Hi guys, i have myself a problem. i am going to build myself a new rig but i cant seem to decide on which way to go. I have a $1500 budget and i need this to last a little while. I have seen builds from both sides and i still cant really make a decision. I also saw recent a thread with lots of argument on the issue but i still fail to see the benefit of one over the other besides price point. And if this is the case, then i am most certainly leaning toward an AMD build. So lets hear the facts, i'm sure i'm not the only one whos still a little concerned over this issue.
The Core i7 gets an unfair bad rap. It had issues with a single GTX 280 that gave it a very poor showing in some early reviews. In most single card configurations, it should show (very slightly) higher framerates, with it's lead expanding more significantly with each additional card. It's hyperthreading allows it to prioritize andhandle SLI/Crossfire overhead more effectively, resulting in higher framerates, even when there is still a GPU bottleneck.
Secondly, it OCs like a son of a bitch. It is usually benchmarked at stock in reviews, and while it doesn't go to exhorbitantly higher OCs than Core and Phenom 2s, it is clocked lower at stock.
On the other hand, the Phenom II 940 is a killer deal right now. It's a full $90 cheaper than the i7 920, and $55 cheaper than the Phenom II 955 lots of people like to recommend. On top of that, it uses an AM2+ chipset, which uses DDR2-1066 and has little negative impact in the real world. (Sure, you can have triple-channel DDR3-2000, you'll hardly ever saturate dual-channel DDR2-1066, and it has lower latencies.) A hundred bucks is the difference between a 4850 and a 4890, and that will have a much bigger impact on your gaming than an i7 920 and over a Ph2 940. On he other hand, CPUs age more gracefully than video cards. It all comes down to what you value more, CPU or graphics horsepower.
If your game is multicore optimized, then you want a quad, and there is no quad better than the i7. With most games, a duo at 3.0 or better will drive any single vga card nicely. With trivial overclocking the i7-920 performs like the $1000 i7-965 at 3.3.
That is fast enough to make any game dependent on the power of your vga configuration. With a $1500 budget, there is plenty left for the vga card/s which is the most critical part of your system. If you are looking at less than the best, then the amd solutions have good value.
for a mainstream build with highest fps amd is the answer. if ur into multithreaded games, x3 720, into normal games x2 550, you can splurge on the graphics hp.
i7 is king, but its a bit overkill, but if u wanna buy 1 move quick, they might b going out of production to make way for i5. saphire 4890 atomic beats gtx 285 in some tests and only costs 300 imagin 2 of those crossfired delivering 4xfsaa in fc2.