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i3 vs i5 in gbApps

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  • i3 vs i5 in gbApps

    Pretty much all of the code I write is single threaded.

    The impression I get from reading online discussions is that for single threaded applications such as what I write, the i5 does not provide any better app performance than an i3.

    My own experience is that an i5 PC appears to be more responsive in general, but once in an application I haven't seen an app perform better with either processor.

    Can anyone familiar with processors comment on that?

  • #2
    i3 and i5 are not single processors, they are ranges of processors.
    Within each range there is a lot of variation and the best i3 may well outperform a lower end i5 but the i5 range is better.

    Check out your specific processors on this site:
    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php...2.40GHz&id=799

    It gives both the overall benchmark figure, which assumes you're using all CPU cores, but it also gives a single thread performance.
    e.g. the i5 linked to here has an overall rating of 2002 and a Single Thread Rating 1273.

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    • #3
      Howdy, Paul!
      Yes, there are enough manufacturing generations of the processors to make comparisons difficult.

      Thanks for the link. Following up on single thread ratings, an i3-3120m vs i5-2435 had 1273/1251 single thread ratings.

      Does that really mean that running a single thread app such as my gbApps that performance would be about the same for those particular i3 and i5 processors?

      Do the other features of an i5 simply not come into play?


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      • #4
        Gary, this article from PC Mag might give you some idea of the architectural difference between the two. Unless you're using one of the features (like more cores, more cpu cache, more pci lanes, etc), any 2ghz core is going to run pretty much the same regardless of the 'i' family.

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        • #5
          Not all that many applications are suitable for multi-thread code design. I agree with Ray here, within the bounds of any particular processor family, a single core running at a given frequency will perform much the same as any other single core in the same processor family. A higher core count makes other things easier like the number of threads the OS is using and the other factor is how much memory is available to the processor. Your worst case is a single core processor (PIV or earlier) with minimum memory handling multiple threads which in total exceed the available memory of the computer.

          Task switching and swapping data to disk really slow down a computer and the solution is more memory and if that is not enough, a processor with more cores that may run at a higher frequency. With single threaded applications, if the machine has enough memory then the core frequency dictates how fast the app will run.
          hutch at movsd dot com
          The MASM Forum

          www.masm32.com

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          • #6
            There is a sort of sweet spot and many times more cores actually means slower single core speed (compare server core counts/cpu speed vs desktop core counts/speed) although you also have to look at the L2/L3 cache sizes as that has a balancing factor as well. A simple answer is hard due to the myriad of combinations and many times depends upon where the app bottlenecks (threads/cores/cache/speed).

            Another consideration, when you have more cores you have more density, more cores means even more heat, more heat causes CPU death, so the CPU throttles down the CPU speed. Heavily dependent on actual load at the time.

            All that said you will notice a very clear decrease in CPU speed as more cores are added.
            <b>George W. Bleck</b>
            <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

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            • #7
              Gary,
              Those 2 processors are very similar. You're comparing a slightly higher spec i3 to a slightly lower spec i5 and they come out with similar performance..
              The i5 is 1 year older than the i3 so in some ways the i3 has improved, but the basic specs are almost the same.
              Probably the most significant difference I can see is that in i5 can be overclocked by 25% so it can, at least for a short time, comfortably beat the i3.

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              • #8
                Howdy, Raymond!
                Yes, I'd read that article but thought it was a bit non-specific when tossing out comments about an i5 offering more performance. Comments in the article such as this one ...

                ...generally better performance
                ... don't really help answer my OP question. They do acknowledge that in some circumstances, the i3 can provide better performance.

                Steve/George,
                Your comments about single cores seem to address my question. My single thread gbApps don't seem to warrant the cost of an i5.

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                • #9
                  Looking at various PCs, the i3 to i5 price delta can be in the $150 range. I'd generally go with the i5 unless I had a limited budget.

                  Of course, I'd go for an i7 too if budget were not a factor!

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                  • #10
                    Gary,

                    The i5 is probably a better choice as it allows the OS thread count to occur without that much influence on the remaining cores. If the i3 is a dual core, the two have to do more work and it can effect the performance of running applications. As George mentioned, the higher the core count, the more lag you get but at least the extra heat can be addressed by a better cooler, the small Intel and AMD coolers are budget models and will not handle any real temperature rise.

                    Its a horses for courses thing with processors, if you are running a big web server with a high connection count, install multiple AMD thread rippers but if you are supplying computers for occasional web browsing, email, watching movies and playing music, a 4 core i5 will easily do it fast enough and cheap enough. If it lives in a hot area, install a better quality cooler and DON'T use a junk power supply.
                    hutch at movsd dot com
                    The MASM Forum

                    www.masm32.com

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                    • #11
                      Tidbit of information .... the first version of my commercial application EZReader ran off a Lenovo stick Win10 PC. It seemed to run just fine. So while I'd go with an i5, budget permitting, I've seen what can work in a pinch!

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                      • #12
                        I5 is the best overall bang for buck. I would not really ever advise an I3 unless it's a really low use device or a single very single focus person that does not do a lot of multitasking at all.

                        I'd be tempted to setup a GoFundMe Gary if you pick the I3 !!!

                        You can trust gamers (as a general aggregate, not the hard core ones) to find the best overall CPU/Price point. See https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/ and sort by "User Rating %" --- I5-9600K clear winner.
                        <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                        <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

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                        • #13
                          It's time for me to build a new desktop and I'm leaning towards the i5-10400. TDP is 65W so a small case will work. This CPU has 6 cores and hyper-threading, which is a plus since most of my projects are multi-threaded (and other apps are running at the same time). It doesn't OC but that's not a big deal for me. It's not 7nm but I need to do this now, so wont be waiting on Intel. The CPU cost is 182 USD. And, I am defiantly NOT a gamer.

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                          • #14
                            Most gaming is GPU bound so the reference wasn't to the fact the CPU is geared for gaming. It is the fact gamers cheap out on some parts (i.e. the CPU) to spend on others (the GPU) while still picking a highly viable one.

                            Price is about even. The 9600K is a faster per core device AND overclockable (NOT just a gamers value add) but uses more watts, while the 10400 is slower but more threads and lower wattage.

                            It comes down do you want a faster per thread machine or one that can multitask more ACTIVE tasks better (i.e MS word or a browser sitting in the background is NOT an active task).
                            <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                            <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

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