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Author Topic: Intel's Grand Debacle and My Sudden Urge for AMD architecture (Ryzen/mobo/GPU)  (Read 1998 times)

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Offline cfx795

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I'm not exactly ready to discard my Intel system just yet and throw money at an AMD system. But I'm very close, really. I'm thinking of the recent news coming to light about the susceptibility of Intel systems to Meltdown. Of course the case, psu, ddr4 ram and SSD would all transfer, if I were to make the switch.

The sort of distressing thing is that if I get a Ryzen cpu and mobo, I'm going to have to have some sort of discrete graphics card. My understanding is that there's not integrated graphics on the Ryzen chips, is that right? Which is just disappointing because I was entirely happy with the integrated graphics on this Kaby Lake Celeron. Plays HD streaming netflix just fine, etc. But, that's probably the extent of my power-usage.

I want to see how all this Meltdown/Spectre stuff plays out. I mean the susceptibility of the Intel chips, I take it, isn't brand-new, but these threats seem to be new-ish. I read through the responses from both Intel, and AMD, and I have to say if I were to read between the lines, the Intel response sounded almost frantic, and the AMD response sounded, well - rather confident. So I'll see what happens. I was probably going to upgrade my system, anyway, and so now that this has all come to light, I think I know what direction my upgrade might take... cpu/mobo/graphics card.

I don't want to throw tons of $$ at a graphics card, but if I do purchase one, I'd certainly want it to be superior to the integrated (Intel) graphics I just mentioned, not inferior. Cursory glance, I know nothing about these things, but I was looking at this AMD Radeon RX560. Maybe I could get it for... meh. $100? Something like that. That's about as much as I want to spend. Again, I'm not gaming or any other power-usage. I compared the RX560 to the HD 630 integrated graphics that comes with the higher-end Intel chips, on UserBenchmark: http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-RX-560-vs-Intel-HD-630-Desktop-Kaby-Lake/3926vsm178724

So it sort of looks like it would eat the HD 630 graphics for lunch. Any other ideas about this? Anyone? Also, were I to actually get that GPU, should I expect it to play nice with peppermint 7? Or PM8? (I'm currently running PM7) I mean could I expect it to be more-or-less plug and play?

Just curious. Like I said, I'm not ready to abandon ship just yet until it seems everyone has a clearer grasp on this issue. I actually just canceled an order for a large HDD that I was going to use for storage on this system, which I never really found very compelling, anyway. Anyway, Amazon was sort of dawdling, as Amazon will often do... and so I had the opportunity to change my mind, and maybe I'll just save this credit back for a while until I figure out what the hell is going on with Intel and Meltdown. This I find a lot more compelling than a little more storage. Or, frankly, even more so than the most-powerful processor, or the snappiest SSD.

So far, nothing has Melted Down. But it still bugs me. Seems like Intel knew about this thing for a rather long time, and just sat on it and didn't do anything. There's this, today, from CNBC: "AMD shares are up 10.4 percent in the two days through Thursday following the report, while Intel's stock declined 5.2 percent in the period, wiping out $11.3 billion of shareholder value."

This thing about the "fundamental design flaw" in the Intel chips leaked (I read this on the Intel site) about a week earlier than they were hoping, they had some "patches" scheduled to come out next week, and were hoping to keep it quiet until then. And the thing apparently really blew up in their face. But I'm surprised they've been able to keep it quiet for whatever it is - 10 or 20yrs??? Anyway, the shit really hit the fan in the media, and now they're freaking out and saying wait, wait, the media is really exaggerating this thing, and it's really not that much of a problem...

But a lot of smart folks are saying they're not (exaggerating) and that it really is (a problem). It's exactly the way you'd expect a massive corporation/bureaucracy to react when they get caught in a lie, and lose $11BIL in share value in two days. And then out of the other side of their forked PR-tongue: we care about security!

Apparently not.

ANYHOO. There, I've said it, I've vented. But what would you make of, say, a new AM4 motherboard, Ryzen 3 1200 with this Radeon RX560, running Peppermint 7? (Or 8?)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 11:07:33 pm by cfx795 »

Offline scifidude79

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Ubuntu will be releasing patches for this in a few days.  How effective will it be?  Hard to say.

AMD makes some really nice processors.  My first computer had an ARM processor, but my second was AMD. The AMD K6-2.  That was an awesome processor.  I think it blew away many of the Pentium III processors of the time.  So, I've been a fan of AMD for a long time.  They make good stuff.  This AMD FX-8120 I'm running in this computer is awesome, and it's from 2012.

As for modern processors, you are correct that Ryzen doesn't have integrated graphics, but you don't have to get a Ryzen.  AMD also makes the A-series processors, which are APUs, with the CPU and GPU built into one chip.  Bristol Ridge is the current gen of A-series, and they're really nicely priced.  One of these would probably be at least equivalent to that Kaby Lake Celeron and they come with Radeon graphics built in:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113453

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA9GZ6P47090

The truth of the matter is, any GPU made by either Nvidia or AMD will knock the socks off of Intel graphics.  It's less noticeable for everyday tasks, but Intel graphics are a joke in the gaming world.  Everyone who is even remotely serious about gaming runs either Nvidia or Radeon graphics.  Yes, you can game somewhat on Intel graphics, but they're years behind their competitors.  Even if you don't game, you'll feel that performance boost when you go to do other things as well, such as watching HD video.

Anyway, that's my opinion.  If you want integrated graphics, there are options.  If you want to go for a chip without, there are options, but it looks like you're already exploring those.  A simple everyday use graphics card won't run you too much money and even an inexpensive one will likely perform at least as good as Intel graphics for everyday tasks.  Just be sure to read product reviews when ordering and you shouldn't be led astray.  :)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:09:17 am by scifidude79 »

Offline cfx795

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You've given me some more options to think about, with regard to AMD. That quad-core Bristol Ridge might be a good option, but if I really wanted to make a more significant upgrade, maybe I'd consider some Ryzen configuration. So much of the focus in CPU's has been on speed, FPS. etc. This recent thing gives you some perspective, like: oh yeah. Security! Maybe if I had a dedicated "gaming rig" that I didn't use for any other sort of personal business, I'd be more focused more on cpu performance. But security is one of those things that, frankly, I didn't even think of as a hardware issue until just the other day! The thing is, I'm not a gamer, and I do use this desktop system for online banking, making purchases, etc. And I've suspected for a quite some time that much of what's out there is rather over-specced for my purposes. And when it comes to the security thing, weighing my options between the secure cpu with somewhat less impressive specs, versus the beast-processor with gaping vulnerabilities... I think I'd take the former every time.

Any ideas about a graphics card roughly in that range that I talked about? This is a little ways off, probably won't move on this until I get my tax refund. Maybe late Feb or early March.

So this Ubuntu patch, how will they know it works, or doesn't work? I suppose many advanced Linux users doing that very thing that the patch is supposed to guard against - trying to hack into systems, attempting to get private information. Is that roughly it? Thanks for your help and advice.

Offline scifidude79

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Basically, it seems like kernel updates are going to be rolled out nontstop until this crap is fixed.  (thanks Intel)  How soon will it all be completely resolved?  I don't know.  It seems newer kernels are getting priority over older (LTS) kernels, so it's hard to say.  There are a LOT of Linux kernels that are "current."

I won't even run another Intel processor even if they give me one for free after this.

As for graphics cards, it's hard to say.  I run an EVGA Nvidia GTX 950.  But, it's not like you need anything that powerful.  If I had your needs, I wouldn't pay more than $150 for a graphics card.  Most of the ones higher than that will be for more hardcore gamers.  Just look for something with decent ratings with an HDMI port in that range.  (most cards have HDMI, but that is a good indication that it can output to decent HD)  Any dedicated graphics card will automatically be an improvement over integrated graphics.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Intel are IMHO catching more flak for this than they should. Don't get me wrong they deserve contempt but not necessarily for this.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline scifidude79

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I've never really been that big of an Intel fan, to be honest.  Their prices are outrageous.  I never understood why some OEMs seem to absolutely love their crap, when you can build an AMD system for less and have about as good performance.  The only place AMD really suffers is in their lower end chips sometimes really suck as far as performance.  But, as long as you don't need a cheap laptop, you can usually get a better AMD-based system for cheaper than a lower end Intel one.  That's why I built a gaming/CGI desktop using AMD, not Intel.  The Celeron thing was a fluke, that was a budget build and I didn't want a Sempron.  The Celeron wasn't too much more expensive than the Sempron.

What made me mad most in this situation was the article about the CEO selling all of his stocks that he could when he found out about the security risks.  Take immediate steps to fix the issue?  No, just jump ship while you can because you know the stocks are going to tank.  He should be fired for that.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Oh sure, he personally should be ARRESTED for that .. isn't that covered by "insider trading" laws ?

But you KNOW his answer will be "I didn't personally know AT THE TIME", and that can be hard to prove.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 07:16:36 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Oh sure, he personally should be ARRESTED for that .. isn't that covered by "insider trading" laws ?

I was thinking the same.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Personally I think he's an idiot .. after the initial market shock, all CPU makers will push out chips without the vulnerability and there'll be a CPU replacement buying frenzy that'll see their profits and hence stock value go through the roof.

I mean it's not as though you can do without a CPU, and replacing like for like will most of the time be the cheapest option (no replacement mobo also required).

In fact if this were a tactic thought up by the marketing dept. it would be pure genius.

[EDIT]

The cynic in me says it might also be a great opportunity to roll out NSA/GCHQ 'friiendy' chips to those that had older ones.

[EDIT2]

I'm more bothered by the fact there hasn't been any recent update for Chromium....

Firefox, check

Chrome, check

but nothing for Chromium ???
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 07:47:36 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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I plan to buy no processors anytime soon.  The Linux community is the best in the world and this will all be patched via updates soon.  It's the fact that this has to be patched on the kernel level that has everyone pissed.

Now, if I still ran Windows, I may have just burned my computer and bought a new one.  Better that than wait for Microsoft to fix things.  :P

Also, this must be a super trying time for Mac users.  Guess which company Apple always uses.

Offline cfx795

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Basically, it seems like kernel updates are going to be rolled out nontstop until this crap is fixed.  (thanks Intel)  How soon will it all be completely resolved?  I don't know.  It seems newer kernels are getting priority over older (LTS) kernels, so it's hard to say.  There are a LOT of Linux kernels that are "current."

I won't even run another Intel processor even if they give me one for free after this.

As for graphics cards, it's hard to say.  I run an EVGA Nvidia GTX 950.  But, it's not like you need anything that powerful.  If I had your needs, I wouldn't pay more than $150 for a graphics card.  Most of the ones higher than that will be for more hardcore gamers.  Just look for something with decent ratings with an HDMI port in that range.  (most cards have HDMI, but that is a good indication that it can output to decent HD)  Any dedicated graphics card will automatically be an improvement over integrated graphics.

Yeah that's about what I was thinking: $150 max. Maybe you can explain this to me... when I go to UserBenchmarks, they give you a little description and history on the gpu, right? And they'll say something like this: The Radeon RX 560 is third in the line up of AMD’s second generation Polaris GPUs aimed at the entry-level 1080p gaming market with a sub-$100 launch price, due for release in May 2017. It is the successor to the now nine month old RX 460.

But then I go look at RX 560 on Amazon and Newegg, and I have not found any of these gpu's at "sub-$100" price point. To the contrary, they're generally like $110, 120, 140, etc. What do you make of this? Are gpu's such hot items that they go up in price after they launch a new model, or  what's going on, here? I don't mean to suggest that I'm stuck on this GX 560, maybe I'll end up with something else, but I've looked other gpu's and it's the same thing. I don't remember which one it was, but UserBenchmark suggested it should sell for about $79, and I went to Amazon and Newegg, and all the prices I saw for that GPU were over $100.

Maybe I'm not looking carefully enough, I don't know. It does seems as though I'm not gonna get a great video card for under $100. If I could get away with $100 for a decent card, I'd do it, but these video cards are pretty expensive, no??
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:11:16 pm by cfx795 »

Offline scifidude79

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Graphics cards are a really weird thing to price, to be honest.  Unlike processors, which have two main manufacturers for desktops, there are as many graphics card manufacturers as there are motherboard manufacturers, maybe even more.  The GPU chip itself is the only part that is provided by Nvidia or AMD, the rest of the board is custom to that company.  Everyone is trying to one-up everyone else with features.  Here are some things that will make a difference as far a prices:

Manufacturer
Clock speed
Installed RAM
Ports
Heat sink

Anyway, those are some of the things that will make a difference.  Now, dedicated RAM is important for gaming.  If the game is using more than you have on the card, it will draw from system RAM, which can cause lag.  However, for things like HD video watching, you don't need more than 1GB, maybe 2 if you really want to be sure you have enough.  The difference between gigs of RAM is a big factor in the price of the card.

I'm not that versed in AMD graphics but, just looking at prices, you're probably wise to stick to them over Nvidia.  Nvidia's prices right now are higher.  Nvidia currently has better support for gaming in Linux, but for just watching videos and whatnot, Intel, AMD or Nvidia graphics will all work fine.  I don't see why you'd need a Radeon RX 560, that's a gaming card.  Most of the performance of that card would be lost on someone who doesn't game.  That's also what those benchmark sites focus on, gaming performance.  They're probably not testing it much during normal use.  However, if you feel the need to go that route, this one is an integer smaller and a lot cheaper:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125968

Incidentally, that's also the highest rated AMD graphics card on NewEgg.  (I don't like to use Amazon for these searches because it's a mess)  Though, it only has 17 reviews.  I usually like more reviews than that.  Here's one with more reviews that has an average of 4 eggs and would likely suit your needs just fine:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127763

It's still a gaming card, but it's an older one and it will work just fine for what you need.  In fact, there are probably people still gaming on those and doing just fine with them.  Even the list price is well under $100.

By the way, I'm not sure that RX 560 is still being produced, that could also explain the prices.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 11:27:25 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline cfx795

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Definitely appreciate your advice&guidance. I think I'm getting a feel for what might be a good fit, considering what I need... I agree with you, by the way, about searching and shopping on Newegg vs. Amazon. Amazon often feels like pure chaos or something. However, I still have $53 in gift credit on Amazon, so I'm also sort of searching on Newegg, and cross-referencing with Amazon. The R7-250 card you showed me would be perfect if they had it for that price on Amazon, but, of course, they don't. It's $68-something on Amazon.

I saw this Nvidia card on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071DY2VJR/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

It has good reviews. I looked at the passmark scores, and user benchmark, compared it to some of the others. Minus the gift credit it'd cost me about $25. So I could install it in this system, it should smoke what I have here - the Intel HD 610. (with which I'm actually reasonably content) Then if I decide to go the Ryzen route, later, well... I would already have a graphics card.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 02:46:37 am by cfx795 »

Offline tetricky

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I heavily used AMD around Opteron/Athlon.  Making large corporate purchases for systems around that time. Servers, desktops, and workstations. At that point AMD was ahead on the bang per buck and power efficiency curves.  Intel got their act together, and AMD fell behind. Ryzen appears to be a return to form for AMD. I don't really buy at the bleeding edge any more.....some of the prices are eyewatering.

This issue will be resolved.  I don't expect to stop using any of my xeon based systems any time soon.  I shall just use linux, and rely on patches. As always. Most of my workflow is for locked down servers with client computers accessing services. As long as the servers can be reasonably secured, and the data backed up. It would be naive to think that there are not backdoors and mechanisms for "third parties".  Once "Trusted Computing" became a thing, I was as skeptical about it as I am when Donald Trump says his administration is "Doing a great job". As a general rule when an unrelated party tells you about something, then weigh it as evidence, when it's someone telling you about themselves, or their thing, apply a big dollop of cynicism.

I've used AMD's Firepro graphics in CAD workstations, and it out bang-per-bucks the equivalent Quadro stuff.  It perhaps doesn't have the range and the support, but it's good kit.  Their multi-display stuff is similarly decent value.

YMMV

Offline scifidude79

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I saw this Nvidia card on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071DY2VJR/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Very nice reviews.  It's got nice specs too, and will probably suit your needs just fine.  It doesn't draw a lot of power either.