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Thread: Which processor is better?

  1. #1

    Default Which processor is better?

    Processor one...
    AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N970(2.2GHz)

    Processor two...
    Intel Core i5 480M(2.66GHz)

    The AMD has 4 cores, but lower clock speed. The Intel has 2 cores, but a higher clock speed. What one is better and why?

    Processors were verrrrry easy to understand when the only thing that seemed to matter was clock speed. I guess that was a while ago though.

    So when is the highest clock speed the best choice? When is it better to sacrifice a little bit of speed for an extra core or two? And what difference do the L2 and L3 cache make?

    I do know a bit about computers. Really. It's just... there's always someone that knows more. And there's always something new to figure out.

  2. #2


    Generally the more cores the better from what I've been hearing. Specifically if your gaming, post processing, etc.

  3. #3


    Intel is better than AMD hands down. If you are on a budget, go with AMD. If performance is your main concern go with Intel.

  4. #4


    Go for the quad core. Right now, the only time when clock speed is of importance is when you're comparing processors within the same family. Otherwise, the differences in architecture are what make one processor better than another. For example, my core 2 duo laptop will outperform my pentium 4 desktop, even though the clock speed of the pentium 4 is 2.8 Ghz, while the clock speed of the duo is 2.4. More cores are part of what makes the laptop perform better.

    The processor cache is another part of that. The larger the cache, the faster the computer is able to get stuff from memory, because all the addresses of the stuff that it uses most often are right there. You'll want these to be as large as possible, as all the speed in the world doesn't mean much if it's spending all its time trying to get the information it needs to work on.

    I'd opt for the phenom. AMDs run on the less expensive side, which should allow you to get more bang for your buck. Not to mention it's got a full 4 cores. Cache is less than the intel, but benchmark testing pegs it at better than the intel, too. Make of it what you will. Intel and AMD are pretty much the same in terms of performance, anyway.

  5. #5


    well lets look at benchmark scores:
    Intel Core i5 580M @ 2.67GHz 2867
    AMD Phenom II N970 Quad-Core 2755
    since the i5 has a higher benchmark score, it can perform more processes per second.

    site I used: PassMark - CPU Benchmarks - List of Benchmarked CPUs

  6. #6


    Personally I've always gone for AMD since their ht processors came out, solely because while I was willing to spend a lot I wanted to future proof, so overclocking is a must in order to get a better usage life out of it.
    (I abhore people who upgrade every 8 months, its just a big waste of resources/ money )

    Performance wise I know that AMD's run a lot hotter than intel's, even at stock. However also going by my own experience AMD processors remain stable at much higher clock rates / temps than intels when overclocked, so that seals the deal for me.

    Also means I can run my pc all day in winter and keep my bedroom heated to a comfy 19c

    Currently running an AMD AM2+ Kuma 7750BE @3.17GHz from a 2.6GHz stock, at a reasonable 42c

  7. #7


    I have a Phenom II X6 1055t, I love it, and it overclocks really well. Using the Asus TurboV
    EVO oc'ing program, I'm sitting at 3.6GHz from 2.8GHz(and if I really wanted to get nitty
    gritty, I could get it up to 3.8GHz stable, stock heat sink). I'm water cooling it this summer
    and going for 4GHz. POINT: <3 AMD's, and the clock speed can be raised. It's sitting at 38C
    right now, but thats because thats what I set the target temp to be in speedfan.

  8. #8


    Processors were verrrrry easy to understand when the only thing that seemed to matter was clock speed. I guess that was a while ago though.
    This is somewhat of a misnomer. Clock speed determines how many times a certain chunk of instructions are executed. That number of instructions varies widely between processors. Intel used this fairly successfully as a "big shiny number" when marketing their processors against AMD as AMD tended to have lower clock speeds but executed more per cycle. Intel was also kinda sneaky with their Celeron line... selling processors at the same clock speed as their other lines, but which did less per cycle. Things like the amount of and speed of the on chip cache, and the bandwidth of the FSB and inter core speeds are also important.

    My general feeling has been that AMD wins in the budget category, loses ground to Intel in the high performance consumer/desktop market, but then gains it back in the high performance server/business market. So if you are on a budget, go AMD .. building a higher end gaming rig.. go Intel.. building a server.. go AMD ;p

    Really though they are close enough that it doesn't _really_ matter, and I'd go for more cores vice speed.. regardless of brand.

  9. #9


    Thanks.... another question about cache though.

    According to wikipedia....
    "Unlike Phenom II desktop processors, Phenom II mobile processors lack L3 cache."

    How bad is that? Why is L3 not required?

    Errr.... another question.

    At what clock speed difference should clock speed matter over cores/model/whatever? For example, a 2.66 ghz i5 (dual core) or a 1.73 ghz i7 (quad)? I mean.... that's a whole 930mhz difference!
    Last edited by ShippoFox; 26-May-2011 at 11:11.

  10. #10


    Wasn't the problem something like the silicon can't handle speeds over 4 ghz in a reliable way? I'm not too technical with this stuff, but that's what I heard from someone higher up in the geek hierarchy. That's why they got started with dualcore, quadcore and all that. I've got six of them, even. I've seen setups with dual multicore cpu's so you get 12 cores or more (and a corresponding price tag).

    I'd say right now architecture is what's important (model name). A dual core i5 outperforms an older core2duo at the same clockspeeds. And my sixcore xeon absolutely destroys my old core2quad even though the clockspeeds isn't that much higher and a lot of software doesn't actually use the extra 2 cores yet. (a xeon is just a fancied up core i7, btw).

    I don't know about AMD, i've always happened to have intels, but I don't think you're gonna see a whole lot of difference between any cpu in a similarish price range. In the end it's all differences of milliseconds.

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