New gaming rig. Core i7 or Core 2 Quad?

Son_of_Blob

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OK, here's the deal, I'm upgrading my rig after years of being stuck with an old Athlon XP and a 6800GT and I want good gaming performance for a change. Don't do anything else much that is processor demanding like video conversion or whatever. I should mention that I'm a pensioner and money is tight.

With about $AUS1800 to spend (which I have), I can get a Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83 gig CPU, 4 gig decent ram, and a GTX 260 graphics card, along with 750 gig SATA HD and a new 2ms 22" widescreen monitor. Decent case etc. (I already have XP pro).

To go for a Core i7 however stretches past that to $AUS2,200 for a Core i7 920, 6 gig of ram, Vista home premium 64 bit, 500 gig HD, Asus 9800GTX card. and no monitor (I have an old 19" pro Philips CRT which was a good monitor, but getting very long in the tooth).

You can see it's two different paradigms......


Older gen cpu, slower for some stuff, but maybe not slower for gaming, matched to fast current gen graphics card.....versus new gen CPU with older graphics card and no monitor, plus the Core i7 system is stretching the finances to the max.

What's the best choice? Which would be the faster system or indeed would there be little difference?

 
Ditch XP for vista x64, and atm it seems the Core 2 Quads are better value - overclocked to ~3.6 on air etc and go for 8gb if you can - well worth it! Unless you have excess $$$ :D

From what i have seen your prolly better with something like this:

Intel Core 2 Quad (whatever model fits your budget)
Gigabyte/ASUS Intel P45 based motherboard (dont touch any other brands eg MSI - rubbish)
Ram - kingston's basic stuff is great at the right price etc but for overclocking try getting 800 or above rated.
Video card - ATi 4870 (or yes the nvidia GTX260 etc)
HDD - Seagate/Western Digital (not the efficent ones)
Proper BRANDED PSU (corsair, acbell etc 650w+)
Case - your choice etc
Vista whatever x64
 

enigma067

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivx0XYMCZJw

Oh sure you can over clock a Q6600 Multi Chip Module.
Overclocking makes the chip run hotter, shortens its life and requires a more expensive cooling solution then the default.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi4yxKNWehU

Save your money. It's the smartest thing to do.
 
I vote for the core2 Quad setup as well. You will notice a big leap in performance over what you have. No overclocking truly needed. The i7, as far as gaming goes, right now, have absolutely no extra benefit.... besides, you'll save tons of money so you can take out some of those old retired broads. Woohoo........
 
As long as you keep the stock voltages your temps won't go very high. (this will limits most q6600s to about 3.0 ghz) Also who the heck uses the stock cooler anyway? You don't need a 80 dollar cooler for moderate overclocks.

Go core 2. There is little to no difference in performance in entry lvl to mid lvl gaming rigs. Also if you willing to spend 2200, go with a core 2 build, 8GB of ram and a nice 24 inch monitor...and vista x64.
 

Noya

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Go for the Core 2 Quad.

I just upgraded from a 2.25ghz AMD X2 / 7600gt / 1.5gb RAM / 17"CRT -to a 3.325ghz Q8200 / 9800gtx / 8gb RAM / 22" LCD and I'm mad at myself for not doing it earlier (though my wallet is thanking Microsoft for the 30% off Ebay deal).
 

werxen

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don't get either. save your money wait till its mainstream to run 64bit and quads are native to applications then make the switch. by then quads will be cheap as all hell and ddr3 wont be so expensive. get a cheap dual and overclock the funk outta it.
 


Ummmm BS Noob, 64-bit benifits (aka more memory support eg 4+gb) everything these days especially vista and dual cores are out - check out GTA IV PC benchmarks and see what the future holds - no dual core can outpace a quad now, those days are OVER.
 


Totally agree there, Vista x86 isnt worth i, x64 is a monster when you feed it 4-8gb of memory, never ever going back or even near XP ever again - makes it seem like a dinosaur :D
 


LMAO goto the top link its the same comment he made copied & pasted, then getting smashed by everyone else posting, friggin TROLL

BS shortening the life span - more chances of the motherboard and its hundreds of resistors/capacitors etc going up, or a surge killing my system, or the risk of upgrading in two years or less anyhow - besides, NEVER killed an Intel by overclocking at all - stay within reason (heat and vcore) and nothing bad will ever happen ;)

Id like to see how many people have had any luck actually killing desktop CPU's by overclocking and a slightly raised vcore - i doubt you will find many.
 


Initial performance figures from the server dont seem too promising - its more like a more power efficient, higher clocking chip thanks to 45nm tech, other then that there still essentially a Phenom - no real guts to make an uber system, unless there released at 4+ghz which i doubt.
 

werxen

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rofl... jesus CHRIST. what is it with you quad core fanboys and your GTA 4? every time something like this gets brought up GTA4 is mentioned. STFU about gta4 you noob - it runs like CRAP even with your quad core so you are not proving anything.

oh and btw with your 64 bit whining - i would really love to see you play a simple flash animation on it. oh wait you cant... you have to use a 32 bit browser to even do simple things. :hello:

don't listen to this noob talking about the 'future' do yourself a REAL favor and stick it out till the phenom 2 comes out and the prices for all quads drop. trust me quads are the future but this really is not the time to buy a computer.

edit: oh and the last time i checked my overclocked E8500 keeps up with your quads in gta4. :(:(:(:(
 

cjl

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You realize of course that a 32 bit browser runs just fine on Vista64.

Trust me, try 64 bit with tons of RAM, and you will never go back. Even 32 bit programs are helped, as in 32 bit windows, any 32 bit program gets up to 2GB of ram to use, while in 64 with >4GB, any 32 bit program gets up to 4GB.
 

werxen

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yes i know i ran vista 64 bit for a prief period. the point is even major programs and software have not made the leap into 64 bit yet

and IMO its smarter to wait till ddr3 becomes cheaper and use that + cheaper upcoming quad core processor then just jumping the gun and getting anything now. honestly how can you disagree with that? sure it would be nice to have up to 8 gigs ddr2 but i would much rather have 6 or 9 gigs of ddr3 and paid the same.
 

brendin

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YES, wut he said except dont go with kingston, brand dont matter for ram just a good name(cosiar, ocz, muskin etc), get a 2x2gb kit for <$50

also a ? for apache_lives, wuts wrong wit MSI, ive never owned one but im looking into a new mobo an id like to know y u dont like MSI
 

Son_of_Blob

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Thanks for all the comments guys. Except I'm more confused now than when I started. LOL

I've been fooling around on a local system builder site, choosing different mobos cpus, gpus etc and can go from about $800 for a basic phenom upgrade to over $2,000 with core i7.

My head is starting to asplode with all the combinations.
I know it's not a great time to get a new rig, which is irritating.

Thing is I'm hanging out for Empire: Total War and the new naval battle capabilities, so I want a rig that will handle that well.

No wonder people are getting sick of this **** and buying consoles. :-(
 

brendin

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just listen to me and apache_lives and u will have the best budget rid u can get it will have crazy performance
btw u could also get a 4850 instead if u want to save $100, i own a 4850 and i luv it plus u can always crossfire it in the future
 

werxen

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:lol: yeah ok why would he listen to you and apache_lives? you just gave him horrible advice that he will regret in less than 6 months.

listen dude, theres a lot of guys on toms that will advocate their own system specs to compensate for their stupidity. you and i both know this is a really BAD time to build a gaming pc, especially since AMD is coming out with a new processor that does not even have real benchmarks out. just stick it out a little while longer and then you can have reduced costs + more variety in your parts. dont listen to clowns like brendin and apache.
 

brendin

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HEY im not a clown, were both right, yes it is kinda a bad time to upgrade but im giving him the advice if he wants to right now which will be good for another 1-2 years most likely if not longer
 

Son_of_Blob

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Although it's a bad time in some ways....DDR3 is way too dear, as are Core i7 mobos (although the Corei7 920 itself is kinda cheap really, which is ironic) I still need to get some new gear.

My current Asus mobo is AGP for crying out loud, so just getting a new PCI-E board will be a big help. Anyways although CPU prices are high and about to fall and the new Phenoms are coming soon, it's graphic cards that really make the biggest difference in gaming and the ones out now offer good bang for bucks. I'll certainly be blown away going from a 6800GT to a GTX 260 or ATI equivalent.

Also I need a new monitor and prices for widescreens have dropped big time lately.

One thing burns me up though. I have had two Antec PSUs die on me over the years but I'm still using a no name el cheapo that is eight years old and running just fine. Oh, and I have overclocked the hell out of my trusty old AMD Athlon Barton 2500 for years and its still going strong. ;-)

AMD certainly did me proud with that CPU.

 

werxen

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thats really not how it works especially when a new processor is due within the next month :pfff:
 

Son_of_Blob

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I didn't realise the Phenom 2 was so close. Also, is there any word on its pin layout? Will new mobos be needed? I know I could Google this and probably will, but I guess I've been so brainwashed lately into thinking AMD have been out moneyed by Intel, though maybe not out brained, also that I have not been following AMD's progress as carefully as I should.

I hope that AMD is not being overcome by Intel's moneyed might. Core i7 shows at least to some degree that AMD are very much on the right path.

Plus we all need decent competition in such a dangerously small field...as in only two players for our market place. :-(

I'm too old to be a fan-boy, but I've always liked AMD and I wish them well.
 

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