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Legitimate AMD vs Intel CPU comparison (9590/4770k)

JJnotstrike
  • 65 months ago

I've been intrigued by this for some time and most of my research results in threads and artices with opinions/bias or comparisons based on TDP, Price vs performance, etc. or the "overclocked 8320" argument.

Based on benchmarks, real world applications, and a general comparison, How much better is the 4770k over the 9590? I love both companies, so I have no bias whatsoever. Also, I chose the 4770k for comparison because its closer in production age.

Are their any PCPartPickers out there who have hands on experience with both? I've owned an 8350, a 1st Gen i7, and a 3rd Gen i7, but I've never got my hands on either of these processors.

Comments

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

that's a pretty awesome comparison, and this is coming from an AMD fan. take a special look at the prices they list and the value measurement. It's pretty significant that AMD loses out in value here.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea im red team as well and I was suprised on the 4770k having better multi-thread performance.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not surprised at that; there is no substitute for the i7 range at this time. Granted, hyperthreading played an undeniable part, and if your software doesn't know how to use that... well you should have gone AMD lol.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I think the metrics it uses is a bit off on that front. Value-wise, they are essentially equal. For a third more of the price, you get +40% performance single/dual core performance, and +5-10% multi core performance. Whether or not AMD is the better value here would seem to depend wholly on whether single or multi-threaded performance is what you are going for. That being said, the only way I'd go for the AMD chip is if I simply couldn't afford an i7 and I was using the multiple cores.

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

Well that's just it; they're amalgamating all the different ways you could use these CPUs and giving you the average value differential.

In my opinion, usually AMD wins out for value hands-down. But at this higher end, it's much more questionable whether or not that's actually the case - especially because if you're buying either of these processors, you're not just gaming (hopefully).

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

"especially because if you're buying either of these processors, you're not just gaming (hopefully)."

TBH, the most demanding task I've done on my computer so far is play skyrim at 1080p and I have a i7-4790k. Mostly went with the i7 for future proofing purposes (although I hope I can find some better uses for it). Was lucky enough to live somewhat close to a microcenter but I don't expect that to be true next time and I rather not deal with upgrading.

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

I chose the i7 for my current WIP build for similar reasons plus versatility. If I do something besides gaming, I'll be covered with the i7, and it was only 250 at Microcenter back when I bought it around Black Friday. I half felt like springing for the 5820K, but the extra expense of an X99 build was just too much for the wallet to handle at the time.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

future-proofing is fine. Of course it is a gamble, but I think this one was a safe bet for you.

  • 65 months ago
  • 0 points

Yes, at this high end, it's a much closer race than when you are looking at the sub-150 market. Even then, AMD is only the better deal if the processor itself has more cores or something like that. If you are looking for a minimum of 4 physical cores under $170, AMD is your only option, after all. Still, there is a very small niche market looking for strong multi core performance that can't afford an i7, because at virtually the same price point the 9590 still does beat the newer i5 4690k by over 25% performance wise in multi core tests:

http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-FX-9590-vs-Intel-Core-i5-4690K/1812vs2432

So, you can say that AMD is the better value here, but I would say it's such a niche market that would be looking for something like that. And this is all thrown for even more of a loop if you are near a Microcenter where the price is 220 vs 280 (and that's for the even better i7 4790k), where the niche market for the 9590 goes from tiny to microscopic.

Edit: Also, it should be considered that the 9590 runs hot, and thus would require a more expensive cooling solution than the i7. That could entirely eliminate any value the AMD chip has.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

... I think you completely misunderstood my original post. I'm not arguing AMD wins out here at ALL, and I'm arguing that AMD is a better pick than all of Intel's offerings EXCEPT at the high end like this.

What's NOT a niche market is people looking to get a lot of multicore performance because they're betting on a future that's highly-threaded (a safe bet, I think), and meanwhile getting perfectly acceptable single-core performance, all at a much lower cost than Intel's competing solutions.

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

Imo, you also need to account for things like needing an cooler for the AMD, the cost of getting a better PSU, the cost of electricity, and the cost of getting an Intel mobo really compare costs. Although that depends mostly on the individual circumstances - for me, going with the AMD instead of an i7 would only be about 22% cheaper if I went with the same lines (getting AM3+ Extreme4 instead of Z97, getting a 1000W G2 instead of a 850W G2 and getting a ~$50 cooler instead of using stock - I don't pay for electricity directly). Probably more like 10-15% difference since a $50 cooler probably would not be good enough- an $80+ H100/H110 would probably be needed.

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

LOL, if you look at my edit, I was thinking about the cooling aspect of the thing just before I saw your post. Though, I would think you should incorporate the cost of some aftermarket cooling for the i7 since it is unlocked, and so you might want to overclock it, even if only a Hyper 212.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

For those who go that route, they should include that cost but they should also be comparing what they'd expect their i7's OCed speeds to the 9590's stock speeds (or OC speeds if they would get something like a Swiftech H220-X). Personally, I use the stock cooler with my i7 for now so that's why I didn't include the that in the cost. I'll get one later on, but that after I would have already replaced a 9590 if I went that route, in which case I'd need to include the cost of a new processor into account for the AMD route.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Passmark benchmarks...

AMD FX-9590 Eight-Core Avg CPUmark 10219, single thread 1712 Intel Core i7-4770K@3.50GHz Avg CPUmark 10239, single thread 2271

I'm biased, I'd choose the Intel. AMD CPU's that I've known/seen performed fairly well but every one I've seen resulted in a louder PC than any Intel PC of the day because of the heat. Maybe different now due to better aftermarket coolers, but I wouldn't probably ever find out.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

amd cpus run cooler than intels, other than the 9000 series. its just the stock coolers stink.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL, that's not true with my brother's old quad-core machine, that thing made a silly amount of heat. Also my old Sempron laptop ran its fan hard most of its lifetime. Contrasted to my p3-500s in slot1 with no fans on their heatsinks and seemingly were going to run forever, or really any other Intel CPU I've ever had, it seems obvious where my experience points.

Also: *It's

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

well im sure old cpus are different but the latest 8300 series from amd throttle at 70c. so all those 5.0 ghz you see are all running under 70c. say what you will, that's impressive.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

"what you will"

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

For what it's worth, I used to be a big fan of the underdog companies.. I chose a Cyrix P200+ instead of a Pentium P233. I went with an Athlon instead of the Pentium II or Celeron 300A. I chose an Athlon64 X2 once again opting for the little guy back in the day, but every time I did this, I was disappointed in the performance of the product. Truth is, for CPUs, Intel crushes the competition when it comes to performance every time. My previous PC was a Core2 quad Q6600 (lapped and OCed to 3.6GHz) which is now my spare PC, and my new one is an OC'ed i7 4790K @ 4.8GHz (rock stable) and I'm completely satisfied with the performance of both Intel machines for both work and play. (I work for a machine shop, so we do a lot of rendering and modeling for CNC work.)

If you want my opinion, stick with Intel, even if it costs you more to get one. The performance gain and logevity that buys you is worth the initial hit to the wallet. That Q6600 lasted me the past what, 8 years? The only reason I replaced it was because my 9800GTX died, and I was itching to build a new machine anyway, so it gave me an excuse, and work paid for half the build.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

The "overclocked 8320" argument: a 9590 is the same chip as the 8320/8350/8370 with a factory overclock. So, I came up with a way to make a sensible comparison between the i7 line and the FX-8xxx line, but it's only sensible if you look at your specific application and how each might perform in that type of computing.

Rather than choosing two similarly-aged processors, I choose two unlocked CPUs with the same stock clock: The FX-8350 and i7-4790K @ 4.0 GHz, both capable of 8 threads. Now we go to passmark.com. In the general comparison, it's a score of about 9000 to a score of about 11200. Price-to-performance, we have 9000/$160 ~ 56 points per dollar for the 8350, vs. 11200/$320 ~ 35 points per dollar for the 4790K.

Now we look at a more specific usage: when would you consistently use all that power? Highly-threaded computing. It turns out that while AMD has a lower IPC, which is why it loses the single-threaded race against Intel, it puts more cache in the processor. Cache is the first memory available to access the CPU. It's right on the die, and doesn't need to be routed through the motherboard chipset for access, so more of this means more available instructions before the processor bottlenecks itself to the memory access rate. The FX-8xxx/9xxx chip has 4x64 + 8x16 kB L1 cache, vs 4x32 + 4x32 for the i7. L2 cache is much better for AMD: 4x2 MB vs 4x256 KB. L3 cache is the same at 1x8MB. Since the FX has more cache available per core, in applications using repeated operations on the same pieces of data (rendering, scientific computing, etc.) it will last longer before reaching its cache bottleneck. It's pretty neat to see the cutoff, I wrote a simple benchmark program a couple years ago and ran it on a few different machines - you can clearly see where the bottlenecks happen at each cache level. So, more individual and shared resources per processor core are advantageous in this specific type of application. You want to run benchmarks that evaluate the performance of your processor for your application, because in the general case, the i7 series will win.

Now let's see how each processor would perform in theory if loaded with 8 independent threads. First, let's talk about threading for a minute. AMD does not multi-thread their cores, so they have a simple case. The i3 and i7 line of processors have hyperthreading, so when the processor might otherwise be idle, say, waiting for some bits to be retrieved from storage, the controller contains logic to load the same core with a separate, independent thread. This secondary thread is limited to sharing the unused resources of the same core. If the primary thread hasn't used much cache, the secondary thread can take advantage of that. If the core resources are used up though, the secondary thread has to go elsewhere. If both threads end up waiting for things, the logic controller ends up switching threads more often and the overall performance can actually go down in some instances, rather than up. Tomshardware tested the i7 when it came out for the hyperthreading boost. The games and some other programs tested actually did suffer in overall performance, while others showed quite a significant benefit, let's call it 25%. I read somewhere else a more recent test that said benefits could be up to about "a third of a core," or a 30-33% boost due to hyperthreading let's keep this in mind.

So back to passmark, we look at the single-threaded performance of each processor, and we see scores of ~1500 vs ~2500, or a ratio of 5/3. Let's say each processor is running 8 independent threads. We'll compare the 4790k to the 8350 in terms of "effective 8350 cores." The 8350 running 8 threads of course scores 8 "effective cores." The i7 we calculate like this: 4 real threads * 5/3 performance ratio + 4 hyperthreads * 5/3 performance ratio * 1/3 core effect = 8.89 "effective 8350 cores", or an 11% advantage over the 8350, for twice the price.

Let's do the same thing for the 9590: 8 real cores * 17/15 performance ratio = 9.07 "effective 8350 cores." This means that in theory, if we fully load these processors to the effect that all of their resources are fully utilized, the 9590 can match and even slightly outdo the 4790k, for $100 less.

CAVEAT: This is a semi-theoretical comparison, and based on a specific loading case. It's clear to everyone, including me, that in general computing, the i7 wins every battle, but I'm providing a set of specific cases where the AMD chip can have an advantage. That said, we were being generous to the i7, since we gave the secondary threads the most optimistic performance possible, and ignored the fact that it has less cache resources than the FX chip, so it would hit its bottleneck sooner if loaded with the same threads (also, we acknowledge that even with the same cache, the i7 would hit its bottleneck sooner because of its higher IPC vs. FX, which is a good acknowledgement for the i7).

Now we look at TDP. The only way to max out heat is by using all of your core resources, which means the processor is fully loaded. In the case of the i7, it doesn't matter if it's hyperthreaded, it has the same limit. If you want to look at TDP per core, it's easy to see that AMD wins by a little bit here. If you want to look at energy costs over the long term, the i7 wins, in the case that both processors have all cores active and loaded often enough that that makes the difference.

AMD gives you dedicated cores and more core resources, with a higher energy efficiency per core. Intel gives you hyperthreading, and a much higher IPC, so for single-threaded (general use) applications, it wins every time. As for me? I do the multi-threaded stuff, so I went with an 8320 with the intent to overclock it and so match the stock 4790k performance, which would happen around 4.3-4.4 GHz.

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