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I7 920 vs e8500 vs Phenom 2 940/945/955

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April 21, 2009 12:09:36 AM

I'm looking to sell my current steup and start anew. I'll probably keep thisbetween 1 1/2 to 2 years, so "futureproofing" isn't a big issue. I mostly play games, plan to watch blu-ray movies and maybe do some light CAD work. Price is a*small* issue. Whatever I get, I plan to heavily OC it.

Is an i7 920 setup worth the price? From what I've lookedat I'll have to make a few comprimises in other areas if I go this way.

Is it worth it to go with an AM3 P2 (945/955) or should I stick with the AM2+ (940)?

Is the E8500 still the best option for gaming?

Currently I'm leaning on the E8500, seeing how I doubt I'll be taking advantage of quad-cores, it would allow me to spend more on other components, and my current E8300 has served me well, but I'm asking because I'm not sure so don't think I have my heart set yet.

Thanks!
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April 21, 2009 12:20:48 AM

If you already have an E8300, there'd be no point to selling it and buying an E8500. The difference is just too small. If you are absolutely set on a new system, I'd go either Phenom II or i7, and I'd lean towards i7 if the budget allows.
April 21, 2009 12:25:48 AM

Obviously E8300->E8500 is a very small jump, but everything else would be a fairly big leap.
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April 21, 2009 1:06:32 AM

I'd keep the e8300. If you are big on a whole new system... idunno. We'd need to know your budget.
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April 21, 2009 1:50:59 AM

Your current system is perfect. You do not need and shouldnt upgrade it at all. Maybe to a better gpu if you need it for the games. Just overclock your current cpu if you havent done so already. Light cad word your fine with that you got. Blu-ray is not a problem either.

If you where to upgrade a cpu I wouldnt go with any of your suggestions. The AMD's are good but not good enough to dump your current board+cpu to get one IMHO. I would toss a q9series quad in there and overclock it if need be if anything.

I just cant see a reason to build a completely new system.
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April 21, 2009 2:15:47 AM

^+1
April 21, 2009 2:21:20 PM

OC your e8300. That's a free upgrade. Let's see the rest of your rig.
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April 21, 2009 4:14:20 PM

Q's:

1) What is your current system (all specs)

2) What games do you play? resolution?

3) price range for a new system?

4) if you have a general idea a starting list is always good to play around with. The i7 is the King Daddy. It OC's like a screaming wild banshee. The i5 will be coming out and is the mainstream Intel CPU. The AMD PII is nice, but have the performance of the older Core2 Quads.

If you have an e8300 OC the crap out of it if you did not already. If you play games, a graphics card upgrade, usually, always has the best price/performance increase. Also something to think about... If you are on XP, ugrade to Vista. IT runs games better and DX10 is awesome.

I just recently upgraded my system to an i7 and before that has an e6850. Going from XP to Vista was GREAT. It gave me a little higher framerates when running DX10 games. And it was just smoooooth.
April 21, 2009 10:31:17 PM

Alright, forget I ever said what I currently have. I can get a good sum for my current rig, that's why I'm looking at a clean build. (got it at 4.25 Ghz, btw)

jay 2 tall,

1: Like I said, forget it, it's a really good setup, but I've found a buyer that will pay enough to build a better one.

2: Crysis, UT3, SoaSE, E:TW, AoE3, mostly RTS and FPS, some RPG and TBS. Res is 1920x1200 and I do like my eye candy.

3: $1,200, but I'm keeping a hard drive that I currently have so that saves ~$100.

4: I have a component list for an i7, C2D, and AM3 build, but not an AM2+ build. I've found that for the the only one I would have to either comprimise or break budget on is the i7 build, if I go C2D or AMD I can get everything I want right away.

I've also done a build for a Core 2 Quad, but it came out so similar to the i7 build that it isn't worth it.

Bottom line is that it comes down to in-game performance after OC. How can I expect them to stack up in the games I play?
April 21, 2009 10:52:07 PM

AMD build gives better price vs performance, if you set it up right.

i7 is king of the hill, but if you have to compromise far in graphics, it will get outperformed.
April 21, 2009 11:04:19 PM

Graphics isn't the comprimise, any way I go I'm dropping a GTS250 for the time being and will upgrade when the DX11 cards come out this fall. Comprimise wouldbe in case, cooling, buying an open box mobo, and slightly comprimising on RAM.
April 21, 2009 11:11:09 PM

Post your builds, please.
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April 21, 2009 11:44:28 PM

here I am going to copy what I put in another thread asking for a $1300 build... i will just cut out the HD

$280 - i7 920: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$240 - ASUS P6T mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 - 6GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 8-8-8-21 RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$290 - (2) XFX GTS 250 1GB Video Cards in SLI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 - 750W Corsair PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 - Thermaltake Elements Case: http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi...
$70 - CoolerMaster V8 CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$24 - ASUS DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $1234

And yes (2) GTS 250's in SLI would just WHOOP ARRRS!

DONE.... This will make anyone CRY ;-)
April 22, 2009 12:27:35 AM

jay2tall said:
here I am going to copy what I put in another thread asking for a $1300 build... i will just cut out the HD

$280 - i7 920: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$240 - ASUS P6T mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 - 6GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 8-8-8-21 RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$290 - (2) XFX GTS 250 1GB Video Cards in SLI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 - 750W Corsair PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 - Thermaltake Elements Case: http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi...
$70 - CoolerMaster V8 CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$24 - ASUS DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $1234

And yes (2) GTS 250's in SLI would just WHOOP ARRRS!

DONE.... This will make anyone CRY ;-)

My build was something like this:

i7 920 $280
MSI X58 Pro (OB) $150
6Gb OCZ Gold 2000mhz $120
EVGA GTS250 1Gb $150
Mushkin 550300 (800W modular) $150
Coolermaster Storm Sniper $150
Coolermaster V10 $125 (ewiz)
LG Blu-ray $110

Total $1235

E8500 $175 (ewiz)
EVGA 790i FTW PWN $200 (ewiz)
4 Gb Patriot Viper DDR3 2000mhz $150
EVGA GTS 250 1Gb $150
Mushkin 550300 $150
Coolermaster Storm Sniper $150
Coolermaster V10 $125 (ewiz)
LG Blu-ray $110

Total $1210

(all prices newegg unless otherwise stated)

Its hard to say what a AMD build would look like as the high end AM3 CPU's don't have an announced pricepoint and there is only 1 980a board right now. Would an AM3 CPU work in a 780i?
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April 22, 2009 2:38:33 AM

I would save your money on the v10 and get the v8. The v10 has a fan hanging off of it that cools the ram, but it is MASSIVE. And really won't cool any better than the V10. if you spend $125 on an air cooler you may as well get a small cpu water cooler. At least that's my honest opinion.

I stay away from the Open Box's.... Plus the MSI Pro only supports Crossfire, not both. Stick with at least a board that has all the goodies like one that supports both. If you plan to keep this rig a while, give yourself the flexibility in that regard.

....I still like my build better :sol:  maybe sub out one GTS250 for your Blue Ray player. Or better yet, pick up a 4870 instead.
April 22, 2009 2:54:55 AM

Did I say Pro, I meant Platinum (OB Pro is $130).

Water cooling is not an option as I move around quite often. The V10 is next best thing. In case you couldn't tell, I really want to OC the he11 out of whatever I get.

Graphics really doesn't matter since a GTS250 is still an upgrade over my 9600GT and I'll be replacing it in 6 months anyway.
April 22, 2009 3:17:11 AM

Yea it is...

I personally dont like the review...the numbers seem off. I mean at times the V8 goes up like 8C on load while the V10 goes up 12+. And in general the numbers seem inconsistent
April 22, 2009 4:52:48 AM

I'd either go with Thirmidon's i7 build now, or wait for the Phenom II 955 to come out.
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April 22, 2009 1:37:33 PM

themyrmidon said:
Did I say Pro, I meant Platinum (OB Pro is $130).

Water cooling is not an option as I move around quite often. The V10 is next best thing. In case you couldn't tell, I really want to OC the he11 out of whatever I get.

Graphics really doesn't matter since a GTS250 is still an upgrade over my 9600GT and I'll be replacing it in 6 months anyway.


You can always get a self contained unit. My buddy did this with his system before and he took it to alot of LANs and never had an issue.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8505/ex-wat-142/CoolI...
April 22, 2009 5:46:45 PM

Definitely worth a closer look at. This is, I really don't want any problems that come with water-cooling but thanks, never saw that water cooler before.
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April 22, 2009 6:36:03 PM

My buddy has a VERY ellaborate setup now. With 2 pumps and is cooling EVERYTHING with water. tubes everywhere and is maintenance.

However. he did has a similar self contained unit from swiftech. The H2O-120 I think it was. The block had a pump built in and the radiator had it own reservoir. No maintenance at all. You just open up the top once in a blue moon to make sure the liquid was full. It did a REALLY good job.
April 24, 2009 6:44:47 PM

far better off going with stock cooling, not oc'ing and putting the cash into a 275. better yet, drop down to the $93 (minus 20 rebate) 1600 OCZ 3x2GB that oc's to 1800 and move up to a 285.
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April 24, 2009 7:04:41 PM

I'd still invest in a good CPU cooler. But not a crazy v10. $50-$60 is usually what I spend. the V8 is a good deal, it includes the fan.

The 285 is WAY expensive. I'd go for the 275 or a 4890.
April 24, 2009 8:53:20 PM

If you have the money and you just want to spend them, just go for i7 920. The only components that will make a big difference is the graphic card. Changing the processor, will bring you just a minor improvement. So my suggestion is to stick with what you have right now and wait for i7 on 32nm.
April 24, 2009 11:01:03 PM

Playing the cliche card, but in gaming, an i7 is really only good for bragging rights against a high-end Phenom 2 or Core 2 Quad. You're e8x00 series is more than good enough. As the ING Direct guy says, "Save your money"!
April 24, 2009 11:03:30 PM

Before I get flamed, the i7 is an excellent processor. It's just... overkill. It's excellent for encoding, etc, just for games, it's too much, and the Phenom 2 series handles GPU bottlenecks better.
April 25, 2009 1:01:41 AM

Now that the 955 is out, I have to say I'm impressed. Performance is where I expected, but price is $50 cheaper than reported (plus free shipping). The only problem is lack of 980a motherboards. Currently there is only one and it doesn't support DDR3.
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April 25, 2009 1:27:04 AM

smithereen said:
Before I get flamed, the i7 is an excellent processor. It's just... overkill. It's excellent for encoding, etc, just for games, it's too much, and the Phenom 2 series handles GPU bottlenecks better.

I agree with everything here except that the Phenom handles GPU bottlenecks better. Both the i7 and the Phenom perform identically (for all practical purposes) in a truly GPU bottlenecked situation, and the Phenom does seem to fall behind in any games with a significant difference. That having been said, I agree that abandoning an E8000 series CPU is somewhat ridiculous for someone in the OPs position - there's no reason to yet, and there wouldn't be any significant gain for the apps mentioned.
April 25, 2009 1:32:59 AM

Like I said before, I've been offered enough on my current PC so that I can significantly upgrade my whole system at no cost. It's not a normal upgrade cycle, its an accelerated one. I fully expected another 6 months to sell mine, but when I can sell it, build a better one and come out cash neutral I don't see the point on passing up the opportunity.
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April 25, 2009 1:49:16 AM

That's fair enough. In that case though, go for the i7 if you can afford it. It makes the most sense out of any of your options.
April 25, 2009 3:55:00 PM

The issue with water cooling is more safety than price. I know a cheap water-cooled system is more cost effective than an expensive air cooled one, but I travel a lot and want virtually zero risk of leaks, so a self-contained system is really the only one I can even look at.
May 16, 2009 1:33:32 PM

My PC which I will recommend you to buy also:

CPU: AMD Phenom II 940 - 190$
Graphics Card: XFX ATI 4890 - 250$
RAM Memory: 6GB OCZ DDR3 - 120$
Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70 ATX - 175$
HDD: WD Caviar Green 1TB 16MB Cache - 100$
Case: Antec Twelve Hundered - 160$
Without monitor/mouse/keyboard/speakers/optical drive/sound card - 1000$

A "Phenomenal" system for a great price. In gaming there is no confusion about who is the winner: Phenom II. By the way, if you think on keeping something like E8500, then I'd rather buy an AMD 6000+. If you like multitasking better and are a serious programmer and/or graphics designer, I guess I7 would be handy there. But really, Core 2 Duos are just bad architecture. They have no L3 cache which is greatly decreasing their performance and any AMD will perform better in games even though it has smaller cache size. That is because it has L3. You know, without L3 response of the memory is slow and it is just a bit crippled. Of course, this is a no-issue with an I7, so it's either I7 or PII for gaming.

Don't get fooled by benchmarks. An I7 or Core2 can score 160FPS and a Phenom II 100, but it is the minimal FPS you should look. It is my personal experience. My friend had the same system like me and I even had more RAM (4GB vs 2GB). And what? My Core2Duo E6750 was much slower in games when there were explosions (most notably in COH). The fluidity and great action in games on AMD cannot be matched.

AMD - Smarter choice.

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May 16, 2009 2:18:54 PM

Please don't bring back old threads just to post an add. I like the Phenom II too, but lets try not to be annoying.
May 16, 2009 2:56:47 PM

EXT64 said:
Please don't bring back old threads just to post an add. I like the Phenom II too, but lets try not to be annoying.


Well, if it is your opinion that I am annoying then please keep it to yourself. On every forum I go I will shout: Phenom II is a smarter choice! I am not trying to be annoying, I am trying to accomplish these two things:

1. To try and help the person who is asking for it. I would never recommend something that is bad to a person, be it AMD, Intel or Nike socks. And by the way, I am too busy to rick roll people these days.

2. Smarter choice. I want to convince not to buy Intel. Not because I am an AMD fanboy, but because AMD is faster in gaming and, more importantly, is not a jackass company that uses dirty tricks to keep competitive processors out of the market and maintain monopoly.

I guess you got it now...
June 9, 2009 6:38:15 AM

If your after SLI on an AM2 board there is the Foxconn 780sli. In Australia it has just halved in price so it should be good value in the states too. At the moment I am running a Gigabyte 790X-UD4 with a HD4850 and it runs great. Here are two AMD options.

Budget

Gigabyte HD4890 1 Gb $200
Gigabyte 770T-UD3P $80
GEIL 4 gig 1333mz $56
AM3 Phenom 720 $140
Antec 300 Case $55
Corsair 650TX $100

Total $631

Performance

2X Gigabyte HD4890 1 Gb $400
Gigabyte 790XT-UD4P $140
GEIL 8 gig 1333mz $112
AM3 Phenom 955 $245
Lian Li PC-7B $90
Corsair 850HX $200
Noctua NH-U9B 92mm $50
Total $1237

Either way it's great performance for the price. Also if the primary purpose of the system is to run games on a 24" screen then spend more on the graphics cards than the CPU.
June 20, 2009 7:18:47 AM

Just wondering if you had looked at the AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
If you don't want to spend too much, and I think its a waste to throw away a quad core after 2 yrs why not try a tri-core.

just a thought;

Best processor manufacturer
IBM
AMD
Intel

Processor manufacturer that also makes the fastest chip;
IBM
Intel
AMD

no one argues that the i7 is NOT better that the Phenom II, its just the i7 is unpractical. GO AMD, GO THE CELL/B.E.
June 20, 2009 8:25:52 AM

My theory was when upgrading a month or 2 ago was that If i went for the cheaper option (x48 e8400 DDR2) I would as always be annoyed it wasnt quite good enough and end up selling it and upgrading again within a short period of time so might as well be broke now and get it out of the way.

However all I can say is once agian Dam you lucky americans with your cheap pc parts! for my i7 rig I had to pay:

625 each for my 4870s 1gb's (bought them when they first came out - ouch)
670 for p6t deluxe
550 for i7 920 (ridiculous paying more for a mobo then a cpu huh)
275 for patriot DDR31333mhz 6gb tri channel kit
180 for thermaltake case
100 for scythe mugen 2 cooler
150 for logitech g9

Already looking at NZD $2500+ just for my upgrade. I know someone will say, "but you cant compare it as your dollar is worth half and its a different country and economy". My arse, I just did, you guys average wage is if anything Id imagine higher than ours and therefore the buying power of a dollar is about the same you just pay half the price! anyways dont wont to start a 'how expensive things are in my country' thread, god knows theres already enough of them lol, just had to rant a little!
June 20, 2009 9:06:37 PM

It was the same in Australia and that's why I went for a second hand Opteron over the i7. The price of the i7 has come down a bit but it's still $800 AUD for a cpu and board. At least DDR3 ram is comparable in price to DDR2 now.
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