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Intel i7 920 for $199 over AMD X4 955 for $199 a no-brainer?

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August 7, 2009 5:58:19 PM

... In a system used for gaming and only using one GPU? Would you have to use 2 GPUs CrossFired to really see the performance benefits of the i7 920? Is a mobo for the i7 920 more expensive than a comparative one for the X4 955? Which do you think is more future-proof?

The X4 955 retails for $199 everywhere and the i7 920 is discounted at Micro Center for $199.
August 7, 2009 6:03:56 PM

1) yes.

2) yes and no.

3) there is a very good upgrade path for 1366 but be prepared to spend a pretty penny on it ($699+)

4) I thought the MC deal had ended?
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August 7, 2009 6:22:47 PM

If you have the money, why not go the i7 route? I'm sure you'll be happy either way. Pricey yeah, but at least with the X58 mobos you can choose to crossfire or sli.
August 7, 2009 6:33:08 PM

there are several good x58 boards available for the same price as you would spend on an FX board for the 955. I7 is more futureproof because it is already way ahead of anything else, and the i9 will continue that trend...although I doubt you'll have any need to upgrade the i7 for a very long time.
August 7, 2009 6:33:10 PM

Regular everyday price for the i7-920 at MicroCenter is $229.00
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August 7, 2009 6:43:19 PM

kg4icg said:
Regular everyday price for the i7-920 at MicroCenter is $229.00


True, but once an hour they have the "bluelight special" at $199 :D ..
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August 7, 2009 6:49:39 PM

Oops - post duplicated while trying to edit - see edited post below.
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August 7, 2009 6:56:44 PM

Well, X58 boards have come down in price pretty well, but still cost a little more than a good AM3 crossfire board. You will also pay a little bit more for the RAM for the i7 to go triple channel. Still, at 199 that's a good price for the i7. Personally I'm waiting for the 955 to drop a little more and perhaps buy this month. I'd like to buy this month, but you know bills and stuff :D .
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August 7, 2009 6:57:50 PM

The different posts above have pretty much covered it - where money is no concern, the i7 is the clear choice. But your title question implies it is an issue - as it is for most of us. And to answer that issue - no - it is not a no brainer because other components - most notably the mobo - also cost more - but also because the you can get an AMD x3 or x4 CPU that will most likely provide all the power your graphics cards can use - at least today and in the near future - unless you are in a high end, expensive gaming rig.

I suggest you look go to the Homebuilt forum and look at some of the rigs and compare what people are building - with different CPUs - and see what graphics cards are in those at various budgets.

You might also look at some "professional builds":

0509 THG Comparison of systems at 3 budget levels
(Note they were done using small form factor case but comparisons of may components can still be useful – also has links to the three builds and good info on part selelction)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/system-builder-mara...

Anandtech System Buyers Guide $700 to $1700 with Value Midrange @ $738 and Performance Midrange @ $1206 (without O/S, speakers, keyboard, & mouse) (7/27/09)
http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=3610

0509 ExtremeTech $800 Killer Gaming PC
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2347620,00.a...

August 7, 2009 7:18:07 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that for multiGPU setups the i7 really shines...
August 7, 2009 8:18:57 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone. And thanks for the links rockyjohn. I had already read the first and third ones, but the anandtech article had escaped me.

Looking at the various i7 920 builds it doesn't look like a quality one can be built for less than ~$1000, which is more than I want to spend.

The X3 720 BE or X4 955 BE looks more feasible. I'm really hoping that the X4 955 comes down in price soon.

I was also looking at the X4 940 BE, but pricing is so close to the X4 955, and I would think that a comparative build could be done for around the same price. And after reading anandtech's "Phenom II X3 720BE & CrossFire X Performance - Does it Compete?" article the X4 940 BE doesn't look as attractive, especially considering that I prefer to have an AM3 socket and the option to use DDR3.

The Intel Q9550 at $169.99 is another possibility. I'll have to do some more research to see what build cost would be. There's also the decision of whether or not I want a CPU with the LGA 775 socket.

Man, who would have thought that a dead PSU and mobo on a 6 year old PC would lead to this. :lol:  :pt1cable: 
August 7, 2009 8:21:42 PM

blackened144 said:
One thing to keep in mind is that for multiGPU setups the i7 really shines...


The rumors of the PhII not working well with multiple GPU are extremely exaggerated.

Many people don't like 3D Vantage. But it is easy to go to their database and do research. You will find Intel and AMD systems with multiple GPU and you can compare the scaling going from 1 to 2 and then 3 GPU. (Looking only at the GPU results and calculating performance gains as the GPU count goes up while the CPU clock speed stays the same.)

Can you guess which CPU brand scales better when you compare only ATI 4850 or 4890 GPU in single/dual/triple configurations?
August 7, 2009 10:54:21 PM

If you can get the CPU for $200 from microcenter you can do an i7 build with crossfire 4850s for under $1000. That would outperform a similar system with a 955 and a gtx285 or 4890.
August 8, 2009 1:27:18 AM

VinnyChase said:
... In a system used for gaming and only using one GPU? Would you have to use 2 GPUs CrossFired to really see the performance benefits of the i7 920? Is a mobo for the i7 920 more expensive than a comparative one for the X4 955? Which do you think is more future-proof?

The X4 955 retails for $199 everywhere and the i7 920 is discounted at Micro Center for $199.


There was a deal not long agon on newegg with a II X4 940 and a Asus M4A78T-E for about 210$.
!