Is there a distinct hardware advantage between CPU's? My specific requirement will be for C++ coding and high end numerical analysis. I am building a new desktop system and considering the advantages of AMD vs Intel. Since graphics are of little concern, I'm having difficulty making that determination via google.

Specifically, I'm trying to determine which of the following CPUs I should go with:

  • AMD Opteron 6378
  • AMD FX-9590
  • Intel Xeon E5-2620 v4
  • Intel Core i7-5820K

I will be compiling software and using matlab and mathematica to do HPC.

  • Joseph, your question is too much about the technological concepts involved and not enough about actual discrete products we could recommend. Would you mind if I edited your question to ask which of a set of CPUs (a mix of AMD and Intel x86 processors) would be best for performing on C++ compilation (the most CPU-intensive part of coding), and "high end numerical analysis" ? For that matter, while we're at it mind being a little more specific about the programs you're using for this analysis and the functions they'll be performing?
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 18 '16 at 3:13
  • Adam that would be fine. I'm curious about Xeon as well. I will be using mathematica and matlab but primarily coding my own numerical methods. N- order differential equations. Integrations over n- vector space, etc more than three dimensional
    – Joseph
    Aug 18 '16 at 3:28
  • Xeon is just another Intel product line. I'll make the edit as soon as I am able, along with a recommendation as soon as the question is reopened.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 18 '16 at 3:37

This somewhat depends on the compiler, linker, and interpreter. If you are using a framework that is optimized for a certain CPU then you most likely want to go for that CPU architecture.

At the assembly level, they both use the same instruction set and there isn't a distinct advantage. With C++, if you use something like Visual Studio, I found a site that performed benchmarks on Windows 8 - VS 2012 - Firefox compile. Here are the results: benchmarks. Although this shouldn't be a definitive stamp of success for Intel since it is somewhat dated, for other benchmarks you can find on that site, Intel does win in almost all cases with the i7 architecture. So although you don't really care about graphics, other applications you may run on your machine may have noticeable differences in performance in comparison.

EDIT: I've noticed the question has been updated. Because of your specific requirements choices, I would definitely go with Intel. Now, between the two if you are going to utilize multi-core processing, then the Intel Xeon E5-2620 v4 will be optimal. Looking at this link: Core i7 vs Xeon you can see that in terms of multi-core processing Xeon performs better in benchmarks.

One last thing, if price is a factor at all the Core i7-5820K can be considered over the Xeon. Just looking at a quick price check on Google between the two, the Core i7 is cheaper.

  • This is the correct answer. Not only does the Xeon vastly outperform the AMD options due to plain sloppy work in Mathematica and a bad FPU design in the AMD Bulldozer architecture, but the Xeon can support systems with more than one CPU, unlike the i7. It is by far the most performative option of the four, given that all your work doesn't really depend on single thread performance as much as multithreaded performance.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 18 '16 at 22:32

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