Intel or AMD budget question

I need to upgrade to a new CPU, Board, and RAM. I have a 9800GTX+ and am running win xp pro 32 bit.
I want to stay as CLOSE to 500 bucks as possible for this upgrade and have turned over a few options in my mind for a few days. I just don't think I have a good enough background knowledge to make my final decision.

I know the battle between AMD and Intel is always heated, but all I'm looking for here is honest answers to a fairly simple question. I've owned both and have been satified with both for what they were when I bought them. Both the CPU's I've looked at are quad cores, although I'm not even sure I'd need that, but it seems the most future proof.

I have narrowed things down to a Q8300 from intel for 189 on newegg. The board I would get with this is an EVGA Nforce 780i for 199. I chose this because I want the SLI ability for later down the road maybe, and right now it seems to be the most affordable offering.

If I go with my AMD choice I would get 9850 black (quad core) for 140.00 and an ASUS M3N72-D board for 129. Both systems would get Corsair Dominator RAM 4GB.

There is a 120 dollar savings if I do the AMD setup. That would leave me cash to buy another Seagate 640GB Hard drive and I'd finally be able to have a RAID stripe setup (been wanting to do it for years, just could never bring myself to spend the extra money).

The question is, is it worth it to get the Intel quad rather than the AMD quad? Or would I see nearly the same performance with the AMD and a RAID setup. Remember I have a 9800GTX + also. I would be playing occasional games COD 4/5 and maybe Guild Wars and a few others.

Is there THAT much difference between the two CPU setups performance wise? Are they both bottle necks to the card or are neither.

Now, you guys will probably want to start telling me about RAM timings and onboard memory controllers blah blah blah... I can't realy process all that info. I just need to know if there is a big performance difference between the two choices, enough that my occasional games will suffer from. How much will they suffer?

Games will be played at 1600x1050, or 1280x1024 depending. I also like to use AA and AF when I can get away with it.

I also need to consider vista soon... Gzz too many choices and too much cost. Maybe I'll just use Linux lol.
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More about intel budget question
  1. I would say the intel isnt worth the extra money vs. the amd setup HOWEVER I would not go with the AMD processor you chose. Avoid the first Phenom Processors, AMD made alot of improvements in the Phenom II's. The Phenom II 920 or 940 would both outperform either of the processors you have picked. The 920 is priced around $189, the 940 priced around $225. Either of these would be a much better option then the two processors you have listed and both will work with the motherboard you listed as they are AM2+ sockets. Personally I am running the Phenom II 940 stock at 3.0ghz a core and I am more then happy with it.
  2. So, phenom II better choice then. Now that cost is much closer I don't have much room for the RAID setup. But no matter. Now then? Cost being closer, is the Intel setup REALLY better? Worth the extra 70 bucks or not?
  3. The Phenom II x3 720 might be the chip to go with. Its price to performance ratio is pretty damn good. I am not sure how it stacks up against the Q8300, it is hard to find bench marks with that chip.
  4. Gigabyte UD4H 790GX + AMD Phenom II X3 720 $240.99

    here are some benchmarks of left 4 dead from

    The 720 triple core competes quite fiercely with the quads and is a great overclocker. Most people get it to 3.17 ghz on air with no voltage increases on the stock cooler by changing the multiplier from 15 to 17, and gigabyte is a well known top tier trusted motherboard brand so for a $45 savings by getting that motherboard and cpu in combo id say that is an excellent deal. With the new ati cards coming next month and the new phenom II quads, prices will be dropping more then likely.
  5. at your budget u would be better off with the new phenom's and the 720be with the gigabyte combo is a gr8 deal otherwise the ohenom II 940 is a gr8 chip and oc's very well!
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