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Quick question. When buing a processor for gaming, what's the difference between

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2 years ago#1
Quad core, 6-core, and 8-core? I haven't thrown together a computer since quad core was brand new. The main reason I'm asking is I see a quad core on new egg for $229 and an 8-core for $169. Could anyone shine some light on this for me?
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2 years ago#2
AMD BSes pretty hard with their core counts. If you shopped around a bit more you'd find a '12' core for about $200. If intel were to sell that same processor they'd market it as a dual core.

What AMD counts as a 'core' is either an IPU, an integer processing unit, or a GCN cluster, a Graphics Core Next module. On their own, neither of those parts are capable of doing anything. What intel advertises as a core is both an FPU, a floating point unit, and an IPU, basically everything you need to handle a computation from start to finish. They also don't count their Intel HD cores as cores, most come with 2, meaning if AMD were to market I3s and i5s they'd market them as quad and hex cores, respectively.

The reason the lower core count intel CPUs are more expensive is because they're just better. The AMD defense force will try to tell you otherwise but at the clocks the parts ship at Haswell is nearly 70% faster than Kaveri (AMD's most efficient architecture) in some situations. Most AMD parts ship at much higher clocks than the intel equivalent to try and close the gap though, so clock for clock Haswell is nearly 90% faster. In very well threaded apps AMD is competitive but intel is hands down the better choice for current games, and they won't be at a disadvantage in future games, even if they won't be as far ahead as they are currently. Not to say AMD is so far behind they're unusable, but they're objectively behind intel with no signs of catching up.
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2 years ago#3
And on a related note: Do not spend extra for more than 4 cores. There are no current video games that take full advantage of a quad core CPU, and none of them gain any tangible benefit from having more than 4 cores, clock rates being equal.
2 years ago#4
Or to translate Phil's post: Moar Cores = Moar Power, but AMD is full of s*** about how many cores they have so if you intend to play video games get an Intel processor.

Edit: But more cores doesn't ALWAYS mean more power, an application has to be specifically designed to take advantage of those multiple cores.
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2 years ago#5
There are aKaiserWarrior posted...
And on a related note: Do not spend extra for more than 4 cores. There are no current video games that take full advantage of a quad core CPU, and none of them gain any tangible benefit from having more than 4 cores, clock rates being equal.


couple of games that do use 4 cores

BF4 being one of them
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2 years ago#6
Awesome, thank you for the info everyone.
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2 years ago#7
Another way of looking at it is comparing Intel cores to AMD cores is like comparing car engines from two very different companies. The clock speed is like RPM and the engines would likely produce different horsepower at the same RPM.
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2 years ago#8
Unless you're comparing processors using the same architecture, the core count isn't a good way to compare them.
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2 years ago#9
As of now, the rule of thumb is that if it has more than 4 cores, it's meant for professional rendering and simulation. 4 or less is for gaming and casual use.
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2 years ago#10
KaiserWarrior posted...
And on a related note: Do not spend extra for more than 4 cores. There are no current video games that take full advantage of a quad core CPU, and none of them gain any tangible benefit from having more than 4 cores, clock rates being equal.


Actually more and more programs (games included) are starting to use more cores these days. There are several games out already that benefit from eight cores. To think the trend won't continue is foolish.

And yes AMD 8000 serious and i7s will act as eight core CPUs even though they technically are not.
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