Piledriver has arrived - a cruncher's view
Piledriver, the improved Bulldozer, has arrived and has met with mixed reviews.
While traditionally somewhat pro Intel-biased sites as AnandTech "Vishera is a step in the right direction for AMD, it manages to deliver tangibly better performance than last year's disappointing FX processor without increasing power consumption. Thanks to architectural and frequency improvements, AMD delivers up to 20% better performance than last year's FX-8150 for a lower launch price, while remaining within the same thermal envelope"
and Tom's hardware "More speed, significantly improved efficiency, and a sensible price tag" had mild verdicts, Dutch enthusiasts site Tweakers was much harsher and trashes the energy consumption of the new CPU -even though you can see it to be lower than Bulldozer even in their graphs. Frankly, I'm not that surprized to see an octacore consume more than a quad, but the Dutch editor refuses to compare Piledriver with the i7 line -which consumes at the level of FX-8350! They also included the A10-5800 in those graphs and that gives an interesting picture when compared to the graphs from AnandTech. Overall it seems the A10-5800K is the more interesting quad if you have to choose between the A10-5800K and the FX-4300 (let alone the A10-5700!).
Taking into account the costs for a new motherboard -or not, if you already have a Bulldozer blazing- and the price of electricity one can ask oneselve whether Trinity might not be the better choice for the 24/7/365 cruncher as both purchase and running costs will be lower. In all honesty, one should measure the wattage per core though to judge the various FX CPUs rightly.
Last edited by Dirk Broer; 10-26-2012 at 09:36 PM.
Reason: Wattage per core
I keep seeing AMD coming out with slight improvements in each iteration, but I was really hoping they would come out with something brand new and innovative. I am still running my original AM3 motherboard that has been faithful to me for the last 4+ years, and would like to upgrade to something new.
Quoting Scotty from Star Trek "I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!", with a Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition at full blast, and all 4 RAM slots maxed out with 4x8Gb DDR 1600, all I need is a couple of Radeon HDs 79xx and it'll blow up! (But that's out of my budget for now)
I am just waiting for a new chipset (maybe an AM4?) that brings AMD back up to speed with all the new technologies like PCIe 3.0, maybe a DDR4 memory controller, Thunderbolt support, faster HyperTransport (last revision was back in 2008), etc.
Maybe in 2013...
Well, I don't know what chipset your present mobo has, but when you have a AMD 890FX, 970, 990X or 990FX you ought to be able to run Bulldozer and Piledriver.
The Phenom II X6 1100T won some benchmarks from the Bulldozer FX-8150, but Piledriver FX-8350 ought to be better on all benchmarks, so also with BOINC.
Last edited by Dirk Broer; 11-02-2012 at 11:58 AM.
Unfortunately no, the 8xx and 9xx chipsets didn't exist at the time yet. I did get the best AMD chipset available at the time, 790X, and the motherboard with the most all-around features that was under a reasonable price.
I have a Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P (rev 1.0),
When I build a computer the most critical points to me are the motherboard and the power supply, and I will spend an arm and a leg if necessary to make sure I have a good solid reliable base, and then I slowly expand to better CPUs, more RAM, etc.
Well then, you have the best CPU your mobo will support, plugged it to the max with higest speed memory the board supports, so in terms of upgrade you are left
with the video card as the best option, boinc-wise. I do not think an eventual SSD will affect the BOINC performance more than a better graka.
In terms of efficiency the HD 79xx series is the best AMD has to offer -and when that is as far above your budget as it is above mine, you could think about buying a HD 7770 (or two). It has a GFlop/Watt tdp ratio of 16,00 which is by far the best in it's class, so good performance together with a decent power-bill (unlike my last: I appear to burn 400% the wattage of my neighbours and can expect the police pretty soon as they might think I have a hidden cannabis plantation -judged by my power bill- No officer, those are just computers!)
The latest loot of the Piledriver tree has arrived: 3300-, 4300- & 6300-series Opterons The cheapest 16-core is also the most cost-effective: the 6366 HE (around $500) has a TDP of only 85 Watt, that's 5.3 Watt per core. Try running your desktop that cheap.....though you need some pretty non-standard hardware to be able to build a system around it (case, PSU, registered ECC RAM). Non-standard for us desktop home crunchers anyhow, data centers will surely appriciate the 6366 'High-efficiency', as they already have all other needed equipment to fit them in.
Last edited by Dirk Broer; 11-06-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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