While AMD still lags behind Intel in single-threaded performance, I must commend them on their efforts. They are improving, even if slowly.
Absolutely. I love AMD cpus. (Although, I have to ask myself... why? It's not like they run unique programs like a Nintendo SNES vs Sega Genesis does. Maybe I just love an Underdog.) I hate ATI ::cough::AMD::cough:: videocards though they're probably better than they used to be. I wish AMD would have just borrowed some money and bought NVIDIA instead of ATI back-in-the-day.
AMD is certainly getting better AND pushing down Intel prices as a direct result. I told my friends "mark my words" before Ryzen hit, that the prices of comparable Intel CPUs would magically fall.
But after watching PUBG benchmarks of even the BEST AMD CPUs against "no where near the top" (and many less cores) Intel CPUs, I was like "wtf am I optimizing for." Yeah, more cores = fun. But again, the only thing that matters is 2-4 cores for your most hard-real-time-constrained apps, like videogames. So who cares if I have 8 cores (I do) when half of them sit idle when I play a game.
Do I REALLY need to encode a video, while extracting a zip, while running a SQL server in a VM while I play a game? I think I'd be better off keeping my old machines for doing everything else (SQL, work VM, web server, etc) and leaving my most recent machine for the games. Because the LAST thing you want your server or long encoding task to do, is crash because your video game took down an essential service with it or blue screening the whole machine.(*)
(*) Oh, and the ONE multi-tasking use? Video encoding? 99% of the time you should use your GPU for that. (NVENC for nVidia, for example.) My FX-8370 could do 1080p, but, 4K? Loaded the ENTIRE CPU (all 8 cores) just to keep up with 30 FPS. So the only remaining thing left is like keeping Discord, Steam, etc. And those need at most, a single core between all of them.
That is, I use a Win10 VM for my work stuff (4 cores/8GBof32 dedicated) but my main machine can brick that VM easily if I mess with it too much. VMWare will crash. A video driver will crash, change the resolution, which will then force the VM to change resolution, and then that "might" crash (it's happened!) various things. Like the VM fail to come out of suspend (freeze), or crash running processes. Plugging in new devices and installing drivers can brick VMWare as it tries to auto attach them to a VM.
I've come to realize that if you want to run VM's, you should leave the BASE operating system running as little daily user interaction as possible. No encoding videos, or playing games, while a VM hosts essential services like SQL/e-mail/whatever.
Likewise, (and this was a HUGE deal for me to come to this conclusion this month) I'm probably just going to buy an Intel. Last I checked, I can get a FASTER INTEL CPU for Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (that benches faster than ALL OF AMD'S current CPUs--including thousand dollar ones), for a mere $130 (SHIPPED). That's insane.
Even though the synthetic benches show my AMD stuff is way more comparable and cost effective / processing-bang-for-your-buck, when you look at a game that uses at max 2-3 cores realistically (and WHO KNOWS how much of that "use" is actually memory contention) the humble/crap/budget Intel i3 was beating framerates for the fastest and highest core count AMDs including Threadripper (32 cores!) and 1800X (fastest clock/throughput).
Check it out:
Now, I will COMMEND them for making their top-of-the-line CPU a mere $350. (Though that's tons of money to me, it's still pennies for many tech people.) The fact than a $130 Intel CPU can beat it by a wide margin, makes me sad.
I can't keep telling my friends "It's okay I get bad frames, because at least I'm supporting AMD." AMD is a billion dollar company. I think they'll be okay with me spending my money judiciously.
That said, if next year with Ryzen 1.5/2.0, I may look at them again before deciding to buy my first Intel rig in decades. I want to buy AMD but I gotta focus on them dolla bills these days. My whole life is about extracting as much as I can from as little spending / most-efficient spending as possible. I'm not opposed to spending money but it needs to be "as good value" that I'm getting back for those dollars. If I can fix something myself with ebay parts? I do that. If I can watch some youtube video and fix a $45 dollar drier that's worth $500 when running? I did that. All it needed was a heating element. Never opened (or even owned!) a washer or drier before. And I fixed both of them. It was a risk and it paid off. Likewise, with videogames. Humble bundles and extreme sales get me games like Skyrim for $13. That's 130 hours of gameplay for $13. Not bad.
Of course I'm ranting now. My last point is, again, I'm not opposed to spending money I just have to be careful since 99% of my money goes to medical bills. Once I have a higher paying job, I wouldn't mind blowing money on stupid stuff, or paying a mechanic/whoever to repair my stuff so I can spend my time relaxing.
Come to think of it. There's one more benefit to having less cores (though less bragging rights) but more machines. You can power down or service their hardware individually. And, you may get MORE performance because there's no contention. Each box has their own memory so you don't have to share the bandwidth of your DDR across, say, 4 VMs. And since most of us have "shells" of computers left over when we upgrade, it's really cheap to put old boxes into service. I've got netbooks laying around all over my house with broken screens that I could turn into SSH boxes (or extern monitors) for who-knows-what projects. I just don't have any need for them at the moment.
I built my last machine with a Athlon X4 630 into a gaming rig for my wife. But she hasn't even used it yet. (No spare room at my house these days.) The one machine I wanted to setup was my wife's old (1st gen?) i5 laptop that I was going to turn into a media center so we could watch movies/etc in our bedroom without using my main machine or needing my main machine to be on all night. That way, she could watch our movies and I could play a game at the same time. Right now, my one machine does everything and is cluttered with audio software, video software, games, media, etc AND runs my desktop monitor as well as our small bedroom TV. I have to switch monitors back-and-forth multiple times a day. (Thank god for Win+P. And Win10 switches monitors WAY FASTER than Win7.)
I guess this could have been a separate post. But eh, it's kind of related... by A.CC standards...