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Switching from AMD to Intel

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  • Motherboards
  • AMD
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November 16, 2011 2:55:08 PM

Hey, guys. I have decided to go from AMD's 955BE to Intel's i5 2500k.
This will require replacement of a motherboard, CPU and possibly a video card.

My current setup is:

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts 650w
Motherboard: ASRock 870 EXTREME3
CPU: AMD 955BE
GPU: Sapphire Raedeon 6850 1GB
RAM: G-Skill RipJaw 2x2GB
HD: WD 7200rpm 1TB
Case: Antec 300 Mid tower case.


The setup I am looking at after upgrade is:

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts 650w
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme4 P67
CPU: Intel i5 2500k
GPU: Sapphire Raedeon 6850 1GB + a second one OR replace for Nvidia card
RAM: G-Skill RipJaw 2x2GB
HD: WD 7200rpm 1TB
Case: Antec 300 Mid tower case.

Things that have changed:
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme4 P67
CPU: Intel i5 2500k
GPU: Sapphire Raedeon 6850 1GB + a second one OR replace for Nvidia card


Questions:
1. I was wondering about if I should get a second HD6850 or replace my current one for a Nvidia card since I am going to get an Intel CPU, or doesn't that matter at all? (Is it bad to pair ATI GPU with an Intel CPU?)

2. How do you like my replacement parts and what GPU options can you recommend?
-Bear in mind that I would be selling my current motherboard, CPU and if I go for any other GPU I would also sell the HD6850.
-SLi vs Single GPU?


3. Any other suggestions?



Regards from Iceland, Emil.

More about : switching amd intel

a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:03:05 PM

2 6850s is better than 1 GTX 580 so its up to you

Parts are good would like to see the links to actually take a closer look and I would go with a Z68 Mobo instead of a P67
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:05:35 PM

The 2500k is far superior to the 955be, no question. However the upgrade from one to the other isn't worth the cost. You would get a lot better performance (in games) by dropping a more powerful gpu in there and overclocking that cpu.
Related resources
November 16, 2011 3:14:30 PM

zooted said:
The 2500k is far superior to the 955be, no question. However the upgrade from one to the other isn't worth the cost. You would get a lot better performance (in games) by dropping a more powerful gpu in there and overclocking that cpu.



What about for the future, wouldn't the 2500k last longer tech wise?
Also, I would sell the 955BE that would make up for a little bit in the cost..
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:21:05 PM

TheFamous said:
What about for the future, wouldn't the 2500k last longer tech wise?
Also, I would sell the 955BE that would make up for a little bit in the cost..

They're both quad cores, so no not really. I would also say keep what you have now, and upgrade later when a quad core isn't sufficient enough.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:22:10 PM

Don't forget that ivy bridge is due out in about 4 months. It should provide a healty upgrade over sand bridge. So if you are going to switch platforms that would be an even bigger upgrade. If I were you I would upgrade the gpu and overclock the cpu. Adding a second 6850 wouldnt be ideal due to microstuttering
November 16, 2011 3:31:44 PM

gmcizzle said:
They're both quad cores, so no not really. I would also say keep what you have now, and upgrade later when a quad core isn't sufficient enough.



http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288
No second thoughts even after looking at this comparison?


300 bucks of what this would cost I would make up in christmas gifts, so money is not really a big problem, but if the differences gameing wise are as low as you suggest, even in a game like Skyrim witch is mostly CPU dependent, I will hold off and settle for maybe just a second HD6850.

( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-... )

Thanks for your answer :) 


a b B Homebuilt system
November 16, 2011 3:45:57 PM

Most of those are synthetic tests. However, if you're doing primarily heavily threaded stuff like video encoding then it may be worth going with a i7-2600k. But for gaming, the 955 and the 2500k are very similar, noted by the last couple benchmarks in that link. If you want more performance I would OC your 955 as much as you can, with a good aftermarket cooler of course.
November 16, 2011 3:46:37 PM

I agree with the above... I'm running an amd 955 be as well right now and it's still rocking everything with my unlocked 6950 in it... I plan on upgrading, but not until Ivy Bridge is available...
November 16, 2011 3:48:50 PM

look at the last 4 tests at the bottom of the anandtech article... those are the games... and while their is a big difference (20 fps) it's the difference between "perfectly playable" and "I can't really tell this is better because my monitor is 60hz so even if the frame refreshes faster my screen doesn't..."
November 16, 2011 3:49:20 PM

Pairing ATI and Intel is fine... I run a Core i5-750 w/ a MSI Radeon 5770... no issues what-so-ever. I would stick with a single GPU.

Your rig should run Skyrim no problem... mine does(just not highest settings)
November 16, 2011 3:54:23 PM

+1000 for keeping your current CPU and overclocking it as much as you can (around 3.6-3.8ghz should be sufficient). As far as Crossfire or upgrading to a stronger card... that's totally up to you. Most people are concerned about heat issues, microstuttering, and etc... which pushes them towards the single card route. I can't put in my 2 cents here since I'm currently in that battle between going with a dual card setup or single.
a c 85 B Homebuilt system
a b å Intel
a c 282 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 16, 2011 4:10:47 PM

To answer your questions:

1) There is no problem or issues mixing an intel/amd cpu with a nvidia/amd graphics card.
They are entirely separate.

I do like the 2500K, and such an upgrade would serve you well for some time. But ivy bridge is on the horizon(march?). The prices and capabilities are unknown, but a 20% improvement in performance has been mentioned. If you really don't need a cpu upgrade for YOUR games, then it might be good to wait a bit.

2) For gaming, the graphics card is usually the most important factor. I like a single strong graphics card whenever it will do the job. Unless you are a professional gamer or are trying triple monitor gaming, then a good single card will serve you well. If you will upgrade your graphics, then a second 6850 is a possibility, assuming your motherboard supports cf, and your psu is strong enough.

Alternatively, you could sell the 6850 and replace it with something like a GTX570/6970, or even a GTX580. Your 650w psu will be fine for that.

3) To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

4) 4gb is ok, but if you have a 64 bit windows 7, consider upgrading to 8gb. ram is cheap.
a b V Motherboard
November 16, 2011 4:33:22 PM

IMHO, it's always bad to replace an Nvidia GPU with an ATI/AMD. Buggy drivers.
November 16, 2011 10:12:51 PM

Ok, first off I wanna thank you guys for your pointers, very much appreciated! I have decided to overclock my CPU and going for a single bigger GPU (sell my 6850 and go for something bigger).

But, what is the best bang for buck GPU card out there at the moment?
I'm looking something at around 300-400 dollars max.
And 2 people have commented on pairing and AMD card with an Nvidia card, and they did not agree. Looking for a third perspective or an article to support your statement, if you would be so nice!

BTW: My resolution is 1680x1050, if that makes any different!

Got my eyes on either an HD6970 or an GTX570

Thank you all for your help!
Regards from Iceland, Emil.
a c 85 B Homebuilt system
a b å Intel
a c 282 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 16, 2011 10:51:32 PM

With your budget, I think you are looking at a GTX570 or 6970. Prices will be competitive. Shop and take your pick.
Read this article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

As to bang for the buck, you get diminishing returns for your dollar as the cost of the cards go up. You are the only one who can determine the value.
Get the strongest card you feel comfortable paying for, and don't look back.

As to pairing a amd card and a nvidia card, I don't think anyone suggests that.
A amd card runs well with amd or intel cpu's. A nvidia card runs well with Intel and amd cpu's also.

Running both a amd card and a nvidia card is ok for special purposes(physx) but don't expect to run two different amd/nvidia cards in sli or crossfire.

a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2011 1:42:02 AM

yup
November 17, 2011 11:40:12 AM

geofelt said:
With your budget, I think you are looking at a GTX570 or 6970. Prices will be competitive. Shop and take your pick.
Read this article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

As to bang for the buck, you get diminishing returns for your dollar as the cost of the cards go up. You are the only one who can determine the value.
Get the strongest card you feel comfortable paying for, and don't look back.

As to pairing a amd card and a nvidia card, I don't think anyone suggests that.
A amd card runs well with amd or intel cpu's. A nvidia card runs well with Intel and amd cpu's also.

Running both a amd card and a nvidia card is ok for special purposes(physx) but don't expect to run two different amd/nvidia cards in sli or crossfire.




I have decided to go with the 6970, but I was wondering what design is best, I currently have the Sapphire version of 6850 so I would like to go Sapphire again because it has been working very well for me + it great feedback. Though XFX seems to be more popular and ASUS also has some great feedback.

Good to know to about the micro stuttering, that the 6970 don't have a lot of micro stuttering like less power full cards, so I could go probably go CrossFire in the future but would of course have to get a bigger PSU then. Do you think that my AMD 955BE would bottleneck two 6970's?


Thanks again!
Regards, Emil.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2011 12:48:41 PM

Negative the 955 wont bottleneck it, plus you can always OC it to 965BE speeds and higher with proper CPU cooling
a b B Homebuilt system
November 17, 2011 12:51:38 PM

In the last sbm they got it up to 3.8 on stock cooling. ^
Anonymous
November 17, 2011 1:26:35 PM

get a evga 560 ti win
it is a 2 in one 560 ti .
i know its damn expensive.
but that would kill any game within a 1 year and a few months at 1680x1050 and 60 hz . its an awesome deal .
dont go for cpu upgrade because amd cpus are useless(no offences)i mean they are not very good a i5-2300 beats a fx-8150.
no need for cpu & mobo change.
the card is just awesome .
if u want 6970 , go for MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 or a gigabyte overclocked or
asus dc ii .
now its on you
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
November 17, 2011 3:16:18 PM

I say upgrade progressively. Get the video card (whichever you choose) and ram (8-16gb) and plug them into your current setup. SSDs are fun too for quick boots. Then when ivy comes out change the rest, like this you get to enjoy stuff while waiting :) 
November 17, 2011 9:21:57 PM

Thanks for your help guys! I have decided to get the 6970 Sapphire.
November 17, 2011 9:27:46 PM

Quick question, is it worth getting the 6970 over the 6950 considering that the price difference is 70$ ??

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=292

I'm running 1680x1050 and the 6970 is only 0-12fps better..Though it is better in every game.


What do you guys think?
a c 85 B Homebuilt system
a b å Intel
a c 282 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 17, 2011 9:35:09 PM

TheFamous said:
Quick question, is it worth getting the 6970 over the 6950 considering that the price difference is 70$ ??

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=292


Only you can answer that. Get the strongest card you are willing to pay for and don't look back.
November 18, 2011 3:58:21 AM

get the 6950 2gb reference card and unlock it... then you get the best of both worlds... the 70 bucks and the 6970 ;) 
November 18, 2011 4:08:51 AM

I was going to mention getting the 6950 as well since you're using a lower resolution... and even with full 1920x1080 res, you'll play games exceptionally well with the highest settings.
!