dont mind working in ;)


:D I am very excited to see how Volta plays out Bursar. Nvidia is doing their thing and Titan 5 looks pretty amazing. Titan V is choccas with tearing power, I am surprised it fits in only a 2 slot GPU. Sad that the Titan V is not quite meant for gamers and is $4700 Australian :D :D :D. Definitely looking forward to their offering if it is coming out this year.

I am probably going to snag a 512G or 1Tb Samsung 960 Pro M.2 SSD or Intel's Optane (Probably the former because its wow but I am uncertain it WOWs especially with price tag). Anyone with personal experience going from Samsungs M.2 to intel Optane noticed much change in their PC? There do seem some benefits in both of their corners.

I know :D liquid cooling is the way to go, even if it is just to the CPU. Haha anyone driving a very old VW Beatle across the middle of Australia can attest to why you don't want air cooling. Sadly I ain't keen enough to come to the modern age and have liquid anywhere near my PC components. Haha I'd stick a little AC unit at the intake of the PC before I implement liquid cooling. Too many mates had horror who have had horror stories. Haha one day maybe, but I don't overlock so less of an urgency. I might get some Nocturna industrial server grade fans to stick on the in/outtake and one of their beastly size AM processor coolers.

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This is the cooling I have. Under load I can hear the fans wind up. Only suggestion - a can of air to keep the rad clean :) My 980Ti barely if ever even has a speck of dust on it, so clearly its not working hard.

 

https://www.corsair.com/uk/en/Categories/Products/Cooling/Dual-Radiator/Hydro-Series™-H110i-280mm-Extreme-Performance-Liquid-CPU-Cooler/p/CW-9060026-WW

 

Sealed loops are great now. Very reliable. All I would do to this is add 2 more fans to push / pull.

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4 hours ago, Bursar said:

This is the cooling I have. Under load I can hear the fans wind up. Only suggestion - a can of air to keep the rad clean :) My 980Ti barely if ever even has a speck of dust on it, so clearly its not working hard.

 

https://www.corsair.com/uk/en/Categories/Products/Cooling/Dual-Radiator/Hydro-Series™-H110i-280mm-Extreme-Performance-Liquid-CPU-Cooler/p/CW-9060026-WW

 

Sealed loops are great now. Very reliable. All I would do to this is add 2 more fans to push / pull.

Do you just need to replace the coolant every 6 months like a car? Would it also be worth running silicon round the edges were the pipes connects. By adding 2 more fans are you meaning to the loop itself or just to the case environment?

You have piqued my interest that pre-built setup looks reasonably well built.

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These sealed coolers are effectively maintenace free. You take them out of the box and fit the system. That is it. The fans are good floating ones. In my case I specified Apache silent ones. By push / pull I mean one either side of the rad. One fan pushes air in, the one on the other side pulls air out of the Rad. Sometimes you can get some static pressure from a fan pushing air through the rad. One either side should help reduce that. In my case its a 240 rad so two top and two bottom. Not sure of the benefit of silicone. Frankly they come with a guarantee. Once that is passed, be aware and monitor. There are lots of people about who do a pre-built system. I used pc specialist in the UK. Effectively I specified every component and it was built to my requirements.

 

i7 6700k

32GB Corsair 3000hz Gaming Ram (4 x 8)

Asus Maximus VIII ROG gaming M/Board

GTX 980Ti Zotac

1 x Samsung Pro M.2. 512GB (Windows & SC)

1 x Samsung 1TB SSD (Games)

2 x Western Digital 4TB HDD (Mirrored) (Storage)

Corsair H110i Sealed CPU cooling

2 Additional 120mm Case fans (Silent)

Corsair Obsidian Full Tower case ( Boring & plain, but huge inside)

Corsair 1000w RMx Gold power supply

Standard DVD RW - dont need blu ray.

2 x Iiyama 27" 144hz screens - I plan to add a 34"  100Hz curved and run 3 screens.

 

Whatever you get, balance it. One really good component can be ruined by a poor one. My system is now 2 years old, still performs perfectly and its more than capable of running anything I want. Subnautica runs at 144 FPS, World of Tanks & Ships at 60+. Even Star Citizen on a good day can hit 55fps.

 

I think the current equivalent would be an i7 8700k & a 1080Ti, but pretty much the rest is still current. The GPU i'd wait on to see what NVidia get up to, then most likely buy a (hopefully) cheaper 1080Ti ;)

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My arm might be twisted for a I7-8700k.... It's only $500 which is a lot nicer than $1000 for the performance it gives. If I went the I7 route I'd probably get an NZXT N7 motherboard. This is providing unless AMD release something mind exploding or Intel decide that they will launch a new performance processor for a desktop. I probably am going to time the construction of my new rig for the 3.2 roll out of Star Citizen anyway since I am a bit under the pump at the moment.

:D O also Bursar your rig is probably what I will be generally going for. I will probably think about a serious GPU when Nvidia's volta gets going for us gaming enthusiasts. 

You guys got any upgrades planned for the foreseeable horizon?

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32 minutes ago, FriendCalledFive said:

There will be new Intel CPU's later this year. Am holding out for an 8 core.

Would you hedge your bets that they might bring out something like a i7 8700k with 8 cores?

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Oh ..just in case anyone is interested -  due to some discussion I measured fps for my processor ( 1800x ) limited to 2.4 Ghz (no turbo allowed) instead of standard 3.6 Ghz ( turbo up to 4.0 Ghz allowed ) ...  in  Alpha 3.0.1 there was no substantial difference in average and/or top fps   (   1440p with Nvidia 1080 as videocard )

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10 hours ago, Roy said:

Oh ..just in case anyone is interested -  due to some discussion I measured fps for my processor ( 1800x ) limited to 2.4 Ghz (no turbo allowed) instead of standard 3.6 Ghz ( turbo up to 4.0 Ghz allowed ) ...  in  Alpha 3.0.1 there was no substantial difference in average and/or top fps   (   1440p with Nvidia 1080 as videocard )

That's fascinating Roy! Does sound like although processor is playing a role it really is the video card doing all the carrying. 

Just think of all the overclockers out there haha.

Edited by LordSeb

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11 hours ago, LordSeb said:

That's fascinating Roy! Does sound like although processor is playing a role it really is the video card doing all the carrying.

 

Actually no :) ... videocard isn't really loaded at the moment as well ... I think the bottleneck is on server / network side (latency not throughtput) mostly now which is promising

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