The Truth: i5 750 vs Phenom II 965 -Updated

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AMW1011

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Hello
There has been a lot of heated debate and arguing on these forums about which is better, a Phenom II 965 or an i5 750. On both sides, everyone has failed to back up their point and have posted one or two links at best which is inadequate to answer such a question. I am here to answer that question. The scientific method tells us to do everything in, at least, threes. Three sources, three experiments, three variables, ect. Well I have compiled 8 different sources. None were picked and chosen except for the Lost Circuits article since it keeps getting thrown around.

I must remind everyone that this is a thread to inform those who are trying to choose between the two, I'm not here to settle any vendettas or disputes, I don't give a rats ass about that.

Alright let us discuss Turbo mode. Turbo Mode is where, with 1-2 cores under load, the CPU clocks those cores to 3.2 GHz and with 3-4 core under load the CPU clocks to 2.8 GHz. With Turbo mode enabled, which it is in all the below benchmarks, the i5 750 clocks at 2.8 GHz for most of the app benchmarks, which is 600 MHz (2.8GHz vs 3.4 GHz) lower than the Phenom II 965. In most games the i5 750 is clocked at 3.2 GHz or 2.8 GHz which is 200 MHz or 600 MHz (3.2GHz/2.8GHz vs 3.4 GHz) lower than the Phenom II 965. A reader must take this into account with the below results.

Links:
http://www.techspot.com/review/193-intel-core-i5-750/
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-750-core-i7-860-870-processor-review-test/
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/intel_corei5750_corei7870/
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/lynnfield/
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/09/08/intel-core-i5-and-i7-lynnfield-cpu-review/1
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410.html
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=42

Note: No synthetics were listed here, though I think that they have some merit, the majority opinion is that they do not and therefor they are not included.

Here we go: (continued on next post)

2/24/2010 I have updated the pricing section and some facts. If I'm asked I will add some more articles that are more recent.
 

AMW1011

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i5 750 is blue
Phenom II 965 is green
Results are red


Techspot:

Apps:
Microsoft Excel 2007 (lower = > Lg/Sm): 13.14/2.15 11.10/1.44
Phenom II 965 16%/33% = 24.5% faster
WinRAR Compression (lower = > Win7 DVD/720p file): 9.52/42.50 13.44/63.48
i5 750 29%/33% = 31% faster
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (lower = > Smart Blur/Extrude): 47.2/66.3 41.2/66.9
Phenom II 965 13%/-1% = 6% faster

Games:
Unreal Tournament 3 (FPS 1024x768/1920x1200): 268/162 263/164
Tie difference is less than 1%
Street Fighter IV (FPS 1024x768 1920x1200): 236/166 226/167
i5 750 4%/0% = 2% faster
Far Cry 2 (FPS 1024x768 1920x1200): 97/71 88/70
i5 750 9%/2% = 5.5% faster

Anandtech:

Apps:
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (lower = >): 18.1 21.1
i5 750 = 14% faster
DivX 6.8.5 (lower = >): 39.4 42.5
i5 750 = 7% faster
x264 HD encode 1st pass (FPS): 72.9 77.7
Phenom II 965 = 6% faster
x264 HD encode 2nd pass (FPS): 21 20.3
i5 750 = 3% faster
Windows media encder 9 x64 (lower = >) 30 28
Phenom II 965 - 6% faster
3dsmax 9 (higher = >): 13.4 11.9
i5 750 = 11% faster
Blender 2.48a (lower = better): 59.9 69.5
i5 750 = 14% faster
POV-Ray 3.73 (higher = >): 2710 2706
Tie difference is less than 1%
Microsoft Excel 2007 (lower = >): 20.1 23.8
i5 750 = 16% faster
Sony Vegas Pro 8 (lower = >): 206 238
i5 750 = 13% faster
Sorenson Squeeze: FLV Creation (lower = >): 127.7 134.6
i5 750 = 5% faster
PAR2 Archive Recovery (lower = >): 29.7 32.8
i5 750 = 9% faster
WinRAR - Archive Creation (lower = >) 96.2 105.7
i5 750 = 9% faster

Gaming:
Fallout 3 (FPS): 86.2 87.7
Phenom II 965 = 2% faster
Left 4 Dead (FPS): 130.1 126.1
i5 750 = 3% faster
Crysis Warhead (FPS): 83.3 81.4
i5 750 = 2% faster

Lost Circuits:

Apps:
Caligari TrueSpace 5.1 Vases (lower = >): 55 63
i5 750 = 13% faster
Caligari TrueSpace 5.1 Ducati (^ same): 157 144
Phenom II 965 = 8% faster
MainConcept H.264 (lower = >): 50.2 43.68
Phenom II 965 = 13% faster
DVD-Shrink 3.2 (lower = >): 167 159
Phenom II 965 = 5% faster
Nero 9 Recode (lower = >): 422 402
Phenom II 965 = 5% faster
V-Dub/DivX 6.8 no SSE4 (lower = >): 16 15
Phenom II 965 = 6% faster
V-Dub/DivX 6.8 SSE4 (lower = >): 17 20
i5 750 = 15% faster
DIEP Chess (higher = >): 863563.4 948604.1
Phenom II 965 = 9% faster

Games:
Unreal Tournament 3 (FPS): 147 139
i5 750 = 5% faster
Devil May Cry 4 (FPS scene 1/2/3/4): 86.36/148.85/80.81/115.46 92.82/126.08/85.19/117.5
Tie difference is less than 1%
Far Cry2 Small Ranch (FPS high/avg/low): 73.49/32.37/21.96 56.96/31.89/22.69
i5 750 22%/1%/-3% = 7% faster

Guru3d:

Apps:
Video transcoding H.264 (lower = >): 12.92 12.96
Tie difference is less than 1%
Kribi - Sponge Explode (FPS): 7.1 8.8
Phenom II 965 = 19% faster
AES Data Encryption (higher = >): 21428 24500
Phenom II 965 = 12% faster

Games:
BiA: Hells Highway (FPS 1024x768/1280x1024): 91/83 77/75
i5 750 15%/10% = 12.5% faster
BiA: Hells Highway (FPS 1600x1200/1920x1200): 71/67 70/67
Tie difference is less than 1%
Crysis Warhard (FPS 1024x768/1280x1024): 57/47 54/45
i5 750 5%/4% = 4.5% faster
Crysis Warhard (FPS 1600x1200/1920x1200): 37/34 36/33
i5 750 3%/3% = 3% faster

OverclocksClub

Apps:
Apophysis (lower = >): 27 21
Phenom II 965 = 22% faster
WinRAR ZIP (lower = > 100mb/500mb): 13/58 11/59
Phenom II 965 15%/-2% = 6.5% faster
WinRAR RAR (lower = > 100mb/500mb): 25/136 22/119
Phenom II 965 12%/12% = 12% faster
Office 2007 Excel (lower = >): 5.5 8.2
i5 750 = 33% faster
POV Ray 3.7 (higher = >): 2576 2778
Phenom II 965 = 7% faster

Games:
Far Cry2 (FPS 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200): 65/58/51 69/63/55
Phenom II 965 6%/8%/7% = 7% faster
Crysis Warhead (^ same): 26/20/17 26/21/16
Tie difference is less than 1%
Bioshock (^ same): 166/128/109 156/125/102
i5 750 6%/2%/6% = 5% faster
COD: WAW (^ same): 82/70/59 81/70/60
Tie difference is less than 1%
Dead Space (^ same): 196/156/134 191/160/136
Tie difference is less than 1%
Fallout 3 (^ same): 83/81/78 80/76/75
i5 750 4%/6%/4% = 5% faster
Left 4 Dead (^ same): 118/98/83 117/98/85
Tie difference is less than 1%
 

AMW1011

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CONTINUED:

Neoseeker:

Apps:

Handbrake (lower = >): 217 211
Phenom II 965 = 3% faster
POV-Ray (higher = >): 2531 2818.54
Phenom II 965 = 10% faster
WinRAR (lower = > 100mb/500mb/1000mb) 10/46/118 8/34/88
Phenom II 965 20%/26%/25% = 24% faster

Games:
Call of Juarez (FPS): 106 102
i5 750 = 4% faster
World in Conflict (FPS): 238 197
i5 750 = 17% faster
Lost Planet (FPS snow/cave) 261/113 280/112
Phenom II 965 7%/-1% = 3% faster
Left 4 Dead (FPS 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200): 127/107/90 126/108/91
i5 750 = 1% faster
Crysis Warhard (FPS ^ same): 47/39/32 47/39/33
Phenom II 965 = 3% faster
Bioshock (^ same): 182/150/118 197/148/122
Phenom II 965 8%/-1%/3% = 3% faster
Far Cry 2 (^ same): 68/60/53 77/68/59
Phenom II 965 12%/12%/10% = 11% faster

Tomshardware:

Apps:
Main Concept 1.6.1 (lower = >): 1.59 1.57
Phenom II 965 = 1% faster
iTunes v8.2.1.6 (lower = >): 1.24 1.38
i5 750 = 10% faster
TMPGEnc 4.7 (lower = > DivX/Xvid): 2.07/3.42 2.37/4.06
i5 750 13%/16% = 14.5% faster
Lame 3.98.2 (lower = >): 1.54 2.14
i5 750 = 28% faster
WinZip 12.1 (lower = >): 4.57 5.07
i5 750 = 10% faster
WinRAR 3.90 (lower = >): 1.06 1.26
i5 750 = 16% faster
3ds Max 2009 (lower - >): 0.32 0.35
i5 750 = 8% faster
AVG Anti-Virus 8.5 (lower = >): 2.20 2.13
Phenom II 965 = 3% faster
Photoshop CS4 (lower = >): 2.03 2.51
i5 750 = 19% faster
Bit-Tech:

Apps:
GIMP Image Editing Test (higher = >): 1197 1070
i5 750 = 11% faster
HandBrake Video Encoding (Higher - >): 1939 1816
i5 750 = 6% faster
Mutlitasking Test (higher = >): 1285 1003
i5 750 = 22% faster

Games:
Crysis (FPS avg/min.) 34/27 31/23
i5 750 9%/15% = 12% faster
X3: Terran Condlict 83/40 75/37
i5 750 10%/7% = 8% faster


Totals:

i5 750:
Apps: 337.5% / 24 wins = 14.0625% average lead.
Games: 96.5% / 15 wins = 6.4333% average lead.

Phenom II 965:
Apps: 205% / 18 wins = 11.3889% average lead
Games: 26% / 6 = 4.3333% average lead.

I understand those results can be confusing but you must look at them in this light, which wins the most and by how much? In both Apps and Games the i5 750 wins the most and by the most on average. What does this mean? The i5 750 is faster, even at lower clocks.

So I know what you are asking yourself, "So the i5 750 is the better buy?" Well that depends. When comparing performance only then yes, definitely.

To better answer that question we must list each solution's distinct benefits and explore them.

i5 750:

1. It is faster:

Well, yes it is and we just proved it, but by how much? The results above can look pretty conclusive, but if you examine and read through each article (like I did :sweat:) then you will see that they are both VERY fast and VERY close. Some of those 10%, 20%, and 30% leads are just a hand full of seconds or a few FPS that won't alter gameplay noticeably. In the end I don't think either solution would disappoint any half-way realistic expectations. Each CPU is DAMN FAST and you really can't go wrong with either CPU and I guarantee you wont be disappointed by either.

2. The P55 chipset can support both SLI and Crossfire whereas the AM3 chipset can only support one or the other:

This is an interesting feature. I won't lie, it is the reason I went with i5 750 even though money was tight. I am using 2 8800 GTS 512mbs and I don't want another SHlTY nVidia motherboard. I also want the ability to crossfire at a later date as I don't have much faith in Fermi, but I digress. Enough about me what about YOU?! Well do you want or plan to use SLI? If so then your decisions easy, i5 750 it is. If not? Keep reading.

3. Hyperthreading.... wait...

Yes that is correct, the i5 750 DOES NOT have hyperthreading, but the i7 860 does at $80 more. That is kind of steep, but there is good news: the X3440. The Xeon X3440 drops into any and all P55 motherboards, even though it is technically a server chip, is better binned so overclocks just as well as the i5 750, and has hyperthreading for $30 more than the i5 750 and $50 less than the i7 860, a bargain for those who want hyperthreading.

Now onto hyperthreading itself. Admittedly very few applications use it and its benefits are limited even then. However it does really benefit a user when they are using mutliple CPU straining tasks, like HD encoding, Zip-ing large files, and using photoshop all at the same time. If you do this a lot then hyperthreading is for you.

Phenom II 965:

1. It costs less:

Update: The Phenom IIs have had a decent reduction in price. The Phenom II 965 sits at $180, $20 cheaper than the i5 750. The Phenom II X4 955 sits at $160, $40 cheaper than the i5 750.

In addition, the Phenom II X4 925 sits at $130 and is a full $70 cheaper than the i5 750, $30 cheaper than the 955, and $50 cheaper than the 965. I recommend the 925 over the 955 and 965 as it can overclock to 3.6-3.8 GHz easily and 4.0 GHz if you are lucky. That is only slightly lower than the other Phenom II's overclockability, and the deficit does not justify the extra expense of the 955 and 965, and anything over 3.6 GHz is unneeded.


Both the i5 750 and Phenom II 955 use the same exact RAM so you can't save money there.

Update: With the addition of the H55/H57 and the Q57 LGA 1156 chipsets, the AM3 chipsets can no longer be considered cheaper and are on-par with LGA 1156 pricing.

All in all, the price difference between the processors is still about the same.


As you can see the Phenom II solution is a bit cheaper and can make or break a deal and can be the difference between a mid-high end GPU and a high end GPU.

2. The future is certain:

Don't get me wrong, there will be new CPUs coming to the LGA 1156 chipset, especially some nice 32nm quads, but the adoption of 6-core CPUs on LGA 1156 is still uncertain, and likely dependent on how AMD prices their 6-core processors. However, it is basically known that 6-core processors will be coming to AM3.

How does this effect you? That depends on whether you need 6 cores or not.

Update: It is now uncertain whether the 32nm 6-core AMD processors are going to come to the AM3 boards, but they will likely be backwards compatible still.

3. Changed: Phenom II and GPUs


Don't get me wrong, the LGA 1156 chipset will utilize any two single GPUs very well, and at times slightly faster than the AM3 equivalent. However, for 3+ GPUs (IE: 3 5850s, 2 5970s, or 4 5870s) the i5 750's 16-lane restricted bandwidth (IE: x8/x8, x8/x4/x4 or x4/x4/x4/x4) is less than ideal. For this some would recommend the i7 LGA 1366 chipset, but it doesn't provide anything in gaming that the AM3 chipset cannot.

Do note that 3+ GPUs are ONLY for those who don't care about price v. performance and is not an optimal configuration 95% of the time or more, 2 GPUs is really where things should stop.

So what does this prove?

1. The i5 750 is faster in the end.
2. Neither solution is a bad deal.
3. I have too much time on my hands.

In the end, if you are still undecided, I highly recommend the reader to take a piece of paper and a pen, or wordpad/notebook for you computer geeks, and list what apps and games you use the most. Then go and look at all 8 article's worth of benchmarks above and see which processor works best for your needs. The i5 750 and the Phenom II 965 DO have applications and games where they just plain work better.

I hope this helps you, dear reader, and I hope it was worth 6 hours of my time. :cry:
 

welshmousepk

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hopefully this will quiten down some of the arguements.

as ive been seeing for a months. i5=better, phenom II=better value.

theres no doubting the i5 is a better processor, those who do are simply being fanboys. personally though, id have little interest in building a rig around it unless id won a bunch of money. id rather save a bunch on a similar chip, and get a better video card and ram.
 

AMW1011

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Well that is not necessarily true, refer to the guide please.

Yeah I am kinda hoping that this will help people settle it once and for all with enough facts to choke an elephant.
 

zach377

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I just recently decided between these two for my new build, and let me tell you it was a tough call. In the end, I went with the i5 because although performance gains are minimal on the 965 (or o/c'ed 955, which was my plan) at the end of the day, the 50 or so extra dollars I would theoretically save were not worth a huge amount to me either. I really like the approach you took on this one though, the scientific one that is. I can't tell you how much fanboy trash I had to sift through to get input on this decision. It seemed the vast majority of forum-goers were either staunchly amd or intel and refused to consider the alternative as viable under any circumstances.
 

AMW1011

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I suppose that it is because a feature is a feature. I was sure to show the benchmark with it disabled to give a complete perspective on the matter. The more intricate examining on the SSE4 addition to the benchmark is for the reader to decide, not me.
 

AMW1011

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Both are great and as long as they meet your needs then you can't go wrong with either.
 

jennyh

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Oh another thing too. There are no 32nm quads planned by intel in 2010, i3, i5 or i7.

http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/16996/38/

I'm not nitpicking, just trying to make sure the whole facts are available to help people make their choice.
 

AMW1011

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I'm not sure on the source, but if true then it still doesn't necessarily impact my statement. I stated that they will come out, not when. We don't know the when for either party, but 32nm LGA 1156 quads have been announced a few times.

Thanks for the contribution.
 

AMW1011

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I thought about it, but there are only a handful of articles that do this and I was going for a very broad consensus, however I will look into it.
 

sirheck

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The 965 runs at 3.4 constant(unless) C&Q is enabled then its around 1ghz, but it adjust accordingly to load.

The i5 has turbo boost which is kinda like C&Q but reversed (some imply its cheatng :sarcastic: )
But since it doesnt cost extra and doesnt need special TIM to make it work and actually comes with the i5
in its stock form then its a fair comparison between the two.

As for the avg overclock thing, so far the i5 seems to be a little higher and more stable overall so far.
This is considering the newest C stepping from AMD too
 

ElMoIsEviL

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Hmmm

http://www.crn.com/hardware/222002641;jsessionid=JMNBZVDUCNEMFQE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN
http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=26549
http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=22414
http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=8139
http://topnews.us/content/29014-intel-launch-17-westmere-technology-based-chips-ces

Intel is launching 17 new Westmere based products at CES.

Westmere

Westmere (formerly Nehalem-C) is the name given to the 32 nm die shrink of Nehalem. Westmere should be ready for a Q4 2009 release provided that Intel stays on target with its roadmap. However, it appears that the bulk of Westmere's versions, excluding mobile versions, will be released sometime in Q1, 2010.[42][43] Westmere's features and improvements from Nehalem have been reported as follows:

* Native six-core, and possibly dual-die hex-core (12-cores), processors.[44]
o The successor to Bloomfield and Gainestown is six-core.
* A new set of instructions that gives over 3x the encryption and decryption rate of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) processes compared to before.[45]
o Delivers seven new instructions that will be used by the AES algorithm. Also an instruction called PCLMULQDQ that will perform carry-less multiplication.[46] These instructions will allow the processor to perform hardware-accelerated encryption, not only resulting in faster execution but also protecting against software targeted attacks.
o AES-NI may be included in the integrated graphics of Westmere.
* Integrated graphics, released at the same time as the processor.
* Improved virtualization latency.[47]
* New virtualization capability: "VMX Unrestricted mode support" -- which allows 16-bit guests to run. (real mode and big real mode).
http://www.techpowerup.com/110567/Intel_Readies_13_Westmere-based_32_nm_Xeon_Processors.html
Intel Readies 13 Westmere-based 32 nm Xeon Processors
Outgrowing the known lineup of 32 nm client processors (under the Core family), Intel's upcoming lineup of processors based on the 32 nm Westmere architecture will comprise of no less than 13 models under the Xeon E5000, L5000, X5000, and W3600 series. Among these, there are six hexa-core Xeon processors, including X5680 (3.33 GHz), X5670 (2.93 GHz), X5660 (2.80 GHz), and X5650 (2.66 GHz). X5680 has a TDP of 130W, with the latter three sub 3 GHz models having TDP as low as 95W. There is an energy-efficient L5640 hexa-core model clocked at 2.26 GHz, with TDP at 60W, and a single-socket W3680, clocked at 3.33 GHz with 130W TDP. All these models have six cores, and 12 MB of L3 cache.

Next up, are Intel's first 32 nm quad-core processors: Xeon X5677 (3.46 GHz, 130W), X5647 (3.06 GHz, 95W), E5640 (2.66 GHz, 80W), X5630 (2.53 GHz, 80W), X5620 (2.40 GHz, 80W), and energy efficient L5630 (2.13 GHz, 40W), and L5609 (1.86 GHz, 40W). Except L5609, all these quad-core chips have HyperThreading Technology and Turbo Boost available. The L2 cache amounts for each of these chips is unknown as of now, but should be up to 8 MB, or as low as 4 MB for some models. Most of these chips are slated for release on March 16, 2010.


http://hothardware.com/News/Intel-Reveals-More-32nm-Westmere-Details/




Now Quad Core wise.. well... we don't have Intel's roadmap for anything past Westmere yet. So anything after January 7, 2010 is a mystery.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3513&p=5
Anandtech claims that:
Keep following; if you want a quad-core Westmere, your only option will be in the LGA-1366 socket with Gulftown. Core i7 will get replaced with a six-core, twelve-thread processor in early 2010. There won’t be a 32nm quad-core part on the desktop until the end of 2010 with Sandy Bridge.
But this was based on the old roadmap which has since been scrapped.

Sandy Bridge, unless AMD comes out with a shocker in 2010, will be the first 32nm Quad Cores. http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/12/21/intel-tick-tock-slows-down-sandy-bridge-slips-into-2011.aspx
 

ElMoIsEviL

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I'm actually agreeing with JennyH :p No Corei5 or i7 Quad Core in 2010 planned so far.

So far there are no plans for any 32nm Desktop Grade quad Cores in 2010 from Intel. But Xeon grade processors is another matter entirely... and they work just as well on an LGA1156 or LGA1366 platform (varying on the model chosen).
 

AMW1011

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I understand, my point is I just think it is too early to call. I mean How many months has it been since Fermi was due to release according to nVidia rumors? A sore point that, my hopes aren't high. If Fermi and the 5xxx series are close I might do a similar thread for them, the reception and interest in my guide is more pronounced then It thought.
 
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