Intel: Chips Will Have to Sacrifice Speed Gains for Energy Savings

Discussion in 'hardware' started by lotuseclat79, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Not sure this is really a bad thing as actual "clock" speeds really have not vastly improved much in recent years. But the advances in technologies have allowed more work (better performance) in each clock cycle to increase bandwidth, reduce energy consumption and generate less heat. All good things.

    Anyway, we've known for years now that silicon could only take us so far, and that limit is soon approaching. Intel will sort this out. My worry is AMD will not have the resources to follow suit. We need AMD to keep nipping at the heels of Intel to keep driving Intel forward. If AMD can't follow and there is no longer any competition to Intel, innovation and consumers will suffer the cost.
     
  3. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I believe CPU speed is not that important for every day computer usage. You're better of with a good SSD and a fast GPU.
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah, speed alone can be a bottleneck, but speed alone does not fully set the bandwidth (amount of data or bits per second) a CPU can crunch per clock cycle. Number of cores, size and number of on-die caches, bus speeds, number of pipelines supported and more greatly impact how much data a CPU can process with the same clock speed.

    No doubt, the Intel 3.4GHz P4 was quick in its day, but it's single core, tiny cache, fewer instruction sets, etc. is no match for the Intel 2.2/2.8GHz Quad i5-6400T even thought the P4 is a "faster" CPU in terms of actual clock speeds.

    SSDs can greatly improve many computer functions, but once the file/program has been loaded into RAM, the drive steps back and plays a much smaller role in performance for most tasks (depending on how much RAM is installed).

    And a fast GPU certainly improves performance for graphics oriented tasks, but not all CPU intensive tasks are dependent on the GPU. Even some games are highly dependent on the CPU and less so on the GPU. And of course, the CPU has to hand off the tasks to the GPU (though admittedly, it takes little CPU horsepower to hand off tasks).

    So bottom line, it really depends on what you are doing with your computer. If, for example, you do a lot "cloud" computing and Internet tasks, a slow Internet connection can bog down the fastest CPUs and GPUs. And it also depends on just about everything else too. There are many potential bottlenecks in every computer.
     
  5. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    I hope AMD's new family of chips doesn't disappoint, because their GPUs have been a bit of a bummer.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think a lot of people think when AMD puts out a new line of processors, whether GPUs or CPUs, they must beat out the latest line of Intel processors. That is just not true. What they need to do is offer a competitive choice for consumers - and they do that well. Not many of us can afford a maker's top of the line processors so there are many "lessor" models we can choose from, regardless the maker, and still have a great performing computer.
     
  7. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    It's based on my own expercience. During browsing, I hardly see any true speed improvement, seems like the CPU still has difficulty to process everything in a smooth way. But I guess it also depends on the quality of browser engines.

    In other words, a faster CPU will not improve web-page loading. But a fast SSD will improve application start up time, and a fast GPU will speed up video gaming. Those are the things that you will immediately notice. A faster type of RAM would probably also speed things up.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Your observation is correct, but not your conclusion. The typical bottleneck when browsing is the network speed, not the CPU (except for very budget systems).
    This is all true, but a fast GPU can speed up many functions - including page loading for some, very graphics intensive pages.

    When someone seeks upgrade advice, I generally start by recommending more RAM as that generally gives the most bang for your money (depending on your starting point). More RAM gives the CPU more space to operate in. This in turn, means the CPU does not have to shuffle (swap) data to and from the page file near as often and that improves performance as well.

    After ensuring an adequate supply of RAM, I then recommend generally recommend a better graphics solution (again, depending on starting point).

    Only after ensuring lots of RAM and decent graphics do I start to look at upgrading the CPU.
     
  9. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    Intel will keep amd around to prevent accusations of monopoly. If amd needs tech help, Intel will provide it
     
  10. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    You're misunderstanding, this hasn't got anything to do with network speed, but I'm talking about high CPU usage during the loading of a heavy website. This often is the case when a site is full of scripts and videos or 3d animations. You will hardly see a difference in performance between a Intel Core i5 and i7.

    But like you said, it's likely that a faster GPU will improve things. On the other hand, perhaps it's not the CPU to blame, but instead we should blame app developers. Because Chrome/Blink clearly renders pages more smoothly compared to Firefox/Gecko. BTW, you should check out TinyResMeter a cool app that monitors RAM/CPU/Network and other stuff.

    http://perso.accelance.net/~pesoft/trm/us_trm.html
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    o_O First you say, "...seems like the CPU still has difficulty to process everything in a smooth way."

    But now you are saying, "You will hardly see a difference in performance between a Intel Core i5 and i7."

    That suggests what I said above, and that is the bottleneck is not with the CPU and most likely the network speed.

    And sorry, but to suggest smooth displays during browsing "hasn't got anything do with network speed", is just incorrect. While limited Internet and network bandwidth is certainly not the only potential bottleneck when displaying sites full of scripts, videos or 3D animations, it is a very common, if not the most common.
     
  12. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Seriously Bill, is it really that hard to figure out what I mean? I also said that Chrome seems to render pages more smoothly with less CPU spikes compared to Firefox, so speed hasn't got anything to do with it.

    My main point is that for activities like web browsing, online video/music and video gaming, CPU speed isn't that important, especially if software hasn't been designed to take advantage of the CPU. I didn't feel any difference between the Intel Core i5 and i7. But a faster GPU and SSD will most likely help to make the experience more smooth for most people.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    "Seriously", Rasheed? You had to make this technical discussion personal? Can't you state what you mean? Do you know what you mean? Or do you just refuse to admit you accidently misspoke? :(

    Maybe you don't realize you keep flip-flopping back and forth! I don't know, but I don't want this to be contentious.

    You said (in response to my reply),
    I have quoted this misstatement each time, giving you an opportunity to clarify yourself, but you don't! That can only lead us to believe that you still believe what you are saying is correct - that the CPU has difficulty processing the data - while at the same time you claim a faster CPU speed will not improve page loading. o_O This is our primary area of disconnection - otherwise we agree completely! :) Well, almost.

    You blame the browser quality. You blame the developers.

    You also claim network speed has nothing to do with page loading!!! :eek: "Seriously?" :rolleyes: Tell that to folks on a slow DSL or worse, still on dial-up.

    The "speed" in which a processor can crunch data is NOT based only on the clock speed. As you correctly noted, with web browsing, the i5 and i7 perform similarly. That clearly indicates the bottleneck is not with the CPU - that is, the CPU is NOT having difficulty! So how can you claim the CPU is having difficulty?

    You extracted two paragraphs out of my reply but left out the two most important - the first and last.
    Let me reiterate the point. There are many potential bottlenecks with every computer. These bottlenecks vary with every computer and every network depending on the components inside, and the bandwidth (speed) capabilities of the network and Internet connections. And finally, these bottlenecks step into and out of play, depending on the tasks being performed. For example, if surfing the Internet, the speed of the Internet connection comes into play. If compiling a large database, the speed of the processor and amount of RAM comes into play.

    And for the record, the "amount" of RAM is much more significant in terms of RAM performance than the "speed" of the RAM. If RAM is my bottleneck, I'll take more RAM over faster RAM any day.

    I agree completely with many tasks, and especially browsing the Internet, the CPU is less important than other components - namely, the amount of RAM and the graphics solution for graphics intensive pages (and of course, network speed). And for many disk intensive tasks, a SSD is the way to go. But for many tasks, more CPU horsepower can also alleviate a major bottleneck. So once again, it depends on what you are doing with your computer.

    Again, we are in agreement with most of what you are saying. Where we disagree is (1) your claim CPUs have difficulty processing web pages (regardless the CPU's capabilities) and (2) your claim network speed has nothing to do with displaying webpages.
     
  14. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    cpu speed is massively important in modern web browsers.

    Believe it or not the prime reason for me updating from my i5 750 to my haswell 4670k was firefox performance.
    Chrome is also cpu bottlenecked although not as bad as firefox due to its multi process model.

    Many modern games also rely on cpu performance quote a lot as well.

    e.g. gta5 maxes out my 4670k (even with it overclocked to 4.3ghz), final fantasy 13 and 13-2 use the cpu heavily as they load up one core.

    So intel have a problem if they cannot improve per core performance on newer chips. or at least maintain current performance.

    Using modern browsers on a cpu thats based on 5 year old tech is pretty painful e.g. my laptop, it cannot even scroll web pages smoothly as the cpu cannot handle it.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I certainly agree it can be - but much does depend on the content being downloaded too. Plus I note many websites today have been re-coded to reduce the amount of content because more and more users are accessing these sites with smart phones, tablets and other "low horsepower" devices.
    Yep, as mentioned above.
    That is not a good, illustrative example - it is way too vague. As I also noted, there are many potential bottlenecks in every computer. A 5 year old quad core CPU might easily outperform a modern dual - depending on the specific models. We have no clue how much RAM is in that notebook. Nor do we know anything about the graphics solution. A high-end CPU can easily be choked by a small amount of RAM - especially if some of that RAM has been stolen for use by integrated graphics.

    One vague example does not, by any means, set the rule.
     
  16. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I keep seeing the comparison between an i5 and i7 relating to web performance. This is a dumb comparison. The difference between i5 and i7 (assuming you're comparing the 6600 and 6700, or similar models. Not the lowest i5 with top i7) is that the i7 has hyper threading and 2mb more of l3 cache. It also has a slight clock speed increase (I think it's 100MHz iirc). The reason why this comparison doesn't make sense is because computation in your web browser(Javascript) is single threaded. So going to a system with more cores/threads won't decrease computation time. You need higher IPC and frequency to decrease it. My experience has been that my desktop (4c/8t 4.6GHz) is noticeably faster than my laptop (4c/8t 2.6GHz) in general computer use and web browsing. They both have sufficient ram (8Gb+), both have near identical SSDs (250gb 840 Evo/850Evo), both have discrete GPU's, both OS's the same and configured the same, both on the same network.

    Of course, with the recent gaining popularity of HTML5 web workers, maybe in the future, more cores/threads will increase web browsing speed.
     
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yep. Great points.

    Ummm, not sure that is right. I note this 2009 article, Mozilla to add multithreading to Firefox where it reports it is already partially enabled in IE8 and Chrome.

    And while it is true that javascript itself does not support multithreading, you can simulate multithreading in javascript.

    Now whether the site developers code for it or not is another story.

    I agree 100% comparing an i5 to an i7 relating to web performance is not a fair comparison. There are just too many variables that affect the time it takes from when your computer requests the page until it is fully displayed on your monitor that have absolutely nothing to do with your CPU. These include how the page was coded, the servers performance, network/internet latency at that specific moment, and the bandwidth provided by your ISP as per the contract between you and your ISP.

    And then there's the rest of the computer and Windows itself. Windows is very capable of multithreading/multitasking - especially with a multi-core CPU. Assuming you are running your security programs (in addition to any other program you have running), this, the amount of system RAM, and more all affect how fast a page is fully displayed on the monitor.
     
  18. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    This is saying the browser itself is multithreaded, not that the webpages are. This just means that the browser can run sites in separate processes or harvest your data in another thread, etc.
    Asynchronicity in Javascript is not multi-threading. It's just non-blocking. There's a big difference there. Like I said, with Webworkers, you can actually spawn child threads that can run concurrently with your main thread or any other threads you spawn but this hasn't really caught on until recently. I love me some Javascript though. I'm a big proponent of it but the other devs on my team aren't fans. It's funny how it's a very 'you love it or hate it' kinda thing.
     
  19. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Right. That goes along with what I was saying above about the developers - support for and implementation of are two totally different things.

    I have a good friend who develops JavaScript code and he says the same thing. I think another problem with JavaScript is perception. It get a bad rap as some folks associate it with Java yet they are totally unrelated.
     
  20. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    low ram will increase i/o not cpu usage, in fact higher ram increases cpu usage as searching bigger memory addresses is cpu intensive, but anyway the info you want is this.

    core 2 duo t5750, max cpu speed set to 99% in power settings which makes it go 1 bin down from the max speed
    3 gig of ddr2 ram frequency 333mhz
    onboard intel 965 which has no acceleration in firefox due to the devs blocking the driver
    smooth scrolling enabled in firefox

    Simply put if scroll up/down holding the arrow key cpu usage is saturated on one core pretty much on any site even plain text sites, if the site is heavy images etc. it is really slow and jerky.
    Loading pages is also slow due to cpu been saturated
    ram is not saturated.

    I do know how to diagnose what a bottleneck is thank you :) its just the way modern browsers have gone, now days they app launchers and are effectively a virtual OS.

    if I disable javascript globally in the browser it does become much easier for the laptop cpu to handle. But of course so many sites these days need javascript to work properly.
     
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Sorry, but I don't agree with this. Yes, low RAM will increase I/O. But the CPU and OS have to manage that increased I/O activity by swapping lots of small chunks of data into and from the Page File. Being able to stuff more into RAM is easier (and much faster) than breaking up chunks of data, prioritizing it, putting some in RAM and some in the PF.
    Maybe, maybe not. Both circumstances depend on way too many variables, such that such blanket statements are not valid. You would need to know the specifications of the computer, the network, and the tasks being performed in order to determine if the problem is CPU or RAM utilization - or both. If not network bandwidth or server issues.

    Now you can cherry-pick a scenario that fits your description, but cherry-picked scenarios don't set the rule. In fact, because virtually every computer is different, and because there are billions of different webpages out there that may or may not adhere to one of many sets of standards, and because ISPs and webservers are all unique too, there is no set rule (except, maybe, in a controlled, laboratory environment).
     
  22. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Per the article:

    'Particularly as we look at the Internet of things, the focus will move from speed improvements to dramatic reductions in power,” Holt said. Power is a problem across the computing spectrum. The carbon footprint of data centers operated by Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies is growing at an alarming rate. And the chips needed to connect many more household, commercial, and industrial objects from toasters to cars to the Internet will need to draw as little power as possible to be viable.'

    Carbon footprint ? The Internet of things ? Is that what is important ??
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It may not be the topmost priority, but it is certainly a major priority - as it should be. To power all these computers consumes a lot of fossil fuel and we are destroying our world for our children. If a naysayer to that, we are at least leaving a huge mess for children to clean up.
     
  24. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    Bill the facts are in the circumstances I gave you for my laptop ram was not saturated and cpu was.

    Now regardless of what happens with performance, intel will get more efficient on power usage (as are amd and nvidia), its the direction the industry is going, but so far intel have for the most part done it without loss of performance.

    An indication that high ram usage slows thing down, is see what happens when you fully populate the cache on a 16+ gig system e.g. it becomes laggy to use (not due to i/o) as it has to search large memory addresses for data.
     
  25. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Are you suggesting only Intel has been able to accomplish this without loss of performance? If so, I don't agree with that either. While some of their CPU/APU processors consume the same or even more power than some of the their previous generation processors, they are more "efficient". That is, they are capable of doing more work per watt consumed.
     
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