Phenom II, or Core i7?

todd5854

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Alright, now I'm not naive enough to simply ask "Which is better?" But I play games like Flight Simulator X, Crysis, Halo2, Portal, and Every game in the Need for Speed series.

I'm also going to be more specific.
I want to compare the AMD Phenom II X4 3.0ghz Deneb 125 watt "black edition" processor

with

Intel's Core i7 920 Quad core Nehalem 130 watt processor.

The guys at Microcenter tell me that core i7 is out benching "everything" and that's the only smart choice for my next pc. Besides being .34ghz faster, is AMD's Phenom II at all comparable to Core i7? Some say Intel is better, some say AMD is better. For gaming, which of these would be the better choice?

I'm getting a job (finally) and I somehow might be able to afford either of these. Let me know what you think, please. Thanks.
 
You're quite right. There is a lot of discussion for and against both systems. From what I've read so far there is a cost factor to consider also. The Intel Core i7 sytem is going to cost a lot more that an AMD Phenom II x4 quad core system. The higher cost might affect some people's decisions.

The current Phenom II x4 quad core cpu's were designed for AM2+ motherboards and DDR2 1066 memory. They are not AM3 cpu's. I am inclined to be believe they are intended to be a budget upgrade. The general opinion seems to be AMD will eventually introduce Phenom II quad cores for use with AM3 motherboards and DDR3 memory. That will mean a more expensive upgrade but less than an upgrade to an Intel Core i7 system.
 

stridervm

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I suggest just getting a good Core2Duo or Core2Quad processor.

Primarily due to :

- Core2Duo 45nm processors still have similar, if not better IPC compared to the Phenom 2, but cheaper as well.
- Being generally cheaper than Core i7 setups.
- DDR3 still being expensive, while DDR2 having it's lowest price point yet.

Anyway, the Core i7 is only outbenching anything Phenom 2 has when you get the most expensive stuff. On the midrange to lowrange, the Phenom 2 and sometimes even surpasses the similar Core i7 setups.

How much is your budget anyway?
 

MarkG

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Searching for 'i7 FSX' on Google found some people claiming that it's significantly faster than a Core-2 Quad, so presumably it would be a lot faster than a Phenom II.

Not so big a difference in the games that aren't CPU-limited, but unless you plan to replace it in the next year or two, why buy the slower CPU to save $50?
 

roofus

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couldn't have said it better myself lol
 

loneninja

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There's already AM3 processors out that support DDR3, they are just as cheap of an upgrade as the 2 AM2+ Phenom II models that were launched in January. They can be placed in an AM2+ motherboard with DDR2 memory or placed in an AM3 motherboard with DDR3 memory.
 

todd5854

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I plan on going all out, buying the middle of the road core i7, DDR3, 2 or 3 of the best graphics cards (either 2 4870X2's or whatever nvidia has on the market at the time)

Parts list will look something like this
Core i7 940 or 965
DDR3 (fastest speed allowed by motherboard and at least 4gb)
X64 Windows XP and 7 dual boot
high RPM hard drive (currently up to 15000RPM on newegg I believe)
3 or 4 of nvidia's best cards, or 2 dual ati cards
whatever motherboard fits these the best
whatever power supply gives the most stable wattage (or maybe a redundant 1000W, my case holds 2 power supplies =D )

all contained inside an Antec 900, currently sitting in my room.

ANY suggestions for this? Also, any suggestions on where to get the best deals? (Besides Newegg, TigerDirect, and Microcenter.)

Also, is there a chance Im missing something?


I'm getting a job at best buy when i turn 16 in july so maybe if i work at the geek squad I can get a decent pay from them, to fund this insanely powerful computer I plan to build.

EDIT: My budget is to be determined, but as I said above I'll be working for Geek Squad unless someone suggests a better job for a 16 year old in the Coatesville, PA area (sorry in advance for being so indecisive with this whole thing.)
 

enigma067

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I'm sure he doesn't want to waste money. No one in their right mind wants too.

Core 2 Quad's are Multi-Chip Modules that suffer from a bottleneck.

Core 2 Quads are comprised of 2 dual cores placed side-by-side. Each dual core has two 64-bit floating point units.

The Phenom II is a quad core processor where each of the four cores are on a single die with four 128-bit floating point units and overclocks to 6.5 Ghz. Phenom II also costs a mere $240 as compared to Core i7 at $1080 !!!

A first generation phenom (I) can easily beat a Core 2 Quad.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivx0XYMCZJw
by 20%!

You like wasting money?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwcKyrHHQac
 

MarkG

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So long as you ignore the i7 920 at a 'mere' $289. If the pages I read about i7 vs Core 2 Quad are correct, then even the low-end i7 would give you a sizeable boost over other quad-core CPUs for FSX.
 

OrderChaos

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Hmm...Somehow I doubt that benchmark is real considering it doesn't provide any cpu benchmarks or system build info other than to say they are "exactly the same" Also he doesn't mention what speeds they are at (i.e. are they overclocked?) which is where most (if not all) of the readers here at Toms compare the cpus.

Also the second video compared a X4 940 to an intel i7 965...that accounts for $800 of the $1000 difference with the rest being DDR3 memory to DDR2 and possibly the motherboards which are too fuzzy to tell what they are. So going with the 920 (and since DDR3 prices have dropped so much--and speaking of which you realize that i7 is triple channel so you'd get 3 or 6gb of RAM not 2 or 4 right?-- the difference is likely less now...6gb of DDR3 can be had for as little as $120, so that issue isn't so big anymore.)

Aside from that looking at the benchmarks done here at Toms in this Core i7 vs Phenom 2 comparison, They are overall comparable, however when the i7 does win, it does so by a large margin and when it loses it's not by very much...(true both of these are overclocked, but they are the same cpus you are looking at getting so should give you an idea of how far you can go with each).


It's been proven time after time that the cpu matters less in a build (although still being important) than the gfx card. Both of these are powerful processors and you'll likely be fine with either one. Personally I'd rather go with an i7 so that I could get an x58 mobo and have the option of Crossfire or SLI which as far as I know cannot be done on any AMD system (please correct me if I'm wrong). This way you don't have to worry about switching the mobo any time soon and you know that Intel will release new and more powerful processors as time goes on and drop prices on them.

Anyway, I'm not trying to knock AMD, I personally think that they have a really good proc with the Phenom IIs but Intels are still a little better and since you're talking about a top of the line system that (from the sounds of it) you are going to be keeping as top of the line, it makes more since to be able to upgrade to whichever gfx card (which gives the greatest boost in gaming) without changing proc and mobo too.


 

todd5854

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I agree with you. I read that entire comparison, Intel blows away the competition. I also agree with the X58's ability to Crossfire OR SLI, AMD I don't believe can do that. And also the Core i7 920 isn't that much more expensive than the AMD Phenom, and it's still that much better.

Does anyone have any graphics card recommendations?
 

roofus

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i dont think it is a matter of the AMD stuff "cant" CF /SLI as i have been down that road and been able to but the scaling that i7 does is significantly better than we are accustomed to seeing. it makes the i7 a no brainer for multi-gpu. i am glad to see you have already looked at some of this stuff for yourself instead of falling into the trap of listening to fanboi's which in alot of cases around here dont even possess either of the newer cpu's.
 

todd5854

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Exactly. When I buy the next computer, I will be comparing other peoples opinions with my own, and with the benchmarks and performance reviews.
 

massec

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Overclockability has to be taken into account. An i7 920 can easily be overclocked up to 3.8, with a decent £50 cooler. That in my opinion makes it the best bang for buck.
 

todd5854

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TRUE! And since I have a large heat sink (Thermaltake Golden orb II) and an Antec 900 Case, I bet I can get that sucker up to 4.0ghz, maybe

 

JAYDEEJOHN

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Definately, if money isnt the object, then go i7, as for multi gpu usage and many other apps, i7 is better. It costs more, doesnt show great perf gains in single gpu configs, but still does well in other apps. At this point, it IS a cost/perf issue combined with a users needs that should regulate or guide as to which cpu to go after
 

todd5854

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True, so maybe prices will go down by July when I actually plan to buy this. This is just for me, and anyone else who needs it to help compare AMD and Intel's newest.
 

The Third Level

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Phenom II is meant to compete with C2Q, so dont expect it to be beating i7.
That said, i7 is quite a price jump for a 20% performance increase, so in case of budget issues, Phenom II is more than enough.
 

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