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I3-3220 + GTX 660 2GB VS i5-3470 + HD 7850 1GB

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i3-3220 + GTX 660 2GB VS i5-3470 + HD 7850 1GB

Total: 87 votes (22 blank votes)

  • i3-3220 + GTX 660 2GB
  • 30 %
  • i5-3470 + HD 7850 1GB
  • 62 %
  • Both are very good.
  • 9 %
November 2, 2012 11:27:22 AM

Which would be the better combination? they are both around the same price but the gtx 660 is 2GB while the 7850 is 1GB. I am from the UK by the way and use scan.co.uk and amazon.co.uk prices.
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 11:33:23 AM

A GPU is what helps you in games,not a CPU.So long as you have a decent processor for a good GPU ,you are good.So gtx 660 should be your choice.
(Price being the same as you stated)
November 2, 2012 11:35:29 AM

I wish I could find you better prices but apparently UK amazon is banned from where I am at but I can got to US amazon just fine
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 11:41:12 AM

and the OP is cancelling that difference with an i3
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 11:42:31 AM

Can I just say for the record that for a whole year I had a i5-2500k and cheaped out on a graphics card and got a GTX 550 Ti thinking that it would be more than enough. Turns out I was ALWAYS GPU limited and I always wished I had spent more money on the GPU rather than the CPU. I've obviously learned my lesson now and got 2x7950s in CF with that 2500k and my gaming experience is so much better now.
November 2, 2012 11:44:26 AM

2-2 at the moment :/ 
November 2, 2012 11:49:29 AM

rene13cross said:
Can I just say for the record that for a whole year I had a i5-2500k and cheaped out on a graphics card and got a GTX 550 Ti thinking that it would be more than enough. Turns out I was ALWAYS GPU limited and I always wished I had spent more money on the GPU rather than the CPU. I've obviously learned my lesson now and got 2x7950s in CF with that 2500k and my gaming experience is so much better now.


You bought a budget gpu what did you expect? The 660 and 7850 are mid range cards so CPU issues might arise for different games.
November 2, 2012 11:54:28 AM

Go with a phenom II x4 955 + gtx 660.
November 2, 2012 11:54:58 AM

I thought the i3-3220 was better than the phenoms at gaming?
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 11:55:32 AM

Sret43rg said:
I thought the i3-3220 was better than the phenoms at gaming?


It is.
November 2, 2012 11:56:47 AM

Sret43rg said:
I thought the i3-3220 was better than the phenoms at gaming?


I3 is better for gaming
November 2, 2012 11:59:53 AM

If i get the i3 combo, id be worried that i3 would not last me long until i need to upgrade, whilst if i get the i5 combo, i am worried about the gpu as it is only 1GB and people have been saying that 2GB is much better so i need more people to vote :( 
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:04:38 PM

hi i was wondering should i get get an i3 3240 paired with a hd 7850
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:07:54 PM

I think these are really close. I just hate to recommend a dual core GPU, but it's only $110usd.

I used to have a 1GB 560Ti and that handled everything I wanted at a decent level, even on 1080p, so that's why I lean torwards the 1GB 7850.

If it's mostly for gaming, then you probably can't lose with either choice.
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:10:35 PM

@Sret43rg
when the concern is of i3 not lasting longer,let me tell you that it leads us to multi-threading and not about how many cores you have,and an i3 does good job in that although not as good as an i5 but pretty close gaming-wise.
So by the time this processor becomes too bad for gaming,it'll time for you to make a platform upgrade and that's pretty distant from now.
November 2, 2012 12:10:47 PM

3-5 i'll give it a few more votes and then ill decide but are they both really good? like i mean i cant go wrong with either of them?
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:22:47 PM

Anik8 said:
@Sret43rg
when the concern is of i3 not lasting longer,let me tell you that it leads us to multi-threading and not about how many cores you have,and an i3 does good job in that although not as good as an i5 but pretty close gaming-wise.
So by the time this processor becomes too bad for gaming,it'll time for you to make a platform upgrade and that's pretty distant from now.


The i3 does have hyper-threading, but there are no games that take advantage of that yet.
November 2, 2012 12:26:14 PM

Sret43rg said:
3-5 i'll give it a few more votes and then ill decide but are they both really good? like i mean i cant go wrong with either of them?


You can't go wrong with either but if you ever want to upgrade your GPU to higher end card the I3 is going to be replaced or you'll really run into issues.

Also 1 GB RAM on 7850 is fine your way more likely to find issues with your I3 as CPU than have trouble with 1 GB of RAM.
November 2, 2012 12:43:05 PM

OP to best help you. Please let us know how you'll use your rig (what games you play &/or what else you would use it for) & your monitor resolution.

A better CPU will benefit you, overall. A better GPU will benefit you primarily in games and visuals (obviously).

1GB vs 2GB.
If your monitor is >1080p or if you play the newest games in the highest settings (e.g. BF3, Crysis 2/3, Shogun, etc.) then you'll want 2GB. If not then you may be able to get by with 1GB. Finally, if you plan to go SLI/Xfire in the future you will be limited to the orginal VRAM (2 cards 1GB+1GB no= 2GB).
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:45:02 PM

auntarie said:
The i3 does have hyper-threading, but there are no games that take advantage of that yet.

Please do not confuse people or read carefully next time.I used the term 'multi-threading' not 'hyper-threading'.And multi-threading is extensively used in gaming or else quad core processors won't benefit.
a c 191 U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:47:02 PM

Neither is a "bad" choice. While many games are GPU-bound, some aren't. I do believe it is ALWAYS easier to "fix" a GPU limitation by lowering a setting or two. Even down on "Medium," modern games look pretty darn good (and in this case, we're talking about dropping from "SuperUltraMaxOhWOW" down to "high"). A CPU limitation however, particularly on a locked CPU that can hardly be overclocked (if at all), is much harder to fix, except with an expensive upgrade.
Also, Kepler cards have crippled compute performance. That really doesn't matter in today's games, but what if it does tomorrow? With the GTX660 you'd really be hosed.
November 2, 2012 12:49:07 PM

engineiro said:
OP to best help you. Please let us know how you'll use your rig (what games you play &/or what else you would use it for) & your monitor resolution.

A better CPU will benefit you, overall. A better GPU will benefit you primarily in games and visuals (obviously).

1GB vs 2GB.
If your monitor is >1080p or if you play the newest games in the highest settings (e.g. BF3, Crysis 2/3, Shogun, etc.) then you'll want 2GB. If not then you may be able to get by with 1GB. Finally, if you plan to go SLI/Xfire in the future you will be limited to the orginal VRAM (2 cards 1GB+1GB no= 2GB).


I am going to be using it for just pure gaming and a bit of web surfing, the games i will play are Skyrim, Dishonored, Sleeping Dog, and maybe Battlefield 3, also my tv resolution i think is 1920x1080 (im not sure on this)
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:51:16 PM

since graphics cards are more expensive to buy than a cpu,therefore for the same price I'd choose the system having better gpu.(provided I'll be gaming primarily)
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 12:52:25 PM

I'd suggest the MSI board.
November 2, 2012 1:03:21 PM

Why the MSI board?
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 1:17:27 PM

Sret43rg said:
Why the MSI board?


Z77 is the better chipset and MSI are a more trustworthy manufacturer than Gigabyte.
November 2, 2012 1:22:29 PM

If it's the better chipset why is it cheaper? :o 
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 1:26:07 PM

Sret43rg said:
If it's the better chipset why is it cheaper? :o 


I don't know, but z77 allows overclocking and SLI/CF while h77 doesn't. H77 should be cheaper, but hey- when life gives you good, cheap motherboards, buy them.
November 2, 2012 1:29:56 PM

GPUs
BF3 (ultra)
660 > 54 fps
7850 > 39 fps
http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/2048/bf3.jpg

Sleeping dogs (high)
660 > 54fps
7850 > 50fps
http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/2048/dogs.jp...

So it seems that in at least these two games the 660 is the better gpu. This is understandable as it is more expensive.

BF3 (low)
3220 > 5fps
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/imageview.php?image=4953...
3470 > 20fps
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph5871/47082.png

for more benches on the 3470
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5871/intel-core-i5-3470-r...

I think given your circumstance the winning combo is the i5 & 7850.
November 2, 2012 1:33:29 PM

auntarie, i looked on the website and on that motherboard it says it does not allow SLI or CrossFire...
November 2, 2012 1:36:08 PM

I would say the i5 & 7850 as well. It would be easier to upgrade the GPU in the future plus the 7850 is already an exceptional card in its price range.
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 1:37:38 PM

Sret43rg said:
auntarie, i looked on the website and on that motherboard it says it does not allow SLI or CrossFire...


The chipset supports it, but if the motherboard doesn't have the required slots then it won't work.
November 2, 2012 1:45:13 PM

The poll looks like im going with an i5+7850 i hope i've made the right decision!
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 1:52:48 PM

I would say definitely get the better CPU (i5-3470) because it is quad-core. All i3 are dual-core and it's likely to bottleneck you in certain games. The i5 is more "future proof" if such a term exist. And it's not as if the 7850 is a bad card, it doesn't seem far from the 660. My point is it will be a lot easier to upgrade the video card in a couple of years compared to the CPU (if you ever need to). When I build a PC I tend to start with a strong base (good CPU + motherboard combo) as these components are harder to replace, and all the rest like memory, hard drive, video card etc... can be more easily upgraded in the future.
November 2, 2012 2:04:34 PM

Save up money and get the best of both. It's only logical.
a c 147 U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 2:33:55 PM

Get this card:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-asus-radeon-hd-7950-...

(it's a 3-slot card but the best deal. The cooling solution is awesome. If you require a 2-slot the Sapphire Vapor-X is good but more expensive. The MSI is another option as long as it's not one of the Overvolted ones in the news. CARD IS BACK ORDERED but again the Asus solution is awesome. It runs extra quiet due to the large heatsink and has excellent voltage regulation. It's far better than the stock solutions.)

Yes, it's an HD7950 but read the FOLLOWING (especially about the free games)->


*I've built 100+ gaming systems and would love to help, but I need a BUDGET to work with.

**You mention maybe going i5 + 7850. I highly recommend the i5-3570K or slightly cheaper quad-core in the i5-3xxx series. I think you'd regret the dual-core CPU's in the long run and agree with MC_K7 above.

Other tips:
- 1155/Z77 motherboard
(Asrock/MSI/Gigabyte/Asus depending on prices. Asrock/MSI might be your best value. Get a full ATX, not micro-ATX aka uATX.)

- Virtu MVP.
This feature adds little to the price of the motherboard. It's an interesting feature with many current issues but worth experimenting with. You need to get a supported CPU with integrated graphics (like the i5-3570). The feature I'm most interested in is Virtual VSync which can eliminate screen tearing but reduce the lag normally gotten.

- RAM.
Get 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x4GB).

- Graphics Card:
Get one with at least 2GB of VRAM (the card I recommend has 3GB). I normally recommend NVidia but AMD has a "never Settle" campaign.

**The following is a link in the USA, but pay careful attention to the details. If you purchase certain HD7950 cards you qualify for a BUNDLE of three new games with a $170 value. Subtract that from the price of the HD7950 and here at least it was an incredible value.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So in the USA this card is $285 (after MIR) with $170 in games and is a quality Sapphire HD7950!

AMD NEVER SETTLE INFO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The HD7850 which is normally a cheaper card only gets one game so the HD7950 is actually a far better deal if you want those games!

This bears REPEATING:

**The HD7950 3GB from Asus I linked is actually CHEAPER than a lower-performing HD7850 when you factor in the games.**
November 2, 2012 2:52:13 PM

My budget for the CPU+GPU is £260- £270 and please try use scan.co.uk and amazon.co.uk prices as i am only going to be using them 2 sites.

Also, which would be the better motherboard for the i5-3470?

Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard
or the
MSI Z77A-G41 motherboard?

the gigabyte one is around 14 pounds more.
November 2, 2012 3:06:53 PM

Sret43rg said:
My budget for the CPU+GPU is £260- £270 and please try use scan.co.uk and amazon.co.uk prices as i am only going to be using them 2 sites.

Also, which would be the better motherboard for the i5-3470?

Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard
or the
MSI Z77A-G41 motherboard?

the gigabyte one is around 14 pounds more.


Do you use DVI cables or HDMI for your current mointor?

Biggest difference is MSI doesn't have a DVI slot.

Gigabyte has more USB ports but thats not a big deal.

If you use DVI go for Gigabyte but if you used HDMI or VGA I'd recommend the MSI for its cheaper price.

Also MSI mb supports more memory freqs but I highly doubt you'll go higher than 1600 MHz
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 3:12:47 PM

amdfangirl said:
Save up money and get the best of both. It's only logical.

+1
That will be the best way to go.
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 3:27:17 PM

amdfangirl said:
Save up money and get the best of both. It's only logical.


Agreed

If you have the money to keep yourself alive you can set some aside and with a little patience you'll have the machine you really want....

Edit: for £30-40 more you can have a 3570k and 660/7870, no point in wasting all your money over a couple of quid

a c 147 U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 3:41:35 PM

I really don't know what to recommend as a LITTLE MORE money would build a much better computer.

CPU + GPU:
On your budget it seems there are two choices:

a) i3-3220 + hd7850
b) i5-3470 + hd7770

So your budget allows a dual-core CPU with better graphics card, OR a much better CPU but poorer graphics card.

You'll likely get better gaming out of the dual-core plus HD7850 but I dislike recommending the dual-core.

Points:
1) I strongly recommend saving up a little more and getting a quad-core i5 3xxx CPU as well as an HD7850 or better.

2) I advise you to read the info I posted about the HD7950 + games deal. If you planned to get those games the deal is truly amazing!
a c 147 U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 3:56:57 PM

Motherboards:

The Gigabyte is a better board in both the Inputs and Outputs (DVI, USB) and also has superior cooling of the main chipset and CPU voltage regulators (the MSI doesn't even have a heatsink on the CPU regulators).

On the other hand the MSI board is cheaper and would probably do you fine.

If the MSI board was a LOT cheaper I'd probably recommend it, but for a small difference in price the Gigabyte gets the nod. The motherboard is very important as its the hardest part to troubleshoot and replace.

Other tips for motherboard etc:
a) upgrade the BIOS when needed
b) Install the proper DRIVERS (main chipset, audio etc) from the support site
c) setup the CPU FAN properly in the BIOS/UEFI (if it's NOT setup properly the fan spins at 100%)
d) ensure adequate case cooling (at least ONE front case fan and one case fan near CPU)
e) quality PSU (550W Antec/Corsair or similar.)
f) consider a Coolermaster Hyper 212 for CPU (will be quieter even in IDLE)
g) 8GB DDR3 1600MHz recommended (2x4GB)
November 2, 2012 3:57:00 PM

I use HDMI so would i go for the MSI? Also, paddys09, can you give me a link to the 3570k and 660 for only 30-40 pounds more?
a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 4:04:04 PM

Man, a lot of conflicting stuff on the thread here.

I posted a HUGE list of benchmarks from tom's showing both GPU and CPU performance in games in the OP's original thread.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/376176-33-3220-3470-7...

Both are equally balanced or imbalanced, whichever way you want to look at it.

Since games the OP mentioned have started to use more than 1GB VRAM, i think the 7850 1GB is about as future proof than the i3.

jtt283 pointed out the 660, due to a mem bandwidth limitation, might be more of a problem in future games. The same is true for the 7850 with 1GB of VRAM.

However, he's right, it's easier to lower graphical details, but it's harder to ID CPU bound features.

In absolute terms, the 7850 should be more of a bottleneck than the 660 at 1080p, refer to the MoH review (or the benchmarks posted in your original thread).

Next, Anik8. Hyper-threading is a way of spawning two logical threads per physical core. So yes, when you say "multi-threaded" support, you're talking threads, not cores.
So a hyper threaded core is multi-threaded. A non-hyper threaded multicore CPU is still multi-threaded because it has one thread per core.

However since a HT core has threads that share resources, a 2C/4T config isn't going to be as good as a 4C/4T config, assuming the software is programmed to utilize all 4 threads.

Current gen games have been shown to be multi-threaded, and games like Skyrim and BF3's MP mode scale well with core count.

So claiming that the CPU has no role to play in modern games is complete BS.

As far as upgrading in the future is concerned...it's the same thing almost. Yes it's easier to swap out a GPU (no replacing the cooler, applying paste, running prime95, etc), but upgrading to a $200 GPU down the line is the same as upgrading to an i5, price wise.

However, you may found you're both CPU and GPU bottlenecked with the i3+660.

I can't change my vote (i3), but i think i'm leaning towards the i5 now, in light of all that i just wrote. Just dial down textures and AA, they're biggest consumers of VRAM.

Though of course, you could also take amdfangirl's very reasonable advice, save up for the best of both worlds (and get the 2GB 7850). That way you'd spend only once (instead of upgrading the GPU in the next year or two) in a longer interval.

Hope it helps.
November 2, 2012 4:04:30 PM

Sret43rg said:
I use HDMI so would i go for the MSI? Also, paddys09, can you give me a link to the 3570k and 660 for only 30-40 pounds more?


Yes go for MSI motherboard!

Hey if you ever have GPU issues and your motherboard doesn't support your mointors display port that would be an issue.



a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 4:04:34 PM

I forgot, you'll be connecting displays to the GPU so i don't know why the mobo's display ports even matter.
!