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X3 720 Replace Video or I7 920 Keep Video

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March 30, 2009 3:21:00 PM

Quick break down. This may be a strange questions but I cannot come up with the answer.

Limited Cash, I have two upgrade questions.
1.Purchase the I7 920 + X58 Motherboard + DDR3 and keep my 8800 GTS OC 512MB video Card or for the same cost
2.Purchase the Phenom X3 720 +AM3 Motherboard + DDR3 + ATI 4870 replacing my 8800 GTS
Which one would be a better choice...yes I am a gamer running a 22” Widescreen but I also mess with Blender and create video renderings, lots of home movie editing...etc...

Thanks for the help
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2009 3:47:40 PM

Depends on you. But I would skip DDR3 ram/board for the AMD. I would get am2+ ddr2 myself. Should make the amd upgrade cheaper.

For gaming I would say go AMD and video card upgrade. But on the other hand the i7 would be great for your lots of home movie editing. It should be ALOT faster than the AMD 720 system for editing.

I would suggest the Intel system and then upgrade your gpu later on if needed.

Or with the money you save ditching the DDR3/DD3 board for the AMD system you could then get the X4 which would help your video editing alot by adding another core(that is if you application uses 4 cores).

So my final verdict would be X4 940BE plus a am2+ board with 4gb of ddr2 ram. Thats about the best balance of cost/vs performace for you usage.



March 30, 2009 3:58:20 PM

combo deals aside ill compare an am2+ setup with the 720 be and an am3

AM2+ With DDR2

Motherboard = GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX $138.99

Processor = AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 $135.99

Memory = Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $69.99

Total = 344.97

AM3 With DDR3

Motherboard = GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X $139.99

Processor = AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 $135.99

Memory = Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $98.99

Total = $368.97

Exactly a $24 Dollar Difference Using Essentially The Same Standard Of Components.

So in my personal opinion it would be wise to invest in this growing ddr3 tech it should be very beneficial seeing as how ddr2 will be outdated very shortly and am3 boards are popping up left and right at this point, and in my honest opinion this is the most "future proof" am3 board available at the moment.
Mobo = ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX $199.99 Plenty of pci slots and awesome quality the only thing is that the new amd southbridge 800 is just around the bend, http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9761/amd_chipset_roadmap_reveals_southbridge_800_info/
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a b V Motherboard
March 30, 2009 4:24:55 PM

Again, go with the Phenom.
March 30, 2009 5:47:05 PM

Yea, I say Phenom for the win. The i7 will probably be faster, but not faster enough to justify the price premium IMO.
March 30, 2009 6:18:32 PM

I really don't see the point of going to the 4870 from the 8800GTS at this stage in the game. Might as well wait for further price drops on everything with the product launches that are coming out next month (some next week).

Personally, I'm waiting for the AM3 nVidia boards to crop up, because I actually use applications that support CUDA (otherwise I wouldn't bother).
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2009 6:45:18 PM

CUDA is GPU base, not chipset base. That wouldn't be the reason to go AM3, unless you want DDR3 and/or SLi.
March 30, 2009 7:17:56 PM

Go with GPU + X3.
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2009 7:45:13 PM

if you game - p2 should be fine.
March 30, 2009 7:51:43 PM

go with I7 but only if you intend to replace GPU somewhere down the line (6 months or whatevr)
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2009 7:54:01 PM

but if he did that he would not get the gaming performance he is looking for.
March 30, 2009 9:53:23 PM

If I were you I would go with the Phenom II 720 X3 what 8800gts do you have and is it still under warranty.I originally bought an evga 8800gts640 with a lifetime warranty when they started making the 8800gts512 (g92 almost identical to 9800gtx) I made an excuse and rma'd mine and requested them to replace it with the 512 because they were the same price and the (g92)is much easier to find and I might want sli.If you dont have the 8800gts 512 and your card is still under warranty I would give this a try it overclocks well beyond the stock speeds of even the 9800gtx (mine runs all day @777 core and 2156 memory).At this speed fed by a similar cpu it will actually beat the 4870 in most benchies.Here is some proof the first score is mine with my 720X3 and 8800gts512,the second score is a 4870 with a more powerful PhenomII 940X4 feeding it.
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=10447714
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=10044173

Also Im not trying to start a war but the Nvidia card has better physics properties so games will look a bit better

March 30, 2009 10:28:36 PM

also if you go with the 720x3 and the biostar nforce 7 board you should be able to take the extra $90 you saved on the board and even get a gtx280 for the same amount you planned to spend to begin with this setup would be by far the best performing of all the setups metioned in this thread.
March 30, 2009 10:29:39 PM

So much fail scirishman...

While true that the 8800GTS is a powerful card, and still being sold (and resold(and resold) as the GTS 250, even overclocked it cant compare to the 4870. I dont know about you, but I cant remember the last time (hell, any time) I sat down for a marathon session of 3dMark.

2nd, CUDA PhysX not only causes a performace hit if run on the same card, but you have to have one of the 6 games that supports PhysX.

And finally, NForce sucks, has for years. Only go for an nForce board if your heartset on SLi.
March 30, 2009 10:39:53 PM

B-Unit said:
So much fail scirishman...

While true that the 8800GTS is a powerful card, and still being sold (and resold(and resold) as the GTS 250, even overclocked it cant compare to the 4870. I dont know about you, but I cant remember the last time (hell, any time) I sat down for a marathon session of 3dMark.

2nd, CUDA PhysX not only causes a performace hit if run on the same card, but you have to have one of the 6 games that supports PhysX.

And finally, NForce sucks, has for years. Only go for an nForce board if your heartset on SLi.


Wow dont put your foot in your mouth agian plzzz here is a link for a comparison running an nforce 7 and a amd790 running identical hardware the nforce board beats it in every benchmark gaming and otherwise I have shown proof that the 8800 (g92) performs comparable to the 4870 or did you not look at the scores you talk alot and prove nothing http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1382/amd_790fx_vs_nvi...
March 30, 2009 11:01:33 PM

Hmm, you must have skipped the part where I said I dont play 3dMark. If you do, then be glad that you have the best hardware for that task.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-7.html 9800GTX (which = 8800GTS) getting smoked by 4870.

EDIT: Perhaps saying the 700a chipsets 'suck' was a bit harsh, but they dont perform any better than the AMD equivalents, and last time i researched it, the AMD chipsets overclock better. 10 extra 3dMarks isnt 'beating' anything, its well within margin of error.
March 30, 2009 11:09:37 PM

B-Unit said:
Hmm, you must have skipped the part where I said I dont play 3dMark. If you do, then be glad that you have the best hardware for that task.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-7.html 9800GTX (which = 8800GTS) getting smoked by 4870.


The strength in the 9800gtx or the 8800gts512 comes with the huge overclocks they can handle and the 4870 hardly ocs at all add the 25% performance increase from the oc on the 9800 and perfomance is close like I said.Hit the nfoce 7 vs 790 link again their is about 8 pages worth of benchies and 3 other gaming ones the nforce board wins every 1 so much for your 3dmark gripe.
March 30, 2009 11:09:54 PM

B-Unit said:
Hmm, you must have skipped the part where I said I dont play 3dMark. If you do, then be glad that you have the best hardware for that task.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-7.html 9800GTX (which = 8800GTS) getting smoked by 4870.

this is 1 benchmark run on an intel board with an intel quad core and the 9800gtx is at stock speed first of all am2/3 boards (which is what hes using)will produce different results.
The strength in the 9800gtx or the 8800gts512 comes with the huge overclocks they can handle and the 4870 hardly ocs at all add the 30% performance increase from the oc on the 9800 and perfomance is close like I said.Hit the nfoce 7 vs 790 link again their is about 8 pages worth of benchies and 3 other gaming ones the nforce board wins every 1 so much for your 3dmark gripe.
March 30, 2009 11:13:22 PM

Oh and my 720X3 will oc to 3.9 on my cheap Nforce board so they oc ok
March 30, 2009 11:17:44 PM

780a advantage in your link:

Sysmark: 3 of 139 points
PCMark05: 3 of 6361 points
Adobe Premire: .6 of 84 sec
3DMark06: 9 of 9620 points

These are not 'wins' they are identical results. They fall within the margin of error. You are a victim of hype. Get over it.
March 30, 2009 11:30:20 PM

Any motherboard overclocks ok with Black Edition processors. Im talking about old school up the HT clock overclocking.
March 30, 2009 11:31:49 PM

B-Unit said:
780a advantage in your link:

Sysmark: 3 of 139 points
PCMark05: 3 of 6361 points
Adobe Premire: .6 of 84 sec
3DMark06: 9 of 9620 points

These are not 'wins' they are identical results. They fall within the margin of error. You are a victim of hype. Get over it.


Ok if the 790 had won any I would say they were equals but the nforce wins every 1 and todays systems are decided by a few points (nforce = cheaper and better performance) his existing 8800gts if a G(92) with a quick tune will match or at least come real close to matching the 4870 my goal is to get this thread starter the most performance for his buck.Also if he spends $90 less on an Nforce 7 then he can afford a gtx 280 on the same budget.If you can give him better advice (or maybe his amd 790 and 4870 will beat a gtx 280 2 right lol)then try.If not obviously you are the victim of hype.
March 30, 2009 11:32:01 PM

Oh and my 720X3 will oc to 3.9 on my cheap Nforce board so they oc ok
March 30, 2009 11:59:12 PM

B-Unit said:
Any motherboard overclocks ok with Black Edition processors. Im talking about old school up the HT clock overclocking.

DUDE HES GETTING A BLACK EDITION PROCESSOR
March 31, 2009 12:18:40 AM

^*** would you HT OC with an unlocked multi?
March 31, 2009 12:20:03 AM

^*** would you HT OC with an unlocked multi?
March 31, 2009 12:20:06 AM

^*** would you HT OC with an unlocked multi?
March 31, 2009 1:02:49 AM

The beauty of the nforce7a is if you only plan on running 1 video card you can get almost identical performance from a $70, 720 or 730 as you would from a much more expensive 780
March 31, 2009 10:56:16 AM

WOW!!!! You guys have had some great replies and I am now leaning towards the X3 720BE....I had no idea my 8800 GTS OC 512MB is the same as the 9800GTX..good news. I would like to reply in more detail once I get a second. Work has me tied up for now.

One quick questions....when do you think the SB800 motherboards will start coming out? This one went straight under my radar.

Thanks again for all the replies and I will respond in more detail once I shake off some of the backlog from work.

One big point I am interested in is Future Proofing myself for a year or more if i can
March 31, 2009 1:24:49 PM

Well the Phenom II with 8800 is just ok. Upgrade the GPU when Vista 7 is out. Even for DX 11, or cheaper DX10.1 card when the "new way" will reduce the prices of older products...
Ofcource if 8800 is not fast enough? (It should be with your monitor.) You can take 4870 or 4890 if the price is right or even nvidia 260, depending on what prices are available.
March 31, 2009 1:27:08 PM

For video editing the I7 is a monster, if you have the money ofcource...
March 31, 2009 1:27:39 PM

I'd even say that you'd want to get a phenom2 x4. You get the money by not buying a new video card yet. In 6 months, todays cards are very cheap or the next gen cards blow them out of the water. We still have to see how the 275 and the 4890 will affect the market.

The x4 will help your home editing more and the video card should be enough, unless you are already experiencing problems with programs or games you run. If you already run into problems, it might be better to get the x3 and the video card.
a b à CPUs
March 31, 2009 2:24:19 PM

what the hell is wrong with this thread?
March 31, 2009 4:02:33 PM

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
combo deals aside ill compare an am2+ setup with the 720 be and an am3

AM2+ With DDR2

Motherboard = GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX $138.99

Processor = AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 $135.99

Memory = Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $69.99

Total = 344.97

AM3 With DDR3

Motherboard = GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X $139.99

Processor = AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 $135.99

Memory = Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $98.99

Total = $368.97

Exactly a $24 Dollar Difference Using Essentially The Same Standard Of Components.

So in my personal opinion it would be wise to invest in this growing ddr3 tech it should be very beneficial seeing as how ddr2 will be outdated very shortly and am3 boards are popping up left and right at this point, and in my honest opinion this is the most "future proof" am3 board available at the moment.
Mobo = ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX $199.99 Plenty of pci slots and awesome quality the only thing is that the new amd southbridge 800 is just around the bend, http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9761/amd_chipset_roadmap_reveals_southbridge_800_info/



Thanks for the insight and a great help in my decision making process. Have you seen an article stating when the SB800 MBs will start rolling out?

I am really in need of a future proof solution. I am thinking about a good AM3 motherboard and the X3 with a good video card and then in 6 to 9 months I can grab a faster Quad Core AM3 to make up on the video editing side. I have put off playing Crysis ;)  long enough the home movies can wait.
March 31, 2009 4:05:58 PM

someguy7 said:
Depends on you. But I would skip DDR3 ram/board for the AMD. I would get am2+ ddr2 myself. Should make the amd upgrade cheaper.

For gaming I would say go AMD and video card upgrade. But on the other hand the i7 would be great for your lots of home movie editing. It should be ALOT faster than the AMD 720 system for editing.

I would suggest the Intel system and then upgrade your gpu later on if needed.

Or with the money you save ditching the DDR3/DD3 board for the AMD system you could then get the X4 which would help your video editing alot by adding another core(that is if you application uses 4 cores).

So my final verdict would be X4 940BE plus a am2+ board with 4gb of ddr2 ram. Thats about the best balance of cost/vs performace for you usage.


Thanks for the reply...I appreciate your point of view and it appears valid. My only concern will be future proofing for the newer AM3s that come out. I am afraid that as they get faster the AM2+ boards may not support them...?
March 31, 2009 4:10:02 PM

scirishman76 said:
If I were you I would go with the Phenom II 720 X3 what 8800gts do you have and is it still under warranty.I originally bought an evga 8800gts640 with a lifetime warranty when they started making the 8800gts512 (g92 almost identical to 9800gtx) I made an excuse and rma'd mine and requested them to replace it with the 512 because they were the same price and the (g92)is much easier to find and I might want sli.If you dont have the 8800gts 512 and your card is still under warranty I would give this a try it overclocks well beyond the stock speeds of even the 9800gtx (mine runs all day @777 core and 2156 memory).At this speed fed by a similar cpu it will actually beat the 4870 in most benchies.Here is some proof the first score is mine with my 720X3 and 8800gts512,the second score is a 4870 with a more powerful PhenomII 940X4 feeding it.
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=10447714
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=10044173

Also Im not trying to start a war but the Nvidia card has better physics properties so games will look a bit better


Thanks for the info...I have a BFG 8800 GTS OC 512MB card right this second. I wonder if I went with the X3 720 and OCed the video card if I would be able to run Crysis or the like in any of its glory or would I still be limited?

I have an Ageia Physx card that I do not have in my build right this second. I am going to put it back in if I go with an ATI GPU
March 31, 2009 4:41:48 PM

scirishman76 said:
also if you go with the 720x3 and the biostar nforce 7 board you should be able to take the extra $90 you saved on the board and even get a gtx280 for the same amount you planned to spend to begin with this setup would be by far the best performing of all the setups metioned in this thread.


Very interesting approach...I am always looking for the best bang for my buck. I think my big issue with this one would be trying to Future Proof myself for a faster AM3 Quad Core when it came out. I would be afraid that the Nforce 7 board would not be able to utilize them?
April 1, 2009 7:56:18 AM

fwfa said:
Thanks for the info...I have a BFG 8800 GTS OC 512MB card right this second. I wonder if I went with the X3 720 and OCed the video card if I would be able to run Crysis or the like in any of its glory or would I still be limited?

I have an Ageia Physx card that I do not have in my build right this second. I am going to put it back in if I go with an ATI GPU



Dude I have that exact setup(8800gts512&720X3) I am running crysis (have beaten it several times)on very high settings on every option on a 27inch widescreen @1920X1200.I have an nforce 7 board dude Nforce boards outperform sb750 boards for less money think you should go that way.Crysis runs an average framerate of about 65 and I only drop down below 20(low enough to give a small shutter)for a couple of seconds about once every 45 mins on average.way playable on my rig.
April 1, 2009 8:01:43 AM

fwfa said:
Very interesting approach...I am always looking for the best bang for my buck. I think my big issue with this one would be trying to Future Proof myself for a faster AM3 Quad Core when it came out. I would be afraid that the Nforce 7 board would not be able to utilize them?


I think its safe to say that plenty of am3 nforce boards will hit the market,anyway the biostar 720a or the evga730a each go for between 60 and 80 dollars if you end up replacing it later it wasnt a big loss
!