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AMD Phenom 965 Black or i5 2500k for dual 6870's?

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June 22, 2011 5:50:37 PM

I'm building a gaming rig for the first time, on a budget, and these two processors caught my eye. In every benchmark test for really anything, the i5 beat out the 965 (especially in games). At my local retailer the i5 is $50, but it would also require me to pay even more to get a new motherboard/set of RAM (I found the motherboard and RAM for the 965 for a good deal, total was $200). Would it be worth it to dish out the extra money for the i5? Will it be significantly better than the 965, or should I stick with the 965?

Will be using 4GB 1333MHz RAM on an ASUS M4A88TD-V motherboard (for 965 at least) with a 750W PSU on Windows 7 64-Bit.

EDIT: Accidentally put 6970's in the title at first, it's really 6870's
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June 22, 2011 6:12:48 PM

As you yourself understand, the i5 2500k is the better processor here and budget permitting should be one you should get. None of them will cause any bottlenecks to a pair of 6870's though. Btw the Asus motherboard you mentioned has a 16X+4X crossfire configuration. I would avoid that. Ideally you should get a board with atleast 8X+8X configuration.
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June 22, 2011 7:45:09 PM

Hi SaintLunatix!
i would go for the i5 because if you were to go for a phenom to upgrade then most likely you would have to purchase a new mobo and a new cpu.Unless you get a bulldozer supported am3+ board which i have no interest in then the phenom is not a viable option.

You can easily build a crossfire setup with i5 2500k and just purchase a new gpu compared to upgrading both mobo and cpu when you have bought the phenom series.
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June 23, 2011 1:30:29 PM

Buy the i5, find a nice p67/z68 mb that has at list 2x 8x PCI-E slots, and game on.
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June 23, 2011 3:48:36 PM

I don't think it really matters because all games will play well beyond acceptable frame rates with an HD6870 CF with either processor.

But if you do go AMD, I don't think the M4A88TD-V would be a good choice -- go AM3+, or an AM3 with Bulldozer Zambezi BIOS upgrade.
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June 23, 2011 8:40:10 PM

If you are getting 2 x 6870s you may as well get the best gaming CPU there is to go with them so get the 2500K. BTW what resolution are you gaming at to need that much GPU power?
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