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Should i go with AMD or Intel

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April 29, 2009 4:41:43 AM

Hello all! I am to this stuff I am making a gaming system which should be future proof too like for 2 years I suppose not more than that.. Could some one tell me that should i go for the AMD phenom II 955 or the Intel Core i7. I could use the extra money to buy a good graphics card if i go for the AMD. :) 

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April 29, 2009 5:16:41 AM

Either one would be a very good choice.
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April 29, 2009 5:31:20 AM

Both are good choices . But both have strengths in different market segments .

At the top end theres no doubt that intels cci7 is king , but for some reason doesnt combine well with nVidia gfx cards .
The new Phenom ll 955 is not far behind and a bit cheaper .

But real value can be had in the midrange with Phenom and DDR2 motherboards

Next week the situation could change if either intel or amd cut prices .

So how much do you have to spend ? Im sure you will be presented with peoples opinions of whats value at that price
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April 29, 2009 5:33:09 AM

I want to build a $700 rig. Please advise on the components
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April 29, 2009 7:46:09 AM

Go with a phenom 2 but as outlander pointed out, stick with the AM2 platform and DDR2 RAM to save a bit of money for graphics.
April 29, 2009 8:17:10 AM

For $700 I'd go with a Phenom II 940 / DDR2 rig, they can be had for what... $180 these days?
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April 29, 2009 12:23:45 PM

My vote goes for the Phenom II 940 also which will probably be my next processor also.
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April 29, 2009 1:24:18 PM

^+1

The i7 will outperform the PII all day, and Overclocks extremely well. However, it comes at a higher cost. So if you have the money to put up for an i7, do it. If not the AMD solution is 2nd best. You can get a good build with the PII at a good price.
April 29, 2009 1:45:02 PM

The i7 is a power hog; when its idling it will eat up alot of power. The Phenom II is much more effective at downclocking and saving energy when you don't use it. It also saves you quite a bit of money from a cheaper CPU, cheaper mobo (89 dollars instead of 200) and DDR2 memory instead of DDR3. With the saved money you can invest in a better GPU if you're a gamer, or a good SSD perhaps; or spend it on things that are durable: a better monitor or a good audio setup.
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April 29, 2009 2:09:30 PM

sub mesa said:
The i7 is a power hog; when its idling it will eat up alot of power.


Hmm, according to the charts on Anandtech, the i920 uses a whopping 17 watts more than a tri-core P2 720 at idle. In other words, a little more than 2 nightlights.

Yep, that's gonna set your electric bill waaaaay back, LOL!

Source: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=355...
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April 29, 2009 2:16:15 PM

sub mesa said:
The i7 is a power hog; when its idling it will eat up alot of power. The Phenom II is much more effective at downclocking and saving energy when you don't use it.
Not so much. Makes one wonder what else you got wrong.

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April 29, 2009 2:23:13 PM

^
Every sites power usage chart will be a little different. When it comes down to it, the difference is negligible.
April 29, 2009 2:46:29 PM

Yes and when you read the test setup it says "Power-savings disabled". Reviews cannot be trusted unless they in detail explained how they came to the readings/measurements, and what steps they performed to ensure the numbers are correct. In this case disabling power management will lead to little decrease for Intel-based CPU's (EIST hardly makes a difference), but will add alot of idle power consumption to AMD-based processors, since the Cool'N'Quiet feature works quite well at reducing idle consumption.

Also, for Phenom II you dont need an expensive and power consuming high-end motherboard with 4 PCIe x16 ports etc; why not just go for a simple 780G or 790GX board, or even Micro-ATX since they are much cheaper. Since they offer the same features, the only thing you might trade in is high overclock potential, although most will do just fine.

When you factor in energy efficient components, an idle load of only 40-50W is possible with a modern CPU like Phenom II. Its too bad reviews totally underrate idle power consumption. The only thing people look at is the TDP rating, which is not directly relevant to actual power consumption.
April 29, 2009 5:31:20 PM

Id def go with a phenom setup as the phenom 940 and 955 I think overclock better than the I7's. Phenom 940's and 955's easily hit 4ghz on air and are best bang for your buck with a good videocard and mboard.
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April 29, 2009 5:54:54 PM

Phenom II for sure for your budget. For a gaming rig you can get more for your money with the Ph II since you can take money saved on CPU and motherboard and put it towards better graphics cards. If starting fresh just go AM3 motherboard and DDR3. Dual channel kits of DDR3 are not really all that much more than their decent DDR2 counterparts now. Also having AM3 board lessens the chance that you will not be able to use a future AM3 cpu because the board maker doesn't provide a bios update. ( I was burned on that one with AM2 --> AM2+ :( )
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April 30, 2009 3:54:26 PM

sub mesa said:
Reviews cannot be trusted unless they in detail explained how they came to the readings/measurements, and what steps they performed to ensure the numbers are correct. In this case disabling power management will lead to little decrease for Intel-based CPU's (EIST hardly makes a difference), but will add alot of idle power consumption to AMD-based processors, since the Cool'N'Quiet feature works quite well at reducing idle consumption.
To be honest, I'd place more trust in the reviews from well know sites than the well meaning forum residents opinions.
The THG review's not using any power saving management options is totally consistent with how a lot of performance hungry enthusiast overclockers configure their machines.

jay2tall is right. When you calculate the actual savings in $$ terms the difference is actually very small. If power savings and efficiency are important goals there are better options to Core i7 and Phenom II quads.
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April 30, 2009 6:48:21 PM

million3g said:
Id def go with a phenom setup as the phenom 940 and 955 I think overclock better than the I7's.


Not the new i7 D0 steppings. Anandtech got 4.3GHz oc on their i920 on air, and somebody on XS got 5.0GHz on an i975 on air: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261008-28-5ghz

!