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(ANSWERS ASAP PLEASE) Intel Core i7 2600k vs. AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE

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August 3, 2012 4:52:19 AM

I am trying to see which is better for gaming the AMD is cheaper but people seem to like the intel core more for preformance i am going to have a geforce gxt 560 and 16 gbs of ram which is better for gaming AMD or intel
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August 3, 2012 5:02:06 AM

with a gtx 560, the phenom will do fine. no need to use an i7(especially since i7 serves no gaming purpose really past an i5 and 16 gbs ram?)
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August 3, 2012 5:51:35 AM

Both CPUs should give you good performance. However, in games that are CPU dependent like Skyrim the Intel CPU will give you a little better performance. In games that do not really care how fast the CPU is you will see very little difference in performance as long as the CPU is not so slow that it bottlenecks the GPU. Crysis 2 is an example of such a game. I recall some benchmarks of Intel Core i5 CPUs running between 2.8GHz and 4.8GHz with whatever GPU. The difference in performance was only 4FPS.

If the sole purpose of your rig is to play games, then you should opt an i5 CPU which does not have Hyper Threading (HT). On average HT causes a 1% - 2% hit in game performance. However, several days ago I recall someone posting a screenshot of an i5-2500k vs the i7-2600k with a few game benchmarks. The one that stood out was Left 4 Dead 2 which I believe had about a 25% decrease in performance with the i7-2600k. The only significant differences between those CPUs are:

1. The i7-2600k is 100MHz faster
2. The i7 has Hyper Threading.
3. The i7 likely has more L2 cache, but should not affect game performance.

16GB of RAM serves no purpose for games, 8GB of RAM is more than enough. Games generally do not consume more than 1.7GB of RAM on the extreme end, at least based on the games I've been playing on my PC.


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August 3, 2012 6:34:09 AM

The problem lies in comparing a 2008 chip based on A64 technology to a 2011 contemporary Intel Core design. In principle the i7 or i5's are faster but at the price point that Intel retail at, the price/performance (gaming) is rather distorted when a lowly Athlon II can still copiously handle modern games in the same manner Core2 can.

It ultimately comes down to your budget and what you are willing to spend, if you can afford a Sandy or Ivy Bridge setup you should go that route, if you are on a tighter budget it is very possible to go to a highest end Motherboard and Phenom or FX chip for considerably less, obviously performance is less but thats how things work.
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August 3, 2012 7:04:39 AM

At this point in time, I wouldn't waste your hard earned money on an i7 if you have the Phenom II 965, Yes the i7 is faster, but not $200 - 300 faster. The 965 is more then enough to handle any game on the market today, even Skyrim at 1080p just fine. Raise the CPU-NB clock on the 965 and that thing will give you a noticable performance boost with minimal heat added, Try to aim for 2600mhz+ to really see anything. And the Volts on the CPU-NB can go as high as 1.55v just like the vcore on the CPU, I don't recommend it and you could hit 3000mhz at 1.3v on the CPU-NB.

Later on in say 2013 see what AMD or Intel comes out with and justify an upgrade them, Never know, the AMD Piledriver may smoke Intel, but at this point its hard to tell since Bulldozer was well a let down to say the least compared to the Phenom II's.

To be honest keep your 965, and don't upgrade the any FX bulldozers as there wont be an upgrade, I would wait for windows 8 and see how it performs on that. The Phenom II has been proven to be faster then the FX 6 cores at this point in time.
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August 3, 2012 7:13:50 AM

You'd be hard pressed to justify that upgrade. You're better off putting that money into a better video card.

For example

i5-2600 w/ GTX 560 will get owned in gaming by a Phenom II 965 with a 7870 graphics card 9 times out of 10. Both would cost similar. Why? Because most games are completely GPU limited, and a stronger CPU absolutely cannot make a weaker video card perform better.

Also 16GB RAM is major overkill.. Take it from someone who found out the hard way.
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August 3, 2012 7:26:22 AM

I will admit I am a compulsive upgrade junkie and change parts and brands like underwear and socks, I have used basically every DT or Server chip and the amount of fuss that goes around is mindblowingly stupid and leads to bouncing off the wall inhouse flame wars that are so unnecessary. Difference in what users prefer is the reason this site is good, it would be boring if we all used the same thing.

Anyways thats just me having helped a friend by trading up a 2600k + parts to obtain a 1100T and Cash while the 2600K is faster and notably on boot times and memory bandwidth, in gaming and general usage its much ado about nothing.
August 3, 2012 3:34:38 PM

Thank you this helps me out a lot


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