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The old AM3 or 1366 chestnut - which to build around?

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December 19, 2009 9:14:51 AM

I am building a new pure gaming rig. And I came across this old thread

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-260804_10_0.ht...

I’m now in the same position as the OP and I have to admit, after reading the thread, I’m still undecided. However, the thread is 8 months old and I’m curious if people’s views have changed.

I’m trying to choose between AM3 socket and the 1366 and I’m interested in how long either will last as the base of a viable gaming rig into the future (while I recognise that future proofing is impossible)

Bang for buck, the phenom is the better buy right now but my wish (my wish, my wish, my wish) is to build a rig to last (I expect to upgrade graphics cards, increase the RAM and possibly upgrade the processor if the socket remains usaeble) for four years (oh, my, what a wish).

The games I’ll be playing will be rpgs like Fallout, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Strategy games like Total War and Civilisation. I don’t need to play Crysis or the latest FPS. (oh yeah, and I game at 1240 x 1024 res)

So I want to ask a couple of unanswerable questions .

1.Let’s just assume that both sockets become obsolete six months after I’ve built the pc. Which of the two processors will be more capable of handling the vagaries and unknown complexities of future games? From my layman’s understanding of it, the i7 920 is the better processor. In terms of quad core power and bottle neck avoidance, which will last me longer? As far as I understand it, the i7 is way ahead?

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

2.Let’s assume the sockets don’t become obsolete just yet. I’ve read forums and reports that AM3 is supposed to be around for another year. It will be compatible with the hexacore (?) processor AMD are preparing (The Thuban?). While the gulftown processor will be 1366 socket compatible. These processors aren’t out in the market yet, but is there any information about how they will run. Does either offer a better upgrade path than the other? Is either potentially a far better processor than the other?

3.Would I be better buying an HD 5850 card and building a cheap dual core processor rig for half the price of the i7 and then in 18 months time, see what I can buy and build with the money I saved this time around, crossfiring the 5850?

Thanks, in advance. :o 

More about : am3 1366 chestnut build

December 19, 2009 9:46:14 AM

Pick AM3 ones, more futureproof. for AM4 processors to work with AM3.
December 19, 2009 9:53:39 AM

the phenom rig with the 5850
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December 19, 2009 10:03:50 AM

For myself I have built an i7 gaming rig and for my sister I have built an AM3 rig. I run the 920 and she runs the X4 955 BE and I must say, when working on either one of them I don't realy notice a difference. I have put my GFX card in her computer for a few hours and ran some tests and games with the HD4850 and the gaming experience was 100% the same. Where I would get 25 fps in crysis she would too so the i7 isn't realy much better then the 955 in this case. However, when you start working with SLI or Xfire you sill notice a difference in frame rates but that's not something I have experienced myself but rather read about it.

When it comes down to pure performance the i7 wins but if it comes to down to costs clearly the X4 wins. It's realy up to you. Why did I buy the i7? First of all, my grandfather sponsord me and second, an i7 rig is just so much more show off than an X4 in my opinion even though it's not always justified.

So to answer your first question:

IF one of the sockets becomes obsolete, which will not happen just yet, you'd be better of with an X58 motherboard/processor. One of the things that made me buy an X58 board is the fact that Intel is reserving this chipset for High-End only (hence the higher show off level :D ) and second, the made me believe that would bring out more processors for the X58, which they did even though the "new" processors are really just small redone processor and not really upgrade worthy.

2. AMD is going to release hexacores and so is Intel but something tells me both of these will be overpriced in the beginning. The X980 intel is preparing will go for 999 dollars so yeah, I would go for the X58 if you are planning to buy a hexacore. And even if AMD releases low priced hexacores they would probably compete with the i7 you have today, but that's just a gues and I'm not playing intel fanboy here.

3. As for the graphics card, I'm in the same position. I still have an HD4850, which plays everything highest really, except for Crysis. My plan is to wait for nVidia's response, even if it sucks, it might still make AMD drop their prices. If you realy need a graphcis card NOW I'd go for a cheap solution such as the HD5770 because atleast they are available? You pay 130 euro's and you could probably sell it in 5 months for like 80 euro's or more barely making a loss.

I'm not realy for the Xfire solution even though I'm preparing my case for one in the future. I'd say, don't go crossfire. Buy one card now and a second when you can't keep up anymore. If I'd buy a second HD4850 I'd still be able to play the newest games in a year seeing as I can play all new games highest right now.

My rig:

Gigabyte UD4P X58
6GB Kingston cheap-ass-without-a-heatspreader-value-kit (3x2GB) More than 1333MHz is useless unless you're overclocking imo.
920 C0 @ 2.66GHz and It's watercooled, a shame realy, but I don't see why I should overclock when there's no need for it. It's not like it's bottlenecked.
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500 Watt (don't be fooled, always go for a +500 Watt if you're even considdering upgrading to Xfire or SLI.) 500 Watt can handle dual 5850 easily.


Oh, I just read your resolution, make room for a decent monitor in your budget.


Final words,

I'm not english, but I tried.

And...

If I were you, I'd still go with that i7. If you do go for the X4 I don't think you will regret it. Since I don't know what your budget is so I can't realy make decisions for you. Anything below 800 would be an X4 rig for me anything above 1000 would be i7, euro's that is.

* My opinions are my opinions only and may change after reading certain comments pointing out certain isues of certain products.
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2009 10:04:58 AM

AM3 ? yeah sure the AM4 CPU will work in the old socket - but by sticking to old socket designs AMD limit their development potential.

LGA1366 is on Intels road map for several years and so is LGA1156 - both of which are due to go to 6/8 cores sometime next year.


The current top of the pile performance wise is the i7 9** series.... soon to be topped by i9's

So settle for what might be better on an old socket.... or go with intel now knowing their next CPU's on the existing socket will be quicker still.


AMD have barely caught up with the old LGA775 chips let alone get on even ground with i5/i7/i9
December 19, 2009 10:09:06 AM

I can't edit my post but I miswrote alot of wouldn't s with would's.

You can't go wrong basicly and futureproofness is bullshit in my opinion. It's something I held on too very hard when building my rig but when it all comes together you'll see it doesn't realy matter. My rig, along with a newer GFX card, will last for another 2 to 3 years and after that there's no way I'd be upgrading any component (except for the GFX card). I rather buy a new rig every 3-4 years then keeping myself busy with upgrading things. You're always better of building something from the ground up.

You wan't high end performance now? i7
You want low cost and still have some high performance? X4
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2009 11:25:35 AM

greasy dave said:
I am building a new pure gaming rig. And I came across this old thread

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-260804_10_0.ht...

I’m now in the same position as the OP and I have to admit, after reading the thread, I’m still undecided. However, the thread is 8 months old and I’m curious if people’s views have changed.

I’m trying to choose between AM3 socket and the 1366 and I’m interested in how long either will last as the base of a viable gaming rig into the future (while I recognise that future proofing is impossible)

Bang for buck, the phenom is the better buy right now but my wish (my wish, my wish, my wish) is to build a rig to last (I expect to upgrade graphics cards, increase the RAM and possibly upgrade the processor if the socket remains usaeble) for four years (oh, my, what a wish).

The games I’ll be playing will be rpgs like Fallout, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Strategy games like Total War and Civilisation. I don’t need to play Crysis or the latest FPS. (oh yeah, and I game at 1240 x 1024 res)

So I want to ask a couple of unanswerable questions .

1.Let’s just assume that both sockets become obsolete six months after I’ve built the pc. Which of the two processors will be more capable of handling the vagaries and unknown complexities of future games? From my layman’s understanding of it, the i7 920 is the better processor. In terms of quad core power and bottle neck avoidance, which will last me longer? As far as I understand it, the i7 is way ahead?

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

2.Let’s assume the sockets don’t become obsolete just yet. I’ve read forums and reports that AM3 is supposed to be around for another year. It will be compatible with the hexacore (?) processor AMD are preparing (The Thuban?). While the gulftown processor will be 1366 socket compatible. These processors aren’t out in the market yet, but is there any information about how they will run. Does either offer a better upgrade path than the other? Is either potentially a far better processor than the other?

3.Would I be better buying an HD 5850 card and building a cheap dual core processor rig for half the price of the i7 and then in 18 months time, see what I can buy and build with the money I saved this time around, crossfiring the 5850?

Thanks, in advance. :o 


Well lets just brake down those questions.

Quote:
1.Let’s just assume that both sockets become obsolete six months after I’ve built the pc. Which of the two processors will be more capable of handling the vagaries and unknown complexities of future games? From my layman’s understanding of it, the i7 920 is the better processor. In terms of quad core power and bottle neck avoidance, which will last me longer? As far as I understand it, the i7 is way ahead?


Under that idea of thinking. Yes, the I7 is a better long term cpu. Due to the 8 threads, it a better multi-tasker than the Phenom II x4. Also the Micro-architecture is better laid out in the i7 than the phenom II x 4 so it mean the cpu can get more work done at the same GHz.

Quote:
2.Let’s assume the sockets don’t become obsolete just yet. I’ve read forums and reports that AM3 is supposed to be around for another year. It will be compatible with the hexacore (?) processor AMD are preparing (The Thuban?). While the gulftown processor will be 1366 socket compatible. These processors aren’t out in the market yet, but is there any information about how they will run. Does either offer a better upgrade path than the other? Is either potentially a far better processor than the other?


Phenom II x6 will be compatible with current AM3 board and the Core i9/7 (things are confusing for us with names) will be compatible with current lga 1336, X58 motherboards.

For how they run, They should run the same like the quad core brothers. Just 2 extra cores for both. (well the core i9 will get 4 extra threads. 2 threads per core.)

For upgrade paths, they offer about the same. i dont think anyone here can truly say how long each socket will last.

For "Is either potentially a far better processor than the other?", As i said for how they run, there going to run like there quad core brothers. Core i7 beats phenom II x4 which would equal core i9 beats phenom II x6.

Quote:
3.Would I be better buying an HD 5850 card and building a cheap dual core processor rig for half the price of the i7 and then in 18 months time, see what I can buy and build with the money I saved this time around, crossfiring the 5850?


It's your choice on cpus.

Although at thoughs resolutions, a 5850 is more than powerful enough to run high percentage of games at max settings.

Although for todays games, we would recommend a tri or quad core cpu to give your games and gpu enough beathing room to run at full.
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2009 12:34:09 PM

Show me a link saying that am4 will work in am3.
December 19, 2009 1:33:59 PM

Thanks for all your answers, it's definitely given me alot to think about.

Regards budget, I'm in the Czech Republic and the an i7 920 rig is right on the top end of the money I've got to spend, a little over 1,500 dollars. A phenom X4 rig would price in 200 dollars cheaper and be a comfortable buy.

I built an Athlon XP pc five years ago, with an AGP 8x 128mb GPU, both of which went obsolete six months after I'd built the thing. I was pretty annoyed. Fotrunately I was able to keep it going because Saphire produced a 512 MB Gpu AGP 8x a couple of years back. My techie friend said there was no way the athlon xp would be able to handle the speed of the card, but he had to eat his words and I got another couple of years out of the machine.

I was tempted to stay with AMD because of the cost. But I'm also thinking 2 years down the line which is more likely to still be able to keep up (if such a thing is possible), and which could I affordably upgrade - though noone knows what prices the future cpu's will be at or how they'll be able to fit the socket, chipset and bios etc. Intel: expensive. AMD: less expensive :sarcastic: