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Processor Speed Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:04 pm
by Scorpion8
Seems like folks are unloading lots of good stuff during these trying times, and "slightly used" laptops are cheap and abound everywhere. I was able to pick up a Lenovo Ideapad Flex 4-1470 for pennies, it's light and fast enough for basic tasks like e-mail, web surfing and word processing, and has a great screen. I went up to 16GB of RAM and swapped the HDD to a SSD and it boots within a finger-snap. The odd thing is this has a newer i5-6200U (2 core) which is barely faster at benchmarks than my X220i as I write this, which has an i5-2520M. I would have pre-supposed that a 6th gen i5 would be significantly faster than a 2nd gen i5. And the Ideapad is much slower than my T420, recently upgraded to an i7-2720QM. Yea, I know that's a quad-core chip, but the processor speed isn't any faster than the Ideapad's frequency core, however the machine is much faster in benchmarks.

What is the main driver comprising "machine speed"? Memory frequency? CPU frequency? GPU core frequency (if any GPU is present)? These older Thinkpads may be almost 10 years old, but for day-to-day use I'm not finding anything lags for general office or home type of stuff. And the keyboards are better......

Re: Processor Speed Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:42 pm
by axur-delmeria
After the 3rd generation Core i series, Intel switched gears and aimed for better battery life rather than raw performance-- 4th generation (Haswell) mainstream mobile processors moved down to 15 watts from 35 watts, but at the cost of lower clock speed and performance-- the i5-4200U's base clock is 1.6GHz, with a Turbo of up to 2.6GHz, in contrast to the 3rd-gen i5-3210M with a base of 2.5GHz and a max turbo of 3.1GHz. But the upside was lower power consumption, and as result, longer battery runtime.

Intel continuously improved the CPU performance in succeeding generations, until the 7th generation matched the 3rd generation at less than half the power consumption. Intel introduced 15 watt quad-cores on the 8th generation in response to AMD's Ryzen.

In short, Intel slowed down their CPUs at first to reach a lower power consumption target, then slowly crept up the speed as they improved the design and manufacturing.

OTOH, a more cynical take on it is that Intel became lazy and complacent because AMD's CPUs weren't competitive until Ryzen arrived. Another is greed, as Intel stuck with a 14nm manufacturing process from the 5th generation up to now (10th gen), as they wanted their next-gen 10nm process to have as much profit margins (produce cheaply then sell high) as their mature 14nm one. Unfortunately, the 10nm process hit a lot of snags (they were forced to sell a 10nm Core i3 without graphics because the built-in GPU was defective), see https://www.anandtech.com/show/13405/in ... ive-review.

Re: Processor Speed Discussion

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:55 am
by RealBlackStuff
If (big IF) I feel the need to acquire yet another Thinkpad (that would be my #165), it will definitely be one with an AMD CPU.
I'm sick and tired of the NSA-sponsored Intel spyware.
(And that lappie would NOT get any Windows on it either!)

Re: Processor Speed Discussion

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:58 am
by axur-delmeria
RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:55 am
If (big IF) I feel the need to acquire yet another Thinkpad (that would be my #165), it will definitely be one with an AMD CPU.
I'm sick and tired of the NSA-sponsored Intel spyware.
(And that lappie would NOT get any Windows on it either!)
To be fair, no one bets on a losing (or more likely dead) horse, with how badly Intel's getting slaughtered by AMD's 7nm Ryzens.