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What to buy? Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II?

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January 17, 2011 7:51:50 AM

Hey there,

I am planning to do a significant upgrade to my computer. This includes a new CPU, motherboard and RAM to fit.
For the CPUs I am wondering whether to get an
Intel Core i5-760 2.8GHz Quad-Core ($208)
http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=1515
or
AMD AM3 Phenom II x4 955 3.4GHz Quad-Core ($147)
http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=1463

For each I have selected a $99 motherboard from the same website, as well as 2x2GB DDR3-1333 RAM modules.
The clock speeds on the AM3 are better but the Core i5 supposedly has "Turbo-Boost" for when applications are not utilising all 4 cores.

Please explain the pros and cons of each so I can make a decision.

Thanks,
-Klosteral
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January 17, 2011 8:09:24 AM

For overall performance, Intel normally have the edge.

For PRICE to performance, AMD have been way ahead for years and years.

I'd say to go with the AMD. You can overclock the 955 to 4.0GHz with good air cooling, and to 4.2GHz with extreme air or water. I've just built a friends computer using the 955 and it's a properly quick chip.. get that with 4GB 1333MHz (has he did) and you'll be flying.

AMD vote from me.
January 17, 2011 9:00:54 AM

for one thing, I am not the overclocking type. My current setup only has stock speeds and fans, and my new setup will be stock - at least to begin with. I may overclock to a 3.8GHz with a couple extra fans but not much more than that.

I would like to keep the combined cost of the Motherboard and CPU at around $250AUD. That is my budget. If there is something definetely worth a little more, I can add up to $20 but certainly no more.

If you say the AMD stuff is best for Price-Performance then I will stick with the 955. Thanks :) 
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January 17, 2011 9:51:05 AM

AMD have been best for price-performance for years. There's no doubt that the top range i7's are better than the top AMD offerings for performance, but my AMD 1090T at 4.0GHz gives the very top i7 X6 a run for it's money on quite a few benchmarks.. and mine was £200 and not £700 as the Intel demands.
January 17, 2011 9:56:30 AM

Go with the i5 760 thats the one i went with over the amd 1090t (thanks to people on this forum) and im glad i did because its a beast.
January 17, 2011 10:03:54 AM

I was actually considering the AMD 955 quad (the 1090t is a hex). The 995 is only $147 while the i5 760 is $208 (while on sale).

As far as I know, the i5 is a 2.8GHz quad with 8mb cache and with 3.4GHz turboboost.
The 955 is a 3.4GHz quad which can be OC'd much higher (as shown above).

For my money, I would prefer the AMD at this stage.
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January 17, 2011 10:30:22 AM

The Intel sale price is not too shabby, but I would still suggest the AMD.
January 17, 2011 10:32:39 AM

So that is +2 for the AMD?
I think my wallet will be happy.

But performance wise, which is better and why?
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January 17, 2011 11:54:52 AM

What are you using your computer for mostly? Have you a total budget your trying to stay in? Either cpu will will perform quite well. The intel will be faster.
January 17, 2011 5:37:04 PM

Have you looked at motherboard prices? Quality AMD motherboards have been significantly less expensive so far, and a good one can be bought for ~50 USD. Your budget will thank you kindly, as well as your local power grid for AMD Cool'n'Quiet.
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January 17, 2011 5:49:35 PM

I went with the AMD x4 965. I was planning on building another Intel system, and this has been my first AMD system for years... I have no complaints. The AMD chipsets offer a lot more features and will compare to the Intel counterparts at half the price. If you want SATA3, multiple video cards, just about all the performance points you can thing about, the AMD boards will deliver it at half or 3/4 the cost of the similar equipped Intel boards.

Also, the money you save on the board and CPU can be spent on upgrading your RAM or video card. And you will still save a few bucks. :sarcastic: 
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January 17, 2011 6:00:56 PM

Why so disappointed? http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/191?vs=102

The benches between the 760 and the 965 are neck and neck. No jaw dropping reason to waste double the money unless you just want that shiny new Intel sticker on the front of your case. :D 
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January 17, 2011 6:10:11 PM

At stock speeds without any tweaking, anyone can be perfectly happy with the AMD 965, unless they have too much money in their hand.
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January 17, 2011 6:21:52 PM

Got to agree.. if you're not into overclocking I still think the cheaper AMD is the better choice. If you're happy to dabble a little into overclocking, AMD really shines as it's easy to do and clocks very well.. and still for less money.
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January 17, 2011 8:14:01 PM

I don't get why everyone is saying "AMD shines" when overclocked. Both can overclock to 4ghz and beyond.

Price for performance, the AMD build will win, especially if you don't overclock at all. Clock for clock the i5 will be 20% faster, so if you overclock the i5 to 4ghz(aftermarket cooler needed for both procs), you will definitely have a faster proc than AMD can provide.

AMD- cheaper, but less performance when both are overclocked/more features on the motherboard for less.

Intel-faster at the same clockspeed/worse price for performance for the processor and motherboard.
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January 17, 2011 8:40:59 PM

If they're both very good processors, and can both overclock well.. but one is a good chunk cheaper - that's why it shines. If you spend loads on an Intel chip you expect it to do wonders.. it's when you spend quite a bit less on an AMD and realise it can still perform amazingly that makes it stand out.
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January 17, 2011 8:52:26 PM

Quote:
They're only neck and neck because the X4 is clocked 600mhz higher. Look at clock for clock

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/191?vs=81

Why would clock to clock matter though? They don't run at the same clockspeed.

What matters is the performance, no matter how it is achieved.
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January 17, 2011 9:09:34 PM

The decision of AMD vs. Intel is usually based on price. If price is important then go AMD. If you want maximum performance then go with Intel.

Are you doing the work yourself? If so then there is NO reason not to overclock. The hard part is installing the parts, overclocking is the easy part and gives you free performance. HOWEVER, if you don't overclock then the turbo feature of the Intel chips will give you a good performance boost without overclocking.

Overclocking or not, I would recommend using a good aftermarket CPU cooler.
January 17, 2011 9:54:24 PM

I'd take the intel, very well choices in motherboards too. Especially in the lower budget mobo's

Also without any additional fans or heat sink you can overclock it beyond 4.0ghz from stock. No worries.

I'm still kickin' with my Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
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January 17, 2011 10:38:16 PM

Quote:
Because the 760 can easily be overclocked even for the most inexperienced person.

Forget them both and get a 2300

http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7097

and

http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7082


Both CPUs can be overclocked though, and once again, it's performance that matters, not clock for clock performance (since it is very unlikely that they would both hit exactly the same clock speed). Also, even though overclocking is quite easy on both CPUs, the vast majority of users will not overclock, so it isn't as relevant to most people as a lot of people here seem to think.

Clock for clock can be an interesting way to look at the architecture, but it's not a very good performance metric for an average user.
January 17, 2011 10:43:12 PM

basically if you have lots of money and don't mind spending it go for the intel , if you are on a budget your probably better with the amd
January 17, 2011 10:47:10 PM

If you're going to overclock I'd go with the Intel Core i5 hands down. Clock for Clock the intel is much faster at stock speeds you probably would see a very minor difference. I overclocked my Core i5-750 2.66ghz to 3.8ghz with a minor voltage increase. If you're not overclocking I'd go with the AMD x4.
January 17, 2011 10:54:21 PM

I have both a phenom II x4 955 @ stock and an i5 2500k @ 4.2ghz -- even when the i5 was @ stock I was shocked at the performance increase of the 2500k over the 955 ...
but the 955 was sufficient

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January 18, 2011 2:03:08 AM

I know what will settle it. Buy BOTH, then sell the rig you don't like when you're done.
January 18, 2011 7:50:47 AM

As far as I know, the x4 965 is the same as an x4 955 but it has been stock-overclocked. This seems to imply that I can overclock the 955 to the 965's level on stock cooling, though I would not be surprised because it is only going from 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz.

The fact that both the i5 and the Phenom II both perform with similar benchmarks, and the Phenom is up to $50 cheaper, then that seems to be the processor for me. The Sandy-Bridge stuff is good, but in order to get a motherboard that suits my needs (in terms of PCI expansion slots) I would be spending an extra $50 or more, as well as an extra $50 on the CPU, thus putting me $100 over budget.

This new build will be used for gaming, though anything will be an improvement over my Intel Pentium 2 Dual-Core E6300 2.8GHz (socket 775) with DDR2-800 RAM.

I think this AMD chip will do me fine, thanks for all the input.

-Klosteral
August 27, 2011 10:55:17 PM

Klosteral said:
As far as I know, the x4 965 is the same as an x4 955 but it has been stock-overclocked. This seems to imply that I can overclock the 955 to the 965's level on stock cooling, though I would not be surprised because it is only going from 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz.

The fact that both the i5 and the Phenom II both perform with similar benchmarks, and the Phenom is up to $50 cheaper, then that seems to be the processor for me. The Sandy-Bridge stuff is good, but in order to get a motherboard that suits my needs (in terms of PCI expansion slots) I would be spending an extra $50 or more, as well as an extra $50 on the CPU, thus putting me $100 over budget.

This new build will be used for gaming, though anything will be an improvement over my Intel Pentium 2 Dual-Core E6300 2.8GHz (socket 775) with DDR2-800 RAM.

I think this AMD chip will do me fine, thanks for all the input.

-Klosteral



Oh well you can always get a cheaper i-5 or i-3 then overclock/unlock some stuff on cpu if your not afraid and save money get the 8gigs of ddr3 why not? i notice a big difference between running 6gbs and 8gbs i know windows 7 ultimtate eats at least 2 gigs just running in the background on my comp plus your gunna have every damn program youu install including windows trying to do autoupdates and running in the background and it just becomes a pain in the ass to turn them all off one by one(if you even can) so thats gunna eat some more. plus i know the newer games are gunna be puttin a whopp ass on the ram of at least a gig (doom 3 only one i looked at and it's old) actually using 1.2gbs of ram right this second playing 4x4 AI on insane in starcraft 2

plus try buying the parts used over there first at a great discount of course especially stuff backed with lifetime(most ram), or triple lifetime warranties,(BFG comes to mind) , and retail processors as they usually have a 3 year warranty. or hit up Ebay and have sent to australia as junk eletronics of value $5 or less least i did that over here once to avoid paying costly tariffs. just make sure you get them to package it nice and safe or if your really paranoid get it shipping the slowest way to money towards insurance.
August 27, 2011 11:15:31 PM

...nothing in the above that the Phenom can't handle.....
August 28, 2011 12:27:42 AM

Um he hasn't told us what motherboard he is buying so how are we supposed to suggest a motherboard. I mean he says he has already picked out a motherboard...
August 28, 2011 1:56:13 AM

EDIT: Did I seriously just get tricked into a necrothread?
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August 28, 2011 2:27:57 AM

This topic has been closed by Hunter315
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