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AMD still good?

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August 3, 2012 10:07:59 PM

I've been out of the PC scene for a while. Are AMD CPUs still the best bang for the buck? I plan on light OC.

Primary use is gaming and basic computing stuff (web browsing, movies, music). I don't plan on doing movie editing or anything like that.

I'm not looking for best performance, only value. I don't want to go Intel because of the higher price and the fact that they change the CPU socket way too much. I want a good upgrading path and it seems AMD has been pretty good in this area so far.

So AMD or Intel? Should I wait for Piledriver? I can run everything I want now and don't plan on upgrading in the next month or so.

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August 3, 2012 10:22:26 PM

nixthewiz said:
I've been out of the PC scene for a while. Are AMD CPUs still the best bang for the buck? I plan on light OC.

Primary use is gaming and basic computing stuff (web browsing, movies, music). I don't plan on doing movie editing or anything like that.

I'm not looking for best performance, only value. I don't want to go Intel because of the higher price and the fact that they change the CPU socket way too much. I want a good upgrading path and it seems AMD has been pretty good in this area so far.

So AMD or Intel? Should I wait for Piledriver? I can run everything I want now and don't plan on upgrading in the next month or so.


If you can get an old Phenom II then yea but price to performance no not really. You can do a cheap build with a Pentium or I3 and a dedicated graphics card and it will out perform a Bulldozer or APU. If your main purpose is gaming Intel is the best way to go. How much is your budget for the CPU?
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August 3, 2012 10:46:50 PM

AMD performs pretty well in the value oriented segment. You can get a Phenom II X4 965 for around $130. It allows you to overclock. The Core i3-2100 can perform just as well or better as the PII X4 965 even if the PII X4 965 has a decent overclock.

I forget exactly when PileDriver is expected to be released, but the performance increase over Phenom II / FX will probably be about 10%; just a guess. At stock speed my Core 2 Quad Q9450 is basically equivalent to a stock speed PII X4 965, maybe marginally slower. It is still capable of handling games quite well as long as you graphic card is powerful enough for the graphic settings and resolution you plan on playing with.
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August 4, 2012 3:36:52 AM

As much as I love AMD processors, I have to agree with the others. The i3-21xx will make an excellent game machine for little money. The cost difference between the aging PhIIx4 965 and the i3 isn't very much. But the SB i3-21xx w/HT will out perform the 965. I have built several with both and have run my own gaming benchmarks.

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August 4, 2012 9:18:55 AM
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I've been CPU agnostic for many years but it seems that these days AMD is trailing Intel by a whole generation now. From a manufacturing standpoint Intel has matured the 22nm process and AMD is struggling to keep up. The whole i3/5/7 philosophy gives Intel a huge range advantage over AMD and they have succeeded in becoming more price competitive against AMD at the lower to mid range where AMD traditionally were successful.

Add to that the cost of the platform. Although as you say Intel changes sockets so often, with most people's upgrade cycle that actually matters little. When building a client's budget gamer I usually recommend Intel, either i3 or i5 depending on other needs. I will likely re-evaluate when I see proven numbers on Piledriver.

Build happy.

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August 4, 2012 9:24:59 AM

AMD has been trailing Intel by at least 1 generation since mid-2006. That's when the Core 2 Duo / Quad CPUs took the enthusiast market by storm.
August 4, 2012 7:24:51 PM

Best answer selected by nixthewiz.
August 4, 2012 7:25:44 PM

Thanks everyone for the information. It looks like I'll wait until Piledriver comes out to make my choice.
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