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Phenom X4+6870 vs. i5 2500k+6770/550ti

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May 17, 2012 2:31:44 AM

I am trying to build a gaming PC on a budget ($500-$700...the cheaper the better) that I can also use for everyday tasks, and possibly music editing (possibly being the key word). Planning on playing games like SC2, diablo 3, skyrim, and FPS. As you can tell with my budget I am trying to get the best "bang for the buck."

My dilemma is that should I get the much cheaper phenom X4 955/965 and match it with a radeon 6870 or should I go with the i5 2500K with 6770/550ti. Is there a big enough difference between them to go with the intel rout?

Also, if I go with the phenom x4 what mobo should I pair it with? Is the ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ a good option?

Sorry for the barrage of questions.

Thank you guys in advance for all your help.
May 17, 2012 2:35:11 AM

hope you can get resolved soon
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a c 897 à CPUs
May 17, 2012 9:29:25 AM

The HD6870 is going to allow for a much better gaming performance but the I5 more processing power! Depending on your resolution then 6770/550ti might be acceptable gaming performance for you, both cards do well up to 1680 x 1050
The Asrock is a good board.
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May 17, 2012 9:40:16 AM

Go with the former, the X4 is powerful *enough* and will work nicely with a 6870, modern games (BF3 +) will falter no matter the res or CPU on a 550ti!
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May 17, 2012 9:41:06 AM

Why not a i5 2310 + H77 + HD6870. Would cost almost the same.
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a c 118 à CPUs
May 17, 2012 10:16:06 AM

i would get the most powerfull cpu i could afford and then in a few months upgrade the gfx... if you dont wanna do that then get the amd and the biggest gfx you can for your budget.

if you get the 2500k you have the great beginnings of a high end gaming system...
getting a better cpu will guarantee game compatibility for at least the next 4 years.
i would have recomended the i3 2120 but i have seen how it performs on cpu bound games like gta 4 and its not great, it will show the same stress in bf3 so i couldn't in all fairness recommend it because of the multiplayer.
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May 17, 2012 11:11:51 PM

Thank you guys for the very informative feedback

From what I have been reading it would be better to go with a better graphics card then a processor right when looking at gaming performance except when it comes to multiplayer?

I know that SC2 is a processor heavy game and probably the game I will be playing the most. But I dont need maxed out graphics (though that would be nice), and the way blizzard works I will be fine for the next decade with SC2 and Diablo 3 with this computer. Also I am pretty sure that the monitor that I have and will be using is max 60 hz (I am not 100% positive) so trying to achieve really high frame rates really does not matter...right?

And I have been reading that the phenom II x4 9xx can be overclocked easily. So I could look into that in the future and try to match the processing power of the i5 2500k (though it'll still probably not be able to compete). But by doing that I will have to buy aftermarket cooling.

The problem that I am seeing with the AMD build is that the new piledriver chips will be using a different socket (which bites) and with intel I could upgrade to ivybridge later, but I dont see myself upgrading the processor within the next 3 years anyways so this may be a moot point.

I am totally new to all this to be honest. I have been using 3-6+ year old laptops/desktops the past 6 years with linux, so you can imagine what kind of performance I am use to. It has been a very long time since I have built my own PC.

Sorry for this long drawn out post...maybe I should stop researching and just go with my gut, because the more I read the more I get confused.

Thanks again in advance for all the help.

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May 18, 2012 12:02:20 AM

the phenom chips are no slouch, they're plenty fast. a 6870 is much faster than a 6770 or 550ti, so I'd definitely recommend you stick with a 6850 at the minimum, preferably the 6870.
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a c 897 à CPUs
May 18, 2012 5:05:21 AM

The 2500K system is worth the price premium.
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May 18, 2012 4:31:37 PM

Is it worth getting the 2500k and then dropping down to the 6770/550ti?

Or do you guys have any ideas of cutting like $40-50 dollars so that I could still go with the 2500k + 6870?

AMD build: x4 965 black+6870

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8n9p



Intel build: 2500k+6870...6770 is around $100 right now

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8q41


Thanks for all the help
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May 18, 2012 5:10:17 PM

+1 to Phenom II 955 + HD 6870.

The performance is be a lot higher in the majority of games because of the mor powerful GPU.
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a c 897 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:29:29 AM

I would go with the 2500K and drop down to the HD6770. You will get a longer lasting system since you can upgrade the GPU later.
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May 19, 2012 6:21:03 AM

rolli59 said:
I would go with the 2500K and drop down to the HD6770. You will get a longer lasting system since you can upgrade the GPU later.


Haswell won't come out on the socket 1155, so there's no upgrade path on the CPU front once he gets the i5... Even more if he gets a cheap MoBo along with it.

If he gets an AM3+, he could upgrade down the road to a beefier AMD CPU and also change the GPU as well if he wants.

Cheers!
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a c 897 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 6:45:48 AM

Yuka said:
Haswell won't come out on the socket 1155, so there's no upgrade path on the CPU front once he gets the i5... Even more if he gets a cheap MoBo along with it.

If he gets an AM3+, he could upgrade down the road to a beefier AMD CPU and also change the GPU as well if he wants.

Cheers!

There really isn't anything beefy in the AMD path either especially since they have announced that they are going to concentrate an APU's rather than performance CPU's! Piledriver is in the plans and based on the news of it it is only going to play catch up to the current Intel line.
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a b à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:19:33 PM

rolli59 said:
There really isn't anything beefy in the AMD path either especially since they have announced that they are going to concentrate an APU's rather than performance CPU's! Piledriver is in the plans and based on the news of it it is only going to play catch up to the current Intel line.


Then, under that same logic, he's better off with beefier GPU now than beefier CPU 8)

Cheers!
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May 19, 2012 6:24:44 PM

So, I sat down and thought about it long and hard and I think that I am going to go with the AMD rout, then in 3-4 years when I have money go with the best of the best of what AMD/intel have to offer at the time :) 

Right now I think that getting the better GPU will fit more of what I am thinking of doing, and the X4 from the many weeks of research is a great chip for the price point. I know that the 2500k is superior chip overall but that comes at a premium, and trying to shoehorn it into my budget is unfortunately not working out.


Thanks for providing such great feedback. You guys really helped me a lot with my dilemma.
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May 19, 2012 7:49:05 PM

Anyone have any thoughts on this psu?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SUK5C6/ref=ox_sc_a...

But Anyways...This is the final build I think

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Raidmax 630W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.00 @ Amazon)

Total: $568.94

Thoughts?
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a b à CPUs
May 19, 2012 11:47:50 PM

Cheap and effective.

Sounds good.

Cheers!
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a c 897 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 5:20:57 AM

Raidmax is at the low end of the PSU market quality wise and I would never buy one. Many horror stories in here about them not delivering!
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May 20, 2012 12:58:05 PM

Yea I really didn't do too much research on PSU's...just got caught up in being done, and just picked the most watts for the best price.

So I cancelled the raidmax PSU this morning bc I just don't want to take a chance and am going with the OCZ 600w modular PSU for $50 after $20 MIR.
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May 20, 2012 2:54:39 PM

zms21 said:
Yea I really didn't do too much research on PSU's...just got caught up in being done, and just picked the most watts for the best price.

So I cancelled the raidmax PSU this morning bc I just don't want to take a chance and am going with the OCZ 600w modular PSU for $50 after $20 MIR.

A much better choice!
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May 20, 2012 7:30:24 PM

@zms21

That is a very nice rig, very similar to my own (960 x6 here) and it plays everything on 'ultra' @ 1280x1024 @ capped 60fps. So very nice. Happy gaming.
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May 30, 2012 9:13:09 PM

Just an update for anyone who cares.

Put everything together and I have to say that I am extremely happy with it. Granted it has only really been a week but so far so good. Just need to get better/quieter fans and other random things and it should be perfect :) 


Thank you guys for all the help. I really appreciated it.
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June 6, 2012 4:26:14 AM

Best answer selected by zms21.
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