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What makes some CPUs perform better than others (other than purposely disabling features?) (Binning?)

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We all know that processors are binned. The best are sold as extreme editions with higher clocks and more features, and the worst are sold (currently) as i3s (probably.) (For intel at least)

 

So... what.... exactly makes some processors better than others? Yes, it's the quality of the die, but what EXACTLY in that? Why do some dies turn out more suited for high clocks than others? CPUs are essentially a bunch of transistors... so I'm assuming a "good" die has more transistors that work compared to a "bad" chip? Or is it simply how much voltage each transistor takes to switch on? For a lower quality chip could it literally be that so many of the transistors failed that only X/Y cores are functioning? (So if a die is built with 4 cores, but then it turns out badly and 2 cores aren't working, would they bin that as a 2 core chip and slow it down so long as those cores work well?)

 

So, for example, if I have a chip that I can OC to 4.5 GHz, but not to 4.6 GHz at a certain voltage, I'd imagine it's because the rising and falling of the clock signal does not reach a high enough voltage (or does not stay there long enough to deliver the amount of current needed) to trigger the transistor? (I'm making this assumption based on the fact that some Mobos give you the option to increase the rising and falling speed of the clock signal.) If this is true, then why not have the clock signal rise and fall as quickly as possible? Why even give users the option? 

 

Also my hypothesis makes sense based on the fact that you can get to a point where the processor will boot, but will fail calculations (AIDA calls it a "hardware failure"), which would mean that SOME or MOST of the transistors can be triggered at this voltage, but some of them in the compute core can't, therefore data gets corrupted. Or rather, since each transistor has a voltage drop associated with it, there isn't enough voltage to trigger all of the transistors in the circuit?

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resistance of the transistors is one of the many factors that affects performance. Think of it as a CPU that needs more voltage to hit the same clocks compared to others.

 

while theoretically possible, manufacturers do not spend their time in making their CPUs run clocks suitable for the worst core specifically. That just means selling a ton of SKUs, and that's costly.

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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25 minutes ago, Jurrunio said:

while theoretically possible, manufacturers do not spend their time in making their CPUs run clocks suitable for the worst core specifically. That just means selling a ton of SKUs, and that's costly.

What did you mean by this? I assume that intel checks each and every die for performance (and... bins them accordingly)? Or do they wait until it's in a chip and check it then? 

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6 minutes ago, X_X said:

Leakage and thermals

Leakage as in leakage B->E or B->C leakage for the transistors? Or leakage as in one base to another since they're so close? As for thermals, this seems more like a consequence than a cause, and I can't see how it'd be different on otherwise identical dies. 

 

Basically, if you can run the CPU at lower voltages, it uses less current, so it'll heat up less. Heat increases resistance so therefore the hotter the CPU the more voltage the transistors will need. 

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5 minutes ago, X_X said:

Dies are not perfect therefore not identical.

But what I'm saying is that thermals are related to current (IR heating). In order to have more current you either need to be A. using more transistors or B. needing a higher voltage and therefore more current to use fewer resistors. Therefore, consequence, not cause. 

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1 hour ago, corrado33 said:

What did you mean by this? I assume that intel checks each and every die for performance (and... bins them accordingly)? Or do they wait until it's in a chip and check it then? 

1 hour ago, corrado33 said:

and slow it down so long as those cores work well?)

Intel do bin dies, but SKU of the same core/thread count and TDP but different frequency aren't binned separately.

 

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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8 minutes ago, Jurrunio said:

Intel do bin dies, but SKU of the same core/thread count and TDP but different frequency aren't binned separately.

 

OOOOooooooo...... Interesting.....

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