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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