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Another computer build question: Phenom II 1090T or Core i5 760

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November 7, 2010 4:02:42 AM

Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting to any computer forum. I've been doing a lot of extensive research on what to do for my next build and am having a bit of information overload- and not finding the exact answers to what I'm looking for. I'm not new to computer building and would like some constructive feedback.

I'm in the process of upgrading my system and doing so on a budget (like most of us).

My old system was an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550, 6 Gig DDR2 Crucial Ballistix, on a MSI P7N SLI motherboard. I had twin 9800GTX+'s SLI'd (which itself was upgraded from a first gen Phenom Quad 9500, which was a huge upgrade in itself, but I digress)

I've sold off the video cards and purchased on MSI Hawk GTX460 1 gb, with possible plans to SLI in the future.

I've generally been extremely happy with the Core2Quad- I haven't ever overclocked it and it's been a great system. The only real reason for me to upgrade is because the Core2Quad processor is worth a ton of money right now. So I figure I better get out of it now while I can sell it for a pretty penny.

For usage, mostly I play games like Wow, Civ 5, and tons of flight simulators (can't wait for DX11 flight sims!!), and do some VERY light photoshopping.

So now that you guys have a background, here's my dilemma:

The AMD Phenom x 6 1090T is about $230 shipped on Newegg
The Corei5 760 is $210 shipped.

The reason I'm hesitant to go with the Phenom x 6 is for my possible future upgrade I haven't heard many good things about the nVidia 980a chipset and I'm pretty much stuck with only those motherboards for SLI on the AMD chip.

With the i5 of course, that's not an issue.

I'm also purchasing (taking a risk) with open box newegg motherboards. The Asus (or MSI) 980a motherboards are roughly about $100 shipped. For the Corei5 I'm gonna go with the Asus Maximus III MicroATX (though I prefer full ATX) because they have an open box for $120 shipped.

Rest of the components are as follows:

4 or 8 gig DDR3 Ram - probably GSkill RipJaw will be bought
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CPU cooler is Coolermaster V8
Coolermaster Storm Scout Case
WD Caviar Black Hard drives (only 3.0 gb/s)
Thermaltake 550 watt PS (will upgrade to a larger one once I SLi, should be fine for now)


So what are your thoughts? I might even consider going with a 975 BS, but I almost consider that a side-grade from my Q9550.


Thanks a ton, please please constructive feedback!!
November 7, 2010 4:22:42 AM

I have been looking at the same situation for a little bit, and am considering upgrading as well... and for the money I am really leaning toward AMD right now. I have been running a Core 2 Quad for several years now and have been extremely happy. I have worked on a lot of Core i series processors, and they are great, but performance wise, $200 goes a lot farther with AMD.

I had actually been looking at the Phenom II x6 1075t, which is ordinarily a bit cheaper than the 1090, and can actually overclock better from what I've seen (to around 4.2ghz... on six cores! incredible). Although games wont utilize 6 cores for a long time, the performance there (especially with the games you mentioned) will be more than sufficient to run full settings with 460 graphics. The AM3 motherboards all seem a bit cheaper as well. The only dilemma there is, as you said, the chipset. the AMD chipsets do look alot better with their processors, but keep in mind that that 460 card you have right now is still a lot of power.

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November 7, 2010 4:24:49 AM

AMD for the budget..games dont use that much processing power.AMD phenom x6 does have issues but it will be solved in time due to the fact that most hardware during the introduction stage does have one or two issues.I still say for gaming better stick with phenom x4 but you can wait for the x6 to be in a much more later date that way most issues have already been dealt with.
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November 7, 2010 4:29:22 AM

Thanks for the replies...and Jack...the 1090T is actually $10 bucks CHEAPER than the 1075T on newegg. It's $239 for the 1075t and $229 for the 1090T BE.

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November 7, 2010 4:34:58 AM

Zulfadhli...the thing is, If I was going to stick with a quad-core setup, there's no real reason for me to upgrade at all from the Q9550 to a quad-core Phenom II. I know the i5's a quad-core, but it's a large enough upgrade to make it worth it- which is why I'm cross shopping it against the 1090.

I loved AMD for years (LOVED the K6-2 and original Athlon 64's), but I'm having a ton of trouble parting with Intel- especially since I absolutely HATED the Phenom Quad 9500.

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November 8, 2010 12:45:32 AM

Wow, I like the comparison tool. But the difference is still varies with the games you play... It definitely matters how important gaming is to you, but in the future the six cores should find more utilization and end up helping even the race there.
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November 8, 2010 1:06:50 AM

Okay so I decided to go with the i5 setup. I'm still not sold on AMD + SLi combo and that was the deciding factor. I probably would have purchased Radeon 6870, but the price I got on my MSI GTX 460 Hawk Talon Attack was too damn good to pass up.

Here's what I'm ordering -as soon as my old parts sell on ebay :D 

Core i5 760
Asus Maximus III Formula Motherboard- yes, I am spending about $50 bucks more than I had planned to on a motherboard, but this is a gorgeous, high quality board and it will look great in my case. It's $170 after a $20 mail in rebate so not bad.
4GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3 Ram- I'll upgrade to 8GB in a few weeks.

I think this will be a great gaming (and all-purpose) machine for a few years...especially when I add that second GTX 460!

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November 8, 2010 5:49:04 AM

Don't go for any setup right now.. You've an excellent setup to carry you through to the Sandy Bridge processor launch.. In fact i believe your setup will easily carry you through till the LGA 2011 launch..
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November 8, 2010 6:13:27 AM

^Absolutely true. You have a mean machine already. Wait till Jan-Feb for the Sandy Bridge (CPU). The GTX580 and the ATI's HD69xx cards are yet to come out and would be worth the wait. Let the prices settle into the market and then buy.
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November 8, 2010 6:55:59 AM

OP, I don't see why you need to upgrade, the Q9550 is still a great processor. Gaming-wise, the performance increase from it to the i5 is MINIMAL. The price you're going to pay does not justify itself for the gain IMO.
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November 8, 2010 6:28:29 PM

Wow, nice to hear....I think I will wait, if there's no reason to upgrade, then I'll keep it.

Like I said, I really have no complaints as such, other than my GPU being old. But that's been taken care of anyway with my GTX460- performance went up and the power consumption went way down to boot.

I really appreciate the advice guys, I'll just stay with my current set up rather than lose a ton of money on my ram and motherboard!
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November 8, 2010 8:20:06 PM

Another thing to consider while you wait is a Q9550 will overclock to 3.8-4ghz with some aftermarket cooling which is a ~40% upgrade.

Hoewever, a CPU upgrade/OC won't give you a significant increase in games unless you go SLI.

Q9550 is a beast for its age, especially with some OCing.
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November 16, 2010 2:50:15 AM

Guys, I had to pull the trigger. I sold my Core 2 Quad for $240 on ebay, the Ram for $90, and the motherboard for $75.

I purchased an MSI P55-GD65 motherboard for $50 shipped on ebay from a company called Velocity Micro, 4 GB DDR3 GSKill Ripjaw ram for $65 shipped, and got a Core i7 875k locally for $220. I acually made a little money out of it and got a newer machine. I don't think anyone can argue with that!
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November 16, 2010 3:51:10 AM

Lucky you.. That's an awesome deal you got on both the CPU's..
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November 16, 2010 7:01:27 AM

Thanks :)  I haven't overclocked before so I'm going to be very careful-and do a ton of research. I'll probably try out the MSI OC Genie button first- I hear that does a decent- if safe- job of overclocking the ram and cpu.
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