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Intel or AMD?

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December 11, 2011 2:00:03 AM

I had these parts in mind. I did my best at trying to figure out compability. I also wanted to ask if this CPU would bottleneck the video card, I will be playing BF3. Or if the CPU is good at all for BF3 multiplayer without unlocking cores. And also, is the 1GB difference for the 6950 a big deal for 1080p? Now here is my first world problem...Should go with an i5 processor and get a cheaper video card, say a 6870 or go with this 960t 69501gb build? 800 is my max, and of course I won't mind spending less then this if you guys can come up with a rig that will run BF3 on high settings and 1920x1080. I had a rig in mind for a couple hundred less but it involved a i3 2100 and 6850 or 6870 and from what I understand multiplayer would be horrible without quad core. Also, would this be a bad time to buy all this stuff? Should I wait until after christmas or until new hardware comes out so prices go down. Thanks for any help and sorry if this is a hard read :p .

DVD burner: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

Monitor: Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design

MOBO: ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W

RAM: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Total: $793

More about : intel amd

December 11, 2011 2:24:26 AM

Forgot to ask, is it possible to do a slight overclock and/or unlock cores on the stock cooler of this processor?
And more importantly, will I be able to do either of those things with that motherboard?
December 11, 2011 2:47:53 AM

Anyone? I have run out of ideas...first build and I'm sure I'm doing something wrong or inefficient here.
Related resources
December 11, 2011 3:13:09 AM

Someone have any experiences with that CPU? Specifically with BF3?
December 11, 2011 3:57:42 AM

That video card will run BF3 terrifically but I would suggest going with an i5/i7 over a Phenom II x4. It's a bit pricier but the extra performance is well worth it.
December 11, 2011 4:03:01 AM

Are you referring to the video card greeneman510 suggested or the 6950? Because I definately can't get both a 6950 and an i5/i7 and stay within my budget. I guess the real question is, 6850 or 6870 and i5, or 6950 and an AMD processor under 150. Or an Nvidia card as greeneman510 suggested
December 11, 2011 4:13:15 AM

the 6950 and the 560 ti both are good gpus that perform very similarly.

I don't think your budget will allow for the typical i5-2500k go to gaming build, not when you have to buy a monitor as well, you could opt to use a tv for your monitor if that is an option to shuffle some funds around.

What is your budget?


December 11, 2011 4:18:12 AM

$800 including monitor. Unless there is a comparable monitor for less than $130, the rest of the parts have to fit into $670. I know it's not that much for a "decent" system which is why I have been on newegg for hours trying to find combo "deals".
December 11, 2011 4:24:53 AM

sorry, your budget was in your first post, didn't see it, typically skim read.

I did not see a HDD either, so do you need one? b/c that is going to really hurt your budget at the moment due to Floods in Thailand.

Are you dead set on any of your components (mainly case)?

Also do you live next to a microcenter???
December 11, 2011 4:30:01 AM

Fortunately, I won't be needing a HDD. Unfortunately I don't live near a Microcenter. I'm not set on any of my components. In fact, some of them I picked because they were part of a "combo" and they seemed good choices. I'm open to any suggestions.
December 11, 2011 5:00:27 AM

could not keep it under 670 with the i5 2500k,

total amounted to about 770.00 without rebates, roughly 730.00 with rebates. I also had to downgrade your gpu to a gtx 560 oc edition from gigabyte. if system dowgrades to a i5-2400 you would save an additional 30

sorry.

edit, i'll post it anyways. gpu was hypothetically purchased from tiger direct.
December 11, 2011 5:07:08 AM

What do you recommend if not an i5 2500k? I mostly want this system for gaming, specifically Battlefield 3, nothing too fancy.
December 11, 2011 5:20:27 AM

Hopefully the link is not secured

2500k build

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

total is 556.94 before MIR, 486.94 after MIR.

GPU is from tigerdirect 200 before mir, 154.99 after mir and extra savings (coupon code) I personally own this gpu, and have no issues with it, would not be able to max out bf3, could most likely run it on high.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

total cost for i5 2500k build about 760.00 before all mir, about 650.00 after.

you could downgrade to an i5-2400k and save an additional 30 bucks.
December 11, 2011 5:26:42 AM

Thanks for your help, but the first link took me to the log in page and I couldn't see the parts. Guess the link was secured :( 
December 11, 2011 5:40:09 AM

If you cant afford to upgrade to 2500k build then dont bother. The performance to value is unmatch. Anything less and its just a waste of money at this point. New processors and video cards are coming very soon. Your better off waiting.
December 11, 2011 5:45:18 AM

how bout now

secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=17950972
December 11, 2011 5:47:29 AM

AMD phenoms Blackeditions processors were good value/options before sandy bridge arrived. But Now even the low end i3 sandy bridge puts those to shame.
December 11, 2011 5:47:31 AM

Wait to get the new hardware or wait until current hardware prices go down due to new hardware? Because my budget ain't getting bigger. How much do prices normally drop with new stuff? I'm not going to wait half a year to get the 2500k for 180 instead of 220...
December 11, 2011 5:53:04 AM

Yes, it works now thesnappyfingers. Thanks for the help. And value21, to my understanding, an i3 wouldn't perform very good with multiplayer in Battlefield 3. But my understanding is limited so I don't know. If I replaced the 2500k with an i3 and used the extra $100 or so to buy a 6950 or comparable video card there would be no change in performance? Because I don't mind having an i3 instead of and i5 if there is no change with current gaming. But if the i3 will bottleneck the system then no way.
December 11, 2011 5:55:05 AM

Elmasloco, christmas time might have some good deals, but I purchase my PC couple weeks before black friday and cyber monday and I didnt miss out on much. However, I shopped, and cherry picked for deals.

Price fluctuations are not that extreme.

December 11, 2011 5:55:19 AM

Your better off getting a sandy bridge i3 then. When the time comes you could just buy the 2500k to upgrade. That cpu is going to be great for years to come.
December 11, 2011 5:56:23 AM

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($20.63 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 6950 1GB Video Card ($235.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.82 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($57.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Acer V213HBJbd 21.5" Monitor ($123.46 @ Amazon)
Total: $804.84
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

This is the best I could come up with. I'm not sure how good the motherboard is. The price is also $840 if you can't get to all the best outlets.

If you go with a 6870, it's this.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($20.63 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.82 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($57.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Acer V213HBJbd 21.5" Monitor ($123.46 @ Amazon)
Total: $708.84
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2011-12-11 02:53 EST-0500)

$745 if you can't find the right outlets.
December 11, 2011 5:58:09 AM

Basically for your gaming needs for BF3 at 1080 i or 1900x1020. A i3 with a 560 ti playing on medium detail would run very smoothly. PS 560 ti is cheaper than 6950 and almost as fast.
December 11, 2011 6:05:16 AM

Personally I dont see alot of difference gaming at medium detail vs high detail when im in a firefight. Only when Im standing still and specifically looking for stuff will i even notice it.
December 11, 2011 6:05:51 AM

Medium detail provides plenty of eye candy
December 11, 2011 6:14:15 AM

Thanks for the help guys/gals, appreciate your time. Going to sleep on this one, probably buy tomorrow.
December 11, 2011 6:16:11 AM

buu11235 build are pretty good compared to my suggestion

the top one with the 6950 will cost you about 30.00 more (cpu is from microcenter), but he also accouted for cpu cooler

Case is cheaper than the storm scout, but not as good, storm scout has a lot more room to work in an has better cable management

the ram is a bit slower, and there is 4 gigs less you can game with 4 gigs, but 8 will be future proof.

PSU is not modular, but many can live with that.

I am not trying to be being critical or suggesting that the builds are inferior, I am just clarifying the differences.


December 11, 2011 6:28:12 AM

value21 I wish it eased the fears but both of those were published before the game was even released. Do you personally play BF3 with an i3? Would love to hear how it works out with your system.
December 11, 2011 6:44:15 AM

I have a x4 955 BE overclocked to 3.9 with a 570 though. I run smooth as better. An i3 2100 is better than my CPU. I run at high settings.
December 11, 2011 6:44:48 AM

smooth as butter i mean
December 11, 2011 6:57:43 AM

Thoughts on this? around $670 total + $130 monitor=$800 Could swap out the video card for a cheaper one. Are i5 2400 builds a waste? I don't really mind not overclocking.
December 11, 2011 6:59:29 AM

Based on a few youtube videos, an i3, a 6670 GPU, and medium settings, you get 40-60 FPS (1440x900).

So, I would guess an i3, 6870, and 1900x1080, would probably get 40-60 fps at medium settings (speculation to be fair).
December 11, 2011 7:02:58 AM

Your going the wrong way elmasloco. Dont up the cpu and lower the video card. BF3 is more video card dependent than cpu.
December 11, 2011 1:53:19 PM

As far as I know, single player benchmarks are very different from multiplayer benchmarks when it comes to CPU usage and BF3. Wish I could find a multiplayer CPU usage benchmark. An i3 and a 560ti or 6950 sound like the perfect match right now, but from what I gather dual core gets destroyed by BF3. I guess 64 players in huge maps is too taxing? The important thing I want to know is with the video settings set to match those video cards' performance, will the i3 keep up? I know in single player it can, but mp is where most of the time is spent. And if the i3 can't keep up with those cards, what would be a good match for it in BF3?
December 11, 2011 2:52:32 PM

If you can afford to wait it out, I would get an i5 and less powerful graphics card. In couple of months, you can get HD 7000 series amd card. I think you'll get a better longevity with that combination. If you want something now and no upgrade later, I would stick with i3 or AMD CPU.
December 11, 2011 3:17:11 PM

I've put off assembling a gaming computer for too long now. I guess I could wait but then again there is always something better "just around the corner" and I'll wait forever and not have anything. Well from what you guys have suggested, I would be better off getting the i5 2500k and a video card that will fit into the budget. Will any z68 board allow for overclocking? Also, I don't plan on overclocking right away, will the 2500k run fine at stock settings with the stock cooler?
December 11, 2011 4:49:56 PM

You could do your build on say a 6870, then later say a coulpe of months Buy a 2nd on and use xfire. ONLY cavet, is MB must have X8,x8 PCI-e slot capability.
December 11, 2011 5:06:09 PM

Alright, after reviewing your suggestions, I came up with a 2500k and a GTX 560 Ti build. I think I could make it work, the total so far is $735 without a case or power supply. Anyone have any recommendations? Ideally if a power supply and case would total $100 then my total would be $835, which I think I could do. Also, my mobo choice concerns a little. I know little of mobos, would this mobo be a waste of money or would it work out nicely for overclocking?

GIGABYTE GA-Z68P-DS3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 11, 2011 5:17:47 PM

Ah nevermind I guess the build won't work, that goes way past my budget, not even including a case. Starting to think I'm going to have to skip on a 2500k build and go AMD, which I don't want to do.
December 11, 2011 5:27:11 PM

Do you think you'll strictly play BF3 or you have some cash to upgrade in the future? It just seems like there's a steep price increase past the 6850 for price vs performance. The performance increase you get with better cards in the future will give you higher return for your investment. It's not like you won't be able to play BF3 with weaker card now.
December 11, 2011 5:33:52 PM

Here's how I start off a build.....maybe you will find it useful.

Budget < $800 = AMD based build
Budget > $800 = Intel based build

GFX Budget < $200 = AMD card
GFX Budget > $200 = nVidia card
December 11, 2011 5:33:56 PM

elmasloco said:
I had these parts in mind. I did my best at trying to figure out compability. I also wanted to ask if this CPU would bottleneck the video card, I will be playing BF3. Or if the CPU is good at all for BF3 multiplayer without unlocking cores. And also, is the 1GB difference for the 6950 a big deal for 1080p? Now here is my first world problem...Should go with an i5 processor and get a cheaper video card, say a 6870 or go with this 960t 69501gb build? 800 is my max, and of course I won't mind spending less then this if you guys can come up with a rig that will run BF3 on high settings and 1920x1080. I had a rig in mind for a couple hundred less but it involved a i3 2100 and 6850 or 6870 and from what I understand multiplayer would be horrible without quad core. Also, would this be a bad time to buy all this stuff? Should I wait until after christmas or until new hardware comes out so prices go down. Thanks for any help and sorry if this is a hard read :p .

DVD burner: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

Monitor: Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design

MOBO: ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16

PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W

RAM: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Total: $793



In view of AMDs announcement that they are no longer going to compete in the desktop market I see no reason to not take them at their word. I will be building Intel in the future, new announcements not withstanding.
December 11, 2011 5:37:04 PM

Well the number one reason I'm building is to play BF3 at highest quality as possible. I was just thinking of doing that myself, but had a 6870 in mind. I guess it makes sense getting the better processor and a lower card.
December 11, 2011 6:01:57 PM

elmasloco said:
Well the number one reason I'm building is to play BF3 at highest quality as possible. I was just thinking of doing that myself, but had a 6870 in mind. I guess it makes sense getting the better processor and a lower card.



When you say the words "highest quality as possible" you remove all budget constraints. Is that really what you want to do?
December 11, 2011 6:10:34 PM

Should have said "highest quality as possible within my budget"...

Also, is the 6870 much better than the 6850? It's a $ 30 difference. Now by much better I mean will it be noticeable, say going from low to medium on battlefield 3, or any other game for that matter.
!