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Why is i3-2120 faster than most Phenom x4 and above processors?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by happy, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. happy New Member

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    So, I have read many reviews saying that i3 is faster than the Phenom x4 and above processors and FX in both gaming and multitasking. I read many reviews like this, but they never state why? i3-2120 has dual core, and the phenom x4 and above processors have 2 or more extra cores than the i3-2120. Additionally, you can also overclock the phenoms, but you can't for the i3-2120. So why are people saying the i3-2120 is the best budget processor?

    I have a i3-2120 personally and always wanted to know the technical details and reason for why the i3-2120 outperforms the phenoms and FX.
     
  2. Beertintedgoggles

    Beertintedgoggles

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    There's a lot that goes into it:

    iterations per clock (essentially architecture comparisons)
    data prefetch algorithms
    cache speed / amount / efficiency
    memory bandwidth between CPU and cache / system memory
    instructions sets

    Some compilers also compile a program with more than one set of code and when run, it will check the CPU hardware ID and run the more efficient for it's type (usually depending on the instruction sets available for the CPU). In some cases, it could also be used to run a less efficient version to effectively make a certain brand look slower. There used to be rumors about that but I don't know if they were ever true.

    All that is just clock to clock comparisons, after that you can start to look at overall frequency and of course OC'ing headroom.
     
    happy says thanks.
  3. BlackOmega

    BlackOmega

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    This. Most programs (not some) are using an intel based compiler, as beertintedgoggles pointed out, the compilers would scan the hardware and run a less efficient version on AMD's to make them falsely appear slower.
    This was part of AMD's lawsuit that they brought against intel.
     
    Chevalr1c and happy say thanks.
  4. happy New Member

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    Quite confusing, but I guess it isn't just the cores that make a processor fast anymore.
     
  5. Dent1

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    I will try to make it simple.

    Core for core, the i3 is significantly faster than the Phenom II X4, meaning per core it can get more work done. However as you said i3 only has 2 cores so this advantage will only be apparent in single and dual threaded application. In a true multi threaded environment the Phenom II X4 might pose some advantage.

    Whilst its also true the i3 can challenge the the Bulldozer FX in single threaded environment, in a true multi threaded environment the Bulldozer FX is a different league, we've seen situations were the i7 2600k and i7 extreme edition have struggled to keep up. But these situations are hard to mimic under everyday situations. You need specialist software.

    It really comes down to what you do with your PC and how much you want to spend. There is no right or wrong answer.
     
    happy says thanks.
  6. AlienIsGOD

    AlienIsGOD

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    The i3 also has Hyper Threading which works really well this iteration.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    i think the following makes it a bit easier to understand, even though it has no technical details.

    imagine you are a city planner in your home town vs. a generic computer program.

    the program is designed to build a big city, following a handful of rules, that kinda work well. resources, roads, keeping people happy.

    but when you do it you can "hand" optimize all the little bottlenecks and problem areas.
    also there are many ways to build a city, and at first they all seem equal. once you reach a certain city size problems start up popping everywhere because your early planning didnt account for what's happening now.

    instead of hand optimization, amd relied on automated design tools for their new processors, which are faster and cheaper, require less manpower but the outcome is not optimal in many cases.
    also some fundamental design decisions look good on paper (just like in your home town), but really dont work in reality
     
  8. happy New Member

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    So lets say I do alot of gaming and multi-tasking (such as have 4 programs like dreamweaver, photoshop, word, and ie all up at once and running). i3 would be the best for what I do right?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  9. happy New Member

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    I see.:respect:
     
  10. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Not necessarily, throw in some encoding and file archiving while multi tasking, the Phenom would look sweeter in that comparison.
     
  11. BlackOmega

    BlackOmega

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    No.
    For gaming, for the most part, it would be better only in the ones that aren't heavily multi-threaded. However, since games are moving more and more towards mutli-threading, what little advantage you have now will cease to exist.

    As for rendering in Dreamweaver, photoshop, word, etc. the more threads the better. So the PhenomII x4's would dominate since the hyperthreading cores on your i3 aren't as efficient as the real cores on the Phenom II.
    Now if you were to compare to an FX series processor, you'd see any of the BullDozer chips hand the i3 its ass since that is what they're really designed for, heavy multi-threading.
     
    happy says thanks.
  12. happy New Member

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    I guess there is no real budget chip that will taylor for both of my needs. If I want to heavily multi-task in dreamweaver, and those other programs. Then the phenom would be the best. But if I were to play games, the i3 would be best for now.
     
  13. Dent1

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    For that situation, where you was simultaneously using applications in the background the Bulldozer FX or a 4 core in general would be optimal.

    It's a balancing act.

    You try encoding a really big file on a dual core(i3) and run an intensive game and the frame rate will occasionally lag or dip.

    You encode a big file on a quad core, or 8 core FX monster it will be smooth on the same intensive game and yield higher frame rates. Because it can balance the load across all cores.

    You stop the encoding, and the i3 will be smooth in frame rate, and possibly yield better and consistent frame rate than he Bulldozer FX, depending on the game of course.

    Edit: Another consideration is how long will you be running the rig for. The Bulldozer has more prospects in terms of software becoming more multi threaded compatible. So if you are the type of guy whom keeps a rig for 5-10 years (yes nutters like that exist) the Bulldozer can be the wise choice. If you are the type that changes rigs every 2-3 years you'll likely get a better experience from the i3.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
    happy says thanks.
  14. ViperXTR

    ViperXTR

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    multitasking?

    [​IMG]
     
    Dent1 and happy say thanks.
  15. Dent1

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    ^ All CPUs only dropped by approximately 1-10 FPS when comparing the non-multi-tasking and multi-tasking. Which shows that review used applications which are not intensive enough!

    A CPU shouldnt be getting upto 60 FPS if you are truly stress testing it! Thus, those CPUs were not stressed. Useless chart.
     
  16. ViperXTR

    ViperXTR

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  17. happy New Member

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    I am exactly that nutter that would like to and hope to keep a rig for that long of a duration. However, I know in reality this is impossible. But I know I am quite covered. Because I already have a gtx460 and a ASrock p67 Extreme which would make my upgrading super easy. I tried to keep this rig on a super low budget as I could. If I wanted to do a bit more adquate gaming and shit load of multi-task, I just buy a i5 or i7 and boom i get both gaming and transcoding. I also paid a total of $210 for both the 460 and the mobo. I just got the i3-2120 because I got it super cheap too. Mostly, I wanted to know why I hear so many review of i3 is better than pehnom. But thanks.
     
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  18. Dent1

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    i3-2120 is a great CPU, if you bought it be proud. No need to justify your purchase, its a good purchase.
     
  19. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    Honestly Id go with a Core i5/i7 or a Phenom II BE 965 or Greater.
     
  20. BlackOmega

    BlackOmega

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    I wonder if there's a bench where they're actually rendering an image while doing other tasks as well. Seems like rendering draws a lot more "juice" than encoding apps.
     
  21. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    It depends on bottlenecks... all systems are only as fast as their weakest link allows...

    So for instance- in instances where core power and multithreading are important more cores will win out, where as in instances where IPC and memory bandwith are the bottleneck then cores become irrelevant. This goes the same for processor architecture - (any system really, its a bit simplistic, but usually the case). EDIT: just read Wizz's post didnt realize it was because they were auto designing sub optimal circuits.

    Alot of other stuff goes into it as mentioned above when building a system, but if you optimize your bottlenecks to your goal i.e. are you a movie encoder or a gamer? Then you will get the best bang for your buck.

    Also, overclocking usually does turn the tables on the i3.
     
  22. happy New Member

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    Thanks for all the input y'all. Helped me understand. :rockout::respect:
     
  23. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    it was more like this :nutkick:


    :roll:

    Enjoy the machine, if you need anything we be here to help, same with any machines you may work on for customers...
     

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