Phenom II vs Core 2 vs Core i7

Helloworld_98

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So I've been set a budget of about £700 to build a good all-around PC, I'm just stuck on If I should get a Phenom II 720 build with a 4870 X2, Core 2 build with a 4870 1GB or a Core i7 build with a 4770.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: mid May BUDGET RANGE: £700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Video Encoding, Internet Browsing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, OS, Mouse, Keyboard, HDD (although it would be nice if I could fit one in my budget)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Scan.co.uk, overclockers.co.uk, eclipsecomputers.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Would prefer an AMD graphics card if I don't go i7.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes but after I have bought the system.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200, maybe 2560x1600 in the future

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like it to be fairly quiet and temps to be fairly low, Preferably DDR3 based but will go DDR2 if it means more computing power in all
 

nerrawg

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Hmm, is ebuyer ok? I did a theoretical build for myself yesterday from there for around £700 - looked at overclockers for the cooler though. Build is coming..
 

nerrawg

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Case:
Coolermaster HAF 932 Full Tower Case - High Air Flow Design - No PSU -£100
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148685
Lots of other quality cases out there as I am sure you know, just that this seemed a good deal at £99.
Otherwise I like the Storm Sniper or Scout cases, Lian Li makes very nice ones - but seeing as you are an old hand and all I am sure you know this

PSU:
Corsair 650W TX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 80+% Efficiency, Single +12V Rail - £79
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135514
You could easily fit the 750 TX in budget or another quality PSU if you wanted.

MOBO:
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4 AMD 790X Socket AM2+ ATX 8 channel audio ATX - £92
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/160854

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 6MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor - £120
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159071

GPU:
2xSapphire HD 4770 512MB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card - £158
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164142

RAM:
OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC6400 Titanium Memory CL4(4-4-4-15) - £39
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/154644

HD:
Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM -£52
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144339

CPU cooler:
Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Cooler (Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3) - £35
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-061-TR&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=1395

System Total: £623 without HDD,
and add multiples of £52 for suggested HDD - or which ever you want. There are probably a lot of things you can change on this build out of personal taste- the idea is that the 720 and 2 x 4770 combo is excellent bang for the buck- hard to beat I think - you could of course go AM3 for just a bit more dosh:

AM3 MOBO:
Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-168-GI&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=1377

DDR3 RAM:
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz Dual Channel
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-109-OC&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=1387

Don't think you will ever notice any difference though because AM3 MOBOs are dual channel architecture - can't really see myself how they are gonna ever be significantly better than DDR2. I would plan on a future upgrade to Core i7 or Core i5 - and spend the most money on case and PSU. But that's just my opinion.
Core i7 is pretty expensive in the UK, mainly it seems because we don't have the same MOBO deals over here as on newegg. Maybe you will find some I haven't seen. Also I would be of the opinion (as I previously explained here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264181-31-best-bang-buck-spend-system ) that it isn't worth spending more than around $700 (or £400-450) pounds on CPU, MOBO, RAM and GPU, because these things are the first to be outdated and you don't get the equivalent value back for the money premium you have to pay if you spend more on these parts. That is the other argument why I personally wouldn't go the core i7 route - at least yet. I am very interested yo hear your opinions on this matter though

Hope this helped in some way :)
 

Helloworld_98

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ebuyer's ok, bit more expensive sometimes then scan though.

I made up this build on overclockers, doesn't include a HDD though.

Gainward ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB
AMD 720 BE
PCP&C silencer 750w
Biostar TA790GX
OCZ Gold 2x2gb 1066mhz memory
Antec 300
Samsung SATA DVD-ROM

comes to £705 inc postage.
 
G

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I disagree, I don't think it would be more powerful than the 4770 in CF, just probably consumes less energy than the 4770 in CF.

4770 CF Benchmark
 

Helloworld_98

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Decided I really don't need that much power so instead of a 4870 X2 I'm going to go with either a 4870 1GB by gigabyte and a 640GB caviar black or a 4890. I'll add an extra 4GB of ram onto it aswell.

I'll crossfire them later since I just realised you can get 790FX boards on scan for £80. But will an 850w PSU be enough for tri-firing 4870's? it will probably be silverstone, might go upto 1000w if need be.
 

nerrawg

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Hehe - whoops you caught my lazy writing habits out there - I meant his choice of 4870 X2 - that will be more powerful
 

xthekidx

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I like the idea of 4770's xfire'd, that will be about the same price, perhaps cheaper, and much more powerful than a 4870. A decent 550w or 600w PSU would be enough for that. If you will xfire 2 4870's or 4890's, then you should be looking at a 750w+ PSU from a reputable manufacturer, Silverstone is good stuff. Scaling of the 4770's also looks very good from initial reveiws and if you are going to get a 790FX board, quadfire'd 4770's might be interesting :D
 

nerrawg

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Hmm.. play around with this to simulate a tri-fire 4870 solution on AAnet's PSU - They haven't included PII series CPU's yet - and I don't trust many others though (delluser1 is the expert on this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253835-28-which-calculator-trust )

http://web.aanet.com.au/SnooP/psucalc.php

also Outervision is the best but costs:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I substituted the PII 720 for a 9850 and overvolted and OC'd it - you should check any benches regarding how much power it uses OC and Stock if you can find them.
got 275.0W + 137.5 W for the cards on stock settings
and 858W total continous load with OC'd CPU, HDD, monitor and the works (we are talking 1000W PSU here if that is the case)

I have a feeling that 4870 Tri-fire might not really be worth the premium from 4890s in CF, 3 way 4870 is definitely more cost effective on average than quad 4870 from what I have seen though.
check out i7 benches for 4870 scaling in tri and quad fire configuration verses others here:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3520

and 4890 in CF here:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/2704/ati_radeon_hd_4890_in_crossfire/index.html
more from our forum on the issue (kind of)
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262829-33-4870-4890

-also I agree with the kid on this one - 4770 is cheap in UK so I would get this and wait to upgrade to DX11 5000 series cards when they come if you are only playing at 1920 x 1200 now. I would make the monitor jump then too.
 

Helloworld_98

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wait a moment, Ill just conjure up an i7 build since I managed to squeeze one in with a 4870, except this time I'll try with a 4770.

also I thought the high-end 40nm gpu's were the 49xx series?
 

Helloworld_98

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also how's this?

i7 920 D0
ASUS P6T SE
2x2GB Corsair 1333mhz ram(only £1 more than 3x1GB so might aswell)
Coolermaster 690 V2
Silverstone 650w quad 12v rail PSU
Sapphire 4770
LG DVD-ROM
 

nerrawg

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Hmm- remember that RAM will only be using dual channel though, not triple channel, so it will be a bit slower - matter of taste between getting faster RAM or more RAM
otherwise looks good - as long as a single 4770 is ok for now
 

Helloworld_98

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Would the triple channel affect Video encoding?

otherwise I can't see anything else it could effect? but I'll change the case to a antec 300 and the memory to 3x2gb 1333mhz corsair anyway because the more ram the better and with only 2 gfx cards it shouldn't make a difference.