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Intel Core i7 950 VS AMD Phenom II X6 1090T

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October 31, 2010 6:48:12 PM

Well...I know there has already been a thread about this. But I am still undecided about which one that I should go for.

I have also read about the benchmarks. For render the H.264 pass, the phenom II x6 is slightly better.

However, I am not only doing video encoding, I am also doing or working with database, program, photoshop and other 3D rendering.

I have also done some research on both of these CPU, but most of the reviews are really biased and out there there are also lots of fanboys.

I would really like somebody could give me a real pro and con about these two CPU. If one is better or worse than another, please state the ratio of how one is better than another.

For instance, a certain CPU could render a video for ten minutes, while other does the same thing but takes only 7 minutes or 5 minutes...And that's the ratio I am talking about.

When choosing CPU, it does really bug me. I have spent more than six hours each day doing my research but I cannot really come to the conclusion.
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October 31, 2010 8:22:02 PM

The overall cost of the AMD system will be lower than the Intel system, but to be honest I don't care what the benchmarks say I've run systems using these two side-by-side for Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro and the i7 romps all over the X6.

I'd go for the i7 personally and then you have the option of grabbing a hexacore in the future.
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October 31, 2010 8:52:19 PM

[rant]I really wish the reviews out there showed the i7 and X6 on even ground. Turbo mode(I've noticed on my 920) boosts the cores up 1 bin when 4+ threads are active, so a 2.66ghz i7 is really 2.8ghz(so the 950 is really 3.2ghz when 4+ threads are used too); I hate that so much, it seems like a lie. Reviewers need to make the i7 3.2ghz against the X6's 3.2ghz, so we are able to see which is better at the same clockspeed.[/rant]

Overall, the i7 would probably be better.
Photoshop: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-...
Encoding: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-...
3D: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-...

Thuban can be slightly better when all 6 cores are being used effectively, but most of the time I7 wins.
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October 31, 2010 8:59:53 PM

But won't i7 950 be a bit harder to overclock? I already have the intel i7 965 extreme, which is the one I am currently using. I managed to overclock it to 3.7 with turbo boost turned on.

I heard that the phenom II x6 is hell easy to overclock as it is unlocked.

I just wanna achieve 3.9 - 40 with air cooling.
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October 31, 2010 9:11:17 PM

jinkazuya said:
But won't i7 950 be a bit harder to overclock? I already have the intel i7 965 extreme, which is the one I am currently using. I managed to overclock it to 3.7 with turbo boost turned on.

I heard that the phenom II x6 is hell easy to overclock as it is unlocked.

I just wanna achieve 3.9 - 40 with air cooling.

If you already have an i7 at ~3.9ghz the benefit of a new one is next to nothing :sweat: 

The i7 is really easy to overclock even with a locked multiplier, the biggest problem is the memory speed, but that isn't really a big deal. I've done overclocking on the stock cooler up to 3.4ghz( C0 920), it was really simple, but I didn't want to leave it there since I don't really need the speed yet and it was at 80C full load.
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October 31, 2010 9:11:22 PM

all i7s hit 3.8GHz and above unless you have a really bad one, but you're running an Extreme Edition i7 at 3.7GHz so what's the problem?!?!

Get a good air cooler (Venomous-X, Megahalems, NH-D14, Silver Arrow) and jiggle with the BCLK and Uncore until you get it up.

There's plenty of guides out there on how to do it properly.

The i7 965 is a C0 stepping which isn't a great overclocker - it may be an Extreme edition so it's best of the bunch, but the C0 takes more voltage to get up. Plus leaving Turbo Boost on will unbalance your overclock.

Unlocked multipliers just make it convenient to overclock, but just taking the multi up doesn't guarantee stability - you still need to deal with voltages and heat, and sometimes you just have inferior silicon and you just can't push it. And your RAM will play a part too as it's all tied together.

i7 950 is D0 stepping and a monster overclocker - get a mighty cooler, set BCLK to 200, CPU Multiplier to 20, RAM multipler to 8 and QPI to 18 and maybe Vcore to 1.3V (for now) and give it a whirl - bam! 4GHz with 1600MHz memory.

If your temps at 100% CPU load (Prime95) don't go above 75 degrees within 15 minutes then you can start taking Vcore down until you're confident to do burn-in tests (probably around 1.25V, and often you can take it lower than that).

That, of course, is the vague overview - it's all very dependant on all the bits in your system.
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October 31, 2010 9:18:19 PM

Haserath said:
[rant]I really wish the reviews out there showed the i7 and X6 on even ground. Turbo mode(I've noticed on my 920) boosts the cores up 1 bin when 4+ threads are active, so a 2.66ghz i7 is really 2.8ghz(so the 950 is really 3.2ghz when 4+ threads are used too); I hate that so much, it seems like a lie. Reviewers need to make the i7 3.2ghz against the X6's 3.2ghz, so we are able to see which is better at the same clockspeed.[/rant]


Um, no. The 920 is a 2.66GHz part, end of story. It has the capability of temporarily ramping a single core up a notch to 2.8GHz when needed, but all 4 cores will never go there.

And reviewers run benchmarks at a processor's stock settings - comparing a stock X6 at 3.2GHz with an overclocked i7 920 at 3.2GHZ IS a lie, and will see the i7 romp all over the X6 even more than it does now.

Clock-for-clock, Nehalem kicks Thuban into touch, always will (X6 is just a X4 with two extra cores after all).
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November 1, 2010 12:40:05 PM

Ok...I get it....Although I have had the i7 965, I would like to build another one and this time is phenom II x6 vs intel i7 950.

SO just wanna finalize this:
So you guys' advice is to go for intel i7 950 right? And not phenom II x6? Is it correct?

Because this build is gonna be oriented towards editing and rendering usage.
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November 1, 2010 12:45:20 PM

i7 950 all the way.
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November 1, 2010 4:25:27 PM

If you already have i7 965 why not wait 2 months till SandyBridge?
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