Upgrading my RIG to Haswell
I thought I'd share. My 4 years old AMD Phenom desktop is showing its age, and I decided to upgrade it. Given the fact that the Catalyst driver doesn't support my Graphics Card anymore, and that the Open Source driver with latest Ubuntu (13.04) and the xorg-edgers ppa is still considerably slower than an old Catalyst on an old kernel ... I decided to try Intel. (I run intel in a chromebook, a notebook and a laptop, so i know what I'm facing )
My choices were a Haswell based system, or a Richland based one. My issue was really drivers: Intel works only on the open source stack, which helps them get a lot of juice in Linux using my preferred model (Open Source). While I appreciate AMD's Open Source efforts, I prefer by far Intel's model, and decided to vote with my wallet. Also: single core performance was a consideration, and Intel beats AMD by a long shot.
So, I found a sweet deal for an i5-4670k for $50 more than the a10-6800k, I grabbed that, a Gygabyte GA-Z87-D3HP, and some fast (but not pricey) dual channel kit of DDR3 2400. This thing should fly! At the very least, I'll overclock RAM to 2400. Perhaps the CPU a bit, though Haswell is not good for OCing. Can't wait to get it on the mail and put it together.
Integrated graphics will more than suffice for now. If I need better graphics a couple years down the road, it will be and ATI card (no way I'd buy binary-only NVIDIA). Hopefully, by that time, Open Source ATI will have come closer to parity with Catalyst.
I'll probably post some benchmarks here later on.
Last edited by mendieta; 07-08-2013 at 01:21 PM.
1) Cool story.
2) Intel is also evil for various reasons (disabling features unless you've paid extra, removing instructions on "K" CPUs...). Sadly, there is no "perfect" company.
3) 2400MHz RAM is useless unless you're using an AMD APU, no need to go above 1600MHz.
4) People still believe they're going to overclock stuff they buy?
Last edited by Calinou; 07-08-2013 at 04:32 PM.
Yes, I agree on #2. This is why I try to buy AMD/ATI, to keep them alive!
#3: I'll certainly benchmark that. I am not sure why it shouldn't help, at least for CPU performance. For IGP, it access that same ram, I would think faster is better. Anyways, I'll check it out
#4: you made me laugh, really To add insult to injury, Haswell seems great for laptops but not focused on desktops, where people report very high tems as soon as they start OCing. That's why I was thinking of leaving the CPU alone, maybe trying to bump the GPU a bit, and definitely the RAM. We'll see !
So, it came today and I put it together. I didn't optimize/overclock anything so far, but it is smoking fast:
The highlighted result is what I was upgrading from. I'm such a happy camper
More info: geekbench jumped from 3500 to 12300. I guess the z87 chipset and the high speed ram paid off. I didn't even got into the bios yet, and my machine is the second highest 32 bit score in the geekbench ranking, for the i5-4670k
Stresscpu2 brings the temps up to 70C, so I don't think I'll do much with the CPU. I am using arctic silver 5 and the stock cooler. I guess the arctic silver will work better after it settles in a few days ... idle temps are really nice, around 28C
The chipset doesn't do anything on performance.
Originally Posted by mendieta
Ok, some notes in case it helps somebody else:
On the software side (graphics):
The last 4 tests are comparing the Ubuntu 13.04 software stack (normalized to 1) in glmark2. Adding the xorg-edgers makes it twice as fast (because of mesa 9.2), and anybody can do that using the ppa. Using the 3.10 kernel makes it 3 times as fast when using the default xorg stack, and 5.5 times faster with the xorg-edgers stack.
So, a bit of work will pay off a factor 5. In order to compile kernel 10.3, you can follow the instructions from here:
On the hardware side, this article covers overclocking extremely well:
Essentially: down-clock the RAM (I took it from its default 2400Mhz to 2000Mhz). Move up your CPU multiplier, and when you hit a wall, start optimizing the RAM. I can only run the RAM stable at 2200 Mhz with 10% tightening in the timings. I am running one core at 4.4Ghz, two at 4.3, three at 4.2 or four at 4.1
Geekbench is reporting a healthy 15,200 points. I can boot up and even run a lot of the software with Geekbench reporting 16500, but it's not stable (crashes now and then).
GPU overclocking is a no-go, for now.
The best way to test for stability has been a clean compile of the Linux kernel!
Last edited by mendieta; 07-29-2013 at 09:31 PM.