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Phenom II X4 965 vs. Core i7-950

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September 29, 2010 4:07:46 AM

Building a new computer (my first build) and trying to decide on a processor and, following that, a motherboard. I'm looking for the final product to be a strong all around machine: I tend to run around 3-4 apps at once: Browser, OneNote, iTunes, and often another Office product. I would also like to be able to use the machine as a remote desktop server for my laptop and possibly as a media server. That's the easy stuff.

The more processor-heavy stuff is as follows:
Solid Works (CAD), I don't need a workstation but I need something that can run basic CAD without the excruciating delay I have when I use it on my laptop;
Moderate data analysis: 30,000 or so data points in excel and non-linear model fitting in Matlab and Mathematica;
I also expect to be doing some fairly intense coding with modifying a Linux distro to make a new custom OS.

Just to be through, I will likely be using 64-bit Ubuntu as a primary OS and dual-booting to Win7 when I get the money to buy yet another copy.

Right now I'm deciding between the AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHz ($160) and the Intel Core i7-950 3.06 GHz ($230) and I'm stuck.

Thoughts?

More about : phenom 965 core 950

a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 6:36:06 AM

It's better not to choose between two CPUs but between two complete rigs. I say go to the Homebuilt Systems section and fill this sticky:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261222-13-build-adv...

For now I can say you will probably have to choose between the i7 and the Phenom II X6 1055T.
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 7:03:06 AM

For CAD and data analysis, the i7 will utterly flatten the PhII. Definitely get the i7.
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a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 7:14:49 AM

mosox said:
It's better not to choose between two CPUs but between two complete rigs.


Agreed, look at the build cost of the entire system, not just the CPU. An i7-based system will be more powerful but also more expensive, so your decision will ultimately come down to needs vs budget.
September 29, 2010 7:45:08 AM

mosox said:
It's better not to choose between two CPUs but between two complete rigs.

This is sound advice, but I figure I'll also be basing the other choices for my build on the CPU and optimizing within the constraint of my budget ($600) accordingly. Which means all just blow a ton on the CPU and motherboard and wait to buy a GPU till later since I have an old card and I'm not really gaming right now.

I also just found the Whetstone test data and am amazed at how soundly the i7 schools the Phenom in the floating-point arithmetic. Even the X6 1090T couldn't quite hack it. This agrees with all of your advice, it just makes my wallet sad :( 

Now I just have to read up on i7 vs. comperably priced Xeons and I'll be all set to start the process all over again for motherboards :/ 

Thank you all for your replys, this forum ROCKS.
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 8:43:12 AM

Quote:
Thats the rule of nature to get a superior commodity you have to pay more.

u talked about games earlier. so just because i7 will run a game on 120fps and a x4 at "barely" 50 fps, i7 is better.....srsly, ur paying more for performance u cant see...in other words, meaningless performance.

Adrastus said:
This is sound advice, but I figure I'll also be basing the other choices for my build on the CPU and optimizing within the constraint of my budget ($600) accordingly. Which means all just blow a ton on the CPU and motherboard and wait to buy a GPU till later since I have an old card and I'm not really gaming right now.

I also just found the Whetstone test data and am amazed at how soundly the i7 schools the Phenom in the floating-point arithmetic. Even the X6 1090T couldn't quite hack it. This agrees with all of your advice, it just makes my wallet sad :( 

Now I just have to read up on i7 vs. comperably priced Xeons and I'll be all set to start the process all over again for motherboards :/ 

Thank you all for your replys, this forum ROCKS.


@OP: have u checked the i5 760. performance is very much similar to i7 750, but price is about 200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

vs i7 950 at 300dollar http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 9:02:11 AM

Quote:
^ Then there will be games which will run 60 fls on i7 and 20 flps on x4.Then what will you do?Still say meaningless performance?Rofl.


The OP specifically stated that he's not interested in gaming right now. So what's your point? Keep it civil please. We are here to help people find the best solution to their questions, not argue with each other to try and look smart.

Adrastus, I agree that you should consider the i5-760 since it's great value for money and will perform quite close to some of the more expensive i7's.
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 2:59:16 PM

There are a few things to keep in mind. One is that the motherboard for the i7 will also be more expensive than the AM3 motherboard for the Phenom II. As far as upgrades are concerned, they're both essentially the same because the i7-980X is also LGA 1366 and it's light-years ahead of the i7-950. On the other hand, the AM3 socket will support the top-end Phenom II X6's so I'd call that a draw. Keep in mind that for maximum performance, you'll need to have RAM in multiples of 3 on the Intel board but only multiples of 2 on the AMD board.

As far as running the programs you want them to run, they'll both do it just fine. I'd save myself the $300-$400 difference on the full system cost and get the Phenom II X4 965.
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2010 4:09:04 PM

Avro Arrow said:

As far as running the programs you want them to run, they'll both do it just fine. I'd save myself the $300-$400 difference on the full system cost and get the Phenom II X4 965.

Sorry, but that's not really the case. There will be a significant and noticeable difference between the two in data analysis and CAD work, which is what the OP is doing.
October 9, 2010 4:48:23 AM

@ Sarwar_r87: Thank you for the price.value suggestion. As it turns out, I have the good fortune to live very near a Microcenter, where they have the i7 930 for $200, which Newegg simply can't compete with.

To everyone else, thank you very much for all of your replies. Because the work I'm doing, besides just day-to-day computing, will be data analysis oriented (my current project is finding a statistically robust methodology for data analysis on muon lifetime measurement using a simple scintillator: lots of Matlab, and lots of excel and Mathematica) and CAD oriented I decided to go with the i7 (the benchmarks really speak for themselves).

My final build (which I am using to post this very moment) is:

CPU: i7 930 (I'll eventually do a mild overclock to ~3.5 GHz once a can afford a better cooler)
MB: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
GPU: (cheapest thing I could find till I upgrade to a Quadro) Geforce 8400 GS ($15 after rebate!)
RAM: 6 GB 1333 OCZ kit
PSU: 700 Watt ModXstream Pro from OCZ

Ended up spending just under $650 after tax, rebates, and optical drive, and case.

Thanks again all
!