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Gtx 560 Ti or intel 2500k

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September 23, 2011 10:50:42 PM

Hello all,

I'm working on putting together a new build and I've come across a decision that I would like some advice on.

My budget for this build allows for either a combination of Phenom II 955 and a gtx 560 Ti or an core i5 2500k with a gtx 560. It will primarily be a gaming computer and I'll be using a 1920 x 1080 monitor. I plan on overclocking either processor and the gpu, and for the amd build I will have an am3+ motherboard to support future processors. Also, no plans for sli what so ever.

I know in general the better graphics card will yield better gaming performance, but is the "Ti" worth the sacrifice of a better processor? Or in another question; is the difference in processors justified by the difference in graphics cards?

Thanks in advance.

More about : gtx 560 intel 2500k

September 23, 2011 11:03:31 PM

That is quite a dilemma. What really makes it problematic is that the i5 2500k gives you better framerates on the same GPU as the phenom II x4.

I would have to say that try to see if you can save the extra 30-35 bucks you need for the upgrade and get i5 2500k & 560Ti
Or see if you can find a nice combo, i know there were some earlier this week with 2500k and different 560Ti's saving $15-20.

It would clearly be the best solution.

You can also wait for bulldozer to come out in the next month or so and see if that would bring the performance between the 2 closer to each other.
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September 23, 2011 11:35:09 PM

The thing is, the i5 only fit into my budget because of a combo with a 560 and a bunch of other parts knocking off like $70 (that combo is currently out of stock). To build the same system without combos is out of the budget that I already expanded to incorporate the i5 combo. It's a little complicated, but the bottom line is that the i5 and the gtx560ti are just too much.

As of right now I'm leaning toward the phenom II with the 560ti because I also could squeeze in 8gb of ram instead of 4gb.
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September 23, 2011 11:41:22 PM

So basically you are looking into getting: CPU+Mobo+Ram+GPU upgrade ?

How much exactly did you have to spend here?

So if it's going towards the Phenom II wait for Bulldozer and see how it fares.
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Best solution

September 24, 2011 12:09:49 AM

Get i5 2400 with a H61/H67 board.

Use the saved money to get a HD 6970.
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September 24, 2011 12:48:55 PM

I appreciate the help Rohit. I put together a build with an i5 2400 and a 6950 2gb for about the same price as my amd build. I think i'll be much happier with the i5.
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September 24, 2011 1:29:53 PM

fireaxxe said:
Hello all,

I'm working on putting together a new build and I've come across a decision that I would like some advice on.

My budget for this build allows for either a combination of Phenom II 955 and a gtx 560 Ti or an core i5 2500k with a gtx 560. It will primarily be a gaming computer and I'll be using a 1920 x 1080 monitor. I plan on overclocking either processor and the gpu, and for the amd build I will have an am3+ motherboard to support future processors. Also, no plans for sli what so ever.

I know in general the better graphics card will yield better gaming performance, but is the "Ti" worth the sacrifice of a better processor? Or in another question; is the difference in processors justified by the difference in graphics cards?

Thanks in advance.


If this is primarily a gaming system, both configs you mention will be mostly bottlenecked by the GPU. Given that, I am reasonably sure you would get higher frame rates on the Ti+Phenom than you would on the 560+i5.

However, the i5 is a far better CPU and you will get superior general system performance. Enough to be easily noticeable in many Windows 7 scenarios. If forced to choose I would go for the 560+i5 despite that it would give you inferior frame rates than the 560Ti+Phenom, simply because it would be a better system overall. Also, don't forget that you can easily add another 560 to your i5 platform when budget allows (if you get an SLI capable motherboard). This would give you a very nice and well balanced system. However, adding a second 560Ti to an AMD system would almost certainly move the bottleneck to the CPU (plus your motherboard choice is greatly restricted).

But I think there's a better solution than both of these. As one other poster mentioned, i5 2400 + GTX 560Ti is another alternative that's probably within budget. It will give you better gaming performance than either of the configs you're considering. 2400 can be overclocked (albeit to a more limited extent to the 2500k). I have an i5 2400 in one of my systems and in many ways it's the best system I've had. Tidy platform, fast, reliable, quiet and a joy to get along with. (This one is paired with a GTX 295, which will be faster than a single GTX 560Ti in most situations, and there's no evidence of CPU bottlenecking that I've seen). This system coasts along quite comfortably at 3.7GHz in turbo, which isn't too shabby at all.

On the subject of bottlenecking, my main gaming system is a core i7 920 (o/c to 4GHz) paired with twin 560Tis. At the resolutions/settings that I like to use, the performance bottleneck is still the GPU. My experience therefore is that as long as you get a moderately competent CPU, you'll generally get more bang for buck by opting for a faster GPU. But this is only relevant if gaming performance is the only consideration, which of course it never completely is.
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September 24, 2011 2:53:08 PM

Um....how would a GTX 560 ti bottleneck a i5 2500k processor.....
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September 24, 2011 3:04:15 PM

I think he was saying it would bottleneck the pc if he got the regular 560 version.
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September 24, 2011 3:32:14 PM

If you wnat a gaming then go for gtx 560 ti & i5 2400 or lower price CPU like i5 2300,2310,2320.,i3 2100,2110,2120
If you don want a nin-gaming then go for i3 or i5 with a lower budget GPU
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September 24, 2011 3:41:36 PM

eagleblueline said:
Um....how would a GTX 560 ti bottleneck a i5 2500k processor.....


In my experience if you have a fast processor such as an i5 2500k or a nehalem i7 around 4ghz and if you like to run games at their most demanding settings then the bottleneck is almost always the gpu. My main gaming system is an i7 920 @ 4GHz and 2*560ti sli and the system is still gpu bound.
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September 24, 2011 4:04:30 PM

bwrlane said:
In my experience if you have a fast processor such as an i5 2500k or a nehalem i7 around 4ghz and if you like to run games at their most demanding settings then the bottleneck is almost always the gpu. My main gaming system is an i7 920 @ 4GHz and 2*560ti sli and the system is still gpu bound.


With GTX 560 Ti's in SLI I can't see you noticing any difference in any game you play even with an i7 920 @ 4GHz. You should be running any game at 50+ fps...
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September 24, 2011 5:45:05 PM

To clarify a little, this is an entire system build, so my budget includes the tower and everything in it with an os. By saving money on a h61 mobo and not having to buy a cpu cooler I was able to squeeze an i5 2400 and a 6950 2gb into my build and stay within budget.

Taking what all of you guys said about bottlenecking and overall system performance, I'd have to say the i5 2400 and the 6950 combination will be the best configuration for me.
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September 25, 2011 11:38:25 PM

fireaxxe said:
To clarify a little, this is an entire system build, so my budget includes the tower and everything in it with an os. By saving money on a h61 mobo and not having to buy a cpu cooler I was able to squeeze an i5 2400 and a 6950 2gb into my build and stay within budget.

Taking what all of you guys said about bottlenecking and overall system performance, I'd have to say the i5 2400 and the 6950 combination will be the best configuration for me.


Agree, that's a nicely balanced system. Good choice all round. One of mine has an i5 2400 and it's very fast, as well as being a good, tidy and reliable system all round.

Returning once again to the issue of bottlenecking, the issue here is more about minimum frame rates rather than average. My 920+2*560 ti machine experiences some momentary but noticeable framerate judder on some of the more complex scenes if I run the game in stereoscopic 3d. This is quite clearly a gpu limitation as it always produces perfectly smooth visuals with stereoscopic off. I find any drop below about 45 fps noticeable and slightly disconcerting.

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September 26, 2011 3:25:55 AM

bwrlane said:
Agree, that's a nicely balanced system. Good choice all round. One of mine has an i5 2400 and it's very fast, as well as being a good, tidy and reliable system all round.


Good cause I ordered it yesterday. :) 
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October 1, 2011 5:23:01 AM

Best answer selected by fireaxxe.
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