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High end AM3 vs midrange i7

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September 7, 2010 7:05:03 AM

Mid-range i7 being:
evga SLI LE/SLI3, or suggest a good ASUS one
i7 930/950
6GB DDR3 1600 (probably G.Skill variety)
2x GTX 460 + 9800GT physx (I already have the 9800GT)

High-end AM3 being:
ASUS Crosshair IV Forumula
1090T/Phenom II X4 965
8GB DDR3 1600
2x HD5850

Parts in common would be:
HAF-X
CM V8 HSF
Corsair 850HX
1TB Seagate Barraduca, 300GB WD Velociraptor

I will be gaming @ 1920x1200. My budget is about $1500 USD

Now I have always been fond of certain brands from reliability. I like ASUS mobos, nVidia GPUs, and Corsair mem/PSU. My question is which system should I go for? I read that getting the 965 (no hyperthreading) would be like getting a dual core six months ago. I really have no use for a 6 core CPU so I'd probably take the 965 over the 1090t to save a little money. If I switch to AM3 then I'd have to give up nVidia and go for ATI which I really do NOT like but if the pros outweigh the cons then I'll take the risk.

Another thing I was thinking is minor: color scheme.
With the AM3 I could have a theme thing going on, Red and black everything (minus the PSU obviously but nobody will see that but me. Intel the only thing out of place would probably be the graphics, as I will probably go with Gigabyte and they have blue PCBs. If I got the 5850s then it would def be ASUS.

SO, thoughts on these builds? Is switching to ATI worth it?


More about : high end am3 midrange

September 7, 2010 7:32:12 AM

^ ATI in general have some very good GPUs...but currently the GTX 460 SLI is the best performance/ value...

As for the 965, if this is mainly going to be a gaming PC, then I doubt you would notice any significant performance increase with the i7 over the 965 or even better the i5 760...
Also you should know that both the LGA 1156 and the LGA 1366 sockets will be replaced by 2011...And there is a possibility that next-gen AMD CPUs might be compatible with the current AM3 socket, but not sure though...

So if you just want the current best for GTX 460 SLI + 9800GT for PhysX, then the LGA 1366 is the best option...And if you are the type who upgrades the computer on a whole rather than upgrading parts, then the socket replacement wont matter as you still have a very powerful CPU and can upgrade to a whole new platform later on when you rebuild...So its upto you...

Mobo options if going with i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 7, 2010 10:33:14 AM

Personally, if I were looking for the best gaming build whilst also not wasting money, it would be an i5 760 with Asus P7P55D E Pro motherboard (Hyperthreading is meaningless for gaming as even 4 cores is more than enough). 4gb of G Skill ECO RAM 1600mhz CL7 (anymore than that is pointless for gaming).
For GPUs it would probably be 2 x 1gb GTX60s, even though the 470s are more powerful the design and price/performance of GTX460s is better.

I would only buy a HAF 922 as the X is unnecessary, 750W provides enough juice for OCing and the multi cards so I would not go higher than that.

I would go with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 because it is a great performing HDD.

With the money saved I would consider a decent Solid State Drive.
Related resources
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 7, 2010 11:43:34 AM

Did I see a 300GB Raptor there?
Drop the Raptor and get a 60-90GB SSD instead. SSDs are a lot faster.
September 7, 2010 1:47:07 PM

Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I will be using Photoshop and Gimp but only lightly. The SSD sounds like a good idea but I really can't afford one. I want all my main apps on the Raptor (boot OS, Skype, AIM, Chrome, Firefox, AV program, various other minor ones) and use the 1TB for games, media and all my school stuff. I don't think what I want on the Raptor will fit onto an SSD that has the capacity I need and in an affordable price range.
September 7, 2010 2:12:08 PM

Well for the price of 2 Raptors in RAID 0 I might as well get an SSD.....

@ esteldian

I want the HAF X because I think it will be a great case that I can use over and over for a few years to come. The 922 only gets me so far and I am not really looking to buy a case every time I upgrade. I'm one of the people that get everything at the same time and not little piece by piece. Same principle goes with the 850W. Corsair is reliable (I've had a few) and I want it to be a little future proof.
September 7, 2010 2:35:08 PM

Define upgrade? The build will last you 3-5 years before you need to replace it, and even then you could reuse the Haf 922. Pretty sure the HAF 922 fits pretty much anything around, if GPUs get any bigger than they currently are they would have to start comingi n their own case! :p  After 3-5 years you'll be wanting to replace the PSu anyway assuming you use the PC alot - but I do see your point that its good in case you upgrade your GPUs with this build so fair enough.

None of that was too important though, my main change would be i5 760 build. The mone saved would even allow for a decent SSD if you really want one

This is the kind of gaming build I would do (Instead of high end AMD build I would go high end i5 760. Also, as gaming is your main focus I beleive, I would pick this over the i7)

i5 760 + Asus P7P55D E Pro - $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GTX 460 MSI Cyclone 1gb - $205 ($410 for 2)(Has HDMI connection)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 900 + XFX 750W PSU - $160 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G Skill 1600mhz RAM - $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dark Knight Cooler - $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1149

Plenty of power for OCing both cards and the CPU. Great case for cooling, good CPU cooler for OCing.

That should leave enough spare cash for you to get an SSD of a fair size. Juggling with the combos you may also be able to change the case to the HAF X if you really want it, and also go for a more powerful PSU if you feel the need
!