Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Building a new system, Stuck on deciding on Motherboard etc.


  • Please log in to reply

#16
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

The i7 is way faster than the AMD 955. Probably the biggest reason for this is that, while both are quad-core processors, the i7 is hyper-threaded, which means that it can support two data streams per core. It is accurate to call the Core i7 an octo-core processor for this reason, since each physical core acts as two logical cores. There are other more technical reasons that the i7 outperforms any AMD chip as well, but this is probably the biggest reason.

It would not be accurate to call the Core i7 an octo-core processor; it would be accurate to call it a quad-core processor with hyper-threading. As we learned back with Pentium 4s, hyper-threading doesn't come close to providing the benefits that a native dual-core (in the case of Pentium 4s) or octo-core (in the case of Core i7s) would provide. In addition, even if the Core i7 was an octo-core processor, there are very, very few programs that would utilize eight cores. The Core i7, however, bests any AMD CPU even in programs that only utilize one or two cores. So, the number of cores and/or the presence of hyper-threading clearly aren't the "biggest reason[s]" why the Core i7 outperforms any AMD CPU. The actual reason, as I stated earlier in this topic, is that the Core i7 microarchitecture is far superior. That is, the way the Core i7 handles instructions is more efficient than how AMD CPUs handle instructions.

Pentium 4 processors operated in the 3.0-4.0 GHz range (maybe even more than 4.0; I can't quite remember), while today's Core 2 and Core i7 processors operate around 2.5-3.2 GHz, yet the modern processors are, obviously, many times faster than the Pentium. This comes from such aspects as being multi-core, cache sizes, word size (x86 vs x64), etc. If you are comparing two processors in the same family, for example two Core i7 processors, however, the operating frequency becomes a more meaningful point of comparison.

Again, the performance discrepancy comes largely from differences in microarchitecture, not from the things listed. Additional cores only provide benefit in programs that can utilize multiple cores, yet the Core 2 and Core i7 CPUs still beat Pentium 4s in applications which only utilize one core. Cache size causes a small difference, though it doesn't come close to accounting for the large performance difference we see, and only 64-bit programs running on a 64-bit OS will take advantage of 64-bit instructions on the CPU, yet the Core 2 and Core i7s still beat the Pentium 4s in 32-bit programs.

As for your OS question, I wouldn't advise having ONLY an RC or beta operating system on a machine, just as an issue of principle. More often than not, there's a reason why it's a release candidate and it's not quite ready to be a full release. Moreover, I haven't looked into Windows 7 very much, but I would be afraid of running into some backward-compatibility issues. I do have a couple friends who use Windows 7 as their primary OS and they report some minor problems with networking, but generally it seems to be stable. If it's money you're concerned about here, keep in mind that even if you go with the Windows 7 RC, you'll inevitably have to buy the real Windows 7 release once it comes out. Which is not a problem really, just worth pointing out that you'll either spend money now on Vista then get Windows 7 free later, or save money now but then have to buy Windows 7 later. If the cost of Vista is getting in the way of the hardware you want, the second option might be better.

As someone who has looked into Windows 7 RC, I can say it is completely stable, and just as backward-compatible as Vista. That is, anything that runs on Vista will run on Windows 7. The later point is a good one though. Either way, you will end up spending about the same amount of money.

Also if the build you want is really close to budget, I would highly suggest holding off on the sound card unless you feel it is very important, as the sound card is the one part of your build that is totally optional. Most onboard sound chipsets these days are quite good and will certainly tide you over for general computing purposes until you can afford a discrete card. I currently have my Logitech 5.1 surround sound speaker system connected to my onboard sound and have been totally satisfied with it.

The OP stated in his first post that he was building the computer for music production and running digital audio tools, which may very well require, or at least function better, with a particular discrete sound card.

rocknje, if the Core i7 fits in your budget at $200, I'd definitely recommend you get it. As stated earlier, what you do with the operating system is up to you, as you will end up paying the same in the end.



Thank you for this explanation. I am understanding more now. Well, I purchased the Core i7 $199 from Microcenter Fri Morning and I am going to be picking up Sat. Morning. For that price, I had to go with this. Now, I need to decide on motherboard, ram etc. I will update this thread in more detail on Sat.

Thanks again.
  • 0

Advertisements


#17
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
Hello everyone, I have an update as I rewrote above in my first post. I have decided on the Core i7. I found a great deal at Microcenter for $199, so that was the decider.

I now need to pick a motherboard for the i7, Memory, Sound Card etc. I will update in a few. If you have any recommendations, please don't hesitate to tell. I am trying to make my decision by tonight or tomorrow morning the latest.

Here is a link to my final build

http://secure.newegg...Number=11266892

Thanks again. I will update again.

Edited by rocknje, 11 July 2009 - 10:22 PM.

  • 0

#18
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

I just ordered parts for my new pc today, and I went with i7 because if you have a MicroCenter near you they have the 920 D0 for only $199!
http://www.microcent...duct_id=0302727

I was in the same boat as you because I was going to go with AMD until I saw that. If you decide to go with AMD, wait a week or two. The AMD Phenom II X4 965 is suppoused to be on the way with a clock speed of 3.4 GHz! It is also said to be priced at about $250. But it is up to you, but in the end, Intel will beat out AMD 99% of the time.



Thank you very much for this link. You have helped me make my decision really easy on the processor. Now on to the other parts. Any more advice please do tell. Need all I can get.
  • 0

#19
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
I know we talked about this, but I want to finalize my decision. Sorry if I am repeating here. Which Vista would you recommend I go for and why?

http://promotions.ne.....EM/478x88.jpg

Vista Home Premium 64bit $109.99
Vista Business 64bit $149.99
Vista Ultimate 64bit $189.99
  • 0

#20
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
I have made a category list for you all to see. Please click on the links below to see the categories. These are just a few items that I have either been recommended or came across of. I will be adding more.

Please let me know, which one you like. I will go with the product with the most votes.

Sound card List http://secure.newegg...Number=11270812

Memory List http://secure.newegg...Number=11270792

Video Card List http://secure.newegg...Number=11270752

Motherboard List http://secure.newegg...Number=11270712


Also, I might need to get a heatsink or cooler, if you think I need to get one which one should I get?

Thank you all again.
  • 0

#21
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
Another update. I bought the Window7 Prof upgrade from Amazon.com because I happened to get the promotion price at $99 upgrade of win 7.

Since I decided to late, I wasn't able to get the deal thru Newegg.com. I happended to put it in the shopping cart before it expired and happened to go back to amazon.com and I realized it was still there. So, done deal. I will go with the RC Version and once I get the retail version of Win 7 I will upgrade from there.

One thing I am not sure about is, which it doesn't state on the website that if it is 64 bit or not. Does Win 7 come in both 32 or 64 bit? I will probably have to send an email to Amazon.com to find out.

So, once again I am going to go with the Windows 7 RC version. I have heard enough good stuff about it that I am willing to go this route. Unless, somebody has a different suggestion.

Thank you again.
  • 0

#22
stettybet0

stettybet0

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 2,579 posts
Hey there, I didn't read all of your sextuple posts yet (there's an edit button for a reason :)), but I can tell you that it probably wasn't a good idea to order the Windows 7 Pro upgrade. It requires you to have an existing copy of XP or Vista in order to install it. If you had gotten a copy of Vista Business, then you would get the same upgrade package for free, and it would actually work. :) But most people really don't need the features of Vista Business or Windows 7 Pro, so I'd have recommended getting Vista Home Premium, and then you'd get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

So, you should cancel your amazon.com order, then decide whether you're going to order Vista Home Premium now and get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or you're going to stick with Windows 7 RC, then get a non-upgrade version (OEM or retail) of Windows 7 once it is released. Either way, you'll end up paying about the same.
  • 0

#23
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Hey there, I didn't read all of your sextuple posts yet (there's an edit button for a reason :)), but I can tell you that it probably wasn't a good idea to order the Windows 7 Pro upgrade. It requires you to have an existing copy of XP or Vista in order to install it. If you had gotten a copy of Vista Business, then you would get the same upgrade package for free, and it would actually work. :) But most people really don't need the features of Vista Business or Windows 7 Pro, so I'd have recommended getting Vista Home Premium, and then you'd get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

So, you should cancel your amazon.com order, then decide whether you're going to order Vista Home Premium now and get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or you're going to stick with Windows 7 RC, then get a non-upgrade version (OEM or retail) of Windows 7 once it is released. Either way, you'll end up paying about the same.


Sorry about that, I wasn't using my noggin. :) I didn't order a copy of vista, just that windows 7 upgrade. The reason I went this route is because I talked to a few people and mentioned they had a lot of problems with vista

I was going to do your way, but once I heard the negativity I changed my mind. I will have to get a consensus or I will sit and think about it for a day.

Thanks again. Any more advice please do tell.
  • 0

#24
stettybet0

stettybet0

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 2,579 posts

it probably wasn't a good idea to order the Windows 7 Pro upgrade. It requires you to have an existing copy of XP or Vista in order to install it.

So, you should cancel your amazon.com order, then decide whether you're going to order Vista Home Premium now and get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or you're going to stick with Windows 7 RC, then get a non-upgrade version (OEM or retail) of Windows 7 once it is released. Either way, you'll end up paying about the same.


  • 0

#25
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

it probably wasn't a good idea to order the Windows 7 Pro upgrade. It requires you to have an existing copy of XP or Vista in order to install it.

So, you should cancel your amazon.com order, then decide whether you're going to order Vista Home Premium now and get the free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or you're going to stick with Windows 7 RC, then get a non-upgrade version (OEM or retail) of Windows 7 once it is released. Either way, you'll end up paying about the same.


Thank you. I cancelled. Went with Vista 64 with free upgrade to win 7.
  • 0

Advertisements


#26
rocknje

rocknje

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
Thank you all for your help so far. I am starting a new thread to help finalize my build. Check it out and whenever you get a chance, please give me your final thoughts. Sorry if this is repetitive, but I am doing this because it will help me finalize my thoughts.

New Thread - http://www.geekstogo...on-t245306.html

Jeff
  • 0

#27
W-Unit

W-Unit

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 170 posts

It would not be accurate to call the Core i7 an octo-core processor; it would be accurate to call it a quad-core processor with hyper-threading. As we learned back with Pentium 4s, hyper-threading doesn't come close to providing the benefits that a native dual-core (in the case of Pentium 4s) or octo-core (in the case of Core i7s) would provide.

Yeh, got me there. Still, I would argue that it is a LOGICAL octo-core processor, even if this is vastly different performance-wise from a PHYSICAL octo-core. It seems to me that if it processes 8 simultaneous threads, as the i7 does, then it must have 8 logical processing centers, or cores. Perhaps I should have clarified this difference in my original post.
Also, this may not be worth much, but I have on my i7 rig a sidebar gadget that displays a graph of CPU usage, with different colors representing each CPU core. This gadget displays 8 cores for me, each of which is utilized with about equal frequency. This kind of fed my notion of the i7 as an octo-core, since it seems to at least be fooling the OS into thinking it is. Attached is a picture of this for clarification...

So, the number of cores and/or the presence of hyper-threading clearly aren't the "biggest reason[s]" why the Core i7 outperforms any AMD CPU. The actual reason, as I stated earlier in this topic, is that the Core i7 microarchitecture is far superior. That is, the way the Core i7 handles instructions is more efficient than how AMD CPUs handle instructions.

Thanks for that :) I'll do my research more carefully next time; I was under the impression that the number of processing cores played a larger role in overall performance than microarchitecture nuances, however this clearly isn't the case.

Additional cores only provide benefit in programs that can utilize multiple cores, yet the Core 2 and Core i7 CPUs still beat Pentium 4s in applications which only utilize one core.

I'd heard this before, but it seems that surely most applications nowadays know how to utilize multiple cores? As an aspiring programmer I am rather interested in this. Out of curiosity, precisely what is it that a multi-core-aware program does differently from one that only utilizes one core? I had believed, for no better reason than that I hadn't heard otherwise, that the utilization of multiple cores was, by default, left to the OS to determine. I assumed that, typically, when a process created a new thread, the OS would dynamically determine to which core it was assigned. Judging from your post it seems this isn't the case, but why not? Wouldn't this be a more efficient way to ensure that software can keep up with the rapid advances in processor technology?
If programming for multi-core systems requires deliberate effort to allow for maximum hardware utilization, what happens when software designed for multi-core systems is used on a single-core system? It seems that, given the probable complexity of multi-core instructions, single-core systems would have difficulty making sense of a program designed to utilize hardware features they do not possess. Again these questions are just to satisfy my personal curiosity; not trying to challenge your info here as I'm sure you're right.

As someone who has looked into Windows 7 RC, I can say it is completely stable, and just as backward-compatible as Vista. That is, anything that runs on Vista will run on Windows 7.

To be completely honest, I had heard that before, however something just scares me about relying entirely on an OS that, for one reason or another, does not yet qualify as a commercial release. Maybe that's an irrational fear.

The OP stated in his first post that he was building the computer for music production and running digital audio tools, which may very well require, or at least function better, with a particular discrete sound card.

Glad you saw that part; I missed it :)
Just wanted to make sure he knew that most people nowadays don't need one unless they've got a special reason, which the OP certainly does.


Either way, apologies to the OP for any misleading information I may have inadvertently provided. I'll do my homework first next time! :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • cpumeter.jpg

Edited by W-Unit, 19 July 2009 - 02:34 AM.

  • 0

#28
stettybet0

stettybet0

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 2,579 posts
Well, I almost feel bad about hijacking this topic, but the OP did start another post, and it's for the sake of knowledge, so...

Yeh, got me there. Still, I would argue that it is a LOGICAL octo-core processor, even if this is vastly different performance-wise from a PHYSICAL octo-core. It seems to me that if it processes 8 simultaneous threads, as the i7 does, then it must have 8 logical processing centers, or cores. Perhaps I should have clarified this difference in my original post.

Not quite. Here's a (highly simplified) explanation of hyper-threading (I'm using a single-core CPU with HT in this example for simplicity's sake, but the same principle applies to any CPU with HT): The CPU has a certain amount of "execution resources" (ER) that it can use to complete any given task. If a normal single-core CPU with, say, 10 ER, ran a thread requiring 5 ER, 5 ER would be used, while the other 5 ER would sit idle. If the CPU also wanted to run a thread requiring 3 ER, it would still have to wait for the first thread to finish, even though 5 ER isn't being used. If the same CPU had hyper-threading enabled, the 5 ER thread and the 3 ER thread could run simultaneously. The difference in a dual-core CPU is that the CPU would not only be able to run two threads at once, but it would also have 20 ER. So, obviously, the native dual-core CPU would be better as it could handle, say, two threads each requiring 7 ER, while the single-core CPU with HT and only 10 ER could not.

So, the Core i7 does not have 8 "logical processing centers, or cores", but it can handle two threads in each core, depending on how many resources the thread needs.

I'd heard this before, but it seems that surely most applications nowadays know how to utilize multiple cores? As an aspiring programmer I am rather interested in this. Out of curiosity, precisely what is it that a multi-core-aware program does differently from one that only utilizes one core? I had believed, for no better reason than that I hadn't heard otherwise, that the utilization of multiple cores was, by default, left to the OS to determine. I assumed that, typically, when a process created a new thread, the OS would dynamically determine to which core it was assigned. Judging from your post it seems this isn't the case, but why not? Wouldn't this be a more efficient way to ensure that software can keep up with the rapid advances in processor technology?

Not every application would benefit from multiple cores, so usually only programs that would benefit are programmed to utilize multiple cores. In most cases, the OS does dynamically determine which core to assign the thread to; however, a program that utilizes multiple threads has to be specifically designed to do so. The reason a program doesn't just have as many threads as CPU cores (or more, for future-proofing) is that in most types of programs it is hard to find uses for that many simultaneous threads.

If programming for multi-core systems requires deliberate effort to allow for maximum hardware utilization, what happens when software designed for multi-core systems is used on a single-core system? It seems that, given the probable complexity of multi-core instructions, single-core systems would have difficulty making sense of a program designed to utilize hardware features they do not possess. Again these questions are just to satisfy my personal curiosity; not trying to challenge your info here as I'm sure you're right.

Most programs designed to use multiple simultaneous threads also have code to identify if the CPU can't handle all of the threads. The pseudocode might look something like this:
if CPU is multi-core
then run faster code using multiple threads
else run slower code using single thread
If no such method is given, most single-core CPUs are capable of emulating multiple simultaneous threads by switching back and forth between the threads very rapidly. Of course, this will cause slower performance.

To be completely honest, I had heard that before, however something just scares me about relying entirely on an OS that, for one reason or another, does not yet qualify as a commercial release. Maybe that's an irrational fear.

A release candidate (such as Windows 7 RC) refers to software that has the potential to be the final product. The purpose of a release candidate, instead of going straight to the final product, is to see if any huge fatal bugs appear. As Windows 7 RC has been out several months now and is very widely used, I'm certain we would have heard of something if there was any huge fatal bugs. And, apparently, a slighly different build (with probably a few minor bug fixes or UI tweaks) recently went gold, which means it was certified as the final product that will appear on the shelfs in October.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP