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Thread: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

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    Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Roy stokes the fires with a broadside at Intel's pricing.
    Read more.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    So how much does it cost to get a "Guest Post" on here?

    This just looks like AMD whining that their chips get slaughtered in most benchmarks, and that review sites should only use a benchmark that narrows the gap.

    Just my thoughts, I'm not biased to one brand or another, got a mix of Intel and AMD (and ARM) where appropriate.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    It costs nothing for a guest post from a VP-level executive in a company that all enthusiasts are very familiar with.

    Roy likes to foster debate by stridently putting forward his views, much as he did in a previous post - http://hexus.net/tech/features/cpu/5...-apu-category/ - and it's up to you to agree or disagree with it. We allow him to post because he really does have an opinion on matters and doesn't hide behind bland corporate speak.

    My personal opinion is that he has a point, but over-reliance on the one benchmark you do well in isn't perhaps the best strategy.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    This just looks like AMD whining that their chips get slaughtered in most benchmarks, and that review sites should only use a benchmark that narrows the gap.
    No, I think he's making the point that if you use a benchmark that reflects the corporate world rather than the enthusiast world, there's nothing to choose between Intel and AMD in terms of performance, yet everything to choose in terms of price. Roy makes an excellent point here; one I can relate to from my time spent as a self-employed IT consultant. And interestingly he goes through a whole article about the cost of workplace PCs without even mentioning the AM1 platform - perhaps because there's no real competitor to it from Intel, pricewise (even the cheapest Celeron is more expensive than the quad core Sempron 3850).

    I'm always pleased to see these kinds of articles on hexus, because the channel and business side of the site has dipped off significantly in recent years compared to when I first joined the forum (one of the things that used to bring me here was Scott Bicheno's excellent analysis of the corporate and channel side of things). I always used to appreciate that Hexus didn't just focus on enthusiast and gaming, and while the channel/corporate side has taken a back seat over time, it's nice to see it's not being ignored completely: a lot more computers are bought to sit on desks in offices than to play the latest AAA games, after all....

    EDIT: just to add that I don't think there's a benchmark out there that really addresses standard workplace usage, as the computer - and in particular the processor - is rarely the bottleneck. For workplaces PCs pretty much any modern platform will be "good enough" - benchmarks won't really tell you an awful lot.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    I also agree that relying on one benchmark isn't perhaps the best strategy. The consumer (informed) will always look at different benchmarks, as they want to get the best performance and efficiency for specific scenarios. However, I also think that for desktop work, processors have hit a plateau, that for most cases increasing processing power won't really make much difference to the end experience. A good SSD over a HDD will be a better investment in a lot of cases!

    I personally am interested in the next release of APUs for use in steam boxes (also when decent looking itx cases are made, that would sit nice next to the TV), as I think they still struggle a bit with 1080p gaming (look at ps4, xbox one). I know they are slightly different being Jag cores, but I still don't think they are "next gen", and it was a bit of a mistake not using a discrete graphics chip in the latest gen consoles.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Thanks Tarinder, I'm used to seeing guest posts being thinly veiled, paid-for marketing spots on other sites. I do think it's good that the thoughts of people high up in these companies are made available. I do appreciate the content as well, just my opinion at the end of it was that it came across a bit whiney.

    I'll check out Roy's other post now.

    Does the "channel" buy from Newegg?

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Sure the cost up front is less, but the power consumption is higher so in the long run the difference will be minimal - particularly for businesses where PC upgrades are far less frequent and also spend a higher fraction of the day powered on in general.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Roy is pretty active on Twitter for example - he does even lurk on forums(he even linked to a thread or two on OcUK a while back). He used to be a major guy over at Nvidia for like a decade,and was one of the main people behind the TWIMTBP.


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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    EDIT: just to add that I don't think there's a benchmark out there that really addresses standard workplace usage, as the computer - and in particular the processor - is rarely the bottleneck. For workplaces PCs pretty much any modern platform will be "good enough" - benchmarks won't really tell you an awful lot.
    Agreed. I have found in many instances it is less the terminal and more the infrastructure which causes the problems,ie,like the servers hosting the software and the network for example or just clunky,buggy software!

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post
    Sure the cost up front is less, but the power consumption is higher so in the long run the difference will be minimal - particularly for businesses where PC upgrades are far less frequent and also spend a higher fraction of the day powered on in general.
    You mean like Llano,Trinity and Richland where low load and idle power consumption was frequently as good or better than Intel CPUs??

    It only took until Haswell for Intel to actually surpass them again.









    That is where most terminals and work PCs will be at - low loads or near idle.

    In many companies the number crunching is offload to dedicated machines which the terminals connect to,and even much software is hosted from dedicated machines as it makes licensing and new deployments much more easier.

    Too many enthusiasts are indoctrinated by rendering runs,and Prime runs thinking that is typical of power consumption.

    It isn't.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-06-2014 at 10:38 AM.


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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    Does the "channel" buy from Newegg?
    Newegg *is* the "channel", but I take your point. Ultimately though, he has to get price figures from somewhere, and one of the biggest component vendors in the US in probably not a bad place to start. I guess one problem is the trouble AMD have had in getting their chips into big OEM boxes, and perhaps this is also something of a dig at the like of Dell: if they look at the right benchmarks they might find they can provide their customers with the same performance at a lower price point. *shrug*

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post
    Sure the cost up front is less, but the power consumption is higher so in the long run the difference will be minimal
    Idle power is virtually the same across all platforms (within a few watts), and office computers rarely get out of idle, so the power draw difference is utterly negligible. You'd need to run equivalent PCs at full load, 24/7 for 2 years to burn the cost difference in power.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    I doubt that power consumption would make a big difference in the corporate world (for desktop machines anyway) as building power is from a different departmental budget to IT capital expenditure. There are probably an awful lot of small to medium sized businesses out there that don't cost the electricity used by their servers to IT either.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post
    Sure the cost up front is less, but the power consumption is higher so in the long run the difference will be minimal - particularly for businesses where PC upgrades are far less frequent and also spend a higher fraction of the day powered on in general.
    You mean like Llano,Trinity and Richland where low load and idle power consumption was frequently as good or better than Intel CPUs??

    It only took until Haswell for Intel to actually surpass them again.

    That is where most terminals and work PCs will be at - low loads or near idle.

    In many companies the number crunching is offload to dedicated machines which the terminals connect to,and even much software is hosted from dedicated machines as it makes licensing and new deployments much more easier.

    Too many enthusiasts are indoctrinated by rendering runs,and Prime runs thinking that is typical of power consumption.

    It isn't.
    I was assuming he wasn't focussing on the PCs doing nothing, as otherwise the 5350 would surely be the best contender for that and it wasn't mentioned?

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post

    I was assuming he wasn't focussing on the PCs doing nothing, as otherwise the 5350 would surely be the best contender for that and it wasn't mentioned?
    He is talking about one part of the PCMark 8.2 Test suite:

    http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/pcmark8

    Work test

    Simple office productivity tests

    The PCMark 8 Work benchmark test measures your system's ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets and using video chat. The Work benchmark is suitable for measuring the performance of typical office PC systems that lack media capabilities. The results from each workload are combined to give an overall PCMark 8 Work score for your system.
    They are all lowish load tasks. Even the video aspect is supported by various features AMD has on their new APUs:

    http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-arti...eoPlugins.aspx
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-arti...echnology.aspx

    AFAIK,the IGP is used to assist in these cases.


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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    I like his point on money being spent needlessly in education, simply due to a lack of IT knowledge in the spending department. A friend of mine works for a government based former QUANGO type of thing, and its his job to negotiate prices with Adobe and MS and so on for software packages for schools. In one particular area there are 40 schools and the current quote for microsoft software is £80k, or approx £2k per school
    My mate has repeatedly advised the board that with some sort of schools coalition, that would drop to £200 per school, or £8k in total.
    I find it staggering that these schools are not forced into these coalitions to save this amount of money. The allowance a school has to spend on each kid at school is incredibly low, and is a major factor in the terrible standards in overcrowded areas.

    My parents and best friends having been teacher or currently in teaching does give me a bias on this, but 72K is a lot of money to go wasted
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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post

    I was assuming he wasn't focussing on the PCs doing nothing, as otherwise the 5350 would surely be the best contender for that and it wasn't mentioned?
    He is talking about one part of the PCMark 8.2 Test suite:

    http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/pcmark8

    Work test

    Simple office productivity tests

    The PCMark 8 Work benchmark test measures your system's ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets and using video chat. The Work benchmark is suitable for measuring the performance of typical office PC systems that lack media capabilities. The results from each workload are combined to give an overall PCMark 8 Work score for your system.
    They are all lowish load tasks. Even the video aspect is supported by various features AMD has on their new APUs:

    http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-arti...eoPlugins.aspx
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-arti...echnology.aspx

    AFAIK,the IGP is used to assist in these cases.
    I just meant in general, that CPUs would be under load during the working hours rather than mostly idle which is where power consumption may come into play. Although it would be interesting to see how much of an effect it would actually have - the one I use has a few hundred octocore Sandy Bridge CPUs (as well as GPU nodes).

    But I definitely agree that AMD is the way to go for PCs which will sit idle for the majority of time - I helped build a few of my friend's HTPCs with AMD APUs partly because of this, and partly because of their much stronger IGPs for the occasional game.

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    Re: Features - Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

    Well I have talked to people who have experience of government IT,where they have seen OTT PCs and laptops are bought/leased at times for relatively light tasks. I even read somewhere,that in one instance a laptop was leased to several times the upfront purchasing cost of the laptop.

    Too many people who are involved in buying IT equipment are either clueless,or are fiddling things. Its not even helped by the fact that trying to save money,ends up with budgets being reduced the next year,so it ends up being a war of trying to keep the funding intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbonji View Post
    I just meant in general, that CPUs would be under load during the working hours rather than mostly idle which is where power consumption may come into play. Although it would be interesting to see how much of an effect it would actually have - the one I use has a few hundred octocore Sandy Bridge CPUs (as well as GPU nodes).

    But I definitely agree that AMD is the way to go for PCs which will sit idle for the majority of time - I helped build a few of my friend's HTPCs with AMD APUs partly because of this, and partly because of their much stronger IGPs for the occasional game.
    Yes,but like I said he is talking about business use,which would be the things the PCMark 8.2 benchmark covers. It runs a loop of those applications mentioned to simulate a standard work load,which is close to idle.

    The Richland chips are the AMD laptop chips,so they are optimised to be quite efficient in those kind of workloads,to extend battery life.

    AMD suffers mostly in comparison to Intel under much heavier loads. Even then Kaveri has made some movement towards addressing that to a degree(at least on desktop).

    The kind of heavier loads would be more indicative of workstation work. However,even in the labs I have worked in(and mates have worked in),only specific machines would be heavily loaded anyway,ie,the type which would be running bioinformatics and image/video processing(deconvolution and the like) as examples.

    A lot of the machines attached to equipment or for office purposes won't be that heavily loaded during normal usage. In fact lots of equipment will tend to have dedicated data card anyway,to offload some of the processing from the main computer if speed is a major consideration. In those instances storage bottlenecks and amount of system RAM will become major considerations too.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-06-2014 at 12:02 PM.


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