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New Build for Gaming/Multitasking. Intel or AMD?

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June 5, 2011 8:12:53 PM

Hey,

First off, thanks for taking the time to read and provide any help. I've done quite a bit of research recently and its really hard for me to choose between an Intel build or an AMD build. I'm building a new rig from the ground up as my setup is quite old. (Athlon 64 processor, nuf said)

Use: My goal is to be able to play games (rift, wow, bf2 - i would prefer mid to high settings) on a 22" Monitor @1680x1050 resolution while playing Hi-Def movies/shows on a 52" LCD TV @1920x1080 resolution. I would also like to be able to do multitasking as well (such as office work, I do some light CAD-design, browsing internet) without this many open programs affecting the HD playback or game frame rate. Am I being realistic?

So my question is which option do I go with? Or please suggest any options you think would be better.

#1: AMD Build

Motherboard - ASRock 890GX $110
Processor - AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE $115

#2: Intel Build

Motherboard - ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) $160
Processor - Intel Core i5-2500k $225


Shared Components

CD/DVD Drive - ASUS Black 24X DVD Burner $20
Computer Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Case $70
Graphics Card - XFX HD Radeon 6850 $155 after rebate
Power Supply - Antec Earthwatts EA750 $90
Memory - Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 $75 after rebate

I will probably grab a Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus for cooling, but not from newegg they gouge on that product something awful. $25 elsewhere.

Intel Core i5-2500k MB/CPU: $385
AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE MB/CPU: $225

Shared components total:$475

Intel total: $860
AMD total: $700

So do these builds get me where I'm trying to go?

I don't have to worry about hard drives, monitors or peripherals. I'm not too worried about price per say, I'm more interested in making a system than can do everything of what I described and do it well, but does Intel justify an extra $160? I would also like to setup a system that will last me a few years. So if paying a little more up front helps me accomplish that then I'm ok with it, but lets keep it around the current numbers.

Here's my thoughts. Are my choices good? I'm unsure about the memory, but it seems like a steal at $75 after rebate. Is the graphics card enough or should i go with a HD Radeon 6950? I do plan on doing some overclocking no matter which CPU I get both because I'm interested in it and I would like to see what kind of performance boost it can really provide.

Can both of these setups handle my needs with no problem so just go with the cheaper AMD one? Should I upgrade the AMD setup to a Phenom II x6 for an extra $55 because I plan on doing a good bit of multitasking with games/videos/browsing? Then still have bulldozer later if I want? Or if I'm going to do that is it better to go Sandy Bridge as EVERYBODY seems to be raving about these now?

I am kind of partial to AMD because this rig has lasted me so long, but I'm kind of cautious because AMD is in a bit of flux right now. I really don't want to wait around for Bulldozer as they seam to just continuously push it back. Or can I already do everything I want to with either of these setups?

Just trying to figure out which option would be the better choice. Again, any help is greatly appreciated.




More about : build gaming multitasking intel amd

June 5, 2011 8:34:50 PM

The Sandy Bridge 2500k blows P2-955 out of the waters in every benchmark. Whether it is games, rendering, multitasking, media work, etc. If you aren't really on a budget I'd suggest going 2500k and I'm pretty sure 99% of Tom's users will also recommend the 2500k over the 955 if money is not a huge factor.

You can also cut another 50dollar-ish off the p67 motherboard if you don't need 3 PCI-e 2.0 slots.

The 6850 is enough to play rift, bf2 on mid-high settings @1680x1050 res.

If you want, you could wait a month for AM3+ boards and grab a AM3 socket CPU while you wait for bulldozer, but that is pretty much your choice. If I were you, I would just go with the sandy bridge computer and just use it for 3+ years and do an overhaul then because there will always be newer hardware every 6months. If you wait for the bulldozer, then Sandy Bridge 2nd gen will be announced, etc.
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June 5, 2011 8:45:21 PM

Go with the Intel setup; it's probably the best performance for the price even if it costs more than the Phenom.

The 945 also has a locked multiplier which makes overclocking more difficult (especially for newbs). Overclocking Phenoms is becoming a necessity and they show their age in newer games (Witcher 2, etc).

Phenoms will bottleneck a high end SLi or CF setup even when overclocked.

This AM3+ for the future ideal is just stupid. Nobody uses their Phenom IIs in AM2/+ motherboards for obvious reasons (northbridge/HT). Anyone who suggests AM3+ motherboards when Bulldozer isn't even out should be completely ignored.
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June 5, 2011 8:57:17 PM

I guess to both your points when do you stop waiting around for the next generation and just build your rig?

Seems to be that the fact of the matter is Sandy Bridge can provide a much more stable and powerful platform for the long term than what AMD is offering. Don't think it's much more complicated than that. Thanks for the input.
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June 5, 2011 9:16:49 PM

The Intel is better, but a 6850 will not be bottlenecked by the 955, and will do everything you've described.
This doesn't mean you should get AMD, but you should consider it.
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June 5, 2011 9:24:40 PM

According to your post, you want to game AND watch movies in 1080p at the same time, right? That's a pretty intense from what I gather. Well, since your main interest is gaming and overclocking, you want to go with the Intel Sandy Bridge 2500K. Sure, it's significantly more expensive, but it will perform significantly better according to the articles on Tom's. Also, the 2nd gen "i" is very new, and will be supported better for the time being (of course until the next new release in six months or what have you). In terms of the video card, the video card you picked is too weak to do both gaming and HD movies simultaneously, well. Go with the 6950 2GB if you want to do both simultaneously, and well. If you miswrote your initial statement and you just want to do one at a time, go with the 6870. The prices are close to each other, and the 6870 is another tier up (again, according to Tom's). Seeing as the prices are as close as they are, go with it, and you will be pleased.
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June 5, 2011 9:34:57 PM

Johnny Barber said:
In terms of the video card, the video card you picked is too weak to do both gaming and HD movies simultaneously, well. Go with the 6950 2GB if you want to do both simultaneously, and well.


Definitely bump it up to the 6950 2GB then, anyone in particular that you recommend?
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June 5, 2011 11:27:43 PM

kajabla said:
The Intel is better, but a 6850 will not be bottlenecked by the 955, and will do everything you've described.
This doesn't mean you should get AMD, but you should consider it.


This is exactly the point . For gaming , at that resolution , spending the extra on the intel may not get you any extra performance where it matters .

But if you do go with AMD then get a motherboard with a 990 series chipset . That way you leave open the option to upgrade to the new bulldozer cpu's when they are released .
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