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AMD Phenom II X4 965 VS. Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core

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September 29, 2012 12:54:04 AM

I'm building a budget gaming/misc PC and so price means a lot, as well as performance for price. I've come down to a point where it seems like the CPU is going to make or break me, in terms of price. I can dish out the cash for either, but I'm on a really tight budget so the less the money... My ideal price for my build so far is 550$. That works with the AMD, but boosts way up with the Intel. And by misc PC, I mean that I'll be browsing the internet with many Chrome tabs, using Photo Shop, using various 3D programs and games, using Office, and watching videos.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)

Or

Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($190.39 @ NCIX US)

Is the Intel CPU really worth the money compared to the about half-priced AMD? Or is the AMD fine? I guess it's price vs. performance. I don't really know.

Which should I get?

Thank you very much for reading and answering this, I appreciate it very much!


Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($116.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec One Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($37.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $537.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
a b à CPUs
September 29, 2012 1:00:57 AM

If it's simply a gaming machines and you're on a tight budget as mentioned, then the X4 965 is a good pick. Currently, going with an AMD platform tends to be overall cheaper, just not as good in most tasks vs a current Intel chip.

Games tend to be more GPU intensive, so i would focus more on that to pair with the CPU.
a c 109 à CPUs
September 29, 2012 1:04:03 AM

^ +1

If you have a limited budget, get the X4 965 and pair it with the beefiest GPU you can afford.
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September 29, 2012 1:21:52 AM

CDdude55 said:
If it's simply a gaming machines and you're on a tight budget as mentioned, then the X4 965 is a good pick. Currently, going with an AMD platform tends to be overall cheaper, just not as good in most tasks vs a current Intel chip.

Games tend to be more GPU intensive, so i would focus more on that to pair with the CPU.



It's not purely for gaming, I'd also be browsing the internet with many Chrome tabs, using Photo Shop, using various 3D programs and games, using Office, and watching videos. I just called it a gaming computer for simplicity's sake.

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a c 109 à CPUs
September 29, 2012 3:30:32 AM
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If over half of your work revolves around using Photoshop and 3D programs, I would definitely prefer getting the i5 as it's quite a bit faster. If you're going to use your rig the majority of the time for gaming, however, I would personally choose the Phenom II :) 

All-in-all, it comes down to your usage :) 
September 29, 2012 3:51:52 AM

I have a rig with the 965 in it. I also have one with a pentium g630. The g630 is better at all games I have with the exact same 580gtx graphics card except for dirt2, and for $90 you could get a g9xx series pentium and blow away the 965. And for multi-tasking it still wins. Also, I have my 945 OC to 4ghz. Makes almost no difference in performance.

Unless you play dirt2, AVP, Crysis1, get a pentium

Also, if you play Blizzard games primarily - get an NVIDIA card of equal price, it will perform WAY better than ATI, and also you won't have driver issues ever.
October 6, 2012 10:04:41 PM

Best answer selected by HigginsHere.
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March 12, 2013 11:36:47 AM

dkcomputer said:
I have a rig with the 965 in it. I also have one with a pentium g630. The g630 is better at all games I have with the exact same 580gtx graphics card except for dirt2, and for $90 you could get a g9xx series pentium and blow away the 965. And for multi-tasking it still wins. Also, I have my 945 OC to 4ghz. Makes almost no difference in performance.

Unless you play dirt2, AVP, Crysis1, get a pentium

Also, if you play Blizzard games primarily - get an NVIDIA card of equal price, it will perform WAY better than ATI, and also you won't have driver issues ever.


Many benchmarks have been done, and the Phenom II X4's outperform Pentiums in every game except the rare cases when a game works better with less cores, or games that just don't perform well on AMD CPU's (Blizzard games/Skyrim)
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March 12, 2013 12:16:28 PM

Kamen_BG said:
dkcomputer said:
I have a rig with the 965 in it. I also have one with a pentium g630. The g630 is better at all games I have with the exact same 580gtx graphics card except for dirt2, and for $90 you could get a g9xx series pentium and blow away the 965. And for multi-tasking it still wins. Also, I have my 945 OC to 4ghz. Makes almost no difference in performance.

Unless you play dirt2, AVP, Crysis1, get a pentium

Also, if you play Blizzard games primarily - get an NVIDIA card of equal price, it will perform WAY better than ATI, and also you won't have driver issues ever.


Many benchmarks have been done, and the Phenom II X4's outperform Pentiums in every game except the rare cases when a game works better with less cores, or games that just don't perform well on AMD CPU's (Blizzard games/Skyrim)


To remedy the performance-drop when playing a game that doesn't use all the threads of your CPU, is to set the affinity to the maximum number of cores the game supports.

And the reason for some games just performing better under Intel, is due to Intel having made their compilers do a check if the cpu is AMD or Intel.
All it really is, is this (psuedo-code form):

If Intel = true
Get MaxVersionSSE()
Use MaxVersionSSE()
elseif AMD = true
Use LowestSSESupported()

So yeah. Just as an FYI.
!