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Phenom II or Intel i7?

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by bud951, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    I need a main PC since I have sold off most of my other stuff. I plan on building a no holds barred X58 this fall. I need something now that wont break my wallet too much but give me great performance and that I have fun toying around with like overclocking. I would like the newer features such as USB 3.0 and SATA III. I haven't built an AMD system in a while and I was leaning that way since the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is nicely priced. The GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 looks like a nice MB and has most of the stuff I need. I am looking at just under $400 shipped from Newegg for this pair. Is there an Intel setup that compares for about the same price? Any recommendations on DDR3 RAM for either? Looking for CPU, MB and RAM. Any info is greatly appreciated.
  2. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Well i just sold my 965 Black Edition to go I7 so imma have to say I7 due to speed.

    But since you want a *easy on the wallet* PC now then i suggest a small AMD qaud setup? 99$ quads cant be beat *in price*
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. afw

    afw New Member

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  4. johnnyfiive

    johnnyfiive

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    a_ump says thanks.
  5. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    So Intel mainstream i7 processors are just that much better than the top AMD's? Say Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz owns the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz?
  6. nt300

    nt300

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    You are correct and Intel has a better variety of motherboards to choose from. But or overall cheaper cost, AMD is the better choice.
  7. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm currently running a couple of core i7 860 rigs and I'm putting together a 965BE rig too, for a gamer and daily driver. For raw speed, NOTHING is faster than i7. However, I really like AMD for a couple of reasons. First, there is just a "smooth" factor with running applications that I just don't get with Intel. I can't really explain it, but it's true. Also, AMD is currently more fun to tweak. Core i7 has just made it too easy to overclock. It frankly takes no skill to get high clock speeds from a 860 or 920. Because of this, I don't think I'd run Intel right now if I didn't need the raw power and virtual threads for crunching.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
    MKmods and bud951 say thanks.
  8. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, what do you think makes the AMD setup "smooth" compared to the intel? It is real world stuff that I love and that is interesting. Being superior on paper is one thing but how a system works in everyday applications is another. I do appreciate the input. Thanks.
  9. theonedub

    theonedub habe fidem

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    I just want to give my input on this 'smooth' factor as well since I have an i7 and 965. As far as I have noticed he Phenom feels smooth on the desktop- whether it be browsing the web, in Office, etc it is smooth, crisp, snappy. My i7 in comparison actually seems to lag a little bit, stuttering sometimes. That said, I will add that my Q9550 was better than them both.

    I don't know if that is specifically what Paul has noticed, but thats my take as a previous and current owner.

    Excuse me while I plug my FS thread, which has both a Athlon X4 and Phenom 965 up that may interest you.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  10. nt300

    nt300

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    The Phenom II 975 is on its way with a nice 3.60 GHz Quad-Core speed.
  11. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Phenom II is just smooth like butter through daily task in comparison to my Intel rigs. Don't really know how to explain it, and others may think I'm full of BS. However, this does come from an owner of 2 i7 rigs. :)
  12. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Paulie your right! i had a E5200 overclocked to 3.6ghz and a HTPC with a 5400+ black edition and i beleive the AMD ran so smooth i sold the Intel and built a bigger AMD but now i want back to the Intel side with there I7 rockin house
    Crunching for Team TPU
  13. aCid888*

    aCid888* New Member

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    My 945ES is the smoothest PC I've ever used......but there is no denying the power of the i7.


    That being said...I don't think I need any more power so I'll keep my cheaper, smoother AMD rig, thanks. :toast:
  14. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    I agree, I sold my X58 stuff and went with AM3/965 for a few reasons,
    I couldnt tell any dif in speed in real life(only benches) AMD to me is a LOT smoother, cooler, more efficient, cheaper and easier to work with.
  15. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    LOL i can never leave well enough alone LOL i go from a Pentium D 805 to a intel 5200 @ 3.6ghz to a AMD X2 5400+ black edition to a AMD Phenom II 940 Black Edition to a AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition to a final Intel I7 920 D0
    Crunching for Team TPU
  16. AddSub

    AddSub

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    bud951, I'll tell you, the i7+X58 is the most stable and most overclockable high-end platform I had my pleasure of dealing with in a long time. I haven't seen anything this good since the nForce2+SocketA days. As for the financial angle, the prices on i7+X58 hardware have dropped so much that in some places older LGA775 stuff is priced higher. You can get your i7+X58 hardware even cheaper if you choose to go the used/refurbished route. I'm sure you can find somebody in the trade section of TPU soon enough. Also, check out the trade forums on HardForum and Overclock.net. Plenty of i7+X58 hardware exchanging hands at some great prices.

    Also, by fall the X68 line-up will be out and we can probably expect 8-16 core CPUs soon after that, which will no doubt be LGA1366-only affair, and you will be half way there with a X58 motherboard (if you choose not to go the X68 route).

    As for AMD? I used AMD exclusively from 2002 to 2008 in my builds, and I mean exclusively. However, the times have changed. Even today AMD has trouble competing with Intel and their now ancient LGA775 platform, much less with the stuff coming out of Intel nowadays. A sad situation no doubt, but I really can't recommnend the AMD's AM2+/AM3 platform unless: a) you really like a challenge when it comes to overclocking/troubleshooting, b)have a strong innate liking for the "underdogs", c) have money to burn, d) all of the above.

    AM2+/AM3 motherboards are pretty feature deficient compared to what can be seen with LGA1366 or even LGA1156 hardware, and are in my opinion priced way above what they are worth. Heck, when you compare the evolutions of platforms: from Socket 939 to AM3 for AMD and from Socket 478 to LGA 1366 for Intel, only then do you realize how far AMD has fallen back.

    As for the entire "smoothness" argument, I think it has to do the fact that Intel is generally considered a big bad evil corporation that is out to crush the competition (hey, it might not be far from the truth) and the whole feeling of smoothness is just an emotional response to that. However, in my personal opinion "emotional responses" are not something worth spending hard earned cash over. Especially when it comes to PC hardware.

    Since you say this is going to be your main workstation, I say go with i7+X58, you won't regret it. Don't get me wrong, AMD's platforms still have a place in the budget HTPC or laptop arena, but take it from a long time AMD overclocker/tweaker (and a shareholder), for your primary machine, i7+X58 is what you are looking for.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
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  17. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    I'll see if I can confirm this tomorrow, I'll be replacing the Q9400 with a Phenom II X4 955, which, theoretically, should be about the same speed (maybe a bit faster), but I'll see if it "feels" any smoother.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    I think what this is boiling down for me is the lack of feature rich motherboards supporting the AMD3 platform. I also wish the new generation of X58 motherboards would just get on the market. I know Intel is and has been better for years. I do have some feeling of support for AMD (the underdog) which I hope does not just go away. If they do then Intel will have there way with all of us as far as pricing goes. It seems like they already do as far as the top CPU's go. $1000 is just insane! I am actually hoping this "smooth" aspect really does exist since it does give a reason to consider an AMD platform at least for now and the 965BE is just priced so nice.
  19. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    Not at all an emotional response from me. Just my experience with a total 18 different i7 chips (920 and 860) and nearly as many i7 boards. They are just pure brute speed. I'm certainly not saying that Intel is full of stuttering and choppy performance. I'm just saying that there is something about how programs load on AMD rigs. It's subtle, but it is real.

    One could argue that we are so far beyond overkill regardless of whether you chose AMD or Intel right now. There is simply nothing that an overclocked i7, Phenom II or s775 C2Q can't handle. So, in reality the only thing you really gain when upgrading to i7 is benching stats and crunching, which is why I still own 2 i7's.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  20. nt300

    nt300

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    I believe you need correcting on your opinionated statement.
    AM2+/AM3 being feature deficient is not entirely true, though Intel being in the chipset business for ages compared to AMD merits there slightly deficient features.
    In regards to prices, hi end AMD motherboards are somewhat priced too high, but that is the highest of high for those motherboards but still MUCH cheaper than Intel motherboards. Intel’s higher than high motherboards is like giving away your arm for one.
    Once again, AMD has not fallen behind because they’ve just started designing there own chipsets a few years ago. (Thank goodness for NVIDIA chipsets) The chipset that will bring AMD and Intel on par with each other in my honest opinion will be the chipset for the upcoming Bulldozer micro-architecture.
    We got to cut AMD some slack, they don’t have anything near in R&D as Intel does. For a much smaller company they are doing alright though they need to keep there head above water.

    If Bulldozer fails, so does AMD. But we all have to ask ourselves why would AMD name its upcoming design Bulldozer? So they can Bulldoze the competition lol
  21. trt740

    trt740

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    Thats true and man I gotta say it your Avatar, geezs, that girls has some tits.
    TheLaughingMan says thanks.
  22. trt740

    trt740

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    Now thats spot on and the breast, I mean the best statement so far :laugh: :D Damn I Double DD posted
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  23. Super XP

    Super XP

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    I think that avatar with the tits is his wife or something, that is what he said in another thread I think :toast:
  24. TheLaughingMan

    TheLaughingMan

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    I have been avoiding saying that since I saw that pic.

    Honestly, you say this is your primary workstation. Unless you need bragging rights, cruching or some other CPU heavy task, then the extra money is just not worth it.

    And I didn't have any trouble OCing my Phenom II. I hit 4 Ghz just to know I could and downed it back to 3.5 at stock voltage because I didn't need it to run at the speed for anything.

    As stated previously, CPU's PII and i7 are very OP right now. Both will walk all over anything you through at them. I will disagree with the "feature rich" motherboard comment as well. There is nothing additional or special in an i7 board you can't get from an AM3 board that I know of outside of SLI support.

    The difference in price can be added into your GPU budget to give your system a better overall performance bonus.

    I honestly think the smoothness factor is the fact Intel chips downclock themselves to save power. The Phenom's downclock un-used cores to save power and 1 or 2 are usually always at full speed. I honestly thing that is what is creating that occasional shutter.
  25. Super XP

    Super XP

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    No, Phenom II cores also downclock. It's called Cool & Quiet. It auto reduces the CPU's vCore and reduces the core's clock speed. I've seen it many times in system builds. Not sure about turning off extra un-used cores though. I need to look into that. Perhaps the AMD Opterons do that:confused:

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