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Intel or AMD? $1,000-$1,300 gaming build

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October 25, 2010 5:13:02 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: November black friday/monday deals at latest

Budget Range: $1,000-$1,400 not including mouse/keyboard

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Building from scratch so everything. Will probably buy mouse and keyboard at a later date though

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tiger Direct, Amazon, or Newegg I don't have a preference but will have to pay tax at Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:Cool and Quiet, best price/performance

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes in about a year or whenever the upgrade seems necessary

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

I am tired of trying to play games on my laptop so going to build a gaming rig. I don't have any parts or software to start. This is pretty much solely going to be used for gaming and watching movies. I'd like to play the latest games (even stuff out in the next few months) at max on 1920x1080 then maybe pick up another card and SLI/CF when an upgrade is needed. Hoping for 2-4 years out of the rig. I would like to keep it around $1,000-1,400 including monitor but minus the peripherals like keyboard and mouse.

Which build is better?
AMD build is obviously going to be cheaper but what am I losing by going that route? And lets say AMD keeps on using the AM3 socket... is it worth investing in a Phenom build now? If I go the 1156 route will the i5 be able to keep up in 2-4 years? or not, rendering the p7p55d-e pro useless? I am a bit strapped for cash but would like to get the best price/performance.

GPU Choice
I am sort of at a loss choosing an AMD or Nvidia graphics card. I'm not experienced enough to be able to sift through all the trolling -_-. I would probably go with the 6850 (maybe 6870?) but I have these concerns with AMD.
Do AMD's drivers really make certain games/multi GPU setups unplayable?
Do AMD GPU's operate/OC better with AMD processors (vice versa for Nvidia and Intel)?
I've seen comments that AMD's 6 series doesn't have features like 3D or cuda, is that crucial? (this stuck out the biggest to me)
But the 6 series seems cooler then the gtx's so would AMD be the best bets performance wise?

Both Builds
GPU: TD has a deal for $220 reference gigabyte GTX 470 and was thinking that and SLI in a year
or 6850 non reference (anyone know of any yet?) and CF in a year maybe 6870 not sure don't see the point if 6850 can OC to 6870 but 6870 won't budge much more.
Case: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 (Combo +PSU -$50)
PSU: XFX P1-650X-CAG9 (-$20 Mail Rebate)
Int HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB
CD/DVD: LITE-ON Black
Mouse: COOLER MASTER Sentinel Advance I want a mouse that can memorize mouse movements/macros I believe this one can but didn't see any others really...
Monitor: ASUS VW246H
Keyboard: G19 keyboard probably

i5 Build
CPU: Intel Core i5-760
Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB

Phenom Build
CPU: Phenom 2 x4 965 black edition
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H or ASrock 870 extreme3
No clue for Ram probably something G. Skills

I live in CA so trying to avoid tax from newegg. Can't find the case anywhere else though but it's a good combo. Can't find G. Skills on TD either =/.

Appreciate any information, thanks!
October 25, 2010 5:50:22 AM

AMD Just released the 6850 and 6870 this week, so prices are still settling (amd and nvidia will likely continue to adjust them) right now, the AMD cards are the better value, but the 6870 is only slightly better than the GTX 470, and the 6850 is only slightly better than the GTX460, so some minor pricing changes could change the value equation, and if you see a big discount for black friday/cyber monday on a reputabaly branded GTX card, it might be a great opportunity. Don't expect any discounted 6870's or 6850's. They just released and everyone is sold out as it is.

A single Nvidia card will work in a amd board with no problems, but a few poorly executed exeptions aside, you won't be able to add a second card. Some intel boards support crossfire and sli, though most only support one or the other.

In terms of SLI/CF scaling (AMD6XXX>>GTX 460/470>>AMD5XXX)
But it's gotten to a point where the difference isn't that big of a deal anymore, I mean who cares if one scales at 92% and another scales at 94%.

Don't worry about CUDA or 3D (which the 6000 series supports), or Phys-X. They arn't really relevant, unless you want to do folding, or you have a special 3D monitor and glasses) In which case you'll want to go NVidia.

Otherwise, I'd go AMD unless you see some price drops in 460's or 470's, which is not altogether unlikely. Let the trolling begin
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October 25, 2010 5:59:29 AM

Friend just recommended I take a look at an i7 build....

microcenter has an i7-930 for 200
frys has an EVGA X58 Intel i7 X58 1366 Motherboard 132-BL-E758-TR for 100 After rebate

Is shooting for an i7 feasible?
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Related resources
October 25, 2010 6:04:21 AM

Right now the i5 is the best bang per buck for a processor, especially if your willing to oc. But as you said you will be stuck with that socket with almost no way to upgrade without replacing the motherboard also. The 965 is still a good processor just not quite as good as the i5. Currently AMD hasn't said for sure whether it will stick with AM3, if it does it would allow an easy upgrade path later on but at this point it is still unknown.

gpu questions:
AMD gpu's won't make any game unplayable but nvidia is known for having better drivers and constantly trying to improve game performance with every update. AMD has been trying to do better in this area though.
You can mix and match intel, amd, and nvidia cpus and gpus and they will work the same however you match them up
The new 6 series is the first series that supports 3d gaming but they do no sell a 3d gaming kit like nvidia instead allowing people to mix and match although it doesn't appear your getting a 3d monitor so it shouldn't matter.
AMD gpu's do not work with cuda(it is a nvidia proprietary language) but it is compatible with openCL and directCompute which do the same thing.
The 470 will out perform the 6870 but will run noticeably hotter and louder. Either card will run just about any current game and you will be able to upgrade either with sli or crossfire.
You also might want to check using a psu calculator to make sure your power supply would be to go ahead and handle the extra video card. If you plan on getting 2 470s you may need a more powerful one.
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October 25, 2010 7:20:32 AM

xurwin said:
if you live in canada. better use newegg.ca


I live in California. Why that mobo over the other two? Thanks for the advice!
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October 25, 2010 10:48:40 AM

mobo is 890fx. it is much advance than the ones you've pick. it can support x16/x16 but im not saying that x8/x8 is not good. it is slightly better.
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October 25, 2010 4:16:04 PM

Dont get a 760, get a 750 its 15 bucks cheaper
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October 25, 2010 4:23:32 PM

if your budget needs to include windows and a monitor then an AMD build is much much more suited to your needs

however if you live near a microcenter you can maybe get an i5 build
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!