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Old May 6, 2012, 04:48 PM
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Default New gaming build.. torn between AMD and Intel

Hey! New to the forum and I am planning on my first gaming build this summer. The games I want to be able to play aren't too intense. Star Wars MMO, Final Fantasy 14 online, Starcraft II online, etc.. I have a Macbook Pro for school/internet, so I think I'll wear that one out and not use this new build for anything else but gaming for now. (Maybe an upgradeable build so when the laptop needs replacing, I can just upgrade this?)

Aside from work, I have been 100% Apple these past 3 years, so I feel out of the loop as far as newer CPUs and things.
My budget is pretty much $800 max.. including Windows 7. No big deal if I go over a bit, but I would like to stick to the budget.

I know a gaming computer relies #1 on cpu/video card.. so I am deciding between a cheaper:

1. AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU HDZ965FBGMBOX - 3.40GHz, Socket AM3, 6MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Retail, Processor with Fan at TigerDirect.com at $120

or maybe go for a newer

2. Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53550 at $220

The AMD has great reviews!, even as recent as today, even though its an older processor. The IvyBridge is obviously newer, but they are close in GHZ.. so I'm lost as far as is the Intel worth it? I know intel makes you change MOBOs every 2 generations or so.. which sounds costly as well.


For the video card, am I correct when I read/believed that by matching the price of the video card to the price of the cpu, you wont have purchased an inferior or superior card vs the cpu, resulting in bottlenecking, and they will complement each other? thanks for any help!!

Graphics card choice so far: EVGA 01G-P3-1557-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti

EVGA 01G-P3-1557-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked Video Card - 1GB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0 (x16), Mini-HDMI, Dual DVI, DirectX 11 SLI Ready, at TigerDirect.com

Last edited by mikal; May 6, 2012 at 04:57 PM.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:46 PM
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IMO, if you are going to get a X4 965, may as well pick up a used rig in BST section. The X4 is still comparable to FX Bulldozer in games but when compare to the new Intel, it's at a disadvantage. The situation is like buying a new car that's already 2 years old in terms of performance while for a tad more money you can get one that's freshly redesigned. As for the video card, it's no 560TI but you can use it for now until you can afford to upgrade to like a 660 when it comes out later. While, I'm no expert, going with an older CPU platform, I feel that buying a new GPU down the road is moot since it may get bottlenecked.
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Forgot to post the link for the i5 3550 review.

Intel Core i7 3770K / i5 3570K / i5 3550 Ivy Bridge review | Hardware.Info United Kingdom
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Old May 6, 2012, 06:40 PM
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If its in the budget then a 3570k would be great, or a 2500k. If you do not plan to do any over clocking, then I would save a few $ and go for a i5 2400/3450/3550. I would pair it with a GTX 560 or 560Ti depending on how much $ is left in the budget. They are both substantially more powerful than a 550Ti, but aren't over kill. I don't see much point in going for anything more powerful than that...like you said they are not extremely demanding GPU games. At this point there is very few scenarios to suggest going with an AMD build. My rig is AMD, but unless they get their desktop CPU sorted out my next computer will be intel.

Tomshardware did a review of CPU for gaming and in the end an i3 2100 had better FPS than any Phenom II or FX CPU from AMD.

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Old May 6, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Should I consider i3 or is the i5 that much better vs the price increase that it's worth it? About AMD, I did read that the bulldozer was/is a flop and everyone isn't sure where AMD is going :/ is that true?
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:54 PM
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If you're playing those games at less than 1920x1080 resolution I would try and take advantage of the Llano price drops. Even a 3870k should be dirt cheap (assuming AMD's announced price drops reach the consumer) and if you need more horsepower later on you can just add a graphics card.
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Old May 6, 2012, 08:03 PM
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At this point, BD just can't compete against Intel at the same price point. Who knows if it's a problem with Win7 (even with patch) or the BD design just a bunch of crap or both. But if you're building a machine today and if there isn't a decent discount on BD, go with Intel. If you intend to use any sort of Virtual Machine, you need VT-D which 3550 has.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Intel processors are much better than the AMD ones at the moment .. But for gaming and inb a budget the AMD is still an option..

IMO you have a few ways to go...
AMD which is cheaper now and sufficient(you probably won't be able to see much difference in the vast majority of games)
but has the possibility of a newer chip in the future just being dropped in for an upgrade (assuming AMD come up with something good)

Or something like the 2500k which should do most people (that don't care about latest/greatest as long as it will do) at least 5 years.. But you'll spend a bit more now..

To be honest the 2500k (or newer version 3570k) are more power than you need right now.. But they will last you a very long time. (and would be my choice if buying now)

Third option is.. If your lappy is good enough to last you a bit, get what you can out of it and then buy once it's not good enough.. maybe get a newer generation if you can stretch it out another year or so.


The biggest increase to games performance you will see is the graphics card.. More so than the CPU..
AMD or Intel your choice, but I would suggest getting the biggest GPU you can afford..
it will make games run like a dream for now and last you a bit longer before you'll need to upgrade again..

nvidia have better drivers and (having had both in the past and with current prices etc) I generally advise people to go for them..
560ti as a minimum these days if you want it to last at least while and have decent quality..

Last edited by Dzzope; May 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:15 AM
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I disagree.

Nvidia does not have the best driver support.

Overall, IMO, u get better overall performance from radeon video cards..pricepoints are good and better support.

highly recommend i5-2500k :). OC capability is awesome.
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