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Thread: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

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    Question Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    I am wanting to upgrade to a new CPU, MOBO and GPU for about £250
    I have picked out the Ati HD 4770 as the GPU which leaves around £180 for a CPU and MOBO.

    Here is my predicament... I want to go quad core but nothing high end as I wont be using my PC for gaming much (for a few older ones yes) but would like something abit more future proof than a dual core.

    The cheapest Core 2 Duo I can find is the Q8200 @ 2.33GHz with 4MB of Cache for £120.
    The cheapest Phenom X4 is £95 and is the 9650 at the same clock speed but 2MB of cache.
    Personally, I'd pay 30 quid more and opt for the 9950 at 2.6Ghz. BUT, they thing is that having read around, it seems the 9950 draws around 120W of power under strain which is rather high for a CPU is it not? ;/ The 9950 also requires a £70+ MOBO whereas I can get away with a £50 one for the Q8200. But the reviews of the Q8200 say its the slowest quad out there.

    Should I go Quad with one of these or get a better dual core for the 130 mark? Also, is Phenom X3 a better type to go for over an X2 or X4?

    Any help greatly appreciated

    Mnia

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Why are you looking at the Phenom when the Phenom II has been released?? The Phenom II is 5% faster clock for clock than the Phenom and consumes much less power.

    You can get the 2.6ghz Phenom II X4 810 and a suitable motherboard for around £190:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=965903

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=998660

    The 2.8ghz Phenom II X4 920 costs £10 more than the X4 810 and had more cache too.

    The best bet IMHO would be to get the triple core 2.8ghz Phenom II X3 which is £105 on Scan Today Only currently:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    With the 760G motherboard I linked to previously it will cost you just under £160.

    I would look at this review which compares the Q8200,Phenom II X3 720 and Phenom II X4 810:

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16382/4


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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post

    The best bet IMHO would be to get the triple core 2.8ghz Phenom II X3 which is £105 on Scan Today Only currently:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx
    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/#2 - bit easier to find

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Thanks for the comparison link. The Intel CPU's seem to trump all AMD CPU's from the looks of that comparison with the 940 coming out on top.

    Would a tri-core at 105 be better than a quad at 135? All these multiple cores make it so much harder picking out a CPU and GPU lol. When I last upgraded, all you thought of was clock speed and AMD/Intel.

    Need to consider the tri/quad thing ;/

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mnia786 View Post
    Thanks for the comparison link. The Intel CPU's seem to trump all AMD CPU's from the looks of that comparison with the 940 coming out on top.
    Here is a later review with the Phenom II X4 955:

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16796

    When the Intel and AMD processors are compared at the same price-points in many cases the AMD processors are quite competitive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mnia786 View Post
    Would a tri-core at 105 be better than a quad at 135? All these multiple cores make it so much harder picking out a CPU and GPU lol. When I last upgraded, all you thought of was clock speed and AMD/Intel.

    Need to consider the tri/quad thing ;/
    However the Phenom II X4 810 is faster than the Q8200 in games,video encoding and rendering.

    I would probably go with the cheaper triple core unless you are running applications which need quad cores. Socket 775 is being discontinued in the next few months though whereas AMD is still sticking with socket AM2+ and AM3. Socket AM3 processors will work in DDR2 socket AM2+ motherboards and DDR3 socket AM3 motherboards since socket AM3 AMD processors have the both a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller in the CPU itself unlike the Core2 which has the controller on the motherboard.

    Both the Phenom II X3 720 and X4 810 are AM3 processors.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 27-05-2009 at 06:32 PM.


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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    What you have to realise is that the Tri-cores are no faster than the best dual cores of similar price, when all three cores are working, and there are more cases when only two cores will function in an application than three or four. By buying an X3 you're essentially getting a dual core but with the same performance caveats as a quad. I would say go with a Quad core of some description, they're worth the extra.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammorris View Post
    What you have to realise is that the Tri-cores are no faster than the best dual cores of similar price, when all three cores are working, and there are more cases when only two cores will function in an application than three or four.
    And there are even more cases when going from two to three cores makes more difference than going from three to four.

    3 cores is the sweet spot in terms of mutli-core benefit.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Such as? I can't think of a single application that supports three cores but not four.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    No, but more applications are coded for dual cores than quad cores, so if you can shift OS, AV, Firewall, whatever else onto the third core, then the first two cores are fully available for the CPU intensive program to utilise.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Also take into account as said by others some Tri-cores the 4th core can be unlocked, so you get a quad for the price of a Tri-cores. ;-)
    Do some research you may find it interesting.
    {IX38QGT Q9650 9x450 4.0Ghz}
    {IP35ProXE Q9550 8.5x450 3.8Ghz}
    {IP35-Pro Q9450 8x440 3.5Ghz}

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    True, I can see how that'd be useful. I'm just not convinced it's worth sacrificing the level of performance from a top end dual core (i.e. E8000 series) to achieve it, or spending all the extra from a normal dual core (e.g. X2 7x50BE or E5000 series)

    TheWolf: I'm pretty sure you can only do that on very specific motherboards. Of course, on top of that it only degrades the CPU's overclocking abilities further as well.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    The comparable Intel processor in price to the X3 720 is the E8200 which can be had for around £102. The X3 720 is around £105 to £110.

    The faster E8400 is more comparable to the X3 720:

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ph...e-review-am3/1

    Also regarding overclocking the X3 720 does very well against the E7500 and the Q6600:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...ii-x3-720-be/4

    Also the Asus M3A76-CM which costs around £52 has the improved SB710 southbridge which has ACC(needed for unlocking any non-defective cores):

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...Board-VGA-HDCP

    The Biostar TA790GX 128 which is a 790GX motherboard can be had for around £72:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Biost...ID-OnBoard-VGA

    Some people have been able to unlock the X3 720 with Biostar 790GX motherboards sucessfully and have got good overclocks out of them.

    There is also the Biostar TA790GX A3+ for around £90 which uses DDR3 RAM:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Biost...X-On-Board-VGA


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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Also next week AMD are releasing the 45nm dual core Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 processors.

    Here is a mini-review:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...lon-ii-x2.html


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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammorris View Post
    Such as? I can't think of a single application that supports three cores but not four.
    It's not about supporting, but getting any benefit from.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/multi-...-31567-10.html






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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Apart from being from Guru3D which is reason enough, I won't really consider the top article as it's too selective about which CPUs it compars in each test.
    The Bit-Tech report actually shows the 720 doing better at overclocking than I had though, I don't remember seeing a 720 above 3.5Ghz. 3.7 is quite a good result (though the mean overclocks between Intel's Quad and Duals are still substantially higher)
    Right now the X3 720 is £111 at Scan. At £93, clearly the E7400 is not a direct rival to the 720. More appropriate competition is the E7500 at £108, and to an extent the E8200 at £102.
    The Q6600 stopped being a valid example when it was obsoleted by the Q8000 series. It is too expensive for what it is right now and I've stopped recommending it to anyone. Notably the Q8200 is £126 at Scan.
    The Toms Hardware bench is a bit bizarre as it compares the same CPU with cores disabled, neglecting the other advantages to having a quad core over a dual.

    Ultimately, the X3 720 is no bad choice for any system, but for the same money as an X3 720, a decent quality board and some DDR3, I can get an E8400, a good board and the same amount of DDR2, and I would choose the E8400 every time. In partially multi-threaded apps like games, at full overclock the Intel would win by around 10%. In dual-threaded applications there'd be no contest. I've been a Quad core user for about 10 months now and outside games and fully multi-threaded programs (the latter of which I very rarely use), there's been very little I could say 'my dual core couldn't do that'. I've no regrets about using a Quad core, it's transformed some of the more demanding games out there, but frankly, I see triple core CPUs as an awkward compromise, rather than a best of both worlds.
    From a purely objective standpoint, most of AMDs current lineup is justifiable to buy, but there isn't one CPU from them I've seen yet that is clearly a better buy than its Intel rival, it's either equal or close behind. I would love to see this change, the market is driven forward far more buy catalyst for change, than catching up one step at a time.

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    Re: Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom X4?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammorris View Post
    The Toms Hardware bench is a bit bizarre as it compares the same CPU with cores disabled, neglecting the other advantages to having a quad core over a dual.
    Such as?

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