Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

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Wanting more raw computing power, I went from Sempron 2200+
in ASUS Asus A7V400-MX (socket A) to Phenom II 4X 840 in Asus
M4N68T-M V2 (socket AM3).

I must say I am quite disappointed. I was hoping for about 10X speed
boost even with applications that can only use a single core. After all,
more than six years separate the two (expected boost suggested
by Moore's law would be 64X). The real life tests show nothing
of this sort! Not even close to 10X.

DIVX encoding using VirtualDub and DivX 5 codec became
faster by only about 3X. OK, this may also have something to do
with the video card change (does it? - I don't really know; went
from dedicated nVIDIA Quadro FX 3000, 256 MB to integrated
nVIDIA GeForce 7025, 512 MB - not sure what is supposed to be
better; I need occasional hardware stereo so Quadro will be
going back into the slot).

To make sure it's not GPU, I also tested using a program that does
no graphics (multiparametric fitting anf FFT; essentially raw numbers
crunching). Alas, a fairly common task that took 23 min on the
6.5 years old cheap system now took 9 min - only ~2.5X faster.

Granted, programs that can use SMP run correspondingly faster
(about 3.3X over just using a single core) but still... Are my results
observations fairly typical? If not, what gives? This $200 upgrade
pales in comparison with the $160 upgrade 6.5 years ago when I
went from dual Celerons 366 in ABit BP6 to the Sempron 2200+.
There, the speed boost was of near cosmic proportions.

Any comments? Thanks!

- Dima

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

DK wrote:
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While DivX encoding is running, arrange a copy of CPU-Z running
at the same time, and verify the CPU clock value is correct.

(A "no-install" version is fine...)
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Using Cool N' Quiet, the processor will switch to the low multiplier
when the system is quiet. When busy, the processor should be
running at the high multiplier. And this should be reflected
in the core clock speed value listed in the main panel of CPUZ.

You can try disabling Cool N' Quiet, which should leave the
processor at the high multiplier.

Depending on the OS used, a "cpu driver" may be required.
I'm not sure where to get the best information on that now.

This CPU driver is for WinXP. I would expect Vista or Win7 to
already have this driver as a hidden built-in. It took a
number of steps on the AMD driver download page to find this.
It wasn't that easy.

http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/dynamicDetails.aspx?ListID=c5cd2c08-1432-4756-aafa-4d9dc646342f&ItemID=173&lang=us

*******

3.2GHz quad core L1=128Kx4 L2=512Kx4 L3=missing  95W

http://products.amd.com/en-us/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=745

Performance ratio (as via this benchmark)

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

    AMD Phenom II X4 840              3,735            (Passmark)

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/low_end_cpus.html

    AMD Sempron 2200+                336            (Passmark)

So according to that, the ratio is supposed to be 10x.
And for that to be true, the benchmark would have to
be able to run on multiple cores.

    Paul

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840


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Thanks, Paul!

I did install something called "CPU driver" off Asus DVD. Will go back
and see what happens if I don't install it or install an updated version.

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Yeah, that's the numbers I was looking at when planning an update.
Sounds like this is exactly what I would see if I get my 2.5-3X boost
for a single core and multiply it by 3-4X. But then, at work
I have Core i7 950 and its Passmark is value 6,365. I just tested
DivX encoding on it using the same test as done for my Phenom
home system.  At home I was getting ~ 40 FPS (versus around 15 with
the Sempron), while at work it is around 125 FPS - considerably
more than what the 1.7X difference in Passmark scores would
suggest.

As the other reply points out, I guess I simply did not appreciate the
fact that CPU clock frequency in modern processors seems to have hit
a wall and that the main inroads into increasing computing speed is
now in SMP scaling.

I also haven't realized that Cool'n'Quiet can get in the way of things -
will investigate this further. Does it work on a per core basis or does
it look at the whole chip?

- Dima




Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

DK wrote:

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As far as I know, it applies to the whole chip. You never know
though, they could change that. It just makes it more of a pain
for the CPU cores to use shared resources, if done that way.

In this article, it implies application to the whole chip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_multiplier

    Paul


Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On 1/5/2012 1:53 PM, DK wrote:
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The CPU driver usually is there to take advantage of newer power-saving
modes, and stuff. Even with a generic CPU driver (afterall, these are
all just x86 processors, no matter what), I doubt that performance will
be affected all that much. Power consumption on the other hand might
become significantly better though.

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I wouldn't base too much importance on synthetic benchmarks. Synthetic
benchmarks typically measure individual component performances to the
exclusion of other components, such as RAM speed vs. CPU speed vs. I/O
speed, etc. Real-world benchmarks involve real applications, and real
applications are a combination of CPU/RAM/IO. Even if the CPU part is
10x faster, doesn't mean that the RAM is, and certainly not the disk.

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The DivX codec uses an Intel compiler that's purpose built to exclude
non-Intel hardware. It does this by turning off most modern instruction
sets such as SSE on non-Intel processors, even if the non-Intel
processors have those instruction sets available. It was the subject of
an anti-trust suit between Intel and AMD, which Intel lost and was
forced to pay AMD $1.2B. Intel used the compilers to gain unfair
advantages in benchmarking suites.

Divx using Intel compiler? - AnandTech Forums
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=1655714

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I think CnQ and other clock-throttling technologies are there to save
power, but they dynamically scale speed of the processors to the
workload needed. I can't see CnQ would interfere with ultimate
performance by more than a few percent (I'm guessing less than 5%,
probably less than 3%).

    Yousuf Khan

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

Yousuf Khan wrote:

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I've run into a couple cases of "stuck multiplier" problems in
the newsgroups. The sad thing in one case, was the problem
resolved itself, and the OP couldn't say exactly what
step fixed it (changing too many things at the same time,
to be sure). So it does happen, that a user finds
their CPU stays at the low multiplier, and they don't
know why.

You can achieve that result artificially, by using a power
schema. For example, the RMClock utility, will install it's
own power schema (that's in addition to the ones already
there like "Always On" option). If a user cranked the
multiplier values down in their RMClock schema and left
the RMClock schema selected in the Power Options control panel,
that could give a "stuck multiplier" effect. I occasionally
run into people, who get a machine from a relative, which
is hacked to bits, and full of surprises. Like the
guy with a funny multiplier problem, which was resolved
when he pulled the Athlon processor, and found a jumper
wire stuffed into the socket holes (wire mod). I didn't
even suggest he look there, but he managed to find it.

So there are ways to mess it up, given enough effort. It
just depends on how clever the previous owner was.

    Paul

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840


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I was following this since I upgraded from an Athlon 64 x2 4800+ (2.5GHz) on an
Asus M2NPV-VM MB (4GB RAM) to a Phenom
II x2 555 Black Edition (3.2 GHz) on a M4N68T-M V2 (4GB RAM). I have noticed
quite a difference in speed, and when I
used the Asus unlocker to open two more cores, I noticed a real difference in
most applications I use (some, no change
at all, but that's mostly older small-footprint apps that weren't too slow
anyhow). Windows now has it listed as a
Phenom II x4 B55. In Device Manger, open each core and update the driver. Let it
go to the MS site to get it. The link
that Paul provided points to a driver for XP SP2, and is dated 2009. I'm afraid
that driver would be counterproductive
on a XP SP3 system with a processor manufactured after 2009. I may be wrong, but
I got better results with the MS driver
(which I normally don't use for driver updates). The "CPU driver" on the MB DVD
is nothing more than Cool 'n Quiet. If
you run the setup again, it will ask if you're sure you want to uninstall it? I
left it on mine. I don't find that it
interferes with what I do.

My Passmarks are: B55   3,857  (left as a stock x2 555 = 1,993)
          Athlon 64 4800+   1,312
I have no way to scientifically prove it, but the system runs a lot faster than
the 3-times difference in Passmark
scores.

I haven't done any DIVX editing, but I've done a few home movies and movie
editing with Microsoft Movie Maker, and found
that processing and saving the movies is at least 5 or 6x faster than with my
old MB/CPU combo. Movies that used to take
3/4 to an hour to process are now done in 5-10 minutes.
Part of your problem may be the onboard video. I found it to be clunky and slow,
and I took my Nvidia GT 240 out of my
old system and use it with this one. Tremendous improvement in hard-core
video-intensive games like Modern Warfare
(which was unplayable on the onboard 7025) , and in overall PC speed.

Some other things to look at are your RAM timing speeds, whether they're set up
as ganged or unganged, etc. You can find
your current settings using CPU-Z and go from there.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this upgrade. Plus the fact that I got the MB,
CPU and 4GB of G-Skill DDR3-1333 Ripjaw
RAM for $170 including shipping (Black Friday sale from Newegg).
--
SC Tom


Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

SC Tom wrote:
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<<snipped>>

There was an extremely long thread on this topic a while back,
but I haven't been tracking it. The Version 4 update is mentioned here.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/60416-windows-xp-multi-core-config-does-your-oem-do-you.html

You have to go to the end of the thread, to get the latest experiences
with that stuff. I don't know if the original poster in that thread,
continues to update the first post with the "answer" or not (last update
stamp says 2007).

It could be the current AMD driver, checks the update status of the
OS before installing anything, so just about any behavior in 2011 is
possible. It really depends on whether AMD felt like deferring to
Microsoft or not. AMD is always playing cleanup it seems (like
getting Bulldozer support - patch listed by Microsoft, then
withdrawn).

    Paul

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840


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http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/60416-windows-xp-multi-core-config-does-your-oem-do-you.html
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As usual, you go above and beyond in your research, and I for one appreciate it.

I read a few of the 64 pages of the article, including the version 4 patch and
the other articles toward the end of the
article. They all mention SP2, including the version 4 patch. Also intimated in
the article is that it was all included
in SP3, and that everything was taken care of with it also. Don't know about
that since some people still have
multi-core problems.

Also, since the article seems to deal more with dual core than with 3 or more, I
don't know how much of it would be
appropriate to 3+ cores. Some of the optimizing tips might be useful; if I get
brave, I may try some of them. Kinda
scary playing with the boot.ini. If I do decide to mess around with it, I'll be
sure to have a new image of my drive
before starting on it :-)

I did find this troubleshooting guide:

http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/ThecorrectnumberofProcessorcoresisnotrecognizedcorrectlyinaMicrosoftWindowsbasedsystemafteraprocessorupgrade.aspx#toc

And even though the AMD driver file from your earlier link says "Updated 2009",
the setup file inside the zip is dated
9/7/2007. I think I'll leave mine alone for now; it's working fine for me :-)
--
SC Tom


Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On 05/01/2012 4:10 PM, SC Tom wrote:
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You were indeed lucky to be able to unlock not just one, but two whole
cores on your X2. I had a Phenom X3 prior to this one (X6), and when I
used the Asus unlocker to get just a single additional core, it locked
up. It was indeed a bad core and not just a core locked out for
marketing purposes, it could not be unlocked.

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When you use the Core Unlocker (i.e. Unleashed mode) it's been suggested
that you should not use CnQ in combination of Unleashing. You should
also disable Turbo Core (if available on your processor), and C1E
support, while unleashed.

    Yousuf Khan

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840


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As it turns out, I'm not running the software, but it is enabled in BIOS. Seems
to work just fine that way. I don't have
Turbo mode enabled- I figure it's not going to give me that much of a boost for
what I run anyway.

I haven't seen too many failures on the Phenom II x2 CPU's. I believe there were
more instances of non-working extra
cores on the x4's. If I have a problem with any of them, I can always turn one
or two cores off. Until that time, I'll
enjoy what I have. I'm glad I upgraded my PSU a while back since the 4 cores
double the power requirement.
--
SC Tom


Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On Thu, 05 Jan 2012 16:27:13 +0000, DK wrote:

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Do the math. 366MHz celery to what, 1800MHz? Sempron 2200+ to what~
2500MHz X4 Phenom. And core speed is only one factor of many in system
speed. That said, check your cool n quite settings. It's possible your OS
is not set to run the cpu at max speed.

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On Jan 5, 11:27 am, d...@no.email.thankstospam.net (DK) wrote:
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It's a difficult job, programming for multiple cores, not to mention
BIOS and MB implementation between features and microprocessor model
enhancements constantly being added to multiple cores.  When a chip
design is capable of automatically routing a linearly constructed
program, written and compiled on a single core, through a networked
die of multiple cores at x64 a factor of speed, either we'll be ready
and can sign up for a brain-implanted chip for vastly improved AI-
augmented intelligence, or begin to cover our asses when the first
Terminators are released.

While watching a PBS show on DNA, one of the researchers noted for her
work in statistical reduction sets over intersecting gnome patterns in
coupling the animal world generally to humankind, mentioned she is as
well a computer programmer.  Her claim then being, is she wrote a
program, on camera for such as might a you academic be prone to say -
"I got geeky" [to accomplish the above task] - while presumably on and
using university facilities, at a factor of one a single afternoon
connotes, to do what she claims an average desktop would accomplish in
35 years!

-
"There are liars, there are damn liars, and then there are the
statisticians." -anon.


Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

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No, absolutely not, I kept my PATA drives. But the tests I ran are
not in any way limited by disk access.

Dima



Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

you should have looked at cpu passmark
 
cpu passmark
for $109.95      £85.52 JBO solutions   phenom x4 840 3.2 ghz   rank 190
for $109.99      £96.99 Ebuyer          phenom x4 960T 3.0 ghz  rank 160
for $109.99      £83.99 overclockers uk amd  FX-4100 x4 3.6 ghz rank 141

Phenoms AM3
FX AM3+

second question whats your PSU

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

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I thought that AM3 offers more choices of inexpansive mobos and CPUs.
Also, I got the 840 for $86. I like keeping things frugal.

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Nexus Value 430. I bought it for its inaudible fan. Has been rock solid in
the previous setup and all voltages in the current are as expected and
stable.

Dima

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

DK wrote:

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here read this:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Phenom_II_X4_840 /

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

for £60 to £65 Athlon x4 640 AM3 rank 193 cpu Passmark

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On 6/01/2012 3:27 AM, DK wrote:
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I used to have a Sempron 2800+. It was a dog! Just about anything would
run rings around it. I gave the whole computer away a year or two back
after having it in storage. It is still in use today. Did put a braver
video card in it for the new owner though.
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I upgraded to a @6600 Quad in a Gigabyte G33M-DS2R motherboard with an
NVidia 8500GS video card (now Nvidia GeForce GT430) and 2 Gig of RAM
(now 8 Gig). It was way overkill for what I do these days.

For my day to day stuff, I use a Pentium 4 HT @ 3 GHz with 4 GB of RAM
and that seems to cope more than adequately with my workload. The
Quadcore rarely even gets turned on

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On board graphics are always a bit of a dog though there have been some
significant improvements in recent years. I will always favour external
graphics adaptors even if, in my usage, it only provides for snappy
screen updates.
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I have found that what I need to be done fast is handled adequately by
my P4. For the rest, I have plenty of time so I can afford to wait. I
could overclock my Quadcore and get an even greater speed boost. In
fact, that was one of the reasons I picked this particular CPU as it has
loads of headroom but, apart from some experiments when new, it has
always run at a standard clock speed.

If I was into some serious gaming, I daresay the Quadcore would be more
useful.

--

Krypsis

Re: Disappointing upgrade: Sempron 2200+ --> Phenom II 4X 840

On 05/01/2012 11:27 AM, DK wrote:
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    <snip>

Slightly on a tangent, I've been disappointed with all of my CPU
upgrades after my first one. My first processor was an 8088-10MHz on a
PC-XT clone. My first processor upgrade went from that, straight to a
386DX-25MHz! It felt like I just strapped a rocket to my machine --
everything felt faster, even the typing! Every other processor upgrade
since then has felt somewhat unworthwhile. I never noticed the
performance in day-to-day work.

Even though my current processor is probably literally at least a 1000
times faster than that first processor, they all seem to just barely be
noticeable from the previous processors, in my opinion. And I'm not one
to upgrade every year either, I usually wait about 3 years between
processor upgrades. So 386/25 was still the biggest kick in the pants
ever, even after all of this time.

    Yousuf Khan

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