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Phenom II 955 Versus Core i7 920: Gaming Value Compared

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July 13, 2009 6:24:42 AM

Very good article. Too bad that it wan't done with nvidia cards. We need to see how GTX260-216 SLI with Core i7 920 can beat Phenom II 955 with two GTX 275.
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-23
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July 13, 2009 6:31:43 AM

good article...happy to see the phenom hangs in there
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25
July 13, 2009 6:32:31 AM

Why weren't the graphics cards included in the price breakdowns for both systems? Especially considering the cards were different...they should be in there, no?

Adding in nvidia cards would be interesting to see, yes, but then we're moving more into engine optimizations and such, and things get less exact. Maybe the effect of software preferences on hardware architecture can be a future writeup? Nice article, here, though.
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1
July 13, 2009 6:34:36 AM

how about all the AMD Fanboys stop complaining about Intel. so what if people say they are better. who FREAKIN cares. you should expect them to perform better, they are pricier. you buy AMD BECAUSE of the price, so therefor, you should expect less performance. AMD is awesome, and so is Intel, its like complaining about a Honda Vs. a BMW or something along those lines, they are different, and because of price, you should expect one to out perform the other. so if you want to save money, by the damned AMD, but dont complain when other people favor Intel whether they are right or not, you end up looking like imature Fanboy's who are jealous they cant afford the Intel (which is just a generalization). BTW, without Intel, AMD wouldnt be cheaper, nor would it be as powerful as it is without competition to keep the company improving it.
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-13
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2009 6:48:04 AM

Currently there is a huge newegg discount on a 955/790FX combo making it quite attractive, but of course that kind of thing has to be left out of an article like this.
As I expected on the numbers, but I now want to see if the 790X chipset is to blame, or the Gigabyte board itself, or perhaps the memory controller onboard the CPU is to blame?
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7
July 13, 2009 6:53:56 AM

its annoying to see that toms hardware seems to be very pro intel
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-24
July 13, 2009 6:57:45 AM

lashtonits annoying to see that toms hardware seems to be very pro intel


Did you read the conclusion at all? AMD lost by the numbers. That's not pro-intel, it's pro-logic. It's pro-science. That's the way the world works.
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19
July 13, 2009 6:59:13 AM

twisted politikshow about all the AMD Fanboys stop complaining about Intel. so what if people say they are better. who FREAKIN cares. you should expect them to perform better, they are pricier. you buy AMD BECAUSE of the price, so therefor, you should expect less performance. AMD is awesome, and so is Intel, its like complaining about a Honda Vs. a BMW or something along those lines, they are different, and because of price, you should expect one to out perform the other. so if you want to save money, by the damned AMD, but dont complain when other people favor Intel whether they are right or not, you end up looking like imature Fanboy's who are jealous they cant afford the Intel (which is just a generalization). BTW, without Intel, AMD wouldnt be cheaper, nor would it be as powerful as it is without competition to keep the company improving it.



Wow. You take things way too seriously.
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20
July 13, 2009 7:11:48 AM

only at toms site are such performances
Ahslan .... buy your own pc ...not your daddy
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-17
July 13, 2009 7:21:31 AM

I think this is a great review. You can't ignore the numbers. Intel's Core i7 is better. But I think we all expected that.

I still love AMD, though. I don't need the extra muscle that Intel gives. I'm happy with what AMD's processors give me, in terms of gaming.

I love supporting the underdog! I just can't help it. =] Intel might make great processors, but I just don't like their arrogance. That's why I support AMD. =]
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20
July 13, 2009 7:36:09 AM

really tom ...with the money remain is not necessary to buy another pairs of gpu's you can buy a nice case or video camera or a phone or 200-300 condoms...the pc is not everything ...ooo let's put all our money in intel 920 to play prototype ...and after 6 months you loose 40% from pc value ... 10x toms for a good advice ....
you realize that with this kind of articles you play with peoples money?
Score
-38
July 13, 2009 7:48:39 AM

let assume the same case, hardrives,psu, and dvd drives, for a 1100 dollar build which would be about 70+70+70+20=230 (these where just average guesses) then lets move on with the guts for the i7 system i7 920 = 279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... mobo= 169
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ram = 85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 4870 1gb times 2 =320 total =1083
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... phenom 2 940+mobo =204
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ram =65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 4850x2 times two = 420
total=919 so thats the truth but if you want you could switch out the graphics for two gtx 285 or a 4870x2 or a gtx295 its up to you.
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7
July 13, 2009 7:54:55 AM

sorry for double post (damn thing doesnt look neat) but the total for the i7 system is 1083 and i used the cheapest ram and mobo. As for the phenom II 940 i used the combo deal, good ram, and a pair of 4850x2s for a total of 919. note:i didnt include the mail in rebates for the systems (lets assume thats tax. PS you have 181 dollars left for the phenom II build (beer money).
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11
July 13, 2009 8:02:01 AM

Very nice Review. You take a Core I7 and equip it with everything it needs and compare to a PhenomII.

VERY MANY people buying I7 only pair it with one graphics card and save money everywhere in the system to be able to buy the I7 (talking about gaming systems).

Of course if you put in 2 great Gpu's, you need a very strong Cpu to handle them. Most people throw the I7 at 1 4890.

It would be very intresting to compare a PhenomII x3 720 system with Two 4890's to an I7 build with only one. (same price or amd even cheaper^^)

You compare the most expensive and not much overclockable 955 to the cheapest I7 with most overclocking headroom. Why don't you compare it to the cheaper PhenomII which also reach the 3.6 Ghz the 955 reached? Maybe even the x4 810.

After that Article I agree that If you have the money for two 4890 and still can afford an I7 it's the best choise.

But what if you dont have the money for an I7 and Two high end cards? Whats if you have to make compromises in you I7 build just for the sake of having an I7?

I think that's were the Phenom II shows its strength.

You Take the I7 best price/perfomance point and give the same budget to an Amd system. It's clear that Amd can't compete that well. It seems that you first build the I7 system you think is best and then take the money to build an Phenom II system.

Please try it the other way round once! Build a Phenom II gaming system (720/810/940 with two graphics)and THEN take the money you used and build an I7 system (maybe sacrificing the second card? or just Xfiring two lower end cards? I don't know where but you then will have to save some money)

Most benchmarks show that the X3 720 overclocked shows performance numbers on par with the 955 (oc) so why spend all the money for the 955?
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3
July 13, 2009 8:06:36 AM

soheireally tom ...with the money remain is not necessary to buy another pairs of gpu's you can buy a nice case or video camera or a phone or 200-300 condoms...the pc is not everything ...ooo let's put all our money in intel 920 to play prototype ...and after 6 months you loose 40% from pc value ... 10x toms for a good advice ....you realize that with this kind of articles you play with peoples money?

Umm have you taken any time to read any Tom's articles? This is their bread and butter, the reason the site exists. People read these articles because they want to know what to do with their money, the THG authors know what they are doing. The reason for these articles is to show performance differences, and this article does that very well.

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30
July 13, 2009 8:13:01 AM

for me is simple ...the guys from tom are a software witch make random articles .... no brain just fill the blanks with the component name and press enter
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-39
July 13, 2009 8:21:36 AM

soheifor me is simple ...the guys from tom are a software witch make random articles .... no brain just fill the blanks with the component name and press enter


WOW thats rude.

They made a great article comparing two cpus. Its good to know which one performs better in gaming.

Again the article was very helpful good work
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12
July 13, 2009 8:27:15 AM

xthekidxUmm have you taken any time to read any Tom's articles? This is their bread and butter, the reason the site exists. People read these articles because they want to know what to do with their money, the THG authors know what they are doing. The reason for these articles is to show performance differences, and this article does that very well.


i read at least 10 reviews from different sites before a buy something ..and for me is more important the opinion of end user, about a product ....if 1000 people says the p2 x3 is great in games with similar performance with a 250 $ intel i will buy p2x3 and tom articles has no value for me because they are 5 people and they don't use a cpu like an end user ... they use a cpu just for rating and i spent my own money not their money ......open your eyes
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-12
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2009 8:40:55 AM

wait... so the core i7 allows, say, using a gtx260 and a HD4770 in multi card format???? or is it just my over-optimistic mind reading the conclusion page??
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-4
July 13, 2009 8:56:45 AM

I am glad to see Don give a nod to the Phenom II x3. When I built my new systems this year it was never about Flagship AMD vs. core i7 920. The core i7 was all around better CPU for just $80 more than AMD's Flagship. Fore me, it was really about deciding between core i7 920, and Pheonom II x3 720, which may seem somewhat bazaar. I opted to go for the Phenom II x3 720 BE's since they were significantly cheaper than the Phenom II x4's and did not suffer any substantial loss in gaming
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1
July 13, 2009 9:12:26 AM

Once again Cleeve, youve earned your money. It took guts to first call out AMD, but even more to come back, as you did, and show that your first impressions were not only wrong, but apologized as well. Thus somewhat putting the blame on the boutiqye system, as I suspected was the case.
I grew tired of defending your findings in the forums, and I was looking forwards to this, and its paid off.
Great read, and Toms should be thankful for having you
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21
July 13, 2009 9:21:44 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that you can also overclock the GPU/video RAM. If the 4890's are running closer to the limit, the i7 system would catch up in terms of GPU power as well.
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-3
July 13, 2009 9:22:16 AM

Id point out, using AA, the P2 wins a few, and if you really want a setup like this, youll be using the AA. So, throw out the first set of numbers where theres no AA or eyecandt, and use the second, youll see P2 is much closer than you think
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0
July 13, 2009 9:33:36 AM

Great review, but it's greater knowing that Tom has been paying quite some attention to external feedback coming directly from its readers. We usually don't get useful responses from reviewers when we comment about something that goes against their own opinions (not even an explanation as to why they should be considered better than what we suggested). It's even more rare for a whole new article to be solely based on this same feedback.
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7
July 13, 2009 9:34:15 AM

pulaskyThis crap site is worse than expected why http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 60-12.htmlvshttp://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 350-7.htmlwhat the hell, one single 4870 is faster than 2 4870 or 2 4890 (it seems that crossX do not work in any game tested) some explication is more than welcome.

I'd like to hear official explanation on this.
Score
6
July 13, 2009 9:36:45 AM

show me benchmarks with my usual apps running - voice chat, torrents, messenger apps, antivirus, and a slightly cluttered system - paint us a true image of that things are like, not some fresh rig with fresh perfect install.
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6
July 13, 2009 9:38:06 AM

kartuI'd like to hear official explanation on this.



you know the official explanation ..."sorry guys bla bla"
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-13
July 13, 2009 10:23:30 AM

Thanks Cleeve for going back and doing the work on this system. I had thought that the Cyberpowers numbers were off and with a more level playing field an AMD build performed well.
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2
July 13, 2009 11:11:56 AM

apache_livesshow me benchmarks with my usual apps running - voice chat, torrents, messenger apps, antivirus, and a slightly cluttered system - paint us a true image of that things are like, not some fresh rig with fresh perfect install.


No game uses four cores fully, or even three. That doesn't mean that quad-core is useless for gamers, precisely because you can leave background processes running without them affecting performance. So the games would not be any more CPU-bound on a cluttered system. Loading times might increase because of fragmentation etc. and background file accesses, but that wouldn't show in benchmarks.
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0
July 13, 2009 11:33:45 AM

Excellent article... covered every corner.
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-1
July 13, 2009 11:49:38 AM

Very good article.
I recently built an i7 system and I can say that the performance is incredible.

Two interesting points mentioned above:
Gamer systems are always going to run with all of the eye candy maxed out, that is the point of building a gaming rig. Dump all of the other test numbers and focus on full AA and AF.
Gaming machines typically also run things like anti-virus, voice chat, a mail client, a non-IE browser, etc. Show us some benchmarks for a system in more of a "real world" situation as well as these clean install set ups. Having both would give us a better comparison.

My final decision to go with the i7 was based on more personal preference than anything else. The fact that I can overclock my i7 so much and so easily is what tipped the scales in Intel's direction for me.

Again, good article and thanks for doing the research.
Score
0
July 13, 2009 12:01:44 PM

pulaskyThis crap site is worse than expected why http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 60-12.htmlvshttp://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 350-7.htmlwhat the hell, one single 4870 is faster than 2 4870 or 2 4890 (it seems that crossX do not work in any game tested) some explication is more than welcome.


I would aswell. I'm in the middle of a upgrade,and rocking a 4850 CF with a 4800 x2 (Oceed to 3.0Ghz). There was great diferent in putting the second 4850. Basicily the frame rate is the same in the same situations, just only ALL bells and whistles are on. Although i reckon is a higly cpu dependant game, CF makes a diference.

Score
2
July 13, 2009 12:26:22 PM

I wish everyone would stop screaming AMD INTEL AMD INTEL. We each have our own set of priorities. Some its maximizing performance/price value, some its sheer performance, and others are based on price. This article only examines how much computer you can get for a specific price point. The trade offs at this price point is More CPU/ less GPU, or less GPU/more CPU. Just because the intel system did better in the benchmarks, doesn't mean they have the most value, just that its the most system you can get at this price point. AMD will have its victories on lower price points and that's where their market strategy seems to be. The next SBM could be set at a price point just below where an i7 could be afforded and I'm sure AMD will be sitting in the case. But please stop with the THG hates AMD and learn how to interpet perspective. Also realize the rest of the world doesn't always share your priorities and accept that articles are written for other people too.
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11
July 13, 2009 12:31:33 PM

I really enjoy reading these articles, and am very impressed to see an author go back and actually respond to criticism. It's very nice to see, when generally responses are ignored :) .
Score
1
July 13, 2009 12:46:40 PM

I have to say, though I have never complained about an article before, this goes a long way in making me feel like we the readers are listened to. I appreciate that Tom's took the time to do this for us.
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0
July 13, 2009 1:11:12 PM

I would like to see how i7 wins with the 4890 pairs, not just price/performance, but raw performance, what most people buy Intel for, not concerned with the price.
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-7
July 13, 2009 1:16:29 PM

I don't think we can compare an AMD 4890 card in a AMD Phenom PC and an Geforce 260s with a Intel i7, telling AMD win in gaming ?!?

If you can't use the same video card and just change mb/CPU... it's not an benchmark for compare "Phenom II 955 Versus Core i7 920: Gaming Value Compared".

i7 with 4890
i7 with 260
VS
Phenon II with 4890
Phenon II with 260

and you compare the cost at then end (in %).

Quote:
I deserve a good measure of blame for rationalizing...

The conclusion is... this is not a rational benchmark, someone need to redo it with rational benchmark.
Score
-2
July 13, 2009 1:16:49 PM

lashtonits annoying to see that toms hardware seems to be very pro intel

Tom's is doing exactly what it should be doing -- exactly what my uncle tries to do at the racetrack -- pick the fastest horse. It's not Tom's fault that AMD doesn't compete well at the high end anymore. Actually, it seems to be AMD's strategy right now to take over the budget market, and let Intel and their i7 take the high end crown.
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-4
July 13, 2009 1:17:29 PM

intel i will buy p2x3 and tom articles has no value for me because they are 5 people and they don't use a cpu like an end user ... they use a cpu just for rating and i spent my own money not their money ......open your eyes said:
intel i will buy p2x3 and tom articles has no value for me because they are 5 people and they don't use a cpu like an end user ... they use a cpu just for rating and i spent my own money not their money ......open your eyes


i opened my eyes and saw a pile of crap on top of your post. seriously why are you here?
Score
0
July 13, 2009 1:22:09 PM

wisdom_learnerWow. You take things way too seriously.


tell that to the people whom bashed Pentium 4s when A64 was the king, tell that to the people whom bashed nvidia when 3dfx was the king, tell that to....

this is the internet, when you get burned enough times, you too demand swift retribution when you get the chance (at times, the only chance before what ever you liked goes under)
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-3
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2009 1:44:16 PM

I thought this article was very good. Not an end-all, be-all, which no one in his right mind should expect, but another good impression to file away in the "index."
Score
0
July 13, 2009 1:45:54 PM

Good article, this is an excellent comparison of the different platforms. I would also have liked to seen the same thing done but with SLI this time as well. And then see the 2 articles compared.

My only gripe with this article, why the little overclock on the i7 920? You pushed the P2 955 to its limits, do the same to the i7 (that would be 4 GHz for the average overclocker). This would tip the scales heavily in Intel's favor, despite what all the readers are saying in these comments.

Everyone who reads this article needs to be aware that the Intel cpu would easily win if it had a REAL OC on it. AMD pulled a close win with a larger OC than the Intel. Also note that the AMD needed a lot more voltage than the Intel = less headroom for further OC.
Score
0
July 13, 2009 1:57:42 PM

pulaskyThis crap site is worse than expected why http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 60-12.htmlvshttp://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 350-7.htmlwhat the hell, one single 4870 is faster than 2 4870 or 2 4890 (it seems that crossX do not work in any game tested) some explication is more than welcome.

Seems like an odd number. Maybe its one of those games that does terrible at utilizing CF or SLI.
Score
0
July 13, 2009 2:02:34 PM

I agree with scook9. They previously limited the overclock on the i7 920 because of the mini case they were putting it into. At this point, they should have overclocked it further without the limits of a small case and heat issues.

Maybe they figured this would be a good base point comparison and decided to leave it up to the reader to understand that this is a 'best case' scenario for that particular AMD chip in the matchup (since it is going up against a 'gimped' core i7 overclock).
Score
0
July 13, 2009 2:03:46 PM

For all the AMD fanboys: Suck it.
Score
-12
July 13, 2009 2:11:41 PM

Why you guys keep including games like Stalker and HAWX is beyond me. A quick peek at the xfire and steam statistics will tell you that no one is playing these games!

Steam only lists the top 75 played games and neither game makes that list. Among xfire users, neither game is in the top 200 in hours played! What gives? Please start including more relevant games in your benchmarks.
Score
1
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