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AMD Phenom II x4 955 or Intel Core 2 Duo E8600

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June 9, 2009 8:55:43 AM

Hi guys, i've been reading a lot of mixed opinions on which CPU is better. Im looking to build a pc basically for 3d modeling and rendering, i'm a graphic designer so there will definetly be a lot of multi-tasking involved. I do some gaming but it wouldn't be of prime concern. Im either wanting to buy the 955 or the E8600 but like i said i can't make up my mind. Also if anyone can give me some input on which mobo is nice. (First time building)

Thanks!. :hello: 
June 9, 2009 9:03:47 AM

I am sorry but i really don't see how you could be confused about this,the 955 beats the E8600 in almost every benchmark and the E8600 is nowhere near the 955 in multi tasking. You are comparing a dual core to a quad core that has similar amount of cache and similar clock speed but with twice the number of cores,this is not even a contest other than some of the high end core 2 quads (the Q9 series) and the i7 there is nothing in the intel line up that competes with the 955,this is a no brainer if you are multi tasker then the 955 HAS to be your first choice at least in this case.
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June 9, 2009 9:05:57 AM

In my experience as a former computer animation student, them Maya dudes always tended towards Intel CPUs, to ensure stability (if something goes wrong in an hours-long rendering process, that's wasted time).

However, given AMD's apparent advances, I wouldn't discount them completely. In short, go for the faster CPU. Look around for benchmarks to help you out.
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June 9, 2009 9:19:17 AM

Well I do like the AMD quads and I have two quad Opterons and an AM2 for games but if your doing 3d modeling and rendering then the 920 i7 is the way to go. The i7 also burns *** tons of power with the hyperthread enabled so your going to need a good aftermarket cooler with it. Actually it just comes down to budget. If your on a budget then get the AMD quad. If money is no object then get the latest dual Xeon. BTW I have two quad opterons because I picked then up dirt cheap on ebay. Also don't waste your money with any of the Intel dual cores. No mater how high you clock them they still only have two cores and cost as much as an AMD quad.

If your doing a lot of modeling work then you might also want to invest in a raid card and drives. The hard drive is the slowest component in any computer so speeding up you drives will make a big difference. How much storage space do you need and what drives do you have at the moment.
June 9, 2009 9:28:44 AM

Wow quick replies! thanks guys.

Ok so MalcolmK i am on a budget kinda so i wouldnt be able to afford any i7 not to mention the xeon. I gather the AMD 955 is the way to go after those two series.

As for hard drive im looking at the 1TB seagate barracuda:
Interface SATA 3.0Gb/s
Capacity 1TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Cache 32MB
Average Latency 4.16ms
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June 9, 2009 9:57:05 AM

I'd price out your complete systems first. Use Intels i7, AMD 955, AMD 940 and Intels E8600. See what the actual price of each system would be, then make your call. With the reduction in price of DDR3 and 1366 motherboards, you may be able to fit the i7 into your budget.
June 9, 2009 10:03:58 AM

Yes if your on a budget go for the AMD 955 and with the drives go for the Samsung F1 series. I use to be a WD man but my new Samsung 1TB drives are very nice drives. Seagate have had a lot of problems with the 1TB drives so I would stay away from them. Seeing as your on a budget go for a Samsung 320gb F1 drive for the boot and the 1TB F1 drive for storage. This will help performance and data security a little.

An areca pci-e raid card running raid 5 is the best setup but that won't be in your budget. It took me a while to save up for a second hand twelve channel card but it's well worth it. I have seperate boot and storage raid 5's and get 480 mb/s read and 170 mb/s file copy speed from four Samsung F1 drives. A single F1 drive connected to the onboard controller is good for 125 mb/s. The areca raid controller also lowers latency by %25. Anyway I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions just let me know.
June 9, 2009 10:12:53 AM

Thanks everyone for all your inputs. They really helped.
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June 9, 2009 3:33:36 PM

rooseveltdon said:
I am sorry but i really don't see how you could be confused about this,the 955 beats the E8600 in almost every benchmark and the E8600 is nowhere near the 955 in multi tasking. You are comparing a dual core to a quad core that has similar amount of cache and similar clock speed but with twice the number of cores,this is not even a contest other than some of the high end core 2 quads (the Q9 series) and the i7 there is nothing in the intel line up that competes with the 955,this is a no brainer if you are multi tasker then the 955 HAS to be your first choice at least in this case.


sorry since when do quads beat duals in gaming benchmarks? you need to shut up noob.

and what is even more hilarious is the fact that you consider 1 AMD ghz == 1 Intel ghz. get a clue before giving advice nub even cache sizes do not ultimately matter - its all architecture and sorry to bust your bubble but Intel is smoking AMD right now.

first off dont listen to nubs like this on toms - if your primary task is gaming then get an E8400 if its rendering and 3d apps go with the p2. simple as that.
June 9, 2009 4:43:38 PM

The dual core might look good in benchmarks but that is because a lot of benchmarks are still single thread. Games like COD4 and COD5 are now optomised for quad cores and the dual core doesn't come close in actual gaming use. To give you an example seven months ago I upgraded from an intel 3gig dual core to a 2.2gig phenom and coulddn't believe the difference in COD4. Using an 8800gt the intel was good for 90-95 fps at the begining of charlie don't surf and the AMD is getting 155 fps at 1920x1200 with everything turned up. The AMD also has twice the minimum framerate which makes it very clear cut. The dual core might look good in 3dmark and it might have been a good performer two years ago but in reality it's just old tech that's overpriced and overrated.
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June 9, 2009 5:03:49 PM

Malcolmk said:
The dual core might look good in benchmarks but that is because a lot of benchmarks are still single thread. Games like COD4 and COD5 are now optomised for quad cores and the dual core doesn't come close in actual gaming use. To give you an example seven months ago I upgraded from an intel 3gig dual core to a 2.2gig phenom and coulddn't believe the difference in COD4. Using an 8800gt the intel was good for 90-95 fps at the begining of charlie don't surf and the AMD is getting 155 fps at 1920x1200 with everything turned up. The AMD also has twice the minimum framerate which makes it very clear cut. The dual core might look good in 3dmark and it might have been a good performer two years ago but in reality it's just old tech that's overpriced and overrated.



*sigh*
wow COD4 + 5 and GTA4 are quad core optimized. thats great. ill stick to the other 99% of games that are not. and the other 99% of games that will NOT be because the standard user does not have a quad core computer. you need to look at it from a marketing point of view not an e-peen-my-computer-has-more-cores=faster-overall-pc-yay point of view. there is a REASON why games are designed for dual cores and not quad cores and there is a REASON why this will not change for sometime. by the time games are multithreaded there will be 6-8 core computers out there that will render current video cards + cpus pathetic so i fail to see your logic in pushing a quad core on gamers right now. please... you think my 4.5 wolfdale cant crank out 155 fps in COD while cranking out higher FPS in fallout 3 than any other quad? eat my dust nub.
June 9, 2009 5:20:34 PM

You could also head for the AMD Phenom II X3 720 (Tri-core) and get the best of both worlds, for half price. Then spend that money upgrading another component.
June 9, 2009 5:54:39 PM

Clearly, the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is the obvious choice for the OP's needs. The only faster CPU at all tests is the i7 920. See This test. You can forget about any of the X3's.

However, a good workstation GPU would be a lot faster than any desktop GPU for 3D rendering apps. See This review.
June 9, 2009 6:06:39 PM

+1 .... 955. you wont regret it... great cpu..
June 9, 2009 6:59:48 PM

Like i said in the OP it'll mostly be for 3d modeling/rendering and design applications multi tasking (i.e. photoshop, flash, illustrator, dreamweaver). You guys left no room for doubt anymore :)  im gonna buy that 955 with an ASUS M4N82 Deluxe mobo, its a bundle on newegg and i hear the board is quite good and comes with an onboard nVidia chipset and SLI support for whatever gaming i might be doing later on.

Thank you for the benchmarks DXrick.
June 27, 2009 2:55:03 AM

Does anyone know a good Mb to go with the 955 that has a Parallel , Serial and an IDE to support some legacy equipment. Or is there a better way to do this with add on boards?
June 28, 2009 9:43:54 PM

werxen said:
*sigh*
wow COD4 + 5 and GTA4 are quad core optimized. thats great. ill stick to the other 99% of games that are not. and the other 99% of games that will NOT be because the standard user does not have a quad core computer. you need to look at it from a marketing point of view not an e-peen-my-computer-has-more-cores=faster-overall-pc-yay point of view. there is a REASON why games are designed for dual cores and not quad cores and there is a REASON why this will not change for sometime. by the time games are multithreaded there will be 6-8 core computers out there that will render current video cards + cpus pathetic so i fail to see your logic in pushing a quad core on gamers right now. please... you think my 4.5 wolfdale cant crank out 155 fps in COD while cranking out higher FPS in fallout 3 than any other quad? eat my dust nub.


Lol this was funny.

Dude even with my quad having a lower clock i still beat u.

I have a Q8200 clocked at 3.2 and get over 200FPS on COD 4 and COD WAW so this will further proves that games are better on quads.

And plus the 99% of games ur refuring to were made in the early 2000's rly now games made in mid 2000-2009 will have patches to allow the games to do multicore rendering. Just face it dude ur CPU is good but now its getting kinda outa date for the newer games.
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