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Thread: New Build Phenom II or i7

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    New Build Phenom II or i7

    Hi folks,

    I've decided it's time for a complete new system but can't decide on Phenom II quad (maybe dragon orientated set up) based or to bite the bullet and pay the extra for i7 with potential for future processor upgrade. I beleive AMD are putting out AM3 soon and what with choices between DDR2 or DDR3 in the mix it's hard to say what way to go.


    Any advice im thinking of paying around £400-£800 - cheaper is always better for quality parts.

    will require:

    CPU
    MOBO
    RAM DDR2/3?
    Graphics card

    good case and PSU already in the bag.

    i might decide to voerclock if i get some time to mess around but mostly it's gaming and the odd video stuff.

    any advice or debate greatly appreciated.

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    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    AM3 is out right now - i should know, i have one.

    And you can use them in AM2+ motherboards which use DDR2 which is much cheaper and just as fast (the mobos are cheaper too)

    I if you want a quad core (if not get the X3 720)

    AMD Phenom II X4 810, Sok AM3, 2.6GHz, 6MB Total Cache, 95W, Retail - £145
    Biostar TA790GX 128, AMD 790GX, SAM2+, PCI-E 2.0(x16), DDR2 1066, SATA 3Gbps, SATA RAID, OnBoard VGA - £75

    Two sets of: 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2, PC2-8500 (1066), 240Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15, EPP - for 8GB total RAM (64bit OS needed) £90

    Comes to £310, im not sure about GPUs

    EDIT: prices from scan btw
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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quick i7 setup, (prices from scan)

    Asus P6T Deluxe + i7 920 bundle : 440.44
    Corsair XMS 6Gb 3 X 2 Gb : 60.94
    GTX 280 BFG OC2 : 229.99

    Total: £740 ish.

    Amd X4 940 setup

    CPU X4 940 : 167.89
    Motherboard Asus Crosshair II : 156.61
    Ram Corsair XMS2 4gb 2X2gb : 45.07
    GFX Card as above: 229.99

    Total : £600

    You could save another £70 by going with a ATI setup.

    Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P, AMD 790X, AM2/AM2+, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR2 1066/1333, SATA 3GB/s, RAID, ATX : 94.30

    1GB Power Color HD 4890, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), Mem 3900MHz, GDDR5, GPU 850MHz, 2x DL DVI-I/HDTV : 195.50

    Total: £503

    Ok the i7 is always going to destroy the X4 940 in encoding and editing but in games their pretty evenly matched with a few FPS in it.

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Stick to the 790GX or 780G motherboards for AMD and go with that i7 only makes sense in very particular cases imo.

    Gaming wise you wont need any more than the X3 720 BE (great chip and a great price), it wil also be good for video editing

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Of course, if you wait a couple of weeks you should also have the choice of the new Phenom II X4 955, which will (alledgedly ) be AM3 and run at 3.2GHz stock. But (as staffsMike says) for gaming you really don't need anything more than an X3 720 BE, which is a bargain at £120ish!

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    I much prefer AMD, but if i was buying a new rig now, i wouldnt buy the the Intel i7.

    The technology is way over priced compared to the AMD gear and in a few months time the next generation Intels will be around and the i7 will look like an ENORMOUS waste of cash.

    TBH......at this point i wouldnt buy either. Wait until the summer and you get get a hell of alot more for your cash.

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    The technology is way over priced compared to the AMD gear and in a few months time the next generation Intels will be around and the i7 will look like an ENORMOUS waste of cash.

    TBH......at this point i wouldnt buy either. Wait until the summer and you get get a hell of alot more for your cash.
    Isn't this always the case though? By the time something comes along that betters the i7, there will be something else in the pipeline to beat that.

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    besides, I'm not sure what's meant to be coming that will displace the i7. Intel's roadmap doesn't have any new high-performance parts for at least 18 month, and AMD hasn't yet beaten the slowest i7. Of course, that may change with the 955, although the benchmarks suggest that a 200MHz clock-boost probably still won't be enough to reach i7 performance...

    EDIT: I've just read the rest of that review: they overclocked the 940BE to 3.6GHz and it *still* didn't match the i7 920. So it's not looking good for the 955 BE, if / when it comes out...

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    thats wot i was thinking of also , as vista is complete $h!** might aswell wait a lil and use windows 7 with ( hopefully nex gen stuff ) ddr3 is also dropping

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    TBH I would get the Phenom II over an i7. With the Phenom II X4 940 dropping in price to £160 to £170,a 790GX based motherboard which can be had for around £90 and 4gb of decent DDR2 for under £40 you are looking at around £150 to £200 less for a Phenom II X4 based build. This will pay for a decent graphics card. Save the rest of your budget on upgrades when you need them.

    Also consider the already large installed user base of Core2,Athlon and Phenom owners. I think that it will be highly unlikely that in the next two years that these processors will suddenly be useless for gamers!! Graphics cards are relatively easy to replace rather than motherboards and processors so it will be more likely that a graphics card update would be needed than the processor.

    Even by the end of the year the number of Core i7 and Core i5 users will be relatively small especially with the current financial crisis.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-04-2009 at 03:56 PM.


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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quote Originally Posted by joepcg_2 View Post
    i might decide to overclock if i get some time to mess around but mostly it's gaming and the odd video stuff.
    If gaming is the primary purpose then go for a Phenom II and use the savings for a better graphics card, as you will see greater benefits in most games.

    If the video stuff you mention is only 'every now and then' or 'maybe once or twice a week' rather than say 'every other day' or 'daily' then the you won't be doing enough to see any appreciable difference in the added expense of an i7 - will you really care if a task takes 12 minutes rather than 10 minutes if you only do it once a month?

    Personally I'd be inclined to go straight to AM3 and DDR3, but that might just be me as I have no DDR2 kit around so I like the idea of completely skipping a generation.

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    I much prefer AMD, but if i was buying a new rig now, i wouldnt buy the the Intel i7.

    The technology is way over priced compared to the AMD gear and in a few months time the next generation Intels will be around and the i7 will look like an ENORMOUS waste of cash.

    TBH......at this point i wouldnt buy either. Wait until the summer and you get get a hell of alot more for your cash.
    really? the next thing thats coming out from intel are i5's which are not high end products and more for the budget users out there mate.

    its going to be at least a year till i7's are beaten by intel themselves. AMD? im not too sure they can come out with a i7 beater before that but who knows.

    at the end of the day, the i7's are top of the range cpu's for at least this whole year and like everything else in a pc, it gets outdated. Your post doesnt make much sense im afraid. sounds like you don't like i7's or you don't know the facts of this argument.

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Low cost = Phenom II (though preferably, Core 2 Quad)
    High Performance = Core i7

    That's all there is to it. An i7 is much more expensive than a Phenom II system, but performs much better. Core 2 Quads are on similar ground, but work out a little better for the money.

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quote Originally Posted by sammorris View Post
    Low cost = Phenom II (though preferably, Core 2 Quad)
    High Performance = Core i7

    That's all there is to it. An i7 is much more expensive than a Phenom II system, but performs much better. Core 2 Quads are on similar ground, but work out a little better for the money.
    yea so why get a P2 when it doesn't perform any better then a core 2 quad which is cheaper?

    if you currently have a AMD setup then yes maybe P2 makes sense but if you have not, i wouldn't even consider any AMD based build when there is an equivalent build that's cheaper or another one that's more expensive but is the best money can buy.

    Its the OP's decision so best of luck

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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Agreed, there are a lot of AMD builds on Hexus which is odd, as there aren't many anywhere else, with good reason. The only reason to buy a Phenom II is if you have an AM2 system already.
    The Phenoms use 50% more power (and thus create 50% more heat), cost slightly more, seem to have less reliable chipsets (the number of failed build threads I'm diagnosing at another forum with AMD 780/790 chipsets is alarming), and don't even perform as well. When the Core 2 Quad Q8400 comes out, there is no reason at all to buy a Phenom II.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Phenom II or i7

    Quote Originally Posted by sammorris View Post
    The Phenoms use 50% more power (and thus create 50% more heat), cost slightly more, seem to have less reliable chipsets (the number of failed build threads I'm diagnosing at another forum with AMD 780/790 chipsets is alarming), and don't even perform as well.
    I can't speak for the chipsets, as I've not built a PC with AMD chipset recently, and I will accept that the Phenom IIs have a higher power profile than the Core 2 Quads (which is fairly obvious from the 95W TDP vs. 65W TDP), but if you actually read a review you'll find that the Phenom II 940 BE comfortably outperforms a Core 2 Q9300, and I suspect would give the £20 more expensive Q9400 a good run for its money. With a new top-end part coming shortly in the form of the 955BE, I expect it to challenge the very best of the Core 2 Quads.

    The reason a lot of people are going with AMD builds on the Hexus forum is because we recognise that they are currently offering a better value-for-money package than Intel, which is also going to be running on a longer-lived socket than 775, 1366 OR 1176 (or whatever the i5 one is). AMD seem to be going out of their way to make tomorrows processor compatible with today's socket, and so AMD processors give the option of a build to a tight budget now, with massive potential for future upgrades.

    Don't get sucked in by the Intel hype

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