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[$600 Build] Phenom II 720 BE vs. Core 2 Duo E8400

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May 4, 2009 10:09:06 AM

After reading a lot of stuff here on Phenom II 720 BE, I'm reconsidering my decision of getting a Core 2 Duo E8400. I'm kinda stuck on which build to go with, so I need some input on which of the following would be better.

Intel Build

  • Core 2 Duo E8400 (plan to overclock)
  • ASUS P5Q Pro
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 512MB
  • CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 SDRAM
  • Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12
  • COOLER MASTER 500W Extreme Power Supply

    AMD Build

  • Phenom II 720 X3 Black Edition (plan to overclock)
  • ASRock M3A790GHX/128 or GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P (need suggestions on these)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4770
  • CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 SDRAM
  • Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12
  • COOLER MASTER 500W Extreme Power Supply (I'd like to know if I can get away with a lower Wattage)

    I'm open to suggestions on both the builds but they shouldn't increase the price. Oh and I'm in Pakistan and so there is a difference in pricing and availability of components here.
    May 4, 2009 10:12:16 AM

    the 720 build definitely, and there is no point in going DDR3, save the cash and get an am2+ motherboard and 4GB od ddr2-1066mhz, then use the spare cash on a better PSU, like a corsair 450w.
    May 4, 2009 10:41:02 AM

    ^+1 for the x3 again...
    And +1 for Helloworld suggestion on the am2+ mobo(GIGABYTE GA-MA790X) and DDR2 1066 RAM...
    So saving cash there would easily get you the Corsair 450...
    And the 4770 is very fast than the 9800GT...
    Related resources
    May 4, 2009 10:53:28 AM

    +1 P2X3 720BE
    However peeps have different views but i'd prefer a 790GX for the fall back option/safety net of an onboard HD3300 in case discrete GPU goes AWOL hehe Still a functional rig :p 
    May 4, 2009 10:54:21 AM

    +1 on phenom build^-^
    at least pair it with a 4870 or gtx260..
    May 4, 2009 11:39:08 AM

    batuchka said:
    +1 P2X3 720BE
    However peeps have different views but i'd prefer a 790GX for the fall back option/safety net of an onboard HD3300 in case discrete GPU goes AWOL hehe Still a functional rig :p 


    I don't think he's going to lose his Gfx card if it's in his case :p 

    AWOL; Absent WithOut Leave
    May 4, 2009 1:31:03 PM

    Thanks guys really appreciate the feedback.

    But what if I want to add another 4770 in CF later? Would this config still make any sense. I know I would need a larger PSU but would the Motherboard be ok?
    May 4, 2009 5:09:11 PM

    I just checked the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X and it falls back to x8 PCIe lanes when in CF. Would that have a significant impact on performance compared to a x16 CF config?

    And under an x8 CF config, how would the performance compare to a 1GB Radeon HD 4870?

    PS sorry I'm asking a lot of questions but I just want to be sure that I'm getting the right thing :) 
    May 4, 2009 5:29:32 PM

    Only reason why i would give it up to the x3 720be is because it's more future proof and add-ons can be given to you later down the road since its an am3 cpu.

    the e8400/e8500/x3 720 compare really close in performance(even though i would give the performance winnings to the dual cores over the tri-core).

    the LGA 775 sockets have fallin in the ditch, only reason for building a e8400 is if you really would like the intel side over the amd side and in 2-4years later plan on building a full new rig.
    May 4, 2009 5:42:05 PM

    x3 720 build is defiantly better. On that Motherboard you get full 16x lane when you have only one card in it but when you have two cards in crossfire you have to move a jumper and thus each card will get a 8x lane.

    I have never compared the difference between and 8x lane and 16x lane, but from what I here the difference is there but it is not substantial.

    Hope this helps good luck with the build!
    May 4, 2009 5:42:33 PM

    Funny you should mention CF, Toms has just done an article on just that: 4770 in CF! Take a look next time you are passing through:) 
    Do n't worry about limiting performance, only the very high end cards would suffer any performance penalty in a PCI-E 2.0 X8 slot.
    I would certainly follow the advice of Helloworld_98, get cheaper RAM and put the money saved towards a better PSU.

    May 4, 2009 6:10:26 PM

    coozie7 said:
    Funny you should mention CF, Toms has just done an article on just that: 4770 in CF! Take a look next time you are passing through:) 
    Do n't worry about limiting performance, only the very high end cards would suffer any performance penalty in a PCI-E 2.0 X8 slot.
    I would certainly follow the advice of Helloworld_98, get cheaper RAM and put the money saved towards a better PSU.


    I read that article before thinking about going CrossFire actually :) 

    But I just wanted to be sure that if this motherboard and power supply would be good for doing CF.

    Now all that's left for me is to find a local retailer here who actually has these components in their inventory.
    May 4, 2009 6:25:50 PM

    I think both are fine. In terms of price/value, AMD wins this hands down. I think Intel has the upper hand in speed/performance with that chip. Asus has a great board (P5) and is well built.
    !