Please help me decide between AMD and Intel upgrade


I have to upgrade my PC, in fact buy a new one because the old one is on socket A and I cannot play anything anymore. So for the past 2 weeks I've been reading reviews and opinions on the web about components, AMD vs. Intel etc. and the problem is that I am unable to decide which way to go. In the end I decided to build 2 systems one for AMD and one for Intel. Here they are:

Athlon 64 X2 4000+
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 Mobo
Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT TDH 512MB DDR3 256-bit/Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD3870 512MB DDR4 256-bit
A-DATA 2 GB DDR2 800+ MHz Vitesta Extreme Dual Channel Kit
HDD WD 320GB SATA-II 7200RPM 16MB Caviar SE16
DVD-RW LG GSA-H62NRBBB Bare Bulk Black
Noctua NF-S12-1200 Cooling Fan
Case Spire BlackFin SP-7090B

TOTAL: 1060 $

Intel Core2 Duo E4500 2.2GHz Box
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 Mobo
Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT TDH 512MB DDR3 256-bit
A-DATA 2 GB DDR2 800+ MHz Vitesta Extreme Dual Channel Kit
HDD WD 320GB SATA-II 7200RPM 16MB Caviar SE16
DVD-RW LG GSA-H62NRBBB Bare Bulk Black
2 X Noctua NF-S12-1200 Cooling Fan
Arctic Cooling ALPINE 7 Cooler
Case Spire BlackFin SP-7090B

TOTAL: 1091 $

I have no fixed budget, but I placed a cap around 1000$ that being quite a hefty sum for me. The system will be used
mainly for gaming and everyday apps. The configuration I hope will hold on me for at least 2 and a half years or
at least provide some minimal upgrades. I would choose AMD because of the long term upgrades that can be made by using the same mobo for a AM2, AM2+ (which I intend to buy later this year as I hope that AM2 will hold it's ground when coupled with a good video card, this months to come, like my 6800GT TDH has in the past) and the upcoming AM3 proc. Also AMD has cheaper procs, and I hope they will be good enough for games. Money are somewhat of a problem and that's why I am considering AMD, to be cost effective on the long term while providing enough of a good experience in return. When comparing with Intel that will change the platform shortly, AMD sounds good. Fact is I am unsure if the board manufacturers will keep the bios versions coming and then my plans will be messed up. On the other hand the systems' prices are about the same and I think that Intel will do better than AMD for that price. If I go Intel I may try to squeeze some money to buy a wolfdale, but that will make me buy the new comp in a month or two. I have to say I am no OC enthusiast so even if I buy Intel I may not OC, but reading about it this last few days I think I'll try a little. :D So this is my dilemma, will AMD provide on a long term or buying Intel now which is more powerful will last me just as much, considering from $ point of view. Also if you have recommendations on components please make them. Thank you in advance for taking your time to help me.
12 answers Last reply
More about please decide intel upgrade
  1. get the e8400 cpu (if you can find it) and use the stock cooler if you dont plan on OC'ing all that much.
    if you really want to upgrade small parts for the comming 2 years i would pick the amd.
  2. Why don't you buy an nice used dual core Intel from someone going to a Quad and do the Intel system. Read the forsale forums and get your self a much faster system for less cash. You can get an E6600 for around $125 that will run much faster than either of those cpus. The AMD is awfully slow compared to a good E6600 or similar.
  3. How much are you spending on that PSU?
    The Corsair 550VX would be much cheaper and still more power than you need.

    If that saves you $50 and another $25 for not after market cooler, you could get the E8400.

    Other than that, I would just drop down the PSU.
    Way more than you need.
    The After Market cooler would be nice for the E4500.
  4. The X2 4000+ is very close to the E4300. An E4500 would be faster (2.2 Ghz instead of 1.8 GHz). If you like AMD I recommend a Phenom 9500 instead, it's way more future-proof.

    Good motherboard. How many video cards do you expect to have there eventually? It matters because that determines what kind of PSU you need. Get the HD 3870 for that motherboard, because the 8800GT won't do Crossfire.
  5. Edit: on second thought, look what I discovered. The X2 4000+ is apparently the best bang-for-the-buck CPU in the world these days :)

  6. That price/performance chart is of course based on a different set of games and applications, that's why it's different from Tom's. Based on that chart, I'd pick the E2200 or E8400.

    Keep in mind that the E8500 gets unfair treatment there. According to some reviews I've read, the E8500 overclocks much better than the E8400. If you are willing to overclock, I think the E8500 actually has the best price/performance ratio of the whole bunch.
  7. There is also some silliness in how the numbers are analyzed.

    Let's say I'm building a $1000 Computer System.
    The CPU is $100.
    If I can get 5% more performance by upgrading to a $120 CPU it makes sense, but not according to the charts.

    The reason is that the cost of the computer raises 2% but performance raises 5%. According to the charts, it would not make sense since the new processor was 20% more expensive vs a 5% gain.

    Even if the price of the computer would drop to $500 for the system, it would still make sense since the cost of the system would increase 4% but performance would increase the same 5%.
  8. LOL. That's exactly how I justified my video card last summer :)

    That is, $2400 with x1950Pro for 20 fps vs $2800 with overclocked 8800 GTX for 60 fps, that is 16% higher cost for 200% higher performance, etc. Math is a wonderful thing, it can prove anything you want :lol: :lol:
  9. @zenmaster

    You are right about the PSU, the 550 will do. I originally put the 650 there because 2 weeks ago I was planning to go
    for an nVIDIA motherboard + graphics card and I chose this because I heard some time ago that if you had that combo
    LinkBoost technology will provide better performance. I cheked nVIDIA's site and it was said that LinkBoost is disabled now. :( Also I was planning a SLI down the road when the 8800GT couldn't hold up anymore or when their prices dropped so that SLI was worth it. But I checked the prices of the 680i mobos (only recommended for SLI from what I get) and they were too high so I opted for P35 with single card setup. After that I thought to leave that PSU just to have a better one and not buy a new one for an upgrade. But if I decide for Intel I will drop it to get the E8400.


    Yep, I knew that chart and the 4000+ is best deal at my local shop, 89$. I am not biased towards AMD or Intel, I just
    want the bang for the buck. I am a little biased towards nVIDIA as I only had cards from them and I was never dissapointed and I found both the 3870 and 8800GT at the same price. Moreover the 8800GT will provide better performance and the 4000+ is going to take away some (for the moment anyway) and 3870 will also bring fewer FPS to the table than the 8800. Is it ok if I get nVIDIA now for the AMD buildup or get ATI and wait to CF ? So you say if I go with 4000+ now and buy a 2x/3x/4x after B3 or later this year, will I be somewhat future proof, like gaming on medium and high settings ? Also that mobo being good will it hold till AM3 and a little after ? I also plan a CF later on. A friend of mine got 5000+ with MSI Neo-F V3 and a 8800GT from Gigabyte and he is able to play all games on 1280x1024 on high and very high and Crysis (damn benchmark :kaola: ) on medium. About the PSU I think I will CF down the road so should I keep the 650TX ? I think I will need it for the next generation of graphics cards.

    So from what I see either I buy a cheaper PSU, HDD and no fans and I get the E8400 or I get the AMD system and cross my fingers and hope that AMD will deliver.

    Thank you all for replying.
  10. Hmm, let's decide if you really need two video cards or not. Do you have, or will you have, a monitor running at 1920x1200 or more?

    I'm going to assume the answer is NO. If I'm wrong, please ignore the rest of this post.

    The E8400/8800GT combination will beat the AMD X2 4000+/HD 3870 combination. The 550VX is perfect for both of them. If you want the 8800GT get a version with a dual-slot cooler, like Gigabyte's. Even better, get an 8800GTS G92 if you can. Even better, replace the E8400 with an E8500 and a Tuniq Tower and overclock.

    CPUs and future-proofing: quads are absolutely essential right now in Flight Simulator X, and largely ignored in all other games. That is, an overclocked E8500 will beat any quad in any game except FSX. This situation will last for another year, probably. I don't think it will last for much longer than that, because companies who make game engines are hard at work on making those engines support quads, and once they're done those engines will be used in lots of games. Of course, I'm just guessing here.

    About the 3-core CPUs AMD is planning - that's just a way to salvage some money from quads where a core had a defect. It's smart, but the market will be small. That is, either you use multithreaded apps and get a quad, or you don't and get a higher clocked dual. I'm not sure who exactly is in between and needs 3 cores.
  11. Thank you !!! :D
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