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Which one is better build?(i7 + GTX 260 216 vs e8500 + HD4870x2)

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November 27, 2008 2:52:36 PM

i have put together two builds:

i7 build:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply --- $179.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case --- $74.99
1 LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 --- $21.99
1 G.SKILL 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-3GBNQ --- $109.99
1 MSI X58 Platinum LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard --- $220.99
1 Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 --- $299.99
1 EVGA 896-P3-1265-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card --- $249.99
1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive --- $59.9


e8500 build:
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $96.99
SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $489.99Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 $187.99G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - $44.99

This will turn out to be the same cost as the i7 build. Do you guys think this would give me a better bang for the buck?what i mean is will this be a better machine for gaming than the i7, since some people have told me that the cpu doesn't matter much for gaming, the video card is important .
November 27, 2008 3:17:11 PM

The 4870x2 system will be the best gamer.
November 27, 2008 3:19:50 PM

would the 4870x2 system be poor with vista etc. i think the system will be used mostly for gaming but i do browse the web etc.
Related resources
November 27, 2008 3:25:32 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
750tx for $70
w/ that 100 saved on the psu get a q9550 with the second build
also you better have a frigin 30inch 2560x1600 monitor if ur going with that crazy ass 4870x2

OR

get a better gpu on i7 build with the 100 saved
and maybe a 2gx3 kit for the i7 for 6gb of ram would be way better
November 27, 2008 3:29:35 PM

btw u could a build a really nice gaming system for under $1000 that'll play nicely at 1600x1200
November 27, 2008 3:42:15 PM

The second build will be much better at games. The first build will be much better at compressing videos. If you do both, get the second build with a Q9550.
November 27, 2008 4:14:26 PM

the second build is going to give you better bang for buck thats for sure. tis not necessarily true that the cpu doesn't matter for games. If you are playing at a lower res then game play will be more CPU intensive, at higher res's the gfx card takes over more of the control from the cpu. You dont want less than 23" - 24" at 1920x1200 if your going to go with the 4870x2.

+1 omar954 save on psu and get a better cpu
November 27, 2008 4:36:43 PM

The CPU does matter for games, absolutely, just not that much. Look at these charts for example.

Q9650 overclocked to 3.6 GHz, 91 fps
E8400 overclocked to 3.6 GHz, 82 fps
Q6600 stock, 81 fps
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=770&p=2
In this game (CoH) those 3 processors are tied, for all practical purposes. The Q9650 should be 50% faster than the E8400 (twice as many cores, same clock) and also 50% faster than the Q6600 (same number of cores, 50% higher clock). In reality it gets a 12% increase only, and even that is wasted on most LCD monitors (with refresh rates of 60 Hz or 75 Hz).

Now look at these charts. They prove that the GPU matters more, IMO.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3408&p=4
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3408&p=3
All other things being equal, a HD 4870 X2 got 39.8 fps in Crysis, and a GTX 260 got 31.5 fps.
In Age of Conan it's 56 fps vs 31 fps.

November 27, 2008 10:38:24 PM

thanks a lot. these are great replies. I plan to connect my computer to a 46" Samsung LCD HDTV. What I was worried about was going for a socket 775 system and with the next upgrade having to change motherboard, CPU and RAM.
November 27, 2008 10:39:58 PM

BY THE Way is it true that tigerdirect is going to sell a core i7 for $150 on black friday.
November 27, 2008 11:06:41 PM

by the way would the 4870x2 system give lower performance for other apps and for vista as compared to the i7 rig?
November 28, 2008 12:04:58 PM

So your gonna be doing gaming on 1080p eh?
I still think that 4870x2 is over kill, lets see..
4850<4870<4850cf<4850x2<4870cf<4870x2
I went with 4850 for 1620x1050 gaming
4870/4850cf would be fine for 1080p, I don't know much about the 4850x2 maybe its a good option as wel, but if money isnt an issue than get the 4870x2

what's ur budget anyway?
November 28, 2008 12:43:13 PM

my budget is $1200 - $1300.
November 28, 2008 1:06:13 PM

If you are going to game on a resolution under 1920x1200 get the i7. IF gaming on 1920x1200 and above get two 260gtx core 216 in sli on a 780i motherboard or get the 4870x2 build.
Hope this helps
November 28, 2008 1:16:10 PM

1080p means 1920x1080. No such thing as overkill GPU at that resolution, I'd say. Get the best you can.

The HD 4850 X2 does great in benchmarks. However, I'm not really a big fan of it because it has no cooling vent.

The E8500/HD 4870 X2 system will be just as good in Vista as the i7/GTX 260 system. That is, both are massive overkill for running Aero and Office. If you rip DVDs and compress them, the i7 should do better, in theory. In practice, the DVD drive and HDD will be bottlenecks and you'd get the job done in exactly the same time with either system. If you play FSX, the i7 system will probably do better, despite having the weaker video card, because that game is CPU-bound.

November 28, 2008 2:11:10 PM

theres a great sale going on for Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply . i know ultra is not as reliable as corsair. should I take the risk to save $50?
November 28, 2008 2:29:53 PM

You can have the PC Power & Cooling 750W for $80 here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703009
That's Anandtech's Gold Award for 2007. If the Ultra is 750W is the same price or higher get the PC P&C. Heck, get the PC P&C even if the Ultra is $40.

Edit: I paid $200 for my PC P&C 750W in July 2007. I can't believe the prices these days :) 
November 28, 2008 3:20:51 PM

I would consider an i7 build with two 4850 cards in crossfire. I think that's what we;ll be testing in the December System Builder Marathon...
November 28, 2008 3:40:29 PM

I will be watching a lot of online streaming video. Right now I was watching the pinkfriday telecast on http://com.puter.tv and my 2.0 GHZ cpu was running at 100%. I don't want crap like this to happen on a E8500 build. Even though i built it for gaming i would like it be able to browse websites with ease.
November 28, 2008 6:11:00 PM

get the i7 system.. if you want a better card in the future you can just use EVGA's step up program.. if you get the e8500 and if you want to upgrade to the core i7 you'll have to buy a whole new motherboard, CPU (of course) and maybe new RAM
November 28, 2008 6:25:43 PM

i probably won't go for the i7 unless i get the one they are selling at tigerdirect for $150 since i guess all games for the next two years or so will not utilize the quad core. However, I do use the pc for a lot of web browsing and other home related use. I don't want that to suffer because i went for a dual core.
November 28, 2008 6:29:28 PM

DanielCD said:
get the i7 system.. if you want a better card in the future you can just use EVGA's step up program.. if you get the e8500 and if you want to upgrade to the core i7 you'll have to buy a whole new motherboard, CPU (of course) and maybe new RAM


There's no video card better than the GTX 260 planned for the next 90 days. An upgrade to 9800GX2 or GTX 280 wouldn't really change from GTX 260 that much, IMO. The step up will become valuable again in April 2009, but right now, for that GTX 260, it's less useful than it looks.

Why not get a Q9550. It will last you a while, and then you can upgrade to i7's successor. (I hope they come up with something more interesting than i8, btw, lazy marketing bums)
That one may very well not work on socket 1366 boards, we don't know at this point.
November 28, 2008 6:34:46 PM

Hello aevm,
what do u mean there is no video car better than GTX 260. There already is GTX 260 216 and GTX 280 and HD4870x2. I am looking into a quad core processor that way I can run multiple apps and not just play games. However, the quad core will of course be of slower speed than duo.
November 28, 2008 7:01:39 PM

I was talking about eVGA's step up program. The HD 4870 X2 is a big improvement over the GTX 260, but eVGA doesn't make the HD 4870 X2 or any other ATI cards. That is, the step up won't offer it.

The GTX 260 Core 216 and GTX 280 are improvements over GTX 260 but rather small, not worth the shipping costs and waiting IMO. That's because the GTX 260 is in fact a very powerful card, obviously :) 

There are no new video cards from eVGA coming out in the next 90 days, AFAIK, or at least nothing that would make a big improvement over a GTX 260. From what I've read, nVidia (and ATI) will come up with new high-end cards in Q2 2009 (that is, expect them in June 2009). They have to wait for TSMC to develop the 40 nm technology first.

If you want a quad-core Intel CPU from the Core 2 family, look at Q6600 and Q9550. There are others too but these two are the most popular.

November 28, 2008 10:18:37 PM

screw i7, wait for 32nm
right now get q6600, it'll be discontinued in early 09 or get 9550 for a much higher price tag though
for gfx card and 1080p if u want it to get 4870x2 and have room in the budget, do it. it'll last a u a good while, even when u build ur new 32nm who nows when

oh and another thing, when buying the gfx card, play into account when u will be making ur next build and/or doing a big upgrade to this one. that'll help u decide what gfx card to get
November 28, 2008 11:14:52 PM

I may go for the q9550 but I figured that why do that when I can always upgrade to q9550 without having to change my motherboard, RAM etc. I guess both e8500 and the Asus P5Q Pro motherboard are both good for overclocking. Only thing I worried about is RAM. I am going for G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ for $44.99 . will this overclock? And should i wait for black monday for prices to drop, or will prices be stable at newegg?
November 28, 2008 11:29:30 PM

so what graphics card did u settle with?
November 28, 2008 11:31:03 PM

I will be going for the hd4870x2
November 30, 2008 1:00:53 AM

Heres a bummer. It seems that because I will have to connect my computer to my Samsung 46" LCD, I will have to buy a Logitech g7 wireless mouse for $72. Does anyone know of a cheaper alternative. I just want a mouse that doesn't lag too much. i don't care a lot for buttons or dpi.
December 1, 2008 12:32:22 AM

here is the system I am going to buy on cyber monday:

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 $20.99
APEVIA X-JUPITER-JR S-Type X-JPJST-MG Metallic Grey SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $74.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $59.99
SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $489.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $104.99
Gyration GC1205FKM Blue USB RF Wireless Mini GO 2.4 Optical Air Mouse and Keyboard Suite $89.99
OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2RPR10664GK $71.99
ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $114.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500$187.99

Subtotal: $1,215.91
Shipping: $33.46
Grand Total: $1,249.37

There is about a $100 rebate from all these products of which I get most of them except probably from OCZ. The only thing that bums me out is that I have to shell out $80 for the gyration keyborad and mouse since I am going for to connect my computer to a Samsung LCD 46" TV and a wireless I/O at atleast 12 ft is a must. I will try and overclock this system.
December 1, 2008 2:23:08 AM

I went for it because it has 250 mm side fan and it looks good. The only question is whether it has that blue LED light that shines through the fan, thats what makes it good looking. The pictures seems to suggest it does have it
!