I5 vs AMD PII 955

Hey guys, first post here...
So I'm building my first system and I have to decide between these:

Intel Core i5 2400 4x 3.10GHz So.1155 BOX
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 955 4x 3.20GHz So.AM3 BOX

The AMD will cost me 90 euro, and the i5 will cost me 150. So is it worth spending an extra 60 euro on this cpu? The amds clock is faster, but I have read online that the i5 is still faster, and that it does much better with overclocking. (I do plan to overclock, but not immediately, maybe when I can afford a cooler...)

Also, the AM3 motherboards are much cheaper and have alot more features for less money. I'm looking at a 50 euro AM3 motherboard, and a 70 euro 1155 mobo, and the AM3 still has WAY more slots and supported RAM speeds.

I think I'd rather buy the i5, but I'm not sure if its worth it....

I plan on doing internet surfing, word, and gaming. (Crysis, shogun total war 2, cod 6, etc.)

FYI: I have already got my hands on everything I need except for CPU, mobo, and RAM, so dont say I should buy the AMD and then spend the extra money on a better graphics card.


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  1. Hi and welcome to Tom's forum.

    That's rig, the I5 SB CPU is much better that the X4 955, but keep in mind that the i5-2400 can't be overclocked as the "K" series, the 2400 is limited due to locked multiplier.
  2. Ah, ok... so your saying I should go with something more like the 2500k.

    But that, plus the very hard time Im having finding a good mobo for that socket make a very big price difference, is it worth it? Will I see a big real world difference?
  3. Gamed depends more from your GPU that from CPU, how much is that difference? For you needs and unless that you plan overclock and overclock contest the AMD is a price option.
  4. If you get a good overclock with the 2500k you can be looking at up to a 50% increase (4.6ghz) in clock speed over the 2400.

    Very much worth it IMO.


    I'd go for that mobo, however somewhat expensive. If you don't plan on doing a SLI/Crossfire setup then you can save little and go for something cheaper. I prefer to stick with Gigabyte/Asus however.
  5. This is very cool, I had a few questions, decide to sign up to this site, and within hours I have some feedback! Thank you Tomshardware and others!

    So I guess it just comes down to price vs. performance. But to get up to that 4.6 ghz, how much would I need to invest in a cooler? At least 60 euro right?

    Here would be the non-sli/crossfire board I guess...
  6. It's not just price vs. performance, the i5 2500k is a beefy processor that will perform well for years. And personally, I think it's always better to have a powerful single card than it is to have a dual-card set up. It's also much easier on your power demands.
  7. The Intel® Core™ i5-2500K is very easy to overclock and is a fairly cool running processor so a nice cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ that is low cost and can keep you running even with a solid overclock running.

    That board should work well for you on overclocking the Intel Core i5-2500K.

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  8. I know, I know, I want the Intel.... it'll mean a little more saving though. But its an investment.

    But is it really worth TWICE the amount for the 955?

    How much overclock with that board and a Scythe Mugen 2 REV B do you think I would get?
  9. That overclock depends of your settings, CPU batch and temps. I think that ~4.5GHz are very possible with good temps and settings.

    I'm overclocker guy, so, the twice price works for me. (If I have it :lol:)
  10. i5 is far ahead, but as for me, I saw no difference in games i5 2500(non k) gtx275 vs 955 gtx460.

    955 would definetly be enough for atleast 2 years. So I went for a price,not the performance.
  11. The bottom line is, you get what you pay for.

    At $110, the 955 is surely a really really good bargain, and all you need if your only running a single video card for the next couple years.

    A single video card and a i5-2500K at 4.6ghz, is just a waste of electricity if you ask me, unless your doing number crunching tasks and you simply need that kind of speed.
  12. The 955 setup is half the price and not close to as good but it is good enough for what most people need
  13. What is your GPU? That's what will determine if this is worth it.
  14. PhII 955BE versus i5 2400 comes down to the motherboard options

    AM3 is more comprehensive but if you don't have AM3/AM3+ capability (for Bulldozer Zambezi upgrade) that is a much different dynamic. If you have that upgrade capability you are most likely *Gold* for a good while.
  15. Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    My gpu is an Asus Nvidia Geforce GTX 260. (Ive already bought it.)

    So I guess the smarter thing to do would be buy the 955, but I also like the idea of having a cpu (i5) that will last for a very long time and remain very fast, so I can upgrade my graphics card later. Plus, I can just use it normally, then later buy a 30 euro cooler, OC, and it'll be like having a new cpu again.

    I would rather buy one intel now than buy two AMDs, one now and one later...
  16. If you can afford it, get the i5-2500K and a Z68 (overclocks like P67, but with more features for the same price) motherboard.

    If you can't afford the i5, then the 955 and a cheap AM3 DDR3 motherboard from Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, EVGA, or Biostar in that order. I would try to get MSI or better. Check here for a guide to AMD Chipsets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_800_chipset_series
    I'd go for an ASRock 870 Extreme 3. It has two PCI-e at 8x/8x and 4 memory slots.

    You won't NEED a good cooler until you overclock or if you live somewhere really hot (like I do). Frosty Tech reviews a ton of coolers and ranks them: http://frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2585&page=5
    You don't need to spend more than $30 for a great cooler--unless you want it to look pretty too.

    Personally, I would wait until Bulldozer is released to buy a new computer. It is certain to drive CPU and motherboard prices down, regardless of performance.

    Don't neglect your PSU. Buy from a top brand like Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX. Here's a good PSU source: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
  17. Thanks for the tips! I'm not gonna worry about coolers now, its just good to know that there are plenty of solid coolers at only 30-40 euro.

    Oh no! My PSU is tier 4! I already bought it from a friend though. (I'm only gonna need 2x 6pins for my graphics card, and then power for one HD and one DVD drive... Theres no big problem right? I mean, I payed less than 30 euro for it... Ok it might not run with all 10 or 11 extra power things plugged in but itll run fine with my setup right?)

    When you guys say "p67" or "z68" you mean the FSB right?

    I chose this board awhile back for the AMD, looks maybe a little iffy...

    What will bulldozer be like? Better than i5? Or your saying that intel will be forced to lower the price of the i5 because of the bulldozer? Ok, I could wait, when is bulldozer gonna arrive?
  18. I5 will last you longer performance wise.
  19. What is a chipset? Is it like all the chips together?

    Anyone have any info on bulldozer? I read that they are coming out 2nd quarter of 2011, but isn' that right around now?

    Also not to hijack my own thread, but is there a real problem with having 4 of the same ram chip, vs 2 of the same? (Both setups would be 8gb total.)
  20. I think that you need use Google a lot before take your decision.
  21. +1^ Google

    Chipset is what kind of features and subprocessors your motherboard will have. Look on Wikipedia and Google for more info (I linked Wikipedia above).

    Bulldozer is slated for a June release. Competition lowers prices, that's how the world works.

    What's your PSU model? There's no reason to assume it can provide the power you'll require. How many amps are on the +12V rail? Check here to see what you'll require and read the footnotes: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
  22. The 955 is the best deal out right now. If you are new, you'll be best to research Intels SB, and their upgrade patterns. Performance wise, the 955 will handle every normal application just as well as anything out there. It can be very easy to over buy on the performance end. My advice is to build within your usage parameters, and for most, AMD is more than efficient. Graphics are more the components to keep up with as far as "lifespan" goes. A Phenom II X4 will be good for at least 5 years for common applications.
  23. I'll give you good for at least 3 years. I can't vouch for "at least 5".

    I'd also wait for Llano & Bulldozer if I was considering Phenom II's. Yes, a $100 955 is amazing. But it'll be $80 when Llano's out.

    If you want good for 5 years (and I don't know why you'd want a computer for 5 years when you can just spend $400 every 3 years), you should go with i5-2500K because it overclocks so well.

    Either way, I'd wait 1month.
  24. One months wait is good advice. As for 5 years, just my personal rule of thumb.
  25. Definitely , with Bulldozer around the corner, I would never buy a mobo/cpu at this moment of time. Just wait and see reviews, and benches next month to clarify.
  26. Cool, I'll wait, and then take a peek at the i5 prices. Because I do want a long term build, upgrading cooler and graphics card in two or three years.

    I did search up about the RAM chips on google, but I found some people saying itll put too much stress on the memory controller, so its a bad idea, and then others said a good idea, because it will be easier to OC and it would be faster. So I was still unsure.

    My psu has a +12v rail with 60 amps, which make 720W. (Does that sound right?)
    Also on the PSU calculator website it recomends 557W for me. (With 25% aging, I bought it used and want to use it for a while.)

    heres a chart thing

  27. Personally, I don't keep a CPU more that one year (AMD or Intel), and while you can keep the i5-2500K for that time, IB will be release next year, so, the performance of SB will change to 2nd place, eve, with the SB-E series.
  28. Well, I dont really have that opportunity, but the with the constant new release of cpus, I might as well get the faster option now. So my plan is just to wait a month until bulldozer comes out, then get the i5 after its price comes down.
  29. Quote:
    you should also consider Bulldozer, if its as good as or better than the sandy bridge series, but most of us here are a bit skeptical on that. Though we shouldn't judge it without any benchmarks/official information on its performance.

    Well I'm also assuming that they will be more expensive than the sandy bridge i5....

    I'm hearing that Bulldozer has like 8 cores? Would that even help with gaming that much? I know it would help alot with other more intensive multitasking situations but I decided against looking at AMDs hex-cores because I read that most games can only utilize 4. Would 8 help me?
  30. Ok, I'll just take a look at everything and compare when it comes out.

    So the big improvement would be in clock speeds/temps/power usage? Or will they just perform better overall thanks to the little tiny stuff that I havnt even tried to understand?
  31. Quote:
    nope there will be a 8-core , but there will also be a 4-core, and knowing AMD, prices should be quite competitive:
    Model FX-4110
    Code Name Zambezi
    Cores 4
    Clock Freq. ?
    Turbo Freq. ?
    L2 Cache 4MB
    L3 Cache Up to 8MB
    TDP 95W
    Memory 1866MT/s
    Black Edition Yes
    Turbo Core Yes
    Packaging AM3+
    Process Technology 32 nm SOI

    source, wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulldozer_%28processor%29

    I'm not sure that AMD can get that.
  32. Yeah, i was gonna say, the i5s have around 1000 MT/s........
  33. Phenom II 955 is plenty for a GTX 260, and even two GTX 260s.

    However the next lineup of GPUs may begin to show weakness in the Phenom (GTX 6xx? / Radeon 7k?).

    It currently shows weakness in high-end ATI 5k crossfire and Nvidia GTX4xx SLI setups (dual GPU).

    This means you would be looking at a new CPU purchase to keep up with newer cards in the future. This is assuming your motherboard supports (and supports well) future AMD chips (double check this before going AMD, so you aren't stuck with a dumbed down CPU upgrade in the future).


    ^^ I split up the "Lower is Better" and "Higher is Better" so you can read easily. The i5-2500k takes all the wins, easily.

    Add another 10-20% performance from better overclocking headroom and you have quite a spread in performance between the two CPUs.

    Either way, you'll be happy, and have made a good choice IMO (assuming you don't need an entire system upgrade to warrant a worth-while CPU upgrade with AMD). :)
  34. I think that *Memory 1866MT/s* is a misprint of sorts.

    The stock memory controller on Bulldozer is (rumored to be) 1866MHz DDR3.

    Megatransfers per second (MT/s) refer to the number of operations transferring data that occur in each second in some given data-transfer channel.

    I've never seen a processor comparison of MT/s (that doesn't mean that some are not out there).

    In the AMD arch the 'data-transfer channel' is the HT (hyper-transport) and with Intel it is the QP (quick-path). These 'pipes' are essentially measured in volume or theoretical bandwidth.

    With AMD, the current HT is 2600/5200 MT/s (single/bi-directional) at 20GB/s+.
  35. Well great, now Bulldozer/Llano are supposed to be out in august!
  36. well I have a 955 overclocked to 4.2ghz with a hyper 212+ fully stable, so how does that compare to a stock i52500k, that is my question. Personally I think saying that an oc'ed 955 cannot keep up with the latest 5 and 6 series gpu fully is absolute garbage, to the person above that makes such claims look like you have a C2Q so how would you know?
  37. ^ yeah I know lol, kids with black cards and bimmers
  38. U buy a 955 for now and get a AM3+ mobo and upgrade a year or two because most games dont even utilize more then 4 cores and now games go from a xbox or ps3 then to PC so u could really play with everything the same for awhile. And since on a budget u can put money elsewhere
  39. jjb8675309 said:
    ^ yeah I know lol, kids with black cards and bimmers

    spoiled little brats with no clue or grasp on reality.

    I seldom lol. But this is really funny.
  40. jjb8675309 said:
    well I have a 955 overclocked to 4.2ghz with a hyper 212+ fully stable, so how does that compare to a stock i52500k, that is my question.

    The 955 OC'd to 4.2 Ghz should just about match a 2500 at 3.3 Ghz in gaming performance, based on the benchmarks/scaling analysis I have seen....
  41. yeah that's pretty much what I'd figure, not worth the upgrade imo
  42. you have a very good argument here (as usual) and in a lot of ways I feel the same, throughout the months Ive looked for any excuse to upgrade my 955 to an SB but couldn't find one. Ivy bridge here I come, or a bulldozer chips with my current mobo would be nice but to upgrade to a p67/z-68 with 8x8 or worse a single 16x pci-e slot will not be much of an upgrade and same the processor, just doesn't make sense, ill have to wait it out
  43. but like you said a p67/ i52500k is a good buy today being that the ivys will run on 1155, however if your in our boat then a cpu upgrade makes no sense, honestly im more interested in a 990FX once we see what BD can do, at least this platform offers multiple 16x lanes, my current micro atx allows for 8x8 crossfire and im kind of guilty of knocking it but after I landed a pair of 6870s on ebay for 260 total, I am going to try crossfire once again, although I think with the ssd and added ram I will have a lot smoother of a time this go, along with a little more patience, but yeah Im making the switch back to were I once was. If the price was not right then I wouldn't but an opportunity presented itself and I took it.... so much for all the bitching I did about crossfire...

    In the end it will cost me no money (in fact ill pocket a little) and this is my hobby after-all so I can do whatever the hell I want cant I?

    my thought was that instead of upgrading the cpu at this point that I would upgrade the graphics subsystem in hopes for future mobo/cpus hell who knows by that time 6870 crossfire could be slow as a turtle, likely not but only time will tell
  44. very nice board, and at a reasonable price for its features
  45. I like my Sabertooth better lol
  46. agreed^
  47. ^ Not with my case its rite at home
  48. It is just amazing u are just jelly
  49. ^ very nice! what kind of fan controller you got there?
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