Phenom 2 955 + 4870x2 or Core i7 + GTX 275?

alberthynek

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Hi

I am looking to build my first computer build later this summer, and I have a ~1450 CAD budget (~1250 USD)

I am looking at 2 different configs:

AMD Phenom 2 955
XFX Radeon HD 4870X2 2GB DDR5
OCZ Platinum 4GB DDR3 1600
DFI Lanparty DK 790FXB-M3H5
CORSAIR TX850W
COOLERMASTER HAF 932

or

INTEL Core i7 920
EVGA Geforce GTX 275
OCZ Gold 6GB DDR3 1600
ASUS P6T X58
CORSAIR TX850W
COOLERMASTER HAF 932

I have a hard drive and DVD Drive, i will be getting the Acetek LCLC cpu cooler in the future

I am leaning towards the AMD build cuz it has much better gaming performance due to the 4870X2, and that is what this comp will primarily be for

I thank you all in advance for your replies

Albert
 
yup, the AMD with the hd4870X2 would be better in my book. Either system would prolly rock though. Intel fans will tell you the opposite, but really either system would tear through current games just fine.
 
I just noticed
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-versus-i7,2360.html
but havent read it yet

Have just skimmed the article but it looks like

when resolutions are low the i7 runs higher frame rates but at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 the phenom system has an edge . The extra power of the i7 cant compensate for the gfx intensity and the cheaper processor+ more expensive gfx cards win [ most of the time ]

definitely the AMD system for the OP
 

mlcloud

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How about we hear what games our OP wants to play, at what resolutions and settings, and then make our comments from there? Honestly you guys are shouting "AMD INTEL" without knowing exactly what the games will demand from the computer.

Edit: Although I am inclined to recommend the AMD build...
 

alberthynek

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Thank you all for all the feedback

@Outlander_04

both systems are about equal in price. actually the AMD system is about $30 cheaper :)

@hunter315

yeah i could afford 2 4890s but i decided to go with the 4870x2 as i can save some money on the motherboard and still crossfirex 2 4870x2s with both at x16

@mlcloud

Yeah sorry about that. Im getting either a 22" monitor @ 1650*1080 or a 23.6" monitor @ 1920*1080. I want to be able to play crysis, far cry 2, hawx(GREAT game), UT3, ET: Quake Wars, COD:WAW, COD 4, among others


I will be using it mainly for gaming, but also for things like photoshop and video editing

The main difference between the 2 builds PRICES is the motherboard, as X58 mobos with tri-sli are very expensive. I really think il go with the AMD build, unless there is something game-changing that i am missing
 

alberthynek

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yeah i know. there are also some games that prefer amd over nvidia. either way the 4870x2 as far as i know is better in pretty much every game than the 275, and by quite a bit. Yeah im thinking i will get teh 4870x2 and later get 2 4890s and use all 3 cards in crossfirex for great performance. it wont be like 4 4890s but pretty close
 

alberthynek

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o and what do u guys think about the mobo? are DFI boards any good with these chips or should i pay more for say ASUS?

and is the LCLC cooler a good idea for the phenom 2? i know its great for core 2 quads and i7s
 

TerminatorXT

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AMD is good price range, and the Haf 932 matches the red for AMD
No dust filters on that case, and its not black on the inside ( personal preference )

yeah your amd build is the better one in the long term

I however am going to save up for Intel Gulftown Extreme
 

mlcloud

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LCLC cooler great for i7? I don't know where you heard that from but low cost water cooling is an oxymoron. They don't belong next to each other, and a good air-cooler would probably be quieter and more efficient than the LCLC, which only has its faux pas title "liquid cooling" advertising itself instead of actual performance.

As for DFI boards, Tom seems to like them. Check out the stuff they used for SBM.

How about you show us which boards you're looking at, specific models and whatnot?

there are also some games that prefer amd over nvidia.
I'm sure you meant ATI.

Yeah im thinking i will get teh 4870x2 and later get 2 4890s and use all 3 cards in crossfirex for great performance.

Eh, false. I'll tell you now that you will never purchase those 2x 4890s. Why?
1) The difference between 4870x2 and 2x 4890 + 2x 4870 isn't going to be that big.
2) Why would you purchase 2 more 4890s and run them underclocked to match the 4870s when you could just get two more 4870s?
3) DX11 cards will be out by the time you need the extra performance boost from quad xf. And more cards that will make the 4870s and 4890s look like stuff for a kid's sandbox will be out by then too.
 

Helloworld_98

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the 58 line comes out in September, so why spend $400 on a graphics card when you can get the same performance with less money, lower heat levels and less energy used if you just wait a couple of months?

if it's for your b'day or a celebration then just get a 4850 and ask for $200.
 

erdinger

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The Amd system is better for gaming and Im happy that everyone here sees that.

The 4870x2 is enough dont add any more cards the performance doesn't increase a lot (2 cards is good ... more not really)

If you really need more performance then buy two 4890 and a motherboard to support them.
 
I'll give a try for the i7 side.

1) Cost differential:
Assume that both rigs get the same vga card/s. In this case, the 4870X2.
i7 cpu costs + $24
6gb of ram costs +$11
mobo costs +$2 if you get the gigabyte ex58-ud3r:
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11830BD1602&vpn=GA-EX58-UD3R&manufacture=GIGABYTE
total $37 difference.
2) What do you get:
read this recent tom's article comparing the two:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-versus-i7,2360.html
The phenom scored well, but was slightly behind the i7-920.
But, this was with a stronger vga card in the phenom rig.
the OC tests had the phenom much closer to it's max than the i7.
Read the lengthy comments. Definitely some controversy there, but the author's conclusion favors the i7 for other work.

You get 6gb of ram vs. 4gb
Here is why that might be good for gaming:
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN811_Gaming_Performance%20Analysis_6GB_vs_3GB.PDF

You get hyperthreading.

If you use photoshop CS4, you have a program that is built to take advantage of multiple cores, and large amounts of ram.

Nobody is saying that the phenom is a bad or lesser value. It just does not perform quite as well as the i7. For $37 savings, is the difference worth it?

 
I use both the 955 and the i7 920, IMO if you have the cash to burn go with the i7 and 275, if money is tight go with the 955 and 4870x2. it is simple as that since you wont see a night and day difference comparing both setups, it all comes down to the cash you are willing to spend.....
 

alberthynek

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LCLC cooler great for i7? I don't know where you heard that from but low cost water cooling is an oxymoron. They don't belong next to each other, and a good air-cooler would probably be quieter and more efficient than the LCLC, which only has its faux pas title "liquid cooling" advertising itself instead of actual performance.
all the reviews i read say the lclc is a great cooler. not as good as actual liquid cooling solutions but on par with most of the best air coolers. il take that into account tho thanks


How about you show us which boards you're looking at, specific models and whatnot?

I posted it in my original post, im looking at the DFI DK 790FXD-M3H5

I'm sure you meant ATI.

yeah i did. its all the same tho

Eh, false. I'll tell you now that you will never purchase those 2x 4890s. Why?
1) The difference between 4870x2 and 2x 4890 + 2x 4870 isn't going to be that big.
2) Why would you purchase 2 more 4890s and run them underclocked to match the 4870s when you could just get two more 4870s?
3) DX11 cards will be out by the time you need the extra performance boost from quad xf. And more cards that will make the 4870s and 4890s look like stuff for a kid's sandbox will be out by then too.

good points. i totally forgot about dx11
i might get a second 4870x2 in the future , depending on how different the dx11 cards are, and other things

Thanks a lot for you reply it was very informative
 

Kaldor

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Avoid the cheesy liquid cooling systems. Youll actually get better temps and less noise using a decent quality aftermarket cooler. If you want to go with water cooling thats a whole new adventure that you should be asking specific questions about.

At the resolutions your playing at, honestly it doesnt matter which system you build. The AMD/ATI rig will do better at 1920X1200 resolutions, but at 1680x1050 the Intel/Nvidia system will be just fine.
 

TerminatorXT

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thermalright ultra 120 extreme is a good aftermarket cooler
just a bit heavy
 

TerminatorXT

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You sound like an ATI fan.... either system is good for 1920x1200

ati just wins for 2560x1600 because of the higher bandwidth
 

alberthynek

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unfortunately, its more like a $100 difference from where i am(im counting shipping and taxes), and im on a really tight budget. i can barely afford to spend the $1450 for the amd system, as im only 14 and jobs are hard to find, especially during summer

as for ram, i will get another 4gb later this year probably

yeah i use ps cs4 right now with a core 2 duo and 4gb ddr2 and it works fine for me, so its not an issue (luckily)

im not saying the i7 isnt better than the phenom 2, it is, but i dont really need even the phenom 2's performance so im happy either way