Best Computer types for Spice

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    As I want to upgrade my kit, I am interested to know if anyone has any user experience of current multicore computers for use with Spice. Quite a few years ago I benchmarked an AMD Athlon against the best Intel cored device I could find and found the AMD was very much faster than the Intel, so much so that I bought it and have continued to use the Athlon far longer than I perhaps should. I did benchmark it against a dual, dual-core Xeon and found it was still only 15.5% slower than the Xeon so not worth the hassle changing. I now find a high end 8-core i7 is 5 times faster but wonder if I can do even better with the latest AMD 8-core Opteron offering. I am running Microcap 10 on Win7; it seems to run on 4 of the 8 available cores in the i7. I suspect there must have been something in the AMD architecture (at least when the Athlon came out) which Spice loves. My limited understanding of Spice functioning is that there is a lot of matrix calculations, which the Athlon copes with far better. So if anyone is using a new AMD processor and could benchmark a Spice file for comparison, then I would love to hear from you.

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    Hi Amcfarl,

    my opinion is that the architecture of the CPU can not give you great advantages compared to more powerful processors .Below you can find the link to a detailed CPU Benchmarks. It’s not a specific SPICE benchmark but you can get good information from this list. The AMD Opteron 6272 ranks 19th and has a good price, even though the best perfomance/price ratio is the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20GHz. Of course it is very important the RAM speed.


    Thanks Studio2100. I have looked at Passmark bench marks, but they don’t tie up with Spice speed. For example, the Passmark benchmark for my old Athlon is 460. The Passmark benchmark for the dual, dual-core 3.5GHz Xeon with 6Gb of fast RAM was 5000 yet it was only 18% faster! Hence my enquiry as to whether AMD was going to be faster than the best Intel parts when you get to 8 cores. I know memory access is important in Spice, and the AMD memory architecture is significantly different from Intel. I found a paper where they compared an Intel dual core with a dual core Opteron and under some tests the AMD was 2-4 time faster; in others it was a little slower Unfortunately it could either be that much better or even slower than Intel and that would be an expensive mistake! I am trying to find a computer shop who has an AMD 8-core to test on, so far without success….

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