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AMD Phenom II X4 945 vs Intel i3 530

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June 3, 2010 1:52:33 AM

I'm building a budget gaming rig atm. Ive narrowed my search down to these two. They seem to have almost identical performance in games, with the Phenom II pulling just ahead of the i3. The problem remains overclocking and which is more future proof. See im not going to invest in additional cooling. Even so the i3 can easily be overclocked to 4+ Ghz on stock cooling, while the Phenom II struggles to hit 3.6 Ghz. Im assuming the OC i3 is better in games than the OC Phenom II currently. However with more games supporting the quad-core, is the Phenom II X4 945 a better purchase? After all Dual-core is the 'norm' with the Quad-core taking over. In a year and a half or so, will games run better on an OC Phenom II X4 945 than on an OC i3 530?
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June 3, 2010 2:10:11 AM

Well, you'd be wrong, unless you can get the i3 to overclock to about 4.8 GHz, which is possible you would be able to beat an overclocked Phenom II 945. Intel is too danm expensive which gives everyone this idea that AMD is crap quality which just isn't true, AMD just prices there processors much more competitively.
Thats my 2 cents.
June 3, 2010 2:19:39 AM

umm...come again? i dont think i quite understood what you were saying
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June 3, 2010 2:21:02 AM

If you were to leave both at stock speed, the phenom would win.
June 3, 2010 2:24:22 AM

undoubtedly. The problem remains with the OC version of the two. Also note im talking specifically about games. Heavy Multi-tasking, not so much...
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June 3, 2010 2:27:15 AM

The phenom would win in gaming, are you going to be running a water cooling or air. If you plan on oc'ing with water, the i3 would win, also if you have a good intel motherboard and you can get it to 4.9 Ghz on air, which is possible, it would win. But the phenom would win at its maximum air on a decent motherboard which is about 4.1Ghz.
June 3, 2010 2:37:31 AM

interesting. Altho i dont think the particular x4 in question will OC to 3.8 on stock cooling...maybe 3.6
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June 3, 2010 2:40:11 AM

Well, you didn't say stock cooling, when oc'ing, we generally assume that you have an aftermarket cooler. Also if you plan on going with stock cooling, the phenom will incinerate your i3.
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June 3, 2010 2:44:00 AM

Even at 4ghz the phenom will incinerate the i3... Also in the second article, cpu isn't as important as gpu, save money by buying phenom and use savings for better gpu.
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June 3, 2010 2:44:55 AM

Also it even says the phenom beats the i3 at a lower speed...
June 3, 2010 2:47:50 AM

Who in their right mind would extreme OC their CPUs on stock cooler? Even if you live in a cooling area, it's still too much heat for the stock cooler to handle.
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June 3, 2010 2:48:46 AM

Eh... I read a little more into the articles (my bad), some games perfer different cpu arcitectures. Dude, its absolutely your decision.
June 3, 2010 2:49:56 AM

alright thanks for the insight. incidentally, LGA 1156 mobos are more expensive than their AM3 counterparts, for reasons i have yet to discover. The mobo+cpu price tag for either the phenom or the i3 is pretty much the same for me.

@ alikum the i3 OCs incredibly well on stock.
June 3, 2010 3:53:11 AM

really? this is gold man. exactly what i was looking for. Care to elaborate? ? (esp on the X4 bit) :D 
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June 3, 2010 4:25:59 AM

Only in CPU bound games would an i3 that fast fail to a Phenom II in gaming. In even quad core optimized games (that aren't CPU bound) the i3 can keep up mighty fine clock4clock.

I think I have exactly what the OP was looking for. These are only a couple games, but they give a great example of what I'm talking about. From Tomshardware using a 5970.

Call of Duty MW2 is the perfect example, with great multi-core optimization (as you can see the difference between the intel dual and quad).



Dirt 2 is an interesting example with optimization for more than 4 cores.





Anandtech bench, using a more moderate GPU...:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=88&i=47.4...

LegionHardware review, 5870 crossfire with MANY cpus (including i3/i5/i7/c2d/c2q/phenomIIx2x4/athlonII) at MANY frequencies (all the way up to 4ghz).

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_...
June 3, 2010 4:48:53 AM

@ raidur

this is really interesting stuff. OCing as much as stock cooling will allow, the i3 seems to outperform the Phenom II X4. This is great stuff
June 3, 2010 5:07:09 AM

honestly despite what everyone has said, the i3 looks really good. it has better performance on the Crysis benchmark, which utilizes 4 cores.
June 5, 2010 6:06:07 AM

very nice post.
i ahve accepted you post informations.
June 6, 2010 9:58:16 PM

If your primary concern is gaming, CPU doesn't give much boost, Phenom II X4 945 will 2-3 fps more than i3, when overclocked both processors will still show more or less performance. Until games that utilizes all the 4 cores,cores won't give much difference in performance with dual cores in the same range. Get Phenom II X4 945/955 and get a good GPU to actually unleash the gaming performance
June 6, 2010 10:08:37 PM

Well i considered that, but there are a surprising number of games that utilizes up to 4 cores. The i3 beats the phenom on alot of them too (albeit by a small margin). The i3 is a 'virtual' quad-core with its hyper-threading technology, so wont the i3 benefit from quad-core optimization too?
June 7, 2010 7:41:04 AM

At stock speeds i3 won't be beating X4 955 BE in any case, If you overclock the story is totally different. But its already discussed what ever may be the difference in the performance its very little to be noticed practically if there is a good GPU. So the choice can be any way, get i3 if you want pure gaming rig, but if you want more processing power get P II X4 955/965 BE(They can be overclocked to 4GHz even on stock cooling and good mobo. And mind that games who are CPU intensive and multicore optimization types will have slightly better performance on P II X4. For the future proof thing, if you are looking to upgrade in 3-4 years AMD will be better with AM3 socket with whole range of CPU's as option, but with intel, you have to choose between the CPU's with the i3 compatible socket. Its your choice.
June 9, 2010 6:22:48 PM

i agree with the people who say that a better GPU will boost performance on gaming a lot more than just having a quad. the improvements gained from a better cpu are marginal and do not stack up against a killer GPU.

so in yours case i would definately go for the phenom and a good gpu
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June 9, 2010 7:27:53 PM

Quote:
i know it before why intel has lanuch 48core processor for the elite researcher..

but we don't need they are processor.

actually my personal thoughts intel with amd architecture has have the faults

also they are nothing architecture.

becacuse they are just using the p-n mating-type transistor.

so i mean we still have the new creative architecture theory documents.

intel ceo with amd ceo has whatever saying

whatever do it.

we don't care they are happen.


Sorry but you have no clue as to what you are talking about.
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June 9, 2010 7:31:36 PM

AM3 will have a longer lifespan than LGA 1156, so the Phenom/AM3 mobo is better choice unless you have cash to burn..
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June 9, 2010 7:40:29 PM

Quote:
my point has intel with amd has nothing architecture.


why??

becacuse they are just using the p-n mating-type transistor.


I still don't get your point.. The OP is asking which is better...
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June 10, 2010 2:56:46 AM

Uhh... okay then.
I'm with everyone other than the OP here. Sorry. :na: 
Quote:
LGA 1156 mobos are more expensive than their AM3 counterparts, for reasons i have yet to discover.

That's Intel, my friend. It's comparable to the premium you'd pay for a Mac over a PC. No reason whatsoever other than their excessive overpricing.
Anyway, if you were to go with the Phenom, chances are the money you'll save from the motherboard and all other intel-specific parts can be used for a better graphics card, which will give a lot more performance than if you would OC the i3. And speaking of that, it's basically a given fact that Intel's stock cooling sucks. Sorry about that, too. :??: 
On another note, Intel is killing off and creating sockets basically every other year now, so the Phenom will give you a much better upgrade path, as they'll be keeping AM3/AM2+/AM2 basically until the Bulldozer processor comes out or DDR4 memory is produced. It would be a lot more future-proof than an overpriced Intel system.
June 10, 2010 2:54:38 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
Uhh... okay then.
I'm with everyone other than the OP here. Sorry.


lol. ive made it a habit of disagreeing with the other person, so they have to explain themselves. Ive found its much more productive then just agreeing. It helps me obtain perspective. I'm leaning toward the phenom. So technically your with me too :D 
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June 10, 2010 3:05:25 PM

Lol, yep, I know what you mean. I was just looking at it on NewEgg, and it would be great if you could wait another week and grab the Phenom II x4 955 BE instead. It's only $20 more, and has an unlocked CPU multiplier so you can OC it like mad. I don't know your budget, though, so it's your call. :)  Just thought I'd throw that out there to consider.
June 10, 2010 3:10:38 PM

Ha.. Man in my budget im looking for the mobo, plus the cpu to be circa $200. Black edition is kinda outta my price range atm. Shame tho, its kinda what i really want.
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June 10, 2010 3:19:47 PM

You can get an Athlon x4 630 @ 2.8Ghz and a decent board for around 100.00$. I have seen the 630 hit 3.8Ghz with ease, just make sure you save up for a decent cooler. 200.00$ is too low for a black edition CPU/mobo but to be honest the Athlon holds its own when it comes to overclocking.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon-ii-...

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June 10, 2010 3:50:56 PM

If you want a good board for $100, this is probably my favorite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The only problem with it is that it only has 3 expansion slots. 2 PCIe x16 and a PCI. I love that board, though, and it has full SLI support. :)  That combined with an Athlon II x4 635 and something like two GTX 260s or 250s in SLI would be blazing...
If you don't want SLI or feel the need for more expansion, I'd recommend these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A little off-topic, but I can help with finding a motherboard if you want... my specialty... ;) 
Anyway, I'd probably recommend either the Athlon II x4 635 for your price range along with a good video card. It can certainly hold its own when it comes to overclocking, and it relatively cheap for what you're getting.
June 10, 2010 3:54:39 PM

someguynamedmatt said:

I can help with finding a motherboard if you want... my specialty... ;) 


yeah help would be appreciated. Altho with a $140 cpu, i dont think id be willing to pay more than $70 for the mobo. On the other hand i dont want 2 pcie 2.0 slots either. I'm not buying a psu for 2 vcards so i dont want the mobo for it either. No use in paying for summit ill never use.
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June 10, 2010 4:03:44 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's probably the best you'll get for that price range, IMO. It really isn't CFX ready because of the second x16 slot operating at x4, but that isn't a problem for you. It's hard to find something under $70 because you start to lost DDR3 support, and the OC capabilities of those aren't up to par with some of the better boards out there. If you do want something cheaper, you could always go with a BioStar board. I don't have any hands-on experience with them, but they're fairly good boards for the price, if not slightly poorer built, though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Watch the memory on that... as far as I know, it only supports up to DDR3-1333, not 1600.
June 10, 2010 4:08:57 PM

hmm i see. How about one with only one PCIe 2.0 slot and a more expansions slots for other stuff?
June 10, 2010 6:33:32 PM

yeah pretty much, hey thanks alot man. tell you what. Ill go hunt down some mboards on my own and ill post them here so you can tell me the pros and cons k?

thanks a bunch again
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June 10, 2010 6:46:02 PM

No problem. That's what we're here for. :D 
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June 11, 2010 2:47:50 PM

Actually, I don't have a problem with either one of those, although I'd suggest the MSI one over the BioStar just because it's higher quality. I did, however, find something a little better for the same price from ASUS, probably one of the highest quality motherboard manufacturers out there for AM3. I'll put your choices so far down below, but other than that, it's pretty much your choice as to what you want. All four are basically the same thing from different companies.

ASUS M4A75TD-EVO $89.99

MSI 770-G45 $82.98
Those two boards do have two x16 slots, but the second one on both only runs at x4. And you can put x1 expansion cards in x16 slots. Considering the fact that they're basically the same price as the ones you found and allow for a little better expansion, I'd say they're worth considering. The ASUS may be a little pricey for you, but I'm fairly sure it's the best option I have listed here. It even has an onboard Radeon 4200 for backup in case something goes wrong with your actual card.

MSI 770-C45 $87.55
Not sure why you'd want this with the other MSI board with an x16(@x4) slot instead of an x1 is actually cheaper, but it's your call.

BioStar TA790GXB3 $87.55
I'd probably avoid this with all the other MSI and Asus boards priced so closely. Sorry, BioStar.

Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 $87.86
With all four of its PCIe x1 slots and USB 3.0 support, I'd probably say this is second to the ASUS EVO.

There you have it. Any thoughts?
June 11, 2010 2:57:24 PM

What are PCIe 1.0 slots for? ive never really used one. ATM the only things i can think of sticking in my mobo is the GPU, networking card, and maybe a sound card. Do you get the latter two with a PCIe 1.0 interface?
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June 11, 2010 2:57:57 PM

Well, chances are a sound card will either be PCIe x1 or PCI. A network card will be the same. Your GPU will definately be PCIe x16. Oh, and maybe I read your question wrong, but don't get PCIe 1.0 confused with PCIe x1. x1, x4, 8, and 16 are the speeds at which the slot operates. 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1 are the versions/revisions of the slot, which I honestly can't tell you much about, other than the fact that they're all backwards compatible with each other.
June 11, 2010 3:08:56 PM

Well the slots i mean are the itty bitty one that the Gigabayte mobo has a lot of.
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June 11, 2010 3:37:52 PM

Yeah, the PCIe x1 slots. Sorry about that. I'm not sure what kind of a network card you're talking about, whether it's wireless or what, but here's a good example of a PCIe x1 Network card. Wireless x1 Network Card
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