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I7 920 vs Phenom II 965 with an ATI 5870.(Finally!)

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October 29, 2009 3:46:36 PM

Here you go guys: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/a...

I'm really surprised that it took this long for someone to do this exact write-up. The only thing missing is benches while OCed on the CPUs. These results had stock clocks for the i7 920 and the Phenom II 965. So I guess if the i7 920 was at 3.4ghz it would of destroyed the Phenom II. Which most of us allready knew, but atleast we have some proof of that finally.

PS: Now all we need is a crossfire review with both CPUs at 3.8/4.0ghz, to get an even better feel for the difference. Ask and I shall recieve. lol. This article came out a couple weeks ago. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...
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October 29, 2009 4:31:33 PM

Good find, Sincreator - thanks.

I too would be interested in seeing how the P2-965 and i920 would do both oc'd and with multiple top-end GPUs, although I'd personally be happy with just one 5870 :D .
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October 29, 2009 4:55:48 PM

sincreator said:
Here you go guys: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/a...

I'm really surprised that it took this long for someone to do this exact write-up. The only thing missing is benches while OCed on the CPUs. These results had stock clocks for the i7 920 and the Phenom II 965. So I guess if the i7 920 was at 3.4ghz it would of destroyed the Phenom II. Which most of us allready knew, but atleast we have some proof of that finally.

PS: Now all we need is a crossfire review with both CPUs at 3.8/4.0ghz, to get an even better feel for the difference.

It would not have destroyed it, especially in gaming.
Related resources
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October 29, 2009 5:50:59 PM

Cryslayer80 said:
It would not have destroyed it, especially in gaming.



Well the i7 in the article is at 2.66ghz and it's still faster than the Phenom 965 at 3.4ghz, so what do you think would happen? Give the i7 3.4ghz and it would be a hell of alot faster I would say, unless an extra 740mhz wouldn't make a difference with the i7 paired with a 5870. :sarcastic: 

BTW, my next cpu was going to be a 955/965 BE, but after seeing this I may start to consider an i5/i7 alot more. Especially since I would like to have as little of a CPU bottleneck as possible when my 2 5850's get here.

Come on tom's, don't you think this is worth investigating yet? With all the talk about the 5800 series and CPU bottlenecks, I think it's time to do an article to see what can push them more in single and crossfire modes. I don't mean a 3/4 page article like the one I linked, I mean a FULL article showing the comparison between the core2quad/core2dual/Phenom II x3/Phenom II x4/intel i7/intel i5. It would help us greatly in making future upgrade decisions. Although it looks like the best CPUs are very clear, but it would be nice all the same to see what holds the 5800's back the most.
October 29, 2009 6:09:59 PM

Well, Nehalem is a newer architecture... who here is really surprised that clock-for-clock Intel is faster? Sometimes it's nice to have things quantified, but I'm generally willing to accept things without precise numbers to back them up. I did enjoy the little value chart at the end though.
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October 29, 2009 6:11:22 PM

Nice that they put the FSX benchmark in there.
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October 29, 2009 7:10:39 PM

jj463rd said:
Nice that they put the FSX benchmark in there.



Ya, you don't see that, that often. Damn FSX must be pretty hard on hardware as well, with those systems and the FPS isn't all that impresive I mean.(well at those settings at least)
October 29, 2009 7:28:35 PM

Well, something bothering me by these results. Why are the results so close in the gaming benchmarks? If you use multiple cpu configuration, Intel wins all the time by a clear margin with at least two 4870 or GTX260... but why a card as strong as a GTX295, the 5870, is not able to clearly advantage Intel...?

Is is because it's a single gpu card? One thing clear for sure, going AMD for a gaming rig enthusiast is not that much of a bad idea if you take into account all the money you are saving. Even there, I would choose a PII 955 over a PII 965.
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October 29, 2009 7:57:22 PM

redgarl said:
Well, something bothering me by these results. Why are the results so close in the gaming benchmarks? If you use multiple cpu configuration, Intel wins all the time by a clear margin with at least two 4870 or GTX260... but why a card as strong as a GTX295, the 5870, is not able to clearly advantage Intel...?

Is is because it's a single gpu card? One thing clear for sure, going AMD for a gaming rig enthusiast is not that much of a bad idea if you take into account all the money you are saving. Even there, I would choose a PII 955 over a PII 965.



Because the i7 is at 2.66ghz, and the PH II is at 3.4ghz.
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October 29, 2009 9:33:05 PM

redgarl said:
Well, something bothering me by these results. Why are the results so close in the gaming benchmarks? If you use multiple cpu configuration, Intel wins all the time by a clear margin with at least two 4870 or GTX260... but why a card as strong as a GTX295, the 5870, is not able to clearly advantage Intel...?

Is is because it's a single gpu card? One thing clear for sure, going AMD for a gaming rig enthusiast is not that much of a bad idea if you take into account all the money you are saving. Even there, I would choose a PII 955 over a PII 965.

Because in gaming AMD is superior and even that benchmark is a little biased.
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October 29, 2009 9:53:55 PM

Cryslayer80 said:
Because in gaming AMD is superior and even that benchmark is a little biased.

And your not? LOL :sarcastic:  I own all AMD/ATI hardware, and I can even see that the i7 would be superior, but I guess there is no point in arguing with fanboi's. I guess you would of been happier if they had the i7 at 3.4ghz and have shown an even bigger difference? LOL, funny stuff. :pt1cable: 
October 29, 2009 10:17:35 PM

sincreator said:
Because the i7 is at 2.66ghz, and the PH II is at 3.4ghz.


Yes but its not like when you buy a PII 965 it won't be at 3.4ghz... And also it performs very well considering it was made to compete against c2q and can gold its own against an i7
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October 29, 2009 10:31:49 PM

sincreator said:
And your not? LOL :sarcastic:  I own all AMD/ATI hardware, and I can even see that the i7 would be superior, but I guess there is no point in arguing with fanboi's. I guess you would of been happier if they had the i7 at 3.4ghz and have shown an even bigger difference? LOL, funny stuff. :pt1cable: 

The fact that you own (or lie about owning) AMD hardware doesn't make your statement true. I have a C2D on another PC so should I say: "Lolz I've gotz Intelz and likez AMDz so Im unbiasedz"?
October 29, 2009 11:01:20 PM

This is a more realistic benchmark because they compared the processors against each other in their stock form, which is the way it should be. To overclock the i7 to the same frequency as the 965, run the tests, and then say the 965 got killed is NOT a fair comparison because processor frequency isn't the only thing that plays a role here. There are other things in the architecture of a processor that can determine it's speed. The i7 is faster. Ok, we got that. It also costs more. The motherboard and triple channel memory kit also costs more. You're paying for that increase in performance.
October 29, 2009 11:47:33 PM

Did none of you read the article??? How is the 965 get killed, its basically performing the same :pfff: 
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October 30, 2009 12:50:19 AM

sincreator said:
Here you go guys: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/a...

I'm really surprised that it took this long for someone to do this exact write-up. The only thing missing is benches while OCed on the CPUs. These results had stock clocks for the i7 920 and the Phenom II 965. So I guess if the i7 920 was at 3.4ghz it would of destroyed the Phenom II. Which most of us allready knew, but atleast we have some proof of that finally.

PS: Now all we need is a crossfire review with both CPUs at 3.8/4.0ghz, to get an even better feel for the difference.


Two words : Turbo mode. We don't know what speed that i7 was running at really, do we?

Also, the best chart is the one at the end with the i7 costing 40% more. While losing.

Both overclocked to the max? Who can say? Yes the i7 will win, probably all of them. The chances of the 'win' being worth 40% extra? None whatsoever.
October 30, 2009 12:57:05 AM

Turbo for the i7 920 (I think) is:

2.93ghz 1-2 cores
2.8 ghz 3-4 cores

Still quite a difference, but it is true that it isn't 2.66ghz (and it probably isn't most of the time if not all the time).
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October 30, 2009 12:57:46 AM

jennyh said:
Two words : Turbo mode. We don't know what speed that i7 was running at really, do we?

Also, the best chart is the one at the end with the i7 costing 40% more. While losing.

Both overclocked to the max? Who can say? Yes the i7 will win, probably all of them. The chances of the 'win' being worth 40% extra? None whatsoever.

Turbo mode on a 920 is pretty insignificant - 99% of the time, it will be running one speed bin up (2.8 GHz), and very very rarely, it might hit 2 bins up (2.93). It is nowhere near as aggressive or significant to benchmarks as the 1156 turbo.
October 30, 2009 1:01:42 AM

Which is why it loses to the the i7 860 in most benchmarks... s1366 is bought for the extra mem and video bandwidth truthfully...
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October 30, 2009 1:09:17 AM

Perhaps but it's still worth pointing out.

I'm sure a lot of people would love to misinform that a 2.6ghz intel cpu was just as fast as a 3.4ghz amd cpu, but the reality is somewhat different.

What you have is a much more expensive intel pc platform - including 50% extra memory - performing about the same as the top AMD one.

I'd like to see those benchmarks with Fusion for Gaming running too. If the intel can get turbo mode while still claiming 2.6ghz, I see no reason why the AMD can't get the Fusion for Gaming software overclocking it too.
October 30, 2009 1:23:16 AM

Okay, here are the facts straight from the article:

i7 920, we'll say 2.87ghz which is the average of the turbo modes give or take .06ghz.
43.6% more expensive than the 4gigs AMD system (Why didn't they just compare it to the 8gigs one)
16.5% faster than the 8gigs system (I don't remember if 8gigs actually slows down gaming ability???)

Very obviously, AMD takes the price/performance. 16.5% on average however, could be important depending on how low the fps of the game is already. The lower the fps is for both systems, the bigger the impact 16% is. If they both run at like 100fps, 16% means nothing..........

But if they are both struggling to make a game JUST bearable to play, then 16% can be quite a difference.

Of course 16% is just an average so we should take the number with a grain of salt.

Now is the price worth it? Realistically, no. But, are some people willing to pay the difference for that edge, definitely. Am I one of those people that want i7? Yes....

But even though it may not be the best way to spend my money (ratio wise), I still continue to love my investment in a s1366 system.

Then again, I don't game much anyway so the price/performance gap for me is a little smaller :-\.
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October 30, 2009 1:40:46 AM

Ok here is another way to look at those benchmarks.

Anything over 60fps is a total waste. This is definitely true when the minimum fps is over 60, and that was pointed out in the review.

In both the i7's biggest 'wins', both systems had a *minimum* framerate above 60fps. That was Farcry 2 and CoD4. Both of these games perform identically and no human would be able to tell any difference at any time.

In the other two games?

The Phenom played Crysis Warhead very, very slightly better. 1 fps on max, min and average is meaningless.

The i7 played FSX, very, very slightly better. Pretty much identical min and med framerates with the i7 scoring a small max framerate advantage.

So...


4 games tested, 2 of them are identical in terms of running perfectly above 60fps at *all* times. The other 2 are within 1 fps of each other.

Also note that the 16% faster i7 performance was almost all gained on CoD4, with both systems never dropping below 100fps.

Now, tell me truthfully - is the i7 worth ~$130 more based on these benchmarks? Because I will guarantee you that you would not notice any difference whatsover while playing, any of these games.

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October 30, 2009 1:53:02 AM

Absolutely.

(Admittedly, that's based on my usage, and many of the non-gaming apps are both where the gain is the largest, and where a small gain would be most noticeable.).
October 30, 2009 1:55:43 AM

I already said that AMD DEFINITELY takes the price/performance crown. However:

1. I think it's in euros
2. Obviously, in terms of these benchmarks (ie gaming) alone, i7 is not worth the price increase
3. I got my i7 system for around 1k (give or take 20ish dollars), which in my opinion made it worth it

It's true, in terms of games, the price/performance for i7 just isn't there. However, there are more factors than those included in the article that may make it worthwhile to select people (mostly people that don't game) such as overclocking, different sets of video card preferences (not that I wouldn't choose a 5850/5870 over anything else...), games played etc.

As the article says there are situation where either are better choices over the other. And I commend you for thinking it through slightly further than I did.
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October 30, 2009 1:56:34 AM

On those benchmarks cjl.

Are you telling me an i7 920 is worth paying $130 more, on *those* benchmarks?
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October 30, 2009 2:18:36 AM

On those, no. Are you saying that all I might ever use my computer for is those benchmarks?
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October 30, 2009 2:32:05 AM

No, but this entire thread is about the i7 supposedly 'destroying' a Phenom II in gaming.

That just didn't happen, here or anywhere else. In non-gaming stuff? I dont really care tbh, but sure the i7 is better overall. Once again I'm not convinced it's so much better that it's worth the extra cost...but in gaming I'm *convinced* the i7 is not worth the extra premium.

Threads like this just reinforce my view that people simply do not look hard enough at the facts, and are far too willing to believe what they are being spoon-fed. What we have here is a prime example of a review suggesting the i7 as being much better than it really is in comparison to the Phenom II.

I've proven it using *their* figures - there is almost no discernable difference at all between both platforms in gaming. Nobody would be able to tell the blindest difference while playing any of these games on either platform.
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October 30, 2009 2:34:38 AM

Btw - If both were overclocked to say 3.8ghz?

The i7 would have an even bigger lead on Cod4 and FC2 (which nobody would be able to see). The end fps total would hardly be noticable in the other 2 games - maybe 1-2fps more in favour of the i7. That also would be pretty much unnoticable.
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October 30, 2009 3:43:22 AM

The only reason the i7 doesn't destroy the Phenom II in gaming is because of GPU bottleneck. Once GPUs get better you'll see Phenom II getting the hurt from i7. Especially considering the i7 has a 50%+ OC headroom compared to Phenom IIs 20-30% :) .

I do agree Phenom II is better bang for buck, for now, but not when we start seeing some 5870 tri/quad setups me thinks.

Cryslayer80 said:
Because in gaming AMD is superior and even that benchmark is a little biased.


I wouldn't call it superior... more like... 'good enough'.
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October 30, 2009 4:28:55 AM

Raidur said:
The only reason the i7 doesn't destroy the Phenom II in gaming is because of GPU bottleneck. Once GPUs get better you'll see Phenom II getting the hurt from i7. Especially considering the i7 has a 50%+ OC headroom compared to Phenom IIs 20-30% :) .

I do agree Phenom II is better bang for buck, for now, but not when we start seeing some 5870 tri/quad setups me thinks.



I wouldn't call it superior... more like... 'good enough'.



Exactly my point. Thank you! When the video cards become more powerfull, they will need a more powerfull cpu to drive them. People talk about the price difference of going to an i7 as opposed to the phenom setup. That's BS IMO. If you want to get more potential out of a high end system using crossfire/SLI then The i7 would be the best choice. We're not talking about entry level gaming machines here, we're talking about the potential bottlenecks that could come from a CPU with all these "new" high end GPU's that are out, or coming soon. I don't know about the rest of you, but I want the cpu that will drive the power of my GPU/GPUs the most, and crossfire just so happens to be part of my upgrade path. If The phenom II 955/965 will hold me back when that time comes then I will need to look into another upgrade, most likely setting me back more than the original 130$ surplus I could spend on an current i7 setup as opposed to a current Phenom II setup.

PS: About the clockspeed differences in the link. I thought this was an enthusist/overclocking forum for the most part. Am I wrong? I thought that having similar clockspeeds would represent a more fair comparison here. Thats why I made the statement that I(me personally) thought that at the same clockspeed the i7 would dominate the Phenom II, with 5800/GT300 series cards, and I still stand by that. Especially when crossfire/SLI are introduced into the equation.
October 30, 2009 4:35:15 AM

jennyh said:
Ok here is another way to look at those benchmarks.

Anything over 60fps is a total waste. This is definitely true when the minimum fps is over 60, and that was pointed out in the review.

In both the i7's biggest 'wins', both systems had a *minimum* framerate above 60fps. That was Farcry 2 and CoD4. Both of these games perform identically and no human would be able to tell any difference at any time.

In the other two games?

The Phenom played Crysis Warhead very, very slightly better. 1 fps on max, min and average is meaningless.

The i7 played FSX, very, very slightly better. Pretty much identical min and med framerates with the i7 scoring a small max framerate advantage.

So...


4 games tested, 2 of them are identical in terms of running perfectly above 60fps at *all* times. The other 2 are within 1 fps of each other.

Also note that the 16% faster i7 performance was almost all gained on CoD4, with both systems never dropping below 100fps.

Now, tell me truthfully - is the i7 worth ~$130 more based on these benchmarks? Because I will guarantee you that you would not notice any difference whatsover while playing, any of these games.


I wouldn't call it superior... more like... 'good enough' said:
I wouldn't call it superior... more like... 'good enough'


/thread
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October 30, 2009 1:06:49 PM

sincreator said:
Exactly my point. Thank you! When the video cards become more powerfull, they will need a more powerfull cpu to drive them. People talk about the price difference of going to an i7 as opposed to the phenom setup. That's BS IMO. If you want to get more potential out of a high end system using crossfire/SLI then The i7 would be the best choice. We're not talking about entry level gaming machines here, we're talking about the potential bottlenecks that could come from a CPU with all these "new" high end GPU's that are out, or coming soon. I don't know about the rest of you, but I want the cpu that will drive the power of my GPU/GPUs the most, and crossfire just so happens to be part of my upgrade path. If The phenom II 955/965 will hold me back when that time comes then I will need to look into another upgrade, most likely setting me back more than the original 130$ surplus I could spend on an current i7 setup as opposed to a current Phenom II setup.

PS: About the clockspeed differences in the link. I thought this was an enthusist/overclocking forum for the most part. Am I wrong? I thought that having similar clockspeeds would represent a more fair comparison here. Thats why I made the statement that I(me personally) thought that at the same clockspeed the i7 would dominate the Phenom II, with 5800/GT300 series cards, and I still stand by that. Especially when crossfire/SLI are introduced into the equation.


Well why not find benchmarks proving that? These benchmarks that were supposedly proof that i7 'dominates' phenom II just turned out to be nothing of the sort.

How do you explain the Phenom II winning in any game? If the i7 was so much better it should always be better right?

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

Honestly, the differences between these cpu's is so minimal that you'd be a lot better off buying the cheapest one for gaming. If you do a lot of rendering and video work? Get an i7.
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October 30, 2009 1:29:02 PM

jennyh said:
Btw - If both were overclocked to say 3.8ghz?

The i7 would have an even bigger lead on Cod4 and FC2 (which nobody would be able to see). The end fps total would hardly be noticable in the other 2 games - maybe 1-2fps more in favour of the i7. That also would be pretty much unnoticable.



Ok what about the future? When I do a build, I am building so that my PC will still be good to me in 2-3 years. Not just for the games at this moment. So if COD gives me over 60 fps that's fine, but if when Dirt2 comes out I get 35 fps, and then next year a game comes out that gives me less again. Then I look at reviews using the same GPU I have with the i7 as opposed to my PH II 955/965 and I see that "IF" I had bought an i7 I would of had an extra 15-20 fps. So then I'm back to the upgrade shop again, spending more money on another CPU to get me through for another year.

This is why we "NEED" an article showing any possible drawbacks if there are any. I dont want to waste money on a new CPU, until I have some evidence that the choice I make is the right one. With last gens GPUs I would agree with what you are saying, but now that the bottleneck is switching to the CPU again, it would be nice to know what will give me the most performance in the long run. Not just for the current games, on last gen GPUs.

@Cryslayer80. I f you are doubting that I actually own AMD/ATI hardware. Here is a link: http://utforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=680572 This thread was started months ago, and if you read down through all the posts you will see that I have always had AMD hardware. In my first Build I used a 3800+, then I went to the X2 4800+, then to the X2 6400+, and now to the PH II x3 710. My Video cards were x-800, then the x1650 Pro(I know stupid upgrade), then the 1950 GT, and then to the 2 x 3870(would of been 2 x 8800gt, but my mobo was crossfire). Next will be a HD5850, then a new CPU(not sure what one yet, I'm at a crossroad), and then a second HD5850 when the prices drop. Just waiting for a full review comparing Crossfire and SLI on the PH II vs. the I7 at THE SAME CLOCKSPEED since I do intend to overclock whatever I get. I could care less about the stock speeds.
October 30, 2009 3:55:46 PM

sincreator said:
PS: About the clockspeed differences in the link. I thought this was an enthusist/overclocking forum for the most part. Am I wrong?


Some here are enthusiasts/overclockers. Most are not, in my opinion. But anyway, there's room for both :) 

sincreator said:
Ok what about the future? When I do a build, I am building so that my PC will still be good to me in 2-3 years. Not just for the games at this moment. So if COD gives me over 60 fps that's fine, but if when Dirt2 comes out I get 35 fps, and then next year a game comes out that gives me less again. Then I look at reviews using the same GPU I have with the i7 as opposed to my PH II 955/965 and I see that "IF" I had bought an i7 I would of had an extra 15-20 fps. So then I'm back to the upgrade shop again, spending more money on another CPU to get me through for another year.

This is why we "NEED" an article showing any possible drawbacks if there are any. I dont want to waste money on a new CPU, until I have some evidence that the choice I make is the right one. With last gens GPUs I would agree with what you are saying, but now that the bottleneck is switching to the CPU again, it would be nice to know what will give me the most performance in the long run. Not just for the current games, on last gen GPUs.


You're right, if you want the most powerfull gaming machine, you should buy Intel. It's going to be more expensive but you get what you pay for. Though you need atleast 2 GPUs to notice any difference. Even then the difference is limited to most demanding titles I think. There's no difference for actual gameplay when you average 100 frames/second against 80. Like one poster said AMD is good enough. For me the most cost effective solution is to lower the game settings if a game works poorly. Though until now I haven't needed that with 720BE + Radeon 4850 both running at stock speeds for the games I play.

But I 100% agree with you: We do need reviews that show any drawbacks. Informed consumer is a smarter consumer.
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October 30, 2009 4:36:37 PM

Ok try this :-

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=102&p2=99

965 BE vs an i7 965 EE. With both as close together on clocks as is possible without overclocking, the results are as follows.

Fallout 3 Phenom II - 87.7 fps
Fallout 3 I7 965 EE - 89.9 fps

Left4Dead Phenom II - 126.1 fps
Left4Dead i7 965 EE - 132.7 fps

FarCry2 Phenom II - 53 fps
FarCry2 i7 965 EE - 75.8 fps

Crysis Warhead Phenom II - 81.4 fps
Crysis Warhead i7 965 EE - 87 fps.

Only Farcry 2 shows any appreciable gain, however the reason for that is anand bench using the benchmarking tool and it has always hugely favoured intel over AMD. In fact, the farcry 2 benchmarking tool is plastered with the intel logo...

Don't forget - this i7 965 EE is probably running even higher on clock speed than the 965 BE because of turbo.

So, ask yourself honestly - if both these cpu's were at 3.8ghz, do you really believe the story would be much different? Except for the farcry 2 bench, the i7 EE at *faster clock speed* never beats the 965 BE by more than 10%.
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October 30, 2009 4:46:18 PM

What about crossfire/Sli? That is my main concern with the 5800 series, and the GT300 series. Having a strong enough CPU to push them for a few years, without possibly needing an in between upgrade. Then what happens to that 130$ savings?
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October 30, 2009 5:02:30 PM

I dont believe any cpu you buy now will really be enough in 2 years time. Good enough for most people yes, but not so good that you won't be looking to upgrade again.

Let's say you save $130 or so by buying the Phenom II. Sell the 965 BE in 6 months time and buy a 6-core Thuban. $130 + whatever you get for the 965 BE will probably be enough to get you a 6-core, and Thuban will be faster than any desktop cpu currently available.

Buying an i7 920 for higher cost now when you can get a cheaper Phenom (I wouldnt buy the 965 BE btw, just get a 945 or 955 BE and overclock it) and use the cash you saved to buy a Thuban doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 9 months ago fair enough, now the i7 920 just looks overpriced because we know faster cpu's are coming.

It's all about price performance and no matter how hard you look you will not find any intel winning on price/performance. Buying intel is about being at the top and paying for it - unless you are very well off chances are you cannot afford to do that constantly.

If you want to remain near the top on a constant level (like myself, I have two pc's that I need to keep very close together in performance), the easy and cheapest way is going AMD. I could be using an i7 right now, but all that would be is a constant drain trying to keep up at the top. If I want faster than i7 I'll buy Thuban in 6 months too. Will Thuban be faster than i9? Probably not, but it'll be cheaper I guarantee that.
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October 30, 2009 5:02:40 PM

Hmm, I'd take that $130 price difference with a large grain of salt, since I live near a Microcenter and they usually have the i920 on sale for $200. That's over half the price difference right there. And since the i920 is being discontinued in favor of the 2.8GHz i930 early next year, you can bet the etailers will be discounting the i920's to clear out inventory.

Another point - you don't have to populate a 1366 board with 3 banks of memory - it'll run on just one or two banks, although it won't be in tri-channel mode without all 3 banks being populated. So yes a better comparison would have been an equal amount of similar memory, esp. since in a gaming scenario, tri-channel has not shown any significant benefit.
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October 30, 2009 5:13:35 PM

Yes the $130 difference looks a bit off to me.

However, it's probably more if doing what sincreater is looking to do and overclock both chips to 3.8ghz. For that all he needs do is get a 945 or 955 BE, that is at least a saving of what $60 or so compared to an i7 on the chip alone.
a b à CPUs
October 30, 2009 8:28:57 PM

Why is everybody avoiding the SLI/Crossfire issue? lol. Could it be that no one has concrete evidence of what will happen with each of the CPU's in question when it comes to the latest video cards. I think we need a write up of some sort, to settle this. C'mon we need articles about stuff like this, not write ups on how good/bad your old dvd drive is. :pt1cable: 
October 30, 2009 9:33:20 PM

It's probably because anyone buying an AMD system would not get 4x 5870's (or over 1k worth of video cards) which defeats the purpose of an article....

Even most people with an i7 would not consider 4x 5870's

And when both CPU's are at 4.0ghz on x2 CF with 5850's/5870's, both CPU's probably still won't bottleneck the graphics cards.
October 30, 2009 9:46:46 PM

sincreator said:
Why is everybody avoiding the SLI/Crossfire issue? lol. Could it be that no one has concrete evidence of what will happen with each of the CPU's in question when it comes to the latest video cards. I think we need a write up of some sort, to settle this. C'mon we need articles about stuff like this, not write ups on how good/bad your old dvd drive is. :pt1cable: 


Dude, it's not just hardware that's changing, it's software. The CPU is not becoming the bottleneck you make it out to be(of course, it's still possible for a CPU to be a bottleneck, but we're talking about the high end CPU's here, not the low end ones).Over the next few years, parallel programming will become more and more common. When given multiple cores, a multithreaded application will be faster than a single threaded one. You keep saying the CPU's should be compared at the same clock speed, but that's not looking at the big picture. Clock speed isn't what it used to be. I am ALLOWED to say a stock i7 920 vs a stock 965 BE is a fair comparison, and that overclocking the i7 920 to the same frequency as the 965 BE isn't. It's like if I was comparing a Honda Civic to a semi-truck in a drag race, and then turn around saying hahaha the semi got killed by a Civic. Sure the semi has a lot more power, but it also weighs a heck of a lot more.

Again, you gotta look at the BIG picture. What it comes down to is the end user's demands. If I get 150 fps, and you get 200 fps, the 33% extra fps you get means nothing to me because I can't tell the difference. To me, it's the same. Oh wait, I have to consider the future you say? Dude, honestly, we're talking about current high end CPU's, not low end ones. A computer with a 965 BE will live for a respectable amount of time. It's only a matter of time before today's fastest machines become obsolete. Eventually, there will be new CPU's, new motherboards, new video cards, new DirectX's, new memory, new SSD's, etc, etc, etc, and they too will also become obsolete.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 4:21:00 AM

dna708 said:
It's probably because anyone buying an AMD system would not get 4x 5870's (or over 1k worth of video cards) which defeats the purpose of an article....

Even most people with an i7 would not consider 4x 5870's

And when both CPU's are at 4.0ghz on x2 CF with 5850's/5870's, both CPU's probably still won't bottleneck the graphics cards.



Yeah actually they will bottleneck current GPU offerings.(Or atleast the i7)

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5870-crossfirex... Fourth paragragh down.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ATI/Radeon_HD_5870_C...

This is why I want to see a crossfire review with both CPUs. Who knows, maybe the scaling will be better with a Phenom II. After all the 5800 series and Phenom II's are made by the same company, so you never know. If so then I will just get a 955/965 and OC the hell out of it. If it hits a wall alot sooner than the i7, then I will seriously consider the i7 setup. That's all I'm trying to say.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 4:37:28 AM

If you want to see some proof of i7 superiority in games to Phenom II its easy. Look up some low resolution benchmarks for the two. That takes out the GPU bottleneck somewhat (some games less than others) and shows you the CPU's true power in gaming. Don't forget to look at some with OCed i7 to see some real impressiveness. This gap will be seen between i7 and Phenom II in the future at higher resolutions, but not any time too soon.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 9:25:35 AM

Low resolution benchmarks show how a cpu copes at low resolution and nothing else.

We've already looked at an OC'd i7 - the 975 EE in fact, and it's barely even 5% better than the 965 BE in most games. I wouldn't call that impressive for a cpu that is quite a lot more expensive. Anandtech's benches show games at different graphical settings and they all come up with similar results. There will be no future gap increasing between the phenom II 965 and i7 either because the i7 is what it is, ie between -5% and 10% faster than Phenom II in most games depending on setup.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 9:51:15 AM

jennyh said:

Don't forget - this i7 965 EE is probably running even higher on clock speed than the 965 BE because of turbo.

So, ask yourself honestly - if both these cpu's were at 3.8ghz, do you really believe the story would be much different? Except for the farcry 2 bench, the i7 EE at *faster clock speed* never beats the 965 BE by more than 10%.

You keep going on about this, and with the LGA1366 CPUs, you're full of it. The Phenom 965 runs at 3.4GHz. The i7 965 runs at 3.33GHz 99% of the time. I think that I've seen mine hit 3.46GHz once, and I had to specifically disable almost every process and load it heavily with a single thread before it would do so. Realistically, the i7-965 can be considered to have a max turbo of 3.33, since it almost never hits the single-core turbo value. Because of this near impossibility of hitting more than a single speed bin up from standard clocks, turbo has relatively little effect on the 1366 i7s, and you can fairly safely neglect it in comparisons.

a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 10:12:43 AM

Could that be because the i7 965 has a stock of 3.2ghz while the 975 has a stock of 3.33ghz?

965 EE turbo is 3.33ghz, 975 EE turbo is 3.476ghz, so this 975 EE is indeed operating at faster speeds than the 965 BE. Not so impressive is it?
a c 113 à CPUs
October 31, 2009 11:45:16 AM

I don't thing you can go wrong either way depending upon your 'personal preference' but the article kinda screwed up and did AMD a favor ...

Quote:
Testbed

In order to maintain a level playing ground, comparable hardware was used across both testbeds and thus minimising the likelihood of a bias.


It's not really comparable hardware ---- that's the cheapest AM3 motherboard he could have selected. Turns out it makes one heck of a platform (for single vid card, anyway).

i7-920 / Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R combo: $448 AR

Phenom 965BE / Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P combo: $246 AR
(The 955BE combo is $231 (!) AR)


Something like the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 would be more 'apples'.

I understand the guys are across the pond but they cannot be relevant until they have an Egg :kaola: 
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 9:48:24 PM

jennyh said:
Low resolution benchmarks show how a cpu copes at low resolution and nothing else.

We've already looked at an OC'd i7 - the 975 EE in fact, and it's barely even 5% better than the 965 BE in most games. I wouldn't call that impressive for a cpu that is quite a lot more expensive. Anandtech's benches show games at different graphical settings and they all come up with similar results. There will be no future gap increasing between the phenom II 965 and i7 either because the i7 is what it is, ie between -5% and 10% faster than Phenom II in most games depending on setup.


Then why is it nearly every time I've seen a reviewer tell why they use the low resolution is so they can tell the difference in performance between the CPUs (and this is between a number of CPUs, not only the i7 and Phenom II)?
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