Build Advice Advice for (largely) chess-related, CPU-Intensive build - under $2000 ?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Thanks for all the advice. Question: What about AMD? I say that because I remember late late year someone talking about Thread-ripper. As I recall, it is a less powerful CPU, but has a lot of cores. Of course, it's way out of my price range! In general though, I think the AMD processors use less power at higher speeds than do they Intel's...but perhaps I am wrong about that as well.

I guess what you are saying is the more CPU power the better...be it threaded (rather useless for chess engines) or not...and that the amount of heat the CPU puts out really doesn't matter in regards to throttling...as they are all going to throttle if you run the long enough.
Perhaps mention somewhere in this thread.
Is this chess app multi threaded or single threaded?
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
Well...that's just the thing, I would know a TR4x if it bit me on the ankle; and I am not sure if it should be AMD or Intel as I am trying to learn more about both in regard to various chess needs. But I have a trusty (if 13 yr old..) laptop that gets me by for now, so I could just wait a bit longer while letting some like yourself enlighten me as to what might be best and why. :giggle:
 
Last edited:

Why_Me

Champion
Well...that's just the thing, I would know a TR4x if it bit me on the ankle; and I am not sure if it should be AMD or Intel as I am trying to learn more about both in regard to various chess needs. But I have a trusty (if 13 yr old..) laptop that gets me by for now, so I could just wait a bit longer while letting some like yourself enlighten me as to what might be best and why. :giggle:
Going from a i7-6700 w/ 16GB of RAM to an i7 12700 w/ 32GB of DDR5 is about the equivalent of going from 1970's Volkswagen Bus to a new C8 Z06 Corvette.

 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
Thinking of how a chess engine's purpose it to 'calculate'...and it hyper-threading not being an issue...after reading an article here on the i3-12100 (3.4 - 4.3 ghz), and it's power efficiency with the stock cooler, it had me wondering: would throttling essentially be a non-issue with this CPU when letting 2-3 cores run for an extended time compared to, say an i7-12700 which would throttle and pull down the productivity. Or perhaps the i7-2700 is just the much better chip when running 2-3 cores for the same period of time (?)

It's so hard for a real layman to juggle the pros and cons... :cautious:
 
Thinking of how a chess engine's purpose it to 'calculate'...and it hyper-threading not being an issue...after reading an article here on the i3-12100 (3.4 - 4.3 ghz), and it's power efficiency with the stock cooler, it had me wondering: would throttling essentially be a non-issue with this CPU when letting 2-3 cores run for an extended time compared to, say an i7-12700 which would throttle and pull down the productivity. Or perhaps the i7-2700 is just the much better chip when running 2-3 cores for the same period of time (?)

It's so hard for a real layman to juggle the pros and cons... :cautious:
Old CPUs like the 2700 do not have the same single threaded performance as a 4 core 8 thread 12100 of today. With them both at 1ghz the 12100 would do roughly 70-90% more work. When intel and AMD make a new CPU architecture on a more dense silicone process it means there are several multitudes more transistors in the same 4 core 8 thread CPU in this example. That also does not take into account many other architectural advantages with the improvements that comes with the advancement.
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-2700K-vs-Intel-Core-i3-12100/1985vs4126
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
Old CPUs like the 2700 do not have the same single threaded performance as a 4 core 8 thread 12100 of today. With them both at 1ghz the 12100 would do roughly 70-90% more work. When intel and AMD make a new CPU architecture on a more dense silicone process it means there are several multitudes more transistors in the same 4 core 8 thread CPU in this example. That also does not take into account many other architectural advantages with the improvements that comes with the advancement.
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-2700K-vs-Intel-Core-i3-12100/1985vs4126
So sorry...I left off a '1'. I mean the i7-12700 (12th gen)....as compared to the 4 Core i3-12100 (3.4 - 4.3 ghz)
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
The 12700 has a higher boost by a lot and it has more cores that can boost high, so if it is a single core program it can piggy back the cores while they are boosting higher for longer because it has more of them as well.
Funny thing, earlier today I ran across a chess forum where someone was asking a similar question. His wallet is a little fatter than mine....and seemed to need a much better graphics card than I would need. I wanted to get your (or others) take on the recommendation.

Someone opined that AMD was the way to go...suggested a Ryzen 9 5900 (12 cores) or Ryzen 9 5950x (16 cores)

The poster asked if an Intel CPU was worth looking into and he was told:

"AMD has the better tech for now. Not least because the large Intel CPUs have their power split into performance and efficiency cores, but for chess, you'll want to split up the total available computing capacity into as few cores as possible. Also, Intel's top CPU 12900 maxes out at 241W while a 5950X draws 100W (!) less - which means it's easier and less noisy to cool with a large (dual tower) air cooler so that you don't need to resort to water cooling for long-running chess analysis."
 

Why_Me

Champion
Funny thing, earlier today I ran across a chess forum where someone was asking a similar question. His wallet is a little fatter than mine....and seemed to need a much better graphics card than I would need. I wanted to get your (or others) take on the recommendation.

Someone opined that AMD was the way to go...suggested a Ryzen 9 5900 (12 cores) or Ryzen 9 5950x (16 cores)

The poster asked if an Intel CPU was worth looking into and he was told:

"AMD has the better tech for now. Not least because the large Intel CPUs have their power split into performance and efficiency cores, but for chess, you'll want to split up the total available computing capacity into as few cores as possible. Also, Intel's top CPU 12900 maxes out at 241W while a 5950X draws 100W (!) less - which means it's easier and less noisy to cool with a large (dual tower) air cooler so that you don't need to resort to water cooling for long-running chess analysis."
There is so much wrong in his post I don't know where to begin to start. Google reviews of Alder Lake cpu's for a start. There's a reason no one in this thread has recommended an AMD build.
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
So, I've asked around on some chess forums and...people seem to disagree with you and @Why_Me when it comes to using chess engines for game analysis.

Here is the way I understand it:

Chess engines can use all available threads, thus their multi-threaded score on benchmarks are far more important than single. I'm looking at Cinebench R23 scores (which admittedly has nothing to do with chess) right now and see the AMD Threadripper 3990X (64 cores (128 threads), 2.9 ghz) scoring FAR better than the Intel i9 12900K (16 cores (24 threads), 3.2 ghz). The same holds true of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (16 cores (32 threads), 3.4 ghz) - although it only just nudges out the 12900K Intel.

One person said, " Regarding NPS (Nodes Per Second) on chess engines: if two CPUs have a similar NPS but one CPU has fewer cores (so fewer available threads) that usually means it is a bit quicker as fewer threads incurs less search inefficiency.

NPS is good...core split is bad. One person said " If you can have the same NPS either with a single fast core or with two slower cores, the former is always better. That's pretty obvious when considering how multithreading works in chess engines". He indicated that those Cinebench scores I mentioned still give an idea of how fast the CPU is on one thread and all its threads...and that when it comes to chess engines, multi-thread is better.
 

Why_Me

Champion
So, I've asked around on some chess forums and...people seem to disagree with you and @Why_Me when it comes to using chess engines for game analysis.

Here is the way I understand it:

Chess engines can use all available threads, thus their multi-threaded score on benchmarks are far more important than single. I'm looking at Cinebench R23 scores (which admittedly has nothing to do with chess) right now and see the AMD Threadripper 3990X (64 cores (128 threads), 2.9 ghz) scoring FAR better than the Intel i9 12900K (16 cores (24 threads), 3.2 ghz). The same holds true of the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (16 cores (32 threads), 3.4 ghz) - although it only just nudges out the 12900K Intel.

One person said, " Regarding NPS (Nodes Per Second) on chess engines: if two CPUs have a similar NPS but one CPU has fewer cores (so fewer available threads) that usually means it is a bit quicker as fewer threads incurs less search inefficiency.

NPS is good...core split is bad. One person said " If you can have the same NPS either with a single fast core or with two slower cores, the former is always better. That's pretty obvious when considering how multithreading works in chess engines". He indicated that those Cinebench scores I mentioned still give an idea of how fast the CPU is on one thread and all its threads...and that when it comes to chess engines, multi-thread is better.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-12700k-review/4

3DMark, VRMark, Chess Engines on Intel Core i7-12700K

 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-12700k-review/4

3DMark, VRMark, Chess Engines on Intel Core i7-12700K

Sorry, I don't understand what your screenshot is supposed to convey as regards CPU's for chess analysis?
I went to the link and the i7 2700 fares no better than the Ryzen 5950X I mentioned. And if you go to the last slide (Stockfish 9) it further backs up the claim that the AMD processor is superior to the 12th Gen's...all of them.
 
Last edited:
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
Sorry, I don't understand what your screenshot is supposed to convey as regards CPU's for chess analysis?
I went to the link and the i7 2700 fares no better than the Ryzen 5950X I mentioned. And if you go to the last slide (Stockfish 9) it further backs up the claim that the AMD processor is superior to the 12th Gen's...all of them.
If I may revisit...because I am likely to get the new computer in August, the discovery of the comparison of CPU's in the Stockfish 9 slide pointed to above seems to seal the deal as to which CPU to has as cornerstone to the build.

I am curious (and serious) as to why someone mentioned...I believe it was: There is a reason why do one in this thread has mentioned an AMD build. Ignorance of what an engine (like Stockfish) does for chess analysis? Bias? I mean, looking at the Stockfish 9 slide, I do not even see a reason to wait for the upcoming Ryzen chips, except perhaps the AVX 512 support.
 

Cyberat_88

Distinguished
Apr 9, 2011
1,774
34
19,890
48
For single thread performance you want a higher STOCK speed and that is AMD.
Gen 9-12 intels stock speed between 2.5-3.2ghz (cheap architecture scheme to get at AMD pricing),
AMDs hover at 3.4-4.0ghz.
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
For single thread performance you want a higher STOCK speed and that is AMD.
Gen 9-12 intels stock speed between 2.5-3.2ghz (cheap architecture scheme to get at AMD pricing),
AMDs hover at 3.4-4.0ghz.
That is the way I was figuring it - given the info I mentioned and the Stockfish 9 (Image 5/5 in: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-12700k-review/4)

It does seem strange that no one would recommend AMD - particularly the Ryzen 5950 and dismiss AMD 'out of hand' as one of the people seemed to above.

I myself dismissed AMD for chess purposes initially, but am glad I kept checking. With the new AMD's going into production shortly, I half way wonder if I should just wait and look at their specs. But the Ryzen5950 looks like it may be ideal (since Threadripper is so expensive). Then again, they will be much more expensive and appear to be going to pump out more heat than an Arizona desert...
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
That is the way I was figuring it - given the info I mentioned and the Stockfish 9 (Image 5/5 in: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-12700k-review/4)

It does seem strange that no one would recommend AMD - particularly the Ryzen 5950 and dismiss AMD 'out of hand' as one of the people seemed to above.

I myself dismissed AMD for chess purposes initially, but am glad I kept checking. With the new AMD's going into production shortly, I half way wonder if I should just wait and look at their specs. But the Ryzen5950 looks like it may be ideal (since Threadripper is so expensive). Then again, they will be much more expensive and appear to be going to pump out more heat than an Arizona desert...
That is the way I was figuring it - given the info I mentioned and the Stockfish 9 (Image 5/5 in: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-12700k-review/4)

It does seem strange that no one would recommend AMD - particularly the Ryzen 5950 and dismiss AMD 'out of hand' as one of the people seemed to above.

I myself dismissed AMD for chess purposes initially, but am glad I kept checking. With the new AMD's going into production shortly, I half way wonder if I should just wait and look at their specs. But the Ryzen5950 looks like it may be ideal (since Threadripper is so expensive). Then again, they will be much more expensive and appear to be going to pump out more heat than an Arizona desert...
At the moment Intel has the speed crown over AMD for single-thread performance with its Alder lake processors. This will likely change once AMD releases its next-generation Ryzen processors.
Sorry...what has that got to do with chess engine analysis of game/positions which are directly related to the post (?)...clearly from the link posted (slide 5 of 5 - Stockfish chess engine) the Ryzen 5950 trounces the best Intel processor in chess analysis related activity.

If I am missing the point behind what you said, please enlighten me.
 
Sorry...what has that got to do with chess engine analysis of game/positions which are directly related to the post (?)...clearly from the link posted (slide 5 of 5 - Stockfish chess engine) the Ryzen 5950 trounces the best Intel processor in chess analysis related activity.

If I am missing the point behind what you said, please enlighten me.
I thought you had said your chess program was single-threaded?
 
Mar 13, 2022
48
14
35
0
I thought you had said your chess program was single-threaded?
I had read (perhaps incorrectly) that was the case...but clearly the slide someone put on here indicates the AMD processors are better when it comes to NPS (Nodes Per Second) for Stockfish. I presume they saw slide 1 and never looked at slide 5. I was the same way.

Just looking at those NPS numbers, I would almost think the Ryzen 5950 would beat even the top upcoming Intel 13th Gen processor.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY