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Is the i7 920 much better than the phenom x4 955 for sli and cf?

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July 20, 2009 6:03:09 PM

If i got a phenom 2 x4 955, at 3.2ghz would it not really be as good as the i7 920 for cross fire or sli graphics? How much worse of would it be for dual graphics? Could i actually overclock it a bit to make it as good as the i7 920 for dual graphics or might i as well go for intel i7 920? Say on crysis if i got 2 ATI 4890s, would i see a performance decrease if i got the best amd processor over the i7 920?

More about : 920 phenom 955 sli

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July 20, 2009 6:26:56 PM

only if that dual card is beasty, two GTS250 may not see any difference.
July 20, 2009 6:27:47 PM

I dunno. With recent price.reductions in the X955s a HUGE price gap has appeared. For many of us this affects a choice of both vidcard & monitor. You want to view the entire system vis i7 vs X955.

If getting the X955 allows you to afford a quality 27' monitor & NV.280 vidcard ... as opposed to a 22' monitor & NV250 vidcard, then the entire computing experience is being "skewed" by the i7 cpu.

Previously I've *itched about the X955, but current system price number$ don't fib. I'm on-da-fence, but now eating_crow & leaning to the AMD system.
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July 20, 2009 6:55:39 PM

I want to have a 22 inch monitor, partly because any bigger it might not fit on my desk. 22 inch is big enough for me since my last one was 19 inch widescreen. But say for playing crysis, if i had a i7 920 and a ati 4890 cf x2 would it be that much better than a phenom 955 with the same graphics cards? Is it better to have 1600 mhz memory for the phenom or 1333 memory speed?
July 20, 2009 7:24:45 PM

Nashsafc said:
I want to have a 22 inch monitor, partly because any bigger it might not fit on my desk. 22 inch is big enough for me since my last one was 19 inch widescreen. But say for playing crysis, if i had a i7 920 and a ati 4890 cf x2 would it be that much better than a phenom 955 with the same graphics cards? Is it better to have 1600 mhz memory for the phenom or 1333 memory speed?


Well i just built a 955 BE system. It has a gtx 295, and 8 gigs of ddr3 1600 Ram. The 955 does a good job, and i havent seen it bottleneck the GTX 295 so far, which is a good sign. I also am using the MSI 790FX GD70 mobo which is the best am3 board out there, hands down. It can support up to 2133 ddr3 Ram, and it is amazing for overclocking. It also runs cool. I would recommend the 955 since next year all you will have to do to upgrade is buy another CPU, since amd is making these brand new phenoms for am3 mobos.

BTW the MSI board is the best board i know so far for crossfire, and crossfire usually performs better for amd chips. However, as i said im using Nvidia right now. only con is no sli on this mobo but the 295 gtx makes up for that.
July 20, 2009 7:30:40 PM

I think you could have saved some money you know having two ati 4890s instead of one gtx 295. And the 4890s would be slightly faster than the gtx 295. Is it better to have faster ram then for the 955, or shall i stick with the 1333mhz ram that pcspeciliast have to offer me with thic computer, they also do 1600mhz. Would that be better for an overclock? I am planning to overclock the cpu a bit.
July 20, 2009 7:54:13 PM

Do AMD processors do better with ATI cards? Or does it not really make any difference. 2 ATI 4890s will work better on an i7 920 than a phenom 955?
July 20, 2009 8:05:05 PM

Nashsafc said:
Do AMD processors do better with ATI cards? Or does it not really make any difference. 2 ATI 4890s will work better on an i7 920 than a phenom 955?


They will actually work better with AMD since they can be 'optimized' in a way with the cpu via AMD overdrive. That overdrive tool is pretty good too it has a quick adjust (something like that) that finds max stable overclock at current settings. It raised my 3d mark like 4k.

Also you are probably right about the 2 4890's. And to add to that they'd also work better with my CPU. Well now i guess i'll just wait till the HD 5870's w/dx 11 come out.
July 20, 2009 8:07:08 PM

The p2 955 scales almost identical in SLI to the E8400 dual core I am sorry to say. That isnt necessarily bad but nowhere near the i7. The 955 is one of the easiest overclockers i have seen though. 4 Ghz and temps stay low and climb minimally with a True sitting on top. Cost/performance wise, it is a steal.
July 20, 2009 8:20:32 PM

i have enough money to get the i7 920, no sweat. So the ATI 4890 x2 will work better with the i7 920 still?
July 20, 2009 8:24:45 PM

well nash, i am not going to shill for either company but to me i simplify it as single card build, i want p2. multi-card i want i7. that doesnt mean that p2 "cant" do SLI or CF but it wont do it as well. if money isnt a factor, go i7.
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July 20, 2009 8:32:01 PM

If you are building a computer to a fixed price [ say 1000 or even $1500 ] the phenom based system will out perform the ci7 in games because you will have had so much more of the budget to put towards graphics cards .

If you have an unlimited budget and would install two or more TOP END graphics card the i7 can pull away in gaming performance
BUT
its pointless to do so in most cases .
LCD monitors simply wont display more than 60 fps. They refresh at 60 HZ ie 60 times a second . Send it 90 fps makes no difference to what you see on the screen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresh_rate

Many older games would only run at 60 fps no matter what hardware you threw at them so they didnt cause screen problems for the monitors available a couple of years ago

For 99% of gamers i7 is a complete waste of money



July 20, 2009 9:09:26 PM

Outlander_04 said:
If you are building a computer to a fixed price [ say 1000 or even $1500 ] the phenom based system will out perform the ci7 in games because you will have had so much more of the budget to put towards graphics cards .

If you have an unlimited budget and would install two or more TOP END graphics card the i7 can pull away in gaming performance
BUT
its pointless to do so in most cases .
LCD monitors simply wont display more than 60 fps. They refresh at 60 HZ ie 60 times a second . Send it 90 fps makes no difference to what you see on the screen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresh_rate

Many older games would only run at 60 fps no matter what hardware you threw at them so they didnt cause screen problems for the monitors available a couple of years ago

For 99% of gamers i7 is a complete waste of money


To be honest that is one of the most unbiased posts ive read, so +1
July 20, 2009 9:42:17 PM

zip i am going by what i saw in front of me, not what someone "told me" or "read". same memory, drive setup, swapping the cards from one to the other. believe what you want to believe. i had the opportunity to play with both, saw it with my own eyes. its pretty obvious what direction you are coming from just by your past posts.
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July 20, 2009 11:58:39 PM

daggs said:
:? is that true? phenom II at 6 GHz and it is better than I7? I don't know if it is possible...


Yea but thats with LN2 OCing. Still at only 4.2GHz vs 6GHz thats not a huge gap.

Either way for the OP, if you get two GPUs or more I suggest a Core i7. The 920 is a good choice because with say a True HSF it will OC pretty well and will scale with CF or SLI better than pretty much every CPU out there. Hell with a Tri SLI setup a stock Core i7 920 was able to keep up with a C2Q @ 3.2GHz and on a clock per clock a Core i7 was beating it by 20-30% or more depending on the game and how well it takes advantage of CF/SLI.

But thats my suggestion.
July 21, 2009 12:45:44 AM

I would go with an i7 as much as I'd go with a Phenom now... prices are reflecting the performance... with an i7 you get a powerful CPU but an unknown socket future, with the PII you get a powerful CPU (less in video converting and CPU intensive tasks) with a socket that is future proof. Thing is, Intel's rolling out the i5's in Q3 along with ATI putting in the 5xxx cards in September. What to do? I'm waiting and looking forward theses releases.
It's very hard to recommend something today when within a month everything will be changed.
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July 21, 2009 12:48:56 AM

Shnur said:
I would go with an i7 as much as I'd go with a Phenom now... prices are reflecting the performance... with an i7 you get a powerful CPU but an unknown socket future, with the PII you get a powerful CPU (less in video converting and CPU intensive tasks) with a socket that is future proof. Thing is, Intel's rolling out the i5's in Q3 along with ATI putting in the 5xxx cards in September. What to do? I'm waiting and looking forward theses releases.
It's very hard to recommend something today when within a month everything will be changed.


Actually i7s LGA1366 is known to go to at least Westmere and will probably be able to support up to Intels native octo core. Its LGA 1156 I would be worried about considering the more cores the more actual pins you will need. I am sure AMD will have to switch from AM3 to AM3+ or AM4 when it goes past 6 cores as well as Intel will have to when it goes to 12 cores or more.
July 21, 2009 5:50:54 AM

jimmysmitty said:
Yea but thats with LN2 OCing. Still at only 4.2GHz vs 6GHz thats not a huge gap.

Either way for the OP, if you get two GPUs or more I suggest a Core i7. The 920 is a good choice because with say a True HSF it will OC pretty well and will scale with CF or SLI better than pretty much every CPU out there. Hell with a Tri SLI setup a stock Core i7 920 was able to keep up with a C2Q @ 3.2GHz and on a clock per clock a Core i7 was beating it by 20-30% or more depending on the game and how well it takes advantage of CF/SLI.

But thats my suggestion.

that is why I said it looks strange, whats true hsf?
July 21, 2009 6:12:43 AM

A Thermalright True is a high-end CPU cooler.
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July 21, 2009 12:17:09 PM

Quote:
Two stock clocked 4770's and a 4.2Ghz I7

http://i725.photobucket.com/albums/ww252/2MCHBoost/xfire.jpg

That's a pretty poor comparison. Different OS, different clock speed, different GPU (and being K|NGP|N he probably used 2 HD4870X2s). The CPU score difference is miniscule, it's the SM2.0 and SM3.0 scores that are making the real difference.
July 21, 2009 12:47:37 PM

Nashsafc said:
I think you could have saved some money you know having two ati 4890s instead of one gtx 295. And the 4890s would be slightly faster than the gtx 295. Is it better to have faster ram then for the 955, or shall i stick with the 1333mhz ram that pcspeciliast have to offer me with thic computer, they also do 1600mhz. Would that be better for an overclock? I am planning to overclock the cpu a bit.


The lack of xfire/sli support in games is abundant. Buying any multiple gpu setup is already a waste of money. There is literaly only a small handfull of about 8 titles that offer good support if any for multiple gpu graphics. 1 is always better then 2 when you are talking about GPUs.
July 21, 2009 1:21:06 PM

Hmm, but the gtx 295 that this person had is two GPU's and not one. So it is basicly the same as getting 2 ati 4890s in the way that they are both Dual GPU's. Except. When i configuered a computer on pcsepcialist.co.uk, the pc was 60 pounds cheaper with 2 ATI 4890s and i dind't have to upgrade the power supply. Plus two ATI 4890s are actually better than one gtx 295, looking at the results of the benchmarks for gtx 295 vs 4890 CF x2.
July 21, 2009 3:38:29 PM

Nashsafc said:
I want to have a 22 inch monitor, partly because any bigger it might not fit on my desk. 22 inch is big enough for me since my last one was 19 inch widescreen. But say for playing crysis, if i had a i7 920 and a ati 4890 cf x2 would it be that much better than a phenom 955 with the same graphics cards? Is it better to have 1600 mhz memory for the phenom or 1333 memory speed?


Your idea there of limiting yourself just to just Crysis performance is not a good strategy IMO. You don't buy a PC just to play Crysis. Do you not plan on play any other future games? I'm sure all of us do

Its simple here

Core i7 system, even with the Core i7 920, is the best system money can buy. Its performance is way ahead of its competition, but it comes at a price of course.

How much are you willing to spend? If you can afford a Core i7, why hold back? The extra performance you have can be utilized in the future, no?

If you are on a tight budget, then of course buy a system you can afford.

But there's no such thing as too fast of a computer. Faster computer will be able to last you longer because performance requirement will always goes up, not the other way round.

To answer your question though, yes, its been proven that modern powerful GPU are held back by CPU limitations, the Core i7 will perform better.

Get some respectable hardware, such as RAM, and you can easily overclock a 920 up to mid 3GHz on air cooling, and you have a solid system that will last you longer
July 21, 2009 3:43:30 PM

Quote:
I guess you missed the date i ran the test on the 4770's.. Back in APRIL. :)  That was an old rig


Yeah I did. Sorry. I was laid up in bed after surgery from breaking my neck. :( 
July 21, 2009 4:12:31 PM

This is just going by what I remember reading here at THG...

I seem to remember reading about how AMD Phenom I I CPUs did better against i7 the lousier the video setup was. i.e.- with a pair of 4830s, Phenom II evidently was able to deal with the bottleneck better.

Also, there was some talk in an article that AMD got better at dealing with higher level resolutions on top-end GPU configs.

Anyways...if you have $3000 to spend on the system and want all-around horsepower, the Intel i7 is the way to go. If you are frugal, and are looking for a cheap-to-mid-priced gaming rig and want the best bang for your buck then AMD is your baby.

BTW, if you get the AMD Phenom II x3 720BE like I did and can OC the thing to between 3.2 and 4.0 GHz with a top-notch MSI DDR3-2133 AM3 mobo and some top-notch Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1333 CL6 ram...you end paying around $420.

If you look at a top-notch Mobo of the same quality (same/close # of PCI-e slots, SATA ports, sound, memory speed, etc) and top-notch ram and the i7 920, you can easily get into $700.

Intel charges a premium, and you get a performance benefit from it. But whether or not you need or want it or can afford it is really what determines whether or not you go Intel or AMD.

I could afford a BMW, but I can get a Honda that will perform just as well at half the price with all the same features. So, I get what I want/can afford.
July 21, 2009 4:20:08 PM

The i7's hyperthreading allows it to feed data to multiple GPUs more efficiently, so it will perform better in multi-card situations, even when a GPU bottleneck is still present. But it is more expensive, and in builds under around $1200, it would usually be more cost-effective to add additional graphics horsepower. However, with the 5XX0s coming out in September or October, spending boatloads on a GPU setup doesn't make much sense either.
July 21, 2009 6:22:05 PM

smithereen said:
The i7's hyperthreading allows it to feed data to multiple GPUs more efficiently, so it will perform better in multi-card situations, even when a GPU bottleneck is still present. But it is more expensive, and in builds under around $1200, it would usually be more cost-effective to add additional graphics horsepower. However, with the 5XX0s coming out in September or October, spending boatloads on a GPU setup doesn't make much sense either.


Thanks for that info. Hadn't heard about the 5xxxs coming out 9/2009. I was thinking about snapping up 4 4870s now and testing them in my current box then putting them up til I buy the rest of my new gaming box I'm gonna build.

Maybe the 4890 2GBs will come down enough I can think about 3 or 4 of them to run in Xfire on one of those sweet MSI mobos :D 
July 27, 2009 2:33:23 PM

umm, heres the AMD Phenom 2 X4 955BE benchmarked against the new i7 920 and the Core2Quad Q9550. See for yourself. i7 seems like a better option, but its pricey. AMD sure can kick *** in some tests like audio encoding, sisoft cryptography benchmarks. so go for it if u cannot afford the i7/
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July 27, 2009 2:42:54 PM

true Dx 10 cards should be out by Q4 of this year, b4 xmas with the launch of win 7, most likely from ATI, but who knows, nvidia may pull a rabbit out of the hat and have a GT300 card out (not in paper only).

I personally will wait a little bit for XFX to build some custom non reference 5xxx cards withe lifetime warranty with OC warranty than to jump right off the bat with a new 5xxx. That or evga/BFG/someone jumps in with ATI with lifetime OC warranty....
September 10, 2009 1:20:24 AM

yannifb said:
To be honest that is one of the most unbiased posts ive read, so +1

Actually if you're shelling out that much coin on a gaming rig, going with a 120hz or 240hz monitors or TV's would handle it quite nicely. They're getting cheaper all the time, anything from a 22" 120hz Viewsonic to a 120hz toshiba 42", or if you're really looking for the ultimate gaming experiance a Samsung 55" 240z LED LCD. All different price ranges, to suit a budget, and well worth the investment if you're putting that much power into the build. Dual video cards deserve a better display.


But, you're right, for most who don't think about this, the quest for more power is usually overdone as they are paying for performance they aren't equipped to enjoy.
September 22, 2009 9:08:17 AM

elchuloguapoperuacho said:
Samsung 55" 240z LED LCD.


how can a tele be LED LCD? they are different technologies. and it's not LED, it's OLED that is why they are so thin.


what is all the fuss over multi GPU set-ups. instead of buying 2 cards to sli /cf put the same amount of money into one beast of a card. go for the gtx295. how much difference in price between the phenom with 2 x 4890 and the i7 with a gtx295?

and as to buying from pcspecialist, not heard many good things about them. a m8 used them and got screwed.
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