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Gaming rig upgrades: 1 or the other?

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August 2, 2009 5:48:50 AM

hi. im interested in building a budget gaming rig, and i have bought a cooler master cm-690 case, a corsair 650w psu, and a 9600 gt video card so far, just to upgrade my old computer. I just need to buy the new parts and i will be set, but there are 2 builds ive had in mind, and since they cost exactly the same, im tied between them. one is amd, one is intel, take a look:

AMD Build:
-Phenom 2 x3 720 BE
-asus m4a78t-e 790gx mobo
-g.skill 1600 mhz 4gb (2x2gb) ddr3 kit
-western digital caviar black 640gb hd
-windows vista home premium 64-bit


INTEL Build:
-core 2 duo e8400
-Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
-4gb corsair ddr2 800mhz xms2 ram
-wd caviar black 640gb hd
-windows vista hp 64-bit


im really just tied between them, i know the e8400 will be a touch faster in games, but the phenom 2 x3 720 will be more futureproofing with 3 cores and ddr3. answer with why i should take one over the other, and pros/cons to each build. thanks for your time.

More about : gaming rig upgrades

a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2009 5:53:51 AM

The AMD build gives you the option of much easier upgradings in the future, your DDR3 ram will be usuable in new builds for a few years to come where as no new boards support DDR2. The 720's third core also gives you a benefit that doesnt show up in benchmarks, if you are playing a dual core game and something decides to scan or update that can be run on the third core while your game is run on the first two. Also the third core provides the advantage as more and more games will be getting designed for quad core CPU's which the 720 will do much better with than the E8400. Plus the 720 is a BE so you have an unlocked multiplier and can easily OC it to the point where it will beat an E8400 in dual threaded games.

The 775 Socket is also EOL which means no new processors for it. Those are the pros for the AMD build, i will leave the intel build to someone else.
August 2, 2009 6:41:09 AM

You can pretty much flip a coin in terms of their performance. The E8400 would overclock higher, be a bit better in most games and some applications. The 720 overclocks well, but not as high as the E8400, it's a bit slower in some games, but better in any game or application optimized for multi cores. I think the upgrade path of the AM3/PhenomII is better since the LGA 775 is at it's end of life. So i pretty much agree with hunter315, between your 2 choices i'd go AMD at this time. Keep an eye out for any combo deals they can sometimes make a big difference. An example is this PhenomII x4 945 and a Biostar AM3 790GX at about the same price as your E8400/P45 choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2009 1:35:44 PM

I agree with them. Considering future upgrade path, I would choose AMD now also.
August 2, 2009 5:10:39 PM

hunter315 said:
The AMD build gives you the option of much easier upgradings in the future, your DDR3 ram will be usuable in new builds for a few years to come where as no new boards support DDR2. The 720's third core also gives you a benefit that doesnt show up in benchmarks, if you are playing a dual core game and something decides to scan or update that can be run on the third core while your game is run on the first two. Also the third core provides the advantage as more and more games will be getting designed for quad core CPU's which the 720 will do much better with than the E8400. Plus the 720 is a BE so you have an unlocked multiplier and can easily OC it to the point where it will beat an E8400 in dual threaded games.

The 775 Socket is also EOL which means no new processors for it. Those are the pros for the AMD build, i will leave the intel build to someone else.




Yes, but then again isnt the dual channel ddr3 memory going to become outdated? surely AMD will move over to triple channel ddr3, because it gives 33% more bandidth, so the ddr3 dual channel ram wont really be futureproofing after all. thats why the phenom 2's arent comparable to the core i7's, thats because one is getting triple bandwidth and one is getting double bandwidth of ddr, so wouldnt it just be smart to save the 30 bucks on ram, because essentially the dual channel ddr2 will last just as long as the ddr3 dual channel will, because the next build i will do, maybe ddr4 will be released, or at least the standard will be triple channel ddr3.
August 2, 2009 5:16:33 PM

^ there isn't any such thing as DDR4, and there won't be as QDR is far more efficient, hence why ATi uses it for higher end graphics cards.
August 2, 2009 5:27:46 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ there isn't any such thing as DDR4, and there won't be as QDR is far more efficient, hence why ATi uses it for higher end graphics cards.



That wasn't my point. my point is that either triple channel ddr3 will become standard and dual channel ddr3 will be ridded of, or a new standard of memory will be released.
August 2, 2009 5:29:50 PM

Even the new Intel i5 LGA 1156 is using dual channel DDR3, along with the LGA 1156 compatible i3, i5 and i7 CPUs. ..........And don't blame me for Intels idiotic nomenclature.
a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2009 5:40:15 PM

You do realize that you can run dual channel without getting the kit right? I can take a 1.5 volt dual channel kit, get another 1.5 volt stick of DDR3 ram with similar timings and throw them into an i7 and they will work fine in triple channel, they wont perform quite as well as a kit would have but that difference is ~1% anyway. The kits are just there because units from the same lot tend to have similar performance characteristics so they will perform almost identically.

Dual and triple channel have absolutely zero effect on the memory modules themselves, it is only affected by the memory controller and how many channels they chose to put into it.
August 2, 2009 5:59:53 PM

^ I don't think so, since some ram kits perform better clock for clock and latency for latency than other kits.
August 2, 2009 6:28:11 PM

I'm also thinking about going for the phenom 2 x2's, either the 545 or the 550, cuz the 545 is 90 bucks, and the 550 is 115 dollars. the phenom 2 x3 720 is 120 bucks, but its 2.8 ghz and the 545 is 3.0, and the 550 is 3.1.

im not hugely concerned about having a definite 3rd core, because i am willing to take chances with unlocking the 3rd or 4th core on the p2x2. is it worth the extra frequencies at the loss of 1 definite core, when im mainly doing heavy gaming and web browsing? i can basically either get the p2x2 550 for the exact same price as the p2x3 720 with free shipping on the 720, but 5 bucks cheaper overall price on the 550. im thinking the 550.
August 2, 2009 6:31:53 PM

Also, should i get the asus m4a78t-e, or should i get the asus 785g chipset, or even the gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P? im pretty sure to unlock the 3rd or 4th core on the p2x2 550, i would need a sb750 south bridge on the chipset, and the only board that has this is the 790gx/790x/790fx boards. the 770 and 785g have the sb710 south bridge, does that south bridge come with ACC? (auto clock calibration i think)
August 2, 2009 6:42:06 PM

I actually just read on wikipedia that the only difference between sb 710 and sb750 is raid 5 support. correct me if im wrong.

im not gonna use any raid i dont think, so the gigabyte 770 chipset board seems just fine for me, and at an awesome price of 80 bucks, i would get all the features i need out of a 790gx board, but without xfire or raid 5. 60 bucks savings for no difference. good deal. i dont see the point in crossfiring or going into sli if you arent a hardcore gamer.
August 2, 2009 6:46:03 PM

The 785G does come with ACC, but from the few reports i've seen of the 785G it still has some BIOS bugs. The NDA is still in effect for the 785G so there's no complete reviews of them, only rumors. The SB710 with ACC will also unlock cores. Usually within a day or 2 newegg adds free shipping to all CPUs, it just takes them a little time.
August 2, 2009 6:46:21 PM

get a board with a 785G chipset instead, it has an onboard GPU and is sometimes cheaper.
August 2, 2009 6:59:05 PM

it would be nice to have backup graphics, but idk. i dont think im going to have a problem. (knock on wood)
August 2, 2009 7:07:09 PM

AMD, but get another motherboard... I HATE my m4a78T-E!

Unlocking cores with Asus render Sync Flood Error with no BSOD. A blackscreen, a restart and press F1.

Other than that, my NorthBridge temperature is at 45C idle... and my cpu temp is 15C higher than my DTS core temperature... to put it clearly, my thermal sensors are wrong.

Still, I agree that you should get a Phenom II X2 550. Try to find a good and stable motherboard for unlocking your 4 cores and OC it to the max.

Someone at HWCanucks OC a 550 and enabled the 4 cores. He was able to beat a Core i7 cpu on air cooling >:D 

Simply awesome cpu.

!