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What do you guys think of Intel's new x299 chipset?

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  • tonTeufel

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 04:46 PM

So I just watched Linus' (Linustechtips that is) video on the new i9 CPUs and x299 chipset and I was wondering if anybody here actually likes what Intel did with this new product line

  • K^2

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 02:32 AM

I'm 100% with Linus on this one. More cores is a good thing, but what they did with architecture makes no sense. Unfortunately, the current situation is that for gaming, more than 4 cores / 8 threads is practically a waste. Even the few game engines that can utilize more cores properly benefit more from the quality of cores than count. So if you are building a gaming machine, 76XX and 77XX CPUs (depending on budget) are still your best friends. For all situations where you can actually make use of 18 cores, you should either be getting a server CPU or going with GPU compute/CUDA job. This new lineup isn't for gamers or enthusiasts, and that leaves me wondering who is it even for?

The main problem with today's CPU market is that games are stuck very firmly in 8 threads territory. XBox and PS4 both have 8 cores with no hyperthreading. In practice, you only get 6-7 usable threads on both systems, and that's what almost every game engine will target. Similarly, most recently built PCs have 4 physical cores with hyperthreading for the same 8 virtual cores. And again, leaving a thread to deal with any background OS tasks, your best bet is to target 6-7 threads. Typically, that means 1 main thread, 1 rendering thread, 4 worker threads, and one thread left over for misc asynchronous tasks which usually run without affinity. Many engines will spawn extra workers if there are more cores available, but then you just bottleneck on main or rendering and your frame rate remains effectively the same.

With that in mind, what I would much rather see Intel do is release mainstream CPUs with 6-8 physical cores for 12-16 threads, all in the vein of the 76XX/77XX families, with all the same features on individual cores. That would provide an incentive for game devs to target higher core counts.

In a way, AMDs Ryzen 5/7 families are actually doing more to help us get good high-core count optimized games. Their CPUs have weaker individual cores, even compared to vanilla 7600/7700, but make up for it with higher core count at lower price point. If enough people buy these chips, game devs will cater to them, and then the games running on R5/7 might actually outperform i5/7 counterparts. That should be the real wake-up call for Intel, not the potential future 16 core behemoth.

Intel has opportunity for preemptive strike here. General market, game-optimzied 6-8 core i5/i7 could completely ruin any future superiority AMD Ryzen might have. But once again, Intel seems to be playing reactive defense and releases CPU architectures nobody asked for.
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  • Dealux

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:45 AM

Affordable 8 core CPUs from Intel is a good thing though. If 8 cores is the future for mainstream users then AMD can't compete if the goal is the best performance possible.

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