Intel vs. AMD for a Gaming Build

So ... I'm considering building a new PC in the next month or so ... and normally in the past I have followed buyer's guides for the most part ... but I discovered these forums and I've learned a lot just by reading what people have to say.

It got me thinking about AMD, since everyone seems alright with using them. I used to really like AMD chips, thought they were a great bang for your buck ... but recently I always figured I'd get an Intel.

So I specced out these two systems with as similar items as possible. The main differences are the Motherboard/CPU/Memory. 6GB with Intel 8GB with AMD.

If all I really do with the computer is game primarily, and browse the web/use Office ... is 8 GB of memory going to make a difference over 4? I see many people just going with 4 Gigs and I'm not sure if I'm overspending.

Also, if I do go Intel, I'd lean towards the i7 920 chip ... because I think Hyper-threading is good and the quad core chip seems to be the newest thing (excepting the hyper-expensive six core chips) ... but I've been told that if all I'm doing is gaming, I should just go with an i5 750 and call it a day.

Another thing I've heard is to just buy a 2 core AMD chip and force it to be a quad core.

So the builds are as follows: (the AMD is ~$1330 and the Intel is ~$1440)

(I forgot to add the CPU Cooler to the Intel, so just add $35 to that build which brings it to $1440)

Ideally I'd like to knock some of the price off ... but I don't think I'd be able to do that significantly without losing the 5870.

Any/All suggestions are welcome (as long as they're constructive)

Thanks for the input and the time

7 answers Last reply
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  1. Oh, and as far as budget goes ... If I could manage it down to $1000 that'd be great (but unrealistic), $1250 would be good, $1500 or so as a soft max after taxes. I still have to buy Windows 7 ... but I can get a discounted copy being a grad student for like $70.

    I've got a 250GB hard drive in my current computer I'll probably bring over just for backup/storage ... and an external 1TB Western Digital drive (only USB 2.0) that I use for serious backup/storage.

    24" Dell monitor 1920x1200 native resolution ... speakers/mouse/keyboard all taken care of ...
  2. Definitely neither of those. If you're willing to spend $1,500:

    CPU: i5-750 $200
    Mobo: Gigabtye GA-P55A-UD3 $135
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    GPU: HD 5970 $700
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $90
    PSU: Corsair 750W 80+ $100 after rebate
    Case: HAF 922 $90
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $23

    Total: $1,453.

    Running down the parts list:

    CPU: This is the best gaming CPU out there. It performs as well as the i7-920 in games, and costs around $300 less for the base build.
    Mobo: No Crossfire support, but with the 5970, you won't need it.
    RAM: 4 GB is more than enough for a gaming build. These sticks also overclock very well.
    GPU: Best card ever made. Absolute overkill for everything except Eyefinity.
    HDD: Just as fast as the brand new WD "6 GBps" drive, but at 75% of the cost.
    PSU: Very high quality unit. That OCZ you picked was iffy.
  3. Do you think the extra $300 for the 5970 over the 5870 is worth it?

    I'm inclined to just regain that $300 and go with your other suggestions, drop the PSU to a lower power unit, and leave it at that.
  4. Yes. The 5970 is two 5870s on the same card. So to be technical, it's a deal. 2x 5870s would cost $760+, where the 5970 is only $700, and you can still Crossfire it later. You will not have to upgrade it before the rest of the build.

    However, the 5970 is overkill for anything right now, as long as you're not using Eyefinity. So, you could easily make these changes, with the idea to Crossfire later and not see a huge noticeable drop in performance:

    Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $190
    GPU: HD 5870 $380

    Total w/ above: $1,188.
  5. Because they're 2 5870s and underclocked ... without water cooling would it be possible to overclock the 5970 to the point where it would perform appropriately to its innards?
  6. (I don't use water cooling)
  7. Yes, it is easy to get the 5970 up to the level of CF 5870s. The newer cards can be overclocked a lot.
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