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Are AMD Current CPUs Not Enough For Solid 60 FPS Anymore?

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#1
I want to make this opening statement as brief as possible. I have been an AMD user for a long time and I have several AMD systems with a variety of processors. 2 systems have Phenom X3 8750s, 1 has a Phenom 9600, 2 have Phenom X4 9850s, 1 has a Phenom II 920, and 1 has an Athlon II 635 quad core at 2.9 ghz.

I also have 2 systems with I7 920s. Now for a while I always thought that my I7 systems were overkill from a CPU standpoint but ever since Ghostbusters came out I am starting to notice HUGE differences in performance in real gameplay in newer games. In that game none of my AMD systems can stay at a solid 60 FPS even though all but one of the systems have dual Radeon 4850s and the Phenom II and Athlon II each have triple 4850s. I lock the FPS at 30 and things stabilize otherwise the FPS is all over the map. The I7s seem to never drop below 60 FPS in that game with similar graphic setups as the AMD systems. (Dual 4890s or 1 GTX 460 overclocked to 800/1600)

Dragon Age Origins is another game where in my case none of the AMD systems can sustain 60 FPS throughout the entire experience. I did stuff like disable FSAA and the result is largely the same. Something other than the GPU is bottlenecking the system. Sometimes it is great but man especially sections like just arriving at Ostagar drop into the 20s where the I7s just stay fast. It is ridiculous just how much better the I7 platform is starting to handle the latest games.

I don't want this thread to be an AMD vs Intel Thread. I want this discussion to be a serious investigation of real world gaming experiences with the latest AMD processors or at least modern AMD processors where we figure out which games seem to just hate your AMD processor. I tracked performance using FRAPS. I am anal so I have it running on my screen pretty much all the time. I have found 2 AMD haters in Ghostbusters and Dragon Age Origins. What else is out there?
 

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#2
If you play games, you want i7. That fact is old, old news, since i7 launched. Lots of people thought maybe Phenom2 would fix this(myself included), but overtime ,this has proven to not be the case...unless you want to overclock.

What's not old news is the exact reason why...but I personally am investigating what's causing the "cpu bottlenecks" many users are seeing, myself included.

For some reason, it seems i7 can get more data to the gpus. And then, when the cpu is not the bottleneck, and the gpu is, Microstutter is introduced, and we now have a very quantifiable way of measuring Microstutter.

It's Lose-Lose...and I have no more to say on this subject until I can generate more data. rather than guess, I'll let the numbers do the talking.
 
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#3
If you play games, you want i7. That fact is old, old news, since i7 launched. Lots of people thought maybe Phenom2 would fix this(myself included), but overtime ,this has proven to not be the case...unless you want to overclock.
He is 100% correct but a simple overclock on the phenom 2 or thurban can equal if not outperform a i7 in gaming; its all about the Northbridge overclock. Here is a half motherboard, half thurban review from Anandtech click. Its a mysery why AMD didnt set the stock CPU-NB to 2.4 or 2.6ghz.
 
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#4
If you play games, you want i7. That fact is old, old news, since i7 launched. Lots of people thought maybe Phenom2 would fix this(myself included), but overtime ,this has proven to not be the case...unless you want to overclock.

What's not old news is the exact reason why...but I personally am investigating what's causing the "cpu bottlenecks" many users are seeing, myself included.

For some reason, it seems i7 can get more data to the gpus. And then, when the cpu is not the bottleneck, and the gpu is, Microstutter is introduced, and we now have a very quantifiable way of measuring Microstutter.

It's Lose-Lose...and I have no more to say on this subject until I can generate more data. rather than guess, I'll let the numbers do the talking.
My mind cannot process that level of bullshit.
 

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#5
He is 100% correct but a simple overclock on the phenom 2 or thurban can equal if not outperform a i7 in gaming; its all about the Northbridge overclock. Here is a half motherboard, half thurban review from Anandtech click. Its a mysery why AMD didnt set the stock CPU-NB to 2.4 or 2.6ghz.
I am stil ltesting, but it seems the i7 overclocked still beats out AMD. i7 costs more, so to me, it's no big deal...you get what you pay for.

My mind cannot process that level of bullshit.
Again, MM, i'll say this, you are trolling. Either post data that refutes it, or get out. Even Mussels and erocker agree cpu is the bottleneck.

Crossfired 5850's Issue
 
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#7
If you play games, you want i7. That fact is old, old news, since i7 launched. Lots of people thought maybe Phenom2 would fix this(myself included), but overtime ,this has proven to not be the case...unless you want to overclock.

What's not old news is the exact reason why...but I personally am investigating what's causing the "cpu bottlenecks" many users are seeing, myself included.

For some reason, it seems i7 can get more data to the gpus. And then, when the cpu is not the bottleneck, and the gpu is, Microstutter is introduced, and we now have a very quantifiable way of measuring Microstutter.

It's Lose-Lose...and I have no more to say on this subject until I can generate more data. rather than guess, I'll let the numbers do the talking.
The scaling on my system was much better than the member in the CrossFire problem thread. I think it was more than a problem with CPU bandwith. I really should of tried running CrossFire with my CPU at stock to further the investigation.
 
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#8
If you play games, you want i7. That fact is old, old news, since i7 launched. Lots of people thought maybe Phenom2 would fix this(myself included), but overtime ,this has proven to not be the case...unless you want to overclock.
My mind cannot process that level of bullshit.
I'm in total agreement with TheMailMan78. Considering the fact that I own a rather old Phenom II (first tri-core) and I can still play ALL games I throw at it smoothly (ok, maybe not the solid 60 the OP was after, but still smooth) I call bullshit as well.

To make such a broad sweeping statement as you just did requires you to prove that Phenom II or any AMD chips can't handle games at all, which I'm sure most AMD users on this forum can attest otherwise.

(oh, and up until recently, I haven't been overclocked)
 

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#9
Strange as I run almost all games at very high frame rates.

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/amd_vs_intel_-_the_gaming_sweetspot/3


This and other tests show the 965BE on par with a common i7 chip using the same GPU, the i7 does have more system memory, and more bandwidth available.
That was before the driver change(Oct, 2009). Those numbers do not reflect perforamcne since the change @ driver level, when performance profiles were introduced as a seperate part of the driver.


DarkNova, I am currently generating performance numbers for about 300 games, and when I post the numbers, you can judge for yourself. I have been finding that anything over 5870 levels is a bit bottlenecked...I'm eager to see how the high-end 6-series performs, just because of this. AMd drivers currently have an issue keeping more than 1600 shaders loaded.
 
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#10
I want to make this opening statement as brief as possible. I have been an AMD user for a long time and I have several AMD systems with a variety of processors. 2 systems have Phenom X3 8750s, 1 has a Phenom 9600, 2 have Phenom X4 9850s, 1 has a Phenom II 920, and 1 has an Athlon II 635 quad core at 2.9 ghz.

I also have 2 systems with I7 920s. Now for a while I always thought that my I7 systems were overkill from a CPU standpoint but ever since Ghostbusters came out I am starting to notice HUGE differences in performance in real gameplay in newer games. In that game none of my AMD systems can stay at a solid 60 FPS even though all but one of the systems have dual Radeon 4850s and the Phenom II and Athlon II each have triple 4850s. I lock the FPS at 30 and things stabilize otherwise the FPS is all over the map. The I7s seem to never drop below 60 FPS in that game with similar graphic setups as the AMD systems. (Dual 4890s or 1 GTX 460 overclocked to 800/1600)

Dragon Age Origins is another game where in my case none of the AMD systems can sustain 60 FPS throughout the entire experience. I did stuff like disable FSAA and the result is largely the same. Something other than the GPU is bottlenecking the system. Sometimes it is great but man especially sections like just arriving at Ostagar drop into the 20s where the I7s just stay fast. It is ridiculous just how much better the I7 platform is starting to handle the latest games.

I don't want this thread to be an AMD vs Intel Thread. I want this discussion to be a serious investigation of real world gaming experiences with the latest AMD processors or at least modern AMD processors where we figure out which games seem to just hate your AMD processor. I tracked performance using FRAPS. I am anal so I have it running on my screen pretty much all the time. I have found 2 AMD haters in Ghostbusters and Dragon Age Origins. What else is out there?
Just curious, did you try disabling Cool 'n' Quiet and running all the chips at full speed? If the frames drop drastically that might be the culprit.

Also if you can put those 4890s in CF on the AMD 920 machine and put the 4850 CF in the I7 machine and see if the issue is still there.
 

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#11
The scaling on my system was much better than the member in the CrossFire problem thread. I think it was more than a problem with CPU bandwith. I really should of tried running CrossFire with my CPU at stock to further the investigation.
he was running 775, you on AMD, so not exactly the same platform...that has to be considered as well.

I can't make any real conclusions as to what exactly the bottleneck is, but it does seem cpu-related. Once I've got all the data, I can then start to filter it and see what shows up. I currently think it may be L3, or NB-PCI-E, hard to tell when NB speed increases also affect L3.


Really, I just want to be able to make accurate recommendations as to what specs are needed when putting systems together, also keeping resolution in mind.

In the end, I will also be testing dual, tri, and hexacore cpus, to see if they have any impact. But with that all said, it's going to take LOTS of work....more than any review does, benching so many apps and different configs...i7 will be included. It's going to take several months, maybe, adn by that point, 6-series should be here, so I can jsut add them into the mix, and we can see how things have changed.

I also have ordered HD5830x3, to see how shader count affects that scaling. It's too bad you are getting rid of Crossfire, as your numbers could validate, or deny my own.
 

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#12
Man, i can just feel this thread getting locked not to long from now.

And it's not a matter of 'omg i has an AMD cpu im gonna get low frames!!!1', there are so many things that factor into how may frames you'll get in a game. i7's perform better then the majority of AMD CPU's currently out and that's a fact, anyone who tells you otherwise is either full of shit or a fanboy. AMD CPU's are great gaming CPU's and can get the job done most of the time, so they perform as good an Intels current platform?, no... but if you go with AMD are you going to be seeing below 60 frames in most to every game?, no, that's a load of shit (unless you're running an older system.)

Some games are more CPU depended and some are more GPU dependent, some game use more RAM, some games take more space on a HDD. You see how every game can differ?, it's just a matter of what your system can push out in those departments if needed by the game. i7's have the advantage of HT and more memory bandwidth, have you thought that that could be why?, i7's have a better architecture overall, have you thought that that could be why?.

It's nonsensical and frankly retarded for anyone to think that somehow there low frames in games is contributed automatically to whether or not they have an Intel or AMD CPU.(not directed towards you robert the rambler) But hey, maybe that's just me.
 

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#13
If people can keep thier emotions in check, there will be no lock. Personally, for me, the difference in tech between AMD and Intel are pretty huge...and raw FPS numbers don't tell the entire story.

I don't care who's better...but I'll test and see what the numbers say, and make conclusions based on that. All I can truly say at this point is that stock AMD NB is not enough for more than a single 1600 shader gpu. 3x 4850...2400 shaders...there's gonna be issues there.
 
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#14
Maybe im a little different But my 1090T is perfectly fine in any game giving well over 60FPS on avaerage (cept Metro 2033 with ADV DOF on - but that to me is poor optimisation)

Not disputing the above but ive not once had a single problem (but then again my chip is a 6 core and more near the price of an i7)
 

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#15
Maybe im a little different But my 1090T is perfectly fine in any game giving well over 60FPS on avaerage (cept Metro 2033 with ADV DOF on - but that to me is poor optimisation)

Not disputing the above but ive not once had a single problem (but then again my chip is a 6 core and more near the price of an i7)
It not as simple as CDdude says..each app is going to be a bit different, and you really need to account for what vgas are in the system, as well as other variables.

these bottlenecks are very obvious once you get into 4x vgas...W1zzard's review reflects this as well..even i7 isn't capable of fully pushing that much gpu grunt...scaling is horrible.

But, myself, I'm not exactly sure where the bottleneck is...both AMD and Intel are affected, once the number of gpus increases. It just seems Intel has a slight advantage before that limit is hit...and it not "blowing AMD out of the water" differences, either.
 
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#16
If people can keep thier emotions in check, there will be no lock. Personally, for me, the difference in tech between AMD and Intel are pretty huge...and raw FPS numbers don't tell the entire story.

I don't care who's better...but I'll test and see what the numbers say, and make conclusions based on that. All I can truly say at this point is that stock AMD NB is not enough for more than a single 1600 shader gpu. 3x 4850...2400 shaders...there's gonna be issues there.

Why not over-clock northbridge then?
 

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#17
If people can keep thier emotions in check, there will be no lock. Personally, for me, the difference in tech between AMD and Intel are pretty huge...and raw FPS numbers don't tell the entire story.

I don't care who's better...but I'll test and see what the numbers say, and make conclusions based on that. All I can truly say at this point is that stock AMD NB is not enough for more than a single 1600 shader gpu. 3x 4850...2400 shaders...there's gonna be issues there.
I'm not sure how well 3x4850's scale, but that could be a factor. And it could as well be that the AMD CPU can't handle all that GPU power, so i agree.

I suggest he tries some other games and to see what's what. But it shouldn't be surprising that an i7 is outperforming a Phenom II in in the majority of games.
 

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#18
It not as simple as CDdude says..each app is going to be a bit different, and you really need to account for what vgas are in the system, as well as other variables.
That's exactly what i was saying in that post.

There's tons of different factors that contribute to whether a game plays well on a system or doesn't.
 

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#19
Why not over-clock northbridge then?
Yeah, that seems to have a LARGE impact at this point...but rather than just getting the performacne I need...what interests me is WHY that boost is needed. And liek I said..NB increase also affects L3 cache speed..so it's ahrd to say what's really the issue here...

I'm not sure how well 3x4850's scale, but that could be a factor. And it could as well be that the AMD CPU can't handle all that GPU power, so i agree.

I suggest he tries some other games and to see what's what. But it shouldn't be surprising that an i7 is outperforming a Phenom II in in the majority of games.
Like I've said, it's far to early for me to make any definate conclusions. I'm testing every game I own...I'm sure for many, there will be no difference...

Also, Microstutter is becoming more important, it seems. Even single-gpu set-ups are getting affected, when gpu is @ 100% load. So just because you get higher FPS, doesn't mean your gameplay expereince is going to be better...
 
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#20
Well it sounds like its nothing to do with the CPUS, and more to do with the North-bridge then.

Try over-clock north-bridge and lower the multi ( aim for stock frequency of course) to see if you get get better performance, that be the way to test if it is cpu or north-bridge for certain.

I've never noticed this problem as I always over-clock and never use up the multi to do it, I change FSB.
 

CDdude55

Crazy 4 TPU!!!
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#21
Yeah, that seems to have a LARGE impact at this point...but rather than just getting the performacne I need...what interests me is WHY that boost is needed. And liek I said..NB increase also affects L3 cache speed..so it's ahrd to say what's really the issue here...



Like I've said, it's far to early for me to make any definate conclusions. I'm testing every game I own...I'm sure for many, there will be no difference...

Also, Microstutter is becoming more important, it seems. Even single-gpu set-ups are getting affected, when gpu is @ 100% load. So just because you get higher FPS, doesn't mean your gameplay expereince is going to be better...
Well keep testing and report back with some good info if ya can.:)

And also, yes microstutter does affect performance... but you can still generally see a bump in performance with better hardware. Considering the microstuttering isn't to bad.
 

cadaveca

My name is Dave
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#22
Well it sounds like its nothing to do with the CPUS, and more to do with the North-bridge then.
I am refering to CPU-NB, part of the cpu. It might not be the cpu cores themselves...might be memory-pci-e bandwidth, might jsut be L3 speed...

Anyway, I know how to get better performance, and that's not what the issue is for me...I want to identify the blottleneck specifically, as hard as that may be. Just satisfying curiosity...plus...I do not feel that people should be forced to overclock, thereby invalidating warranties, just to make proper use of vga products.

you know, relaly, if I can generate enough hard, irrefutable data, I can then take it to court. Wouldn't you love it if we could force OEMs to warranty overclocks?:laugh:


(BTW, I'm just being silly with that last bit. I would like companies to give out specific system requirements in order to use specific technologies, though.).
 

crazyeyesreaper

Chief Broken Rig
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#23
cadaveca if u want some extra performance numbers on some games let me know :) ive got quite a few games not 300 + but i got some titles and can probably compare notes on performance send me a PM if you want a hand and ill list out what games i can test
 
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#24
I believe the root of this issue is AMDs desire to maintain backwards compatibility. Hopefully AM3+ will really contribute the the performance gain of bulldozer. Also for those in doubt; massive game difference - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/109?vs=147
 

1Kurgan1

The Knife in your Back
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#25
I'm going to step in and say it here, if you are playing any modern games, even 3x 4850's isn't going to be enough to hold 60fps as your minimum. Despite what your processor is, thats just not enough GPU power there. And thats for good looking games, great looking games, and even newer cards just aren't going to hold a game above 60fps constantly, the minimum is always going to be lower than 60.
 
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