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Best Bang for the buck

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December 1, 2009 11:29:30 PM

Alright I am lookin to upgrade my computer around x-mas time and so I have begun the research process into new parts. This is aimed towards a nice gaming PC but isn't absolutely high end (money is always tight nowadays). So I am wondering what everyones opinion is as far as what the best CPU per dollar you spend on it. I am open to both AMD and Intel recommendations and by all means argue for and against different models. Currently I am leaning towards an AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz priced at $165 from newegg. Thanks for the input :) 

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December 2, 2009 12:12:26 AM

best bang for the buck? If you calculate in over clocking.... core i7 920 HANDS DOWN.

You can air over clock them on stock fan to at least 3.6 and its perfect

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December 2, 2009 12:17:38 AM

Don't listen to the guy above me he is an intel fanboy who doesn't know a thing about processors

anyway if you can afford it get the 965 BE, better for overclocking, but the 955 will give you the same results, it's just the 955 is a bit less flexible in overclocking
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December 2, 2009 12:35:05 AM

+1 for amd phenom II 955, however if you have DON'T have a am3 mobo, you can also go for a i5 but that's gunna cost you $50 more + cost of mobo (100-150$)
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December 2, 2009 12:41:07 AM

Best Performance to Price: i5 750 is the clear winner in my opinion

Best Performance to Value: Athlon II X4 620 - A quad core on a new platform for $100... Great value!
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December 2, 2009 1:17:50 AM

Upendra09 said:
Don't listen to the guy above me he is an intel fanboy who doesn't know a thing about processors

anyway if you can afford it get the 965 BE, better for overclocking, but the 955 will give you the same results, it's just the 955 is a bit less flexible in overclocking



The 965 Be is not better for overclocking. The 995 is more flexibile in overclocking. It starts at a lower clock and reaches the same max overclock. (excluding the c3 stepping 125w 965. The other c3 stepping phenoms have shipped today.)

I would say the best CPU per dollar is the athlon II 620. There is also the athlon II x3s. The Phenom II x3's and x4s. Are all very very very good for the dollar. Especially in a gaming system.

I would stay away from an Intel system for your new machine. Gaming machine with a tight budget=AMD.
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December 2, 2009 1:48:29 AM

For a tight money gaming system I would pick either an X4 620 or an X3 720 using a cheaper AMD785 motherboard with DDR2 and put as much money as you can into a Radeon 5xxx gaming video card. It's the Radeon that will give you gaming performance and the AMD cpus will not become a bottleneck for most games.
If you want a more balanced system, then the i5 Intel with a lesser video card starts to make more sense.
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December 2, 2009 2:14:02 AM

I looked at the Phenom II 965 at first but after some research I saw it is a really bad idea and in a nut shell this is why:

"AMD Phenom II 965: Badly overpriced compared to the Core i5 750 and Phenom II 955. Identical silicon to the 955 does not approach justifying the price premium. That the 955 has an unlocked multiplier that can be upped everytime to make performance identical makes this even more outrageous." - Taken from another insightful post on these forums :) 

I decided that the Core i7's are out of my price range. The core i5 is still a possibility but for the moment from my readings I am still leaning towards the phenom II 955. After looking at the Athlon II X4 620 I decided it is probably the best deal dollar for dollar but I am looking for something a bit better and it doesn't stack up to the 955 in benchmarks (even without including the great overclock potential of the 955).

Thanks for the input everyone it has been good to get some other feedback, keep it comin :) 
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December 2, 2009 2:28:29 AM

id also back the 955.

if money is tight though, you can always do what i did. pick up a phenom II 550 (dual core version of the 955) and pout the saved cash toward a better video card.
since the GPU has more of an impact on gaming performance, this is a really good way of doing it. most games only use 2 cores rtight now anyway, so you dont even loose that much performance.

if you feel lucky you can even try unlocking a 550 to a quad (as i did) and basically get a 955 for the price of a 550.

if you have the cash for it though, the if 750 is probably the best processor out there. amazing performance for its price.
but if you need something cheaper, AMD is surely the way to go.
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December 2, 2009 10:16:32 AM

Sub $500 AR quad box gamer for up to 1680 x 1050 4u?
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December 2, 2009 1:58:06 PM

Find the best 'combo deal' which suits your needs. This looks really promising for $179 AR (Phenom 720BE/Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 790GX)

Because of the L3 a Phenom would be better for gaming over the Athlon II quad.

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December 2, 2009 4:00:14 PM

For photoshop yes not games
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...

Quote:
If any of these benchmarks are representative of the overall gaming experience, then what it comes down to is the simple fact that saving $100 on a ninety nine dollar CPU and spending the savings on a higher-end graphics card is pprobably the best investment to get more out of a game.
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December 2, 2009 4:03:00 PM

Rana X3 (no L3) vs Heka X3 (6mb L3) strictly in games

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December 2, 2009 4:07:50 PM

batuchka said:
For photoshop yes not games
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/crysis64.gif
Quote:
If any of these benchmarks are representative of the overall gaming experience, then what it comes down to is the simple fact that saving $100 on a ninety nine dollar CPU and spending the savings on a higher-end graphics card is pprobably the best investment to get more out of a game.


However, Crysis in that chart is GPU bottle necked.


Here is FarCry2 from the same web page as your link. As you can see, the GPU is more sufficient, so the CPU difference can be seen...the difference between the Athlon and Phenom is minor.



http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...
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December 2, 2009 5:00:27 PM

Quote:
Disregard the highest fps values, those numbers are an artifact at the beginning of the benchmark as we showed in our Lynnfield article. The important numbers are the average and minimum frame rates.
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December 2, 2009 5:39:31 PM

Lucrin said:
I looked at the Phenom II 965 at first but after some research I saw it is a really bad idea and in a nut shell this is why:

"AMD Phenom II 965: Badly overpriced compared to the Core i5 750 and Phenom II 955. Identical silicon to the 955 does not approach justifying the price premium. That the 955 has an unlocked multiplier that can be upped everytime to make performance identical makes this even more outrageous." - Taken from another insightful post on these forums :) 

I decided that the Core i7's are out of my price range. The core i5 is still a possibility but for the moment from my readings I am still leaning towards the phenom II 955. After looking at the Athlon II X4 620 I decided it is probably the best deal dollar for dollar but I am looking for something a bit better and it doesn't stack up to the 955 in benchmarks (even without including the great overclock potential of the 955).

Thanks for the input everyone it has been good to get some other feedback, keep it comin :) 


Well not quite, that was the case with the old 140w x4 965 :

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the new C3 x4 965 is about 10 dollars more than the one above but it has it's advantages, first off it will overclock to 4.2/4.3Ghz on Air at tolerable temps (140w 965 barely does 4Ghz), it aslo runs about 3/4c cooler since it is a 125w CPU vs. the old 140w.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

of course the x4 955 is the obvious choice IF you don't have the extra 30 bucks, IMO the C3 965 is worth every penny, but that's just me :D 

You should be looking at the x4 620 like a few here suggested (best budget quad) and save yourself some cash for a nice GPU... I have seen the 620 do 3.650Ghz on Air and for 100.00$ it's a steal....

At 3.2Ghz the 620 is 6/7% slower than the 955 in games, just FYI ;) 
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December 2, 2009 6:23:48 PM

someguy7 said:
The 965 Be is not better for overclocking. The 995 is more flexibile in overclocking. It starts at a lower clock and reaches the same max overclock. (excluding the c3 stepping 125w 965. The other c3 stepping phenoms have shipped today.)

I would say the best CPU per dollar is the athlon II 620. There is also the athlon II x3s. The Phenom II x3's and x4s. Are all very very very good for the dollar. Especially in a gaming system.

I would stay away from an Intel system for your new machine. Gaming machine with a tight budget=AMD.


995?
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December 2, 2009 6:34:33 PM

Either way he is wrong, the 955 and the 965 are identicle CPU's, the only difference is the extra 200Mhz (mutli).
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December 2, 2009 11:33:21 PM

I meant 955 not 995 :p 

Also yes I picked the 955 over the 965 because I read that they are the exact same processor and the 955 can be overclocked up to the same level as the 965 making it not worth the extra $30. Just as a note to anyone posting in the future, lets say hypothetically that I already have a good video card so I am not looking to save money for it. I am looking to spend $5-600 for a processor, mobo, memory, and $150 of it is going towards my new case. Thanks again everyone :) 
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December 3, 2009 12:17:58 AM

It really depends, if gaming is yu main thing then a 720 be a good 785g mobo and a 5850 or 5870 would pretty much handle everything you want and give you not only a great upgrade path (the six core thuban comes out on am3) but also overclocking headroom, you could also go for the athlon ll x4 620 for that extra core and better multi tasking of course the 720 be is easier to overclock but the 620 has an extra core that helps it a bit and costs a little less neither card will be bottleneck for your graphics card
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December 3, 2009 1:02:17 AM

Upendra09 said:
995?



It was rather obvious that I made a typo with the 995. Clearly I meant the 955 BE. Everything else remains valid.
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December 3, 2009 1:10:10 AM

batuchka said:
Sub $500 AR quad box gamer for up to 1680 x 1050 4u?
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/AAKS.jpg


Since the Athlon II X4 620 and the Phenom II X2 550BE are nearly identical prices on newegg, the AII X4 would be guaranteed 4 cores and no L3, while the PII X2 would be guaranteed L3 and possibly 4 cores unlocked with the right motherboard. I'm looking for a similar super cheap build and right now I'm leaning toward the PII X2 550BE and hope to unlock all 4 cores. nea
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December 3, 2009 1:27:07 AM

Is it known if the 2 extra cores on the 555 will be unlockable?
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December 3, 2009 1:28:48 AM

of course and the unlock rate will be higher than the 550. Look at the link above, the dude managed to get 6.6Ghz on Ln2 as a quad B55 ...... :o 
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December 3, 2009 1:41:34 AM

Alright so I am pretty sure I have set my sights on the 955 as the processor I will get. I was curious as to how much of an improvement I would see from my current CPU to the new one so I made an extensive excel spreadsheet (then uploaded to google docs) showing a number of benchmarks and then I extrapolated from the data I collected. Let me know what you guys think. This is comparing my current CPU (AMD Athlon X2 6000+) to my potential future one (AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE)

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Avh5fMLWJhI1dGx...
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December 3, 2009 3:50:09 PM

Any opinions on my comparison?
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December 3, 2009 3:58:20 PM

You will get more or less the same numbers by swapping the 955 for a 620. It's all about how much money you want to spend. Personally I would opt for a 620 and use the rest of the cash for a better GPU....
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December 3, 2009 4:55:56 PM



Agreed, but my point is having both CPU's at 3.2Ghz. The 955 is abbout 5/6% faster due to the total cache. Everything else remains the same ;) 

Of course at stock clocks the 955 will eat the 620 alive, this is obvious ....
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December 3, 2009 5:01:38 PM

I vote for the 630x4, with the money saved going into the GPU.
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December 3, 2009 5:36:03 PM

Again as I stated above saving money for a GPU is not required because I already have one. I am strictly upgrading proc, mem, and mobo here. I will be overclocking my 955 hopefully to at least 3.8 GHz (not stock cooling of course)
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December 3, 2009 5:50:42 PM

My apologies then, heh. Disregard my ignorant addition to the thread~
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December 3, 2009 5:51:35 PM

What video card do you have?
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December 3, 2009 11:18:16 PM

8800 GTS but the video card will be getting replaced with a current top end card by April at the latest so for the couple months in between I will manage with a bottleneck. I do a lot of things other than just gaming such as multi-tasking and 3D Modeling/Rendering so I want to get a nice processor setup now and I will be upgrading the video card to match up to it here soon after. So as I stated ignore the video card for now because I will be coming back to take care of it shortly.
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December 3, 2009 11:20:49 PM

Order the 955 BE already.

Thread over.
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December 3, 2009 11:53:58 PM

lol I wish Not x-mas time yet xD
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December 4, 2009 4:46:18 PM

Lucrin said:
lol I wish Not x-mas time yet xD


Well ...
tell Santa you want 95w Phenom 975BE :D 
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December 4, 2009 6:43:31 PM

The 975 is basically the 965 all over again... The TDP might be lower but that will not justify the pricetag (unless you are a low power freak), might as well stick with a 955 and save your cash....
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December 4, 2009 8:57:31 PM

+1 to what ovrclkr said. he may not have vowels, but he knows his stuff.
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December 4, 2009 9:05:35 PM

thx welsh =)

how is that B50 holding up??
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December 4, 2009 11:14:51 PM

doing pretty well.

weird thing is, today i booted and only had 2 cores :o . but rebooted and im back to four. seems okay now. best quad core evah.
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December 5, 2009 12:51:32 AM

yea I unlocked mine on a 790x as well, temps do go up a bit when you go from a 550 to B50....
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December 5, 2009 1:56:11 AM

oh thats the other thing, my CPU temp monitor no longer works. so i have to kinda guess at my temps when running as a qaud core. ambient temps still read, just the CPU thermo.

the performance gain is worth it though. especially when i get my second 4890. no bottlenecking in this rig!
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December 6, 2009 5:06:01 PM

You can always put a temp probe between the cpu and the sink =)
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December 7, 2009 2:01:05 AM

thats a pretty good idea. ive never even looked for a temp probe before, no idea what one looks like.

might google it and sow how easy a job that will be...
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December 7, 2009 2:53:01 AM

welshmousepk said:
thats a pretty good idea. ive never even looked for a temp probe before, no idea what one looks like.

might google it and sow how easy a job that will be...


Normally the come with certain fan controllers :


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December 7, 2009 2:58:57 AM

nice ty.

will have to ask my local pc guys about some decent ones.
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January 8, 2010 3:46:21 AM

You really can't go terribly wrong with any cpu quad choice. They are perform very well and usually the GPU is the problem in gaming.

I would probably get a ATI 5850, a pretty good bang and has DX11.

My kid has a slow dual E5300 (2.6mhz) non overclocked, Vista 32 and a ATI 5770. His LCD is a 1240x1024 native. So far there really is not a game it can't handle maxed out. Even Crysis DX10 all maxed, only in this mode does it have any lag to it. Crysis does about 15fps better with a better cpu.
Tweaking it made it smooth again while retaining almost all the same visuals.

A 5770 is a pretty decent card, so is a Nvidia 260.

I'd probably spend a little more and go with a 5850 and skimp on the cpu some. I'd take a 5850 in a X3 over a 5770 with a I7 anyday.

I'm talking bang for the buck and noticeable improvement in the gaming experience.

You can agonize over ram, mb etc. It really does not make that much difference. Unless you trying to squeak out braggin rights in OCing.

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