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Intel / nVidia or AMD / ATI GPU platform?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 21, 2010 7:23:49 PM

So in my first budget PC build I'm trying to decide on my CPU and GPU(s) but my main concern is the GPU/gaming (hence why it's in this section). I have it down to these picks:
Intel -
i5 760
GTX 460 SLI
Biostar P55 Mobo
AMD -
Phenom II 1090t x6
Radeon 6850 CrossfireX
ASUS 890GX Mobo
Monitor Res -
1920 x 1080
Main Purpose -
Gaming (Crysis, Metro 2033, FSX, DiRT 2 all on Ultra settings)
Microsoft Office 2010

So I'm stuck because they both are relatively the same price (don't question please lol) but I'm seeing that the Radeons run smoother on a 8xx mobo compared to an nVidia/Intel chipset. So I'm kind of wondering if I would see a dramatic performance gain with the AMD platform (in terms of the GPU)? And overall, will my FPS be more than ~4 frames for one set. Also, I really like PhysX and wanted to keep that, it's not deal-breaker just a rather large factor. So based on what I have layed out which combo would perform better?
a c 125 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 7:33:01 PM

Where are you seeing that Radeons run smoother on a 890GX? You can have whatever GPU's and mobo combo's you like so long as the mobo has support for the cards you want (SLI/CF)

Anyway both GPU setups are very similar in performance so I don't think you can go wrong with either choice.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 7:37:04 PM

You want to game, get the 760.

Like omgitzfatal said, ATI/NV shouldn't matter for the motherboard, unless if the mobo doesn't support SLI and that's something you want to do down the road. Intel boards don't natively support SLI... Nvidia and Intel are not the same company, so mobo manufacturers still need to liscense the SLI brand and get some special little chips on the mobo to support SLI. However, ALL mobos natively support crossfire.

If you have anything beyond word of mouth (ie: rumours and fanboyism) to support the Intel/NV, AMD/ATI theory for performance I would really like to see it so I can learn something. But I'm 90% sure it doesn't matter in the least.
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December 21, 2010 7:41:55 PM

I don't know I've just looked at soo many benchmarks in the last week I think I'm going to explode. I'm not a fanboy but I always do prefer the underdog (AMD in this case) and seeing those benches took some getting used to. So what I see is that neither one is better, at least that you know of? P.S. I know Intel and nVidia aren't that same company I just like to pair them. P.P.S. I heard that the 8xx chipset provides AMD GPU's with a better performance with an AMD CPU.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 7:56:56 PM

You get that from AMD's website perhaps? Think they call it "Fusion" (Combining an AMD GPU with an AMD CPU based system)

Anyway its a load of **** (Marketing BS) and its no better or worse than using an Intel based system with an AMD GPU.

I'd go for whatever setup is cheapest as they are both extremely similiar.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 7:58:27 PM

Well at least you're doing some homework on it ;) 

As it stands right now, Intel CPUs give the best performance for gaming all around. The X6 is nice, but in fact it usually ends up doing worse than even an X4. Of course the difference isn't going to be HUGE but certainly a few FPS.

"I heard that the 8xx chipset provides AMD GPU's with a better performance with an AMD CPU" this is what I mean by rumours. As far as I know there isn't any empirical data to support it. It would be too difficult to prove anyway, a fluctuation of 5fps average (as an example) isn't that big, could be ruled out by factors other than "AMD + ATI compatibility". Between any given game benchmarks, Nvidia and ATI gpus can beat eachother. There's just so many variables between drivers, how benchmarks run, anything going on in the PC's background, how games are coded...

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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 8:00:20 PM

x6 is better in heavily threaded applications. However, if your main purpose is gaming, a four core i5 would be a better choice since no games need six cores. 6850 crossfire may be a little faster than 460 sli. However, there is not much difference. I personally not a big fan of current PhysX implementation since it is Nvidia's proprietary standard and the company does not let AMD to use it on their cards, so it will probably stay this way until there is a common physics standard. However, if it is important to you, use 460 sli.
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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 8:09:37 PM

58xx series do not scale that well in crossfire. In fact 6850 crossfire often outperforms 5870 crossfire. Plus, 6850 has morphological AA which works in basically any game, even those that do not support AA though it blurs image a bit.

EDIT: Actually, that is 6870 in cf outperforms 5870 cf. Not sure about 6850. But 6850 cf should be better than 5850 cf in most cases.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 8:53:54 PM

Asus mobos are dah bomb!
Actually I've researched a lot of P55 mobos... not a ton, but lots... anyway, the one I have, Asus P7P55D Pro is IMO one of the very best for features. Quite basic, too. Three PCIe 16 slots! The 3rd one is a 1.1 4x slot going to the south bridge, but it's enough for anything other than a main GPU. I use it for PhysX.
I like Gigabyte too.
Not a fan of MSI, as my first mobo (MSI P55GD65) fried itself.
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a c 604 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 9:06:56 PM

Be sure that the P55 motherboard you are considering specifically states that it supports SLI.

If so, I would go for two GTX 460's for top end performance in addition to PhysX, better SLI scaling, and superior DirectX11 tesselation performance (in comparison to the AMD cards). Keep in mind, when you read performance benchmarks comparing the 6850 and GTX 460, AMD used a "optimization" that increased the performance of the 6850 by 6-8% at the expense of image quality. So for a true comparison, subtract 6-8% from the 6850's scores.

The Intel processors are generally better for gaming and overclocking as they were produced on a 32nm process vs. 45nm for the AMD chips.
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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 9:20:54 PM

17seconds said:
Be sure that the P55 motherboard you are considering specifically states that it supports SLI.

If so, I would go for two GTX 460's for top end performance in addition to PhysX, better SLI scaling, and superior DirectX11 tesselation performance (in comparison to the AMD cards). Keep in mind, when you read performance benchmarks comparing the 6850 and GTX 460, AMD used a "optimization" that increased the performance of the 6850 by 6-8% at the expense of image quality. So for a true comparison, subtract 6-8% from the 6850's scores.

The Intel processors are generally better for gaming and overclocking as they were produced on a 32nm process vs. 45nm for the AMD chips.


Thats not quite true about degrading image quality in favor of better performance. The only game it proved to be the case in any noticeable margin was the original Far Cry.

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Tools/Print.aspx?CIID=23221...

Both companies produce optimizations. It is always legitimate as long as there is no noticeable degradation of image quality. Therefore, you can't really subtract 6-8% from the scores from AMD cards except is someone benches Far Cry 1.
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a c 604 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 9:31:33 PM

yyk71200 said:
Thats not quite true about degrading image quality in favor of better performance. The only game it proved to be the case in any noticeable margin was the original Far Cry.

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Tools/Print.aspx?CIID=23221...

Both companies produce optimizations. It is always legitimate as long as there is no noticeable degradation of image quality. Therefore, you can't really subtract 6-8% from the scores from AMD cards except is someone benches Far Cry 1.

This site, Tom's Hardware, had a nice article about the issue:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-570-gf1...
Quote:
"For the time being, we're going to have to leave everything at default and point out the observed and confirmed image quality issue currently affecting Radeon HD 6800-series cards. This may or may not become a factor in your buying decision, but right now, the bottom line is that Nvidia offers better texture filtering, regardless of whether you’re one of the folks who can appreciate it."

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December 22, 2010 3:52:42 AM

taslem said:
I'm not a fanboy but I always do prefer the underdog (AMD in this case)


I can understand this line of thought but this isn't like betting on the under dog in horse racing.
There isn't a chance of winning big because of cheering on the underdog you don't even
get to brag like a Cubs fan when they actually win a game :lol:  . In this case your just guaranteeing a performance hit.



As for the 460's vs 6850's I don't think its fair to point to one and tell you to get a certain setup.
But since you have made it clear that you would prefer PhysX it certainly puts a small lean to the 460's
side.
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