I’m currently building a PC and am having a tough time deciding on parts since my knowledge is horribly outdated and I have somewhat of unique needs. Here’s a brief summary of my situation:
I have a 7 year old PC, and it’s well past time for an upgrade. My goal is to build a PC which I’ll be able to play new games on for as long as possible with periodic upgrades like new graphics cards, more RAM, etc. I have a soft limit of $1k for a graphics card, ram, processor, power supply, mobo, speakers, and hard drive. I already have a case (a Cooler Master HAF 932, which I suppose we’ll have to work around) and a monitor.
I’m starting out at the beginning right now, currently deciding between an i5-750 and a Phenom II X4 955. I’ve read a few articles, including the CPU buyer’s guide posted here, and I think these two fit in well with my needs, but I’m having a tough time making the decision. Right now I’m leaning towards the Phenom, solely because of the warning in the CPU buyer’s guide that the LGA-1156 socket’s longevity may not be great, given that my biggest goal is upgradeability at this point. But I’m also sort of unsure about what this potentially low longevity means…
I mean, I’ve always thought replacing a motherboard was less an upgrade than a complete overhaul. I suppose I can envision some new graphics card technology coming out, and wanting to upgrade the motherboard but keep the same old processor, but like I’ve said, I’m sort of out of the loop when it comes to these things, so I don’t know whether this is a reasonable scenario or not. If it weren’t for this concern, I’d probably go for the i5-750.
I guess it boils down to this: is it reasonable for me to worry about buying a chip with a socket that’s likely to have a longer lifespan? Is this even a concern for anyone? If it weren’t for the CPU Buyer’s Guide post, I wouldn’t have known to worry about this. And if you want to weigh in on my decision between the i5 and the Phenom, I’d be interested in hearing other feedback as well.
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Gaming wise the difference isn't so huge, however the I5 Quad will do better than the Phenom in most other applications. As for upgrade path, why buy an average CPU then pay twice later when something better comes along from AMD sometime in the future? That's if AMD even stick to the current socket. The Phenom would probably save you some money, but the I5 Quads have the performance edge. Forget upgrade path IMO because a good CPU should give you a reasonable life and when it's no longer capable, platforms and memory type would probably have moved on anyway.
I guess I was sort of unclear about what the CPU Buyer's Guide meant by lifespan. My concern was with the hypothetical situation where I needed a new mobo to get a new graphics card slot or something like that, (some replacement for PCI express) and not being able to because no one was making mobos with 1156 chips anymore. If that's not what it was referring to I guess I'm less concerned.
I see your point, but in such a case you might need a new memory type for example...so it might not be ideal anyway. since this is hypothetical I wouldn't worry to much about it because no one knows what the future holds especially where PC tech is concerned.
For gaming, an i5 and a 955 will be identical. An i5 might get a few more FPS in some games, and the 955 might get a more more FPS in other games. For non-gaming, an i5 is a little faster, but not fast enough that you would ever notice a difference in real-world usage - you would save maybe a few seconds here or there on video editing and such, but nothing noticeable.
Both are very good - go with whichever you're more comfortable with between AMD and Intel.
Thanks a lot guys, that cleared a lot up. I guess the bottom line is that I want flexibility, since I've been out of the game for so long and am worried I'll make a major error. (something along the lines of getting an i5-600 series when I want to game) I'll probably go with the PII.