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Old 06-26-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
Holering
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What's the cheapest architecture to build computer for Linux?


Looking at AMD it seems they have the most bang per dollar for software performance. Intel has fastest overall performance but they're expensive; they want $239 for an I5-4670K haswell whereas you can get a fx 6300 AMD vishera for $120 (that's half price for about the same performance; same price as intel I3 2120 and you have less trouble overclocking if you're into that). Benchmarks also show fx cpu's outperforming I7's (I7's can be really expensive) in many benchmarks (without march=native)http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...rabdver2&num=7
and very good multi-core scaling overall http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ulticore&num=2. That doesn't take into account motherboards and ram which I believe are more expensive on intel's side (intel requires triple channel memory to use cpu's full advantage). Why didn't intel let people choose a cpu without an on-die gpu?

Heard ARM cpu's are cost effective but haven't seen any products for desktop-development-programming use (most seem for mobile devices). Is there any platform more cost effective than AMD's x86_64?

Last edited by Holering; 06-27-2013 at 12:19 AM.
 
Old 06-27-2013, 01:00 AM   #2
Timothy Miller
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Nope. The ONLY caveat (IMO) to AMD's chips is that the graphics drivers are BEYOND garbage. The open source ones FUNCTION, but performance isn't fantastic, and the proprietary ones won't install properly if you run a kernel that's anywhere CLOSE to recent (like 3.8 or newer last I tried to install them AGAIN). AMD processors + Nvidia graphics = flawless experience every time I've ever tried it (I have a Phenom II x6 1100t w/ GeForce GTX 465 1 GB and a Phenom II 955 BE w/ GeForce GTX 460 768 MB).
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
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Great post! I agree that Nvidia and AMD are an excellent combo.

My main concern right now is a 9800gtx I still use. I find it plenty fast (faster than I need) but always have it downclocked to save energy and heat dissipation. GTX 645 gk106 (28nm) looks like a real good card when looking at power consumption vs performance; it only uses 65 watts but does 948.1 GFlops with a fillrate of 14.16 Gpixels and 39.5 Gtextures. For comparison, the 9800gtx uses 140 watts (more than double!) for only 648 GFlops (third less), fillrate of 10.8 Gpixels and 43.2 Gtextures. Haven't been able to find a GTX 645 gk106 (28nm) card for sale since it's OEM but compared to all Nvidia's current cards it seems the best choice for saving energy and getting the most performance (has 128-bit memory bus while most cards in same price range have a 64-bit memory bus which is terrible). Compared using this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...rce_600_Series.

Regards

Last edited by Holering; 07-02-2013 at 09:04 PM.
 
Old 06-27-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
evo2
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Heard ARM cpu's are cost effective but haven't seen any products for desktop-development-programming use (most seem for mobile devices). Is there any platform more cost effective than AMD's x86_64?
Yes. See for example the Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone Black

Cheers,

Evo2.
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:44 AM   #5
Holering
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo2 View Post
Hi,
BeagleBone Black

Cheers,

Evo2.
Wow! That beagleboard is really something to look into. Looked at the BeagleBoard-xM and can't believe it's a credit card size and does over 2,000 Dhrystone MIPS and up to 20 million polygons/second graphics. That is definately something I'd consider; except the lack of ram expansion and vga out (only because I use a CRT). There should be more of these things! I'd take one and build a hybrid laptop-desktop and say the hell with all other laptops. Wonder if anything else has multiple cores; 12 cores and ram expansion would make developing and porting easier (bootstrapping a system with gcc looks like pain on a single core ARM).

ARM definately looks open source friendly for graphics from what I read on wiki (any other resources to confirm this?).

Last edited by Holering; 06-28-2013 at 01:35 AM.
 
Old 06-27-2013, 04:50 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Looking at AMD it seems they have the most bang per dollar for software performance. Intel has fastest overall performance but they're expensive; they want $239 for an I5-4670K haswell whereas you can get a fx 6300 AMD vishera for $120 (that's half price for about the same performance; same price as intel I3 2120 and you have less trouble overclocking if you're into that). Benchmarks also show fx cpu's outperforming I7's (I7's can be really expensive) in many benchmarks (without march=native)http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...rabdver2&num=7
Phoronix uses lots of dinky benchmarks that dont meant hat much in 'the real world'. If one of the benchmarks represent tasks you'll actually be doing, then good...but if not, I wouldnt be making too many assumptions (like assuming that a FX6300 will have the same performance as a i5-4670K).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
That doesn't take into account motherboards and ram which I believe are more expensive on intel's side (intel requires triple channel memory to use cpu's full advantage).
Intel is not using triple channel memory anymore, that was LGA 1366 systems which are obsolete now.

LGA 2011 can use quad channel memory, but LGA 2011 motherobards are rather expensive, and a $300 i7 CPU is the cheapest CPU you can get.

BTW, in the phoronix benchmarks you linked us to use dual channel memory LGA 1155 systems for all the intel CPUs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Why didn't intel let people choose a cpu without an on-die gpu?
It would be harder for intel to dominate the GPU market :P

Seriously, they did. Its rare with i5/i7 CPUs, but it did happen- the LGA 2011 i7s have no onboard video, various i5s (i5-2380P, i5-2450P, i5-2550K, i5-3350P).

There is also a whole heap of i3/i5/i7 LGA 1155 and LGA 2011 CPUs rebranded 'xeon' with no onboard video. You'll pay more for them than the equivilent i5/i7.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ge-based_Xeons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
My main concern right now is a 9800gtx I still use. I find it plenty fast (faster than I need) and always have it downclocked to save energy and heat dissipation. GTX 645 gk106 (28nm) looks like a real good card when looking at power consumption vs performance; it only uses 65 watts but does 948.1 GFlops with a fillrate of 14.16 Gpixels and 39.5 Gtextures. For comparison, the 9800gtx uses 140 watts (more than double!) for only 648 GFlops (third less), fillrate of 10.8 Gpixels and 43.2 Gtextures. Haven't been able to find a GTX 645 gk106 (28nm) card for sale since it's OEM but compared to all Nvidia's current cards it seems the best choice for saving energy and getting the most performance (has 128-bit memory bus while most cards in same price range have a 64-bit memory bus which is terrible). Compared using this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...rce_600_Series.
TDP figures are not real power consumption figures. They are the thermal maximum, and power consumption should be lower than the TDP. Real power consumption figures will vary with the OS drivers and task, generally I'd expect real max power consumption to be around 110 watts.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/gra...9800gtx_7.html

If the 9800GTX is more than enough performance for you, a GT640 or lower would be a better choice than any of the GTX series.
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Nope. The ONLY caveat (IMO) to AMD's chips is that the graphics drivers are BEYOND garbage. The open source ones FUNCTION, but performance isn't fantastic, and the proprietary ones won't install properly if you run a kernel that's anywhere CLOSE to recent (like 3.8 or newer last I tried to install them AGAIN).
The latest AMD proprietary drivers work with recent kernels. I use the 3.9.7 (latest stable) kernel and the latest drivers (13.4/13.6) install and run just fine. The integrated video cards that are found in the A series desktop APUs are well supported.

I had no stability issues with my A8-5500 and i do just about everything - watching hardware accelerated (xvba) movies and play games on it (TF2 and open source games), use VMs and whatnot. It is just as stable as my nvidias before it. In fact the AMD drivers are noticeable faster on 2d rendering than the nvidia ones.
 
Old 06-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
haertig
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Intel CPU's and MOBO's offer quality and perform well. AMD CPU's and MOBO's offer quality and perform well. Intel costs more. AMD costs less. That pretty much describes all the relavent differences to me. Nothing wrong with Intel. They just cost more than AMD without providing any additional advantage to justify the increased cost. I always buy AMD personally.
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:49 PM   #9
jefro
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I'm still having issues trying to get hdmi sound on AMD.

Intel video is almost always supported in every distro.

Some of the benchmark sites also offer a dollar per performance measurement.

Knowing what applications you may need would also help us decide an answer.
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
The latest AMD proprietary drivers work with recent kernels. I use the 3.9.7 (latest stable) kernel and the latest drivers (13.4/13.6) install and run just fine. The integrated video cards that are found in the A series desktop APUs are well supported.

I had no stability issues with my A8-5500 and i do just about everything - watching hardware accelerated (xvba) movies and play games on it (TF2 and open source games), use VMs and whatnot. It is just as stable as my nvidias before it. In fact the AMD drivers are noticeable faster on 2d rendering than the nvidia ones.
I'll have to try installing them again. It'd be nice if they'd keep up with kernels like Nvidia does. With any luck, it's the beginning of AMD not slacking with their drivers.
 
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:59 PM   #11
Timothy Miller
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ALRIGHT, you're right, it does work!! So much better!!
 
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:31 AM   #12
Holering
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
If the 9800GTX is more than enough performance for you, a GT640 or lower would be a better choice than any of the GTX series.
GT 640 (specifically the GK107-301-A2) looks good. If it's dirt cheap I'll probably try and get it. Trying to get the most performance per dollar and most performance per watt (the gtx 645 is really tempting to me though and it does have more transistors).

Intel probably has a better market share I presume? It's usually them leading the market but I like to save money so I usually end up using an AMD cpu (it's been that way for me since k6 and pentium II days; excluding the athlon 64). It's great to hear ATI gpu drivers aren't so bad (didn't think they were and found them to be on par or better to Windows performance since a couple or more years ago). Is there an ATI gpu that would be better than a gtx 645 (considering energy use and performance)? Probably would go for it...

Regards,

Last edited by Holering; 06-28-2013 at 01:39 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2013, 02:02 AM   #13
Timothy Miller
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Yes, Intel has something like 80% of the market share.

As far as AMD GPU, if you're going with a modern AMD chip, you could just get one that has an integrated GPU and use that. The performance, for integrated graphics, is many times what Intel's is, and is able to keep up with, even surpass some of the lower end discrete cards from Nvidia. Assuming you're willing trust them to keep their drivers working.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 06-28-2013 at 02:07 AM.
 
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:45 AM   #14
salasi
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I've looked at this a couple of times, and I'm still not sure that i have fully grasped what you really want.

What's the cheapest architecture to build computer for Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Is there any platform more cost effective than AMD's x86_64?
That sounds as if you just want cheap. You don't have any particular performance requirements (...but more is always better, right?...), but you want cheap. That doesn't quite jive with

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
...they want $239 for an I5-4670K haswell whereas you can get a fx 6300 AMD vishera for $120 (that's half price for about the same performance; same price as intel I3 2120 and you have less trouble overclocking if you're into that). Benchmarks also show fx cpu's outperforming I7's (I7's can be really expensive) in many benchmarks...
Which seems to be more pitched at the mid price upwards section of the X-86 spectrum.

The two things are really quite different, so more explanation is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
...whereas you can get a fx 6300 AMD vishera for $120 (that's half price for about the same performance; same price as intel I3 2120 and you have less trouble overclocking if you're into that).
The 6300 is probably one of the better AMD purchases right now, but it only really performs on some workloads. I don't think that even if you have a workload that is not its forte will you get terrible performance, but for some workloads, there will be better buys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Looking at AMD it seems they have the most bang per dollar for software performance. Intel has fastest overall performance but they're expensive;
I'm not clear what distinction you are trying to introduce with 'software performance'; it may just be a slightly flowery expression, but if you mean something other than just 'performance' please explain. (This sounds like the most nitty of nit picking, but in any benchmarking exercise, the results that you get are heavily dependant on exactly what you measure, so it is best to be clear.)

The comment about Intel is a wild over-generalisation; some of the Pentiums and, to a lesser extent, Celerons offer a quite remarkable bang per buck and can be reccomended above the competing AMD solutions on price. Further up the range, where cost effectivity has gone by the board, Intel is surely idiotically expensive, but there they don't have any competition from AMD. One thing probably causes the other.

Quote:
That doesn't take into account motherboards and ram which I believe are more expensive on intel's side...
RAM can be ignored, it is the same on both sides unless you want something odd like ECC and then it has the impact of making the motherboard choice fraught.

It is difficult to say about mobos. There are certainly expensive Intel motherboards, but there are also reasonably priced Intel motherboards, and the reasonably priced ones use cheaper chipsets. You could then ask whether the cheaper priced ones are comparable in quality and features to the AMD ones and that is a difficult question to answer, without discussing specifics.

If you are, however, the kind of person who plans a mid-life upgrade, then maybe things get a bit simpler. The various standards out there and current are FM2, AM3+, S 1155 and S 1150. Out of those, S 1155 is dead (no more new parts can be confidently expected), FM2 will get new parts, but as FM2+ and the compatibility (backward/forward) is unknown and S 1150 doesn't seem to have a glorious future in front of it (Broadwell won't use it, allegedly, which makes it Haswell-only and one of Intel's shortest-lived 'sockets'; while we don't know what new Haswell parts Intel has lined up, we do know that this implies a short total life, because of the 'tick-tock' rhythm).

That really makes AM3+ the only one which has much future. This is not important if you never upgrade, but if you do, the choice is made easier because of the lifecycle stage of the other options.

BTW, nothing that you have said rules out something like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SheevaPlug
and that is a low cost 'solution' (it is the solution to some problems, but probably not yours, if the parts that you have mentioned are in any way reasonable for your application).
 
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:44 AM   #15
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
GT 640 (specifically the GK107-301-A2) looks good. If it's dirt cheap I'll probably try and get it. Trying to get the most performance per dollar and most performance per watt (the gtx 645 is really tempting to me though and it does have more transistors).
GT640 isnt exactly dirt cheap, they run from about $90 to $140. Trying to get a particular chip could be a nightmare, and some (like GK107-301-A2) are OEM only. Even OEM versions of standard chips, like the GT640 are hard to find, and oddball models like the GTX 645 are almost impossible. You may find one if you really look, but dont bother IMO. GK107-301-A2 is just a factory downclocked GK107 anyway.

Why does ther number of transistors make you want it? More transistors, more power consumption.

'On papaer' numbers like Gpixels, Gtextures, GFlops fillrate and number of transistors dont always translate the way people think they might.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holering View Post
Is there an ATI gpu that would be better than a gtx 645 (considering energy use and performance)? Probably would go for it...
ATI is dead! Its all AMD GPUs now.

Generally he AMD GPUs use a touch more power for any given performance level than the nVidia chips.

If you run a 9800GTX downclocked to save power and heat, andits faster than you need, why go looking for more performance?

While passamrk is a joke in some ways, and should not be relied on, its sometimes useful for comparing video cards that you'l never see tested 'side by side'.

9800GTX- 905 passmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/vi...GTX%2B&id=1321

GT630- 720 passmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/vi...GT+630&id=1431

GT640- 1303 passmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/vi...GT+640&id=1432

GTX 645- (sample size to low to be reliable) 1991 passmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gp...TX+645&id=2513

GT640 is about as fast, or faster than 9800GTX. GT630 is a touch slower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
If you are, however, the kind of person who plans a mid-life upgrade, then maybe things get a bit simpler. The various standards out there and current are FM2, AM3+, S 1155 and S 1150. Out of those, S 1155 is dead (no more new parts can be confidently expected), FM2 will get new parts, but as FM2+ and the compatibility (backward/forward) is unknown and S 1150 doesn't seem to have a glorious future in front of it (Broadwell won't use it, allegedly, which makes it Haswell-only and one of Intel's shortest-lived 'sockets'; while we don't know what new Haswell parts Intel has lined up, we do know that this implies a short total life, because of the 'tick-tock' rhythm).

That really makes AM3+ the only one which has much future. This is not important if you never upgrade, but if you do, the choice is made easier because of the lifecycle stage of the other options.


I wouldnt get LGA 1150 yet. Though it should be a fairly smooth run from LGA 1155 to 1150, I'd rather someone else find bugs.

LGA 1155 is fine if you aren't the type to get upgrade fever in 1-2 years.

FM2/FM2+, maybe, but I dont think its really an option for the OP (limted to 4 module versions, no 6/8 module versions like the FX 6XXX and FX 8XXX chips)

AM3+ is the best opinion from what I can see if you want an AMD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Further up the range, where cost effectivity has gone by the board, Intel is surely idiotically expensive, but there they don't have any competition from AMD. One thing probably causes the other.
Nah, even when AMD had CPUs as fast or faster, Intel still had lots of 'OMG you want how much fro that CPU' models. Traditional Intel.
 
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