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Confused about multitasking results - Intel i5 vs AMD FX-8350

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blazenarrow

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Hello,

I am confused about some things. I have been reading from reviews that the AMD FX-8350 is, in most cases, a better CPU for multitasking than the Intel i5. However, in this review from bit-tech.net (http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2013/06/12/intel-core-i5-4670k-haswell-cpu-review/4) they show in their "multitasking" benchmark that the i5 beats the FX.

Why am I asking this? Well I realized this morning that I am most interested in a CPU that will give me the best REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE. I don't game much, but I do photo editing and I LOVE to multitask. I like to have many applications open, surfing the web, listening to music, all at once.

So, with all other things being equal, what cpu (i5 4670K or the FX-8350) do you think would be a better performer for the following 'experiences':

-multitasking
-image editing
-switching between different users in Windows
-surfing the web with multiple pages open
-installing software and programs
-Windows startup
-transferring files to/from USP or an SD card
-converting FLAC files to WAV

I guess what I'm wondering is would I see a difference in speed/ease of use when I am doing the following:

I have itunes opened and listening to music, my mail is open, i'm surfing the web with multiples windows open, and then I want to import 8 gigabytes of photos from my compact flash card? Do you think I would 'experience' faster performance from the FX-8350 since it is 'better' at multitasking?
 
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petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
1. Their "multi-tasking" test is potentially using only 2 threads (could be several threads, if they remembered to switch to LZMA2 and manually changed the number of threads to use, so might be okay)
2. What the heck are those numbers measuring?
3. They're showing an i3 (2+2HT) significantly outperforming an FX-8120 in "multitasking".

Take that with a rather large grain of salt. I think bit-tech doesn't have a clue what multi-tasking actually is. I don't know how much faster an i5 4670 is than an i7 2760, but I can say that my FX-8350 is significantly faster than my i7 2760QM doing several dozen threads of GCC during normal desktop usage (some Firefox tabs, Spotify, and Quassel IRC) (and the i7 has an SSD, so it's not getting bogged down by the disk or anything).
 
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blazenarrow

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Thanks for the reply, I'll fix the link when I get to a computer.

This makes me sad...I have already ordered the haswell and I now realize that what I wanted most was a CPU which would simply 'feel' faster on a day to day basis (photoshop, etc...). I wish I would have known.

Any other first hand experience with these cpu's?
 

I.M.O.G.

Glorious Leader
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Location
Rootstown, OH
I fixed your link for you. You should have saved your time and just posted here this morning instead of XS. ;)

There is only one task in there that matters between the two CPUs, and thats converting FLAC/WAV. I don't know why you would convert FLAC to WAV, but I'll leave that be for now. ;)

That task is processor intensive enough and it could benefit from multiple cores, so one processor could be markedly better than the other for the FLAC>WAV requirement.

For the rest of the tasks, the processor isn't the determining factor. Get an SSD, and everything will be noticably faster/more responsive... If you need to buy a cheaper processor in order to get an SSD, then do that.
 
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blazenarrow

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
I fixed your link for you. You should have saved your time and just posted here this morning instead of XS. ;)

There is only one task in there that matters between the two CPUs, and thats converting FLAC/WAV. I don't know why you would convert FLAC to WAV, but I'll leave that be for now. ;)

That task is processor intensive enough and it could benefit from multiple cores, so one processor could be markedly better than the other for the FLAC>WAV requirement.

For the rest of the tasks, the processor isn't the determining factor. Get an SSD, and everything will be noticably faster/more responsive... If you need to buy a cheaper processor in order to get an SSD, then do that.

I know...XS aren't very helpful.

First, i'm curious as to why you find it weird that i'm converting FLAC to WAV? I sometimes get music in the form of FLAC, but to listen to it in iTunes I convert it to WAV. Is that not normal/ideal?

Your response is making me feel a little better, but not quite. (I have also ordered a samsung 840 pro 128 gig SSD)

But this is small, and so obviously only the OS and programs will be installed there, the rest will be on a HDD. And I can't afford to have all my data on SSD's. But I guess I don't get it because if the FX is better at multitasking, why wouldn't the FX perform faster if I have all kinds of programs running, internet/mail, photoshop etc...?
 

I.M.O.G.

Glorious Leader
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Location
Rootstown, OH
Flac to wav is normal for compatibility if your player doesn't support flac. I just found it odd, because wav takes up more space than flac, so going that route is a little atypical.

If you have a bunch of different programs running, any modern processor can handle it gracefully and responsively. Internet/mail doesn't really count, because the processing power required is so low. The same pretty much for any media player.

If you are doing large/intensive render operations in photoshop while at the same time encoding flac to wav, that is a situation where better multitasking performance could prove advantageous... But ask yourself how often that situation occurs. Hours daily, or every once in a while?

You would be best served to select your processor based on typical workloads. If its a rare edge case where you are rendering and converting media at the same time, don't base your purchase on that.

My opinion stems from the fact that commonly people refer to multitasking as though it means having a bunch of programs open at once. That isn't multitasking - its a bunch of semi-idle programs in the background while you work in one application at a time. It isn't processor intensive on a modern platform, even if one program is playing a movie, another is processing a torrent download, another is displaying email, and another is browsing the web... I had an htpc that did that on an i3-2100 no sweat.

Real multitasking is when you are running a program compilation that takes 45 minutes to complete, converting media files that take 30 minutes to complete, and doing a post-processing routine in Photoshop. Here is where more cores may mean the difference between a fluid responsive system and one that noticeably bogs down. More cores may also make all these things competing for core time complete faster.

But for what you described, the i5 would likely be better because if anything you are doing light multitasking it sounds like so the workloads you have would benefit more from the stronger effiency and per core performance of the i5.

You will be good to go with OS and apps on the SSD, and data stored on HDDs. Cheaper, and you just don't need the SSD speed for large data files... You need it for responsiveness in the OS and apps.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
First, i'm curious as to why you find it weird that i'm converting FLAC to WAV? I sometimes get music in the form of FLAC, but to listen to it in iTunes I convert it to WAV. Is that not normal/ideal?

Why not use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec)?
 
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blazenarrow

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Flac to wav is normal for compatibility if your player doesn't support flac. I just found it odd, because wav takes up more space than flac, so going that route is a little atypical.

Thanks IMOG, I appreciate the detailed response. I never thought of it that way but it makes total sense and I feel like you really threw down some solid knowledge. :)

In terms of using WAV, I just figure with space being so cheap these days I try to keep all my music in the highest format. I only have 80 gigs of music so it's not that much.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
The main reason is I don't want to be wedded to a certain 'companies' music format. Future proof.:thup:

The format hasn't changed in a long time. It's lossless. Transcode from ALAC right back to FLAC, or keep both copies. A copy of a FLAC and a copy of an ALAC together shouldn't be that much larger than the single WAV (assuming you're deleting the FLAC after decoding it).
 

(G{in}[AK)TION]

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
i remember when i wasnt able to use my pentium D, i got stuck with a Pentium 3. multitasknig wasnt so great and i couldnt use my mic right in TF2 and CSS

but when i got a dual socket pentium 3 desktop, i was able to use mic again, multitask a little better, and i was able to use two Pentium 3 1.40ghz processors in SMP!

so if i were you, get the amd 8350 if your going to do massive multitasking.