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I5 750 or Phenom II X4 955

Last response: in CPUs
March 1, 2010 4:03:55 PM


A few years ago (many years probably) I built 2 PCs for my children with the AMD Athlons because they were cheaper than the Intels. They both run really hot at 75C, reaching ridiculous temperatures, so much so that MSI,

the makers of the motherboards, sent me a modified BIOS guaranteed to let the CPU run hot without switching it down to slow speed. MSI sent me screenshots of their test system running at 95 C in order to prove to me that their modified BIOS works.

In addition to heat, the AMDs are noisy (their fans) and also cannot be overclocked.

I then built another system, with the Intel Q6600 (Quad Core) at 2.4GHz which I happily and easily overclocked to 3.2GHz and it's been running with its fan set to about 30%, whisper quiet, and at about 40C.

Suffice to say I was chaffed with the Q6600 and how fast and quiet it was and vowed never to buy AMD again.

However I am looking at buying abother PC now, and the choice is between i5 750 or Phenom II X4 955, with the Intel being 30 pounds dearer. The motherboard for the Intel is also more expensive than the equivalent for the AMD. In short for the AMD sytsem the price is 238 pounds whereas for the Intel the price is 315 pounds.

According to the charts they are both at very similar performance levels.

Which of the two, if any, would I be able to overclock the easiest without running hot and becoming noisy ?

Will the AMD run hot and almost impossible to overclock?


More about : 750 phenom 955

a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 4:08:45 PM

No, my understanding is that both are reasonably good overclockers, however the i5 (in general) is faster clock for clock.

In either case, you would not use the stock fan (they are not for OCing) so fan noise and heat is all up to you.
March 1, 2010 4:18:08 PM

Depends on what you plan on doing with the system, gaming or other, as for the fan/cooling issues, I would recommend any aftermarket cooler for both(AMD or Intel) as the stock ones just don't cut it especially if you plan to overclock. Keep in mind that if you are on a budget and plan to overclock, AMD may be the better choice since the Phenom II X4 955 BE has an unlocked multiplier and can easily be overclocked. The Intel is one Tier above the AMD (,254... ) But like you said, it cost more. Ultimately it is up to you and how you plan on using your, if you are geared towards CPU intensive programs or more gaming, then saving your money with the AMD, and putting that towards a better video card or something...
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a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 5:03:42 PM

The OC room for i5-750 is much greater.

i5-750: 2.66GHz -> 4.2GHz : 1.6GHz OC room
PII-955: 3.2GHz -> 3.8GHz/4.0GHz : 0.6GHz/0.8GHz OC room

In addition, i5-750@2.66Ghz beats the 955@3.2GHz. Imagine what would happen when i5-750 is OCed to 4.2Ghz!

However, I would go for PII-955 considering its 75 pounds less unless you are going to get 2 high end GFX in SLI/CF.
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 6:46:22 PM

Well, although that (^) point is definitely true, I'd almost just say the stock clocks on the i5 are 2.8GHz as I don't think I've ever seen mine run slower than that.
March 1, 2010 7:02:14 PM


I just checked prices again, the Intel + motherboard combo would cost 78 pounds extra.

For VGA I have selected the 5770 - combination of speed, features and price.


a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 7:12:23 PM

78 sounds a bit steep for the benefits an i5 has over the phenom. What parts are you considering?
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 7:48:00 PM

Unless you're high-end gaming or doing intensive work like video and graphics then go Phenom II 955 BE, get a decent cooler (Cooler Master Hyper 212?) and overclock it.
a b à CPUs
March 1, 2010 8:10:14 PM

Would 5830's be high end? :lol: 

OK, my mistake. PII-955 will also bottleneck mid range HD5830/HD4890.

PII with 4890 CF is worse than i7+4870 CF. It means that PII is already bottlenecking the HD4890 CF

March 1, 2010 8:24:34 PM

Go for the i5!! Better performance, and huge overclocking headroom. The current phenoms are starting to get a little bit old..
March 1, 2010 8:32:09 PM

I run them both actually and they are very close in performance. They both are great overclockers. In my opinion the AMD is better for several reasons.
March 1, 2010 8:33:40 PM

I am in the process of building a new system and considered the very same question. After looking at about 1500 reviews of both, comparisons, bench marks and the like.

I went with my gut and ordered the i5.

I can't point to any one thing that said i5 is the best fit for me, more or less a culmination of everything I read, lead me to that conclusion.

After a lot of additoinal reading I settled with an i5 750 an an ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156. This may be more than what you are budgeting for, but for longevity it had the right fit for me. USB 3.0 support along with 6GB SATA.

March 2, 2010 11:06:30 AM

Yes AMD CPU's to ted to get hot and their FAN's are just pissing off, but you could install a aftermarket CPU cooler that will cost you extra so better go with an i5 system.

The AMD Phenom II 955 is a very good overclocker,you can overclock by just increasing it's multiplier ( back edition with unlocked multiplier). Therefore no change in FSB or any voltage
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2010 11:53:11 AM

The i5's terrible little cooler lets it get quite hot as well. Get an AM cooler either way.
March 2, 2010 11:59:29 AM

I went with the following:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2010 12:04:37 PM

As did I. Great cooler for the price (and works on Intel or AMD).
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2010 5:18:47 PM

What speed tho? I'm at 4.2Ghz now and with the addition of my Feser rad tomorrow am hoping for 4.3-4.4 :) 

You actually spend much more than i5-750 system when you push PII to 4.4 with liquid cooling.

Besides, expect i5-750@4.2GHz to beeat PII@4.4GHz to the pulp considering 750@2.66GHz beats 955@3.2GHz.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2010 5:51:11 PM

EXT64 said:
The i5's terrible little cooler lets it get quite hot as well. Get an AM cooler either way.

How bad is it? Will it be sufficient for an i5 at stock?
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2010 7:39:52 PM

Well, I didn't use it (just second hand info). Sure it is sufficient at stock, but the temperatures are higher than I would prefer. But then again, I like really low temps.