Intel i5 vs AMD Quad-Core A10-4600M Accelerated Processor

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by abcd3f3, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. abcd3f3

    abcd3f3 Newbie

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    I will be an engineering student this fall, and it'll involve using quite some 3D modelling software. I'm trying to choose between 2 HP laptops, one has the AMD and the other the i5. However, for the intel it says there's up to 1696MB total graphics memory, and the AMD one has up to 3060MB. So my question is will the AMD processor be significantly worse than the i5? Or will it still be good enough? Btw the graphics for the AMD is Radeon HD 7660G and the intel is Intel HD Graphics 4000.

    I'm in favor of the AMD one, but the fact that it is an AMD processor makes me more reluctant, because the intel i5 is better to my knowledge, so please help me out!

    Just comparing the 2 processors and GPU's is good too!
     
  2. Syberia

    Syberia Notebook Deity

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    Well, let's look at benchmarks. While it's nonspecific, the Passmark CPU list is good to get an overall picture of performance. I'm not sure which i5 you're looking at, so I've chosen the fastest one, the 3360m.

    i5 3360m: 4527 points
    A10 4600m: 5129 points

    The AMD is slightly faster, moreso if you're talking about a lower-spec i5.

    And for the GPU, I'll be using NotebookCheck's 3dmark11 benchmarks, again to measure overall performance.

    Intel HD4000: Avg 638.9, max 802.
    AMD7660G: Avg 1142.5, max 1150.


    The A10 wins by a little in terms of CPU speed, and a more significant margin in terms of GPU speed. Also, if you're going to be doing anything that uses OpenCL, I'm pretty sure the AMD will have better drivers as well. It should be able to pull off gaming at 720p on lower settings as well.

    If any of your software will be using CUDA, you might want to consider at least a low-end dedicated nVidia GPU.
     
  3. sreesub

    sreesub Notebook Consultant

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  4. R3d

    R3d Notebook Virtuoso

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    Passmark is a very inaccurate benchmark. According to Passmark, the i7-3615qm is faster than the desktop i5-3570k.

    The i5 will be faster for CPU heavy tasks (e.g. photo/video editing) and the A10 will be faster for GPU heavy tasks (e.g. gaming). For 3d modelling the i5 will probably be a better choice, though really if you're a freshman engineering student either you'll do pretty much all of your work on your school's computers or the work that you'll do won't be intensive at all.

    But if you really need the best performance possible, I would get an i7.
     
  5. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Hello, here I go again

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    If you would like to see nice big numbers in CPU synthetic benchmark programs than Intel i5, otherwise A10-4600M with 4 cores and Radeon 7660G is the winner for 3D modelling, games, running more programs parallel.
     
  6. Althernai

    Althernai Notebook Virtuoso

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    PassMark is a random number generator. I really wish people would take a look at what kind of comparisons it gives between "known" processors before quoting it.

    What is the name of the 3D modelling software? This is important because which processor is better depends on whether your software is GPU-accelerated and to what degree. The 4600M has the faster GPU, but the slower CPU so if your software gets a significant benefit from the GPU, it's probably the way to go. If not, then the i5 is better choice because, despite the "quad core" label, the 4600M will be slower in both single-threaded tasks (by a huge amount) and multi-threaded tasks (by a moderate amount).
     
  7. Quix Omega

    Quix Omega Notebook Evangelist

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    I would buy the A10 assuming that the battery life isn't horrible. It has much better GPU performance and more cores for multi-threaded CPU performance. The only place it loses is single and dual threaded performance.

    It's basically better single thread performance and battery life vs GPU and extra cores.

    P.S. the amount of quoted system memory the IGP can use is worthless as a benchmark, they aren't powerful enough to need more than 1GB and probably not even that.
     
  8. nipsen

    nipsen Notebook Ditty

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    :) ..intel graphics as well as apus can use any amount of the ddr ram on the system. But some manufacturers set the ram-size in the bios for the intel graphics for some reason.. Say, they have one bios for all their skus, and one setup comes with 2Gb ram - then you need to limit it. If you can avoid problems with 1Gb graphics card setups by limiting it as well - then you would do that. And there's suddenly no way to get around it.

    The apu setups control that via software instead. Same with the clock-speeds, which are stuck in the same way on the intel graphics (at annoyingly high frequencies, much higher than needed for just desktop work, for example). So that part of the apu/radeon driver is definitely good. So is the performance, specially when thinking about performance per watt, and so on. Switching between igp and dedicated graphics is also not exactly flawless since the ram-areas you address are physically different. So there's problems here if you expect to switch between battery and plug, or different profiles, etc..

    Where you will regret buying a radeon card, is when you start trying to configure the drivers. Then you're suddenly in all kinds of trouble. They just look... amateurish, and don't give you very good or easy options. Same if you use hdmi out. It's not accurate enough for office-use -- anything outside presentations or 3d frame contexts, and you start to squint very quickly..

    OpenCL performance.. :D The apus win by ridiculously massive margins since the gpu cores can access working ram as fast as the processor.. The quad-core runs on all the apus so far are insane for a commercial PC. So if you expect to be using programs that have opencl support, the apus win. Even if for example a flash-container with a "hardware-acceleratable" format won't actually be decoded more efficiently, of course. So until habits evolve a bit, you're only going to see the increased performance on specific programs that support or use OpenCL.

    At the end of the day, though -- agree with the comment above about battery-life. Most important thing, imo.

    So if you can have "good enough" performance (and more than that) on something that has the best power-use. Then why pick something that has slightly higher peak performance on x86 number-crunching - if you don't actually need it..?
     
  9. Althernai

    Althernai Notebook Virtuoso

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    Nope. The i5 will crush it in multi-threaded performace -- not by as much as in single-threaded, but still by a lot.

    AMD pulled a brilliant marketing trick by putting 4 integer cores in there and calling it "quad-core" based on that. It is not really a quad-core processor: a whole lot of important things are shared between pairs of cores ("modules"): instruction fetch, branch prediction, FPU, L1 instruction cache, L2 cache... the only reason to call it a "quad-core" is that the integer units and L1 data cache are not shared. The result is somewhere in between having 4 real cores and having 2 cores with hyperthreading (but since Intel's cores are so much faster to begin with, 2 hyperthreaded cores win in practically everything).
     
  10. nipsen

    nipsen Notebook Ditty

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    The trinity chips still outperform the "true" quad-cores from the previous iteration, though.. At lower power-use.
     
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