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E8400 or Phenom 2 920?

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January 10, 2009 10:54:36 PM

I am looking to upgrade from my Pentium D 920. I have a budget of 300-350 for a new mobo and cpu. I am not big into overclocking but I do plan to OC down the road to increase the lifespan of my next processor. From all of the benches that I have seen the E8400 handles games very well so I was going to purchase this but now that the P2's are on the market it has me seconding guessing this idea.

So my question is: Strictly for gaming and Internet browsing which would give me the best bang for my buck and longest life span (I know there is no future proofing)?

More about : e8400 phenom 920

January 10, 2009 11:41:53 PM

E8400......


Only get the P2 if you will have a need for more cores! Personally i would go p2 becuase even though it may not be as good as the E8400 you still have more horsepower to use if you ever need to compress a file or Run multiple appt's.

The E8400 Oces very very good but soo does the P2 its your call.
January 10, 2009 11:59:53 PM

if gaming is important, then get the E8400. the phenom II isn't bad, it's a huge improvement over the original, but for gaming the core 2's are only beaten by the i7's. although if all you play is supreme commander, then the phemom II would be better.
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January 11, 2009 12:35:04 AM

if you go e8400, you could always upgrade to a Q9xxx when multi-threaded games are more prevalent.
January 11, 2009 12:38:00 AM

well it's typically up to you. E8400 can overclock to 4GHz on air Phenom II 920 can hit 3.8GHz and the P2 940 can hit 3.9GHz. But for gaming go with the Dual or wait for the C2Q 45nm to come down in price later this month.
January 11, 2009 12:46:28 AM

I am going to go out on a limb and say go with the P2 and before anyone flames me listen to my reason. Reason I say go with the quad core is simple. There is no new generation dual core from Intel or AMD that I have been able to find. I7 is a Quad core and P2 is a Quad core. The person asked for something that would last into the future and right now the E8400 might game a little bit better. But a year from now when everyone has for the most part switched over to Quad Cores how is it gonna hold up? I remember a few years back a year or so after dual cores had been released trying to game on my single core processor it was hell on earth :(  it was horrible slow even slower then my friends dual core that was clocked at the same speed :(  in the newer games. So that is what I am basing my answer on is the fact that a year or 2 from now the E4800 will not have held up as good.
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January 11, 2009 1:12:18 AM

I'd say go with the E8400 on a decent crossfire capable P45 motherboard. You can always upgrade it down the line with a Q9550 or Q9650 if you need quad core performance for new games or other applications.
January 11, 2009 2:46:15 AM

p2 easily. The E8400 has run it's course, but the P2 will clock very close to the same and is competitive with Q9xxx models.
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January 11, 2009 3:00:30 AM

Phenom 2 easily will beat the E8400 in most benchmarks.
Here is the Toms Hardware review of the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz desktop processor vs an AMD Phenom X4 9350e 2.0 GHz high-efficiency quad core CPU.It says that the Phenom X4 9750 will beat the Core 2 Duo in most of the benchmarks but the 9350e lost.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/e8500-phenom-9350e,...
The Phenom II 920 is much faster than the Phenom X4 9750 and the Core 2 Duo 8500 is slightly faster than the Core 2 Duo 8400.
So hands down the Phenom II 920 wins.
January 11, 2009 3:14:17 AM

Thanks for all of the great replies, I am still on the fence. I want great performance now but I am also thinking long term which is causing me to lean more towards the P2 even though I was almost dead set on the E8400 a few weeks back. For the E8400 I was going to be purchasing the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R mobo but I am having trouble deciding on a nice board for the P2 920 if I went that route.

Which mobo would you all recommend for the P2?
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January 11, 2009 3:42:59 AM

ASUS / Gigabyte / DFI / MSI - any of those are good.

Just make sure it is an AM2+ and states that it supports Phenom II.

A quad core will be a bit more future proof ...


January 11, 2009 3:49:07 AM

Make sure it will support AM3, as well...cause these will be the ONLY Phenom II AM2 CPUs that will be released (according to AMD's roadmap).

Get a board that will not support AM3 CPUs = new motherboard = more $$$ spent.
January 11, 2009 4:12:08 AM

NMDante said:
Make sure it will support AM3, as well...cause these will be the ONLY Phenom II AM2 CPUs that will be released (according to AMD's roadmap).

Get a board that will not support AM3 CPUs = new motherboard = more $$$ spent.



You're an idiot. AM3 boards won't be out for a while.
January 11, 2009 4:27:03 AM

If you are going phenom 2 get it in a combo with a mobo from newegg, you can get up to $40 off that way. they also have combos with video cards and hard drives.
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January 11, 2009 4:27:44 AM

Well I think that AM3 boards might be coming out next month as the AM3 2.8 Ghz Phenom 2 925 is supposed to come out perhaps by next month.
If you wait you could get the 925 instead or the 920 but that's a choice.
The AM3 3.0 Ghz Phenom 2 945 is supposed to come out much later by April 2009 or so but the 925 should be here much sooner.
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January 11, 2009 5:01:14 AM

I thought the AM3 was going to be socket 938 ... hence PI or PII's won't fit the new socket??

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January 11, 2009 5:03:38 AM

I'd better read a bit more ... sorry bout that vague n00b comment.

/slaps self
January 11, 2009 5:08:11 AM

Doltron said:
You're an idiot. AM3 boards won't be out for a while.

You need to learn to READ.

Where did I say, get an AM3 board?
I said, make sure that it will SUPPORT AM3 CPUS....DUMB A$$.

So, before you start calling people idiots, better learn how to READ.
January 11, 2009 5:11:02 AM

Reynod said:
I thought the AM3 was going to be socket 938 ... hence PI or PII's won't fit the new socket??

I'm not sure what the AM3 socket pin count will be, but upcoming AM3 CPUs are suppose to have both DDR2 and 3 memory controllers, which means...supposedly, it can be used in AM2+ boards, as long as they are supported (via BIOS, most likely).
Of course, you cannot use an AM2+ Phenom II CPU with an AM3 board, since I believe those boards will strictly be DDR3, supposedly, again.
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January 11, 2009 5:12:40 AM

Well the E8400 is cheaper so you could put more money towards something else. It also runs most games better, and has better overclocking potential. On the other hand going with the Phenom II and a good motherboard will give you a good upgrade path as you will be able to use AM3 CPUs in that motherboard latter on. Most of the motherboards based on the AMD 7xx series of chipsets from MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus seem to support AM3 CPUs. Basically if the board you pick supports the Phenom 2 out of the box it should support AM3 with a BIOS update. If you like to have many windows open at once you may also appreciate the extra cores of a quad core CPU.
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January 11, 2009 5:21:36 AM

NMDante said:
I'm not sure what the AM3 socket pin count will be, but upcoming AM3 CPUs are suppose to have both DDR2 and 3 memory controllers, which means...supposedly, it can be used in AM2+ boards, as long as they are supported (via BIOS, most likely).
Of course, you cannot use an AM2+ Phenom II CPU with an AM3 board, since I believe those boards will strictly be DDR3, supposedly, again.


I've heard that the AM3 motherboards can use both DDR2 or DDR3 memory.DDR3 memory if you want better performance or DDR2 memory if you want inexpensive memory or have some extra DDR2 lying around.I could be wrong but that's my read of it.
Apparently AM3 is able to use some fast DDR3 memory for the AM3 Phenom II's.
It's DDR3-1600 RAM.
You're right that you won't be able to use a AM2+ Phenom II in a AM3 motherboard.
January 11, 2009 5:26:50 AM

jj463rd said:
I've heard that the AM3 motherboards can use both DDR2 or DDR3 memory.DDR3 memory if you want better performance or DDR2 memory if you want inexpensive memory or have some extra DDR2 lying around.I could be wrong but that's my read of it.


I heard rumor of such an animal in the works (probably by ASRock, since they like to use the dual memory format), but I have also heard that most mobo makers will just abandon DDR2 in favor of DDR3 due to a cost and motherboard space thing. Again, this is all rumor. Of course, if it is strictly DDR2 or DDR3 only, I believe it will depend on the price of DDR3, by the time mass production of AM3 boards are released, that will determine if there will be 2 memory formats for AM3 boards.
January 11, 2009 10:03:11 AM

NMDante said:
You need to learn to READ.

Where did I say, get an AM3 board?
I said, make sure that it will SUPPORT AM3 CPUS....DUMB A$$.

So, before you start calling people idiots, better learn how to READ.



There is no way to know what boards will support AM3 cpus yet.
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January 11, 2009 10:59:18 AM

Nik_I said:
if gaming is important, then get the E8400. the phenom II isn't bad, it's a huge improvement over the original, but for gaming the core 2's are only beaten by the i7's. although if all you play is supreme commander, then the phemom II would be better.


Forget dual cores, go QUAD - GTA IV thrashes even my Q6600 @ 3.5ghz

The future is quads - why are we all still recomending duals? come on people.
January 11, 2009 1:16:06 PM

Doltron said:
There is no way to know what boards will support AM3 cpus yet.

Oh really?

Chart of compatible motherboards
Seems like ASUS has a list of their motherboards that ASUS claims will be AM3 compatible.

Do a little research and you can find all kinds of answers.
January 11, 2009 2:20:23 PM

With your budget and future concerns. I would go quad core, phenom II.

1. Many new games will probably support more cores in the near future. Even if they dont, having quad will help you with any other types of apps that do support quad cores, video. You cant add cores later.

2. They will OC to mid 3G if you need it. A 3.4G core is plenty for gaming.

3. E8400 is socket 775. No new cpus coming out. Limited upgrade due to supply over time. In 2 years, supply of C2Quads may be low.

A good brand name 780 or 790 AMD chipset mobo with AM2+. $300 for Phenom and a good brand mobo will be a difficult. $400 and your in business. You could get a AMD 6000+, $90, for now and get a phenom II later when you need it and they are cheaper. The next gen phenom II will be AM3. They will be backwards compatible.
January 11, 2009 2:34:33 PM

AM3 CPU (i.e PII 925) can be installed on both AM2+ and AM3 mobos.
- AM3 CPU installed in an AM2+ mobo obviously will be running DDR2 RAM.
- AM3 CPU installed in an AM3 mobo will be running DDR3 RAM.

AM2+ CPUs (i.e PII 920) won't be able to work on AM3 mobo.
January 11, 2009 2:37:25 PM

Thanks for all the great replies. I think I will wait another month and see what the prices are for the new P2 925 AM3 and go from there. There is also a rumor that Intel will be dropping prices on its C2Q's at the end of January so it will be in my best interests to wait until next month to pull the trigger.

I am still leaning towards the P2 with a nice mobo that can support an AM3 chip in the future. Thanks again everyone.
January 11, 2009 2:54:54 PM

i will let you know in a week. i will have both in the same room and i will tell you first hand which games better. beyond how these CPU's handle current game titles, it would be wise to look towards what could come out 6 months to a year from now. a quad may be a necessity to enjoy gaming. it all depends on how much effort game developers put into optimizing games that are console games ported to pc (being that seems to be the norm anymore). i am guessing that will be real hit and miss for at least another year. very few native PC game titles anymore.
January 11, 2009 3:30:59 PM

GO p2, Quads are the future and when directx 10 comes out it will support multicore rendering. GAMES now are better for dual cores. Games of the future will be better on quad and beyond. Remember when dual cores came out and no one needed them because games were all single threaded? Exactly, never invest in dual when things are switching to quad.
January 11, 2009 3:31:27 PM

i meant directx 11* sorry
January 11, 2009 3:37:17 PM

that used to be a very strong argument until game developers put console gaming first. PC gaming by and large exists on hand me downs (console ports) that are done in the manner that delivers a return on their investment the quickest. get it to work, put it in a box and see what patches need to be created and count the money. quads are here and it will catch on in game development but i don't think it will be as dramatic as it was going from single core to dual core. that is making reference to a time when PC gaming was a better revenue source than consoles. not the case anymore.
January 11, 2009 3:51:06 PM

For future planning, I'd say go Phenom 2. I just purchased the 920 and Asus A3A78-T which came to $385 but you can save $60 on the mobo by buying it open box which puts you in the budget you mentioned. Asus claims it will support AM3 with a BIOS upgrade and other manufactures such as MSI have claimed that too so that will allow another upgrade in the future as well. As for when the release date is for the AM3, I've read anywhere from February to April so I'm not sure when it will come out for sure.
January 11, 2009 6:32:08 PM

roofus said:
that used to be a very strong argument until game developers put console gaming first. PC gaming by and large exists on hand me downs (console ports) that are done in the manner that delivers a return on their investment the quickest. get it to work, put it in a box and see what patches need to be created and count the money. quads are here and it will catch on in game development but i don't think it will be as dramatic as it was going from single core to dual core. that is making reference to a time when PC gaming was a better revenue source than consoles. not the case anymore.


Dont forget that PS3 has a quad core and xbox 360 has a tri-core so games will be optimized for more than a dual core. Isnt that why GTA4 is optimized for quad cores?
January 11, 2009 7:29:51 PM

Stop trolling Doltron. Learn to read and actually understand topics that you are talking about before you type. nmdante has provided enough info to where you shouldnt post anymore. Gigabyte and Jetway also have a list of current boards that will support AM3 CPU's.

@OP At this point in the game it might be better to go with a P2 920, but on the flipside I would wait a few weeks if possible, as the chip is overpriced.



January 11, 2009 7:33:12 PM

Toshiba/IBM's Cell processor in the PS3 has 9 cores, 1 of them are general purpose.
January 11, 2009 7:38:18 PM

well thats still more than 2 so my point still works
January 11, 2009 7:38:19 PM

nsimo86 said:
Dont forget that PS3 has a quad core and xbox 360 has a tri-core so games will be optimized for more than a dual core. Isnt that why GTA4 is optimized for quad cores?


i wont argue it WILL happen but largely it has NOT. you can count the number of quad optimized games on one hand and it isn't like quads are something new just as multi-core in consoles isn't new. the slow adoption rate doesn't signal any abrupt change in the near future.
January 11, 2009 8:41:19 PM

NMDante said:
Oh really?

Chart of compatible motherboards
Seems like ASUS has a list of their motherboards that ASUS claims will be AM3 compatible.

Do a little research and you can find all kinds of answers.



Asus is not the only motherboard maker :sarcastic: 

@spathotan, thank you for your valid input, I wont put it into consideration.
January 11, 2009 8:52:42 PM

Doltron said:
Asus is not the only motherboard maker :sarcastic: 

@spathotan, thank you for your valid input, I wont put it into consideration.

So, I should do all the research to prove my point? Right.
If you're so interested in finding out if a motherboard maker will make their motherboards compatible with AM3 CPUs...go look it up.
Seriously, first you call someone an idiot, cause you can't read, then you "cry" when I show that there is already AM3 compatible BIOS from ASUS.

You're trolling ability = fail.

Oh, and here's ASRock's AM3 compatibility list.
ASRock AM3 compatibility list

So, either PUT UP or SHUT UP.
January 11, 2009 11:06:03 PM

Dual-core processors are getting long in the tooth. Many games, especially GTA IV, use more than two cores. For example, Far Cry 2 spreads the CPU workload across all 4 cores evenly on a quad-core processor. We should be recommending quad-core processors.
January 12, 2009 12:26:32 AM

nsimo86 said:
Dont forget that PS3 has a quad core and xbox 360 has a tri-core so games will be optimized for more than a dual core. Isnt that why GTA4 is optimized for quad cores?



Not exactly, the PS3 has 1 Power PC core and 7 Synergistic Processing Elements (technically it has 8 but one is disabled to help yields).

GTA4 is a crappy port where the developers put very little effort in optimizing it at all for the PC but yes it does take advantage of multiple cores. I don't think games in general are going to need quad cores for some time though.
January 12, 2009 12:40:22 AM

kind of my thoughts turbo. the games that need a quad core (all 5 of them?) most are by happenstance, not by design.
January 12, 2009 2:56:52 AM

turboflame said:
Not exactly, the PS3 has 1 Power PC core and 7 Synergistic Processing Elements (technically it has 8 but one is disabled to help yields).

2 are dedicated to Sony's personal processing tasks.

The PS3 has 1 PPC and 5 SPEs for gaming developers to use.

My point being that developers are not as at leisure to port from the PS3 as they are to port from the 360. (more reasons than just the 3 core design too. developer tools and the rest as well).

Quad core designs will be forced out soon, as the dual core chips will soon be EOL. (the Q6xxx are already EOL).
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January 12, 2009 6:25:06 AM

GTA IV isnt a poor port turboflame its just resource hungry etc - with all the physics, wether, day/night effects, pedestrians, ai and more all loading up your system you expect the latest games to demolish the not so latest hardware (including dual cores).

Its not just a driving game or anything basic, its a monster.
January 12, 2009 4:09:59 PM

Doltron said:
Asus is not the only motherboard maker :sarcastic: 

@spathotan, thank you for your valid input, I wont put it into consideration.


I fear you are trolling, but I want to point out that my Gigabyte motherboard is AM2+. Gigabyte has a bios that supports Phenom 920 and 940. I'm getting a 940 as soon as income tax refund arrives.

ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI are supporting Phenom II in most of their AM2+ boards. Dreck companies like PC Chips and ECS won't. Midrange companies like Jetway might. It all depends.

Don't confuse AM3 sockets with AM3 CPU support. AM3 and AM2+ sockets are pin compatible. The difference in support will come down to DDR2 vs. DDR3. Some AMD 880G boards might even support DDR2 instead of DDR3, if rumors are correct (the chipset supports both memory types).

Why can't we edit today and why are the preview and post buttons auf Deutsch?
January 12, 2009 4:11:54 PM

apache_lives said:
GTA IV isnt a poor port turboflame its just resource hungry etc - with all the physics, wether, day/night effects, pedestrians, ai and more all loading up your system you expect the latest games to demolish the not so latest hardware (including dual cores).

Its not just a driving game or anything basic, its a monster.


I'd love to see a good guy game set in modern times with engine. I'd love to play a hard boiled detective in a good film noir inspired CRPG. The last great detective film noir inspired game I encountered was actually a classic adventure game; "Under a Killing Moon". It was also detective SF.
January 14, 2009 4:50:51 PM

Definitely, wait for the AM3 socket motherboards. they are near, and it surely would reduce the prices of anything.
Maybe you can get DDR3 for the same price.

Anyway, AM3 is the start to a new upgrade path. The Core 2 duo are a dead upgrade path.

Those said, if you are on budget, the cheapest option of those you made is good enough. For gaming, the money should ever be invested on the video card, and the money you save in the processor would be better invested on the video card.
!