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AMD Phenom II x4 955 vs Intel Core i7 930

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March 6, 2010 10:43:03 PM

*FIRST OFF DONT JUST JUDGE THIS AS A PERFORMANCE DEBATE

I run a "old computer"(to today's standards), a good ol amd athlon 64 1.8ghz but as it is "really old" i was looking at new building a new computer. So here's my dilemma, if i go with the i7 combo i have to buy a new video card, and i wanted to wait till some newer Direct X 11 cards from nvidia(Im a ubuntu linux/windows xp user so the drivers work good on linux i know, havent tried the newer ati cards on linux yet).

Pro's for AMD Combo
-Cheaper(I've priced the combo around $250-300)
-Built in Video Card so no need to upgrade just yet

Pro's for Intel Combo
-Faster

So to wrap it all up, here's my question: Is the performance boost from the i7 worth the extra money?
a b à CPUs
March 6, 2010 11:07:40 PM

You've confused me - why do you have to buy a new card if you go the Intel route only?

If your existing card is AGP then you'll have to get a new card regardless, however if it's PCI-E then it'll work with whatever new system you go with.

If you're coming from integrated graphics then you can get something dead cheap like a GeForce 210 ($40) and use that until the Fermi cards come out. Alternatively, hold fire until the end of the month then Fermi will be out.

As for which system to go with, it depends entirely on what you're doing with your system. Here's the breakdown:

If you're only gaming with a single graphics card then the Phenom II will serve you well.

If you're gaming with two or more graphics cards then go i7 on X58 - the extra CPU power will keep the high-end cards coming up and in the future well fed with data. You can get away with the Phenom II for the next 2 years I reckon, but who knows what crazy CPU power will be needed for games and GPU hardware after that (plus you have at least 2 full 16x PCI-E slots).

If you're doing basic office tasks, Phenom II is more than fine

If you're doing heavy number-crunching (like big Excel workbooks) Intel is your better bet, but a i5-750 system will be more cost-effective.

If you're doing seriously intensive CPU operations (graphics, 3D, video, etc.) then it's the i7 all the way.


So, if you're doing stuff on your computer that needs some grunt, the i7 will crush anything AMD has.

On a related note:

If you're not planning on overclocking then you might as well go with the i7 930 (if you decide on Intel) as it's a bit faster, otherwise save the extra cash and get a 920 and overclock to match - both chips will hit 3.2GHz easily on the stock cooler without heat worries.
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2010 12:13:02 AM

+1 for LePhuronn

Also, you can go the cheaper 1156 i5/i7 route, the i5 quad or i7 860 rig will cost about $100-$200 less than the 1366 i7 930 route.
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2010 12:34:34 AM

Absolute performance: i7 >> PII

Cost-performance ratio: PII >> i7

Quote:
So to wrap it all up, here's my question: Is the performance boost from the i7 worth the extra money?

No.

Why don't you consider i5-750 which is excellent in both performance and cost-performance ratio?

Have a read at the article in the following link if you are interested in the relative performance between LGA1366 i7, LGA1156 i7, i5-750 and PII-955.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2010 1:30:32 AM

AMD chips perform very well in linux.
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2010 4:38:15 PM

It sounds like if you are living with a 6-8 year old PC and not caring about graphics much then maybe you should be looking at something lower on the totem pole. Maybe an AMD 430 or 630.

An important note for linux: you might also want to look for an older, more mature motherboard to go with that.

I'm pretty sure because there are only 3 choices of chipsets when it comes to 1156 and 1366 Linux support should be good for any Intel solution.
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