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Help me build my first OC'able build

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January 20, 2011 12:46:27 PM

So I'm considering making sure my next build can easily be OC'd. I would like to be able to just run on a decent air cooler as I'm going for a budget OC. I'd like to start by saying that I'm currently considering the following to processors and would like some feedback:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE (currently $164)
Intel i5 i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66 (currently $200)

I understand from looking at benchmarks that the i5 is generally a stronger chip overall. My thoughts were that when overclocked, it might be possible that the Phenom would be better as AMD allows more fudge room for overclocking.

I understand some people always back one particular brand, but try to keep the fanboy stuff to yourself and stay objective. Does anyone know if my assumption that the 965 would surpass the i5 if both were overclocked is correct?

sidenote: One thing I feel I've noticed is that for AMD there isn't much of a mobo selection where as for intel it seems there are a lot more price options. For the AMD so far all i've looked at is: MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 ($165) This may help bring the overall cost down if i can find an OC friendly board for less than 165.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2011 1:04:35 PM

Pure clock speed does not necessarily translate to better performance, in games or work applications; the issue with X4s is that they need to be OC'd to 4.0 Ghz just to keep up with i5/i7 rigs clocked 400-600 MHz lower.....

Many people mistakenly assume that an X4 at 3.4 Ghz is 'faster' than an I5 at 2.83 GHz; it isn't.
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January 20, 2011 1:50:40 PM

Thanks for the post, but I was already aware of what you said. My analogy I typically give is ghz is just the speed you're pedaling, it doesn't say anything about how big the gear is (think of a mountain bike).

What I'm asking is which one of these cpus will be faster if you are restricted to simple air cooling and overclock them *both*. So take your favorite intel cooler, strap it on the i5 listed above, pair it with your favorite board, and OC it. Then do the same with the AMD. Which processor is now the all around faster processor.

In other words after overclocking each of the respective processors, which one will score higher in various benchmarks overall? Perhaps instead of saying faster i should ask which will be the better performer.

Edit: After I get some answers on the CPU I'll also be looking for advice on decent boards, etc. I'm going for a budget OC so the more money i save the better. Ultimately I don't want to spend more than 200 on a CPU and I want to get the best performance for 200 bucks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2011 2:31:23 PM

I think if you want to compare OCing CPUs, I would look at the AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE ($144) and the i5-2500k ($224).

The 955 is the same physical CPU as the 965/975, but is just at the lower (stock) clock, whereas the other two are clocked higher by AMD. It's not worth the extra $20 for the 965 if you plan to OC anyway ;) 

The i5-2500k should be better at OCing (I don't OC, and haven't read much about the new Sandy Bridge CPUs) because it has the unlocked multiplier, and you get the next gen CPU for only $24 more than the previous generation (though it is over your $200 limit).

Regardless, I still think the i5-760 will give you better results than the 955, since Intel's chip design is much more efficient than AMD's. It also beats the i7-870 in most tests in this test: http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/intel_...
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January 20, 2011 5:13:57 PM

Thanks boiler, that's the type of response I'm looking for. It would be great to see these two chips go head to head and see a direct comparison. Thanks for the articles it spawned a lot of good information for myself but unfortunately none of it was cross referenced against an amd chip.

Assuming I went with the i5 760, does anyone have suggestions on mobos? I probably wouldn't push the cpu over 3.8ghz so I'm guessing I don't need a ton of whiz bang mobo options, but I'd like something reliable more than anything. Not paying in the upwards of 170 would be nice if I can still get something that will suit my needs.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2011 6:19:48 PM

YOu would want to look at the delivered 'work' /'results', not purely 'my X4 BE hit 4 GHz'....

Most benchmarks show even the older i5/i7 processors thoroughly trouncing the X4 rigs at similar clock speeds; with the newer 2500k/2600k processors, the distance merely widens.

With the 2500k hitting 4.7 GHz pretty routinely on a variety of P67 MBs, there is really no contest.

I would only consider an X3/X4 based rig if limited to a $400 'midtower only' budget....

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2011 7:15:01 PM

wakeboarder3780 said:
Thanks boiler, that's the type of response I'm looking for. It would be great to see these two chips go head to head and see a direct comparison. Thanks for the articles it spawned a lot of good information for myself but unfortunately none of it was cross referenced against an amd chip.


I know there are reviews and benchmarks out there, but I just can't find them...somebody else has to! :) 

Quote:

Assuming I went with the i5 760, does anyone have suggestions on mobos? I probably wouldn't push the cpu over 3.8ghz so I'm guessing I don't need a ton of whiz bang mobo options, but I'd like something reliable more than anything. Not paying in the upwards of 170 would be nice if I can still get something that will suit my needs.


I don't know about which specific boards are the best. All I can really say is to stick with the P55 chipset, since that's Intel's performance chipset. You shouldn't be paying $170 for a board though ;) 
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