Saturday, June 23, 2018

Comparing AMD CPU's (corrected)

Much attention has been made in the press over the new AMD Threadripper CPU.  With 16 cores and 32 threads, this thing is a monster.  But it debuted at $1,000 just for the CPU, and I saw that some computer builds were costing like $4,000.  It seems that buying the most expensive CPU also means that the parts to make it work are also just as pricey.

But if we look at its benchmark,, compared with the next lower chip, which has half as many cores and less than half the cost,, there is not enough difference between them that would justify the extra cost.

When I bought my Core-i7 iMac in 2010 it was close to top of the line,, but now it is more like average at best.  After eight years I am wanting more power.  I am also wanting more graphics power, because what little graphics power that came with my late 2009 iMac is pretty terrible, and these all-in-one computers are not upgradable.

If someone wants to do gaming on budget, there are videos on youtube telling you how to build a gaming PC for around $500, using the Ryzen 3 2200G  This and the 2400G have gotten much attention because they are 'APU's', that have some limited graphics capability built into the processor.  Because of the low cost of the 2200G, it has gotten the most attention, but the 2400G seems like a big step up at just $70 more in cost.   Since the processor is only a small part of the overall cost, it seems to me like it would be worth it to spend marginally more to get a more powerful system.

Likewise AMD has some older slightly slower processors that are lower in cost, but considered a good value.  However, I don't see the value in settling for slightly less power to just save a few bucks on the processor.

If you want more power than what the 2200G and 2400g can deliver, then you have to give up the built in graphics and buy a seperate video card, for which you can expect to spend $300 to $500, or more, just for the card.  That is the problem.  People are claiming that graphics cards are coming down in price, but we are not really seeing it yet.  Graphics cards have been very expensive because people have been buying them for cryptocurrency mining.

So I would like to build a Ryzen APU based computer for relatively low cost.   My current computer occasionally shuts down for no apparent reason, but after I cleaned the dusty vents it seems to be doing better.  I figure that eventually I will have to repair it or replace it.  I would rather replace it.

According to AMD, they are coming out with new APU's in both 2019 and 2020.  Newer probably means more power, which is what I want.  I should try to hold out until at least 2019 to see what they come out with.

I want to do much more with a computer than just play games, but if that is all you want then the Microsoft XBox One X is graphically pretty powerful for its $500 price tag.  An equivalent computer might cost $1,000.  The XBOX One X also uses a custom AMD APU, but you can't buy that processor;  It is only available on the XBOX One X.


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