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CPU Wars: AMD Black Ops or Intel Core?

Manufacturer:
AMD
Product Website:
URL Screenshot of http://www.a…ocessors.aspx
Price:
$239
Pros:
Excellent overclocking capability, Turbo Core performance boost, a lot of CPU bang for your buck
Cons:
No Hyper-Threading leaves Intel with a clear performance advantage
Summary:
The Phenom II X6 1100T 'Black Edition' has all the right specs (3.3GHz, 3MB dedicated L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache and a 4000MHz HyperTransport bus) at the right price, but can it stand up to Intel in terms of pure performance? The unlocked Black Ops clock multiplier certainly helps if you fancy a bit of CPU overclocking, and the Turbo Core (think Intel Turbo Boost) ramps performance up a little more. However, until AMD come up with something to match the Hyper-Threading tech that Intel can offer which simulates 12-cores on a 6-core CPU, AMD is always going to struggle matching the best of Intel in the pure performance comparison stakes. The similarly six-cored Intel Core i7-980X is the current speed king, but at a cost of around three times that of the AMD. So if you want the best combination of power and value for money, the Phenom X6 1100T Black Edition is pretty hard to resist.
Rating:
8/10
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(happygeek)
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There's an interesting discussion going on in this very forum, right now, right here, which poses the question: Which is best, an AMD or Intel Processor? The answer comes in the form of a rhetorical question, namely how long is a piece of string. That said, the real world consensus would appear to be, as it always has been, that Intel is generally faster but also more expensive.

AMD001.jpg At the risk of starting another Mac versus PC or Windows versus Linux debate, seeing as the latest AMD processor has recently dropped into my lap I thought it might be interesting to see just what the 'cheaper and slower' camp has to offer.

Right off the bat I think it's probably best to dismiss any thoughts of the Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition as being either cheap or slow to be honest. At $239 it's certainly not an impulse buy (although when compared to Intel pricing the word 'bargain' does start flashing bright) and when a little tweaking can overclock this baby to 4GHz (which is a welcome boost on the standard internal clock rate of 3.3GHz and Turbo Core rating of 3.7GHz) it is no slouch either. I've heard of folk overclocking this to 4.2GHz without any problems, so it really can fly if you want to be ambitious.

Indeed, the Black Ops overclocking ability is one of the stand out features as far as I am concerned and a very good reason to consider buying this particular processor if you, like me, enjoy squeezing every last drop of power out of your systems without spending a penny more than you absolutely have to. Ramp the clock multiplier up from 16.5x to 17.5x and tweak the base clock to 230MHz and there really are few causes for complaint when it comes to the power:cost ratio. A 4GHz six-core processor for a couple of hundred bucks? Sounds good to me. AMD002.jpg Assuming, that is, you are going to be able to use that power. Gamers would probably do best to invest their hardware building budget on a cheaper CPU and more powerful GPU to be honest. Playing Crysis Warhead or Call of Duty 4 are good examples of this, where the Phenom II X6 1100T really adds nothing in terms of performance. Indeed, tests suggest that older (read cheaper) AMD Phenom CPUs performed better in terms of frames per second achieved.

Just as hardcore gamers already know it is all about the video card, so 3D image renderers and video editors know that CPU grunt matters. If you fall into the latter camp then the Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition delivers the oomph required. Due diligence is therefore required before entering the CPU Black Ops arena, which means ensuring that the applications you will be using most will benefit from your processor choice. DW_rating_8_150px.png Intel, meanwhile, has a not so secret weapon: Hyper-Threading technology. This helps give it the edge over AMD in the pure performance battle. When both the OS and the applications you use think that your six-core CPU is actually a twelve-core CPU, courtesy of simulating an additional core for every real core the CPU has, it stands to reason that Intel is going to pretty much blow the competition out of the water. And, indeed, something like the six-core Intel Core i7-980X is far and away the speedier CPU when compared to the Phenom II X6 1100T 'Black Edition' and pretty much leads the pack in terms of performance: as it should when you consider it costs three times as much as the AMD offering.

But that's the Achilles' heel of the Intel CPU, it doesn't deliver three times the performance of the AMD and so falls behind in terms of the power:cost ratio.

Attachments AMD001.jpg 62.8KB AMD002.jpg 41.03KB DW_rating_8_150px.png 17.51KB
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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

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ravishankarkota
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Nice information.What is meant by overclocking capability and Hyper-Threading leaves?

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crunchie
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Where one can increase the core frequency of the processor which in turn increases the speed at which it processes.
There are no 'leaves' in Hyper-Threading :). Hyper-Threading is where the Intel Processor is able to have like 'virtual' cores alongside the actual cores.

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ravishankarkota
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There are no 'leaves' in Hyper-Threading :).
Yes your are right :) I copied and pasted mistakenly the entire thing !

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happygeek
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Copied and pasted from where, though? I never mentioned leaves :)

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crunchie
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Did too :).

\|/

Cons: No Hyper-Threading leaves Intel with a clear performance advantage

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happygeek
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Aha! :)

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beboy123
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nice information...AMD rocks!!

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happygeek
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Thanks.

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somjit{}
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But that's the Achilles' heel of the Intel CPU, it doesn't deliver three times the performance of the AMD and so falls behind in terms of the power:cost ratio.

this goes for even the lower budget processors from intel...
iv seen most of my frnds buying the intel dual core or the core2duo( E7200 or E7400) range just from the name of it... but a similarly priced processor from AMD like the Athlon X2 series packs a better performance than a higher priced core2duo E7### range. Its 2000MHz external bus frequency helps in providing performance that is on par with, or even better than their intel counterparts, who sport a max of 1066 MHz external Bus frequncy( for the E7400). For most of us who are on a budget n want the maximum value for money, drop intel n go for AMD :)

somjit{}
:)

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dspnhn
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i have a 7750 Dual Core Black Edition on Asus M3A78-EM with Corsair DDR-2 4GB RAM. The system is encased in Thermtake Strike MX cabinet with Tagan Stone Rock 400Watts SMPS.

I am now confused whether to upgrade or not...can you guys suggest a few good rigs keeping in mind value for money also...

Thanks in advance

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crunchie
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i have a 7750 Dual Core Black Edition on Asus M3A78-EM with Corsair DDR-2 4GB RAM. The system is encased in Thermtake Strike MX cabinet with Tagan Stone Rock 400Watts SMPS.

I am now confused whether to upgrade or not...can you guys suggest a few good rigs keeping in mind value for money also...

Thanks in advance

My sig rig :)

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dogbreath077
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Since starting in the computer field back in 1979, I've seen an ongoing war with processors. Some tout their speed, others, their design, and still others heat and power characteristics. The bottom line is how it will perform in your application. I've seen a Pavilion DV with an single core AMD out pace a Pavilion DV with an intel Core Duo. It is all about configuration. Match the ram to the motherboard, don't go for a generic "it fits therefore it works". Also, aspreviously mentioned, tailor your video card to your needs. Then, tailor your heat management devices to the case and mobo. Having a very cool CPU, and cool RAM, and a cool Video card will do a lot of good for your performance, as the performance will degrade with an increase in heat, especially over 55 deg C. Now you may ask, what am I running? I run a Phenom 2 1.8 X4, with a FireGL video card, and just 2GB RAM. I've got 5 hard drives, all SATA running 7200 an 10,000 RPM. Lots of storage, backup and redundancy. I can run at 100% duty cycle indefinitely at 51 deg C as I have good thermal solutions for the mobo, CPU, RAM, and I even route the cables quite carefully. Also, it is a screamer. I call it NOW computing, as there is no delay in doing anything. The one reason I went with the AMD was customization. I can throw in a liquid cooling set-up and over-clock the cores and RAM till the cows come home if I need to. I do a lot of intensive computing both for my company and clients, so speed is directly translated into $. For 90% of the public, I must say, that they won't know the difference between 2 similar systems. Don'tcha just love a "Tie" between 2 competitors after a long thread?

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