Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

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Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:37 pm

Hi all, I'm looking to build a new PC relatively soon, but I'm a little concerned about whether to invest in AMD or Nvidia on the graphics front. I realize no one knows for sure, but will it be the case that next gen games like Battlefield 4 will be more heavily optimized for AMD? That $169 GTX 660 looks mighty tempting, but I just can't pull the trigger if a similarly priced 7870 will be faster going forward.

On the CPU front, will octocore actually show some gaming benefits? The FX-8350 is obviously a lot cheaper than the 4770K. I'd buy the 4670K if I though 4 cores would be good enough.

I'm looking especially to keep my CPU for at least 5 years, and I tend not to upgrade my graphics card much either. My current system is an E8400, Geforce 9600 GT 512 mb, but it's finally preventing me from playing too many games.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:09 pm

Your cpu can still hold its own for the time being. If you are into gaming and on a budget, maybe look at a Radeon 7850/7870 or nvidia equivalent, this would get a few more years out of your PC and when you upgrade everything else, you could probably reuse the card for a little while also.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:29 pm

I doubt either chipset will inherently play games better, that's mostly hype hyped by hypesters. Go with whichever one you prefer or is a better deal at the time. Make sure that whatever card you get is appropriate for your intended display setup, i.e. a 7870 is great for single 1080p, too weak for dual displays and mad overkill for 1024x768.

More cores gives very little beneift because few real-world applications are capable of using more than one or two. Always go with a smaller number of faster cores. Do keep in mind that the 4670K and 4770K are both quad core chips, the i7 just throws in a mostly useless marketing gimmick and a not-so-useless larger L3 cache. E8400 is a god among megahurtz so it's probably not too much of a limiter.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:32 pm

5 years is a long time especially in computing

Current gen, intel is ahead of AMD. For gaming however it is very unlikely you will need an octocore, much less a 4770. Heck my 3770 doesn't usually hit more than 25% on most games. Personally if it was just gaming I've be interested in, I'd be looking at the low end of haswell rather than the the high end, the i5 is probably even overkill.

Channel that money into a graphics card, as they are just going up in importance.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:29 pm

Seems timely for me to revive this thread in light of
http://techreport.com/news/24976/bf4-ot ... ly-for-amd

Maybe I can make do for a little while, or pick up a 7870 when one is on sale again. I'd be interested in seeing what Steamroller has in store for us.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:03 pm

Short answer? No.

The upcoming console tech alignment won't (well, shouldn't) make any difference in the AMD vs. Intel CPU and Nvidia vs. AMD GPU debate. The best you can get is still Intel/Nvidia; substitute AMD GPUs when you can find one that doesn't sound like a leafblower and you don't need more performance than a single card can provide.

The development reality is that the porting of games from either console to the PC will strip out most, if not all, vendor-specific optimizations and that the developer will have to go out of their way to 'de-optimize' for CPUs and GPUs other than those used by the consoles.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:11 pm

jossie wrote:Seems timely for me to revive this thread in light of
http://techreport.com/news/24976/bf4-ot ... ly-for-amd

Maybe I can make do for a little while, or pick up a 7870 when one is on sale again. I'd be interested in seeing what Steamroller has in store for us.


Sensationalist journalism at its best :wink:
Do you know what Johan Andersson, Technical Director for Frostbite engine at DICE, has in his own gaming PC?
https://twitter.com/repi/status/346335279751237633
GeForce Titan :lol: And, of course, Intel's CPU. He should know best what Frostbite engine will run best on, right? :wink:

P.S: Reading the comments for these incorrect articles was fun, though :wink:
Last edited by JohnC on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:27 pm

JohnC wrote:P.S: Reading the comments for these incorrect articles was fun, though :wink:


I'm still not convinced the article was incorrect- this is EA we're talking about, not DICE 8)
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:28 pm

At least on the CPU side, if I were buying right now I'd still go with an Intel platform especially for gaming. AMD would have to show a 20%-30% improvement to catch up in gaming in cases where it's behind, and in cases where AMD isn't very far behind, there are tons of CPUs clumped up within a few FPS of each other. (Check out TR's FX-8350 review) which tells me that those games aren't very CPU-dependent anyway. You may spend a bit more but the performance is better and the TCO is lower because of Intel's power efficiency.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:30 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
JohnC wrote:P.S: Reading the comments for these incorrect articles was fun, though :wink:


I'm still not convinced the article was incorrect- this is EA we're talking about, not DICE 8)


Go to IGN's article and read their corrected title:
"Update: EA says Frostbite 3 Optimization Not Exclusive to AMD"

AMD pays EA for slapping their "Gaming Evolved" sticker on the box and for early Beta access (to which Nvidia can also have access, unofficially :wink: ) so they can optimize their drivers before the game based on that engine is out, they don't pay DICE for implementing hardware-specific optimizations in their engine :wink:
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:42 pm

JohnC wrote:Go to IGN's article and read their corrected title:
"Update: EA says Frostbite 3 Optimization Not Exclusive to AMD"

AMD pays EA for slapping their "Gaming Evolved" sticker on the box and for early Beta access (to which Nvidia can also have access, unofficially :wink: ) so they can optimize their drivers before the game based on that engine is out, they don't pay DICE for implementing hardware-specific optimizations in their engine :wink:


If I could get there from here, I would; but suffice it to say that while EA can't keep Nvidia's hands off of BF4, they very well could control their access to other Frostbite 3 games.

And it's not like EA is going to make a game on the PC platform that doesn't use Frostbite 3, that any of us will play. Did you see the article about not porting FIFA titles in the future because the average computers used to play them were 'too slow'?
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:46 pm

It is possible, but I doubt it will happen. EA is not interested in a single "dominating" hardware company on any platform, for obvious reasons. Think about it: if AMD will "win" the mobile and desktop GPU race - why would they still pay EA any money for their "Gaming Evolved" stickers? :wink:

Edit: just got another Johan's tweets:
"@repi: we do important optimizations when possible for all vendors, but not at the expense for other vendors"
Soo... Yea. Just like I said - DICE/EA are not interested to provide one hardware manufacturer with significantly more advantages than the other, regardless of what the trained monkeys (especially at AMD) might spew out :wink: The other devs might be more short-sighted, but hopefully they'll understand that too.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:00 am

Intel i5 CPU unless you're doing SERIOUS productivity (workstation) work. I went from an E8400 (OC to 3.6GHz easily at stock voltage) to an i5-3570K and I think the upgrade can be worth it if you have the money. More and more gaming tasks are being dumped off to the GPU, but having the improved IPC of modern Intel architecture in CPU limited games the difference can be significant. Furthermore, more games are starting to take advantage of more than 2 threads. Having a quad core will help on that front, as well as when other programs are asking for CPU cycles while gaming (see the Intel G2120's dismal performance in "multitasking while gaming.")

I don't think you need to worry too much about whether or not Nvidia will remain relevant through the new generation of consoles. They're still a major player. That being said, AMDs game bundles can potentially add A LOT of potential value ($150 worth for a 7870 game bundle) to their cards...whereas Nvidia is only including Metro - Last Light with GTX 660s and above. What Nvidia has in their favor is that the GTX 660 performs better than the 7850 2GB while selling for roughly the same price. Not sure if thats enough to sway the value perspective of the additional games though.

If you're still interested, MSI's GTX 660 is $175 after MIR right now and includes Metro - Last Light. A better deal would be to wait and see if any 7870's go on sale for $175 again.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:19 am

For the CPU question I still think i5s are the best gaming CPUs for the money. Maybe more games in the future will start using 8 cores, but I'd choose your CPU based on how games actually perform right now, not on future promises that may or may not happen. i7 are great gaming CPUs too of course, but for that extra $100 you get almost no benefit in game performance (plenty of benefit for video encoding and stuff like that though)

anotherengineer wrote:Your cpu can still hold its own for the time being.


I doubt that. Certain games (source engine games for example) may be somewhat playable on an E8400, but it's pretty slow by modern standards. I upgraded from an E8400@4ghz almost 2 years ago (to an i5-2500K@4.5ghz), and even in games that only used 2 cores, my framerates went up by probably 60-70%. In games that use 3-4 cores the performance was well over double what my E8400 achieved.

If you don't believe me just look at TR's Sandy Bridge review. In that review they tested a X2 565 (3.4ghz) which is roughly equivalent to an E8400 in performance.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:25 am

Since you mentioned that this will be a gaming PC you'd probably be well advised to get yourself something from Intel, preferably a Haswell model. I'd go for the i5-4670 myself if I was out for an Intel machine, or even go all out and get a 3770K or 4770K. Never mind the LGA2011 variants.. even the 3770K is a better choice than the least costly LGA2011 chip (i7-3820K), and going beyond the 3820 doesn't make a lot of sense.

I'm using an FX-8350 and I can honestly say that it's not really bad for gaming, and it usually delivers about 70% the average FPS of competing Intel chips. I don't game much though so I'm OK with it. To predict whether games in the future will be able to utilize 8 cores is difficult, especially when you're thinking about what could happen in the next 5 years, but two of the next-gen consoles both have 8 cores on tap so this may encourage game developers to make use of as many cores as they can. If they do end up utilizing 8 cores, that $180 FX-8350 sure looks far more compelling than a more expensive i5 or i7 assuming you can wait for that to happen, plus AM3+ boards are usually quite a bit cheaper. Time to check your Magic 8 Ball.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:03 pm

ronch wrote:AM3+ boards are usually quite a bit cheaper

I think that price difference for similarly featured boards is getting smaller and smaller. For example, you can get plenty of full-featured Z77 boards for under $100 (I used LGA 1155 because the 1150's aren't all available yet). I'm not overly familiar with all the AM3+ chipsets and their differences, but I'd still be shooting for that $85-$150 range of boards irregardless of AMD/Intel depending on what the budget and feature requirements were.

On a side note, I thought I remembered hearing something about there being two OSes on the new XBox and that each had dedicated CPU cores (ie 2 for the Windows-like OS and 6 for the gaming OS). Can anybody confirm?
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:10 pm

I ended up pulling the trigger on the MSI 660 for $175 after rebate. Gonna head to Microcenter this weekend to (probably) get 4670K + cheapo MSI mobo bundle for $260, and most the rest of the components.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:24 am

NovusBogus wrote:More cores gives very little benefit because few real-world applications are capable of using more than one or two. Always go with a smaller number of faster cores. Do keep in mind that the 4670K and 4770K are both quad core chips, the i7 just throws in a mostly useless marketing gimmick and a not-so-useless larger L3 cache. E8400 is a god among megahurtz so it's probably not too much of a limiter.

Well, your user name gives you away sir, loads of bogus info there.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:50 am

smilingcrow wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:More cores gives very little benefit because few real-world applications are capable of using more than one or two. Always go with a smaller number of faster cores. Do keep in mind that the 4670K and 4770K are both quad core chips, the i7 just throws in a mostly useless marketing gimmick and a not-so-useless larger L3 cache. E8400 is a god among megahurtz so it's probably not too much of a limiter.

Well, your user name gives you away sir, loads of bogus info there.


Yup. Thing is, there was a point in time where he was right; but that is not today (or yesterday or three years ago). We're up to the point today where we can use more than four physical cores and more than 5.0GHz in Sandy Bridge IPC terms (6GHz if you speak AMD).
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:14 am

Airmantharp wrote:We're up to the point today where we can use more than four physical cores

Fast Intel quad cores are the CPU of choice for gaming.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:23 pm

End User wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:We're up to the point today where we can use more than four physical cores

Fast Intel quad cores are the CPU of choice for gaming.


And that's what I run!

But the case for using Hyper-Threading (expensive) and having six or more real cores (even more expensive) is being made, too. I'm wondering if the next crop of games will show a larger performance delta at equal clockspeeds between the Hyper-threaded part and the cut-down part, unlike what we saw with the last two generations and contemporary games.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:50 pm

AMD can offer what neither Intel nor nVidia can - a complete and most importantly to Microsoft and Sony inexpensive CPU/GPU solution. But there is a catch. AMD CPUs are far behind Intel. AMD GPUs have fallen behind nVidia as well and I can fully attest to it because I upgraded from Sapphire HD 7970 to Asus GTX Titan. When AA is enabled TItan can deliver double performance while remaining whisper quiet. Plus, to me it looks like Titan has better texture filtering than 7970 but it is very subjective. I am glad that nVidia finally designed a super GPU for those of us who would like a single card solution rather than tinker with SLi. Hopefully they will continue this tradition with Titan 2.

I have been using ATI cards exclusively up until last week. AMD is just not willing to support games that I play RAGE and Metro. It took them over a year to release a driver for Metro 2033, then took many months to fix RAGE issue, lo and behold Metro Last Light driver is not even on horizon.

Unless AMD invents something revolutionary my next rig will be Core i7 5xxx E-series with a Titan 2 or whatever comes to replace it. :D
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:11 pm

I'll agree that Nvidia has the better GPU technology (and the absolute fastest GPU), but not for the reasons you mentioned.

Nvidia's 'half-Kepler' GK104 spin is simply more efficient than AMD's large GPU (Cayman?). It does more work per watt AND per mm^2 of die, while using the same TSMC 28nm manufacturing process.

However, AMD isn't nearly as far behind hardware wise as they are driver wise; we're still waiting for their 'new' driver that fixes the stuttering issue with multiple cards. This is a big deal, especially with 4k coming up. AMD has a chance to be the 'budget' option again, but they're actually going to be held accountable for the user experience this time. Thanks TR!

For CPUs, it depends on where you're looking. For desktop gaming CPUs Intel has a clear lead, but that doesn't really extend anywhere that is power-usage agnostic, and there are things that having a highly-clocked CPU with eight live x86 cores will put AMD ahead, so long as the FPUs don't get abused.

Just note that Jaguar is worlds ahead of any shipping Atom. Intel does have a competitive Atom coming, but it isn't here yet; conceivably they could have taken that Xbox/PS contract out of AMD's hands if they weren't a year behind AMD in the 'tablet' form-factor space that Jaguar competes in.

And as for 'quiet'? That's all on AMD. The Titan uses more power and dissipates more heat than an HD7970, but it also has Nvidia's latest blower; and unlike AMD, Nvidia puts effort into their blowers. That's one of the things that sold me on a pair of GTX670's. No HD7970 could be that quiet (not with AMD's blower), the HD7950's couldn't even be purchased with them, and the third-party crap everyone was slapping on AMD cards is just not suited to running more than one card in a system. Gotta get that heat out!
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:33 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I'll agree that Nvidia has the better GPU technology (and the absolute fastest GPU), but not for the reasons you mentioned.

Nvidia's 'half-Kepler' GK104 spin is simply more efficient than AMD's large GPU (Cayman?). It does more work per watt AND per mm^2 of die, while using the same TSMC 28nm manufacturing process.

However, AMD isn't nearly as far behind hardware wise as they are driver wise; we're still waiting for their 'new' driver that fixes the stuttering issue with multiple cards. This is a big deal, especially with 4k coming up. AMD has a chance to be the 'budget' option again, but they're actually going to be held accountable for the user experience this time. Thanks TR!

For CPUs, it depends on where you're looking. For desktop gaming CPUs Intel has a clear lead, but that doesn't really extend anywhere that is power-usage agnostic, and there are things that having a highly-clocked CPU with eight live x86 cores will put AMD ahead, so long as the FPUs don't get abused.

Just note that Jaguar is worlds ahead of any shipping Atom. Intel does have a competitive Atom coming, but it isn't here yet; conceivably they could have taken that Xbox/PS contract out of AMD's hands if they weren't a year behind AMD in the 'tablet' form-factor space that Jaguar competes in.

And as for 'quiet'? That's all on AMD. The Titan uses more power and dissipates more heat than an HD7970, but it also has Nvidia's latest blower; and unlike AMD, Nvidia puts effort into their blowers. That's one of the things that sold me on a pair of GTX670's. No HD7970 could be that quiet (not with AMD's blower), the HD7950's couldn't even be purchased with them, and the third-party crap everyone was slapping on AMD cards is just not suited to running more than one card in a system. Gotta get that heat out!


I will admit to being prejudiced against Nvidia, because they consistently brought out cards which performed blindingly in the benchmarks but as soon as they were out in the wild they did nothing but BSOD and that for months whilst they fobbed the customers of with "rare instance" or "new driver" and it took them at least three months to have the drivers reasonably running with the hardware. This was not a once off for one generation of Nvidia cards but something that occurred generation after generation. For all I know they might still be doing it, I don't know and don't care any more because their policy thoroughly sickened me off them and I don't even look at them any more.

Thus I would personally not touch an Nvidia card with a bargepole out of principle. Who buys an AMD graphics adapter with a stock cooler anyway? I know I never have.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:57 pm

Nec_V20 wrote:I will admit to being prejudiced against Nvidia, because they consistently brought out cards which performed blindingly in the benchmarks but as soon as they were out in the wild they did nothing but BSOD and that for months whilst they fobbed the customers of with "rare instance" or "new driver" and it took them at least three months to have the drivers reasonably running with the hardware. This was not a once off for one generation of Nvidia cards but something that occurred generation after generation. For all I know they might still be doing it, I don't know and don't care any more because their policy thoroughly sickened me off them and I don't even look at them any more.


I'm not going to challenge the veracity of your statement; I fully believe your experience. I will say, though, that your experience is likely far from average, and that being more specific would help us better understand your stated experience and argument(s) that it underpins.

Nec_V20 wrote:Thus I would personally not touch an Nvidia card with a bargepole out of principle. Who buys an AMD graphics adapter with a stock cooler anyway? I know I never have.


I bought two HD6950 2GB cards for use with Battlefield 3 (most strenuous case) on a 2560x1600 monitor. I wanted a relatively quiet and compact system, and a big part of that was making sure that the heat could actually get out of the case. Those massive open-air coolers that perform so well on benchmarker's open test setups have shown to strangle themselves when put inside an enclosure that isn't just as open as the desk and isn't bristling with fans, which was counter to my build thesis.

The AMD cards tested to be as quiet or quieter than the closest Nvidia equivalent, the GTX570, and indeed they were fairly quiet overall; what killed them was the multi-GPU performance. Enabling Crossfire seemed to cut the 'effective' frame rate down to a third of what it should be and what FRAPS was reporting in-game. It was bad.

So just like you have issues with Nvidia, I have issues with AMD, and I won't touch them again until they're cleared by TR and Anandtech (and [H]ard|OCP for that matter).
Last edited by Airmantharp on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:01 pm

And this just came across the [H] thread- so much for Gaming Evolved.


/sly snicker
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:06 pm

I'm not going to challenge the veracity of your statement; I fully believe your experience. I will say, though, that your experience is likely far from average, and that being more specific would help us better understand your stated experience and argument(s) that it underpins.


I should have been clearer, I'm sorry about that. If it were just me having bad experiences then I might chalk that up to bad karma.

One of the most respected - actually the most respected - Computer Magazines is the German "C't Magazin" which has been going for nearly three decades now. It was they who uncovered how systematic the practice was by Nvidia to the point where they would no longer publish any benchmark results but rather used real world applications and games to see if the drivers delivered with newly released Nvidia cards would run without a BSOD. Regularly the cards would fail and whereas other magazines were gushing about the speed of the new cards the C't Magazine would once again call Nvidia out for fraud.

BTW the C't Magazin is the only computer magazine which makes a profit purely from the sale of the magazine itself and is not reliant upon advertising. Over the years companies who got bad reviews threatened to pull their advertising and the magazine responded essentially with, "Don't let the door slam you in the ass on the way out".

As I said this went on for a period of many years.
Last edited by Nec_V20 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:14 pm

I bought two HD6950 2GB cards for use with Battlefield 3 (most strenuous case) on a 2560x1600 monitor. I wanted a relatively quiet and compact system, and a big part of that was making sure that the heat could actually get out of the case.


You are the exact opposite of me :lol: I got a CoolerMaster HAF X case for the cooling of my system as a whole but I have not been tempted to get a second graphics card.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:39 pm

Most of my 'thesis' mentioned above centered around making the system quiet, but a good part of the remainder centered around making it clean. The central theme there was to make sure that the system had positive airflow, with more cumulative CFM directed into the case than set as exhaust, and that each intake was properly filtered.

I can say that while the AMD cards are gone, the thesis has worked- the system is small, as intended (compare the Fractal Design Define R3/R4 with an Antec P183, which shares a similar purpose), it's quiet at idle and sounds only like air moving under load, and it stays very clean inside.

The video card solution fits in here as it is far easier to set up a good airflow path if their coolers actually exhaust air instead of just blowing it around. I means that you don't need any other fans set to exhaust other than what the CPU needs on an integrated water-cooler (I used an H60), so all of your fans are intakes.

Further, if you have significant positive pressure, the blowers will not have to spin up as high as they would for an open-bench review, working to equalize the noise levels between necessarily louder and usually buzzier squirrel cage fans and quiet 120mm/140mm case fans.
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Re: Next gen gaming = AMD CPU/GPU?

Postposted on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:03 pm

Airmantharp wrote:And this just came across the [H] thread- so much for Gaming Evolved.


/sly snicker

:lol: Just as I expected. Don't look at teh box labels, guys - buy whatever hardware the actual game/engine developer buys for him/herself :wink:

P.S: See??? My Titan gets a whopping 1 FPS extra compared to GTX780! I am so glad that I didn't wait for that junky budget card! :wink:
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