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Intel Core i9 vs AMD Threadripper

Posted on Jul 18, 2017 by Paul White

Finally AMD and Intel are again competing for consumers business.  Intel has released its Core i9, which was previously its Extreme Edition CPUs, and AMD is about to release Threadripper its scaled out version of Ryzen.  My First generation Intel I7 no longer cuts it, especially after upgrading to windows 10.  Even upgrading the air cooler and overclocking it from 2.6 Ghz to 3.6 Ghz is not enough.  Editing 4K video is near impossible.  So I am ready to build a new workstation.  I have had my eye on the latest from AMD and Intel, and I think I have mde up my mind.

Without a doubt Intel will beat AMD in all the major benchmarks, but the question remains in how they are doing this.  They are taking a CPU die and socket LGA 2066 that is nearly the same size as the previous LGA 2011 v3, and then pushing 160 watts through it.  On top of that they have decided to use thermal paste to transfer the heat from the Die to the heat spreader which doesn't seem to be very effective.  The consensus from the web is this chip leaves no room for overclocking since it already runs so hot.  Even with a beefed up air cooler, at stock settings you are running hotter than most overclocked CPUs.  This means your only choice for the Intel i9 is water cooling.  But then you still have the poor design of the heat spreader.  Some people have speculated that Intel used thermal paste as this increases profits.  As whenever a CPU is soldered to the heat spreader there will be a percentage of chips lost.  My thoughts are Intel did this by design. Serious overclockers typically decap their chips. meaning they remove the heat spreader and mount their water blocks directly on top of the silicon.  If this was Intel's intention, why not just sell the chips outout a head spreader.  Why force people to go through the risky process of decaping their chips.  I have no doubt that an i9 with a water block directly on the Die would blow away anything AMD has to offer, though AMD would still have the value angle based of price to performance ratio. 

That brings us to AMDs Thread Ripper.  Which at this moment is the chip I am most likely to buy.  For one main reason.  The CPU die on AMD is huge.  They have created a TR4 socket that dwarfs the LGA 2066 from intel.  Some people might say bigger is not always better, but in this case it is.  The AMD socket has more than 2x the surface area to transfer heat away from the CPU.  This is a better thermal design, which leads be to believe that AMD chips will have high potential for overclocking, on water. 

AMD has always been seen as a more gamer oriented company, that trys to give consumers more for their money.  Intel especially has rubbed me the wrong way with the way certain advanced features will only work with Intel SSDs.  Everyone I know trusts and buys Samsung SSD drives.  The fact they would try to use this angle to push their own SSD line comes accross as dishonest. 

Anyway I have a ton of 4K videos I need to edit and post before the end of september.  Meaning I need to build a new computer before then.  We will see how right I am in a month when Threadripper comes out and the market has developed a consensus.

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