I know this is probably a contentious issue among fans of both brands... but I'm looking to buy a new system and I can't decide whether I should get a 4170 or a I5 2500K.
Reading around on different forums, the general consensus seems to be that the 2500K is better, but I've also seen several benchmark comparisons that put the 4170 at better performance in games (which is primarily what I'm looking for).
So... it's hard to decide which is better, or if there is much of a significant difference at all.... Thoughts?
Futuremark is fine (it is 3DMark, after all, one of the most reliable benches there is).
The problem with the page that's linked here is that the score is just an estimated score based on user submitted scores.
So, not very accurate, considering that, 1. there are more 2500K's/3570K's out there than there are 4170's and 2. I would venture a guess that every 4170 score submitted is overclocked, while probably only half or less of the 2500K/3570K scores are overclocked scores because a lot of people with 2500K's/3570K's don't think they need to OC (they're right) and the people with 4170's think they have to OC to catch up (they're also right)...
I am not going to say 3dMark is crap, however, I am not real sure that benchmarks in it are in any way indicative of performance in games.
As DjDecibel mentioned, 3dMark scores don't take into account OCing. Two people with the exact same hardware can have very different 3dMark scores.
The 4170 chip is probably the better value, in general, due to its lower price, but it is definitely not faster out of the box.
Find some real benchmarks that do strict scientific methodology. Ones with variables controlled. Preferrably, all the exact same hardware except what absolutely can't be kept the same (FX can't go in Intel socket, for instance).
RAM should be the same, hard drive the same, video card the same, etc. Ideally, nothing will be OCd during the testing on either side of the fence.
It is dangerous to get a 6 series board to pair with an Ivy Bridge chip. The H61 boards will only be able to accept Ivy Bridge chips after a BIOS update has been performed. That can't be done with said Ivy Bridge chip.
If it isn't done prior to you receiving the board, you would be SOL. Many manufacturers have been putting newer BIOSs on recently made 6 series boards, but there is no way to tell how long your prospective board will have been sitting on the shelf.
It is safer to stick with a 7 series board which Ivy Bridge is guaranteed to work in (B75, H77, Z77, etc).
If you can get a store to put them together and make sure they will boot before they hand it off to you, though, then there is no reason not to get an Ivy Bridge + 6 series board.
You are comparing two CPU's at two different price points so you can expect differing performance out the box.
Depending on the nature of the system you are building you should look to maximise costs in a area where excessive is pointless and focus on areas which affect the performance and experience more; Graphics and SSD's. Any AMD CPU is capable of delivering high end performance but intel does it more efficiently but don't let people convince you that AMD is slow, the difference on metal level is nano seconds.
So the choice is simply what you need, Intel chips are great but AMD can give you what you need on a budget.