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choosing between Intel vs AMD CPU for everyday office/computing in 2017/8


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#1 seraphin

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 12:47 PM

There are lots of articles on the Internet about Intel vs AMD CPU, but for a pre-built laptop, in 2018, AMD laptops still seem to be lower in price. The question is, from a financial standpoint, which is better to achieve the performance needed below -

 

Everyday office work, multiple files of the same type opened and worked on at the same time, including files from Microsoft Suite (WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT ... etc), files from Adobe PDF Reader & Illustrator, and multiple tabs open on Browser for online information search.

On top of all these, from time to time, use the laptop as a terminal to run some codes through a supercomputer

No gaming, no video editing, no video streaming

 

Three main objectives

1. good durability/reliability of the machine - longer term budgeting

2. good speed - so that work can be done at the end of the day

3. immediate low-end to moderate budget ($500-800) - cannot get a high-end business unit that costs >$1500

 

In the past AMD seems to have heat issues on the motherboard, which reduces the durability of the machine.

Also, there is this constant hyper-threading v. multi-core difference between the two CPUs, although for a non-IT person, what this difference would do to their everyday work is not clear.

 

Can anyone help break down the myth and provide some easy-to-understand primer ?

 

A great many thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

If talking about new Ryzen APU's, there is not much discussion about hyper-threading v. multi-core difference because both Ryzen and Intel has SMT (Intel calls it Hyper threading). Also today AMD has lot cooler CPU's than Intel has. Ryzen also has much better GPU that can be used for calculations if software supports.

 

Also because Ryzen is immune to Meltdown bug, it's somewhat impossible to recommend any Intel CPU right now.



#3 seraphin

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 02:31 PM

If talking about new Ryzen APU's, there is not much discussion about hyper-threading v. multi-core difference because both Ryzen and Intel has SMT (Intel calls it Hyper threading). Also today AMD has lot cooler CPU's than Intel has. Ryzen also has much better GPU that can be used for calculations if software supports.

 

Also because Ryzen is immune to Meltdown bug, it's somewhat impossible to recommend any Intel CPU right now.

 

What about non-Ryzen series, especially A-series such as A6, A9, A10, A12 to Intel counterparts, as there are not that many pre-build, low-to-mid-end laptops with Ryzen APU ? Are A-series susceptible to meltdown issues and/or other problems ?



#4 britechguy

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 02:40 PM

I believe that all of the A-Series APUs are not vulnerable to Meltdown but are vulnerable to Spectre.

 

I just ran InSpectre on the machine I'm using, which is an A12 box, and those are the results.   I think it's the same on the A6 and A8 machines I own, too, but won't swear to that.

 

For the common tasks in an office such as e-mailing, document preparation with an office suite, and web browsing you would be hard pressed to find a netbook that wasn't up to those tasks.

 

I haven't had a day's trouble out of the A-Series APUs in any of my machines that have them.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#5 seraphin

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 02:58 PM

I believe that all of the A-Series APUs are not vulnerable to Meltdown but are vulnerable to Spectre.

 

I just ran InSpectre on the machine I'm using, which is an A12 box, and those are the results.   I think it's the same on the A6 and A8 machines I own, too, but won't swear to that.

 

For the common tasks in an office such as e-mailing, document preparation with an office suite, and web browsing you would be hard pressed to find a netbook that wasn't up to those tasks.

 

I haven't had a day's trouble out of the A-Series APUs in any of my machines that have them.

 

My apology - just realized I used the term "meltdown" COMPLETELY incorrectly (and didn't know what spectre is).

Now with some clarity, beside malicious programs causing a meltdown or a spectre, are APUs having issues with heat (generating too much heat), chip durability, motherboard issue ...etc (hardware issues) ?

 

On a separate note, a quick google search suggests that A-series, although purported to be on par to, say, i5, actually run much slower. So what does the statement mean "you will be hard pressed to find an AMD-laptop not up to the task" ???

 

Does it mean as a typical office computer user who runs two machines side-by-side for the same types of office work, they would NOT feel/know the difference between an AMD-laptop and an Intel-laptop ???

 

Any help to clarify will be appreciated. Thanks


Edited by seraphin, 01 March 2018 - 04:05 PM.


#6 Drillingmachine

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:40 PM

AMD A-series APU's are Bulldozer based, Ryzen based CPU's are much better.

But as you said, average user wouldn't probably see any difference between A-series and ix.

For more heavy use, ix and Ryzen are better than A-series.

AMD CPU's are also much less vulnerable to Spectre than Intel CPU's.

#7 seraphin

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:10 PM

AMD A-series APU's are Bulldozer based, Ryzen based CPU's are much better.

But as you said, average user wouldn't probably see any difference between A-series and ix.

For more heavy use, ix and Ryzen are better than A-series.

AMD CPU's are also much less vulnerable to Spectre than Intel CPU's.

 

Thanks for the input !

I just edited my earlier response for clarity.

I did NOT mean to say an average user would not see a difference between A-series and ix.

I was ACTUALLY asking if an average would see a difference or not.

 

Is it fair to conclude from your experience A-series are as good as ix, when used for ordinary office work ? Thank you.



#8 britechguy

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:14 PM

All I can tell you is that even our now ancient A6 had no trouble having several Microsoft Office programs open along with a web browser with multiple tabs open.  Since I generally user webmail interfaces rather than email clients those were generally not open, though they were when I was doing some testing.

 

You would be very hard pressed to bog down anything A8 and above with a collection of the most common office-related programs running simultaneously.

 

Most users never come close to exploiting the computing power available in today's processors.   I am constantly trying to advise my clients who do nothing but e-mailing, web surfing, and light office suite use (or similar) not to waste their money on a $1000-plus computer.   You can do all that, and with ease, on any low end laptop.  If I were going to upgrade a lower end laptop (or desktop, for that matter) to increase speed it would be by equipping it with an SSD rather than an HDD.   My storage needs take primacy over raw speed, so I stuck with a 2TB HDD on my A12 machines.   They are fast even with the HDD.  I imagine they'd be lightning fast were I using an SSD instead.


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#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:00 AM

 I think it's the same on the A6 and A8 machines I own, too, but won't swear to that.

 

I can confirm the A6 is the same.



#10 Drillingmachine

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:59 AM

Most A6, A9, A10, A12 etc are Bulldozer/Steamroller/Excavator etc based, immune to Meltdown.

#11 jarlmaster47

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:54 AM

Meltdown and spectre vulnerability have been patched in intel cpus and it really wasn't a big deal to begin with for the average user. We can (and should) criticize Intel for handling the situation poorly and for allowing such a vulnerability to get past QC in the first place but that's neither here nor there. Intel still makes great CPU's and makes a better performing CPU chip to chip than AMD does. Intel has reduced chip prices as well though AMD still is the better budget option. More cores for less money as well BUT Intel is still the king of single core performance which is still the biggest determining factor in daily usage statistics.

Your computing needs are quite minimal. You could definitely get away with an APU in which case AMD is king. 



#12 britechguy

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 02:48 PM

This topic has spun off another topic discussing the fixes for Meltdown and Spectre and the impact these have on various processors.  While that conversation is interesting, it does not address the original poster's core question in any way.

 

I have split the spin-off topic into a thread of its own in this forum, since it could be something someone wants to know with regard to buying new hardware.  It is in the topic, Spectre/Meltdown Fixes and Their Effects on Processor Load & Speed.

 

 

Please continue any discussion regarding the impact of fixes for these two vulnerabilities to that topic, not this one.


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