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Gaming build - AMD vs Intel ?

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July 2, 2009 6:14:32 PM

I'm trying to choose a rig with as main purpose gaming. I Came up with 2 setups. One amd, one intel.
So my problem is: what build to choose? + modifications?
Intel
Intel® Core i7-920
Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850Watt
Antec Nine Hundred II Midi tower
Samsung SH-S222A DVD-Writer
GigaByte GA-EX58-UD4P Motherboard
Corsair DIMM 6 GB DDR3-1333 Tri-Kit
Western Digital WD5002ABYS 500 GB x 2
XFX HD4890 XXX

AMD
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Boxed, OPGA, "Deneb"
Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850Watt
Antec Nine Hundred II Midi tower
Samsung SH-S222A DVD-Writer
Asus M4A79T Deluxe Motherboard
Corsair DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1333 Kit
Western Digital WD5002ABYS 500 GB x 2
XFX HD4890 XXX

Please don't start a flamewar Intel is better then AMD and yaddi yaddi..
I just want to know were I get the most bang for my buck
Again: purpose --> gaming,music,video..

More about : gaming build amd intel

a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
July 2, 2009 6:58:05 PM

There are enough benchmarks for both to determine the system on which your applications will run better. The fastest system for the tasks that you listed usually is the Intel, but if the AMD is less expensive, then it could still be the best option.
July 2, 2009 7:01:18 PM

Personally id go for the AMD setup, as I dont think the intel one is worth the extra money.
However the intel set up would be faster if you want bragging rights. Which is always worth something.
Related resources
July 2, 2009 7:24:11 PM

go for the Intel build, why?

4 more threads so it converts media a heck of a lot faster and is a bit more future-resistant.

same amount of instructions per second at 2.66Ghz for the i7 while the AMD Phenom II is at 3.2Ghz
a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
July 2, 2009 7:29:11 PM

The real question is "Is it worth the extra $160?" Only the OP can answer it. We all know the Intel is faster for the tasks that were listed, but does that make it the best bang for the buck? Not necessarily.
July 2, 2009 10:11:14 PM

bump?
July 2, 2009 10:51:06 PM

Both of those look pretty solid so it's really down to your personal opinion on it. The only thing I'm going to say is, I'm just throwing it out there, but Asus just released the Crosshair III Formula, which costs about the same as the M4A79T Deluxe, but has some slightly different features, and depending on which features you want you can choose between those two boards.
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
a b å Intel
July 3, 2009 12:08:24 AM

With that budget, I think the i7 920 build is better.
Also, you are getting 6gb, not 4. You could lower the price difference by using 4gb and a cheaper X58 motherboard on the i7 build.
For both builds, a cheaper corsair unit will suffice.

Consider a oem cooler up front. Your cpu will run cooler and quieter under load.
It will improve your OC capabilities.
July 3, 2009 12:37:19 AM

the amd build is obviously cheaper, but noone knows what kind of socket next gen amd cpus will have, but the upcomming intel six cores will drop right into current 1366 sockets (with bios update), also if im not mistaken, the x58 board supports sli and cf, whereas am3 boards only support cf so it is according to if ur willing to pay xtra for future upgradability and etc, if ur udget minded, amd, if u look for any xcuse to spend on ur pc, i7
July 3, 2009 12:49:33 AM

You could knock about a hundred off of the AMD build by dropping to an AM2+ setup. As it stands, I'd have to say go with the Intel.
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
July 3, 2009 4:15:42 AM

In a single gfx card gaming computer i7 offers questionable benefits ... unless you count the extra cost as a benefit that is

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=355...

These benches were done with a single GTX 280

The i7 only takes a significant lead in gaming when you have a couple of high end gfx cards so whether its worth buying is about Having an etra $160 for the extra cost of cpu/mb'ram ....and another $200 for a second 4890
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2009 4:38:31 AM

I hate to say it but you may be better off with the Intel build. I'd go with the AMD build to save money :D . I'd recommend getting an aftermarket cooler if you plan to overclock.
July 3, 2009 4:41:18 AM

What is your Budget?
July 3, 2009 6:18:05 AM

Hey, single GTX 280 benchies aren't exactly reliable - remember this article?
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
July 3, 2009 10:19:50 AM

smithereen said:
Hey, single GTX 280 benchies aren't exactly reliable - remember this article?



Well theres this one where the 955 and i7 are paired with a single GTX260
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.h...
and the i7 comes out looking hopeless

or the benches with a single 4870 in the link you gave where the Phenom 940 was marginally ahead of the i7 playing farcry 2 at 1920 x 1200


And predictably its only in the multi gpu [ 4870 X2 ] set up that i7 shows any advantage

So if your budget includes two top end gfx cards or a 4870 X2 or GTX 295 then it might also be worth paying for an i7 rig .
Which leaves the other 97% of us better off buying a Phenom
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2009 10:39:16 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Well theres this one where the 955 and i7 are paired with a single GTX260
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.h...
and the i7 comes out looking hopeless

or the benches with a single 4870 in the link you gave where the Phenom 940 was marginally ahead of the i7 playing farcry 2 at 1920 x 1200


And predictably its only in the multi gpu [ 4870 X2 ] set up that i7 shows any advantage

So if your budget includes two top end gfx cards or a 4870 X2 or GTX 295 then it might also be worth paying for an i7 rig .
Which leaves the other 97% of us better off buying a Phenom


Now let's do this by the number shall we ?

1) you linked one game, check out the rest of the pages on that link. Especially the "conclusion".

2) That AMD 955 was over clocked unlike the i7 920. Do you know what happens outlander when the i7 is over clocked? It destroys anything AMD including that 955 which is a poor over clocking cpu btw.

3) D0 stepping i7's are hitting 4.0 - 4.4 on air and they are doing it on a regular basis.

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/17....
"the Phenom II 955 outperformed the previous top AMD processor, the Phenom II X4 940, as well as the Intel Q9450 in most of the tests. While still not as fast as the Intel Core i7 920 processor, the Phenom II X4 955 is a well put together CPU that allows fast computing using the latest components on the market

On the overclocking front, which OCC is all about, the Phenom II X4 955 lagged behind the Phenom II 940. No matter how much voltage I gave it, or how many adjustments I made, the CPU just did not want to budge. I attempted to suicide the voltage, and still the stability would not set in. With the Phenom II 940, I was able to get almost a 1GHz increase on air alone; however, with the Phenom II 955, the system would lock up with anything over 18.5x205Mhz."
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
July 3, 2009 11:40:07 AM

now lets do it by the number shall we

I have read the whole article and what it shows is that the i7 is the most powerful processor family available . Phenom isnt massively behind but it is behind .

But what the numbers also show is that with a single GPU computer Phenom produces the same or better frame rates than i7 and it has less variation between minimum and maximum fps which almost every one who has reviewed it has preferred .
Of the two builds listed by the OP one is cheaper and will have the same or better fps in games
HINT : its not the i7 build .

Only a fanboy would spend more to get the same or less


WOW the i7 wasnt clocked in the article I linked . It was a review of the Phenom 955 so maybe they decided to work with that cpu for the purposes of the article . Maybe if they had oc'ed the i7 it would have been able to match a stock phenom? .

As usual your advice is based on smoke . You only have one opinion " i7 for everyone " so its not actually an opinion based on sound examination of the OP's question , nor is it a reasoned debate of the issues
Its just fanboy ranting .


July 3, 2009 12:12:49 PM

i have a few differant rigs right now though admittingly not an i7 is in the mix...couple of core2quads. one 3ghz w/ OC paired with 3 3870's gpu's 2 via x2 model other one 3.6 ghz (can do 4ghz fine too as i water cool all my systems)has 3 evga FTW 285gtx's and phenom 2 940 @3.4-3.6ghz oc running 3 3870's gpu again 2 via x2 model card.

If your sticking with one card and not looking to CF down the range...get the amd system. Since your looking at the BE processor i would encourage you to OC to 3.6-3.8ghz since its as simple as a small bump in multiplier and maybe voltage (cpu dependant...some are better then others) i love amd but in multi card setups for 4000 series amd/ati or 200 series for nvidia video cards...phenoms unless very heavily over clocked can't keep up as well as a core 2 and especially i7 where scaling is almost perfect least to 3 gpu's...

The i7 system should have more longevity and can also be over clocked fairly easy as well despite the locked multiplier. I am not a fan of playing with bus speeds unless its to link and sync ram in a core 2. An i7 over clock of the 920 requires just that though its not syncing the ram. u can get a small bump in cpu frequency if u jump from 4.8 to 6.4 GT on the i7's bus with minimal hassle. again scaling in multi card setups is as good as it gets....period.

What i see from your build you looking for a good mid level system. Strong enough to game but not taking any crowns in benchmarks. i would go with the amd system for three reasons if i were u. First your running a single card, second bang for your buck and third amd has been much better then intel about future processors being compatible with older chipsets. Giving you some room to upgrade later should your needs require more horse power. (say a move to direct X 11 card, CF or both) assuming of course that when those cpu's come out they are better equiped in bandwidth for multicard setups.

Ulitmately there are no easy answers depending how thoroughly you want to "think" your system out. At face value though....AMD seems to be your best ticket.
July 3, 2009 12:38:37 PM

21697
3DMarks UntitledFeb 22, 2009 08:52 CST

CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme CPU X9650 @ 3.00GHz (actualy 4ghz)
GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 (tri-sli)
OS:Microsoft Windows Vista
Benchmark Settings: Default
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19380
3DMarks
Favorite UntitledFeb 26, 2009 23:40 CST

CPU:AMD Processor model unknown (phenom II 940 @3.4ghz)
GPU:ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 (ie 1 x2, 1 3870 tri fire)
OS:Microsoft Windows Vista
Benchmark Settings: Default
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


i find numbers help so heres my high end and low end. you'll see the preformance's close but not equal. so question is which u want to pay for... a premuim for few more FPS or points in a benchmark or less for close but slightly inferior performance. keep in mind had i tri-fired a few 4890's on the phenom the numbers would be even closer. If i had a i7 in there at 3.4 or higher it would easily smoke both those systems running the same graphix cards. i7 shines in multi card. my cpu's do a lot of damage but still lack the polish and brute bandwidth the i7 has.
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
a b å Intel
July 3, 2009 2:37:35 PM

Some more thoughts:
1) The OP will be using a 4890 card at an unknown resolution.
Some of the benchmarks mentioned earlier were using lesser cards like a GTX260. In those cases, it takes less cpu power to drive the card to saturation, making the difference in cpu power less noticeable. If the op will be using a high resolution, like 2560x1600, then the vga card is all important. If, on the other hand, a resolution like 1680 is used, then it takes a more capable cpu to drive the card to saturation.

2) The actual price difference is $108 based on newegg prices. This is a small percentage of the total rig.
With this budget, does it make sense to go cheap for such a small difference?

3) Comparisons of the amd 955 and intel 920 at stock may be close. But, the 920 can be overclocked easily to 965 speeds and beyond.
The amd 955 is already near it's limit with only modest oc capabilities.

4) the i7 build gets you 6gb of ram, while the amd build is only 4gb.

5) There are new vga cards coming by the end of the year. I presume that they will be stronger and cheaper than the cards they replace. It seems wise to me to be able to be prepared to fully utilize one of them in a gaming computer.

For the difference, I see the i7 as a no brainer.
July 3, 2009 5:06:14 PM

The 955 is not a "poor overclocker', Overclocker's Club got a poor sample.
These guys got it to over 3.9GHz under warranted voltages. Anandtech was right around there too, I believe.
July 3, 2009 6:34:54 PM

Well.. reading all the opinions, I think I'll go for the i7 build.. probably best for tweaking in the future (crossfire and/or new processor in time). Multitasking ftw! :p 
July 3, 2009 7:22:52 PM

glad we can help but to be clear intel is horrible (though some might claim questionallby better during socket 775 days) about socket compatiblity in terms to CPU upgrades. keep in mind we have the i5 socket enroute for what is now i7 low end preformance. So u may not have a CPU upgrade in a years time thats not already out now or at the least very expensive. if i5 is to take over the mid range as intel plans premuim processors may be all X58 chipsets support.....ie $1g CPU's

either way your getting a pretty rad rig. congrats and enjoy!
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2009 9:47:24 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=584 <--- d0 stepping i7 920. Stock clock 2.66GHz | over clocked 4.41GHz on air cooling. That's 2.66GHz - 4.41GHz. Game over boys.

Don't forget : X58 mobo = SLI and Crossfire all on an Intel chip. No having to worry about using a buggy Nvidea chipset in order to run SLI on an X58 board.
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
July 4, 2009 12:20:57 AM

Why_Me said:
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=584 <--- d0 stepping i7 920. Stock clock 2.66GHz | over clocked 4.41GHz on air cooling. That's 2.66GHz - 4.41GHz. Game over boys.

Don't forget : X58 mobo = SLI and Crossfire all on an Intel chip. No having to worry about using a buggy Nvidea chipset in order to run SLI on an X58 board.



Im not a boy . I am a man .

But if you want a contest to post meaningless links then

http://valid.canardpc.com/records.php

OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the highest overclock of an i7 is ONLY 6061.09 MHz !!!!!!!!!!!

thats absolute rubbish compared to the Phenom X4 955 which can do .......

...........

...........




..........


is the suspense getting you yet ?



............










...........




wow an amazing 7127.85 MHz


or 17.6 % FASTER than the i7


wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It must be better according to your logic

game over fanboy ?


a b 4 Gaming
July 4, 2009 12:44:06 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Im not a boy . I am a man .


Would it have made you feel better if I had said "lads" ? Get over it. Now was that clock reached on air, and is it done on a regular basis or should the AMD builds done on here include water cooling ?
July 4, 2009 4:24:42 AM

I had the opportunity to play Crysis Warhead on a make shift "Dragon Platform" AMD build with the processor youre looking at (clocked @ 3.3 ghz on a 16?? X 1050 22" monitor) with a 4870x2 and it was playable, but I'd keep my i7 system anyday. I know I can't base a CPUs whole performance off of 20 min playing with it but an i7 is the best you can get for the money today.

And what does a 7.1 ghz max clean room LN2 overclock have to do with the op's proposed home build? He doesn't mention overclocking competition champion in his list of planned uses for his system.


When intel is at the top of their game I'll buy from them when amd is I'll buy from them.
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
July 4, 2009 6:35:11 AM

Klon0pin said:


And what does a 7.1 ghz max clean room LN2 overclock have to do with the op's proposed home build? He doesn't mention overclocking competition champion in his list of planned uses for his system.


When intel is at the top of their game I'll buy from them when amd is I'll buy from them.



I agree with you . When intel is best bang for buck I buy from them , when AMD is best bang for buck I buy from them
I disagree with you that i7 is the best you can get for the money since the gfx performance of the OP's 2 builds will be identical

and what does someone hitting 4.4 gig on an i7 have to do with anything the OP posted or asked? He isnt even getting an aftermarket heatsink/fan so overclocking is not a priority .
Did you forget to mention that or were you just taking a cheap shot?
July 12, 2009 3:52:01 PM

I must admit this was a little TLDR for me, but I can't understand why you would want to spend the money on an i7 when for gaming purposes, any high-end dual core processor would serve you fine.

Quad cores are more for multi-tasking and rendering/encoding as opposed to gaming.

I'd rather take the money and put it into a better video card.
July 12, 2009 5:31:29 PM

^ To the future and beyond, mate!
August 4, 2009 8:09:46 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Im not a boy . I am a man .

But if you want a contest to post meaningless links then

http://valid.canardpc.com/records.php

OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the highest overclock of an i7 is ONLY 6061.09 MHz !!!!!!!!!!!

thats absolute rubbish compared to the Phenom X4 955 which can do .......

...........

...........




..........


is the suspense getting you yet ?



............










...........




wow an amazing 7127.85 MHz


or 17.6 % FASTER than the i7


wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It must be better according to your logic

game over fanboy ?

I'm pretty sure that was done with either water cooling, or probably liquid nitrogen, the i7's are overclocked to 4.0+ on air, and are used all the time, not for an hour as a suicide shot, just my 2 cents.
August 4, 2009 12:15:55 PM

With the same amount of money, i bet i can built a system twice as fast for gaming with the same money as the OP. :) 

Think about where you spend your money, do it wisely, on things that count.
August 4, 2009 4:49:09 PM

JDogg said:
I'm pretty sure that was done with either water cooling, or probably liquid nitrogen, the i7's are overclocked to 4.0+ on air, and are used all the time, not for an hour as a suicide shot, just my 2 cents.

And the i7 still beats the PhenomII 955 in benchs at those speeds
August 4, 2009 6:00:12 PM

Look at the dates, it helps.
August 4, 2009 6:01:08 PM

I would go for the AMD but if the price difference isnt to great then I would go intel the only reason I say this is because the intle i7 is faster because it runs on ddr3 instead of ddr2 but both systems are great and will do anything that you want them to do it is really up to you if you would raher sacrifice some more money for a little performance or just go with the cheaper system!
August 4, 2009 6:26:49 PM

DAtes dont apply to people commenting just to comment! Plus its onkly a mild res. Its still a viable thread for discussion, even though the OP probably already bought his PC. People still read these threads to get an Idea of what to purchase.
August 4, 2009 7:13:17 PM

weed
August 4, 2009 8:20:28 PM

I am not a weed
August 4, 2009 8:22:57 PM

im trying to become a regular, so if you see any 1 word comments, ignor them.
August 4, 2009 8:27:06 PM

ahha ok my bad.............. Man this new rating sytem is crazy
August 4, 2009 8:34:24 PM

Jascomputerguy said:
I would go for the AMD but if the price difference isnt to great then I would go intel the only reason I say this is because the intle i7 is faster because it runs on ddr3 instead of ddr2 but both systems are great and will do anything that you want them to do it is really up to you if you would raher sacrifice some more money for a little performance or just go with the cheaper system!


Im sorry but this is wrong! The re4ason i7 is faster is a multitude of reasons not just DDR3. If that were the only reason than you would see AMD PII 955's beating i7's, ALL PII's have a DDR3 controller and a DDR2 controller on the CPU DIE. As for i7 being faster one reason is becuase of turbo mode, another is Hyper threading and still another is transistor achitecture. A vey small difference can be seen with using triple Channel DDR3(Intel) over Dual channel DDR3(AMD) and then even a little bit more more improvement can be seen with using DDR3 over DDR2 but not much discernable difference to our perspective.
!