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Core i5 2500k vs amd phenom ii x6 vs core i7 2600k

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October 31, 2011 12:54:30 AM

Hi, I'm currently looking at upgrading my PC. I do a lot of HD video rendering and some gaming. My current PC sports an amd phenom ii x6 running at the standard 3.3 ghz, an amd radeon 6870, 2 1 TB hard drives at 7200 RPM, and 8 GB of ddr2 memory.

the board i'm using is an asus m4n 78 pro, one that my dad gave me for free. i've had some problems with it and have decided that even though i've been using this PC for only 2 months i'm going to make some upgrades.

I want to make lets plays and commentaries, which requires video recording and rendering; eventually, i want to have a PC that can play a DX11 game with settings turned to high/ultra at 30-40 FPS while recording. Since i'm upgrading my board, i've been thinking about switching to the intel CPUs because eventually i want to switch to ivybridge.

My question is this: Will a core i5 2500k outperform my phenom ii x6 in terms of video rendering? how about the i7 2600k? i know they will both get better numbers in terms of FPS in games, but this isn't a purely gaming PC. will the 2 extra cores on my phenom ii really make a difference in terms of video rendering or no?

also, since the FX CPUs have turned out to be a disappointment, i plan on getting the ivybridge CPUs a few months after they come out. this is another reason why i'm thinking of switching to intel NOW.

i'm a college kid living at home, and while i wont break the bank on an i7 2600k, i'd rather not if i can get similar performance for less, as i'm trying to save money for a cheap car.

so, should i get an intel motherboard now? if so, should i get the i5 2500 or the i7 2600k? if not, should i just get an AMD board and overclock my phenom ii x6 to 3.6 ghz or so and then wait until 5 or 6 months after the ivybridge chipsets come out and completely upgrade then?

sorry for the long question, its just that ive got a lot of decisions to make! thanks for your help!
October 31, 2011 1:11:38 AM

Perhaps you can judge the gain for yourself using Anand's Bench:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=288

It's hard to imagine a 2 stage upgrade is worthwhile when you have other places to spend money. But only you can judge what its worth to you.
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a c 104 À AMD
October 31, 2011 1:49:20 AM

You have AMD now and if you go with the 2500 or 2600 then you are changing platforma and if you end up going Ivy Bridge then you are changing platforms yet again , That's a lot of money and parts to be wasting. If you are 100% positive you are going with Ivy Bridge then I would keep what you have now and overclock as much as possible. As far as playing games goes if you want to play BF3 at high/ultra then you need a serious gpu. Right now I am playing BF3 at ultra and getting an avaerage of 80fps in multiplayer and that is with two GTX 580's in sli. In the campaign mode it is slightly higher. This review was posted the other day in TomsHardware;
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

This will give you an example of what it takes to run the game , and the cpu does not play a big part in this game.
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October 31, 2011 1:54:48 AM

Waste of money seriously.
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October 31, 2011 2:15:57 AM

inzone said:
You have AMD now and if you go with the 2500 or 2600 then you are changing platforma and if you end up going Ivy Bridge then you are changing platforms yet again , That's a lot of money and parts to be wasting. If you are 100% positive you are going with Ivy Bridge then I would keep what you have now and overclock as much as possible. As far as playing games goes if you want to play BF3 at high/ultra then you need a serious gpu. Right now I am playing BF3 at ultra and getting an avaerage of 80fps in multiplayer and that is with two GTX 580's in sli. In the campaign mode it is slightly higher. This review was posted the other day in TomsHardware;
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

This will give you an example of what it takes to run the game , and the cpu does not play a big part in this game.



that makes a lot sense when you put it in the context of switching platforms twice. although wouldn't i be able to flash an intel motherboard to support ivybridge or no?
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October 31, 2011 2:18:44 AM

thanks for your replies, another question: how futureproof do you think each is: the phenom ii x6, core i5 2500k and core i7 2600k?
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October 31, 2011 4:05:47 AM

also, the DDR2 memory i'm using doesn't allow me to overclock my CPU, or i would just stick with that.
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Best solution

October 31, 2011 4:38:06 AM

Seems like that board has alot of BIOS updates for stability

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M4N78_PRO/...

As for overclocking your CPU, I believe you have the 1100t BE, which means you can overclock simply by raising the multiplier rather than adjusting the base clock and affecting the RAM speed.
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October 31, 2011 4:40:45 AM

Of course, before overclocking that CPU get a good CPU cooler and read an overclocking guide. Overclocking that CPU will help you out. The two extra cores to make a difference and allow the X6 to compete better with Intel CPUs than the X4 on SOME video encoding workloads. Upgrading to Sandy Bridge would be a good step up, but not a huge step up so you may want to wait a bit if you want to jump ship to Intel. For now I say overclock to get a free boost and get a CPU cooler you can use on an Intel setup latter on.
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October 31, 2011 5:07:40 AM

my dad flashed the bios for this motherboard in late august, is that the latest update? and when i overclock, does that mean that the higest frequency will be be raised, or that the CPU will constantly be running at that 3.6 GHz? Also, should i get a water-cooling CPU cooler?
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October 31, 2011 5:15:06 AM

Consult your mobo manufacturer's web site for your model mobo, support, downloads.

You need to be able to look this stuff up yourself.
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October 31, 2011 5:43:44 AM

i can, and have weeks ago, and i have to do more research into the overclocking features of the motherboard. honestly, the page can't even be found through ASUS's site; it must be found through google search. i think its because they know there's something wrong with these boards; my dad used the same model in a server and it died after a power outage. this is half the reason i wanted to upgrade mobo's--i don't want it to crap out on me in 2 months, and i might as well have capitalized on the minor upgrade by getting faster memory; and seeing as i wanted to switch to ivybridge eventually, i was going to also switch to the intel mobo and i5 2500k so that i could eventually flash the intel mobo to work with the ivybridge CPU i would get about this time next year.
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a b À AMD
October 31, 2011 6:21:54 AM

according to the recent articles/rumors, intel's ivb will be backwards compatible with lga 1155 chipset. it will have its own chipsets as well. ivb will natively support usb 3.0, pcie 3.0, more sata iii, low voltage ddr3 ram, 2nd gen quick sync(with more powerful igp), configurable tdp etc.
for video rendering and stuff like that you will need more cpu cores and ram. then a good gpu and may be an ssd if you can fit those in your budget. ph ii 6 core is a good, cheap cpu for your needs imo. if you can get some more performance out of it by oc'ing, go for it. make sure you give your cpu some good cooling and make sure your psu can supply the needed power.
try to hold out till ivb comes out, may be amd will release new versions of bd(piledriver aka enhanced bd) as well if they can keep up with their schedules. you can compare those two with the current sandy bridge platform and decide for yourself.
your current setup doesn't look bad. with 8 gb ram with hd 6870 and ph ii you can wait all the way to q2 2012 when nvidia will release their 6xx cards. imo getting anything under a core i7 2600k/2700k might be a sidegrade.
if you have money saved up, make sure you're spending it right.
lastly, core i7 2600, 2600k and higher should be the most futureproof cpu (i don't know if that term is even useful).
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October 31, 2011 11:07:50 PM

megamanx00 said:
Seems like that board has alot of BIOS updates for stability

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M4N78_PRO/...

As for overclocking your CPU, I believe you have the 1100t BE, which means you can overclock simply by raising the multiplier rather than adjusting the base clock and affecting the RAM speed.



so would overclocking this way limit how much i can overclock the CPU? i was thinking of going up to 3.6 or 3.7 Ghz, and this is the cooling system i was thinking of using:http://www.amazon.com/Antec-K%C3%BChler-H2O-620-Cooling...

i have an antec 100 case. it should fit ok i think
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November 1, 2011 4:00:30 PM

Adjust the multiplier first. From there you can adjust the baseclock to squeeze out a bit extra from your CPU and RAM. You can even push out a little more by tightening your times but that does require some time to test settings and make sure they are stable for very little gain. Of course, every little bit ^_^.

That cooler is good and should allow you to get a good overclock on that CPU. Read an overclocking guide to get started. Make sure you hook up that cooler right first though :D  even though it's really just making sure to get good contact and pressure on the CPU and plugging in the wire for the built in pump. I'd recommend just going into the BIOS and setting the speed to max on whatever fan header you plug that into
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November 9, 2011 10:24:24 PM

megamanx00 said:
Adjust the multiplier first. From there you can adjust the baseclock to squeeze out a bit extra from your CPU and RAM. You can even push out a little more by tightening your times but that does require some time to test settings and make sure they are stable for very little gain. Of course, every little bit ^_^.

That cooler is good and should allow you to get a good overclock on that CPU. Read an overclocking guide to get started. Make sure you hook up that cooler right first though :D  even though it's really just making sure to get good contact and pressure on the CPU and plugging in the wire for the built in pump. I'd recommend just going into the BIOS and setting the speed to max on whatever fan header you plug that into


i've bought the cooler and have gotten my CPU pretty stable at 3.7 ghz after running prime95 torture test for about an hour with no errors. the temps were a bit bad tho--67 at load with the cooler. it might be the cooler or maybe i didn't apply the right pressure or something. but in any case, i've decided to get a new motherboard, and i'm getting 12 gigs of kingston hyperx 1600mhz memory as an early christmas present, so hopefully i can get more from my overclock with the new board and memory. i might look into getting a different cooler as well.

thanks for your help!
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November 9, 2011 10:25:21 PM

Best answer selected by ParadoxEternal.
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November 9, 2011 11:04:27 PM

Yeah, 67 is a little high. Too much voltage perhaps. You can try slightly lowering the voltage of the memory controller to lower heat.
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