Personal computing discussed

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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:37 am

I think what he's trying to say is that most people are fine with SB/IB and even though later generations have a noticeable speed boost, it's nothing earth shattering where you go, "OMG! I can't live without that!". I have a SB i5 at work and an IB i7 desktop and Haswell i7 laptop at home. I'm the type that if I lose patience, I go out and buy a new system ASAP. But so far, I haven't felt the need and it will most likely stay that way unless HL:Alyx runs like **** on my IB or AVX-512 becomes an absolute requirement.
 
Concupiscence
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:43 am

I agree that Sandy Bridge onward's generally been good enough. The 2012 Retina MacBook Pro I inherited from my wife after she got a new Surface rolls along fine for what I ask of it. But even comparing a Core i5 3570K to the 6600K I owned a few years back was pretty striking if I pushed them. And as soon as you wade into high demand compute the gap only widens, and become a crevasse when more cores come into the mix. That's really all we're saying.
Work: Core i9 7940x, 32 gigs RAM, RX Vega 56 + GTX Titan Xm, Win10 Pro + Xubuntu 18.04
Media: Ryzen 7 1700, 16 gigs RAM, Radeon R9 Fury, Win10 Pro
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:10 am

Yeah, I guess that's the difference. Most users, including me, aren't really using software that pushes the CPU's to their limits. Just out of curiosity, I ran a countif() formula in Excel on an office i7-4770 and an 8th Gen laptop i5. The 8th gen i5 saved about 9 seconds when the formula worked on 5000 rows. So I estimated that for a million rows, the i5 would save around half an hour but the total execution time would still be more than five hours. Why would I want to buy a new PC just to save half an hour on something that I do occasionally? Don't know about Ryzen though. Maybe it will make a bigger difference with countif() on a million rows?

EDIT: wrote that hastily just before leaving office for the day. It was countifs(), not countif(). So it's doing a lot more than just counting.
Last edited by Igor_Kavinski on Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Concupiscence
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:20 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Yeah, I guess that's the difference. Most users, including me, aren't really using software that pushes the CPU's to their limits. Just out of curiosity, I ran a countif() formula in Excel on an office i7-4770 and an 8th Gen laptop i5. The 8th gen i5 saved about 9 seconds when the formula worked on 5000 rows. So I estimated that for a million rows, the i5 would save around half an hour but the total execution time would still be more than five hours. Why would I want to buy a new PC just to save half an hour on something that I do occasionally? Don't know about Ryzen though. Maybe it will make a bigger difference with countif() on a million rows?


I mean, probably, though it sounds like countif() is leaning hard on per-thread performance if a power-budgeted laptop with fewer cores is outpacing a Haswell i7. But when you move to operating on a million rows at a time that sounds like a database use case instead of an Excel one. At that point throwing cores and RAM at the problem is going to become more imperative.

But as we've discussed I'd only spend the money on lots of cores if you're planning to put them to real, active use. My 7940x spends a lot of its time grinding through media transcodes, scientific computing, and periodic streaming, where it's nice to have enough spare CPU power to encode a stream using x264's 1080p Medium quality preset while also playing a new game at 1440p without visible performance loss. It's the sort of thing that you'd otherwise have to compromise on, either by relying on the GPU's fast-but-inferior encoder or a less demanding CPU-driven preset with worse results, or using a second desktop with a capture card to grab the video and send it on to your streaming service. At some point I'll probably grab a 3900x to throw into my Ryzen's motherboard and convert it to my daily driver, letting the 7940x run Ubuntu or a hypervisor with a pair of beefy GPUs and turning it into a more dedicated compute node. But that's down the road.
Work: Core i9 7940x, 32 gigs RAM, RX Vega 56 + GTX Titan Xm, Win10 Pro + Xubuntu 18.04
Media: Ryzen 7 1700, 16 gigs RAM, Radeon R9 Fury, Win10 Pro
Tinker: Xeon E5-4640, 32 gigs ECC RAM, GTX 750 Ti, Slackware 14.2

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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:15 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
At some point I'll probably grab a 3900x to throw into my Ryzen's motherboard...


Love that about AMD. They are a much more greener company than Intel on account of this. Probably saving the world from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of unnecessary motherboards and the associated pollution.
 
Starfalcon
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Re: Starfalcon has built a new computer....not a joke

Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:38 am

Concupiscence wrote:
You aren't wrong about day to day work being pretty comparable.But I dunno... I've been struck by the speed gap between my Ryzen 1700 and the 8 core Sandy Bridge EP Xeon E5-4640 I just built. For well-threaded jobs the clock speed gap isn't gigantic - 2.5 GHz all core turbo on the Sandy, 3.15 GHz on Zen 1 - and the 1700 still walks away from it. In a Handbrake 1080p30 Fast encode the Xeon managed 35.8 fps, the Ryzen 59.1; in Cinebench R20, the Ryzen produced 3190, the Xeon 1750. And this is with the Ryzen running dual-channel DDR4-2400 versus the Xeon's quad-channel DDR3-1600. If I normalize those back, compensating for the Ryzen's 26% speed advantage, the Handbrake number would be 46.9 fps and 2532 for Cinebench R20. That's still an observed difference of ~30% and 44% to the aggregate IPC respectively.

The Xeon doesn't make me unhappy, but it hasn't put up the fight I expected. For weakly threaded apps there would be a full 1 GHz speed gap, so I'm not even going there, but there's more to the per-thread performance advantage than the clock speed delta alone makes up. I might manually underclock the Ryzen 1700 to a constant 2.5 GHz and re-run the benchmarks just for a closer apples to apples comparison... I'd grab an upgrade kit to nudge it to a matching 32 gigs of DDR4-3200 while I'm at it, but it's not hurting for that right now anyway.

Props to Starfalcon, by the way, for building a hyper rig. I'm planning to assemble a 3900x for a friend early next year to replace his iMac for multimedia work because he can't rationalize dropping six grand for an "entry-level" Mac Pro that would be beaten by a system costing about half as much. Every year Apple snorts more powdered money, I swear.


Yeah it is a really nice rig, I am super pleased with it. I spent a lot of time waiting for the 3950X, but I figured after all the supply issues with the 3900X, it would be months before being able to get one. I just got tired of waiting to upgrade, and the 3900X is more than enough for what I need anyway. Plus I tripled the cpu cores I had and doubled the memory all thanks to AMD :D

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