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Which CPU for my gaming PC

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December 13, 2011 10:44:31 PM

I am building a new PC and was originally looking at one of the AMD Phenom II CPUs either x4 or x6 black editions or the fx-4100 but someone told me the i5 series Intel processors were vastly superior so I started trying to fit one of those into my build (the i5 2500k specifically). However I am wanting to increase the money I spend on my GPU as I will mainly use this PC for gaming. I was wondering if the difference between the Intel processors and AMD is enough to even notice? I can't go much higher than 300-400 bucks on my video card without going with a cheaper CPU but I don't want to have drastic performance loss.

So am I better off staying with the i5 2500k or maybe dropping to a 2400 OR saving some money that I can then use for a better GPU and getting a Phenom x4 or x6?

Also why are people saying that the FX series AMD processors aren't worth getting?

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December 13, 2011 10:49:38 PM

Shavako said:
I am building a new PC and was originally looking at one of the AMD Phenom II CPUs either x4 or x6 black editions or the fx-4100 but someone told me the i5 series Intel processors were vastly superior so I started trying to fit one of those into my build (the i5 2500k specifically). However I am wanting to increase the money I spend on my GPU as I will mainly use this PC for gaming. I was wondering if the difference between the Intel processors and AMD is enough to even notice? I can't go much higher than 300-400 bucks on my video card without going with a cheaper CPU but I don't want to have drastic performance loss.

So am I better off staying with the i5 2500k or maybe dropping to a 2400 OR saving some money that I can then use for a better GPU and getting a Phenom x4 or x6?

Also why are people saying that the FX series AMD processors aren't worth getting?


The I5 is definitly the best right now for gaming. Like it or not for its price you get a very good processor with a fast architecture that beats out pretty much everything AMD has out on the market right now.
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December 13, 2011 10:51:38 PM

the problem with AMD CPUs is after the phenom II x4 955 (especially once OC), you really have no where to go. the phenom II x6 offer no increase in gaming performance and the FX series is actually slower then the Phenom II.

with intel, you have the i3-2100 dual core that offers the same performance as the phenom II x4 and then a clear upgrade path. the i5-2300 and i5-2400 are fast enough to run any game out there with ease, a performance AMD can't touch. the i5-2500k can hit close to 5ghz on some OC, a bang for your buck performance that no other CPU can touch.

i5-2400 vs FX 8150
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=363
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a c 146 à CPUs
December 13, 2011 10:55:32 PM

Plus the I5 will be backwards compatible with Ivy Bridges which will be even better then the current I core processors.
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December 13, 2011 11:10:42 PM

Also why are people saying that the FX series AMD processors aren't worth getting?

This is because of the benchmarks that show us every time any AMD cpu's go up against Sandy Bridge they come up on the short end of the stick , they just can't compete and that is most likely the reason that AMD has decided to no longer compete head to head with Intel in producing top performing cpu's and is instead focusing on mainstream cpu's.
You can of course choose any cpu that you want to use in your build , but you will have to accept the performance that you will get and no amount of recomendations is going to change the performance level of any cpu.
There are some games out there that mainly use the video card and not so much the cpu and a good example is BF3 , this game requires a top quality video card and you can basicly use any cpu above a dual core to play it. Other games focus more on how good the cpu is. I think that as powerful as video cards are becoming that more and more games are going to focus on the video card and you will just need a good quad core to play. You can take a chance on what cpu that you want to use but I would take that chance with an Intel cpu so that if it turns out it's not enough then you only have to change the cpu to a higher model and not change out the MB as well.

Intel Core i3-2125 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I32125
$149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This cpu is a dual core that is clocked at 3.3ghz and has hyperthreading so it has four logical cores. It is also going to save you $70 which you can put towards a video card.
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December 13, 2011 11:46:02 PM

I'm just going to go with the Core i5 2400 Sandy Bridge then. Sounds like it will be more than enough for most games. At $190 it's not too bad. Also the fact that AMD isn't trying to compete with Intel anymore pretty much seals the deal. No point in getting an AMD board if there won't be great AMD chips in the future.

Oh and is this a good mobo? Or is it just overkill? I plan on SLIing 2 HD 6950s so the extra space would be nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 14, 2011 12:01:28 AM

if you live near a microcenter, you can get the i5-2400 cheaper then $190 on newegg
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December 14, 2011 12:09:19 AM

Seems weird to me that you would be looking to skimp on the processor and splurge on the motherboard. It also seems weird to me to set a $300-$400 budget for video (which, you should note, won't allow you to buy two 6950s anyway). You should really consider getting the i5-2500k, which is roughly $25 more than the normal i5-2400 but offers considerable overclocking headroom and value.

For video, you don't need to go higher than a single 6950 right now (roughly $250) unless you are planning to run very new games at 2560x1600. Do you have a monitor that supports that resolution? If you have a normal 1920x1080 monitor, just wait a year or two and get a second 6950 after prices on those cards have fallen significantly.

Even if you are going for the dual 6950s, the extra 25 bucks on the 2500k is worth it--it's highly overclockable and well worth it over the stock i5.
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December 14, 2011 12:26:32 AM

Ok so the 2500k and a single 6950? If I go with a single card I will probably just step it up to a 6970 since they're about 350. Plus I'm getting a 2GB card no matter what model I get to future proof my system that much more, even though it's a bit overkill for now. That mobo is really expensive but seems really nice. I have no clue what to look for in a mobo though so if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

And yes my monitor is 1920x1080
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December 14, 2011 12:43:01 AM

inzone said:
Also why are people saying that the FX series AMD processors aren't worth getting?

This is because of the benchmarks that show us every time any AMD cpu's go up against Sandy Bridge they come up on the short end of the stick , they just can't compete and that is most likely the reason that AMD has decided to no longer compete head to head with Intel in producing top performing cpu's and is instead focusing on mainstream cpu's.
You can of course choose any cpu that you want to use in your build , but you will have to accept the performance that you will get and no amount of recomendations is going to change the performance level of any cpu.
There are some games out there that mainly use the video card and not so much the cpu and a good example is BF3 , this game requires a top quality video card and you can basicly use any cpu above a dual core to play it. Other games focus more on how good the cpu is. I think that as powerful as video cards are becoming that more and more games are going to focus on the video card and you will just need a good quad core to play. You can take a chance on what cpu that you want to use but I would take that chance with an Intel cpu so that if it turns out it's not enough then you only have to change the cpu to a higher model and not change out the MB as well.

Intel Core i3-2125 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I32125
$149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This cpu is a dual core that is clocked at 3.3ghz and has hyperthreading so it has four logical cores. It is also going to save you $70 which you can put towards a video card.


this couldnt be anymore right and wrong at the same time. it is true bf3 doesnt need a quad core cpu for single player but ill take a quad core to your dual core and we will see who has better frame rates on multiplayer. it will be me by a noticeable amount.

Shavako said:
I'm just going to go with the Core i5 2400 Sandy Bridge then. Sounds like it will be more than enough for most games. At $190 it's not too bad. Also the fact that AMD isn't trying to compete with Intel anymore pretty much seals the deal. No point in getting an AMD board if there won't be great AMD chips in the future.

Oh and is this a good mobo? Or is it just overkill? I plan on SLIing 2 HD 6950s so the extra space would be nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


any combinations of 300-400 dollar single or double gpu rigs will bottle neck a 2100 and a stock i5. you are going to want to buy a 2500k most likely especially if you play games like starcraft, skyrim, and bf3. in starcraft and skyrim even up to 4.5 ghz you will still see fps increase. how do i know that? cause i see then with my 6950 and 2600k. it would be a shame to spend so much on a gpu and so little on a cpu.

like i said above bf3 uses a quad core and you might as well get a 2500k just to have the freedom to get the extra performance.

you dont need to spend so much on a mobo. a 150 dollar mobo will do just fine.
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December 14, 2011 12:48:06 AM

Get the 2500k...can be overclocked 30% higher then the 2400, makes absolutely no sense to waste so much money on an uneccesary motherboard than to not spend like $25 for what will actually matter.

This motherboard i am sure will be more than enough for you and it is quality: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-it has all the essentials, is z68, can overclock on it, can use integrated graphics if you ever have to send in your card, it has dual pci-e 3.0 slots, etc. etc. so for alot less I really dont think you're missing out on anything at all...

Getting a 2gb card won't necessarily future proof you because by time you will actually need more than a gb of video ram on 1080p the video card itself will probably run out of steam. You would really be fine with a 6950, or a gtx 560ti at 1080p.

What else are you purchasing?
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December 14, 2011 1:25:15 AM

amirp said:
Get the 2500k...can be overclocked 30% higher then the 2400, makes absolutely no sense to waste so much money on an uneccesary motherboard than to not spend like $25 for what will actually matter.

This motherboard i am sure will be more than enough for you and it is quality: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-it has all the essentials, is z68, can overclock on it, can use integrated graphics if you ever have to send in your card, it has dual pci-e 3.0 slots, etc. etc. so for alot less I really dont think you're missing out on anything at all...

Getting a 2gb card won't necessarily future proof you because by time you will actually need more than a gb of video ram on 1080p the video card itself will probably run out of steam. You would really be fine with a 6950, or a gtx 560ti at 1080p.

What else are you purchasing?

great board i have it.

regarding 1gb versus 2gb. i almost max out 1gb in bf3 and skyrim
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December 14, 2011 1:44:20 AM

Ok so far this is what I'm looking at

i5 2500k
ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 mobo
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600 RAM
Antec Earth Watts 650W PSU (may get a larger one though in the case that I SLI or Xfire)
Not positive on the GPU yet
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM HD (would like a bigger one but with the recent spike in prices I might as well wait and get one later)
Samsung Bluray optical drive

That's what I'm getting so far the only things that I'm not positive on are the GPU and Case.
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December 14, 2011 1:54:09 AM

I think a larger PSU is probably a good idea. I got a 650W for my current setup which is quite similar to your proposed one there, and it works great. But I will have to upgrade it later if I want to go Crossfire because it doesn't have enough cables to run two 6950s (let alone enough wattage!). Since you said you are interested in going for a dual card setup later on, might as well get the right PSU now.

As for video, you really can't go wrong with either Nvidia or AMD/ATI right now. Just whatever is cheap at the same performance, I think. I have a personal fondness for AMD, and since I can't get their processors these days, I went video. :p 
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December 14, 2011 2:18:01 AM

I have no preference to AMD or nVidia I think they both make great products. I've basically limited my options down to two configurations though. Either a single 6970, or two 6950s. Plain and simple AMD makes cheaper cards that are are very competitive with the nVidia cards. I did just notice though that the 560tis come with a free copy of BF3 which would be nice since I'll likely be buying that once I get this rig together.

Edit: I was looking at the 448 core Ti's. Those come with a free copy of BF3. I just don't know what the best "bang for the buck" is between a 5970, two 5950s, two 560ti, two 560ti 448 core. I'm lost lol.
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December 14, 2011 4:15:24 AM

motorneuron said:
I think a larger PSU is probably a good idea.


I agree with it. But I suggest Corsair. Their PSU's are underrated. Mine is HX620 but has been tested for up to 750W load in many reviews without any problem.

motorneuron said:
I got a 650W for my current setup which is quite similar to your proposed one there, and it works great. But I will have to upgrade it later if I want to go Crossfire because it doesn't have enough cables to run two 6950s (let alone enough wattage!).


What is your PSU brand & Model? My Corsair HX620 is running 2x6950 2GB(stock) + 4x500GB WD Black on it ( please see my system configuration for complete detail ) and no problem. For the lacking cable, I used the Molex to PCIe power converter that comes with the video card. So depending on your brand & model, you may not need to replace that 650W PSU at all.

Anyway, use this to estimate your power consumption.
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
For my configuration (with 2x6950 2GB), it estimated 577W so my 620W is adequate.
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December 14, 2011 4:16:31 AM

6950s scale very well, what you should really do is, find the cheapest of those configurations, then look up benchmarks (there are so many of them all over the net) and decide yourself.

Also please be aware the 7000 series are due to come out shortly (i dont know when but soon for sure) and they will be a large increase in performance, so getting 1 of those (ie 7950) may be equal to getting 2 6950!

Any way you can wait? or dont splurge too hard and get one 6950 for now?
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December 14, 2011 4:28:36 AM

I hate when I see recommendatiosn of 750w upwards with the claim that it saves you in the future; why I disagree;

1] SLI and Crossfire are expensive and unless you are running a 1366/2011 multicard support is a nightmare, Single card is far mor efficient and affordable.

2] Everything is becoming more efficient, a high end GPU in the next year or two will start to require less juice than current prevailing cards, and multi processor cards will likely use the power consumption of high end cards today, provided you can afford them. To give yourself a 200+ watt buffer may be pointless as the trend will likely go the other way, take the cpu's, SB 2500K runs off 90W, the IB equivilant will run of 70w, the 28nm GPU's will likely follow suit.

Just buy a PSU which is a) quality and b) within your usage with acceptable headway.
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December 14, 2011 4:36:40 AM

sarinaide said:
I hate when I see recommendatiosn of 750w upwards with the claim that it saves you in the future; why I disagree;

1] SLI and Crossfire are expensive and unless you are running a 1366/2011 multicard support is a nightmare, Single card is far mor efficient and affordable.

2] Everything is becoming more efficient, a high end GPU in the next year or two will start to require less juice than current prevailing cards, and multi processor cards will likely use the power consumption of high end cards today, provided you can afford them. To give yourself a 200+ watt buffer may be pointless as the trend will likely go the other way, take the cpu's, SB 2500K runs off 90W, the IB equivilant will run of 70w, the 28nm GPU's will likely follow suit.

Just buy a PSU which is a) quality and b) within your usage with acceptable headway.



1) multicard is just as fine on 1155 motherboards... and it's been shown many times. Also OP is CFing two of fairly high end single cards....there are no other single card alternatives at this point for him, two 6950s is fairly good considering the excellent scaling and lack of microstuttering evident with the 6800s.

2) if he is going with 6950 x2 now , he should get the 750 watt imo. Sure 650 will be fine but its <100watt of headway. If he is sticking to one card then 650 would be fine for sure.
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December 14, 2011 5:29:30 AM

amirp said:
1) multicard is just as fine on 1155 motherboards... and it's been shown many times. Also OP is CFing two of fairly high end single cards....there are no other single card alternatives at this point for him, two 6950s is fairly good considering the excellent scaling and lack of microstuttering evident with the 6800s.

2) if he is going with 6950 x2 now , he should get the 750 watt imo. Sure 650 will be fine but its <100watt of headway. If he is sticking to one card then 650 would be fine for sure.


There is no strict rule on this. One has to consider the brand & model & check at least two reviews on it and consider his actual system configuration. Like I said earlier, this is your friend: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
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December 14, 2011 7:04:22 AM

amirp said:
1) multicard is just as fine on 1155 motherboards... and it's been shown many times. Also OP is CFing two of fairly high end single cards....there are no other single card alternatives at this point for him, two 6950s is fairly good considering the excellent scaling and lack of microstuttering evident with the 6800s.

2) if he is going with 6950 x2 now , he should get the 750 watt imo. Sure 650 will be fine but its <100watt of headway. If he is sticking to one card then 650 would be fine for sure.



If he is seriously contemplating Crossfire, a 750w PSU is a dice, they are mostly 62A range, I would imagine for such a high end card anything less than 1000w of quality is never going to work out great.

I think SLI/CF is purely for enthusiasts and benchmarkers, the costs to get 2 6950's and a PSU to boot is around $800+ waste of money if you ask me, considering he is wanting to skimp on a CPU.
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December 14, 2011 1:03:00 PM

I'd add my voice to getting a 750W PSU. It's not that much more than a 650W PSU, and saves the OP from having to buy a new PSU if he does Crossfire or SLI.

A note to the OP...if you do decide on the 448 core 560Ti, get 2 now. They're limited edition, and if you wait 2 years to get the second one you won't necessarily find it.
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December 14, 2011 3:24:07 PM

randomkid said:
I agree with it. But I suggest Corsair. Their PSU's are underrated. Mine is HX620 but has been tested for up to 750W load in many reviews without any problem.



What is your PSU brand & Model? My Corsair HX620 is running 2x6950 2GB(stock) + 4x500GB WD Black on it ( please see my system configuration for complete detail ) and no problem. For the lacking cable, I used the Molex to PCIe power converter that comes with the video card. So depending on your brand & model, you may not need to replace that 650W PSU at all.

Anyway, use this to estimate your power consumption.
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
For my configuration (with 2x6950 2GB), it estimated 577W so my 620W is adequate.


My power supply is here; it's a Corsair 650W:

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-139-020

I used the wattage calculator and got just shy of 500W with my current setup assuming my i5-2500k is overclocked to about 4.5@ around 1.35V. If I add another video card I get more like 565W, which I was uncomfortable with brushing up against the 650W the PSU is rated at. But maybe I'm being too conservative? I was also considering trying to overclock the video cards a bit.

I didn't think of the converter. No problem doing that?
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December 14, 2011 4:04:49 PM

sarinaide said:
If he is seriously contemplating Crossfire, a 750w PSU is a dice, they are mostly 62A range, I would imagine for such a high end card anything less than 1000w of quality is never going to work out great.

I think SLI/CF is purely for enthusiasts and benchmarkers, the costs to get 2 6950's and a PSU to boot is around $800+ waste of money if you ask me, considering he is wanting to skimp on a CPU.


Sorry but maybe for 580 sli you would need 1000, or for more than two cards...
but two 6950 or 6970s run just fine on a 750 watt PSU. As you can see the guy posting above me is running it on a 650 watt.
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December 14, 2011 4:19:28 PM

Sorry, I haven't actually run the dual 6950s yet. I bought one with the intention of getting a second when prices drop. So yeah, it is nominally within my power range, but I don't know if I will actually stick with the 650W supply when I do get one, might have to upgrade.
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December 14, 2011 4:25:56 PM

ah okay lol thanks.... but anyways I still stick to my original 750 watt recommendation for dual 6950s.
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December 14, 2011 5:16:15 PM

sarinaide said:
If he is seriously contemplating Crossfire, a 750w PSU is a dice, they are mostly 62A range, I would imagine for such a high end card anything less than 1000w of quality is never going to work out great.



please stop giving people idiotic advice
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December 14, 2011 5:22:13 PM

I'm running through a similar situation here!

I have a Sapphire 1gb 6950, and it works like a dream. No real need to get 2gb unless you have the itch to do it or you want to be "on the safe side" but IMO 1gb is good enough for 1080p gaming in a single monitor. The price difference is not very big anyway, though.

Here's the thing, I have an Intel core I3 540 processor, STOCK clocks. Yeah, small CPU for such a big card, but that's what I got after an interesting series of events, lol. And to be honest, it works pretty decently, at least better than many people would think. I still plan on upgrading to a quad core soon enough, but since current games work very well, I'm not rushing it.

I can run Skyrim at ultra settings, no AA, (wonder if AA really gets in the way or not, since the weak component here is the CPU, not the GPU... must get to test it a bit more)
and get 60 fps at interiors and 40-60 at exteriors. Crowded cities get a bit lower FPS at times, but that can be solved by lowering the settings a bit. All of this, in 1280x1024 resolution! It should be even better when I upgrade my monitor. I'm getting a 23" one and will be gaming at 1080p.

My PSU is an Antec Earthwatts, 650w. Very silent and stable, it works great. I don't intend to CF, dunno if it'd be enough for two of these bad boys.

My point is, when it comes to gaming, the most important thing is the graphics card. You can skimp a bit on the CPU, as long as it's not a huge mismatch. My case isn't an ideal one, but I think some OCing could fix the balance. I'll upgrade CPU next year, tho, so I'm not really worried. Given your budget, I wouldn't even worry, at that price I'm sure it'll be a great CPU. Your best bet would probably be i5 2500k, decent price and huge OCing potential :)  Just focus on getting a decent GPU, and you'll be all set!
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December 14, 2011 5:46:40 PM

sibela said:
I'm running through a similar situation here!

I have a Sapphire 1gb 6950, and it works like a dream. No real need to get 2gb unless you have the itch to do it or you want to be "on the safe side" but IMO 1gb is good enough for 1080p gaming in a single monitor. The price difference is not very big anyway, though.

Here's the thing, I have an Intel core I3 540 processor, STOCK clocks. Yeah, small CPU for such a big card, but that's what I got after an interesting series of events, lol. And to be honest, it works pretty decently, at least better than many people would think. I still plan on upgrading to a quad core soon enough, but since current games work very well, I'm not rushing it.

I can run Skyrim at ultra settings, no AA, (wonder if AA really gets in the way or not, since the weak component here is the CPU, not the GPU... must get to test it a bit more)
and get 60 fps at interiors and 40-60 at exteriors. Crowded cities get a bit lower FPS at times, but that can be solved by lowering the settings a bit. All of this, in 1280x1024 resolution! It should be even better when I upgrade my monitor. I'm getting a 23" one and will be gaming at 1080p.

My PSU is an Antec Earthwatts, 650w. Very silent and stable, it works great. I don't intend to CF, dunno if it'd be enough for two of these bad boys.

My point is, when it comes to gaming, the most important thing is the graphics card. You can skimp a bit on the CPU, as long as it's not a huge mismatch. My case isn't an ideal one, but I think some OCing could fix the balance. I'll upgrade CPU next year, tho, so I'm not really worried. Given your budget, I wouldn't even worry, at that price I'm sure it'll be a great CPU. Your best bet would probably be i5 2500k, decent price and huge OCing potential :)  Just focus on getting a decent GPU, and you'll be all set!


your giving up extremes amount of fps with that cpu. i have the same gpu but a 2600k and with everything maxed at 1080p and 4.4 ghz but af and aa at 0 samples i get average 99 fps and min of 75. at 3.0 its 70 max min 49. bump back to 4.4 and aa andaf to 4 samples i get 80 average and 60 min.

i loose almost 30 fps with the downclock to i3 speeds then on top of that your going to loose speed with architecture deficiency
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December 14, 2011 5:56:37 PM

Shavako said:
I am building a new PC and was originally looking at one of the AMD Phenom II CPUs either x4 or x6 black editions or the fx-4100 but someone told me the i5 series Intel processors were vastly superior so I started trying to fit one of those into my build (the i5 2500k specifically). However I am wanting to increase the money I spend on my GPU as I will mainly use this PC for gaming. I was wondering if the difference between the Intel processors and AMD is enough to even notice? I can't go much higher than 300-400 bucks on my video card without going with a cheaper CPU but I don't want to have drastic performance loss.

So am I better off staying with the i5 2500k or maybe dropping to a 2400 OR saving some money that I can then use for a better GPU and getting a Phenom x4 or x6?

Also why are people saying that the FX series AMD processors aren't worth getting?


I have three test machines 1] P4 631 2] Core2 Duo 6600 3] I5 2500K, I used my old 8800GTX and tried F1 2011 on DX10 as 11 is not supported by the card. On 1] the game doesn't run, 2] The game runs on a mix of Medium/High @ 1360X768 4MSAA at a average 35FPS 3] The game can max on ultra @ 1360X768 8MSAA at over 48FPS. Lastly I put my GTX560TI in 3] on my monitor (19XX x12XX) and the game maxed out on Ultra 16MSAA and DX11 support at over 50FPS.

Perhaps building a machine on a high end GPU with old technology Phenoms which will sooner rather than later reach end of line requiring a new CPU and Mobo to be bought in the near forseeable future is not very sound. Running twin 6950 which are hardly mid level cards and more akin to what you expect enthusiasts to run ought to require an enthusiast calibre rig, old school P2's and a low end FX 4100 are hardly what one will call a sound financial investment.

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December 14, 2011 6:42:13 PM

^+1
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December 14, 2011 7:11:11 PM

short perfect answer
i5 2500k with z68 mobo
gtx 560ti for ultra performance with physx

play game and be happy
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December 14, 2011 9:43:05 PM

pell380 said:
short perfect answer
i5 2500k with z68 mobo
gtx 560ti for ultra performance with physx

play game and be happy


i think you mean...
i5 2500k with z68 mobo
gtx 560ti/6950 for ultra performance

cause if anything the 6950 is better at high resolutions except for a handful of games.
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December 14, 2011 10:46:27 PM

cbrunnem said:
your giving up extremes amount of fps with that cpu. i have the same gpu but a 2600k and with everything maxed at 1080p and 4.4 ghz but af and aa at 0 samples i get average 99 fps and min of 75. at 3.0 its 70 max min 49. bump back to 4.4 and aa andaf to 4 samples i get 80 average and 60 min.

i loose almost 30 fps with the downclock to i3 speeds then on top of that your going to loose speed with architecture deficiency


Yeah, I know my CPU isn't the best suited one for pairing with a 6950, hence my intention to upgrade to a quad core. However, with 60hz screens, just as most available here, anything above the 60fps rate wouldn't even be noticed (besides probably that the game would be a bit more responsive at most), so it's not that big of a deal unless a 120hz monitor is used.
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December 15, 2011 2:02:34 AM

motorneuron said:
My power supply is here; it's a Corsair 650W:

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-139-020

I used the wattage calculator and got just shy of 500W with my current setup assuming my i5-2500k is overclocked to about 4.5@ around 1.35V. If I add another video card I get more like 565W, which I was uncomfortable with brushing up against the 650W the PSU is rated at. But maybe I'm being too conservative? I was also considering trying to overclock the video cards a bit.

I didn't think of the converter. No problem doing that?



Here is my setup. You can see the yellow & black wires converter that connects to the 2nd 6920 card. The other 6950 is supplied by the builtin PCIe cable from the PSU. Note that I still have 4xHDD in this rig and its been running great. Corsair are great PSU's.
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December 15, 2011 3:09:58 AM

randomkid said:
Here is my setup. You can see the yellow & black wires converter that connects to the 2nd 6920 card. The other 6950 is supplied by the builtin PCIe cable from the PSU. Note that I still have 4xHDD in this rig and its been running great. Corsair are great PSU's.
http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/772/img01144201111050716.jpg


using molex to pcie converters is not a good way to supply power to a card.
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December 15, 2011 3:36:01 AM

cbrunnem said:
using molex to pcie converters is not a good way to supply power to a card.

Say's who? The VGA supplier puts it right in the box.

But I understand where you are coming from. Honestly the first time I plug these molex to PCIe converter in, my heart is thumping as I press the on button. But it worked fine... so the myth "using molex to pcie converters is not a good way to supply power to a card." ... busted!
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December 15, 2011 3:44:47 AM

randomkid said:
Say's who? The VGA supplier puts it right in the box.

But I understand where you are coming from. Honestly the first time I plug these molex to PCIe converter in, my heart is thumping as I press the on button. But it worked fine... so the myth "using molex to pcie converters is not a good way to supply power to a card." ... busted!


This, they wouldn't put it in your GPU and Motherboard box if it wasn't good enough.



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December 15, 2011 4:00:55 AM

randomkid said:
Say's who? The VGA supplier puts it right in the box.

But I understand where you are coming from. Honestly the first time I plug these molex to PCIe converter in, my heart is thumping as I press the on button. But it worked fine... so the myth "using molex to pcie converters is not a good way to supply power to a card." ... busted!



the only problem i see with it is that a molex connector is supply with twelve volts at a max of 11 amps. if that is the case the max a molex connector can supple is 132 watts(amps x volts = watts) and a 6950 requires 2 75 watt pcie connectors..... correct me if i am wrong.
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December 15, 2011 4:03:38 AM

sarinaide said:
This, they wouldn't put it in your GPU and Motherboard box if it wasn't good enough.


it helps sells gpus to people who didnt plan ahead lol.

i picture it like when doing electrical work you can either solder or use crimping connectors or you can twist the wires together. all options will work per se but which would you do?
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December 15, 2011 4:14:12 AM

cbrunnem said:
it helps sells gpus to people who didnt plan ahead lol.

i picture it like when doing electrical work you can either solder or use crimping connectors or you can twist the wires together. all options will work per se but which would you do?


I used to run a Corsair VX450 with a C2D and 8800GTX, it only had 1 PCI-e 6pin connector, for a very long time that was more than efficient and the card even to day does better than expected, until I upgraded to the current rig and needed a new PSU in the process, considering the C2D lasted nigh on 5-6 years how much further ought I plan ahead?
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December 15, 2011 4:22:12 AM

sarinaide said:
I used to run a Corsair VX450 with a C2D and 8800GTX, it only had 1 PCI-e 6pin connector, for a very long time that was more than efficient and the card even to day does better than expected, until I upgraded to the current rig and needed a new PSU in the process, considering the C2D lasted nigh on 5-6 years how much further ought I plan ahead?


my point is that for power hungry cards a molex connector statistically doesnt put out the recommended power to support a full card under max load.
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December 15, 2011 4:49:34 AM

cbrunnem said:
the only problem i see with it is that a molex connector is supply with twelve volts at a max of 11 amps. if that is the case the max a molex connector can supple is 132 watts(amps x volts = watts) and a 6950 requires 2 75 watt pcie connectors..... correct me if i am wrong.

Ah... No worries about this too. 1 molex per PCIe converter... so the 6950 is supplied from 2 molex in effect...


cbrunnem said:
it helps sells gpus to people who didnt plan ahead lol.

you got me there, buddy! :lol: 
The PSU was bought pre-eyefinity days so I never thought I will have the need for crossfire. But Eyefinity came and there I was stuck with a 620w PSU. But after extremepsucalculator & many reviews about the Corsair HX620W proving it is able to handle up to 750w of load, then its no brainer for me. Better the VGA supplier to con me into buying their cards than the PSU suppliers just for the sake of another pair of PCIe connectors... :kaola: 
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December 15, 2011 5:37:52 AM

randomkid said:
Ah... No worries about this too. 1 molex per PCIe converter... so the 6950 is supplied from 2 molex in effect...

arent all the molex connectors on you psu on the same string? if so you will use up 75 watts on the first connector leaving the remainder of the wattage for the rest of the connectors. but i must be missing something like that a 6950 doesnt use all of the 150 watts.
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December 15, 2011 5:56:38 AM

cbrunnem said:
arent all the molex connectors on you psu on the same string? if so you will use up 75 watts on the first connector leaving the remainder of the wattage for the rest of the connectors. but i must be missing something like that a 6950 doesnt use all of the 150 watts.

By "string" do you mean cable? if this is what your mean then the answer is No. Each of the molex suppyling the video card is by itself. They are plugged to different slots in the modular sockets of the Corsair HX620. There are no other devices deriving power from same "string".
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December 15, 2011 1:40:37 PM

Thanks for all this information--making me feel better about picking up a second 6950 on the (sort of) cheap once the 7900s are released, without having to get a new PSU.

One question--I've seen that there are both molex->PCIe and (two molex)->PCIe converters. Should I go with the latter, just to be safe? My particular XFX card requires two PCIe power plugs, so if I go the second route, it's four molex for the card. :0 (Not that I really additional molex; I think the case fan situation is under control.)
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December 16, 2011 2:09:13 AM

It depends on what the VGA Supplier will bundle with your card. For me, Sapphire bundled 2 of 1Molex-> 1PCie. So it is 1:1 which proves adequate. I am more nervous about any 3rd party molex->PCIe converter so better stick with what will be supplied in the VGA box.

If your VGA supplier do not bundle the molex->PCIe, though luck...
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December 16, 2011 3:36:58 PM

i think you should get a 3GB Nvidia 590
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!