Question i5 - 3470 vs i5 - 6400

May 26, 2021
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Should I upgrade my computer from i5-3470 to i5-6400, is the three generation gap worths the upgrade, the 3470 is faster with 3.2GHz 3.6, from the 6400 2.7GHz 3.3, so is it an upgrade even if the speed of the better gen cpu is slower? thank you
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
It's a relatively pointless upgrade. It's not even three full generations; Broadwell was just a tick of an improvement over Haswell. The ipc gains are basically canceled out by the clock speed. Maybe if the upgrade to a new motherboard/DDR4 RAM with the CPU would be worth if it the whole upgrade's dirt cheap because you could upgrade to a 7700K at some point, but otherwise, I'm not seeing the value here of replacing a nine-year-old system with a similar performing six-year-old system unless the price is absolutely unreal.
 
May 26, 2021
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I will add some details as requested, I use the pc for programming mostly, I do use a virtual device in my ide, I'm getting sometime to 10GB+ ram usage, the motherboard I'm using has Ram ddr3 16GB 1600mhz, the new one has ddr4 8gb ram 2133mhz, so I will have to add more ram, the mother boards:3rd gen: ga-h61m-ds2 vs 6th gen: ga-h110m-s2v
 
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May 26, 2021
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It's a relatively pointless upgrade. It's not even three full generations; Broadwell was just a tick of an improvement over Haswell. The ipc gains are basically canceled out by the clock speed. Maybe if the upgrade to a new motherboard/DDR4 RAM with the CPU would be worth if it the whole upgrade's dirt cheap because you could upgrade to a 7700K at some point, but otherwise, I'm not seeing the value here of replacing a nine-year-old system with a similar performing six-year-old system unless the price is absolutely unreal.
I see, so I should aim to upgrade at least 4 gen and retain clock speed while doing so? (please check the comment above I've added some details)
 

Mr.Spock

Respectable
you'll need to swap motherboards for the upgrade - you will get m.2/Optane capability as a benefit if that's important. each generation of Intel gains 10%-15% so clocks are basically a wash. the 6400 is rated faster in floating point and slower in integer by Passmark (FWIW). so weigh those factors vs. getting something more modern for maybe a bit more $$.
 
May 26, 2021
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Thank you all, So clock speed does matter.. I thought that better gen is far superior, I see now that it is not such an upgrade, I will wait for a better opportunity
 
May 26, 2021
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Its not "4 generations".
Rather...buy the best system your budget allows, that actually provides a good performance boost.
Sure, thank you, my main point was to understand what is the significance of the clock speed, and if any higher cpu gen is better than the old one, I know it's probably obvious to you.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Sure, thank you, my main point was to understand what is the significance of the clock speed, and if any higher cpu gen is better than the old one, I know it's probably obvious to you.
Clock speed is sort of irrelevant.
15 years ago, you could buy a Pentium IV with the same clock speed as a 10th Gen Intel today.
Which would give you better performance?

Or the infamous AMD FX-9590, with a out of the box clock speed of 5.0GHz. One of the worst CPUs foisted on the public this century.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Personally, I'd say that upgrading from a quad-core without SMT to another slightly newer quad-core without SMT isn't worth it. If you want something with a bit more "staying-power", you need to upgrade to at least hex-cores or quad with SMT, preferably both.

I just upgraded from an i5-3470 to i5-11400, that's a roughly 200% performance increase as in approximately 3X as fast on raw numbers. Not noticing it all that much in most everyday use but I have confirmed that it performs above-average for 11400s in UBM and Cinema 4D R23, so I know the performance I'm supposed to get is all there with some to spare. Firefox is a bit more responsive, Teamviewer sessions appear to have quit randomly freezing though they still lag every now and then, audio stutter in Dolphin appear to have gone away, Gemcraft isn't lagging as badly when launching super-sized waves and Wipeout XL won't launch anymore. Haven't done much else yet.
 
May 26, 2021
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Personally, I'd say that upgrading from a quad-core without SMT to another slightly newer quad-core without SMT isn't worth it. If you want something with a bit more "staying-power", you need to upgrade to at least hex-cores or quad with SMT, preferably both.

I just upgraded from an i5-3470 to i5-11400, that's a roughly 200% performance increase as in approximately 3X as fast on raw numbers. Not noticing it all that much in most everyday use but I have confirmed that it performs above-average for 11400s in UBM and Cinema 4D R23, so I know the performance I'm supposed to get is all there with some to spare. Firefox is a bit more responsive, Teamviewer sessions appear to have quit randomly freezing though they still lag every now and then, audio stutter in Dolphin appear to have gone away, Gemcraft isn't lagging as badly when launching super-sized waves and Wipeout XL won't launch anymore. Haven't done much else yet.
Thank you, I get that the speed is to be condiser but only in a few generations gap, my older pc was i3-550 than i got this i5-3470 years ago which is good but stutter a little here and there, I want this kind of jump next time, cuz I don't replace my pc every year not even every 3/4 years.
 

punkncat

Dignified
Ambassador
It may be worth exploring whether your current rig will accept a 3770. Should be readily available for under $100. More threads, better clock speeds. Should liven that system right up.

IMO if you are considering an upgrade...even a i3 10100 would be more desirable than a 7700(k) when you consider you could buy the new i3, motherboard, and RAM new for around the same price that i7 would be. It would also leave you a nice upgrade path through 10th and 11th gen CPU if you choose a better than average motherboard.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Thank you, I get that the speed is to be condiser but only in a few generations gap, my older pc was i3-550 than i got this i5-3470 years ago which is good but stutter a little here and there, I want this kind of jump next time, cuz I don't replace my pc every year not even every 3/4 years.
If you do the bare minimum upgrade to get rid of the stutter you are running into right now, you will likely find yourself wanting to upgrade again pretty soon from the stutter you will run into after your upgrade.

Getting a 3770(k) for your existing board if you have a decent 6x/7x board would give you about 40% more performance in multi-threaded workloads and 15% for lightly-threaded stuff, which MIGHT get you to the other side of whatever hump you are trying to get over.

As cat wrote, a modern i3 would be a better choice than old i5 and even i7. Once you get into the 8000-series where you need to go for a substantial performance bump, used prices are high enough that it doesn't make much sense to buy used anymore, better off going new 10th or 11th gen. If you can get a Ryzen 3600(X) for a reasonable price, that may also be an option, otherwise AMD has nothing that competes with discounted 10th-gen Intel chips on performance per dollar.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Thank you, I get that the speed is to be condiser but only in a few generations gap, my older pc was i3-550 than i got this i5-3470 years ago which is good but stutter a little here and there, I want this kind of jump next time, cuz I don't replace my pc every year not even every 3/4 years.
This would not be anywhere near the kind of jump. Intel was getting much bigger jumps in those generations. Going from an i3-550, you got two more real cores instead of threads and about 30%-40% jump in ipc. To match that jump, you'd need to go at least to something like an i5-8600, a similar jump in ipc with a couple more cores. Going to a cheap Skylake -- and one that was noted as a particularly poor value in the line when it came out six years ago -- is a much smaller upgrade than your previous one. Intel's upgrades became more incremental after Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.

But it doesn't really make sense to buy a Coffee Lake i5 because the prices haven't dropped to a range that it would be a value. So it would only make real sense to do a platform/RAM/CPU upgrade if you're going to something for something like an i5-10400. If you want to get off the upgrading treadmill for a few years, you really gotta get something that isn't already six years old.

I like the 3770K. A lot. I've had PCs since the early 80s and the 3770K had the longest reign driving my main rig of any CPU ever (the Pentium 4 that manages my stereo longest overall and has been on continually for 18 years now). But at $130 or so to get a used one, it's really hard to recommend it over something that won't leave you back with the same problem in a few years when there are newish i5s under $200 brand new.
 
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May 26, 2021
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This would not be anywhere near the kind of jump. Intel was getting much bigger jumps in those generations. Going from an i3-550, you got two more real cores instead of threads and about 30%-40% jump in ipc. To match that jump, you'd need to go at least to something like an i5-8600, a similar jump in ipc with a couple more cores. Going to a cheap Skylake -- and one that was noted as a particularly poor value in the line when it came out six years ago -- is a much smaller upgrade than your previous one. Intel's upgrades became more incremental after Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.

But it doesn't really make sense to buy a Coffee Lake i5 because the prices haven't dropped to a range that it would be a value. So it would only make real sense to do a platform/RAM/CPU upgrade if you're going to something for something like an i5-10400. If you want to get off the upgrading treadmill for a few years, you really gotta get something that isn't already six years old.

I like the 3770K. A lot. I've had PCs since the early 80s and the 3770K had the longest reign driving my main rig of any CPU ever (the Pentium 4 that manages my stereo longest overall and has been on continually for 18 years now). But at $130 or so to get a used one, it's really hard to recommend it over something that won't leave you back with the same problem in a few years when there are newish i5s under $200 brand new.
Thanks to all for the replies, I really appreciate it, I think I understand what you're all saying, just out of curiosity, you're saying that i5-8600 will be somewhat a similar jump from i5-3470, like i5-3470 was from i3-550, I was wondering is it still the case for i5-8400 that also have 6 cores but lower speed from the i5-3470 4 cores, does 6 cores with lower speed is still much better than 4 cores with higher speed, or ever if I could simplify the qeustion theoretically, does an exact same cpu spec with 6 cores and 2.7GHz is better than one but with 4 cores and 3.2GHz? thank you

edit: ok, a simple google search did the job

"Basically, having a high clock speed but just one or two cores means your computer will be able to load and interact with a single application quickly. Conversely, having more processor cores, but a slower clock speed means your computer can work with more applications at a time, but each may run a little slower."

multitasking vs speed
 
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DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Thanks to all for the replies, I really appreciate it, I think I understand what you're all are saying, just out of curiosity, you're saying that i5-8600 will be somewhat a similar jump from i5-3470, like i5-3470 was from i3-550, I was wondering is it still the case for i5-8400 that also have 6 cores but lower speed from the 3 gen 4 cores, does 6 cores with lower speed is still much better than 4 cores with higher speed, or ever if I could simplify the qeustion theoretically, does an exact same cpu spec with 6 cores and 2.7GHz is better than one but with 4 cores and 3.2GHz? thank you
This is an unanswerable question because the construction and resulting performance of a CPU is far more complex than just x cores at y clock speed. You need to look at benchmarks; comparing specs of CPUs that aren't the same chip binned differently isn't a useful exercise.

The 8400 will be a little worse than the 8600. But it doesn't make sense to buy either chip unless you get an unbelievable deal. A used i5-8400 goes for about $120, which makes zero sense in a world in which a new i3-10100 goes for about $115 and a new i5-10400 about $175 (and occasionally cheaper). You'd still need DDR4 RAM for any of those choices and you're not getting huge savings on a used H370 motherboard.

If your goal is to get off the upgrade treadmill, overpaying for 2017 technology in 2021 isn't very effective.
 
May 26, 2021
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Ok, so let me give you a specific example, which one do you consider better: i5-7600 that has 4 cores with 3.5-4.1 GHz or i5-8400 that has 6 cores but 2.8-4.0 GHz, (I know it's becoming a different comparison, just trying to understand better), which one would you choose?
 
May 26, 2021
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As you're likely using multi-core software more than single-core software, I'd choose the 8400 over the 7600. In a theoretical, of course; I don't see the value proposition in either given current prices.
Thanks, didnt say anything about prices, just trying to understand the advantages of each model at this point. :)
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so let me give you a specific example, which one do you consider better: i5-7600 that has 4 cores with 3.5-4.1 GHz or i5-8400 that has 6 cores but 2.8-4.0 GHz, (I know it's becoming a different comparison, just trying to understand better), which one would you choose?
The potential benefits of having 50% more cores far outweigh the benefit of having 2.5% higher maximum boost frequency. It is a no-contest unless you have a very lightly threaded environment.
 
May 26, 2021
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The potential benefits of having 50% more cores far outweigh the benefit of having 2.5% higher maximum boost frequency. It is a no-contest unless you have a very lightly threaded environment.
Thanks, I figured, just wanted knowlagable approval, more cores is better than bigger speed, bigger speed is better or equal than higher gen (as long as its not a big gen difference), and offcourse I understand there are more factors to calculate
 

animekenji

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I would say no. You'd probably have to upgrade to at least an 8th gen i5 for it to be worthwhile. 8th gen is a totally new architecture that gives you the opportunity to upgrade to same and future gen LGA 1200 CPU's later on if you have to. An i7-3770 on your existing motherboard would probably be a better upgrade if a LGA 1200 motherboard and CPU is not in your budget. You'll be running double the thread count with a relatively simple upgrade.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-3770-vs-Intel-Core-i5-6400/1979vs3512
 
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