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Phenom ii x4 955 vs i5 $1000 gaming pc.

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October 7, 2009 8:16:59 AM

So I've been planning to make this AMD gaming pc (I don't need a video card, or anything else not listed)

Phenom II X4 955 - $189.00
CORSAIR 750W PSU - $120
G SKILL 4g RAM - $89
G SKILL 4g RAM - $89
ASUS MOBO - $130
Western Digital 750GB HD - $80
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $7
Windows 7 64 Pro - $135
Samsung DVDRW - $32
Antec Nine Hundred Case - 100

Total: $971


I'm wondering if I should go with the i5 instead? What is the real difference? Assume I don't overclock anything. Needs to stay under $1000.

The games won't be anything like crisis, mostly starcraft 2, diablo 3 (if either ever comes out). Other than that, just media use, programming homework, and multitasking all these things at once.

-- i'd go i7 if possible.

More about : phenom 955 1000 gaming

October 7, 2009 8:37:42 AM

^ The i5 CPUs would consume less power than the X4 955.
But you wont notice significant performance difference between the X4 955 and i5 for your usage...So I would say just toss a coin...
Some questions :
what graphics card do you have ?
why do you need a 750W PSU ?

And dont get the 750GB WD, instead get the 640GB WD Black they are one of the fastest 7200rpm drives out there...Even the 1TB would do...The 750GB ones are older than the 640 and 1TB version.
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October 7, 2009 1:18:36 PM

just using an old graphics card at the moment i'm going to upgrade it before starcraft 2 comes out, i'm not playing much right now and it's handling whatever. i'll upgrade to the then-version of the 5850 or gtx295 just to be done with it and not have to change it for a while. i'm using the 750w psu because it's what someone recommended.. would 650 be okay then?

thanks for the info on the hd
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October 7, 2009 8:23:03 PM

650 would be just fine, even in the future when you upgrade your GPU. Personally I like the intel p55 atm, you're getting great performance for less heat/wattage. BUT AMD tends to always have great upgrade paths. Why not wait it out 3 more months or so? 2010's gonna be bringing some interesting price drops I think :bounce: 

~mrcrybaby
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October 8, 2009 2:13:51 AM

my old computer is just dying, i know it's going to have it's day soon. it's 3 years old right now and i can't risk a random failure with all my class files on here... p55, that's the mobo for the i7, right?
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October 8, 2009 3:05:25 AM

P55 is the chipset for the LGA1156 i5/i7.
X58 is the chipset for the LGA1366 i7
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October 8, 2009 7:28:53 PM

okay so i put together some different machines again, just really want to make sure i don't regret anything. here are the new builds. going to purchase in 2 weeks. i'm leaning towards the i5 (OC to ~3.2). what do you think?

Phenom II X4 955 - $189.00
CORSAIR 650W PSU - $100
G SKILL 1600 4g RAM - $86
G SKILL 1600 4g RAM - $86
ASUS MOBO - $130
Western Digital 640GB HD - $75
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $7
Windows 7 64 Pro - $135
Samsung DVDRW - $32
Antec Nine Hundred Case - 100
heat sink fan - 30
~future ATI 5000+ - free now

Total: $970

core i5 - $200
CORSAIR 650W PSU - $100
G SKILL 1600 4g RAM - $86
G SKILL 1600 4g RAM - $86
EVGA MOBO - $200
Western Digital 640GB HD - $75
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $7
Windows 7 64 Pro - $135
Samsung DVDRW - $32
Antec Nine Hundred Case - 100
heatsink fan - 30
~future ATI 5000+ - free now

Total: $1051

core i7 - $280
CORSAIR 650W PSU - $100
G SKILL 6g RAM - $145
EVGA X58 MOBO - $240
Western Digital 640GB HD - $75
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $7
Windows 7 64 Pro - $135
Samsung DVDRW - $32
Antec Nine Hundred Case - 100
heatsink fan - 30
~future ATI 5000+ - free now

Total: $1144
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October 8, 2009 7:36:34 PM

I don't think you'll need more than 4GB of RAM, at least not to start. Also, I'd stay away from the i7, they're quite expensive, and the only thing special about them is hyperthreading (which is only really useful for stuff like video compressing). Personally I'd choose the i5 system anyday. Also, if you're a student you should check out ,8688.html]this article and see if you're eligible for a cheaper copy of Win 7.
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October 8, 2009 7:40:17 PM

okay, yeah i checked it out before and it's only an upgrade not the full :( 

is 4gb of ram really enough? i guess i could just buy 4 and if i want more come back a month later..
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October 8, 2009 7:42:28 PM

I would go with a i5 or x4 955 system. The i5 750 is $160 at microcenter if you have one near you. Also, they have the Asus p55 Pro for $150 there too I believe.

You could also get Windows 7 for $30 if you have a legit college email address. You validate it and they email that account with the code and steps to buy it. That would save you about $100 right there! haha

But yea IMO i5 is the best bang for your buck in your price range. Paired with a DX11 card down the road like your were saying (5850) and you would have a solid rig that will last.

edit: Ahh so its only an upgrade thats a bummer. I was going to try and get it for $30 too haha : (
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October 8, 2009 7:46:58 PM

Yes, 4GB is enough for almost anything these days, and if you really need more you can always get more later. In this case it is probably better to have less than more (as you're saving money this way :) )
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October 8, 2009 8:01:51 PM

well, now i'm thinking hell if i cut back on the ram to 4g why not just get the i7 and have a better upgrade path?
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October 8, 2009 8:49:24 PM

The i7 920(cheapest 1366 socket chip iirc) is quite a bit more expensive than the i5 or PhII(and the mobo will aswell) and i really doubt you'll notice a performance difference.

For gaming purposes, the PhII and i5 are pretty darn similar(with the i5 ranking slightly better for other stuff) but, imo, the AM3 socket has alot more future than the 1156. So id personally go for the phenom. Same performance as the i5, a bit cheaper, and a socket that you know is going to get decent upgrades.
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October 9, 2009 8:11:38 PM

Except the i5 is better, cheaper and overclocks like a monster...
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October 9, 2009 8:19:52 PM

About the OS, if you go to a University, call the IT department and see if they provide Operating systems for students. (I will keep saying this). My brother-in-law already has a Full Win 7 Professional he got for $10.00 from his university. So check it out. IT is NOT an upgrade, but the full version. No harm in calling and asking.
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October 10, 2009 1:51:02 AM

asked one of my IT professors yesterday, waiting on the answer.
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October 10, 2009 2:08:47 AM

Professors may not know, depends on the school, and you might want to go directly to the IT department (not the classes department) but IT support for students and such. Like a HelpDesk.
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