I want to build my first gaming rig, and after much research i'm torn on how to approach it. I am asking for advice on which parts to purchase. I already have a case, an antec psu 750w(don't know the model it was a gift) and a HDD 500 GB 7200 RPM. My goal is to spend a total of $500.00 on the CPU, MoBo, GPU, RAM and Monitor. I would prefer a nvidia/intel solution, but if amd/ati is the only way, so be it.
I think the AMD route is better anyway. You get a true quad core, but also, you get a better video card than with the i3, which for gaming, your video card will make more difference anyway, and the AMD should have an unlocked multiplier to push more performance out of the CPU.
Having a true quad core doesn't really mean anything unless it translates into performance gains. The i3 should comfortably beat the Phenom in the majority of games regardless of how many cores it has. You can't overclock it though, obviously that's why I recommended the Phenom if overclocking.
Perhaps, but the phenom build has a better video card. Also on the i3 i know benchmarks say different, but for now I'm still on an Athlon quad system at 3 ghz which does everything I want including games. I have worked with newer i3 systems they don't feel as fast to me. Even the windows 7 Wei benchmark showed my CPU at a 7.3 I think and newer I 3 systems I've played with showed like 7.1. I know other benchmarks show different, for me personally I'm not hip on i3. If I had to take one I would, but they are not my first choice.
To be fair, they're both good choices. You can't go wrong really. I just value low power consumption as well and both the i3 and HD 7850 are incredibly efficient. Take power consumption out of the equation completely and they are pretty similar builds that would give roughly similar FPS depending on the game.
EDIT: And as I mentioned earlier, overclocking would swing it in favour of the AMD build at the cost of much higher power consumption and more heat/noise. (Nothing too crazy, just be sure to get a decent CPU cooler. I'd look at $30+ for a worthwhile overclock.)
Thanks all for the info. I'm going to sort through this and probably decided later today. I'm hoping this build will last me at least 2 years, as i intend to save up in order to afford something state of the art down the line.
One more thing I wanna throw out there... If you go with the Intel build and grab the ASRock Z75 Pro3 motherboard, you'll have a much better upgrade path in the future. If I were in your situation, I would do my best to save up another $50 or so and grab the Intel build with the Z75 Pro3 and the HD 7870.
This is completely up to you. I hope this helps; good luck!