I’ve been writing about the “new” Intel for basically three years now. It’s been so long that I essentially forgot what the ancient Intel was like. It’s no longer that the ancient Intel wasn’t aggressive efficiency-intelligent, it’s that the old Intel wasn’t enjoyable to work with. The historic Intel changed into the one which all the time notion the Pentium 4 become the fastest component on the planet, even when it wasn’t. The historical Intel wasn’t approaching with assistance and acted like it worked in an international the place it had no competitors. The ancient Intel wasn’t a good Intel.
the brand new one is nothing like that. They get open sharing of counsel, precise discussion about AMD’s strengths and weaknesses and it additionally helps that they also get the world’s quickest microprocessors with it.
We’ve considered that the new Intel can stand the check of time, at the least during the last three years. however can the brand new Intel remaining when it’s not always profitable stories? bound, Intel’s Core i7 is still untouched however what about at cheaper cost facets? last month they found that Intel is quite competitive on the $70 with its Pentium E5300. however between the $70 E5300 and the $280 Core i7-920 there are a number of fee elements where AMD is recommendable.
The question then becomes how does the new Intel deal when it isn’t the quickest available on the market?
exceedingly neatly it turns out.
this is the Core 2 Quad Q8400:
It’s a quad-core chip operating at 2.66GHz with a 2MB L2 per pair of cores (4MB complete). It’s like two Pentium twin Core processors on a single package.
These chips actually have a 6MB L2 but with 2MB disabled either because they have irrecoverable defects in the cache or effortlessly to hit the correct rate aspect. In other words, the Q8400 is actually a Q9400 but with 2MB of its L2 disabled.
The Q8400 is Intel’s most fresh response to the Phenom II X4 940. firstly AMD priced the 940 similarly to the Q9400. Then, Intel cut expenditures so that the 940 had to compete with the a lot quicker Q9550. AMD responded, with a price reduce that put the 940 on par with the Q9400 once more.
as soon as AMD begun transport Socket-AM3 Phenom IIs, it dropped the costs on its Socket-AM2+ materials all over again. This wasn’t so lots a cost cut however rather a gradual phasing out of the AM2+ CPUs, ultimately I predict an AM3-most effective market because those chips can additionally work in AM2+ boards.
as opposed to take the bait and drop the Q9400 fees once more, Intel as a substitute answered with the introduction of a in a similar fashion priced Q8400 at $183.
AMD’s Phenom II X4 940 changed into frequently the same pace if now not sooner than Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9400. With less cache, the Q8400 shouldn’t function any more suitable than the Q9400, so the question is - does it function any worse?
Then there’s energy consumption to agonize about and overclocking, but we’ll get to those in due time. Let’s simply say that the circumstance is much more complicated than it gave the impression in the beginning sight.Core 2 Quad Q9400 vs. Q8400: a further $30 buys you 6%
i am hoping you guys like these charts, but what I’m showing here is at a glance how a lot quicker the Q9400 is than the Q8400. The outcomes are pretty telling; in 3D rendering and video encoding, the further cache doesn’t actually be counted. In video games, it’s answerable for a 2 - 7% performance boost. The Excel Monte Carlo simulation and their WinRAR examine besides the fact that children each reveal big positive factors. in case you usual out all of the applications where there's a performance gain, the Q9400 manages a 6% knowledge over the Q8400. The SYSMark 2007 results pretty a whole lot echo that.
The cost difference between the Q9400 and the Q8400 is $30. That $30 will purchase you an additional 6%. With the Q9400 already sooner than the Q8400, the Phenom II X4 940 shouldn’t have a problem competing in opposition t the Q8400.Phenom II Earns a Financially troubled AMD much less per Chip than Core 2 Quad
The global economic climate isn’t exactly effective presently. individuals are nevertheless purchasing, simply no longer essentially as a lot as earlier than when it felt like cash grew on bushes. Financially, all organizations were damage, however AMD has much larger issues. The desk beneath suggests internet salary in hundreds of thousands of US bucks earlier than taxes for AMD and Intel during the last four quarters:web salary earlier than Taxes Q1 2009 this autumn 2008 Q3 2008 Q2 2008 AMD -$298 Million -$1,358 Million $22 Million -$682 Million Intel $629 Million $369 Million $2,833 Million $2,313 Million
Yeah. Ouch. Granted Intel going from ~$2.8B of earnings in 1 / 4 right down to below $400M have to’ve hurt, however AMD has lost over $2.3B in the past 4 quarters. The business isn’t profitable and lamentably is stuck between a rock and a hard region when it involves fixing that.
The fiscal concerns prolong past elementary CPU income however I have to element out the obvious problem with AMD’s current method. They recognize that the Phenom II is aggressive, however examine what it’s competing towards:Processor L1 Cache L2 Cache L3 Cache complete Cache (four-core) Transistor count number Die sizeAMD Phenom II 128K per center512KB per center6MB eight.5MB 758M 258mm2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9x50 64KB per core12MB N/A 12.25MB 820M 214mm2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9x00 64KB per core6MB N/A 6.25MB 456M 164mm2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8xxx 64KB per center4MB N/A four.25MB 456M 164mm2
every single Phenom II makes use of a single 258 mm2 45nm die, that’s almost Nehalem-sized. The difficulty is that the Phenom II components generally compete in opposition t Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9x00 and Q8xxx sequence, each of which have a total die size of 164mm2. AMD’s Phenom II die is fifty seven% larger.
AMD and Intel each manufacture on 300mm wafers, but Intel can get basically 60% extra CPUs for each wafer than AMD can due to its die dimension competencies. That interprets into extra profits per wafer and a major income expertise for Intel.
AMD’s Phenom II is very competitive, but the method does not have a whole lot long term staying vigor. AMD needs to introduce smaller die models of its CPUs quickly.
The deeper ramifications of AMD’s latest condition are troubling. I’m now not sure what influence all of here's having on the building of AMD’s subsequent-technology architectures, however i believe that it may possibly’t be decent.The testMotherboard: Intel DX48BT2 (Intel X48)MSI DKA790GX Platinum (AMD 790GX) Chipset: Intel X48AMD 790GX Chipset Drivers: Intel 18.104.22.1680 (Intel)AMD Catalyst eight.12 tough Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB) memory: G.skill DDR2-800 2 x 2GB (4-four-four-12)G.ability DDR2-1066 2 x 2GB (5-5-5-15)Qimonda DDR3-1066 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20) Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 280 Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare a hundred and eighty.forty three (Vista64)NVIDIA ForceWare 178.24 (Vista32) computing device decision: 1920 x 1200 OS: windows Vista gold standard 32-bit (for SYSMark)home windows Vista top-quality 64-bit SYSMark 2007 performance
Our event begins with SYSMark 2007, the most effective all-encompassing efficiency suite in their review today. The theory right here is essential: one benchmark to indicate the average efficiency of your machine.
The Phenom II X4 940 and the Core 2 Quad Q9400 offered identical efficiency beneath SYSMark 2007. As they saw prior, the Q9400 finally ends up being around 6% quicker than the Q8400 - which they see represented right here within the SYSMark outcomes. common, the Phenom II 940 kicks things off with a 6.four% normal talents over the Q8400. it be close the border of being a substantive efficiency change, nonetheless it is a change even so.
to put performance in viewpoint the Q8400 with handiest 4MB of complete L2 cache performs similar to a Q6600, their first quad-core pick, with its 8MB L2. A a bit greater clock velocity and half the L2 cache are in a position to provide us the identical performance during this case. What's even cooler is this, seem on the die dimension assessment between the Q8400 and the Q6600:Processor Manufacturing technique complete L2 Cache Transistor count Die sizeIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600 65nm 8MB 582M 286mm2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 45nm 4MB 456M 164mm2
it be the great thing about Moore's law: with fewer transistors stuffed into a tons smaller area, we're in a position to see the identical efficiency. Let's also bear in mind that the Q6600 can charge $851 at its unlock while the Q8400 debuted at $183. there's a benefit to leaping on the quad-core bandwagon late.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 performance
To measure efficiency below Photoshop CS4 they flip to the Retouch Artists’ speed test. The test does simple image enhancing; there are a few color area conversions, many layer creations, colour curve adjustment, photo and canvas size adjustment, unsharp masks, and eventually a gaussian blur carried out on the whole picture.
The complete system is timed and due to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as their test mattress tough pressure, efficiency is way more predictable than again after they used to examine on mechanical disks.
Time is pronounced in seconds and the decrease numbers mean improved performance. The check is multithreaded and may hit all 4 cores in a quad-core computing device.
Intel continues to dominate their Photoshop CS4 check. The Q8400 and Q9400 are equals during this case and both are pretty much 15% sooner than the Core 2 Quad Q6600. there may be a particular benefit to going with a quad-core CPU in their CS4 consequences, it's now not the same sort of increase you get in video encoding however's appreciable.DivX eight.5.3 with Xmpeg 5.0.3
Our DivX examine is the same DivX / XMpeg 5.03 check they have now run for the previous few years now, the 1080p supply file is encoded the usage of the unconstrained DivX profile, first-rate/performance is set balanced at 5 and superior multithreading is enabled:
Video encoding performance is a tie between their two rivals. both operate among the quickest quad-core CPUs in the marketplace nowadays, but clearly below the devine i7. searching at the Pentium E5300 performance they see that even early Core 2 Duo techniques stand to peer a 30% enhance in efficiency by using moving to 1 of these budget friendly quad-core alternate options.
if you need to extrapolate youngsters, right here's a enjoyable game. It took Intel roughly three years to present the efficiency of a $500 CPU in whatever that expenses below $eighty. via 2011 you will be capable of get this variety of performance at under $80 as well. Mmm, ubiquitous multi-core.x264 HD Video Encoding performance
Graysky's x264 HD examine makes use of the publicly accessible x264 codec (open source option to H.264) to encode a 4Mbps 720p MPEG-2 supply. The focal point right here is on fine in place of pace, for that reason the benchmark makes use of a 2-flow encode and studies the regular frame fee in each and every circulate.
AMD continues to have a big competencies in two move x264 encoding because of lots of unaligned hundreds that penalize Intel's pre-Nehalem architectures. The 2nd, extra strenuous pass shows the two contenders in a tie simply as they saw in their DivX results:
windows Media Encoder 9 x64 advanced Profile
with the intention to be codec agnostic they now have acquired a windows Media Encoder benchmark looking at the equal sort of factor they have now been doing in the DivX and x264 exams, but using WME instead.
while DivX and x264 both confirmed their contenders as equals, their WME examine has the Phenom II 940 in the lead by means of nearly 6%.3dsmax 9 - SPECapc 3dsmax CPU Rendering test
ultra-modern laptop processors are more than speedy adequate to do knowledgeable degree 3D rendering at domestic. To examine efficiency beneath 3dsmax they ran the SPECapc 3dsmax 8 benchmark (only the CPU rendering checks) under 3dsmax 9 SP1. The results reported are the rendering composite scores:
all over again they now have a condition where the Q8400 and Phenom II 940 are similar in efficiency, with AMD preserving onto a negligible 2% potential.Cinebench R10
Created by way of the Cinema 4D individuals they now have Cinebench, a favored 3D rendering benchmark that gives us both single and multi-threaded 3D rendering consequences.
there is no questioning the Cinebench results, here's a type of areas the place the Phenom II is only plain quicker than the Q8400. The lead here is around 7%.
POV-Ray 3.seventy three beta 23 Ray Tracing efficiency
POV-Ray is a favored, open-supply raytracing application that also doubles as a good device to measure CPU floating point performance.
I ran the SMP benchmark in beta 23 of POV-Ray 3.seventy three. The numbers said are the remaining rating in pixels per 2d.
The trend continues in POV-ray, the Phenom II 940 holds onto a 5% performance abilities over the Q8400 right here.Blender 2.48a
Blender is an open supply 3D modeling software. Their benchmark right here without problems times how long it takes to render a character that comes with the application.
The more your application is optimized for Intel's architecture youngsters, the quicker the tables can flip. efficiency in Blender is dominated through the Q8400.Sony Vegas pro 8: Blu-ray Disc introduction
although technically a test simulating the introduction of a Blu-ray disc, the majority of the time in their Sony Vegas professional benchmark is spent encoding the 25Mbps MPEG-2 video flow and not basically creating the Blu-ray disc itself.
As they saw in previous studies, even the Q9550 is unable to outperform AMD's Phenom II 940 in their Sony Vegas BD advent test. The Q8400 would not stand a chance.Sorenson Squeeze: FLV introduction
a different video connected benchmark, we're the usage of Sorenson Squeeze to transform standard videos into Flash video clips to be used on web sites.
Microsoft Excel 2007
Excel will also be a extremely powerful mathematical device. in this benchmark we're operating a Monte Carlo simulation on a really enormous spreadsheet of inventory pricing records.
PAR2 Multithreaded Archive recuperation performance
Par2 is an application used for reconstructing downloaded archives. it could generate parity information from a given archive and later use it to improve the archive.
Chuchusoft took the supply code of par2cmdline 0.4 and parallelized it the usage of Intel’s Threading constructing Blocks 2.1. The outcomes is a edition of par2cmdline that may spawn assorted threads to fix par2 archives. For this verify they took a 708MB archive, corrupted basically 60MB of it, and used the multithreaded par2cmdline to get well it. The scores suggested are the restoration and recover time in seconds.
both their PAR2 and WinRAR checks have AMD in the lead - actual functions and a real performance knowledge.WinRAR - Archive advent
Our WinRAR verify effectively takes 300MB of information and compresses them right into a single RAR archive the use of the software's default settings. We're no longer doing anything else unique here, simply searching on the impact of CPU performance on developing an archive:
WinRAR is a transparent win for the 940. The Q8400 is damage by way of its lack of cache and lower clock velocity in this case.Fallout 3 efficiency
Bethesda’s latest video game uses an up to date edition of the Gamebryo engine (Oblivion). This benchmark takes location instantly outdoor Vault one hundred and one. The character walks faraway from the vault in the course of the Springvale ruins. The benchmark is measured manually the use of FRAPS.
Gaming efficiency is also a electricity of the Phenom II X4 940, it's anyplace from four - 10% faster than the Q8400 except for a long way Cry 2 the place the Q8400 has a 6% competencies.Left 4 dead performance
FarCry 2 Multithreaded online game efficiency
FarCry 2 ships with essentially the most striking benchmark tool we’ve ever seen in a computer game. part of here is due to the fact that Ubisoft in reality tapped a couple of hardware sites (AnandTech included) from worldwide to aid within the planning for the benchmark.
For their applications they ran the CPU benchmark covered in the latest patch:
Crysis Warhead performance
AMD did lots of work on reducing idle power consumption with the flow to Phenom II and accordingly they see the 758M transistor X4 940 draw less vigour than even the Q8400 at idle.
below load it's a unique story thoroughly, the Phenom II X4 940 needs one more 32.1W. Granted it's a sooner chip, however with all of these transistors switching at 3GHz the energy consumption is simply greater.
Overclocking at inventory Voltages
The Phenom II X4 940 was AMD's first Phenom II to hit the market, the draw back being that it wasn't the ideal example of AMD's 45nm manufacturing system. whereas the chips might overclock, their headroom devoid of increasing their default core voltage simply wasn't that high. The 940 they used for this assessment could most effective make it to 3.2GHz with a 2.2GHz NB frequency with out expanding core voltage past the default 1.35V (as suggested through the BIOS, 1.336V as mentioned by means of CPU-Z):
Phenom II X4 940 max overclock at inventory voltage
The Core 2 Quad Q8400 then again is in accordance with a core it is been shipping for fairly ages, at stock voltage using the inventory cooler i used to be capable of hit three.08GHz:
Now be aware that Phenom II isn't quicker than Intel's Core 2 Quad clock for clock. AMD gets an advantage most effective since it sells higher clocked Phenom IIs at the identical rate as reduce clocked Core 2 Quads. With simplest a 4% clock speed talents, the efficiency is tremendously in Intel's want:Processor Adobe Photoshop CS4 x264 HD - 2nd bypassPOV-Ray far Cry 2 Idle powerLoad powerAMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.2GHz 22.3s 19.0 fps 2539 51.5 fps a hundred and twenty.2W 209W Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ three.08GHz 19.7s 20.4 fps 2597 53.5 fps 131.9W 181.5W
Photoshop and far Cry 2 had been both Q8400's strengths at stock clock speeds, so it makes experience that the Q8400 would widen the hole after they overclocked both chips. The x264 and POV-Ray tests have been equal and in AMD's prefer, respectively, at stock clocks. When overclocked devoid of touching anything else however the clock multiplier in the case of the Phenom II or FSB frequency and memory ratios in the case of the Core 2 Quad.
there's advantage to this kind of overclocking efficiency for the reason that it's the simplest way to overclock, but when you are inclined to give your chip a bit extra voltage that you could get much more clock velocity...Overclocking with a ten% boost in Core Voltage
while there may be something fine about no longer having to do anything else to overclock your CPU apart from adjusting a single parameter, tweaking your core voltage has the potential to significantly enhance your overclocking expertise.
Let's delivery with the Phenom II X4 940. using the stock AMD cooler and pushing a max 10% boost in core voltage they ended up with 3.6GHz and a 2.2GHz NB frequency at 1.475V:
i was able to get the chip as much as 3.9GHz but now not reliable adequate to comprehensive all of my assessments over a major period of time. nonetheless, a 20% overclock with a moderate enhance in core voltage isn't dangerous in any respect.
The Core 2 Quad Q8400 noticed a 15% increase in clock speed with out touching the core voltage. Bumping the core voltage up to 1.45V bought us yet another eleven% taking the chip as much as 3.36GHz:
At three.6GHz vs. three.36GHz, AMD's clock pace potential grows to ~7%. not as huge because the 12.7% clock speed talents at stock frequencies but greater than the four% change in their stock voltage OC effort.Processor Adobe Photoshop CS4 x264 HD - 2nd passPOV-Ray far Cry 2 Idle energyLoad energyAMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.6GHz 20.3s 21.three fps 2839 51.5 fps a hundred and twenty.8W 256W Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 3.36GHz 18.0s 22.three fps 2771 fifty nine.5 fps 139.9W 213W
At max overclock something exciting happens. without doubt the Q8400 holds on to the lead in Photoshop and far Cry 2, however POV-Ray goes lower back to AMD. The x264 encode finally ends up being a delicate victory by the Q8400. some distance Cry 2 is bizzare because the Phenom II noticed no performance development from 3.2GHz up to 3.6GHz, even with how repeatedly I ran the check I might under no circumstances get a higher frame cost out of the system - even with CnQ disabled.There ought to be any other bottleneck operating right here, but it surely's not a GPU one considering that the Q8400 turned into capable of scale all of the method up to fifty nine.5 fps with the same snap shots card.
The situation appears to boil down to this - at max frequency the Phenom II will doubtless keep its performance lead in 3D rendering and ray-tracing purposes, whereas the video encoding lead goes to Intel. power consumption also favors the Q8400 enormously.closing words
It took twin-core chips falling below $200 to beginning expanding their occurrence out there, and these days only 1 of their usual CPU assessments might not see a efficiency raise from a dual core chip. I consider we're initially of that same transition for quad-core CPUs. a lot of their tests display a advantage from having four cores over two but in the subsequent two years that should change drastically. The creation of GPU computing and the approaching liberate of Larrabee will both bring on more focus on multi-threaded construction. in the coming years a new neighborhood of purposes that may run on each GPUs and multi-core CPUs will cement the transistion from functions that struggle to stress more than two cores to functions that scale to a virutally endless number of cores.
The sheer affordability of quad-core processors nowadays is marvelous; $180 - $one hundred ninety will purchase you a Core 2 Quad Q8400 (2.66GHz/4MB L2), a Core 2 Duo E8500 (three.16GHz/6MB L2) or a Phenom II X4 940 (three.0GHz). whether you go dual or quad is truly a personal option counting on the styles of apps you run. if you look at their SYSMark 2007 results you’ll see that the E8500 is a better option average. individually I’d decide on the quad core however that’s because when I’m most performance constrained it’s in functions that scale smartly to 4 cores, but when you don't do any 3D rendering or video encoding (or heavy multitasking between two multithreaded apps) then a fast dual-core might also exploit experience for you nowadays. if you are buying for a equipment that you plan on keeping for three - 5 years however, i suspect that quad-core is a way to go.
Between the Q8400 and the Phenom II X4 940, at inventory clock speeds, the 940 is the way to go unless you are very involved about vigour consumption or occur to be operating purposes which are very well optimized for Intel's Core architecture. update #2: Intel has simply confirmed that the Core 2 Quad Q8400 does support Intel's VT-x from the delivery, so the replace below is wrong. The Q8300, E5400, E5300, E7500 and E7400 will also grow to be transitioning to models with VT-x guide as neatly however most effective the Q8400 supports it from launch. update: As many readers have brought up, the Q8400 doesn't aid Intel's VT for hardware accelerated virtualization. actually it's foolish that Intel is making an attempt to make use of VT as a profit driver at this factor. not aiding VT on any quad-core CPU simply does not make sense. The Phenom does support AMD's hardware virtualization AMD-V, and thus gives it a massive leg up in case you care concerning the characteristic.
in case you plan on doing a little light overclocking, the Q8400 has greater inherent capabilities. beginning bumping up core voltages and the Phenom II X4 940 regains electricity because it's in a position to enhance the clock speed competencies over again. Throw overclocking into the mix and the evaluation is rarely rather as clear reduce, both AMD and Intel change blows of their benefits. i'd say AMD would probably have extra wins in their functions but at the expense of an awful lot superior energy consumption.
it be decent to look that there is competition right here, however Intel's income margin capabilities on the Q8400 is ridiculous. AMD has to sell whatever thing Nehalem sized for beneath $200 to continue to be important these days. i'm far less involved about who pulls ahead while overclocked and much more involved about AMD's health on the end of all of this. perhaps the correct way of taking a look at this is never by talking a few 6% efficiency competencies, however in its place speakme about whether or not you want there to be a true competitor to Intel in the future. possibly the Phenom II X4 940 should get the win here just to ensure we've an AMD to discuss in a few years...