Phenom II vs Core i7: Gaming Value Comparison

Phenom II vs Core i7: Gaming Value Comparison

Published: Wed, 12 August, 2009
Category: CPU's & Motherboards
Reviewer: Jake Mete


Gamers have competitive streaks, plain and simple. Doesn't matter whether you're a casual or hardcore gamer, by definition you want to compete at some level. Most games are about winning at some level of purpose, and competition tends to bring out the passion in people. Manchester United? New York Yankees? Toronto Maple Leafs? Yes, we have our favourite teams, and competition does indeed bring out the fans.

Passion can be a good thing, when harnessed, and computer gamers certainly have passionate streaks as well. A result of passion, when directed to a particular thing or company, is properly termed brand loyalty. Companies love brand loyalty, and they spend very large sums of money to cultivate and foster brand loyalty. In the tech world, those that have a strong brand loyalty are usually known by another, more common name: fanboys. Ah yes, the ATI vs Nvidia, AMD vs Intel flame wars; nothing quite stirs a tech forum than such lively debates. Today we're interested in the latter of those: AMD vs Intel. Yes, dear friends, it doesn't get much more contentious than that.

We've decided to tackle the debate head-on, and specifically a hot topic that sets off the passion: is AMD or Intel better for gaming? Specifically, the Phenom II and Core i7 respectively. There are pros and cons to each, and we've seen some people attempt to tackle that debate, but to date we believe the comparisons are fundamentally flawed, such as using different graphics cards or dual/quad cores to compare. That's about as good as comparing apples to horseshoes. No, today, we'll attack the big question straight up by using the exact same setups except for the AMD/Intel core components. And we're going to chart the performance differences in many different scenarios, at stock and overclocked CPU speeds, in single and dual graphics card configurations, and at different resolutions. And as an added bonus, we're also going to compare prices and evaluate gaming value; does that money on a Core i7 give you better framerates? If so, how much is that extra worth? Will the Phenom II framerates tank in Crysis? Yes, those are exactly the things we're going to show you.

There's a ton of ground to cover, so strap on your flak jacket and buckle up. This is about to get very, very interesting.

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More about phenom core gaming comparison
  1. It has already been done. It has been done so many times its like beating a dead horse. Everyone who knows anything already knows that the value per $ is better for AMD in single gpu setups for gaming on 24 inch and under displays especialy at 1680x1050 on the all to common 22 inch LCDs. Above that Intel starts to pull away and fast. Old news...... It would help if the site linked had some street creds.
  2. Another thing commonly not mentioned is power. It's important to look at the Idle power of parts.

    The AM3 AMD CPU is more efficient in this way. Future Intel CPU's are supposedly going to be able to turn OFF unused cores. I'm not sure if this is the i5 series or not but I'm hopeful.

    The high price of the motherboard for X58 has been the real killer. Intel's next board and CPU is supposedly going to really challenge AMD by being more economical.
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