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Intel E8500 or AMD Phenom II (for gaming)

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June 2, 2009 6:58:57 PM

Hi there

I'm about to purchase a new gaming rig and I'm currently considering various parts. My dilemma is which CPU I should pick up.

My choice seems to be either an Intel E8500 with a corresponding Motherboard (The 8600 seems a bit too pricey) or an AMD Phenom II.
I've gathered that the E8500 will, slightly, outperform the Phenom in gaming but lacks possible future upgrades.

Which one will you guys recommend?
The rig will almost exclusively be used for gaming, plus the standard browsing, music etc. My total budget for the entire rig is roughly 600-800 bucks, though I'm not entirely certain of that as I'm, in a Pc shopping sense, living on the wrong side of the pond and prices are a fair bit higher over here.

June 2, 2009 7:05:58 PM

^ get a phenom II 940 x4, it will last you a bit longer and cost about the same.
June 2, 2009 7:28:12 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ get a phenom II 940 x4, it will last you a bit longer and cost about the same.



Thank you :) 

Price certainly is very close. Can you recommend any specific motherboard ?

I'm planning on getting a pair of radeon 4770's sp that might affect choice of mobo.
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June 2, 2009 7:39:36 PM

well any 790GX am2+ mobo will do, and the x8x8 PCIe 2.0 crossfire is enough for dual 4770's.
June 2, 2009 8:20:19 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
well any 790GX am2+ mobo will do, and the x8x8 PCIe 2.0 crossfire is enough for dual 4770's.


I thought that the GX had some onboard gfx card ? I thought that I would be needing a 790 X or FX, or is there something that I'm not aware of ?
June 2, 2009 8:24:20 PM

^ GX boards are easier to get hold of than X boards along with usually being cheaper and having onboard gfx if you don't have a graphics card/ for hybrid CF.

and FX boards aren't needed for what you are doing along with being a good bit more expensive.
June 2, 2009 8:58:27 PM

X boards are cheaper over here than GX boards so is one of them worth getting?

I've been looking at a Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P card which has a very reasonable price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not going to buy it from Newegg but from a shop in my country I just thought you'd prefer a link in English. Do you see any obvious flaws when combining this mobo with said cpu and gfx cards ? :) 
a b 4 Gaming
June 2, 2009 9:35:59 PM

wuggi said:
X boards are cheaper over here than GX boards so is one of them worth getting?

I've been looking at a Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P card which has a very reasonable price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not going to buy it from Newegg but from a shop in my country I just thought you'd prefer a link in English. Do you see any obvious flaws when combining this mobo with said cpu and gfx cards ? :) 



thats a good board and will work well with the phenom 940 and a pair of crossfired 4770's

Use 1066 MHz ddr2 for slightly improved performnce over 800 MHz ram
June 2, 2009 10:28:33 PM

Outlander_04 said:
thats a good board and will work well with the phenom 940 and a pair of crossfired 4770's

Use 1066 MHz ddr2 for slightly improved performnce over 800 MHz ram


finally, how many ram is good amount and which brand? corsair/kingston ?

Thank you :)  appreciated all the feedback
June 3, 2009 1:44:08 AM

4GB of ram is good, and as long as its a brand name, it doesnt really matter which one. as for the cpu, im going to say look into an AM3 cpu. the performance is a little bit better.
June 3, 2009 2:39:43 PM

If you're an overclocker, go for the E8500/E8400 with an ASUS P45 mobo, you'll be able to easily reach say 4 Ghz on air cooling, and that's more than enough for 99% of gamesbeating the phenom II .
If you don't plan to OC, then stick with AMD and the choices the guys gave you, they'll perform better at stock speeds.
June 3, 2009 4:09:48 PM

^ once again, at the moment, you only buy a dual core now if you don't play GTAIV or FSX and you plan on buying a new cpu/mobo/ram in 6 months.
June 3, 2009 7:39:45 PM

Sometimes I'd wish I was living in the states, now certainly being the case. Problem is the shop I purchase parts from has a quite limited amount of available stuff.

My CPU options seem to be,

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition (or downranking to a 920 or a 810) (AM2+) 263 $

AMD Phenom II X3 710 (AM3) 168 $

AMD Phenom II X4 810 (AM3) 236 $

Asus Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (AM3) 190 $ (I'm quite unsure about this Asus thingy, should this concern me?)

Basically it boils down to how much of a difference there is between tri core and quad core, and what difference there is between AM3 and AM2+.

Any recommendations? :) 

I've included the prices (in us dollar obviously) to help determine value. And yes prices are that high over here.
a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2009 10:42:26 PM

Not sure where the asus thingy comes from
because the 720 be is an AMD cpu

The 720 be is roughly equivalent in games to an e8500 , and generally better everywhere else thanks to the extra core .
It can be installed in an am2+ mb with ddr2 ram or in an AM3 mb with ddr3 ram

Depends on pricing but if you can I think going am3 + ddr3 is the better option for parts long term .
If you cant then am2+ performs just as well
June 3, 2009 11:35:02 PM

Get a 940 while they're being blown out, I think. Or a 720 and DDR3.

790Xs are 790GXs without the onboard graphics.
June 25, 2009 9:46:43 AM

That is a fake picture and processor. Only AMD produces processors, they don't ask Asus or gigabyte for that. You have misplaced that with the graphics cards, which are being produced by companies such as Asus. And the proof that the picture is fake: I personally have an AMD Phenom II 955, and all boxes are the same, except they put some kind of sticker on the upper left corner of the front side indicating a specific model. Here is an example:

http://xtreview.com/images/phenom%20II%20X4%20955%20Bla...

That is what I was talking about.
June 25, 2009 9:50:01 AM

And to correct the smithereen: GX boards come with integrated HD3300, so they do have onboard graphics cards. Just to correct ya ;) 
June 25, 2009 11:09:55 AM

Dont go xfire 4770's. Read a few pages forward or back and someone wished they'd gotten 4870's.

They can be had for a few bucks more here in the states. Literally like 10 bucks more.
June 25, 2009 12:04:26 PM

i agree with amd4life, AMD PII 940 OCs to 3.8 and 955 OCs to 3.8 as well and in the end they perform the same.
!