[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Advice on system purchase

On 11/2/2012 7:16 AM, Martin Steigerwald wrote:

> And thus I say, that I better use a dual core CPU with higher peak 
> performance for typical desktop workloads, than a quad core CPU with lower 
> peak performance. A quad core CPU with as high peak performance might be 
> in order if something compiles software a lot.

"Average"/"normal" users don't compile source code.  They use a browser,
maybe an MUA, an office suite, a PDF reader, a media player, etc.

Pick an AMD or Intel system with a dual core CPU @ ~2.5GHz and ~3GHz.
The extra ~500MHz will yield little noticeable difference in system
responsiveness, app load times, media playback stutter, etc.

Now, pick one of those frequencies or closest available in a quad core,
6 core, and 8 core.  Run the same subjective tests of normal user
desktop applications.  The perceived performance will be slightly
higher, but this will be due to the existence of large L3 caches, not
core count, because most productivity apps are still mostly single
threaded, simply because there's not much parallelism to be had in such
work flows.  Productivity apps are not CPU bound, and never have been.

Now, if a 2.5GHz dual core CPU launches an app in 1 second, and a 3GHz 8
core CPU launches the app in 0.4 seconds, twice as fast, and both play
media files with the same stutter (caused by packet loss not CPU
horsepower) then what is the practical performance difference here for
the average user?  *There is none*

The only real difference is cost and thermal output, with the big core
CPUs losing in both categories.

My entire point in this sub discussion is that AMD/Intel keep pushing
more speed and more cores, while the vast majority of users need neither
of these things.  They both still have relatively low TDP dual core
chips on the market, thankfully, but these aren't the chips we tend to
see in many/most retail machines.


Reply to: